The Very Richest Owning Media Companies is the Rule Not an Exception $TWTR $FB

As a service to those who have outrage-induced amnesia or to those who are just ignorant of facts, I will remind everyone that the very richest owning media companies is the rule. Elon Musk, the World’s wealthiest owning media company Twitter will not be an exception.

We can go down a partial list.

Charles Ergen is worth about $10 billion and is the co-founder and Chairman of the satellite communications and TV Companies, Echostar and Direct TV.
Robin Li is the CEO and co-founder of Chinese search company Baidu.
Rupert Murdoch is the owner of a media empire that includes Fox News, The Times of London, The New York Post, and The Wall Street Journal. Rupert Murdoch is worth about $21 billion.
Zhang Yiming founded and owns a lot of Tik tok. His net worth is about $44 billion. The people get richer going down this list.
Jack Ma owns a lot of Alibaba. Alibaba owns a lot of social media site Weibo and video platform Bilibili.
Ma Huateng owns a lot of Tencent. Tencent owns WeChat and the messaging service QQ.
David Thomson owns the publishing and media conglomerate Thomson Reuters. Reuters has the newswire that provides articles to most of the newspapers.
Mark Zuckerberg owns Facebook which also has WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger.
Carlos Slim Helu is Mexico’s richest man and owns 17% stake of The New York Times.
Michael Bloomberg owns and Business Week.
Warren Buffett has a big ownership stake in Verizon Communications. Verizon Media runs digital brands like Yahoo, TechCrunch, and AOL.
Google co-founder Sergey Brin and Larry Page own Youtube which has over 2.5 billion users. They also have a lot of control over websites with Google ads that provide revenue to many websites. They also control traffic via search and google news.
Bill Gates now has diversified holdings. Microsoft owns Linkedin.
Jeff Bezos has Amazon and the Washington Post. Amazon has Prime Video. Bezos also owns live-streaming website Twitch and movie and tv program database IMDb.

Most billionaires end up owning a lot of a media company or multiple companies, even if they did not accumulate their wealth by starting a media or tech company.

Some History of Wealth and Media

The Spanish-American War is often referred to as the first “media war.” During the 1890s, journalism that sensationalized—and sometimes even manufactured—dramatic events was a powerful force that helped propel the United States into war with Spain.

William Randolph Hearst abd the Spanish-American War. Hearst has a quoted statement—’You furnish the pictures, I’ll provide the war’. Yellow journalism showed the media could capture attention and influence public reaction.

In 1895, William Hearst purchased the New York Morning Journal and entered into a head-to-head circulation war with his former mentor, Joseph Pulitzer, owner of the New York World. To increase circulation both started to include articles about the Cuban Insurrection.

At age 25, Pulitzer became a publisher and made a series of business deals. In 1878, he became owner of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Other History on Wealth and Media

Ted Turner founded CNN, TNT and TBS. CNN has gone through various ownership changes. ATT recently divested WarnerMedia. Warner Media subsequently merge with Discovery Inc. to form Warner Bros. Discovery, Ted Turner has had dementia since 2018.

John Malone is a billionaire media mogul who is a longtime stakeholder in Discovery. John Malone is worth about $7 billion.

Brian L. Roberts (born June 28, 1959) is an American billionaire businessman and the chairman and CEO of Comcast. Comcast provides cable, entertainment, and communications products and services. Comcast was founded by Brian L Robert’s father, Ralph J. Roberts.

53 thoughts on “The Very Richest Owning Media Companies is the Rule Not an Exception $TWTR $FB”

  1. I get you. But just like Amazon (people said that was way overvalued for years, until it started making big profits}, I think Tesla still has a big run ahead of it. But I could be wrong.

    Companies rise and companies fall. How quickly and how far one will rise or fall is anyone's guess. But so far, Target and Wal-mart haven't quite figured out how to catch up with Amazon, and it will be a long while until legacy carmakers catch up to Tesla. If Tesla beats everyone else to level 4/5 self-driving, look out.

  2. I am making $162/hour telecommuting. I never imagined that it was honest to goodness yet my closest companion is earning $21 thousand a month by working on the web, that was truly shocking for me, she prescribed me to attempt it simply ,


  3. The powerful few have not taken the whole media but they make sure that their voice stays highly influential.

  4. Telsa stocks are overvalued 10x (not 10%, 10 times overvalued) and hype bubbles tend to outperform the market (until they don't). Musk is a successful businessman and knows how to manipulate the market and his audience. I do not see it as a problem, but this new "freedom of speech" crusade is a facade.
    -First is a financial decoy to sell tesla without upsetting too much the market
    -Second Musk has never been particularly tolerant of criticism and fired people who criticized him. Again it was his prerogative, but he is not the kind of noble paladin.
    -Third Twitter will still have terms of service and if it wants to remain a global platform it will still need to obey laws in the countries where it does want to do business, and Musk knows it too.

  5. I agree. Facebook curating the News has been a big problem. Forcing certain 'news' into everyone's feed.

    Trending on Twitter, which shows up every time Twitter is opened, has raised questions about the algorithm and its bias.

    But, I also notice that older people are on Facebook, and they don't hesitate to share their views either by e-mail or direct messaging. Facebook can't sensor that (yet).

    I think the midterm elections will reveal just how much influence Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Twitter wield. Without people being locked down with nothing to do but doomscroll, I think things will look very different.

  6. There are many, many people who despise the success that Musk has had. (It happens any time someone is hugely successful. Musk is not unique in that regard.)

    I would not put it past Bezos to use the Wahington Post to do the dirty work of trying to take Elon down. Now Musk can make sure he has a platform to respond.

    I hope I am wrong about Bezos. Maybe he is a good guy and will treat Elon fairly. But the history of Amazon kneecapping suppliers makes me skeptical.

  7. As I said, my thoughts are not very well worked-out, but here are some quick reactions to your thoughts. The internet makes it much easier than before for sparse groups of like-minded people to find each other, organize, etc. This can be a very good thing. It also can be a rather bad thing. It depends what those like-minded people have in mind.
    The arguments of the gatekeepers are directed against the like-minded people who have bad things in mind, for various meanings of "bad". Problem is, not everyone agrees what is "bad" and rightly should be suppressed. Thus at least some of the like-minded people who have good things in mind are blocked by the measures to block those who have bad things in mind, even when those who have good things in mind are considerably more than a sparse group.
    It seems to me that when a community is small enough, letting everyone say what they will allows the community usually to decide what is right Beyond a certain size, that seems to break down (the scaling problem I mentioned). I don't have any idea how to fix it.

  8. In some comments on other articles, I suggested that there are signs that many very influential people are starting to call for government actions of various kinds to block many of Musk's efforts. I said that he probably should be building support to counter such calls to block him. One of the commentors said that Musk's interest in Twitter could be, at least in part, to help counter those calls to block him. I don't know, but maybe that commentor is correct about that.

  9. While there are a wide variety of sources on the internet, there is a problem if word of interesting articles on some of those sources cannot be spoken of on the dominant platforms. Recall Facebook and Twitter preventing postings discussing what they deemed "misinformation", and many of the dominant "news" organizations deliberately not even mentioning such inconvenient, to them, events.

  10. I'd say the large newspapers starting in the late 1800s are even better counterexamples, but the railroad barons did have a role.

  11. I am thankful beyond measure for the internet. Before that, a few TV networks and major newspapers controlled the flow of information. I now have more than 100 organizations to peruse. Everything from the Daily Kos and Huffpost, to Instapundit and Daily Caller. I can get many different opinions and statistics from people of all persuasions.

  12. It looks like we have a Russian/Chinese communist troll here. No problem with the 'antifa' riots that led to the burning of government buildings and loss of life, huh? Not one gun was brought into the US capitol on Jan 6, and the only person shot was an unarmed woman by a capitol police officer.

    My opinion is that rioters, whether antifa or capitol riots, ought to go to jail if they defaced or destroyed property. Interesting that your outrage is directed towards only one group.

  13. It is not either/or but both. He was irritated that certain opinions were censored as 'disinformation'. He also saw a financial opportunity.

    Tesla stock has way outperformed the broader market over the last 5 years. Like all stocks, it will have some ups and downs. Hang tight – between a supply chain worker shortage, natural resources and food shortages, war in Ukraine, and China locking down major cities, the ride is about to get even bumpier.

  14. Pedal your peace and love lies else-ware. No one is oppressing you but you got hurt feels over the past and think you are justified in dealing out a little oppression yourself (so long as you are not on the receiving end). The left have pushed things as far as they have due to the tolerance of the center however they have pushed too far. The center will now bring things back to the center. This will be a rightward move but it is by no means right-wing. Reasonable moderate people have had enough of the totalitarian nature of the far left. No more. Lucky for you, we won't ban you from twitter just because we don't like your opinion. Welcome to freedom good buddy.

  15. Well said. But also, Fox New is not that conservative when you think about it. They have been "calling" elections for the left even when it was far from decided. All of the mistakes are in "one direction".

  16. Yea….the left was very compassionate and loving when they fired James Damore for daring to believe and state that there are biological differences between men and women.

  17. Above all, we are talking about the principle if we should be allowed or not allowed to lie, are we not? If it's the state or a private company enforcing the rule is more of a technicality, is it not?

    My take is that you have a right to lie, but you must of course suffer the consequences if you do. And the consequences should not be to loose ones voice, but rather that nobody or very few would take you seriously next time you say something.

  18. I think that the main issue that was not sufficiently underlined is not about freedom of speech, but about the fact that Musk considered twitter better financial opportunity than tesla. He knows that tesla is overvalued and sold some stocks and secured loans to buy something that in is opinion was undervalued and had bigger potential. He is not stupid he did not do it at loss or for a good cause, he had to convince people to lend him the money and used the money to buy twitter rather than expand tesla. And the tesla stocks indeed lost 10%.

  19. Seriously. in 2022, you're still using the like "stormed" the capitol. 99% of the people in the capitol that day were let in my cops, and were wandering around taking pictures.
    Also, it WAS a rigged election, right out the gate. Mail-in-ballots were taken advantage of by the left, they played Covid perfectly. That's not gonna happen in 2024.

  20. He rightfully sees civilization's stability as threatened by bottling up dissent until it explodes. He's more reliant on civilization's resilience for his vision of a positive future than most billionaires who, truth be known, have relatively shallow commitment to their visions of a positive future.

  21. I am making $162/hour telecommuting. I never imagined that it was honest to goodness yet my closest companion is earning $21 thousand a month by working on the web, that was truly shocking for me, she prescribed me to attempt it simply ,


  22. Looks like we have a trumptist here. So you wouldnt ban nacism or Hitler, because that would violate free speech in your opinion?

    One thing are claims as earth is flat and another is intentionally misleading people to incite them against some opponent. We know that from nazism how it ended, communism as well. Trumpism was heading in that direction, incited mobs stormed the capital. He wanted to overturn election results by calculated lies. But some people are naive and still believe Trump.

  23. Agreed. Musk is not only interested in gaming the system, but on productive change, creating real revenue and not only through speculation.

    This buying Twitter move is odd in that regard, what purpose does it serve for him?

    Making a buck? a company making like 2 billion a year is not such a cash cow right now, and it looks like it would take a long while to recover the investment.

    Ensuring a cloud platform to combine with Starlink? Twitter has some proven ability on the cloud certainly, but for its own social purposes. It's not like Google's own gig, Amazon AWS or Azure, selling a product for general consumption.

    The option that he's really interested in preserving civilization via freedom of speech is really odd, but again, Musk is not like the other billionaires. So who knows?

  24. It is destructive to markets to have such large players. And doubly a problem in journalism and other areas which can be exploited to manipulate public opinion.
    In fact, the areas where it is most destructive are the areas it is most attractive.
    It is really sad that the public has not continued to stay vigilant and demand that megamergers are forbidden. And break up the large companies. "Too big to fail" is also another very destructive aspect, and can end up costing the public enormous sums to restore failing, bloated companies.
    When all the people started dying off who were old enough to understand this stuff they were educated about in the 1900s-1920s, we started to have this problem grow without any check on it. Everyone who was 20 in 1920 is dead. Only people who have studied history have a clue. People talk Theodore Roosevelt when they talk trust busting, but Taft was the real deal. He broke up at least twice as many. The last election it was a remotely serious topic in a Presidential campaign was 1928. You had to be 21 to vote then, that means you would have to be 107 years old to have voted back then.
    We have to pull the weeds, and trim the hedges, if we want to live in a beautiful garden, and have lots of produce.

  25. Capture of positive network externalities centralizes wealth and power to the point that civilization collapses. This is true up to and including the world's reserve currency. That said, its silly to lump Musk in with the other network effect wealthy. Although his initial fortune with Paypal was all about network effects, the vast majority of his wealth is far less about capturing positive network externalities than the rest of the billionaires. That's what sets him apart. Lumping him in with them is a great way to diminish his importance and advance the rent seeking that is collapsing civilization.


    e.g. replace the 16th Amendment with a single tax on liquidation value of net assets at around 2.5% and watch Musk's real wealth explode while collapsing the wealth of the other billionaires — especially Bezos.

    This, by the way, is why Elizabeth Warren is brain dead. She should have suggested replacing the 16th Amendment. What she's done instead is sabotaged any possibility of saving civilization from the rentiers by poisoning the correct approach.

  26. Judging by the amount of anger in these comments I could assume that Brian is also a free speech advocate. But we already knew that, didn't we?
    I do enjoy free expression.

  27. …Communication outlets were not controlled by the most powerful till recently. That is a new tool that they started to use to control the masses. Any mega system inevitably leads to an ever greater amassing of power till it breaks down. However, none of this people is such an active participant in providing content in their communication outlet as Elon Musk. None of them is involved in trying to commercialize technologies that will send information into people's that can also be done unwillingly. Elon Musk is taking it to another level.

  28. compassion and empathy… don't make me laugh. it's about control and destroying or taking over everything the so called white heterosexual male have built.

  29. Say, have you patronised your neighbourhood market recently? The Libertarian game is set up to lead to Monopoly, and only through a moral repugnance to Monopoly can people naturally want to stay away from it and thus limit the concentration of power on any one man's hands.

    Otherwise, you're doomed to Pareto's Rule: the square root of the population generates half the wealth. That's eighty-four thousand super rich generating half the wealth of seven billion people. The 0.12‱.

  30. I'm as much against Monopoly as any Christian Democrat should be, and certainly as much as Chesterton was. As it stands, if it were just a new round of media consolidation, I would be right there with you.

    However, here we have a single company which was controlled by a small set of people, and will continue to be controlled by another small set of people. It's just that the second oligarchy which replaced the first has made some public propositions which are very interesting, propositions concerning an increase in transparency in the guts of the algorithm which, for good or ill, shapes much of the modern political debate. So in terms of concentration of power, there has been no change. But in terms of transparency of our political process, the outlook is different.

    As for the facts which might have been scooped up from Wikipedia, they merely portray a reality without reference to a moral judgement of that reality. Instead, the moral judgement is laid against the group who bemoans the "concentration" of power in the hands of a man who does not think like them, a process that is not necessarily even being developed by the hostile takeover we have just witnessed, while ignoring the real concentration which did happen when (for example) Meta bought Whatsapp and merged their user databases. Those people who were decrying the death of liberty now could be scarcely heard then. Why is that?

  31. Straw man argument.

    Who was talking about "the state" before you brought it up? We're talking about private social media.

  32. I see the full-throated advocacy for oligarchy is alive and well.
    To how many of these so-called technokings should we bend knee?

    Brian, I know no one else is going to tell you this, but you are embarrassing yourself by using the Spanish American War and the yellow journalism that conjured itself as part of your defense of this latest round of American Oligarchy. That was an example of the whole bloody problem with a concentration of media power– just because it happened in the past doesn't mean it was a good thing, or is a valid defense of doing the same thing in the now. It's certainly not something to emulate.

    For that matter, dumping a pile of facts you scooped up from Wikipedia does not constitute an argument.

    And finally, and for the record, I would be just as ecstatic to see Zuckerberg's cerberus broken up, Murdoch's empire dismantled, YouTube ripped away from the greater Google Empire, etc. I am not terribly interested in the personal politics of any of these people. But I am as profoundly disturbed by concentrations of media power as I am of any other type of power.

    And I am profoundly disturbed by our inability to learn from the failures of the past, and the level of profoundly decontextualized ignorance it takes to actively want to repeat them, as you evidently do.

  33. That `one person` owns a vast amount of the press plus major TV stations .. Facebook far left give me a break .. your `asserting` that all these companies are far left .. its RUBBISH

  34. Freedom of speech ends where freedom of another person starts.

    For the last centuries people of minorities were severely opressed. It only recently started to change. Give us some breathing room please and let US enjoy the newly found independence and respect. Its been white heterosexual male person 2000 years, it can be trans black gay person 30 years. It wont hurt anything really.

    Let us grow and stabilize and then we can stop loudly proclaiming our equal rights when they are finally equal

    So called leftist propaganda is nothing else but compassion and empathy. A greatest traits a human can have.

  35. Congratulations. That's one person.
    Then go look at the rest of who owns media companies. Almost ALL of them are liberal, including publicly traded companies like Discovery. That's not in question, either since Discovery owns CNN, which is nothing if not far left. Same with MSNBC, NYT, Reuters, Washington Post, Facebook, Google, Apple, Amazon, etc. The list goes on. Same with plutocrats like Warren Buffet, Michael Bloomberg, Bill Gates, and the detestable George Soros.
    So, no, it's not absolute rubbish.

  36. absolute rubbish .. tell that to Rupert Murdoch and Fox news the LEFT do not own the press .
    Rupert Murdoch born 11 March 1931) is an Australian-born American  media tycoon.
     Through his company News Corp, he is the owner of hundreds of local, national, and international publishing outlets around the world, including in the UK (The Sun and The Times), in Australia (The Daily Telegraph, Herald Sun and The Australian), in the US (The Wall Street Journal and the New York Post), book publisher HarperCollins, and the television broadcasting channels Sky News Australia and Fox News (through the Fox Corporation). He was also the owner of Sky (until 2018), 21st Century Fox (until 2019), and the now-defunct News of the World. With a net worth of US$21.7 billion as of 2 March 2022, Murdoch is the 31st richest person in the United States and the 71st richest in the world
    He part of this newly defined LEFT is he?

  37. Have you been sleeping under a rock for the last decade? "The Left" is no longer defined by amount of money, but by adherence to certain truths: intersectionality, censorship for the good of the people, the society is racist, and on and on and on…..

    And all of big tech and all of corporate media are 100% on this side of the argument.

  38. Going a little farther into the future.

    What happens when the population knows that ideas that are not against the law are being censored? My guess is that "leaks" in information will become all the more impactful, because the censorship will feed resentment and a feeling of being manipulated.

    So you will have given up free discussion for a completely unknown supposed benefit and created divides in society. And that is in the best case where the censorship sticks to "objective" truths. When they wander into politics – as they did with Hunter Bidens laptop – then there is no benefit only harm.

  39. And in the case of vaccines you can also argue that even with perfect control of all information that is transmitted, the rate of vaccination would be far from 100%.

    Furthermore, COVID would have continued to spread even with 100% vaccination rate, which we would not have achieved even with "perfect" censorship, so you cannot argue that you could have eradicated COVID with "sufficient censorship".

    The "utility" of censorship is thus in this case really unknown.

  40. Complements for an interesting thought.

    But I disagree, and here is why. The left keeps repeating that if you are allowed to present misinformation, such as vaccines do not work, then the public will suffer. And it *sounds* plausible. It also fits with your scaling idea. Crazy Joe would make not only his neighbor forego vaccination, but also whole swaths of society…

    Let's forget for a moment the difficulty of defining actual harm. Let's assume that a lower rate of vaccination is harmful. How many people turned down vaccination because of information on the internet rather than their own personal contacts with other people? And what reduction of "non-vaccination" did the massive censuring of anti-vaccine view on youtube, facebook and twitter achieve?

    The left *assumes* that the effect was massive, but they have no proof. We are just supposed to accept the utilitarian need for censorship beyond the laws that we have now, without any proof what so ever, just because it *seems* plausible.

  41. The left is just angry that there is a small percent of the media that is not controlled by them. Look at the list: 200 million users for twitter versus billions of users on the other platforms.
    `THE LEFT`?
    since when did the wealthiest human beings on the planet constitute the left?, the right own nearly ALL of the media yet go around claiming that the `left` own the Media .. Jesus give us a break

  42. This is a back to it’s roots thing for the Left, attacking “The Rich” since it’s otherwise, like “The Right” often on unfamiliar territory. The Left used to attack big corporations until the Right started attacking them, now they have to defend at least some of them, cuz whatever the other guys are against you gotta be for. It wasn’t long ago that Elon Musk was attacked by the Right and defended by the Left. Oh well.

  43. I have a few not very well worked out thoughts concerning free speech. I will state them briefly, just to get them out there so anyone who finds them useful can carry them further.

    The basic thought is that perhaps some of the problems that seem to be associated with free speech are a scaling problem. I think the fundamental ideas and justifications for free speech were established during the time when free speech extended only as far as your voice could carry when speaking in the town square (before the time of amplifiers) and only as far as the neighboring towns you could reach by walking or horse riding.

    The printing press started to change things, and that was greatly accelerated by the rise of modern newspapers, when things started to get really out of hand. Radio and TV continued the problems. Then the internet started the clash between prior media and a resurgence of individual voices, but with enormous reach, where we sit today.

    No conclusions; just some thoughts. I don't know whether they can lead anywhere useful.

  44. And how about outright lies…

    So if I claim that I love someone even though I don't, then I could be taken to court? Or if I say that my favorite dish is vegemite on crackers (reallly awful stuff), then the law should come down on me?

    No, only "harmful" lies. We have laws against defamation and slander, so this is something else. Again, who decides what is harmful? Does society not suffer a lot if you claim that certain groups are being persecuted by society and the police? Does it not result in violence, victims that are left without the support from the police, loss of property and that said groups never improve their conditions? I would say so.

  45. The left is just angry that there is a small percent of the media that is not controlled by them. Look at the list: 200 million users for twitter versus billions of users on the other platforms.

    The reason is of course that they do not believe in free speech. They keep claiming that "misinformation" is not "free speech". It almost makes me laugh, were it not so serious. Free speech must of course entail both lies and misinformation.

    Let's start with an obvious example. Should that state silence me if I would claim that the earth is flat or that an electron is heavier than a proton? Both are provable false. No, of course not. Only misinformation that can "endanger" society or which has "bad consequences", replies the leftie. Or threatens "democracy".

    But who decides what threatens democracy? Who decides what has bad consequences? Twitter recently decided that Hunter Bidens laptop was "misinformation" and it later proven not to be. That piece of information could have changed the outcome of the election. Yes, but is was not relevant for the election… So we are down to censoring statements that are not false, but are not "relevant" according to the powers of be.

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