After a Superbowl that symbolically saw the city of New Orleans make a statement of defiance and resilience against social and economic injustice, CBS (Corporate Broadcasting System) debuted a show that was a disturbing piece of pro corporate propaganda disguised in the sheep’s clothing (borrowed from Carly Fiorina’s media consultant).

So, in addition to promoting the hateful faux-Christian political group, Focus on the Family during the Superbowl, CBS used the valuable slot that followed the Superbowl with a segment from “Undercover Boss”

The superficial description of this reality series is that a corporate CEO goes undercover as a lowly employee to learn about and appreciate the lives of the insects…whoops… employees…under him.

What it represents though is pro-corporatist propaganda wrapped in the manipulative, humiliating, saccharine sweetness of “Queen For a Day”. You see, the corporate “Prince” (CEO) masquerades as a “pauper” (employee) to rub elbows with the unwashed and discovers…they’re actually human beings with real problems (some of which ironically have been caused directly or indirectly by their greedy employers).

The dynamic itself is insulting. In these times when CEOs and hedge fund managers have so devastated and continue to devastate the lives of what was a robust middle class, the concept that a series would present CEOs as warm hearted, compassionate “kings” of our society who may grant their “peasants” a favor out of their holy mercy…is a sobering roadmap for where the corporate “kings” of our society are charting course.

In light of the SCOTUS ruling which openly awards ownership of our democracy to corporations, the corporate plutocracy that has taken over our society needs to have ongoing propaganda to keep the peasants from using their strength in numbers to take back their wealth and country…the only strength the people have that corporations can’t overcome.

So, corporations and CEOs need to shape the perception of themselves as kind and gentle kings who should be loved and respected by their serfs. They need to be Tom De Lay on Dancing With The Stars. Be self-deprecating and humble on tv so they can shield their greed and ruthless acquistion of wealth and power from the American people.

For example, look at the phony “concerned American” T. Boone Pickens (who Dylan Ratigan celebrated last week by using Boone’s ass as a nose warmer) and his “Pickens Plan” .

As the book, Deceiving Americans For Dummies explains on Page 1, if you’re trying to present a plan as selfless, you don’t name it after yourself.

Greedy, egotistical creatures like Pickett just can’t help themselves. Even when they’re trying to cloak themselves in sheep’s clothing, they can’t help but put a huge wolf tattoo on it.

Why is Pickens, the greedy, polluting, destructive oil man who financed the hateful, lying Swift Boat ads against John Kerry, now our savior, only trying to help us to energy independence without any concern for his own benefit?

You guessed it, like all the bullshit that corporations and CEOs shovel about themselves, it’s another Swift Boat-style blatant lie just for public consumption.

The Pickens Plan is about changing our addiction to the limited fossil fuel, oil…to an addiction to the limited fossil fuel, natural gas.

Pickens has cornered a majority of the natural gas market in the U.S., along with using his money and deception to get state governments to grant him wide swaths of public land for “wind farms”…but somehow has ended up with the water rights for all of that land too.

As many nations in the world could tell you now, potable water is the oil of tomorrow, something that is quickly shrinking in supply thanks to global warming and the destruction of rain forests and nature…that has happened due to the use of and exploration of oil and gas and other plundering of the Earth.

Which was and still is Pickens original “plan”.

Pickens used his money to get a ballot measure in CA that would have only allowed natural gas powered cars and natural gas stations to be subsidized by the state, excluding all other vehicles and stations that used any other type of energy. It’s a credit to Californians that they voted the deceptively “altruistic” bill down which would have effectively smothered actual renewable and environmentally positive types of energy including plug-in electric and the potential for hydrogen powered cars.

When you see generic energy organizations or oil companies promoting natural gas in commercials on MSNBC, CNN, etc. with clear blue skies and happy families having picnics at big grassy parks, that’s Pickens rubbing his hands like Mr. Burns and sighing, “Exxx-ce-llent!”, hoping that his dream of a new monopoly on energy has just moved a little closer to reality.

What all of this points to is the ongoing propaganda assault on our nation by the unapologetically, greedy corporations and CEOs who, despite destroying our economy, won’t stop trying to shake the piggy bank until all of our nation’s wealth and democracy are emptied into their hands.

And IMO, the new, post-economic-crash phase of propaganda is in full swing, exemplified by the debut of this new series in a great time slot and cynically presented with a deceptive, populist theme.

Perhaps they should have titled the show, “The People Are Revolting” so that people on each side of the fence could have a definition they found most satisfying.

Leave a Comment

Please Login to comment
9 Comment threads
19 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
10 Comment authors
javazescribacatSueInCaKhiradboomer1949 Recent comment authors
newest oldest most voted
Notify of

The corporate take over of our country is disturbing and quite depressing.
The blatant arrogance of corporations and the wealthy during these hard economic times is disgusting.
What can “we the people” do to stop the level of corruption and greed?


I wonder who is bankrolling “Undercover Boss.” By the way, I’m betting most of us could spot the CEO in an instant — most muckety mucks I’ve met have been completely helpless with the computer. They can barely read their own email.


LOL, I worked at Frank Gehry’s studios in Santa Monica and then Marina del Rey, and he actually has someone print out his email so that he can read them each day. His assistant responds electronically for him. He could not stand even looking at a computer and this coming from a man whose success is fully enabled by the bleeding edge of design technology. priceless.


😆 Amazing how helpless some of these people are.


helpless yet completely dependent


One thing about all the ads during the superbowl is that many people get so drunk they probably do not remember them. I went to a superbowl party Raiders against the Redskins and my sister’s father-in-law and I were the only sober ones there. There was probably about 35-40 people there and only 2 sober adults.


I did not watch it partly because after the super bowl I will not watch CBS anymore and partly because it just sounded stupid to me and more like a witch hunt for the corp masters than doing anything out of the goodness of their hearts.

To try to portray them as caring “kings on high” I hope the American public truly gets that they are not.


It’s the old “subliminal message” controversy all over again.

Cue Twilight Zone theme. 👿


Subliminal like this?

I must say I had a surreal moment when Google had a commercial with a Truffaut reference on the Superbowl.

How many heads did that go over?


Well, all of us little worker bees had better be extra careful now, because the drone hummming away next to us might not only rat us out to the boss. He might BEE the boss. Let this be a lesson to us.

Ah. Sigh. Nothing says “contempt” quite like slumming. So amusing to pass a bit of one’s time observing the little people. Gives one so much fodder for witty conversation back at the club. Didn’t lords and ladies playfully don costumes and pretend to be milkmaids and shepherds, just before the French revolution? It made for such pretty pictures. ‘Course it’s just possible it may have ticked off the real people who performed tedious and/or back breaking labor without any possibility of waking up and discovering it was all pretend. Hence that revolution thing….

I suppose we’re supposed to be content with watching “riches to rags” week after week, since “rags to riches” stories just don’t happen any more out here in reality land.


I did not know about he water rights were part of the wind-mill farms. I did know that he was/did run some grab on water rights in Texas. Funny he never mentions this point. Even odder no one even asks him.

There was another add on the Superbowl that espoused the right wing cause, and that was the one on “Defeat the Debt” ad. The ad was dine by a group called the “Employment Policies Institute.” That sounds nice a friendly, a rel pal looking out for your job.
That group is one of many that is run by a person by the name of Rick Berman. He runs at least 22 front groups, all right-wing/business.
You may remember him from the Rachel Maddow show.

What happened to the decades old rule by CBS not to run advocacy ads? Or should I say progressive advocacy ads?


Yup, he’s so not in this out of actual concern – but “rational self-interest”.


Thanks AdLib, great post.

the grooming has been going on for quite some time but I can’t escape the feeling that the effort has been exponentially ratcheted up with the SCOTUS ruling. The most obvious example of undue corporate influence on public dialogue is clearly Murdoch’s News Corp in general and Faux Pneus specifically. Our fifth estate has been almost entirely subverted. Faux is the worst by far, allowing their “journalists” to mc partisan political events and hiring partisan pols to be the face of the network.

The fact that CBS allows their network to be the mouth piece of Focus on the Family’s reactionary message, I think, heralds the comming of the challenge to Roe v. Wade. The SCOTUS seems all to willing and eager to reverse more hard earned precedent.

And I think your take on Undercover Boss is wholly accurate.

The grooming of America continues.


I agree that Roe v. Wade is being positioned to be overturned. One of the most frustrating aspects of Presidential elections is that voters constantly forget that the person elect will appoint Justices and judges throughout the system. And that has many more far-reaching consequences that just what’s happening in the political arena, or even jobs, or the economy. It’s about who we are. I will try to find the article–I think it was in the New York Review of Books–a few years ago that stated it would take decades to undue the damage to the courts that the Bush Adm. caused.


When we first saw the ads for Undercover Boss, my first reaction was way off target: I thought the bosses were going to snoop on their employees and maybe find shit on them. I wasn’t paying attention. The next comercial i saw for it made me think: “Oh, good. Maybe now those CEO’s will realize how terrible their working conditions are.” BZZZT. Wrong again. My husband pointed out that’s not gonna happen. It ook reading this, AdLib, for my to finally say, DUH! OF COURSE this is propaganda/damage control by our corporate pus bags. Why didn’t I see that? Thank you for turning my eyes from the bright shiny object!