Trusters of government frequently complain about private-sector money in politics. They say that private-sector voices (especially business and pro-free-market voices) should be barred from spending money on ads that could influence American politics.
However, the government is spending massively to influence politics, and to convince Americans that government is good and should be expanded and empowered.
Case in point: a recent set of requests under the Freedom Of Information Act shows that the U.S. military actively influences TV programming behind the scenes. See here.
The sheer scale of the Army and the Air Force’s involvement in TV shows, particularly reality TV shows, is the most remarkable thing about these files. “American Idol,” “The X-Factor,” “Masterchef,” “Cupcake Wars,” numerous Oprah Winfrey shows, “Ice Road Truckers,” “Battlefield Priests,” “America’s Got Talent,” “Hawaii Five-O,” lots of BBC, History Channel and National Geographic documentaries, “War Dogs,” “Big Kitchens” — the list is almost endless. Alongside these shows are blockbuster movies like Godzilla, Transformers, Aloha and Superman: Man of Steel.