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View Diary: Jan Schakowsky on the PBS NewsHour (153 comments)

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  •  I'd rather steer people to PBS news... (9+ / 0-)

    than to MTP, or even to O'Donnell's show. PBS has much better in-depth reports than either of those shows, and PBS can use more support.

    Annecdote: During the drawn out legislation on health care bill, a friend who gets her news from conservative talk radio discussed with me the topic of living wills and health care directives. I sent her an email with a heads up on a PBS special on the topic, and she watched it! The special debunked the "death panel" claims, and my friend said the program was an eye opener. Unfortunately, she's still hooked on talk radio. But I'll find another opener to promote PBS to her. ;-)

    Slavery is the legal fiction that a person is property. Corporate personhood is the legal fiction that property is a person. -Jan Edwards

    by SoCalSal on Mon Nov 22, 2010 at 09:01:13 PM PST

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    •  I told a very Happy Story about that once (20+ / 0-)

      I told this story in a sunset diary that I posted after the death of Ted Kennedy. It is the story of a friend and coworker who was leaning toward the Tea Party. It was more an NPR push but he was on the NewsHour in no time.

      This is a bit personal but it is so not about me. I’m not very vocal about politics amongst friends and coworkers but I’m often called upon when information beyond tabloid and television journalism is required. I’m sure many here find themselves in a similar position. The phone rings and there’s a question like "Who is my Congressman?" or "Is the entire recession really Barney Frank’s fault?"

      My phone rang many times this week. Each and every caller wanted the details about Chappaquiddick. In varying levels of diplomacy, through reminders of the many accomplishment of Senator Edward Kennedy and mentioning the fact that everyone makes mistakes I managed to end each call with the caller questioning their own moral standards.

      On Tuesday almost immediately after learning of the passing of Ted Kennedy the first of these calls came in. It was that call where I felt I may have made a minor accomplishment. I picked up the phone and heard "Eddie, it’s Rob and I was thinking about you. You must be pissed off about your man dying." After I explained that "pissed off" was not how I felt, that I was "mourning the loss of a great American" that same question came.  

      I explained the incident from forty years ago and then reminded him of how much Ted Kennedy had accomplished both before and after. When I got to the legislative accomplishments, the fact that he had passed so many great laws for the working people, he came back with "Yea but liberal laws, right?" I had just about given up. Decided this was a phone call from someone who wanted to walk around saying "I can’t honor a man who drove a woman off a bridge" and there was nothing I could say.

      Then he switched the conversation to the failings of Barack Obama. It was when he got to all the right wing talking points about Cash for Clunkers that I saw an opportunity to say something convincing. With both of us being Union men I put up a very convincing argument about how many Americans went back to work over that incentive.  It seemed even more hopeless when he came back at me with my own environmental stance and I was more than a little annoyed that right wing pundits had finally acknowledged the environment so as to knock Barack Obama’s brains out.

      Then it came to me. I know full well where my coworkers viewpoints come from but I asked "Where do you get your news from?" He came back with "Mostly AM radio." Then I said "Rob you seem to respect my opinion but you always go back to what you hear on FOX News. With the Democrats in power they are just going to deny any accomplishments until the Republicans return to power. It places you in a state of denial and leaves you thinking that everything is bad."

      After he said "Yea but."  I said "Listen I know that you have a curious mind and you deserve better that that denial. You should hear both sides. You know what they tell a drunk when he stumbles into AA to break that denial, right? They tell him 'Don’t drink and go to a meeting a day for 90 days.' I want you to do yourself a favor and break that denial of this nation’s potential. Why don’t you commit to listening to NPR for 90 days instead of that AM radio? It’s not as exciting as the AM blowhards and will take a while to get used to but if you think NPR is crap after 90 days, then you can go right back to what you’ve been listening to."

      I was shocked as he asked me where to find NPR and he tuned to WNYC with both of us listening together, Rob in his car and myself at home. It was the first time in his life that he listened to public radio. I promised him no stupid commercials and better traffic reports for 90 days. As he recorded the station into his car’s tuner I reminded him that 90 days means listening until Thanksgiving. He groused a bit but promised to listen until then.

      It didn't take right away. I harped on him and used many persuasions but eventually he became a regular listener and later I got him to start watching the PBS NewsHour instead of Fox News. Eventually I even got Rob to check out some of the final season of Bill Moyers Journal.

      I worked with Rob on Friday evening this spring and after a brief conversation I got the greatest feeling of accomplishment. All I said was "Damn I forgot to record the NewsHour. Oh well, I'll watch Shields and Brooks online when I get home." Then someone who was a potential Tea Party member turned to me and said "You know you always talk about how balanced the program is but why do they have a discussion panel every Friday with two conservatives? Shouldn't they have one liberal and one conservative?"

      •  That's success, Eddie C! great story. n/t (6+ / 0-)

        Slavery is the legal fiction that a person is property. Corporate personhood is the legal fiction that property is a person. -Jan Edwards

        by SoCalSal on Mon Nov 22, 2010 at 09:36:20 PM PST

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      •  You have the best stories and tell them (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Eddie C, Matt Z, princesspat

        so well.  Thanks!

        "Don't let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do." John Wooden

        by CKendall on Mon Nov 22, 2010 at 10:55:36 PM PST

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      •  Mark Shields is "conservative"? He's a little (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PrahaPartizan, Eddie C

        naive sometimes, but certainly not conservative; he seems to be a true progressive (even though he's a Marine ;] ).
        (it still rankles me to think of an insult that KKKarl Rove slapped him with face to face during a party convention on screen hosted by Lehrer (who got it), and Mr. Shields apparently didn't get it (or may be much more gracious than I think he should be)).
        But then I only see his appearances on the Newshour.
        Bobo is viscous, lumpy puke.

        Speaking of NPR and PBS, IMO, they have listed strongly to starboard the last 10 years or so, I can't hardly imbibe anymore without getting pissed at the RW cant/slant.
        And our local station used to go solid to the BBC from 2200-0400, but now injects 4-5 minutes of NPR into the top of the hour feed, blechhh.

        Good persuasive mind work though, Eddie.

        Republicans: "Double your pleasure, double your fun, double your National Debt, and blame 'The One' "

        by Bluefin on Mon Nov 22, 2010 at 11:17:44 PM PST

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        •  They've leaned right. Did they have a choice? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Bluefin, SoCalSal

          The national debate has gone way right and with this nation having one of the lowest public fundings of public broadcast, there isn't much funds left for creating content where the political news and talking points was offered by Republicans and Blue Dogs.

          Years of watching one debate after another controlled by republicans followed by the Democrats taking the majority everywhere and Blue Dogs added to the national debate it was not easy for public stations to babysit progressive values.

          With overt threats from Republicans and it seeming that they only have bologger, Keith and Rachel getting their back their reporting is still commendable. The PBS partnership with ProPublica comes to mind.

          But when the right offers as much content as they do and elected Dems from Blue states seem to be sitting on their hands when speaking out would get them more votes, we should imbibe as much as possible.

          I give money on a monthly basis to both NPR and PBS, I'm on the mailing list of many shows because there is content. Somebody needs to support them because Keith and Rachel are not for everyone.

          And by the way I didn't say Mark Shields is a conservative, my friend who had only been listening to NPR and watching PBS for six months did.      

          •  No, sadly not much choice, they still have some (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Eddie C

            decent stuff (I can't believe Moyers is gone, again).
            K&R and such are not even accessible to many of us who only have over-the-air broadcast (highspeed internet access could serve, if it were available too).
            I know you were quoting your friend, can't see how he sees it though (good that he's come over from the dark side).
            Thanks for your efforts here, it's appreciated (the photo stuff is basically inaccessible though (big FU to Verizon, Perry, and the Texas state lege for nothing)).

            Republicans: "Double your pleasure, double your fun, double your National Debt, and blame 'The One' "

            by Bluefin on Tue Nov 23, 2010 at 03:51:31 PM PST

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        •  Shields: weasly moderate (0+ / 0-)

          "Sisters, brothers and the whities, Blacks and the crackers, Police and their backers, They're all political actors"--Curtis Mayfield

          by Cynic in seattle on Tue Nov 23, 2010 at 10:11:48 AM PST

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    •  More viewers to preach to on MTP (0+ / 0-)

      Including the mushy low information middle.

      However, I unfortunately feel that Gregory and the people he reports to won't tolerate such socialist preaching to the masses:) from Schakowsky on his show.

      "Sisters, brothers and the whities, Blacks and the crackers, Police and their backers, They're all political actors"--Curtis Mayfield

      by Cynic in seattle on Tue Nov 23, 2010 at 10:11:05 AM PST

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      •  That is untrue (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        An alternate viewpoint is not banned for MTP. They would not give her the air time if she is out there all alone but if some Party leadership is behind Jan Schakowsky the plan would be presented and debated.

        For weeks, actually months now, David Gregory has been riding Republicans hard, much harder that any Democrats, calling the out that they can't be deficit hawks and support continuing the Bush tax cuts for the rich.

        But the media keeps keeps getting their brains knocked out while meek Democrats too often get a pass.

        The problem is not Meet The Press and the fourth estate does not have the job of babysitting progressive values. The Progressive we elected do. Jan Schakowsky is doing her job. Where are the rest of them.    

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