There is much debate on the legitimacy of the consolidation of media, with strong proponents and opponents bringing forth a wide variety of arguments. Regardless of your position on the viability of the concentration of media ownership into fewer and fewer hands, it is an irrefutable fact that over the past few decades the corporations controlling the preponderance of American media have lessened considerably. As of 2011, the largest media corporations in the United States in terms of revenue and profit are: General Electric, Walt Disney, News Corp., Time Warner, CBS and Viacom. Walt Disney – or more specifically Disney Media Networks – controls a staggering amount of media outlets. In the field of motion pictures, they own Walt Disney Pictures (which includes Pixar Animation Studios), Touchstone Pictures and Hollywood Pictures.
They then distribute these films through Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment while distributing soundtracks and original music under Walt Disney Records and Hollywood Records.
While the War on Drugs initially had a small impact on incarceration, it was President Reagan’s Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 that kickstarted the prison boom. From 1970 to 2005, the prison population rose 700 percent, while violent crime remained steady or declined. Between 19, the populations of private prisons shot up 1,600 percent. Today, the US has the highest incarceration rate in the world – 754 inmates per 100k residents as of 2008. This is roughly 600% that of the rest of the civilized world, with England and Wales having 148, and Australia 126 inmates per 100k residents. As of 2010, private corporations house over 99,000 inmates in 260 facilities nationwide. Corrections Corp.
of America and other private contractors became members of the American Legislative Exchange Council, a non-profit 501(c)(3) association that advocates “tough on crime” legislation. In their 2010 report to the Securities and Exchange Commission, Corrections Corp.
They also own the entire ABC Television Network (which includes ABC Daytime, ABC Entertainment Group and ABC News), the Disney Channel, ABC Family, SOAPnet, 80% of ESPN (along with ESPN2, ESPN Classic, ESPNEWS, ESPN Deportes, ESPNU, ESPN HD and ESPN2 HD, ESPN Regional Television, ESPN International, ESPN Radio, ESPN The Magazine, ESPN Enterprises, ESPN Zones, ESPN360, ESPN Mobile Properties, ESPN On Demand, ESPN Interactive and ESPN PPV) and television distribution divisions of Disney-ABC Domestic Television and Disney-ABC ESPN Television.