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View Diary: CNN + DeLay + MSNBC + Iraq Contracts + Disney + Rednecks = Profit! (189 comments)

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  •  It's not the advertisers, it's the readers (none)
    Most reporters and most of the people in advertising are somewhere on the political spectrum between Lincoln Chaffee and Lenin.

    Most editors are somewhere between Olympia Snowe and Dennis Kucinich.

    I think that, Cracker Barrel aside, most CEOs are somewhere between George Bush R. and maybe Bill Clinton. Outside maybe of certain parts of the South, very few CEOs are true wingnuts. They just want the government to be nice to their companies.

    On the other hand, maybe 60 million American consumers are wingnut, about 100,000 of them write wingnut letters to the editor (and letters to the advertiser) for fun, and I think that the Rovie Republicans are probably paying about 1,000 people under the cover to write letters to the editor, Usenet posts, blog comments, letters to advertisers, etc. for profit.

    Once in awhile some progressives write to the paper or call it about environmental issues, maybe.

    Suppose you're Sumner Redstone. You know in your heart that Bill Clinton was right about everything and pro-business and pro-capitalism in every area where it counts. But the wingnut voters (and election riggers) have put a bunch of Rovie wingnuts in control of the White House, and of the House, and almost of the Senate.

    Perhaps worse, if Dan Rather, who is an awkward guy but a truly great journalist, somehow gets entrapped by an artificial forgery scandal, you get congressional hearings, talk radio shows essentially threatening your life and the life of your cats, plus thousands upon thousands of letters and calls from "regular people" who might be actual regular people or might be paid Rovie operatives.

    Or, on a scarier level of hell, you're a producer working somewhere in the depths of CBS for Redstone and you face this Rovian neo-fascist miasma. Plus, your advertisers and your ad agencies face that miasma.

    Plus, outside of issues such as health care and the environment, the Democratic/progressive communications effort is so wrongheaded in so many ways (so short on popular, name brand celebrities; so full of attacks and so short on solutions or interesting insights; so short on talking heads who damn get back to reporters before deadline) that, even if you're a producer who wants to present a progressive point of view, you have no idea where to start.

    What do you do in that situation? If you're Boris Yeltsin, you jump up on the tank and face the damn bastards. If you're most people, you flinch. You back down and try to wait for an opening to attack when it seems a little less suicidal.

    If you want CBS and the rest of Viacom to be more progressive, don't get mad at them. Start writing letters praising any signs of progressiveness (isn't MTV pretty progressive?) and politely objecting to wingnut influences. Send letters to the FCC denouncing wingnuttery there. Picket the offices of the Parents Television Council. And, of course, listen to Daily Kos and unite behind sane Democrats and support them as well as you can. Because, even if just the Senate were under Democratic control that would have a huge effect on the tenor of media coverage.

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