Citations Needed

Citations Needed is a podcast about the intersection of media, PR, and power, hosted by Nima Shirazi and Adam Johnson.

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Episode 19: Lotteryism Part I -- How a Compliant Press Fuels the Spectacle of 'Winning'


"Lotteryism" is the use of the media by large corporations to obscure solidarity in favor of morality tales of “making it”. It’s the atomization of parties of mutual interest by lording over them the promise of something greater than what they could achieve if they simply banded together. Lotteryism is an ideology and a PR operation. Lotteryism, above all, renders us politically impotent.

Lotteryism is a scam practiced by large corporations in various iterations to extract resources from local governments in hopes they can “win” their money, "jobs", or presence in their city.

Cities compete in a race-to-the-bottom to offer billionaire team owners the best tax breaks and enticing perks. Bill Gates uses it to pit state education departments against one another for funding. Corporations like Mercedes-Benz and Amazon use it to get massive tax breaks and sweetheart deals in cities that want their headquarters. Walmart uses it against local governments to skirt minimum wage requirements and crush unions.

The media––namely local media––mindlessly go along with these spectacles without any context or critical analysis. How is the Lotteryism scam practiced? Who does it benefit? And, most importantly, how can we fight it?

With guest Anne Orchier, an organizer with NOlympics LA.

(And stay tuned for Part II, next week, when we'll be joined by Dave Zirin, sports editor at The Nation.)


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 2017-12-13  54m