With photos of women in black bikinis striking provocative poses, Maxim magazine devoted five full pages in their July 2007 issue to answer the single most pressing question in the Middle East: "Are the women in the Israeli Defense Forces the world's sexiest soldiers?"
In a crowded bar in downtown Vancouver, a group of reporters from the city's main daily newspaper, The Vancouver Sun, gather after work to do what most people revel in after a long week at the office: bitch about the boss. While images of the Iraq War, Wal-Mart and Kid Rock quickly flash and disappear on the television screens above them, editors are mocked, columnists are ridiculed and the paper their bylines appear in is panned up and down.
As America's major media companies pressure the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to allow for more cross-ownership, Eric Klinenberg examines how media consolidation is suffocating democracy and even putting people's lives at risk.
Although the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have shown that media conglomerates limit the diversity of views, subvert democracy and stymie journalistic integrity, media regulators continue to let them expand. As each of these three countries enters another round of media convergence, their federal media watchdogs appear to be looking the other way.