At Deadspin, a sports website that is a subsidiary of a subsidiary of Univision Communications, a writer named Albert Burneko blames capitalism for the layoffs of half of the editorial staff at the New York Daily News:
This past spring, Michael Ferro resigned as chairman of publicly traded media-looting hell-company Tronc, Inc., just ahead of the publication of sexual harassment allegations against him. As a parting gift, Tronc paid him $15 million, voluntarily bundling up the total value of a three-year consulting contract into one lump payment expensed against the company's earnings and putting itself $14.8 million in the red for the first quarter. Today, Tronc gutted the New York Daily News, laying off at least half of its editorial staff to cut costs. In a society not crippled and driven completely insane by capitalism, motherf** would go to prison for this.
When people talk pejoratively about "class warfare," they almost never are referring to things like the above sequence of events. But what happened to the Daily News at the hands of Tronc is class f* warfare, a massive redistribution of wealth from the paper's working people to a disgusting handsy s*bag multimillionaire, in a decision made far above those working people's heads by a small handful of executive- and investor-class vampires. The journalists who lost their livelihoods today in effect had their salaries and benefits re-routed to Michael Ferro's bank accounts. Against their wills, they were made to pay him for being a f*ing pig.
Versions of this are happening all across the media industry: Ownership parasites writing checks to themselves and each other that must be cashed out of the livelihoods of real people with no say in the matter....
In absolutely any moral sense these things are pure theft, but they're all legal, because in America, despite all this society's supposed hatred of "class warfare," it's legal for the rich to prey upon the rest of us. In America, a common person might go to jail for writing a bad check, but a billionaire vampire can destroy people's careers and strip their healthcare from them and just straight-up hand that money over to one of his rich pals and nobody can even so much as write either of them a f*ing ticket for it.
This concept of capitalists as blood-sucking "parasites" or 'vampires" has a long and sordid history. It is true that in capitalism, businesses that do not succeed in becoming self-sustaining eventually shrink and sometimes even close. But alternatives to capitalism, such as communism, have not exactly been distinguished by a reputation for journalistic excellence. And the same capitalist system that is punishing the Daily News now also enabled Mortimer Zuckerman to make enough money in the real estate business to buy it and run it at a higher staff level for a long time. Capitalism was the economic system when newspapers were flourishing, too, so to blame capitalism for the industry's current ills seems like a bit of a stretch. It is true that capitalism allows for innovation and dynamic change, and when Google and Facebook figured out how to provide advertisers with cheaper and more effective ways of reaching readers than buying an ad in the Daily News, the advertising dollars moved in that direction. As for sexual harassment, it's also been a big issue at not-for-profit, government-subsidized NPR, so, again, it seems like a stretch to blame it on "capitalism."