In fact, it is not uncommon for the government body to receive a signing bonus from the carrier, like M in the case of Los Angeles County. Unlike the public, the Federal Communications Commission has no safeguards against price gouging when it applies to those behind bars.In the federal prison system, all able-bodied inmates who are not a security risk are forced to work for UNICOR or another prison job. UNICOR, also known as Federal Prison Industries, is a government-created corporation that provides many products and services, including clothing, electronics, furniture, data entry and military hardware. UNICOR enjoys a “mandatory source clause” that according to US laws & regulations, forces all federal agencies with the exception of the Department of Defense to purchase products offered by UNICOR instead of the private sector.Sullivan, described the methods employed during Co Intel Pro as “rough, tough, and dirty.” The tactics ranged from selectively enforcing tax codes & government regulations, to fabricating evidence and using perjured testimony to illegally incarcerate Americans. The FBI conspired with local police departments to commit crimes ranging from illegal break-ins and vandalism, to assaults, beatings, and assassinations of American citizens. The FBI’s actions were successfully kept a secret for over 15 years, until a group called the Citizens’ Commission to Investigate the FBI burglarized an FBI Field Office in Media, Pennsylvania. Several dossiers acquired during the burglary were passed to news agencies, who initially refused to publish the information. Co Intel Pro-type activities may continue today under the rubric of ‘investigation.’” Those taking part in political activity three decades after the official conclusion of Co Intel Pro still find themselves under scrutiny by federal officials. The New York Times reported in 2004 that the FBI conducted interviews of 40 to 50 activists in the lead-up to the presidential elections.Several were tailed by federal agents, others had their friends and family interviewed, and some were subpoenaed to testify before a federal grand jury. There were ultimately no arrests as a result.
Prisoners also made helmets for the military, until 44,000 defective units were recalled due to their inability to stop bullets. Despite its shortcomings, UNICOR generated 4.3M in sales for fiscal year 2008 – of which 4% went to inmate salaries. Much of this money later ends up in the hands of the local government, as the inmates use their salary to pay for phone calls home.News Corp., now infamous for the News International phone hacking scandal in the UK, owns Fox, My Network TV and other stations totaling some 27 television stations in the United States alone, with Fox Television Stations reaching over 35% of American television homes with six duopolies in the top 10 television markets. Fox International owns 120 channels around the globe while News Corp. Then comes Time Warner, the largest media conglomerate with the second highest revenue behind Disney, both of which have holdings which far exceed the space here and include a wide variety of industries including monopolies on cable service in some locations. As with many of the other powerful media groups, Time Warner Inc.also owns production and distribution companies like Fox Home Entertainment, 20th Century Fox Television, Fox Film Entertainment, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Blue Sky Studios, Fox 2000 Pictures and more on an international scale. was formed with the merger of Warner Communications, Inc., Time Inc., and Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. and now encompasses a plethora of properties in television, the Internet (like AOL, CNN, TMZ, People.com, Moviefone, Advertising.com, and more), film, publishing (including comic books and more than 150 magazines) along with marketing companies as well.There is much debate on the legitimacy of the consolidation of media, with strong proponents and opponents bringing forth a wide variety of arguments. Regardless of your position on the viability of the concentration of media ownership into fewer and fewer hands, it is an irrefutable fact that over the past few decades the corporations controlling the preponderance of American media have lessened considerably. As of 2011, the largest media corporations in the United States in terms of revenue and profit are: General Electric, Walt Disney, News Corp., Time Warner, CBS and Viacom. Walt Disney – or more specifically Disney Media Networks – controls a staggering amount of media outlets. In the field of motion pictures, they own Walt Disney Pictures (which includes Pixar Animation Studios), Touchstone Pictures and Hollywood Pictures.They then distribute these films through Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment while distributing soundtracks and original music under Walt Disney Records and Hollywood Records.However, according to the Department of Justice’s “Emerging Issues on Privatized Prisons” report, private prisons offer at best a 1% cost savings over their government operated counterparts, while at the same time having 49% more assaults on staff and 65% more assaults on other inmates. Corporations owning correctional facilities is not the only way that prisons and the War on Drugs have been used as a source of income.For instance, even in government-ran facilities, inmates and their families are regularly subject to price gouging by phone carriers. While the average cost of a phone call in the United States is 3 cents per minute, inmates and their families end up paying between 16 cents and .00 per minute. The profits are then split between the carrier and the government body who awarded the contract.They also own the entire ABC Television Network (which includes ABC Daytime, ABC Entertainment Group and ABC News), the Disney Channel, ABC Family, SOAPnet, 80% of ESPN (along with ESPN2, ESPN Classic, ESPNEWS, ESPN Deportes, ESPNU, ESPN HD and ESPN2 HD, ESPN Regional Television, ESPN International, ESPN Radio, ESPN The Magazine, ESPN Enterprises, ESPN Zones, ESPN360, ESPN Mobile Properties, ESPN On Demand, ESPN Interactive and ESPN PPV) and television distribution divisions of Disney-ABC Domestic Television and Disney-ABC ESPN Television.Walt Disney also owns large shares of A&E Television Networks and Lifetime Entertainment Services, while ABC Television Network boasts over 200 affiliated stations which together reach 99% of American household televisions, and that isn’t even getting in to Walt Disney’s control of radio, publishing and other holdings.General Electric (GE) owns a 49% stake in NBC-Universal and NBC Networks (includes NBC News, NBC Sports, NBC Television, NBC Universal, CNBC, CNBC World (Arabia, India, Asia, Europe), MSNBC, Bravo, Sy Fy Channel, Telemundo, USA, Oxygen and more) along with 46 NBC affiliate stations and more stations internationally. Viacom owns a massive amount of television properties including MTV Networks (and the many variants including MTV Networks International which operates in 160 nations), BET Networks, CMT, Comedy Central, Logo, Nickelodeon, Spike TV, TV Land, and VH1. They also control several film production companies under Paramount Pictures Corporation and a massive internet presence.In the realm of film production and distribution, GE owns Universal Pictures, Focus Features, and Rogue Pictures with production agreements with more companies and distribution through Universal Studios Home Entertainment. CBS Network consists of 30 stations and a 50% share of the CW Network, the other 50% belonging to Time Warner along with 130 radio stations, major book publishers like Simon & Shuster, prominent online holdings, CBS Outdoor and more. The case against increased media conglomeration is a strong one with countless supporting factors, although many individuals seem to come to this conclusion naturally when seeing how the vast majority of the media they are exposed to come from just a few corporations, all of which have close relationships with each other.