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Hey folks, I wanted to share my latest column with everyone here at DailyKos. If you like what you see, feel free to recommend this diary and share it with your friends.


It’s probably a good thing that cable news generally doesn’t draw much of an audience from the 18- to 24-year-old demographic. Otherwise, history professors across the nation could very well be witnessing the undoing of their work to educate students about the dire economic climate the United States faced for much of the 1930s.

Those who have been watching cable news lately have undoubtedly noticed the litany of conservative media figures attempting to rewrite history by denigrating the tremendous successes of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal policies in what amounts to an orchestrated effort to derail the economic recovery plans of President Obama.

Fox News Washington managing editor Brit Hume recently called Roosevelt’s policies "a jihad against private enterprise," just after claiming that "everybody agrees, I think, on both sides of the spectrum now, that the New Deal failed." That may be accurate if by "both sides of the spectrum" Hume is referring to the right and far-right over at Fox News.

Hume’s own jihad against the facts, however, represents only a small portion of the historical misrepresentations passed off as reasoned debate about the New Deal.

Witness the day-break machinations of the crew over at MSNBC’s Morning Joe. During a recent broadcast, Joe Scarborough and co-host Mika Brzezinski kicked off a string of attacks against the president’s recovery plan, using the New Deal as their dubious weapon du jour. Mika said of Obama’s plan, "I think we're going to have the same unemployment in three or four years, just like the New Deal." That just isn’t true -- unemployment fell every year from 1933 through 1937.


Karl Frisch is a Senior Fellow at Media Matters for America, a progressive media watchdog, research, and information center based in Washington, DC. Frisch also contributes to County Fair, a media blog featuring links to progressive media criticism from around the web as well as original commentary.  You can follow him on Twitter and Facebook or sign-up to receive his columns by email.

Originally posted to Karl Frisch on Mon Feb 09, 2009 at 07:58 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  You are so right. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    But, I'm in a household with one internet junkie (me), someone who is half and half (my wife), and two boob tubers (the 'rents).  I can't even explain to the elders, no matter how many times I have tried, about framing and memes, the bias of media (particularly the TV 'news'), and even buying them books is futile.  They just want to sit and be comfortable.  They are completely convinced of the pointlessness of political activity.

    Observing my father is an interesting thing.  When I first mentioned blogs/bloggers, he dismissed them as non-factual.  He doesn't get the idea that a hyperlink is a foot/endnote.   When I print out something from the internet, he looks for the source (I agree), but is twice as likely to dismiss an article from the LA Times online as from the LA Times in newspaper form.  It's weird: essentially he believes news should be vetted (I agree), but doesn't realize the news is also filtered...

    "You need a sponsor, someone with recognized authority, for change."  That's organizational, hierarchical thinking, probably stemming from his background in a large bureaucracy.  Citizen-journalism?  Forget it.

    As another poster noted, "It's a generational thing."  That's a generalization and suffers from the usual shortcomings.  Nonetheless there's a nugget of truth.  We have a "Tyranny of Dead Ideas" because we have a Tyranny of Walking Dead.

    It's also a geographical thing.  Rural areas are always more conservative, partly I believe, because the cable channels control the message.  I once checked into a Red Lion (ugh!) in Eastern Washington.  They didn't carry PBS or even MSNBC, but they had two channels of Fox...  The sooner the internet penetrates the hinterlands, the better off we all are.

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