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Last week the Politico ran an article about the Franken (anti-rape) Amendment developing into a problem for the Republicans.

Let’s look at some of the excerpts:

Unflattering videos of senators trying to explain their votes have gone viral on the Internet, including one of Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) swatting away a hand-held video camera held by a liberal blogger...

"I think the whole purpose of that amendment in my opinion was to create a vote which they could use to attack Republicans," said Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), who was himself confronted by a liberal blogger with a video camera questioning his vote...

Here's Digby:

By the way, Politico mentions several times that a "liberal blogger" got Republicans on tape behaving like jackasses on this issue, but can't be bothered to name him or link to his site. Very nice.

Anyone wonder why the videos/blogger wasn't linked?  Let's discuss on the flip:

I started because we lack the liberal media everyone outside the blogosphere assumes exists.  For years and years, I read my favorite bloggers and found example after example of outrageous political conduct that wasn't covered.  Jeff Gannon, votes against troop armor, environmental decision-making, court appointments, George Allen's racism...  all of these things went unremarked upon by a sycophantic, lapdog press that has established an inseparable symbiotic relationship with those they cover.  Everyone concerned - elite reporters and the politicians they cover - benefit from the arrangement, so it only rarely breaks.  Of course, when it does, you can bet it'll be a Howard Dean or Van Jones that pays the price...  

And that's why the Politico didn't link me.  You don't link the folks that don't eat cocktail weenies with you.  You don't link to the folks that expose your own institutional failings.  The entire media (save the blogosphere, Rachel Maddow and MSNBC) missed the significance of the Franken Amendment.  To them, protecting the powerful defense contractors that advertise in their pages was a no-brainer.  You don't bring up the fact that they want to escape public accountability when their employees are forced back into a workplace with their rapists!  C'mon!  After all, the business of America is business and we need those Halliburton/Lockheed Martin/Grumman/General Dynamics/McDonnell Douglas advertising dollars...  Accountability is for losers!

Well, I've grown tired of that, so I decided to perform some random acts of journalism all by myself.  StarkReports was born.  With no funding, no institutional support, no media credentials...  with nothing more than shoe -leather and a $200 flip cam, I've done my best to fill a void...  to be the media that I (and hopefully y'all) crave.

Oddly enough, I've been noticed.  I'm approaching 500K YouTube views and I've broken into the mainstream media cabal with stories on Birther Representatives, David Vitter refusing to condemn a racist Louisiana judge, the Franken Amendment, Democraticand Republicanobstacles to health care reform and the Acorn set-up.

And I'm just getting started; I've only been doing this a few months.

And you aren't the only folks noticing this work.  Blue America (Howie Klein, Digby, John Amato) and Credo Action/Working Assets have also been keeping an eye on my efforts.  They realize that this work cannot continue without support (I have a family to feed, student loans and rent to pay, etc. etc.), and they know a movement cannot succeed without mutual support.  With that in mind, they've teamed up to raise some money for me.

Credo Action/Working Assets has a petition set up.  For every signature on the petition, they'll be delivering a coat-hanger to Representatives that voted for the ridiculously regressive ant-choice Stupak Amendment.  In addition, for every signature, up to 5,000, they'll donate $1 to StarkReports BlueAmerica to fund a blogger's fellowship.  And BlueAmerica has chosen me as the blogger whose work they wish to fund.  Right now they are at about 1800 signatures.

If you appreciate hard-hitting and tenacious reporting...  If you like seeing powerful people asked tough questions...  If you want a media that works for you...  I can use your help.  Please sign the petition (it costs you nothing but your time).  Watch my videos.  Visit (and bookmark)  If you've got some extra cash, drop it in the donation box on the right-side nav bar...

In the meantime, I'll be asking more tough questions this week.  I've got some doozies stored away; this is sure to be a productive week.  

Here are some vids from last week:

Originally posted to Mike Stark on Mon Nov 16, 2009 at 12:07 PM PST.

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