I was recently in a short debate-- now deleted-- on the HarperCollins blog www.cruelestmonth.com . In a short comment I pointed out the cynicism of a representative of media monopoly pretending to advocate for the independent press.
Instantly HarperCollins house puppy Michael Signorelli came charging out of the skyscraper castle to contend with me-- and was quickly chewed to pieces. (Therefore the deletion.) He wanted to deny that he and his blog are owned by the Murdoch monopoly. (He knows he's unable to DEFEND the monopoly.)
The hapless book editor (one of monopoly's best, but hapless all the same) unknowingly encountered a scientific principle which we'll call "The Signorelli Trap."
The Signorelli Trap can be defined as this:
"Every move made to reform monopoly, by those who belong to it, ends up strengthening it, so that their every effort has its opposite effect."
Michael Signorelli's occasional advocacy for "the little guy" serves as p.r. cover for the Murdoch media empire, sounding like a Phillip Morris or Mobil Oil press release. Signorelli's blog introduces the Murdoch empire into a new territory (the blogosphere) which has been a refuge for DIY activity on-line.
It's a battle between outspoken independence versus ruthless monopoly. The soldiers of monopoly should acknowledge which side they're on. "Monopoly" is all over the Cruelest Month blog, though you'll not see the word itself.
The reality is that a handful of monopolistic giants control 99% of the media noise in this country. Independent outfits like the Underground Literary Alliance make noise on the margins, but are being squeezed, shut out even there-- as witnessed by the NBCC blog and other blogs doing puff piece interviews with the likes of Harper Perennial publisher Carrie Kania while ignoring books from the ULA. The HarperCollins/Murdoch empire wants not just most of the pie-- they want all of it. In this endeavor, Mr. Signorelli is their willing accomplice. There's no easy way to brighten this reality.
Or, as I put it to him in a now-deleted comment on his blog:
A huge roaring steamroller of gleaming steel proceeds down the street crushing everything in its path, belching black smoke while wearing a grill resembling an evil grin. A man runs to catch up to the monster machine so he can slap a tiny yellow happy face onto it. That man is Michael Signorelli.