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If you're looking for some good reasons to go with the feeling in your gut that the corporate newsmedia has so many interconnected conflicts of interest that you shouldn't trust them to tell you the time, much less the truth, this editorial provides a heck of an overview. Some highlights:

That same day, CNN's parent company, Time Warner, announced the hiring of DeLay's chief of staff as a top Washington lobbyist. This news, and its timing, prompted Jeff Chester of the Center for Digital Democracy to tell the L.A. Weekly: "Time Warner aligning itself with the right-wing DeLay machine should send shudders [down] CNN and HBO."

At least that wily old codger Sumner Redstone, head of Viacom, parent company of CBS, has admitted what everyone already knows is true: that, while he personally may be a Democrat, "It happens that I vote for Viacom. Viacom is my life, and I do believe that a Republican administration is better for media companies than a Democratic one."

As for Immelt, he publicly wishes his MSNBC could be a clone of FNC. Not surprising, since he let his network and cable news cheerlead the run-up to the Iraqi war without ever bothering to tell viewers GE had billions in contracts pending. More than half of Iraq's power grid is GE technology.

Disney, parent company of ABC, has turned most of its extensive radio network and owned-and-operated stations into a 24/7 orgy of right-wing talk. (Sean Hannity is their poster boy.)

Plenty more there to think about, too.

Every time I hear talk of a blogger ethics conference, I laugh so hard my stigmata starts acting up. If we want the newsmedia to get back to reporting news -- and I mean actual, politically sensitive news, not breathless on-the-scene reports from whatever stagelit tropical scene White Girl Number 23 has disappeared from this week -- we need to surgically detach the news organizations from the conglomerates that have subsumed them.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 05:47 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  So when do we proceed (4.00)
    with DailyKos radio and TV?

    "Force always attracts those of low morality." -- Albert Einstein

    by eyeswideopen on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 05:51:56 PM PDT

    •  I am SOOOO for that (none)
      However, I heard something this weekend on Air America.  They said you need a message.  First get a message, then go after a TV channel.  Then, everything we say should go towards that message.

      It needs to be as clear as when Kennedy said we will go to the moon.  We need to say something that appeals to American populism and say it in a way that lets them visualize it.  Then put it on TV.

      •  a simple message (none)
        Conservatives only work for the wealthy. To be wealthy you must make more than $250,000 income a year, otherwise, you're one of the rest of us.  Face that fact.

        The rich elite must pay their share.  We, the taxpayers, are no longer going to support them.

        --> Just a middle age woman practicing her free speech.

        by Thea VA on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 06:37:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  class warfare (none)
          Someone would accuse you of class warfare

          The sad thing I've heard is that many Americans sincerely think they will eventually be in that top demographic so they want to preserve its position in society for when they get there -- even though they'll never get there.

          •  Surely that hope (none)
            ... is fading by now?  When Clinton was Top Dog, that might have been a possibility, but now???  We'll be lucky if we dodge a depression.

            "Force always attracts those of low morality." -- Albert Einstein

            by eyeswideopen on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 07:01:44 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Right... (none)
            I forget where I heard this, maybe it was Lying Liars by Al Franken

            Anyway, the idea is that the average joe wants to keep the top bracket safe, so that they can get a seat at the table, someday.

            I'm all for optimism, but that's just silly.

            Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job. -Douglas Adams

            by DelusionalLiberal on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 09:22:47 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  it is silly (none)
              But who said people act rationally?  I mean, look at Vegas.  You walk in there KNOWING the odds are (in aggregate) against you and yet people spend money there all the time.
              •  Heh (4.00)
                Someone would accuse you of class warfare

                Well, when describing the truth, leave elegance to the tailor. Personally, I won't set foot into another election booth unless the Democrat on the ticket vows to break the monotony by busting the Corporatocracy we have in this country. Repealing Clinton's Deregulation Act and bringing back the Fairness Doctrine are two steps in that direction.

                I'm sick and tired of the "leftwing/rightwing" media canard. These multinational media companies are "for profit" which boils down to "entertain the couch potatos first, inform them dead last". Why? Aldous Huxley said it best: "Ye Shall Know The Truth And The Truth Shall Make You Mad" These corporations know an informed couch potato will get ticked and either turn the channel or turn on the X-Box. That doesn't drive those Neilsens and advertizing buyrates up. Instead, that drives them down. Hence all the shark attacks, runaway brides, and the latest tangent from Simon on "American Idol". They want to keep all of us taters firmly planted on the couch and staring at the tube with a Schaivo-esque rictus on our face and keep that remote on the coffee stand instead of in our hands.  

                Since the media is owned and operated by corporations with vested interests in the Hollywood entertainment industry, their jones for corporate greed feeds right into Washington as their lobbyists grease the palms of the politicans.

                Remeber the "hot coffee" outrage regarding the "Grand Theft Auto" video game a few months back? That's a charade. Sen. Lieberman and Sen. Clinton are trying to milk it for votes and money not because of the sex involved or because of children. It's because a Google search will show that the video game industry raked in $10 Billion in 2004, beating Hollywood in revenue. Furthermore, 80% of the total video gaming industry revenue comes from the 18-34 age demographic, meaning only 20% of the industry's revenue comes from parents with small children. That market is driven by adults and Hollywood wants that 18-34 demographic back into the theatres or at home watching enter/infotainment instead of playing video games.  

                Hollywood has lobbyists.

                The video game industry doesn't.

          •  It is (none)
            It is class warfare, and it's being waged on us, and they are winning. Hell, even Warren Buffett said so. It's just more of the bizzarro world reverse speak we've become so accustomed to it doesn't even register any more.

            "Here's a hint: You're. Not. The. Bear."

            Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent. -Isaac Asimov

            by justme on Mon Sep 19, 2005 at 10:23:11 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  No, it needs to be positive simple and emotional. (none)
          There's a place for the negative push, but a core ideology needs to have a positive pull.

          I hear a lot of good, positive phrasing and framing right here on Kos. We just need to use what we already have.

          Advertisers spend billions of dollars to get your attention. Now you can get theirs. www.adnausea.org

          by HunterKiller on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 07:02:21 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Science (none)
            ... is full of positive, thrilling, and mind-blowing (and, for rebellious kids in red families, perhaps a titillatingly subversive) material that is very forward looking -- for example, just take alternative energy.  Rivetingly fascinating, very useful, disruptive technology, and it's coming, whether the oilheads like it or not.  And biotech.  And cosmology. Science can be made ultra sexy with some production values.  There is already a whole class of graphic artists who do awe-inspiring 3D work -- this could become hugely popular if done right.

            I nominate DarkSyde as head of DailyKos radio & TV science productions.

            "Force always attracts those of low morality." -- Albert Einstein

            by eyeswideopen on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 07:10:27 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The science I'm referring to is called Psychology (none)
              this is not to mention a certian science called Marketing. There's nothing wrong with either it is a tool like any other and can be used for good or ill.

              Repubs have been using the science of psychology and the science of marketing for years to kick our science's asses. We need to read, and use all of the books, professor.

              Advertisers spend billions of dollars to get your attention. Now you can get theirs. www.adnausea.org

              by HunterKiller on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 07:25:46 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  This is true (none)
                ... but it is also narrow.  As a progressive message, one can get no more hopeful and exciting than complete independence from petroleum.  Clean self-sufficiency that eliminates the need for resource wars and all the ills we are currently seeing.  It is my firm belief that had Kerry emphasized this, he would be president today.

                "Force always attracts those of low morality." -- Albert Einstein

                by eyeswideopen on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 08:17:25 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  I think the message needs to be (none)
          a positive one. It needs to be about what WE stand for and what WE can do for you and each other, and not about what is so wrong about our enemies. The message needs to have a name, a modern equivalent of the New Deal. I'll leave that up to the marketing wizzes.

          Then it has to have a list of what this New New Deal means so that people can understand it and digest it, i.e. core values: e.g. universal healthcare, better education for all, higher minimum wage, etc. Something like that. This would be a core platform or core message designed to enlist as many voters as possible.

          Then there would be a broader platform or broader values that flows from that, e.g. human rights (including gay rights, reproductive rights, elimination of torture and indefinite detention), end to supply-side economics, commitment to world peace and the United Nations, etc.

          •  Bush can't cancel the tax cuts (none)
            because that's his way of "proving" Dems raise taxes and Repubs don't.
            Rove has successfully fused DemoRats with taxes and many other evils such as healthcare, peace, environment, ACLU, Clinton --ahh so much to hate that the sheep are unaware they're being sheared.

            Cheney died a natural death - on the phone with Halliburton.

            by annefrank on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 08:07:58 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yeah.. (none)
              few in my school even seem to grasp the concept that taxes = roads, schools, hospitals, countless grants, public transport, etc etc etc.

              Bad sheep! Wakey wakey!

              Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job. -Douglas Adams

              by DelusionalLiberal on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 09:27:01 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Very sorry, but nope.... (4.00)
        Traditional broadcast and print media DON'T rely on a message.  Sweet-pope-on-a-rope, as if SURVIVOR: GUATEMALA was a frickin' message...

        We are a market.  We represent 49 to 52 percent OR MORE of media consumption.  We don't need no stinking message.

        We ARE the message.  

        Read the Cluetrain Manifesto; it's time the media served us and not the other way around.  We should never beg to be served; corporate media should be asking what we want and get it for us.  Pronto.

        We take our market and we leave traditional media -- take every eyeball with us, take all our money with us too.  We buy nothing that is advertised on broadcast media alone.

        And then we migrate to our own media.  Air America, for starters.  And DKos podcasts -- we start our own media outlet by taking the best diaries of the day and recording them for podcast.  Advertisers get a brief spot in each podcast.

        And then we migrate to "copetition" models with other existing progressive media outlets -- maybe Salon, for example, cross-market media products.  

        And then we'll see exactly who needs a message.

        •  Time for Media to Serve Us (none)
          Yes, and well past time. The money we give the Corpos is literally billions a year. Leave their product, finance what we want in it's place, render Centralized Media economically unviable, inhibit the agitprop campaigns, change even the things we talk about in this country.

          But this can't be waiting 'til June, 2006. Expanding the content of media to include the views of say, citizens and human beings, is really our most urgent task.

          Pick an issue, any issue. Was it: Rigged Voting, Widespread Corruption, Looting of the Treasury, Lunatic Foreign Adventures, Loss of Liberty....

          and then MediaCo decides to hide it, or slime you, or flip it into something else based on a lie or p.r. stunt provided for them free of charge. We don't have very long at all and we must do something effective. What could that be?

          All that is required for the triumph of evil is that the good do nothing. Bitching and moaning is nothing.

          by Jim P on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 07:59:49 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Maybe we can get involved with Gore's (none)
        network.  The Kos show.

        To his virtues be very kind, to his vices very blind.

        by Jonathan Schwartz on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 07:09:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  And what is happening with (none)
      Gore's teevee station...and where the heck is Ted Turner?

      When will the taxpayers get tired of paying for Bushco mistakes? Time for accountability draws near..... Clinton/Clinton 2008??

      by mattes on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 06:40:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There's also IWT (none)
        Independent World TV is coming soon -- not soon enough (supposedly 2007), but they say they're accepting video submissions before then.  They have requested volunteers and content.  http://www.iwtnews.com/

        "Force always attracts those of low morality." -- Albert Einstein

        by eyeswideopen on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 07:16:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Ted Turner... (none)
        Ted Turner was forced out of management of the networks that he started shortly after the AOL Time-Warner merger happened.

        Since then, he has been expressing some very nasty opinions of the consolidated media environment, which basically boil down to the idea that new entrants are pretty much locked out now.  He has explicitly said that what he did in the late seventies and early eighties would be impossible for an independent to accomplish today.

        And, effectively, he's put his money where his mouth is by going into the restaurant business instead of attempting to go up against Time/Warner, Viacom, NewsCorp, GE, etc...

        If you want to talk to the billionaire who today is willing to take on the corporate media, that seems to be Mark Cuban, who is bankrolling HDNet and was behind the "Enron:  The Smartest Boys in the Room" documentary a few months back.  I do notice that HDNet is having trouble getting onto any Comcast cable systems, which seems like it might confirm Ted Turner's fears...

        •  Thanks for the info... (none)
          I knew Ted Turner had been pushed out at CNN, but I thought he had plans to get back in somehow. What you tell me gives me the shivers. Maybe Mother Nature is the only one strong enough to put a dent in their metal...scary, just scary.

          When will the taxpayers get tired of paying for Bushco mistakes? Time for accountability draws near..... Gore/Clinton 2008??

          by mattes on Mon Sep 19, 2005 at 08:16:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Broadband Progressive TV News (none)

      Thoughts from Connecticut -

      by ctsteve on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 06:42:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  As I've said repeatedly, (none)
        Someone or some company needs to acquire MSNBC.  Its an underperforming property that finishes 3rd (behind CNN and Fox) in just about every demograhic and important time slot.  It's sloppily managed because doesn't focus on any particular type of audience or viewership.  

        If I had the money or resources, I'd buy that piece of junk network, completely rebrand it, fire just about every single personality who has his/her own program, as well as most of the "news journalists" the network hapharzardly ushers out to an unwilling public.  The new brand ofcourse would be a progressive news network.  

        The result is obvious - an increase in ad revenue and an increase in profits. Advertisers have access to a readily identifiable market.  Ratings naturally improve because the network's worldview reflects 50% of the country and it gives that populace a medium it wants to watch.  

        •  How about George Soros. (none)
          He would be a Perfect fit.
        •  Will Petition writing work? (none)
          Perhaps Dem Grassroots should petition to have Air America TV or whatever name you want to give it----2 million petitions.

          Stop Corporate Influence; buy DEMOCRACY BONDS!!! http://www.democrats.org/democracybonds.html

          by timber on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 10:24:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  And then a miracle occurs . . . (none)
          The result is obvious - an increase in ad revenue and an increase in profits.

          Sure looks good on paper though.

          But the problem with this outcome is that it assumes a political neutrality among the major advertisers that financially keep all the main news channels alive.

          Sorry, but news today has nothing to do with audience, which is why there isn't a news programer around who cares about literally half of the viewing audience. News today is driven by three advertising sectors -- automotive (from manufacturers to fuel suppliers), pharmaceuticals, and financial instruments.

          What you're saying is that these advertisers, which make up probably 75% of all national ad revenues, will continue to advertise on a new station that threatens their political status quo?

          And then a miracle occurs . . .

          The polls don't tell us how a candidate is doing, they tell us how the media is doing. And Diebold tells us who won.

          by Thumb on Mon Sep 19, 2005 at 07:38:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Keep Keith Olbermann... (none)
          Fire everyone else.  Chris Matthews can be retained to go get coffee for everyone else.
    •  THAT WOULD BE (none)
      a surgical procedure I'd actually want to view!  But just who do you think you'll get to perform the operation?  Who would the medical support team be?  If you think it would be difficult to pry a gun from Charlton Heston's "cold, dead hand"...imagine how difficult to pry the greenbacks from the hands of the owners of the conglomerates who CONTROL OUR NEWS!!!
    •  If we can't have an objective, independent.. (none)
      ...news media, and it certainly appears that we can't, we can at least develop our own media to counteract the MSM and right-wing noise machine.  Still, I can't help but mourn the fact that the major networks no longer seem to feel the slightest obligation to be objective, or to do investigative journalism.  It's a very sad day for our country.
  •  When the framers (4.00)
    wrote the constitution "freedom of the press" meant "freedom to buy the press" but some editor (influenced by the paper's corporate parent) changed it.

    It is sad.

    ARB

  •  that headline says it all (4.00)
    "CNN + DeLay + MSNBC + Iraq Contracts + Disney + Rednecks = Profit!" - I feel like I don't even need to read the rest of the diary.
    •  In a way you don't (none)
      because it's the same old story. Whats-his-face from Viacom sums it up best. He says he's a Democrat but he votes for Viacom, i.e. Republican. This says it all. Business is a special interest.
    •  Brother (4.00)
      How about this  :

      When John Roberts "is approved as chief justice of the United States, as expected, he can thank President Bush 's 'Friends & Allies' program, which went to work on him immediately after he was nominated," Washington Whispers reports.

      "The project, started by the Republican National Committee in the 2004 re-election campaign, is simple and effective: Give opinion makers, media friends, and even cocktail party hosts insider info on the topic of the day. How? Through E-mailed talking points, called D.C. Talkers, and conference calls. For Roberts, it worked this way: A daily conference call to about 80 pundits, GOP-leaning radio and TV hosts, and newsmakers was made around 9 a.m. On the other end were the main Roberts gunslingers like Steve Schmidt at the White House and Ken Mehlman and Brian Jones at the RNC. D.C. Talkers would then be distributed to an even larger list filled with positive info about Roberts and lines of attack on his critics."

      Can you imagine the liberal side of the house using this level of organization?  Hell no.  They'd be furious.  

      Its figgin Tamany Hall in the media right now.  

      Anyone remember the swiftboat veteransfor truth?

      To his virtues be very kind, to his vices very blind.

      by Jonathan Schwartz on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 07:25:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sounds like it's time for (none)
      a political, as well as a media revolution.
      •  Sign Me Up (none)
        If the battle to save what's left must be fought with wits and being clever then hand me a pen for my hand and a clothespin for my own nose.

        How about a comedy featuring a spoiled rich post-collegiate loser who gets drunk and continually wrecks the family car. As he grows older his doting mother and enabling father just keep feeding this brutish baby-bird whatever it wants until ultimately the family-car turns out to be the United States itself?

        Yes, a comedy indeed. For if it were written as a tragedy, there would be mass despondency AND the ratings would be terrible.

        Air America is a fine tool for preaching to the choir, but prime-time comedy is the frontline. How long can Jon Stewart hold the hill?

  •  To Help Pay For Katrina (none)
    The Networks should be giving some of their profits from the upped viewership they've been getting.

    If they are going to profit off of people's suffering....why not give a little back, eh?

    I'm not going anywhere. I'm standing up, which is how one speaks in opposition in a civilized world. - Ainsley Hayes

    by jillian on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 05:57:45 PM PDT

    •  Too socially responsible n/t (none)
      •  yeah (none)
        ...the shareholders would much rather they remained greedy heartless bastards so they can get that extra couple of cents a share, right?  Sadly, there have been cases of shareholder lawsuits that force corporate heads to avoid socially responsible behavior that might lower profits.  Can you imagine?  Awe-inspiringly off-track.  Greed, a cardinal sin, is now glorified as "the market".

        "Force always attracts those of low morality." -- Albert Einstein

        by eyeswideopen on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 07:23:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Air AmericaTV (4.00)
    Is that an impossible dream? Funded like PBS by grassroots and like minded organizations?

    Stop Corporate Influence; buy DEMOCRACY BONDS!!! http://www.democrats.org/democracybonds.html

    by timber on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 05:58:55 PM PDT

    •  We need this, or something like it (4.00)
      because we are getting killed not as much by the actual GOP as much as the media that spins everything the GOP's way.

      I respect Lakoff, but I don't believe for a second that MSNBC or CNN is anymore likely than Fox is to communicate Democratic frames and talking points without putting a GOP scuffjob on them. I believe the time to get a progressive news channel has to be soon, because too many people are not as politically active as we are, and the people giving these folks their news coverage on the go enable Republicans.

      **** I'm a Proud 'Fight Back in all 50 States' Democrat ****

      by LeftHandedMan on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 06:06:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  IWT (4.00)
        Independent World Television News is trying to build an alternative news service.
        •  I'd really like to see this succeed. (none)
          Independent World Television

          Our Mission
          The Problem
          Serious news and full-spectrum debate -- on which democracy depends -- are disappearing from television. Across the globe, news media are concentrated in the hands of a few entertainment conglomerates whose interests determine news coverage. They promote superficial "infotainment" over tough investigation, context and holding authority accountable. Public broadcasters face shrinking budgets and growing political and commercial pressures.

          The Solution
          We need a news and current affairs network that defends the public interest and the highest standards of journalism. Independent World Television will be such a network, a non-profit broadcast service financed by viewers across the globe -- independent of corporate or government funding and commercial advertising.

          Independent World Television

          "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed it's the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead

          by RevDeb on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 06:40:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  IWT is IT. (none)
            We should all sign up and have all our friends and all their friends sign up. Now.

            If you need to be convinced, check out the astounding FOUNDING COMMITTEE, which I submit is as excellent a group of top-of-the-profession journalists and formidable public interest activists as you will likely ever see listed  together in one place.

            IWT is definitely happening and the blogosphere should get behind it and give it a huge push forward.

            •  Support IWT (none)
              My first post was short because I was short on time, but I've mentioned IWT here on dKos several times, and each time, I find more people who haven't heard of it.

              I'm on their email list, and gave them one contribution back in June when I first learned of them.

              From an August email:

              I'm also writing to ask for your help in doubling the size of our online community by September. One of the questions I hear most often is, "What's the #1 thing I can do to help the network right now?" The best answer--in addition to considering a small contribution--is inviting your friends, family, and coworkers to join our email list:

              http://www.IWTnews.com/join

              You can help us meet our September goal by forwarding the message below to five friends right now and encouraging them to sign up.

              Why is growing our list so important to IWT right now?

                  1) Building an online movement is the key to building IWT. Email subscribers are the backbone of our online community. It's the communications lifeline that connects our international supporters.

                  2) A growing list is proof of widespread support. Contributions and email sign-ups prove to our potential carriers, regulators, funders, and new supporters that there really is widespread international support for Independent World Television.

              So, tell the world you want to know. Tell the world you have a right to know. Help us build independent world television! Help us double our list by September.

              Thanks again for your outstanding help and input,

              Paul Jay
              Chair, Independent World Television
              www.IWTnews.com


              Also, check out their video segments.
              And, if you think this is the alternative we need to Rupert Murdoch's empire and all the other wannabes who are trying to emulate him, give them your support.
            •  Sounds wonderful (none)
              It is sorely and desperately needed.
              My fear is it will not be on regular cable and basic satellite services but one of these special digital packages that requires a special purchase.
              Meanwhile CNN, MSNBC, Fox News are all almost all cable and satellite basic packages that most consumers buy.

              Tom Coburn: There is No crying in Baseball or SCOTUS Hearings. Your brain has been recalled.

              by wishingwell on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 11:56:42 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  We need to band together (none)
      Progressives buying a whole TV channel, and freeing it from any corporate control. The disparity between Democrats and Republicans on media control in this country is glaring. There are many people out there who are sick of the junk that is fed to us all the time. Can't we all sacrifice a bit and purchase our own TV channel?

      The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of crisis, remain neutral.

      by ten10 on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 06:11:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Is this the end result of... (4.00)
    ... Clinton's signing of the 1996 Telecommunications act?

    Regardless, for profit news is just a bad thing, especially when, as you mentioned, the news networks don't disclose their pending contracts.

    I've said it before, but when you start to brand wars, i.e. "Showdown with Saddam," with slick graphics that almost have a WWE feel to them, then you're helping to sell the war. And, for the most part, they're pretty fucking effective at it.

    Media Whores is an apt description of these moraless profiteers.

    hink

    •  More specifically the loss of Fairness Doctrine (4.00)
      The Fairness Doctrine was seen as no longer necessary because media had blossomed from a few, scarce outlets to many, many outlets.

      But unfortunately, excessive consolidation of media reversed the bloom; there are many, many channels, but little diversity and very few owners.  Ten or fewer companies control broadcast media in this country -- that's scarcity revisited, just in a different guise.

      We need to return to the Fairness Doctrine to ensure that publicly-owned airwaves serve the public's interest.  Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) submitted a bill promoting this (Fairness and Accountability in Broadcasting Act) under the 108th Congress; we need to revisit this under the 109th and push it through.

      If not now, we MUST win back the majority for the 110th Congress and try yet again.  

    •  Telecommunications Act of 1996... (none)
      ...is one of a number of disastrous Clinton policies that helped drive me from the Democratic Party.

      This diary nicely illustrates some of its effects.

      "This war is an ex-parrot." - The Editors

      by GreenSooner on Mon Sep 19, 2005 at 12:17:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I have to agree (4.00)
    And isn't one of the most vile, dirty, low-down things the Republicans have done is...well, this? While some of the blame for non-reporting must go to the non-reporters, any business is going to look at the bottom line in the end.

    How do we make Democracy good for business?

    Tolerating others is the price we pay for being tolerated ourselves. Dan Savage

    by peterpeter on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 06:00:38 PM PDT

    •  Follow the Money!! (4.00)
      As noted; profit is the key to all. We as a society have become so attached to the material world that we might never turn back. The plasma TV, iPod generation has taken over, and has permeated all facets of our society. As long as we can get our goodies, we really don't care what the media is feeding us. Sad!!
    •  Wrong Question (4.00)
      "How do we make Democracy good for business?"

      The right question would be, "How do we make business good for Democracy?"  Regulation, that's how.

      Debunk the entire deregulation mindset, highlight the corruption that increases as regulation decreases.  What we have now is giving capitalism a really, really bad name.  And if it doesn't stop, capitalism will cease to be the "economic model" for the modern world.

      That tack should give pause to s few honest, capitalists - if there are any left.

      •  It is the long run (none)
        in the short run policies that ruin the environment might make profits soar.

        in the short run low salaries and lack of benifits make profits soar.

        but in the long run they will destroy the customer base and the land that we live in.

        We must teach business to have a longer view.

        SOCIAL SECURITY: Invented by Democrats yesterday, Protected by Democrats today

        by mollyd on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 08:57:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Correct (none)
          Most specifically, we need to teach financial analysts to consider social costs as accruing to the corporations. This is a very hard row to hoe, but it needs to be done. Corporatate management's goal is NOT higher profits - it's a higher market valuation. The strategies to get it (currently) are higher profits and higher profit margins. (No one measures eyeballs since the dotcom bust.) If the analyst valuations included social costs, then you'd see a surprising amount of change in corporate direction.
  •  It's time to make the media accountable. (none)

    Advertisers spend billions of dollars to get your attention. Now you can get theirs. www.adnausea.org

    by HunterKiller on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 06:02:00 PM PDT

  •  Internet+Grassroots Progressives=PCNN (none)
    "Progressive Cyber News Network"?

    **** I'm a Proud 'Fight Back in all 50 States' Democrat ****

    by LeftHandedMan on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 06:02:45 PM PDT

  •  As I watched Keith Olbermann ... (4.00)
    ...give the "worst person" award to Bill O'Reilly for the umpteenth time last week - this time for having said he wished the New Orleans flood had struck the U.N. and nobody had come to the rescue - I wondered to myself, how long before Keith has been consigned to the extinct journalists' pile?

    It's gotten so he's about the only guy outside of Free Speech Television and the occasional PBS broadcast who I can stand to watch.

    Thirty-one million new blogs are created each year. Try ours at The Next Hurrah.

    by Meteor Blades on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 06:03:06 PM PDT

    •  Yep... (none)
      ... he'll eventually have to shack up with Phil Donahue.

      hink

    •  As soon as his ratings drop badly (none)
      Remember, most of the big companies lean Republican purely for tax and regulation reasons.  On a micro scale, they have no problem airing lefty shows, if they make money.  The Daily Show is on a Viacom network.  Clear Channel owns twenty or thirty stations that air Air America.  If they get good ratings, they will stick with them, politics be damned.
    •  Don't forget (4.00)
      Jon Stewart. Fake news my ass. He's the only one out there besides Keith telling it like it is.

      Been watching him since he took ovet the Daily Show and its the only thing that has kept me sane through the last 5 years.

      AND he just got the Emmy for "comedy" show.

      "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed it's the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead

      by RevDeb on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 06:32:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Did anyone save... (none)
    ...that old piece from The Onion, "Just Six Corporations Remain", from a few years ago?   They also did say of Dumbya:  "Our Long National Nightmare of Peace and Prosperity is Finally Over" (I wish I'd saved that one too).
  •  It has been said before that the mission (none)
    of the <insert name of corporate interest here> is not to serve but to manipulate its customers.

    "On Olympos, Scholic Hockenberry, there are no permanent friends or trustworthy allies or loyal mates... only permanent interests." -- Dan Simmons

    by Eloi Scientist on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 06:06:46 PM PDT

  •  We would have to destroy them first (none)
    Its going to be an uphill fight to restore the MSM. There News networks are there shield. So they can cover there ass when they screw up. They won't give up the MSM easily.

    "A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs that is incapable of walking forward." - FDR

    by Houston on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 06:13:57 PM PDT

  •  What News? (4.00)
      TV news is like watching the Emmeys, a TV show about TV shows. News has become just that....7 to 15 seconds of a story then 3-5 minutes of spin. MSM has perfected the art of telling most Americans how to think. Just give me the facts Jack, I'll figure it from there.
  •  Redstone forgot the "enlightened" part (4.00)
    of "enlightened self-interest."

    Media moguls really believe they can indefinitely profit from churning out propaganda for fascists, with no cost to themselves. That's because they have no thought for the long run.

    Too bad, because, as Keynes said, "In the long run, we are all dead." I think if this country does not change its course soon, the rich will reach that long run a lot sooner than the rest of us.

     

    •  To add to that (none)
      And in the short run (i.e. a single careerspan) the media moguls will be dead. They're not worried about the future, it's all greed for the here and now. Who cares about the people left after they're dead. I think they believe there is NO cost to themselves, and whatever there could be will happen after they're dead.

      It's not likely the fascists are going to turn on the media moguls because they're either the same people or doing their bidding because it's "in their (business) interest."

      Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.

      by hyperstation on Mon Sep 19, 2005 at 07:24:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Dang (4.00)
    Every time I'm on the verge of giving up cussing for a week, something comes along that defies me to express outrage in less than utterly vulgar words,  If I can't say fuck this, my head will explode.

    Also, I was just talking myself into re-subscribing to cable this morning.  Not no more.  

    Thank you, Hunter, for saving my eternal soul once again.

    The concept of war is outdated. Dalai Lama

    by x on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 06:19:06 PM PDT

  •  Dang liberal media strikes again ... (none)
    ... and again ... and again. I fear for DIS, GE, TWX and all fair-and-balanced fellow-travelers. Kay

    What will be, will me?

    by Kay Sera on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 06:19:51 PM PDT

  •  wrong track (4.00)
    Instead of focusing on starting alternative media, I think it important to change the laws on media ownership.  Simply put, news media should always be independent, and cross ownership, which leads to propaganda should not be allowed.

    If news is independent than market forces, ie, selling news and not GE or Coca Cola, will help things along a great deal.

    I see this as one of the big meta issues, that too often gets drowned out.  Ie with each election, we complain about news coverage, write e-mails and so on, but without regulatory change we can't make any real progress on this front.

    The other meta issue that gets lost?  Election reform of course :)

  •  Media breakup under Dems (4.00)
    Hunter is correct that the only cure is complete divestment and disintanglement of major media, locally and nationally.

    Back to rigid rules on number of stations that can be owned in on-air TV and radio, plus new requirements on ownership of cable nets.

    Existing media owned by corporate monsters must be sold off as for-profit independent units, with no hidden laddering of ownership.

    This is very radical, but it may be needed to save our democratic republic.  There is no case to be made that media outlets are stronger because of corporate mega-owners.

    It will take strong majorities for the Dems in Congress to make this happen, but we can begin making the case now that consolidation must stop.

    "pay any price, bear any burden"

    by JimPortlandOR on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 06:23:13 PM PDT

    •  I agree. (none)
      To me, corporate controlled media is doing more harm to this country than anything.  Profits have overtaken every other concern.  Capitalism has it's place, but not in media.  Media is to serve a public service first and foremost.  Profits should always be secondary.

      That's really just part of it though.

      Greed has taken over everything.

      •  Especially (none)
        ... since the airwaves are part of the commons, and we own it.  It should be illegal and unconstitutional to use it for propaganda.  Do we need a constitutional amendment?  I fear that John Roberts' court will delete even the FCC.

        "Force always attracts those of low morality." -- Albert Einstein

        by eyeswideopen on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 07:33:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •   Do we need a constitutional amendment? (none)
          " Do we need a constitutional amendment?"
          a very intereating point.  clearly a democracy relies on a healthy discuourse.  that and a right to vote amendment I think should be considered.
      •  greed isn't the problem (none)
        greed is to be expected, that is part of what makes a free market work.  what we need to do is to make sure the framework is fair and productive.  

        we should change the laws such that it is in the self interest of the news corps to create good news.

        •  I don't see how you make the news media... (none)
          ..become objective through regulation.  I think that ship has sailed.  Yes, you can make them put on a token progressive like Alan Colmes, but how to do you ensure that HE isn't bought and paid for?  Seems like this is something that can't be effectively policed.

          No, for me the answer is, we need our own voice.

    •  Replying to Jim in PortlandOR (none)
      .....who would you trust that much to sell the media outlets ito/i? You make it sound as if it's a simple thing to divest yourself of 50 or a 100 outlets at a whack but you still have to remember those are people with families too. I, too am against mega-media outlets of over fifty stations per owner but think it should be brought down slower ....possibly with the employee's having a chance to do some of the buying out for a change.Just my .02 worth.

      "I have prayed to God for one thing in my life:For Him to make people laugh at my enemies and they have" -Voltaire

      by keepiru913 on Mon Sep 19, 2005 at 05:07:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Maybe it's time... (none)
    ... to get rid of your televisions.  Between mind-numbing episodes of Desperate Housewives and Survivor, all you get is propaganda that passes for some kind of serious news.  If television is part of the problem, and I think most would agree, then maybe it's time to stop tuning in.  I'm sure we can all survive without Letterman before bed.  We have computers, so we still would have the internet for news,etc.  
    •  TV (none)
      I stopped watching TV after the November election.  My decision to stop watching was made with my slipping sanity in mind.  However, the problem remains, most people watch TV and many believe what they see and hear there.  They are the ones who voted for "W" (wacko).  We need a truly free press or we don't have a well-informed public.  Without a well-informed public we have no democracy.  Without a democracy, we can kiss our freedom goodbye.  
    •  I quit TV 40 years ago (none)
      ...and trust me, life is MUCH richer this way.  I get a lot more done, read more of the things I've always wanted to read, and spend more time on the web, the giant global ever-updated encyclopedia.  (OK, so I'm one of those weirdos who like to read encyclopedias.)  And my 3D vision is unimpaired.

      "Force always attracts those of low morality." -- Albert Einstein

      by eyeswideopen on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 07:36:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I would agree completely but . . . (4.00)
    How do we "surgically detach the news organizations..."?

    That's gonna be a very difficult thing to turn around because the root of the problem is money.

    I already refuse to watch FUX News because I don't want to give their advertisers any of my eyeball time. Well, that and I just can't stand the bastards.

    On the bright side, it'll be very difficult for the wingnuts to control the "Internets" and more and more people (especially young people) are watching less and less television overall.

    The next time you watch a 6:00 evening newscast (NBC, CBS or ABC) just count the drug ads. While some of those products can be avoided -- thus boycotting the advertisers -- others are widely prescribed by physicians (i.e. cholesterol drugs) and consumers have little say in their consumption.

    (Which makes one wonder why Big Pharma bothers to advertise these products in the first place; you have to talk your doctor into approving your purchase!)

    But I digress... any realistic suggestions for  getting our country's media back?

  •  Hunter, Hunter, Hunter... (none)
    ...only Republicans can get stigmatas, c'mon now. Not us godless liberuls. Still, I agree. Chris
  •  Screw TV (4.00)
    Where is it written that all news has to come from TV?

    Don't try to change them. Change the game.

    We need a progressive independent news investigating organization that is web based and doing the work that Woodward and Bernstein used to do, back when when they were hungry.

    We can provide the content, and the pictures, on the internet. Cheaply. Uncensored. Free from corporate pressure.

    TV is so 20th century (ave you seen the normal ratings for the CNN/MSNBC/FOX news shows? 98% of the country isn't watching!)

    Come on folks! We are on the edge of this wave. Let's ride it home.

    •  AM radio (none)
      Is AM radio still around? Old technology exists with a mass audience for generations after new technology is introduced. Ignoring it does not mean it's not relevant.

      "A whole lotta HOOAH and not enough DO-AH." - Lt. Gen. Russel Honore

      by joejoejoe on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 06:48:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes - Thank goodness for KGO (none)
        If you're in the SF Bay Area, check out KGO 810 AM. Some hosts are better than others, of course, but overall it's quite listenable.
      •  Actually (none)
        AM radio has the promise to become a vastly wide reaching digital radio technology.  New Scientist, August 12, 2005 issue has an article about DRM, Digital Radio Mondiale, a radio chip that enables AM bands to transmit large amounts of data and lots of bands of crystal-clear digital radio over vast distances.  
        This chip is anything but a backward step. It is in the vanguard for a global broadcast standard called Digital Radio Mondiale that is designed to stuff the AM bands with a swathe of new digital transmissions. Using the latest coding and compression tricks, DRM will squeeze high-quality stereo sound into the narrow AM bands and send these signals over greater distances and with less interference than ever before. The technology promises to breath new life into ailing AM stations the world over. Convert a medium-wave transmitter to DRM, for instance, and a station that once struggled to reach 10,000 listeners could embrace a hundred times as many.

        But DRM is more than just a way to please advertisers or to make Beethoven sound better in the bathroom. Along with music and chat, signals will carry a stream of digital data and multimedia information that could provide everything from text and pictures to news headlines, educational material for schools in remote communities, or even software upgrades for your car or washing machine, delivered and installed while you sleep.

        The first DRM radios will go on sale later this year and will cost about $200.

        Anyone interested in radio should check this out.  (Sorry I can't give a link -- subscription).  If we could obtain an AM station, we'd be sitting pretty with our DKos digital radio.

        "Force always attracts those of low morality." -- Albert Einstein

        by eyeswideopen on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 07:49:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Mind control in couplets... (4.00)
    I found this appropriate.  Despite the mention of hurricanes, it was written before Katrina.

    It's almost six, so don't be late!
    You'll miss the nightly news!
    The daily dose of fear and hate,
    An ignorance we choose!

    Come hear about the terror threats,
    The ones so far and near!
    We musn't hurry, mustn't fret--
    Just come pretend to care!

    The hurricanes, the murderers,
    The pervert of the week!
    The radicals, the harbringers--
    The circle-jerk deceit!

    I know it doesn't mean a thing,
    But who could turn away?
    Let's clap our hands and laugh and sing,
    The self-propelled Parade!

    Who needs to hear about the war?
    There ain't no stinkin' draft!
    Just give me more, and more, and more--
    of gossip, whores and trash!

    The ads will tell me what to buy,
    The needs I never knew,
    I'll work and spend and fuck and die,
    The world is ours to loose!

    Let God forgive the gaping hole,
    Of all the things we miss,
    Just give me my remote control,
    I need that zombie fix.

    ==

    From the link in my sig.

  •  Post Katrina coverage still Jeckyl and Hyde (4.00)
    It is about 3 weeks now since Hurricane Katrina hit. Datline did some stories on the Hurricane aftermath--one interviewing a boy left alone temporarily, another a nurse describing her ordeals in a hospital, and an animal rescue unit. Predominant representation: all interview subjects where white.
       Compare this with the riveting coverage of Disney/ABC's weekly news show "Like It Is," with Gil Noble. The show, possibly due to its excellence, has been on the short list of shows under threat of cancellation for a couple of years now. The show featured the tribulations of a bus caravan lead by the New Black Panther Party out of Texas. They showed a dead black man on the ground, who incredibly had burns on his body. The show aired the speeches of community leaders in New York City and Newark who were preparing to take in families from the flood area. It is better than most of the coverage coming out of the flood area, except for the dramatic footage aired in the first week.
       This one episode of "Like It Is" is in the finest tradition of journalism, and is definitely of Emmy caliber. I believe also that the testimony of the New Black Panther Party was aired to some extent on Democracy Now! radio show with Amy Goodman et. al.
      The basic point: mainstream media is back to focusing on mainly white-oriented news, leaving ethnic coverage to narrowcast shows and alternative media. Once again, the networks are back to abandoning the pledge (needed to get a broadcaster's licence) to commit to the public interest. These moments should not be forgotten, and brought up specifically at the times the stations seek renewal of their FCC licences. The cameras are flying past the residents hit by floodwaters as surely as the helicopters did.  
  •  AOL Hell (none)
    If Microsoft does buy AOL, rather than Google or Yahoo! buying it, it will only get worse.  I know that's hard to believe for some, but stranger combinations have turned into bedfellows.
  •  Big Brother is Coming. (4.00)
    Pretty soon, CNN is going to chastise us for NOT thinking that $100 billion giveaways to Hallibuton are the most patriotic thing  Americans can do.  

    All hail to the big corporations!

    All hail DEAR LEADER!

    We don't NEED an minimal standard of living!

    Who NEEDS health insurance?

    My child doesn't need a decent education.  A McDonalds or Wallmart career is enough for my kids.

    As long as the billionaires don't have a headache or inconvenience at the country club, we're ALL happy, aren't we?

    "We do know of certain knowledge that he [Osama Bin Laden] is either in Afghanistan, or in some other country, or dead."--Donald Rumsfeld

    by sunbro on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 06:45:21 PM PDT

  •  Life in the Trenches... (4.00)
    I used to be a newspaper reporter. I was proud of what I did; it was a large part of who I was, personally. I don't do that anymore, I am in law now.

    Part of the reason I left is that about a decade ago, I noticed what we would have called a "sea-change," in the sometimes hackneyed language of news writing.

    I remember that a the last paper I worked at in Southern California, when I started, if an advertising person had gotten off the elevator on our floor, we would have simply rolled the poor fool and tossed the body into the stairwell to be found by his hapless whore-comrades.

    But, as I said about 10 years ago, things like "advetorial meetings" started taking place in the newsroom. In the newsroom for Christ's sake. It became apparent that the beancounters were taking over the paper. And my friends at other papers began to notice the same sort of thing; the hegemony of guys like Mark Willis, the Serial Killer and Dean Singleton was rapidly destroying metropolitan newspapering.

    We were never polyannic, we knew who the bosses voted for and that corporate political interests were probably pretty far removed from the rank and file in the newsroom, either Republican or Democrat (because we had a fair number of fairly conservative GOP types at our paper, but at least we prided ourselves on being intellectually honest, if not always right).

    But it quickly became the case that the political interests of the corporation began to drive coverage in very subtle ways. Not the venal, and generally inaccurate, perception that we would shill for advertisers... no that would be too cheap, too easy...

    But in ways like deciding to pull news reporting resources out of certain cities or neighborhoods and redirect them to more "demographically desirable readerships." The people and communities I cared most about were being frozen out of coverage they needed to make informed decisions about their lives and communities because they didn't have the kind of incomes to shop at certain car dealerships or eat at the higher end restraunts.

    That is unless some poor kid got caught in a drive by... again. Then there I was trying to talk to the family, and getting their pictures because of course "we'd like to get the best possible photo of him in the paper."  I began to get really tired of this.

    I miss my old career. It was important and I was good at it, but it's like the Jimmy Buffet song says "my occupational hazard bein', my occupation's just not around..."

    I didn't mean to go on like this, and I apologize, but I have never really had a chance to get this off my chest before...

  •  Good luck (none)
    This is the world we live in.  America is a hypercapitalism country.  The system reinforces itself.  There's no way around that.  The only way we'll ever solve that problem is to legislate it away.  And good luck with that.

    To his virtues be very kind, to his vices very blind.

    by Jonathan Schwartz on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 06:46:38 PM PDT

    •  Weird how it's (none)
      ...hypercapitalism without market forces.  I think that may have to be called something else, like corpocapitalcancer or something.  A spreading disease on the body of human society.

      "Force always attracts those of low morality." -- Albert Einstein

      by eyeswideopen on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 07:56:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This post (none)
    of Chris Bowers gives me some hope:

    As I have previously reported, the progressive blogosphere is a lager source of news for younger Americans than all of the cable news networks combined (and the progressive blogosphere has more than doubled its audience since I made that report). This could all be coincidental, but it could mean that the progressive blogosphere is becoming the heart and soul of the rank and file opposition to Republicans nationwide. People often accuse me of overstating the power of the netroots and the blogosphere, but perhaps even I have been dramatically understating it. I mean, if the blogosphere plays a central role in the political life of over two million of the most politically active progressives, and those people tend to be the influentials in their family and social circles, how could we not be basically driving the progressive zeitgeist nationwide? Progressives are flowing into the blogs, as noted by our astronomical increase in audience size over the past two years. Something persuasive, influential and meaningful must be happening here, and it is starting to really look like it is transforming the Democratic Party from the bottom (or at least the middle) up.

    emphasis mine.

    at MyDD

    "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed it's the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead

    by RevDeb on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 06:47:55 PM PDT

    •  And how big is that audience? (none)
      When I was in college, nobody watched news.  Well, except for sports coverage.  So we could be the largest news source for all college-aged kids nationwide and still have 10k kids tuned in.

      How many people get their news from the blogosphere at least once a week? Chris had this story which compared cable tv ratings to the liberal blogosphere - but he was comparing page views to number of viewers - apples and oranges.  We may have millions of page views but how many pages do I see at Kos on a given day?  Easily 100.  And there are people who read and post much more often than I do.  But even if you say that the average is just 20...  Take Chris's more recent story from here where Kos had 1.35 million pageviews on 9/8, that may mean that only 50,000 people were here that day.  So I don't agree that the liberal blogosphere has passed the Cable networks as a news source, unless you take one page view = one viewer which is patently false.

      -Fred

      Democrats *do* have a plan for Social Security - it's called Social Security. -- Ed Schultz

      by FredFred on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 07:25:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, but ... (none)
        podcasting has arrived. Soon the masses will easily be able to download and listen to their favorite progressive talk shows, no matter how small or arcane the production may be. We are in a transition period where computers and computer-like hardware, such as the iPod and DVD players, already allow listeners and viewers get a more diverse message. For example, how many people saw Mike Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 on DVD and have been influenced by it? Such market saturation for a film like Fahrenheit 9/11 would not have been possible even 10 years ago. So while I agree that the liberal blogosphere may not be all that influential as of now, other technologies are coming online that will tend supplement and reinforce the blogosphere.
        •  echo chamber (none)
          How many people are going to download a 2-hour podcast of a talk show and listen to it?  How many people bought Fahrenheit 9/11 who weren't already receptive to the message?

          The hard core liberals aren't the ones that need to be converted, although we do benefit tremendously from the information here so we can counter talking points when we encounter them.  I don't know how many minds are swayed by the left-wing blogosphere.

          -F

          Democrats *do* have a plan for Social Security - it's called Social Security. -- Ed Schultz

          by FredFred on Tue Sep 20, 2005 at 12:09:20 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Pageviews (none)
        Fred, on average I think 20 would be high. You're probably looking at more like 10. It's probably in the 100,000 visitor range, but Kos could answer that - he has before.
  •  Walther Cronkite (none)
    Isn't exactly thrilled in this Arizona Republic interview. One point in the article is that people watch the news to be entertained rather than informed.

    I think an understandable knee jerk reaction to this  would be to somehow launch a "Liberal News Network" but I think a truly independent network would serve the country better and let the chips fall where they may. Sort of a "Democracy News Network".

    Perhaps this would be a good use of funds from someone like George Soros. (Although the repugs hate his guts) Bill Gates already has MSNBC.

    We need a "New Ted Turner".

  •  Sorry... (none)
    I meant to add that 30 million people still watch the big three evening news broadcasts. That's a lot and doesn't count the CNN/FUX News/MSNBC bunch. This is still very much a problem for Democrats unfortunately.
    •  But at least (none)
      ... the network channels are using our airwaves and thus could be returned to the Fairness Doctrine if we get a goodly majority in Congress.

      "Force always attracts those of low morality." -- Albert Einstein

      by eyeswideopen on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 08:03:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  When many were all agog over CNN's coverage (4.00)
    ... Katrina, I took a wait-and-see attirude.

    As you point out, they have a lot riding on Bush.

    Probably the dumbest, honest thing Dean ever said or did was to tell Matthews that he would re-regulate the media if he were to win the presidency.

    The almighty dollar trumps the truth every time, now more than ever.

  •  Oh Please! (none)
    We live in a meritocracy, okay?  And we have a free market, okay?  So if a company is doing well, it is because of initiative and government keeping out of its affairs, okay?

    Besides, everyone knows the media is just a Michael Moore clone.  If Viacom really hired one of Delay's people, then we should be thankful they are finally starting to demonstrate some balance.

    Grrr...

    "While there is a lower class, I am in it. While there is a criminal element, I am of it. While there is a soul in prison, I am not free." - Eugene Debs

    by matthewc on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 06:57:58 PM PDT

  •  Different day, "different" plutocrat (none)
    Yes, they want their tax cuts and their honey deals...but I suspect the economically backward elements of GOP Christofascism makes them periodically reassess how much the GOP is meeting their bottom line.  And thus, an occasional "safe" Democrat in power keeps the sex and rock'n'roll in play enough so that that big cash cow is never truly threatened. Hence, Clinton '92/'96...and Clinton '08?
  •  Anti-trust, baby (4.00)
    we need to surgically detach the news organizations from the conglomerates that have subsumed them

    Right on. And we have just the scalpel, if we ever have a chance to use it.

    "Give me a caring idiot. Give me a sensitive idiot. Just don't give me the same idiot."

    by TomB on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 07:13:29 PM PDT

  •  FSTV (Free Speech TV) (none)
    This is why I mostly watch FSTV on Dish Network. It carries Democracy Now!, INN, Liberty News, etc. Plus, a lot of documentaries and a show called Keynote.

    This weekend, Keynote has featured David Kay Griffiin discussing his book on the 9/11 report.

    Call your cable company and see if you can get FSTV. That might happen before AAR TV -- though I'd like to see that myself.

  •  Time to Shine some LIght (none)
    on these lobbyiests. Personally, I am sick of them ruining everything and running the country......the Congress, the Judges, the President, and the Media............all branches of govt. Agggghhh!

    Can we not shed some light on how this works. I personally don't understand it. Is absolutely everything up for sale to the highest bidder????

    Hunter.......ePluribus.......a call to arms, on some journalistic expose's on these motherfuckers!

    inspire change...don't back down

    by missliberties on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 07:21:34 PM PDT

  •  Blair and the BBC (none)
    is this crap starting to go overseas? Newsmax, Rupert Murduch......again fuck them.

    All the more vital for the blogosphere to exist.

    inspire change...don't back down

    by missliberties on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 07:25:15 PM PDT

  •  "Redneck" (none)

    "Redneck" should be as admissible on this board as "Nigger" or "Spic" or "Kike" or "Cunt."

    "I need you near, but love and duty called you someplace higher. Up the stairs. Into the fire." (Springsteen)

    by proudtinfoilhat on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 07:26:54 PM PDT

    •  I gotta agree (none)
      I see no "rednecks" named in this story anywhere, nor do I know of any who own major (or for that matter minor) news or broadcast outlets. But I must say that as a resident of Tennessee for the last few years, for family reasons and not entirely by choice, I flinch and get defensive when the term is employed.

      It's rude. And what does it contribute to this discussion?

      Where are we going, and why am I in this handbasket?

      by Xan on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 07:58:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't agree (none)
      That's what I call kneejerk.  

      Certain terms have more or less negative impact.  Redneck has very little negative impact.  It's not impacting anybody really.  

      A Jew knows he's a Jew.  A black individual knows what skin color means.  

      •  As someone who has (none)
        attended the Redneck Games in East Dublin GA, with thousands of others, in the Deep South, being redneck is seen as being proud of your "work hard for a living" roots. Call the same guys crackers and you might as well  insult their mamas. Sometimes being politically correct just illustrates an innocent ignorance of the facts on the ground.
  •  I agree, but 100 years too late? (none)
    We just need SOME big media to separate themselves from the conglomerate world.

    Whup-ass. Now available in cans.

    by mungley on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 07:30:43 PM PDT

  •  Calling Ted Turner ... (4.00)
    Maybe we could talk Ted Turner into getting CNN back.

    Let's face it; the current owners have run it into the ground.  It gets about half the viewership that FNC gets, and trying to be Fox Lite isn't helping.
    But it still has assets no one else has, like its international reach.

    Ol' Ted could turn it back into the station that movers and shakers have to watch, because it's the only one that really tells what's going on.  A highly influential audience could command premium advertising rates.  All he'd have to do is go back to basics.  A real, decent news station would be a novelty.  Kick off the pundits; blogs make pundits obsolete, but nothing can replace a crack team of reporters based all over the country and the world.

  •  The American Electorate Cannot be Reached (none)
    except by using the private media property of Republicans. There is no venue to exercise our Constitutional speech and assembly rights, no right to a place to debate.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 08:51:15 PM PDT

  •  Just a fucking minute (none)
    actual, politically sensitive news, not breathless on-the-scene reports from whatever stagelit tropical scene White Girl Number 23 has disappeared from this week

    I "get" that you're deriding Rita what's her name and Nancy Grace, et al.  Yes, the coverage of Natalee and other blonde college girl "disappeared" is way overblown, racist - and ageist.

    My brother was probably oh, say, number 18,265 murdered in the US in 1995.  It was October, so there would be over a thousand more to go that year. He was my brother.  He and other murder victims are not entertainment, and you cheapen their lives by tossing them away like used Kleenex.

    I can assure you that the parents of the disappeared and murdered would do absolutely anything possible to resolve their daughter's/son's murder.  If they're smart and have money; if the victim is an attractive woman (no wrinkles); if they can reach the right people - then they can avoid just being ass-fucked as crying parents 9/17/05, and get their son's/daughter's picture out and ask (beg, plead, offer a reward, whatever it takes) for information or their return.  The media played me, but there was little for me to want in return.

    I doubt that Natalee is anything more than a rotting, bleached-white corpse in the water, or pieces scattered around Aruba now.  The "golden 24 hours" (in which the detectives have a small chance of finding the victim alive) ran out for her long ago.  My brother was hacked to death with a screwdriver, including through the skull and eyes, and left in a very large pool of blood.  He made the news.  He was my brother.

    Everytime some shithead posts a fuck you aside about a piece of rotting flesh that used to be loved by many people, I would very much like to perform a physically violent act upon their person, which of course I am far too liberal to do.  How do you think it actually feels to be Natalee's Holloway's parents?  Or Ron Goldman's?  Try to imagine it.  Remember when your parents died?  It kind of leaves a hole that eventually heals.  Murder leaves a very jagged hole that almost never completely heals.  These TV parents aren't faking the tears, no matter how bored you are by it.

    These are people you know about only because of money, closeness to fame, or the persistence of their parents.  How about any of the anonymous 18,000+ a year?  Small town/big city - you've never heard of them.  There's just too many.  I saw an SNL skit in which Jimmy Fallon and what's her name just gave up reading the real news and started reading only the murders.  But that took too long, so they just gave details.  But that was too long ... you get the idea. And the audience howled.  It was hilarious!

    The murdered might make the paper in a small town, a squib in a city paper (unlikely), 1:30 at most on LA or NYC TV - and that's only for multiple or especially "inventive" murders.  That's roughly ten times the amount of soldiers, sailors, Marines, and airmen "officially" dead in Iraq and Afghanistan, total, over almost 4 years.  And this happens every year.

    Obviously, Hunter, you've never gone through what the parents, friends, and relatives of these people have, or you can split yourself off easily from that experience when you write.  I can do that.  But not forever.

    My brother was not White Man 18,265.  He was James Carl DeLand.  He lived life to the extreme, had "no fear" before it became a decal for some pussy in a shiny pickup.  He was the guy who tossed the Hell's Angels out of the bar when they got too rowdy.  And, Hunter, he would have tossed you about 10 yards.  Minimum.

    "Figs! In the name of The Prophet, figs!" E.A. Poe

    by moltar on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 08:53:56 PM PDT

    •  But I have (none)
      and I wasn't offended at all. Thirty years ago (so I have a bit more distance) my 19 year old sister was murdered. Dead white girl. So was her best friend. Two dead white girls. And we had to deal with the media, because it was a Big Story.

      What was offensive was turning their deaths into fodder for the media machine, into a vehicle for ratings. What was offensive was the attitude of the reporters to the girls, and to their families.

      I'm not offended by Hunter's phrasing, because I think he gets that.

    •  I'm very sorry for your loss (none)
      I can't possibly imagine how you must feel. I really don't know what to say, but I'm glad you said what you did.

      I also felt that Hunter's remark was inappropriate and posted something below, before I read your reaction. A lot of people have said similar things about the sensationalist media coverage, Hunter's by no means the first, and it's been bothering me. I think we have to find another way of talking about the media's priorities.

      I think it's also worth pointing out that the media eye can help break a case. It didn't work out in Aruba, but I, for one, don't believe the Aruba authorities would ever have arrested that kid without the CNN scrutiny simply because his father is a judge. As it is, they waited long enough for all the evidence to be destroyed. But whatever small chance there was of justice being done was thanks to pressure from the media.

      The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.

      by expatjourno on Mon Sep 19, 2005 at 12:56:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Tony Blair , Rupert Murdoch and Tom Delay (none)
    This story is timely because this weekend there are reports that Tony Blair is furious at the BBC and its coverage of Katrina. Apparently Blair felt the BBC painted a too bleak picture of Katrina and that the message was anti American. I fail to see how Tony Blair could think that the story of Katrina had much positive going for it in the US or in any other world press either.. The coverage seemed bleak no matter what you watched or read.Was it possible to have been anything else when you see the sheer scale of the incompetence.

    Not only was Blair upset, he trashed the BBC to Rupert Murdoch , owner of Fox News ,of all people. What am I not getting here?

    Maybe quite simply  Murdoch doesn't care for the competition when one considers he owns The Times UK,  SkyTV, Asias Star TV and has India pretty well wrapped up too  and then  perhaps Tony Blair is just a sweet and sympathetic kind of a guy.

    Now you tell me Tom Delays Chief of Staff is falling into bed with Time Warner.

    The Calvin Coolidge quote that the chief business of the American people is business should give everyone pause for thought..because there are a lot of days it seems that way. I do hope I'm wrong because I really want to believe that its people before profits or at least a better balance.

  •  Does anyone else notice the irony of... (none)
    ...the freeptards being equally distrusting of CNN, ABC, and MSNBC as we are?

    Should this tell us something?

  •  When you can't trust (none)
    business... and you can't trust government... and you can't trust tv... and you can't trust what's on paper... and you can't trust the people around you (rednecks)...

    how the fuck should someone get news in America 2005?

    well. since i'm typing on the internets, the answer is pretty straightforward...

    everywhere... that's is... everywhere that's online.

    p.s. what can fix this problem legislatively? some sort of control on media consolidation would be good, but will that fix neo-conservatism? I suppose it's a start.

    U.S. blue collar worker vs. CEO income in 1992 was 1:80; in 1998 it was 1:420.

    by Lode Runner on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 09:27:35 PM PDT

  •  Love the LA Weekly (none)
    One of the better local rags, and certainly more realistic.
  •  What Liberal media. (none)
    I said What Liberal Media. If I hear Liberal Media one more time I will Puke!!!!
  •  More Facts and Informed Opinion, Please (none)
    As A Canadian living in central Tennesee, I have it pretty good. I love my native land, and I love this wonderful country I have chosen to retire to.

      Yes, as all too frequently pointed out at this site, America has much to learn from Canada. But the reverse is true, America has things to teach Canada. We influence each other whether we want to or not. Call me an optimist, I think both countries are more likely to raise the other up, rather than drag the other down.

      But here comes my sanctimonious Canadian money shot. When it comes to the media, at this point in time, please look to the Great White North for articles like [this one http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&a mp;cid=1126995010871&call_pageid=968332188492&col=968793972154&t=TS_Home&DPL=IvsNDS% 2f7ChAX&tacodalogin=yes ] for an example of the lucid and empathetic analysis that the environmental disaster, formerly known as NOLA, demands from the American media.

      My point is, they are capable of doing their jobs first, and ringing the advertising cash register second. I don't see enough of this down here.

      If I want the National Enquirer, I'll pick one up at Kroegers the next time I need a 12 pack of Corona. Unless I see an article about Glowing Elvis Spotted in NOLA, I doubt I will see anything close to this article I have linked.

      Otherwise, it's been a great day. My Titans bushwacked Baltimore, My Blue Jays drove a small stake in the heart of the Yankees, and my Maple Leafs at least won the shootout. I hope things are looking up in your world too.

  •  oops (none)
    I pooched the link...sorry!
  •  Should be top page every day (none)
    This story should never leave the top page of every website and blog around.  This information needs to be disseminated to everyone in America.  Every single last American needs to know about these conflicts of interest.

    A nice one page printout that would act as a flyer would be wonderful to hand out.. leave laying on the break room table at work, etc.

    It's amazed me that this information has taken so long to become even a mildly serious enough topic to talk about on DKos.  I mean, we can talk about who's running for senate in some obscure district, and how they're showing 30% to 55% against their opponent, or we can talk about shit that matters.

    We live in Orwellian times people.  The truth is irrelevant.  In fact, it might not just be Orwellian, it may be fascist, as in pseudo/quasi fascist, like talked about on Orcinus' site.

    The corps rule the country.  Fuck the people.

    I don't have it handy but look inside 1984 and find the book within the book that is in there.  It rings frighteningly true.

  •   slow death of the free press- (none)
    Well,Well,Well, here I sit in Iraq and the only thing that lets me as a soldier really know what's going on is to be able to read the real free press on the Internet.
    I know first hand how things are distorted by just being over here in Iraq-Disney.  
    Please, try to keep what's left of our free press alive until I come back and can buy one last memorial copy of a newspaper before the Patriot Act and big brother tyrants finally kill it and all the other papers off turning them into glorified propaganda b.s.
    P.F.C. Leonard Clark
    Iraq-Disney Theater
    Note: My views do not represent
    the U.S. Government or the DOD :)
  •  scary (none)
    One really can't trust the news media anymore. Its shameful and sad.

    90% of the time, it's not even news by the time they report it.
    They just watch the blogs to see what the weekly uproar is about and eventually report on it a few days later to plz the masses.

    These 'reporters/journalists' on cable news never do any real reporting and its sad. Then katrina comes and this author nails it. A few days of honest real reporting of the tragedy, and the governments failure and bam! Back to the same old shit from Shep and Coop. FEMA is finally doing something after so many people died waiting for help, but who cares? FEMA is on top of this now and the prez is leading. UGH.

    I'm glad bush's numbers are still down, i think the American public might in fact be waking up. But i'm not optimistic.

    Has any major news outlet reported on all those people who came to NOLA to help people in the days after the disaster just to be turned away? That would be nice no matter who dropped the ball, those stories need to be told on a national network. Rant over...

  •  When you talk that way about Natalee... (none)
    ...you seem to be forgetting that this is someone's little girl. As a new parent, I can tell you that the pain of what her parents are going through is unimaginable. It's painful to even think about. The media may not deserve our respect for its coverage of the tragedy, which was your point, but the way you expressed yourself just didn't sit too well with me.

    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.

    by expatjourno on Mon Sep 19, 2005 at 12:38:07 AM PDT

    •  You miss the point. (none)
      White, attractive, missing girl gets 24/7 coverage? Many children go missing everyday. It's sad. Very sad. But why is this one girl the top news story everyday?

      "Someone's little girl" gets kidnapped or killed every day! It's awful and shitty, but it's a fact.

      The MSM is very biased on what they cover. Ratings 1st, humanity 2nd.

      •  It's not her fault (none)
        It's the media's fault, the American public's fault.  But Natalee Holloway did nothing wrong.

        The people of New Orleans got left behind

        by diplomatic on Mon Sep 19, 2005 at 02:20:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  No, you've missed my point (none)
        Which is that that one can criticize the media without disrespecting the victims and their families.

        The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.

        by expatjourno on Mon Sep 19, 2005 at 05:28:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Point taken, but... (none)
      ..one of the reasons the media are all over the Natalee story is that her parents are consciously working the media to make sure it stays in the news.  With the best of intentions, I have no doubt, but when it crowds out news that actually matters to people, I have to cry foul.  And when there's no Natalee news to report, and they're breatlessly covering it anyway, I have to cry foul again.  They're not doing their job.
  •  A national crisis of dishonesty (none)
    There are lies, omissions, falsehoods and rumors reported every day that are damaging to us as a culture and a democracy. I think much of this is unintentional and is the result of personal bias or sloppy reporting. But clearly there are some who can't help but inject their opinion into every fact as if their philosophies were inerrant.

    The long term effect of this sloppiness is distrust in the news. Thinking over the last few years, there are a number of news-related scandals which come to mind. Additionally, there is the tendency to report what viewers want to hear, in simplistic atomic morality-infused units as opposed to a more accurate and nuanced dialog. These reduce the reputation of television news as a whole and in turn, increases the reputation of alternate news sources. The Internet, for example. Before you start clapping, remember that this is not all good. The validity of any given webpage is rarely considered and the existence any number of bogus forwards leads me to believe that the gullibility of Americans continues to influence our collective knowledge. Consider that if you were to think of any given argument, you can "prove" it by finding references online.

    For example, that Elvis killed Kennedy (actually a parody, but hey)

    Or that Saddam owned a UFO

    Or that tomatoes are evil

    I'm sure you can think of more serious examples, but I think the point remains. The problem is a distinct lack of skepticism present in American culture. I think that Americans are unique somewhat in their naivité and to some extent, that is our strength. After all, we have to be at least a little bit foolish to be as optimistic as we are. Still, the effect of all this credulousness is an undue faith in institutions which are held in high esteem and therefore a less critical light. We also, importantly, trust too much in the information given to us by friends and family. I'll refer back to those email forwards again. It seems impossible that someone would believe that KFC would produce beakless, feetless chicken or that Bill Gates will pay you to forward mail, or that Scientists drilling in Siberia dug a hole all the way to Hell. But people believe them, largely because they trust any information given by their friends and family, who are, after all, just looking out for them.

    When I was in college, my friends and I used to break into any incredible account of events or facts with "the bullshit light," which was merely the alternating opening and closing of one's fist to simulate an illuminating blinking light. "The bullshit light is blinking!" we would scream. This was remarkably effective in reducing embellishment and error from arguments.

    I think the national bullshit light needs a new light bulb.

    I'm not sure how to do this. One thing I try to do from time to time, is to take a convincing article presenting a point I disagree with and try to poke holes in it. If it works, I feel vindicated. If it fails, I generally accept the premise of the article (or seek out other sources for debunking.) A good way to practice is to start out refuting the "Moon Landing Is A Hoax" conspiracy theories using no references. Then move on to more difficult material. Read an article, poke holes in it. That means more than a superficial "I don't believe this author because he's nuts" argument. Figure it out and develop persuasive counterarguments. If you can't debunk it, accept it -- tentatively. Take something you believe dearly and read arguments against it. It's painful, but necessary.

    I'm not saying I'm good at this, but that I can use the practice. I believe that it would benefit other Americans as well. God and humans alike bow before the immutable laws of logic and time. The tolerance for inaccuracy and deceit decrease when people are accustomed to a judicious amount of skepticism when digesting information.

    Spread these habits. Nearly all people claim to be rational at some level, but most need to be taught how to be critical of incoming information. As I said before, I'm actually not very good at it, but I'm making a conscious effort to improve.

    This site is a great reference on logical fallacies. I recommend that everyone read through them and turn on your personal bullshit light when watching the news.

    •  We are brought up to be credulous (none)
      Remember high school civics? I bet, regardless of what school you went to, by the time they got over covering the basics of how the system is supposed to work, term's over. Sorry kids, nothing about how things really work. Hope those illusions aren't shattered when you are out on your own. But don't worry, we've got networks that will help.

      Oh, thanks for the BS light.

      "Give me a caring idiot. Give me a sensitive idiot. Just don't give me the same idiot."

      by TomB on Mon Sep 19, 2005 at 09:22:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I never got to take civics (none)
        I don't remember it being offered by my high school, although my high school was pretty decent in almost every other way. Hmm.

        Your point is well-taken, though. I remember an American history class where we spent weeks on the explorers in the 1500's - 1600's, and then, later, one day for each decade of the 1900's. But that was more of a function of poor planning on the part of a new teacher than anything.

        Honestly, I'd propose that a logic class be mandatory curriculum for elementary school students. If they can handle fractions, they can understand hasty generalization or false dichotomies. Granted, there's so much else that needs to be taught, but I think that reasoning skills should be taught to people early on.

  •  Mass media is (none)
    the mother of mass destruction. America gets its news from Geraldo Rivera, its breakfast from McDonalds and its politics from Carl Rove.  I dont care to watch the propaganda machine rolling along. I stay away from CNN. I dont want to get brainwashed into thinkng all is well with the world Mr. Bush has created.

    "We cannot change the direction of the wind, but we can adjust our sails to it."

  •  What has happened (none)
    In america was easily predicted.  Essentially greed has driven the consolidation of power and the complete abandonement of the people.

    The driving force has been capitalism.  And as it gained power and influence it sought and achieved its goals of removing and contraints and regulation to pursue more wealth for ... the wealthy.

    It is a game where winners win more and losers lose more.

    There is no equity and justice in free market capitalism... it is inimical to its very nature... more and more profits and exploitation of labor and materials.

    What is wealth but excess and unneeded resources concentrated in one place?  America is about wealth creation.  Corporations are about this.

    We went off in the wrong direction... and the world is paying for it... and billions and billions of people have and will suffer for these decisions...

    It is looking like it is too late to stop the momentum from driving us over the precipice.  Even high gas prices can't stop it now!

  •  Okay...well... (none)
    Enough has been done to foster distrust in the media as it is.  Granted it is FOX news doing the fostering, but so many people distrust journalists right now that I don't believe these blanket attacks are constructive.  Sure, they are enlightening...but what next?  Government controlled media?  Deconsolidation?
    •  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.

  •  All we want is the truth (none)
    we have been lied to on a daily basis by our "leader" and I think its the media's responsibility to tell the people what is really happening. Alot of the folks in the "RED" states dont get cable news. All they get is network fluff and sensationalism. Every station has the scary music and the well thought out headline graphics to scare us into never leaving our homes. They are fear mongers. We dont stand a chance if the "idiot box" continues to run the country into the ground.

    Who can tell me which is the least bias news agency out there.

  •  Was there this much fuss (none)
    When Jesse Jackson hosted "Common Ground"?
  •  Story that gave me hope (none)
    I read in the Chicago Tribune (sorry, no link as it was several days ago) about NPR's membership continuing to increase with each major news story.  It turns out that people are turning to NPR for their truly fair and balanced news coverage during major events, and then staying around because they like the format.

    You would think someone in the MSM would figure out that people would like more actual reporting instead of another shrill conservative lapdog spewing Rove's talking points...

    The American people love the Home Shopping Network because it's commercial-free. -- Will Durst

    by John H on Mon Sep 19, 2005 at 06:35:14 AM PDT

  •  I wrote about this on Saturday! check the links (none)
  •  CNN (none)
    We have to just shut it off. I have already written Shaw Cable here in Canada and asked them to drop this propaganda service.

    I'll try to make this point in a politically correct manner: Daryn Kagan has a lisp to end all lisps - it's a dead solid beauty. Unfortunately, the "sss" sound is quite frequent in news reports - or anything else in the English language - so how in the name of all that is sacred did she ever land a job reading the news? Was one of the criteria having a loathing of the left? Did it help that she was Rush Limbaugh's squeeze?

    All through the 2004 election coverage we had conservative shills like Judy Woodruff and Wolf Blitzer masquerading as neutral newscasters and the like of Donna Brazile speaking for the progressive half of America. I am reminded of the late Martin Luther King Jr. who wrote that he much preferred the overt rascism of the South to the hidden racism of the Northern cities. In the same way, I'd much rather watch Fox - a network which has no pretense of being fair or balanced - than to watch CNN and be sold snake oil.

    Canada - where a pack of smokes is ten bucks and a heart transplant is free.

    by dpc on Mon Sep 19, 2005 at 06:49:18 AM PDT

  •  Profits? (none)
    Funny you never hear them being talked about much or published in publically visible ways

    What are the profit/loss statements for the US cable news channel divisions?
    Fox?
    MSBC?
    CNN?

    My suspicion is they are loss leaders for the corporations that own them, and their primary  value to their bosses is not their profitability, but rather their ability to mold/manipulate public percerptions of reality.
     

  •  Current TV (none)
    You know, it's amazing. Two weeks after Katrina, and a Time poll showed that 73% of people blamed the local and state gov'ts vs. 61% who blamed Bush.

    That just shows you the spectacular job the Right Wing Noise Machine has done in deflecting some of the blame away from them -- from a catastrophe that was clearly the fault of both a conservative administration and the conservative policies of the past quarter century.

    And this isn't a unique event. Time after time, the RWNM has been able to spin every event either to their advantage, or has minimized the disadvantage.

    Reality still takes a toll, of course, but when so much of that reality is filtered through the likes of Rush Limbaugh or Fox News (or Wolf Blitzer), it never has its full effect.

    Which is why I'm still sitting here, wondering like I often do, why the Left has done so little in trying to develop it's own noise machine, particularly in the most ubiquitous of mediums, television.

    Al Gore has received praise here of late, but I have to wonder why the hell he's wasting his time with something like Current TV, (which would be an interesting experiment in a different situation) instead of trying to develop a full-fledged 24 hour cable news network that works in our favor. The conservatives have 3 cable news networks -- that's 100% of 'em. Why isn't Al Gore -- or anyone on the Left -- taking the appropriate steps to counter this?

    As long as we make stupid strategic decisions we will continue to shrink into the minority, and liberal values will continue to be denigrated in the public discourse.

    In the end, the Left will only have itself to blame for its death.

  •  You want creepy? (none)
    Creepy is walking up to the CNN building at 820 First Street in DC, seeing the big CNN logo on the left side, and a reinforced vinyl "Department of Education" sign hanging on the right.  This was about a month and a half ago, don't know if it's still there.

    I think the specific office there has something to do with education for the disabled, I didn't get a chance to look.

    And, for the record, Wolf Blitzer is taller than he looks on camera, but he definitely has no chin.

    I know, Bad Badger. -_-

    Searching for Truth, Justice, and the Guy Who Boosted My Wallet a Few Weeks Back...

    by Stealthbadger on Mon Sep 19, 2005 at 08:51:48 AM PDT

  •  Reality (none)
    Centrists and liberals operate as a democracy.  Each person is granted, by fact of his/her individual mind, the opportunity to think and speak his/her piece.  Little is done by the Democrat Party or the vast number of Independents to structure and focus these minds into a single, coherent plan of attack with a saleable message.  I doubt that can ever change.  Democrats (and Independents) believe in a democracy of free thinkers, not a narrow, single-minded, ideologically driven product sales pitch.  To date, the liberal and progressive thinkers have not allowed themselves to be corralled under a single-minded, market-driven czar.

    The Republicans, on the other hand, see the populace as a "market" to be sold a "Product, a bill-of-goods".  In that context, they do what any business would do, they line up management and staff, produce an attractive set of product specs, co-opt the marketing department, the sales force, and all available outside support resources and drive home the structured message that will sell the product.  It doesn't matter if they have a good or bad product...they just hammer away until the people buy.  As they go along, they add little features to the product, change the advertising with catchy jingos or whatever is needed to entertain the people and get them to buy-into the cause.  This "marketing approach" has always worked...sometimes better than others.

    Television, radio, newspapers and magazines are just a symptom of the problem.  These devices are just the "advertising" portion of a superb marketing plan.  With the likes of George W. Bush so easily sold to the American people, you have to admit Karl Rove is a master marketer.

    If the Democrat and Independent populace continue to independently "think" their way through this morass, I forecast a long reign of "W" types.  The Republicans worry little about "platforms", they are only into winning.  

  •  Delay's Chief of Staff??? (none)
    CNN hired Tom Delay's Chief of Staff to lobby on their behalf?  Yikes.  You would think they'd want to avoid someone who wasn't so tied to ethical concerns.  Way to go CNN, once again showing your propensity for simply downright dumb personnel decisions.
  •  I agree with both of u (none)
    Good points.

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