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I stopped watching MSNBC's Liberal-leaning evening shows (Sharpton, Ed, Rachel, Lawrence, etc.) a couple of months ago.  I also cut down my listening of so-called progressive radio shows by what I estimate to be 90% or so.  Sometimes I listen to Norman Goldman, or Mike Malloy, but rarely so.

You see, what happened is that at one point I realized that these stations being owned by what I consider to be neo-Fascist corporate media conglomerates, of course they were being used as propaganda, and what they were doing was even more insidious that the outright, in-your-face propaganda you get from FoxNoise.

Yes, once in a while Rachel exposes important stuff with reports on ALEC, or that bat-shit crazy "Church" house used by congressmen in Washington, D.C., or the Koch brothers.  But the overall format of their programming is extremely formulaic, and I would argue, damaging to the intellectual growth of the progressive movement (such as it is).

When I was torturing my mind, back then, and I watched the main shows (Ed, Rachel, Lawrence) back-to-back, all three were basically talking about the same things.  An almost cult-like obsession with everything Republican, with their politicians, with their extremism, with their stupidity.  They made fun of them (and the right wing miscreants in general); they analysed them; they quoted them.

I noticed the same with most of the so-called progressive radio programming.  And then I went, "a-hah; I get it now!"  This is all about tribalism, about teams, about us vs. them, but focusing on sensationalism, on prurient stuff.  What is the end result of it all?  The weakened, trembling, and demoralized remnants of progressives are manipulated into focusing on utter bullshit reporting of mostly sensational, scandalous, or unimportant stuff about the right wing nut-jobs.

It feels good; it makes you feel intellectually superior to the neanderthal-like right-wingers.  And even though the programming is different than the utterly fascistic propaganda crap that emanates from FoxNoise, since, after all, progressives are indeed smarter than the average conservative, the effect is very similar: The corporatist-led manipulation of the progressive audience.

I do think progressives are smart, so I'll save some space by skipping the narrative about how that valuable air time could be used, if we have a true free media.

Suffice it to say, at least for this media consumer, since I basically stopped watching that type of TV (in favor of more brainy stuff, like Bill Moyers and similar programs), and started reading more, from different sources, I actually think I'm much better informed.  In addition,  I did notice the difference in not being exposed to emotionally-charged manipulative programming.  It's like not being exposed to "mental pollution."

Yes, I get it... You have to worry about ratings; you have to keep things interesting and appealing, and given the degradation of the intellect of the viewing public, sensationalism may have to be part of the equation.  But even with those "market demands" these media outlets could do much better in truly informing the audience.

And for any person out there associated with these TV programs, who may take umbrage at my assertions here, feel free to contact me and I'll be glad to give you plenty of feedback and suggestions...

The other day, after about three months without watching one single minute of those programs, I decided to take a peek and see if anything had changed... It took me about five minutes before I turned off the TV!

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  •  Tip Jar (268+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    worldlotus, Byrnt, white blitz, glitterscale, palantir, CS11, AnnieR, slatsg, philipmerrill, Ms Citizen, SpecialKinFlag, Red Bean, PhilK, ciganka, Knarfc, Jim P, Greyhound, Mighty Ike, shenderson, SueM1121, rimstalker, SanFernandoValleyMom, wonmug, Chi, Free Jazz at High Noon, BeerNotWar, la urracca, Amber6541, basquebob, Chaddiwicker, winkk, blueoasis, zongo, jan4insight, NearlyNormal, bluesheep, AaronInSanDiego, lastlegslaststand, HappyinNM, aliasalias, ratmach, Funkygal, AbominableAllStars, pot, albrt, northsylvania, fishwars, truong son traveler, too many people, crystalboy, marina, sideboth, Shelley99, KenInCO, cuphalffull, gulfgal98, pfiore8, Crashing Vor, WisVoter, xynz, scooter in brooklyn, damfino, petulans, carpunder, jcrit, Heiuan, moira977, BMarshall, merrily1000, David54, Bach50b3, penguins4peace, Steve15, Book of Hearts, Raggedy Ann, shalca, Eddie C, gwilson, JillS, Sagebrush Bob, Cat Whisperer, WI Deadhead, The Raven, handful of sky, dwayne, NoMoreLies, xaxnar, CJB, Mike RinRI, joanneleon, mofembot, Boston to Salem, One Pissed Off Liberal, John Kelly, Geenius at Wrok, FreeTradeIsYourEpitaph, politik, frisco, drainflake77, doroma, Don Enrique, mslat27, pgm 01, averybird, VetGrl, JosephK74, NYFM, DSC on the Plateau, kazoo of the north, LynChi, Erik the Red, angstall, zesty grapher, Homer177, eve, SeaTurtle, RF, ProfessorWho, jim283, Azazello, Urizen, native, mujr, Nancy on Lake Michigan, dotsright, ybruti, justintime, Deward Hastings, ban nock, not4morewars, NYCee, Simplify, Its a New Day, Phoebe Loosinhouse, Neon Vincent, CharlieHipHop, hepshiba, clarknyc, Kurt Sperry, fromcascadia, cassandra m, zerelda, jalenth, Quicklund, flowerfarmer, opinionated, miracle11, bnasley, tommyfocus2003, ban48, importer, SpamNunn, Medium Head Boy, JamieG from Md, Zorge, wonkydonkey, lunachickie, claude, houyhnhnm, mikeconwell, ashowboat, Anthony Page aka SecondComing, triv33, rosarugosa, Lily O Lady, verdeo, mooshter, trinityfly, SoulCatcher, melfunction, nklein, gatorcog, bkamr, grsplane, Fe, LakeSuperior, cotterperson, gooderservice, wabird, bibble, 3goldens, doingbusinessas, Oldowan, myeye, histOries Marko, tegrat, Claudius Bombarnac, Scott Wooledge, whaddaya, Neosho, Happy Days, Noodles, hester, devis1, ChadmanFL, Trotskyrepublican, billpuppies, Russgirl, steep rain, drdana, agincour, slksfca, Lujane, 3rdOption, orestes1963, Nada Lemming, temptxan, Ticonderoga, aaraujo, Involuntary Exile, Gowrie Gal, notdarkyet, annieli, leonard145b, Native Light, DBunn, Calvino Partigiani, DaveVH, susan in sc, chuckvw, moviemeister76, SME in Seattle, progressiveinga, RageKage, aigeanta, Sapere aude, FultonDem, Catte Nappe, ardyess, maybeeso in michigan, radical simplicity, Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle, James Hepburn, Willa Rogers, congenitalefty, Cassiodorus, Jujuree, ceebee7, CT Hank, Disgusted in St Louis, imfunnytoo, BradyB, Busted Flat in Baton Rouge, Bongobanger, qofdisks, Sanctimonious, Lucy2009, FinchJ, arendt, Klaus, zmom, A Person, Revy, vigilant meerkat, Only Needs a Beat, democracy inaction, Mentatmark, mrsgoo, RebeccaG, DawnN, priceman, lostinamerica, coppercelt, zozie, chipmo, dikyzr, splintersawry, JonBarleycorn
  •  You are much, much too cheerful... (29+ / 0-)
    The weakened, trembling, and demoralized remnants of progressives are manipulated into focusing on utter bullshit reporting of mostly sensational, scandalous, or unimportant stuff about the right wing nut-jobs.
    Such a rosy outlook...
  •  I haven't had cable television since my carrier (25+ / 0-)

    changed hands a while back and the new one corp tried to stick me up for a deposit although I had never been late with a payment in the more than 15 years I'd been with the previous owners.

    I don't miss cable a bit or all the talking heads in the slightest. I bought a Roku and have more and better news than I ever had on cable.

  •  Every show has to appeal to their audience. They (6+ / 0-)

    basically tell the viewers or listeners what they want to hear or piss the other side off so much they can't tear themselves away.  I'm always amazed how many on here "monitor" the right wing wacko shows. Do you really have to listen or watch to know what their message is?  

    Rick Perry is George Bush without brains.

    by thestructureguy on Sat Apr 07, 2012 at 08:44:25 PM PDT

  •  thanks for this diary (47+ / 0-)

    My experience has been the same.

    If only there was MORE information on liberal TV. Something that could really compete with my Internet diet.

    And criticizing GOP should definitely come in 2nd to what we can/could accomplish as a society by pursuing progressive policies AS WELL AS the mysterious way these achievable goals (e.g., progressive caucus budget) don't get the attention our future deserves.

  •  I think I'm with kalmoth on this. (19+ / 0-)

    This diary is the political enthusiast's version of hipsterism; rejection of the perceived "mainstream" simply because it's "mainstream."

    We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another. -- Jonathan Swift

    by raptavio on Sat Apr 07, 2012 at 09:11:42 PM PDT

  •  When I come home from work... (26+ / 0-)

    … I am not interested in watching a graduate political philosophy seminar.  I want to watch someone whose take on the days events roughly corresponds to mine.  I want to laugh once in a while.  TRMS pretty much fills the bill for me.

    If that makes me a buffoon of the media corpocracy.... so be it.

  •  I don't really watch or listen to any of this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AaronInSanDiego, penguins4peace

    either. I just don't like talk radio of any kind and while Rachel is good it does feel a bit heavy on tribalism. But I don't see what would be the alternative unless you propose smth like promoting guerilla movements.

  •  You're Seriously Confusing Tone with Content. (15+ / 0-)

    You clearly never heard Ed Schultz rant about the need for impeachment of W Bush, then after the election investigation and prosecution of that admin, never heard him push for re-opening media ownership from concentration, and most especially for the need for single payer health care.

    Or much of the other stuff.

    This is a real disappointment, I didn't expect you to be one confusing extreme distance from the political center for tribalism. The acidity of the seas is extreme and therefore disqualified from the adult conversation --but it's not tribalism.

    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 Sat Apr 07, 2012 at 09:23:26 PM PDT

    •  I've heard him... My focus is on the overall (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Chi, blueoasis, jds1978, lunachickie

      effect.  Once in a while they deviate from the formulaic stuff.

    •  Disagree. (16+ / 0-)
      You clearly never heard Ed Schultz rant about the need for impeachment of W Bush, then after the election investigation and prosecution of that admin
      But that was the Bush Administration.  Back when the base of the Democratic Party was fairly united against warrantless wiretapping and the Patriot Act.

      But now it's a Democratic president that has not only extended the Patriot Act, but has signed a far more odious piece of legislation, the NDAA.

      What would have been met with more impeachment demands under Bush have changed to muted criticism or even support for these policies now that it's coming from a Democrat.

      'The Fathers' tribe in No Escape may have been a much better tribe than the one controlled by the antagonist played by Stuart Wilson.

      But it was still a tribe.

      •  You Know What You are Watching (10+ / 0-)

        is vacuous tribal bullshit when you see essentially the same policies that were met with righteous indignation and outrage given a pass or simply ignored when advanced from the "correct" side of the partisan tribal divide.

        Too often all the putative left has to sell is fear of "the other", to create a state of visceral emotional disgust that is clearly designed to distract and deflect any critical analysis of policy by "our side".  

        Look at the front pages here and at other "progressive" sites, too often what you see is hardly related to policy or a coherent and consistent ideological viewpoint but instead this kind of salacious and ideologically bankrupt finger pointing.  Even when done cleverly it remains at best extremely low order political discourse, and often is obviously intended only to appeal to tribal self-identification to fill the void of substantive discourse with emotive noise so the lack of discussion of actual policy passes unnoticed.

        Progressives, you know you are being conned and grifted when the exact same policies that were used before to rightfully demonify the "other"- endless war, tax cuts for the wealthy, protection of the perpetrators of war crimes and torture and the largest financial fraud in the world's history, the breakneck erosion of civil liberties and imposition of a secret Extra-constitutional security state, the unprecedented persecution of ethical whistleblowers etc. etc. etc.- are suddenly forgotten as the tribal head changes and are replaced with smug and self-congratulatory partisan finger pointing.

        No wonder they want you thinking about Romney, Santorum and the rest of the GOP clown car.  Every minute you spend thinking about them is a minute they can operate in the darkness created as your distracted gaze is directed elsewhere.

        You'd think at some point we'd wise up and see the game for what it obviously is, but the tired old partisan mindfuck still seems to fool enough people enough of the time.      

        Advisors for President-Elect Barack Obama feared the new administration would face a coup if it prosecuted Bush-era war crimes, according to a new report out this morning.

        by Kurt Sperry on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 08:52:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Very well said. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Nada Lemming, blueoasis

          I've been finding myself more and more dissatisfied with liberal Talk Radio, and I've stopped watching most of the cable shows as well and for reasons that are quite similar to what you posted.  I just feel as if both the talk radio and cable shows are a waste of time.  I live-stream Thom Hartmann's radio show because he's about the only liberal radio host I appreciate listening to lately and because I feel that he is not just regurgitating the same tired stuff day after day.  

          We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both. Louis D. Brandeis

          by 3goldens on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 10:00:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

          This:

          intended only to appeal to tribal self-identification to fill the void of substantive discourse with emotive noise so the lack of discussion of actual policy passes unnoticed.
          Almost as if we want to believe that "the others" are pure evil, so that whatever "we" do, as long as it's not pure evil, can't be that bad...
  •  I guess if the medium is the message, TV, (10+ / 0-)

    broadcast or otherwise, is filth. A message of filth that makes people feel good, good enough to spend their time watching, in a filthy sort of way.

    One may think one is deciding which channel to watch, that one is in control, but it is the programming, as you imply, rather, which is pushing the viewers' buttons, and not the other way around.

    H'mm. I'm not terribly into this, anymore.

    by Knarfc on Sat Apr 07, 2012 at 09:25:08 PM PDT

    •  That is precisely one of my main points. Thanks. (4+ / 0-)
      •  Well, to be fair, filth in the form (0+ / 0-)

        of "entertainment" and other forms of prejudicial material for the lazy, the credulous, the irresponsible, the devout, the complacent, and the smug.

        H'mm. I'm not terribly into this, anymore.

        by Knarfc on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 02:59:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  My grandparents loathed television (7+ / 0-)

      calling it the 'boob tube'  - clearly, they had more in common with this generation:

      “I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.”

      ― Groucho Marx

      "What have you done for me, lately?" ~ Lady Liberty

      by ozsea1 on Sat Apr 07, 2012 at 10:41:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's it, exactly, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lunachickie, Knarfc

      TV = hypnosis. The instant we let our eyes look at a TV screen, we are in a mild hypnotic trance. It takes an act of will to break out of it. The trance is pleasant and relaxing, it is a suspension of disbelief, in which the subconscious mind is highly vulnerable to suggestion.

      TV is jam-packed with subliminal cues that influence the subconscious part of our perceptual apparatus. We think of it as "entertainment" but what we really like about it, is the high we get from the trance itself. And it is addictive.

      All in all, not a healthy way to regularly pass the time.

      "Here's another nice mess you've gotten me into." - Oliver Hardy

      by native on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 08:08:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well to be fair I should have indicated (0+ / 0-)

        the same criticism may apply to any other sort of visual or graphics intensive media, or sources of information or visual stimulation: video games, websites, photography intensive newspapers, etc.

        H'mm. I'm not terribly into this, anymore.

        by Knarfc on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 01:03:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  That's nice. (13+ / 0-)

    I'm going to continue listening to progressive radio. My only alternatives are conservative radio or sports radio, both of which would cause me to commit suicide. And I like prog radio.

    And when Keith Olbermann returns to TV, I will watch him wherever he lands.

  •  Thanks for the insight, Ray, and for instructing (9+ / 0-)

    us progressives about the failings we may face by listening to the utterances of these shills of the neo-fascist corporate media conglomerates.  I hope you will forgive me, though (no; really, I'm kidding. I don't really care), if I continue to watch MSNBC and be led astray by the tit-for-tat of political commentary...

    I have to confess that I've grown tired of things being "neo-fascist" just because somebody says so and of anybody telling me that I have to think a given way if I want to be one of the cool kids (and let's not fool ourselves; that's what you're doing, Ray).  I apologize for not being as smart as you are and, again, thanks for the insight...

    "In a nation ruled by swine, all pigs are upward mobile..." - Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

    by Jack K on Sat Apr 07, 2012 at 09:27:57 PM PDT

  •  I know what you are saying (6+ / 0-)

    I only occasionally watch Rachel on the internets but did listen to Thom and Randi on the radio every day.  Thom is no longer on the Los Angeles station stream and was replaced by a very uninteresting show.  I found other stations but Ed was on and I'm not a big fan so I no longer listen at all.

    I am calmer and do not have the anger toward Republicans that I use to have.  At this point I don't give a flying frack about them or the constant harping aimed at conservatives on progressive radio....

  •  You touched (11+ / 0-)

    on something big...tribalism.  Most of the world is tribal. Americans are too often unaware of it. When we try to impose boundaries the tribes don't like it.  When we try to create artificial governments the tribes don't like it.  Tribes and animal DNA in republicans are the biggest problems in the world.  Predator animals will kill babies of another father.  A comparison can be made to how republicans treat public education and how animals will kill anothers offspring.  Turning your back on them stimulates attack responses.  Republicans believe funding education creates too much competition for their degenerative offspring.  The southern states are tribal, Asia, Africa, South America and much of eastern Europe is tribal, their hate for each other is generational.  That's why the United States of America was supposed to be such an experiment, no tribes.  But just ask Dallas Cowboy fans about tribes and who they hate or ask any Republican.  It's all tribal and degenerative DNA.

    •  I pretty much agree (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      marina, native

      but would say that the tribalism extends to essentially everyone, including Democrats along with the Republicans, etc.  You may have meant that but just weren't explicit, I don't know.  I'm not sure what "degenerative DNA" means, though.  I hope you don't mean that those who are tribal are degenerative, because I think that basically all of us are tribal in our affiliations and feelings.

      peace,

      •  Yep, Tribalism Knows No Boundaries (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zongo

        You can see it across the ideological spectrum.  Tribalism is the gold standard in amassing political power because once the mark has identified on a tribal basis with your cause, they will largely suspend any critical judgment and unconditionally support whatever is wrapped in the tribal brand.  Once the subject has been captured and self-identifies as a tribal member you no longer need pay the slightest attention to what they might actually think, they are captive.  

        Advisors for President-Elect Barack Obama feared the new administration would face a coup if it prosecuted Bush-era war crimes, according to a new report out this morning.

        by Kurt Sperry on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 09:04:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  This is spot-on (0+ / 0-)

          and unfortunately a major impediment to our ability to advance progressive causes, regardless of political party.

          Thank you for this comment.

        •  I can see why you say it's the gold standard (0+ / 0-)

          and I agree w/what you say. However, I'd add that most progressives do honestly try to apply some critical thinking to their actions and votes.  I don't think that's the case w/republicans who look to their leaders for direction rather than the facts as I expect most progressives search for. My DNA comment was meant to spotlight the correlation between the way top predators instinctually attack the offspring of others and the way republicans treat the most important natural resource a nation has, the intellectual capacity of it's inhabitants by attacking our young.

  •  I Watch Ed, Rachel & Lawrence Monday thru Friday (12+ / 0-)

    & love every single second of it.  I learn a lot which comes in handy when I call Republican's offices the next day.  A number of their staff have called me back from Washington, DC.  Somehow, somewhere I'm getting some pretty potent information.....I suspect it's from MSNBC.

    This whole diary sounds like sour grapes to me.  

    •  I am not sure (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      snapples, greengemini

      if it is sour grapes or not. To me it sounds like the 'both sides do it' argument. Saying that MSNBC is to the left like Fox is to the right. I just disagree with that.

      I see coverage of Occupy on MSNBC, I see coverage of the protests in WI, I see the Free Clinics, etc. I want to support these voices, the same voices that are outnumbered 9-1 on radio.

      Do people forget the days there was no MSNBC and only Air America on the radio? We should be happy for what we have now, no matter how imperfect and stop griping about it.

      The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. - Elbert Hubbard -9.62/-8.15

      by GustavMahler on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 11:53:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I find it difficult to get my news... (8+ / 0-)

    ...through TV or radio.  You have to waste your time sitting through a whole pile of uninteresting stories and subjects to get to the 1 or 2 you might like.

  •  I get ya (6+ / 0-)

    Hartmann & Goldman on the radio, TRMS on the teevee.

    That's all I can stand..........

    "What have you done for me, lately?" ~ Lady Liberty

    by ozsea1 on Sat Apr 07, 2012 at 10:31:30 PM PDT

  •  I kinda/sorta see what you're saying, but (15+ / 0-)

    I'd put it more in terms of information content.  Punditry is, by nature, low on information content and high on interpretation; even at its best, it's a high-calorie, low-nutrient diet.  Punditry is the fried pork rinds of politics.  That goes for the best of em, too, who may only be marginally healthier for you.   Your diary is the vegetarian at the party who can't stomach pork rinds anymore.  But some people really enjoy eating them.

    I don't think the "neo-Fascist (?) corporate" angle is the problem per se, given that opinionating has always been a popular pastime, and people have been paying to read it as long as this country existed, and quite a bit longer across the pond.  

    Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

    by pico on Sat Apr 07, 2012 at 10:34:08 PM PDT

  •  I disagree, BUT, (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action, Chi, Hirodog, 3goldens

    I actually do see your point.  It's not what I wish it could be either.  

    However, Rachel is a Goddess.  Whatever the networks may be, Rachel is still Rachel, and I have more confidence in her than I do in any of our elected officials.  Any.  Repeat.  Any.  

  •  if people don't watch it, it's not educational. (16+ / 0-)

    So you want wonkier straighter denser news.

    Great.

    Too bad only you and 16 others would be watching.

    Look, I don't watch any of it. The only punditry I watch are Stewart and Colbert. But really, I don't see any effective difference between the tribalism inspired by the "neo fascist corporate owned media" and the Internet. Daily kos is hella tribal. So is virtually everywhere online that focuses on politics. So I think your focus on tv and radio is misplaced. Politics is tribal. Always has been always will be. Here and far away and throughout history. So I just don't get your rant. There's literally no such thing as whatever it is you say you want. Humans are tribal. Politics is tribal. Religion is tribal. You're not going to change that. Information will become tribal because human are tribal and politics is tribal. You are never going to be able to communicate pure information about a subject without human and political tribalism having a part. You can't choose a subject to do that with. Not one. Could it be a loT less toxic? Probably. For a while.

    But you're not going to change human nature or the nature of politics. This is not an American nor a modern construct.

    But what do I know? I personally think the best way to affect change socially and culturally is through entertainment.

    •  Here's the thing. I don't necessarily object to (19+ / 0-)

      the idea of being against right wing wackjobs.  My main point is that much of this so-called "progressive-leaning media" is actually another tool of the corporatist media conglomerates; it's a lie; it's not legit.  I hope you see the distinction.

      •  Ray, (7+ / 0-)

        the media conglomerates are only interested in one thing, money, and protecting the system that allows them to make that money. The false meme, one of many, that many in the media promote is that money can only be made under a "conservative" political system.

        The correlation that you are making that "progressive-leaning media" "it's a lie; it's not legit" because they are a "tool of the corporatist media conglomerates" does not hold water. Yes the "progressive-leaning media" is making some corporations a lot of money but so are you and I by engaging in this conversation using the "internets" owned by those very same "corporatist media conglomerates". What do you suggest, that we start our own internet or quit using this one?

        I agree with you that many in the corporate world overshoot and that they are driven by greed, that's their mandate if you will, but shows like those on MSNBC helps keep those corporations in check. Not ideal but better than nothing. It is true that we could do better with a better media but it would be false to assert that the media we have has at times not moved us forward on some important matters. Granted that things are murkier now due in part to the plethora of outlets available and for the degradation of what some call "jounalism". But the struggle continues.

        Interesting diary nevertheless.

        •  I would add to that (0+ / 0-)

          that all of us are driven by greed. Some are greedy for money; some are greedy for power; some are greedy for attention; others are greedy for that rush of smug superiority. But we're all driven by greed of some sort.

          I'm not even sure that one kind of greed is any worse than another. Maybe it's not the kind of greed that's harmful, so much as how we act upon it.

          Let us all have the strength to see the humanity in our enemies, and the courage to let them see the humanity in ourselves.

          by Nowhere Man on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 03:16:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  i think it's easy to say something is a tool of (13+ / 0-)

        Corporate media conglomerates. And it sounds cool and hip. But from your diary you offer as evidence the fostering of tribalism as the proof of propaganda. Your premise is that the corporate controlled media wants to create or perpetuate this tribal schism and they use the sensationalistic emotional reporting (at the expense of more factual reporting) to do it.

        And my point is that no matter how factual, it will be (or is) tribal. I get upset coming to dkos sometimes. So much outrage over this or that. Same thing as the tv. But there are lots of strong factual diaries written and still, we respond tribally to them. I think it's unavoidable no matter the medium.

        And it's why for part, I'm focused on entertainment. It's one way to reach people without making obvious the tribes. Think of all the pivotal shows and movies that have influenced our culture: Maude, Archie Bunker, The Cobsy Show, Oprah Show, Will & Grace, Glee and 24. Movies are also powerful. Look at the reaction to Avatar. A movie about greed, environmental and habitat destruction, responsibility and loyalty. Millions have seen it worldwide but I have a few winger acquaintances who refuse to see it. So yes, sometimes even entertainment becomes tribal. But here's the thing: look how many people saw it who'd never have listened to a news report on the subject? Or a documentary on it? Look at Red Tails movie by George Lucas. How many of the millions of people (and bus loads of school children) who went to see it would never have read one of the hundreds of books on the Tuskeegee Airmen? Or watched a documentary on them? One thing is for sure: we humans love stories. It's in our DNA. We love to love heroes and hate villains. We can't help it. I think liberals and progressives can make progress and reach the masses more effectively through entertainment. But that's my passion, my profession. So I should feel that way.

        Regardless, our tribalist nature can't really be undone. The question is how best to harness them. I'm not sure how on earth to eliminate it. If you do, I'd like to hear it.

        •  I always wonder when I see someone (4+ / 0-)

          new has become one of my followers, so in case you're wondering, I started following you as a result of these two comments ;)  I think you're dead on, and that messages inside entertainment are a fantastic way to change people's outlook.

          •  Thanks Dr. Erich. Human love stories. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Dr Erich Bloodaxe RN

            Long before there was paper, pens, or radio or tv, we learned lesson and moral codes and social order through stories.

            Its who we are.

            We've gotten away from that. I'm fixing to bring it back. I hope you'll check out my (as yet to be launched) non-profit, ppptv.org.

        •  unavoidable- (tribalism) (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lunachickie, 3goldens

          If you continue to see the opposite side of any argument as "less than" or beneath the position of your own-

          Tribal responses imply Us v Them aka they think they are better than us; we know we are smarter than them mentality...

          When you zoom out you are left with a lot of half truths...  Take for example the recent Martin fatality caused by Zimmerman-  MSNBC hosts and shows can crow how they are bringing media attention to the story; asif that story needs media attantion when the obvious truth is that laws have been passed that would never have seen the light of day if out government ws not so openly and easily corrupted as it it currently is; and arguing with folks who need spellcheck connected to their protest signs aka the American Taliban IS NOT going to fix things one iota-  MSNBC-GE media knows they have a "progressive winner" because people are outraged; and who wouldn't be?  Murder in the light of day made legal, and for one side only!  Yippee!  Dixie Nirvana!

          What I believe is unavoidable is the mass exodus AWAY from outlets that prey on a crisis situation for profit, rather than report on the facts, and zero in on the truth of the matter which is legalized murder brought to you by ALEC and the NRA-

          Rush Limbaugh doesn't care what he says-  He cares that you are outraged by it, and that his ditto heads will stay cemented in their negativity and emanate more of the same when he is not broadcasting, andif they run out and have an "energy crisis", also known as a glint of compassion; he is there the next day to "fill their cup" right back up to the brim; lather, rinse, repeat; knowledge is power, suckers-

          How is progressive media brought to you by a corrupt media corpse any different?

          Evidence that contradicts the ruling belief system is held to extraordinary standards, while evidence that entrenches it is uncritically accepted. -Carl Sagan

          by RF on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 08:15:16 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  but we're not in a vacuum. ALEC and the NRA are (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            nickrud

            Tribal.

            And even thought they are part of the facts, they invoke emotion and outrage one way or the other.

            If the Zimmerman case was going to be reported based on facts, heres how it would go:

            TM was shot and killed by GZ. TM was 17 and unarmed. GZ was 28 and the captain of neighborhood watch. GZ said he felt threatened and according to FL SYG law he was within his rights to shoot, even fatally. Federal authorities are investigating whether GZ claim of self defense is accurate.

            That's pretty much it.

            But nobody wants to hear that. It lacks an outrage button. Those are the only facts we have right now. Bringing the NRA and ALEC into it is tribal.

            •  So are (0+ / 0-)

              progressives and DINOs. Tribal, I mean.

              The outrage button isn't necessary. You seem to act as though that's the only way we'll respond, and that's simply not the case.  

              It is time to #Occupy Media.

              by lunachickie on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 10:17:44 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Define "we". That's where I think we differ. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                PsychoSavannah

                And that's the point.

                The discussion is about information vs sensationalism.

                The argument is that our information is watered down. The diarist believes this is a result of those who own it.

                He's saying those who own it dumb it down and sensationalize it to create tribes (among other things). My contention is that there's no such information, particularly in politics, without tribalism. AND that if only 16 people are watching, it's not educational because it's not reaching anyone.

                So "we" may not be the masses but the 16 people who believe they don't want or need "outrage buttons". (frankly I believe that's a bit of a self deception but that's another discussion). But what does that accomplish if only a tiny number of people even watch?

                Which is better: msnbc that isn't quite as dense as, say, democracy now but that reaches 5 times the audience with at least some accurate information?

                I'm in the camp of: reach more even if it's less dense.

          •  Oh and btw, all of politics profits off of (0+ / 0-)

            Crisis situations.

            I'm cynical in this regard because I grew up in DC and have returned there. It's not just media conglomerates who profit off of crisis situations.

            Every non-profit, advocacy group or do good organization, every political party and cause benefits from crisis.

            This is why Emily's list made more money in the first quarter of 2012 than they did in the entire year on 2010.

            It's why there is little or no change in Washington. When democrats run things, republicans make bank. Their think tanks and consultants get paid. Their organizations benefit. When republicans are in charge, democratic organizations and interests flourish. It's a sick co-dependent relationship that everyone here knows exists and that's why nobody takes much of it too seriously. Tribalism. Crisis. Co-dependency. And that's not to say that these group are bad. It's to say that expecting the media to not profit from crisis is naive. Our entire political and non-profit world is set up that way. And more over, it didn't create that dynamic. It already exists naturally in human beings. We like to think we're more evolved. But we're not. We are emotional creatures, as we've always been. That's never going to change. The best we can do is harness it and offer the emotional mind some intellectual reasons for feeling and acting the way it does.

    •  Great comment (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mdmslle, mconvente, AnnetteK

      You knocked that one out of the park, mdmslle.

      Every day's another chance to stick it to the man. - dls

      by The Raven on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 05:49:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  LOL (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        The Raven

        sorry, I have no respect for the "It's All About The Money And Don't You Forget It" opinion, tossed out in so much word salad when you start hittin' nerves about what a fucking propaganda machine we're being punk'd with. From "Both Sides".

        Much as I love mdmslle, I profoundly disagree with that opinion. It's not all about the money, it's also about effectively dividing hundreds of millions of people at one time.

        It is time to #Occupy Media.

        by lunachickie on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 10:20:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  My New Entertainment Goddess.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mdmslle

      I've never been much for prog talk radio, I don't need that much reinforcement of what I already know. That seems true for most of my lib pals, too.

       For the TeeVee, must see is only Stewart/Colbert, Keith was for a while, Rachel also, too.  Newest contender is Up with Chris Hayes for reasonable discourse.  

      But I've just discovered Stephanie Miler on CurrentTV! Wow, that's entertaining! The combo of morning jock comedy schitck with the hard to find liberal bias is almost too much fun.  It is looong at 3hrs.  Thank goodness for the DVR.

      -7.50 -6.51 "How is the world ruled and how do wars start? Politicians tell lies to journalists and then they believe what they read." - Karl Kraus

      by Hirodog on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 06:29:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Tipped and rec'ed (19+ / 0-)

    This is a discussion worth having. I love Rachel and find what happens on MSNBC by and large to be positive, but progressives need to ask themselves: if it's so good for us, why would huge media coporations want to keep it on the air? Focus on the horserace of politics and poking fun at the opposition are longstanding means of distracting the politically informed from the real issues. I listen to Rachel's podcast nearly every day, but I'm sick to death of hearing about the GOP primaries.

    And so I think this question is worth exploring, even though I can't completely dismiss the value of what is on MSNBC. People need to take it all in with a critical ear. There is a reason Cenk Uyger gave up his show. The Democratic establishment doesn't like having people "on their side" criticising them. At all. Get up in the White House's grill and you've got a problem. If you think I'm full of crap then pay attention and see how often Obama takes heat on MSNBC for not being progressive enough. Or failing at negotiating for his stated goals. I don't listen all the time, so I'm not trying to imply you won't hear the hosts on MSNBC criticize Obama...I'm really saying listen for yourselves. It's a question worth keeping in mind.

    •  Nicely said (13+ / 0-)

      As you mention, I am sick of hearing about the GOP primaries.  And you have to ask yourself, why do so many of the media figures, including many of the "progressive" ones, concentrate so heavily on the same few topics?  I think it is because it legitimizes the whole system, the two party system and the prison system and the monetary system, etc, and they are terrified, along with many other people, of what might happen if they acknowledged that all of that stuff primarily serves to screw over the general populace and keep the serfs in check.  If we all really just said "to heck with it" and ignored the whole bunch of nincompoops, the whole world would open up and most people would realize that there is an almost infinite number of activities of interest being done by so many different kinds of people and would realize that they themselves could freely express their loves and fears.  Of course, that would probably also require facing our own history of slavery, genocide, and ongoing imperialistic warmaking and killing, which we are only slowly working ourselves up to admitting over, say, several hundred years.

    •  how do you (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      angel d

      Know that is the reason?  There is no hardcore proof.  Cenk blamed obana for everything.  Btw. Cenk hates it when people say he is wrong on key facts. He is a hypocrite.

  •  I quit watching MSNBC two or three months (8+ / 0-)

    ago myself.  Hell, maybe 4, 5 months ago.  It's been awhile.  I just couldn't take the b.s. either.  After K.O. left Rachel was the only one worth watching, and I haven't bothered with her show neither. I've just turned it all off, tuned it all out. I get all of my news these days on the intertubes, much of it right here on the Great Orange Satan. Besides... MSNBC and the other branches of the lame stream media are not going to lift a finger to help the progressive cause, so... why bother watching them? If we want it done we're going to have to DIY it. We're going to have to do it ourselves.
    That's been my focus. Being one of the ones getting it done.

  •  right on, Ray (6+ / 0-)

    it isn't just the media either.

    Over time, I've grown to realize that we in the 'progressive' movement being more intelligent, educated and on the right side of history doesn't necessarily mean we're as a whole are truly aware of our role in society. The hard truth is we're just as falliable and easily manipulated as the right wing.

    Many standard & popular progressive ideals and perceptions actually are not what they seem, not at all different from the right wing perspective.

  •  Political Hipsterism (10+ / 0-)

    The funny thing is that your outlook almost exactly matches those who devotedly watch Fox.  By castigating  media other than Fox as biased and untrustworthy Fox deceives its viewers into trusting only one source - making them a pliant and gullible audience.

    Instead you've removed that one exemption, castigating all media as corrupt and untrustworthy.  Taken to the logical extreme what you're suggesting is that someone digest no news.  At all.

    Instead of advocating a complete boycott why not advocate for better media instead of no media?  Talk the news with a grain of salt.  Challenge yourself to watch an opposing viewpoint.  Don't rapid-fire watch several shows that echo the same point?  Something along those lines?

    What you're offering is vague platitudes that suggest throwing the baby out with the bathwater.  The media needs improvement, not abandonment.

    •  I don't think he advocated for no media (12+ / 0-)
      Instead of advocating a complete boycott why not advocate for better media instead of no media?
      He said he's reading more than he did before.  He's just not very happy with radio and TV.  Either am I frankly. I try to avoid TV news at all costs.

      And as for better, I think the diarist would love it if the tv and radio got better.  He just doesn't prefer to watch it, while it's not better.

      Also, on another of your points - Not watching/listening to media is actually in a sense advocating for better media.  Not watching means you don't like it. One of the few things media understands is people watching/not watching. It's their bread and butter.

      •  Then he's splitting hairs (5+ / 0-)

        I see that now.  I still don't see how that does anything other than weakens his argument.  Is printed media not subjected to the same corporate influence that radio and television is?

        Unless he's buying a newspaper from a guy with a printing press on the corner he is still consuming some form of mass-produced corporate influence.

        The worst part of this whole tirade is that it puts me in the unusual position of defending corporations and corporate influence - which is something I diametrically oppose.

        This kind of 'both sides are wrong and thus equal, and I'm better for noticing it and snubbing them all' is elementary school level thinking at best.

        I'm trying real, real hard not to be offensive in my rebuttal.  This is not critical thinking.  This is not a reasoned assessment and henceforth rejection of the state of our media.  This is intellectual and political voyeurism - a crowing endorsement of ones own physique without reason, explanation, or context.

  •  I also have (7+ / 0-)

    in the last few years just gotten completely fed up with the "mainstream media", including the so-called progressive portions.  It started many years ago with being completely sick and angry at NPR, which I realized was pretty darn conservative, but, as you say, cloaked in a delivery that made it seem "intelligent" and intended to appeal to a group of listeners that identify as liberal.  However, it is insidious, and I eventually realized that NPR's basically conservative frame took the place of actual liberal news, thus displacing for many people any possibility of hearing actual news.  It also became inescapable to me to notice that NPR is funded mostly by corporations, not by little donors, and I think at this point it mostly serves the big money-people.  Although there are many other examples of this that you point out in your diary, I think NPR serves as a pretty good basic and common example.

    Lately I've been pretty pleased listening to our local college radio and a local "microwatt" station.  The college station calls itself "free speech radio" and the shows are about everything under the sun: there are shows about atheism, about anarchy, about poetry, about sex, about politics.  They have al-Jazeera and Democracy Now.  It's really pretty good.

    I do think that Democracy Now is pretty good, although even they have too much coverage of GOP primaries and the like.

    Anyway, thanks for a great diary pointing up a really important point.

    •  Sorry (6+ / 0-)

      I don't know if you are supposed to respond to your own post, but I forgot to say:

      One thing I've really noticed helps in finding media sources that tell the truth is to avoid the stuff that looks or sounds pretty slick, with nicely trained newsreaders and quick cuts to this or that.  I think that is all part of the mumbo-jumbo and pulling the wool over people's eyes.  It helps to look and listen for the shows that seem unfinished, with human pauses and some fumbling around.  I think it often seems unfinished because reality is not cleanly packaged, and instead any given chunk you perceive is actually just that, a chunk and not a whole thing wrapped up and presented intact.  There is always mystery and unfamiliarity and things left unsaid.  The more you stop expecting clean editing and well-spoken announcers with just the right accent, the more you are able to hear the real world.

  •  This essentially the (9+ / 0-)

    Nader argument. It does not fly. I drove truck long haul in the 80's and the 90's and there was no opposing views anywhere on the media. It was suffocating driving across this country. Msnbc whether it is corporate or not it does have programming on our side of the street. It is sensational but its reporting on wisconsin and the occupy movement was very good. Yes it does not go as far to left as I wish it would go but there are other sources on the internet(such as here) where one can get up to snuff on what is happening. Yes it is tribal and it is my belief that the very survival of our species depends on out tribe winning. This idea that we can cooperate with the modern day Republican crazies is an illusion. We have to take all the help we can get and frankly have to kick their sorry asses into oblivion.

    Join the War on Thinking. Watch Fox News- John Lucas

    by Jlukes on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 12:42:36 AM PDT

  •  The mainstream is the mainstream (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marina, kalmoth

    No point in poisoning what little fair water it has.  But it is good to stay aware of the need to drink from diverse sources.

    The thing is, you see what you want to see, and you hear what you want to hear. Dig? - The Rock Man

    by BalanceSeeker on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 12:51:04 AM PDT

  •  Try listening to... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marina, blueoasis, jcrit

    ... Blue Skies Netroots Radio. You can check our show schedule and other info here

    A Poet is at the same time a force for Solidarity and for Solitude -- Pablo Neruda / The Justice Department is on Blue Skies, part of the Netroots Radio Network.

    by justiceputnam on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 12:53:18 AM PDT

  •  TRMS is a good show. And the maddowblog is a (10+ / 0-)

    great blog with many interesting science , art and culture tidbits. I like Norman Goldman, too. He's not a propagandist and neither is Rachel. I don't know about those other shows. I don't watch them. Oh, and Up With Chris Hayes is the most intelligent show MSNBC has to offer. Melissa Harris-Perry's show is shaping up to be a very intelligent and interesting show, as well. MSNBC is changing TV and moving it left and away from the limbic brain toward the cerebral cortex. So I think you're making an argument the has a false equivalence at its center.
     Too much politics is depressing, though. I agree with you on that.

    48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam> "It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness." Edna St.V. Millay

    by slouching on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 01:11:34 AM PDT

  •  Waiting For The Ray Pensador Show (7+ / 0-)

    I am sure it wouldn't make me feel intellectually superior to the neanderthal-like right-wingers. It would be much different.

  •  The important role of lamestream corporate (13+ / 0-)

    media is to promote an illusion that we have some "choice" in our kabuki democracy. Whereas behind the curtain it is the elite institutions which actually dictate policy - Council on Foreign Relations for example. There are youtube clips where Hillary and Cheney both praise CFR. They permit a narrow spectrum of difference. The key function of Democratic party is to define the left most "allowable" limit and to dilute/co-opt progressive activism.  
    The constant bitching in the media about "bitter partisanship" has to be viewed in the above context. Actually if we look carefully, both parties agree on lots of things : never ending wars, "free" trade deals, de-regulation, assault on civil liberties, education deform (except for vouchers), corporate health care system, entitlement "reform" (with some differences but overall oriented towards attacking them - Dems in a "kinder, gentler" way), deficit reduction etc. Pay attention to what passed with huge majorities - Obama-Boehner Satan Sandwich deficit deal, Bush tax cuts extension, defunding of ACORN, JOBS act, Panama, South Korea and Columbia "free" trade deals, sanctions on Iran, confirmation of General David Betrayus as in-charge of Afghan war etc etc.
    The Democrats have a tougher job in that they need to throw few crumbs to us the peasants/unwashed left over from the royal meal served to the 1% (and the crumbs are ever dwindling). The Repubs don't worry about us the unwashed/peasants. Or the Dems are like the abusive guy who will hit but allow the abused wife to stay at home whereas the Repubs are the like the one who will hit and dump her.

    And OWS is like the child who cried that the emperor has no clothes and is out to de-legitimise the Kabuki democracy.

    See my sig for a classy definition of bipartisanshit. I strongly urge folks to check out the book "Democrats - a critical history" by Lance Selfa.

    "The word bipartisan means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out”. - George Carlin

    by Funkygal on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 01:26:17 AM PDT

    •  And the Winner is ... You (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ray Pensador, Funkygal, DelilahOhMy

      I have been scanning these comments looking for any one, perhaps other than the diarist, who has a clue about the real function of the "leftwing" corporate media. And your's is the first comment that I've seen that gets it right.

      The idea of controlling leftwing media for the purposes of keeping us within tolerable limits to the ownership classw goes way back to, at the least, early 20th Cnetury.

      The New Republic magazine was secretly a JP Morgan operation. Morgan's lieutenant, Thomas Lamont, secretly financed TNR and other "progressive" outlets so as to manage opinion in leftist circles.

      It's no different now. MSNBC and other pseudo-left outlets are nothing but left-management devices. Promote pro-Democrat tribalism, try to scare lefties to death about how evil Republicans are, and completely ignore the far greater threat: Republicans disguised as Democrats.

      But promoting the fictitious two party divide is only part of their function. Steering the left away from issues that deal with money (specifically the money being sucked from the 99% of Americans into the hands of the financial class), and towards issues that don't cost Wall Street a penny (like the "war on women, gay marriage, prayer in schools, contraception, etc etc etc...), is the other main function.

      I've been studying the way the 1% media manipulates the masses for decades. I haven't scratched the surface here.

      But it really all comes down to one primary function: keep the mass majority that makes up the working classes in this country divided and distracted.

  •  I have joined "NPR Anonymous" (I don't have (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis, jcrit

    teebee) and withdrawing from it. Successful 2 weeks. Watching The Alyona Show, Keiser Report and Capital Account (rt.com),  watch news on rt.com (I know enough to take good  news on Putin with a grain of salt) ,listen to Guns and Butter with Bonnie Faulkner on KPFA Berkeley and free speech Radio besides reading lefty/progressive blogs online.

    "The word bipartisan means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out”. - George Carlin

    by Funkygal on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 01:31:47 AM PDT

    •  Thom Hartman is on RT too (Big Picture) - I (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      marina

      like when he focuses on policy but put-off when he gets tribalist.  'Conversation with great minds" is a segment I liked in his show.

      "The word bipartisan means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out”. - George Carlin

      by Funkygal on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 01:40:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I don't agree with the "neo-fascist" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marina, Ray Pensador, kalmoth

    characterization, but I think you make some good points.

    "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

    by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 01:34:16 AM PDT

  •  I would agree with this (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jcrit, Mike RinRI, Val

    Except for Rachel, many of her lengthy pieces are investigative stories done from off the range. Her latest book is great and tackles a topic much larger than shooting repub fish in a barrel.

  •  I think there's something else at work here (8+ / 0-)

    I love Rachel; Ed gets me fired up.  But if I listen to them every day, then pretty soon my whole world starts revolving around political battles.  The problem isn't Ed or Rachel, it's becoming immersed in something that isn't the total summation of life.  We all need to have some variety.

    I'm retired.  When I was working, my life was pretty much wrapped up in work, and I didn't have the time or energy to listen to talking heads on TV regularly.  But now, it's too easy to just fall into a habit of listening to the same people day after day; the same kind of talk hour after hour.  Not healthy.

    One time I just watched broadcast TV news for a week.  I was surprised at how refreshing it was to just have one hour covering a wide variety of news, with no-one screaming at anyone.

    Here's an idea: how about the people run the government and the corporations can line up for whatever we leave for them.

    by J Orygun on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 01:53:18 AM PDT

  •  The only bummer about Rachel is that she is only (5+ / 0-)

    on for one hour, five nights a week.

    Rachel is one of my few heroes! I only hope I can find a ticket to hear her speak in Berkeley this Friday (at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School, which I attended almost 40 years ago -- anybody got an extra?

    Every night I find myself thanking her out loud numerous times for bringing up this, that, or another progressive issue, which nobody else in the MSM is paying attention to. Considering that she has to get ratings as she stands up for progressive causes, I think she does an amazing job.

    Just this week she exposed the Michigan immediate effect debacle. Who else in MSM was talking about that before Rachel? Nobody! Is it important? YES!

    How about the one non-prison documentary MSNBC has produced (I may be wrong about it being the only one, but you know where I'm going with it)? It was about the dangerous anti-abortion wackos, their violent proclivities, and the killing of Dr. George Tiller, the brave doctor, who literally saved many women in Kansas by providing abortions for them.

    Sorry Ray Pensador, you're trashing the wrong network. MSNBC is the best big cable network we progressives have, and it continues to get better. If you don't believe me, just wait until the conventions. MSNBC will be the best you can get, short of raw Ustream feeds which don't play well live on cable TV.

    Whether you like it or not, there is a huge percentage pf the population which makes its choices at the ballot box based on who it perceives had the best TV ad. MSNBC has a significant market share. People surfing channels stop when they see something interesting. The more people who happen to linger on MSNBC for a moment than on fox, the less likely we are to go back to the dark side in November.

    MSNBC hosts, especiallly Rachel Maddow, are some of the brightest (or at least most visible) lights in the movement for change. She isn't haggling over $50,000,000, like her mentor, KO. She is living the fight, and doing so with great integrity. She can change people's mind with her rhetoric. The more exposure for her, the better.

    I challenge you to spend an evening watching any week of her shows online. You will likely feel differently about her. You may even find yourself hoping, like I do, that Rachel will run for office sometime in the future. Because she is good enough and smart enough to remain pure throughout the process.

    Rachel is MSNBC. Now that Lush "Oxy" Rimshot has shot himself in the foot, and alec is about to suffer the same fate (loss of funding and credibility -- lol, let's dance on its grave), Rachel and MSNBC can help steer this country into a better democratic majority.

  •  I've been considering the same blackout. (5+ / 0-)

    The main reason is because I feel by watching any corporate owned media I'm helping to sell us all out.  They're invested in the fight, or the latest shocking news, or tragedy.  And don't get me started on the constant election coverage, which has now become daily news, 365 days a year.  The bottom line is that they need us to be invested in "our team".

    I've been saying to my husband for several years now....we're in a freakin' SUPER BOWL.  We're living it everyday.  How's OUR TEAM DOING?  Has Team Lefty made any points today?  Is Team Righty cheating again?  Oh man, Rachel just kicked a field goal.  And Ed just tackled the shit out of Sean Hannity! Look, Mitt Romney fumbled the ball!  Go Team!  I'm so tired of it.  And the stress!  Oh my god, the STRESS!

    Everyday for the past three weeks I'm "this close" to cancelling our cable service altogether after so may years.  Shutting down my podcasts.  It really feels as if that's the only power I have left over corporate mind control.  

    Why the hell does it scare me so?  I'm 58, and unplugging feels like falling into the abyss!  And on the other hand, it feels as if I'm quitting my team.  Leaving them to fend for themselves.  How will they make it without my being front and center watching?  This is crazy stuff!    

    Ray, I'm hyperventilating!  You've pushed me way too close to the edge!  

  •  Well this is mostly BS IMHO (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jcrit, mconvente, native, kalmoth

    Some of the points make some sense but the criticism is too unfocused to be effective.  There is some really good progressive broadcasting available - like Thom Hartmann.

    But that brings up another problem with this piece and that is why don't you have the time to share where you ARE getting info from these days?  What are your alternatives then?

    I have to message you for them?  I don't think so.  Put it in a diary or stop pretending.

    I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

    by Satya1 on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 03:14:01 AM PDT

  •  I don't watch TV news (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mike RinRI, JosephK74, ybruti

    I haven't watched TV news in years, network, cable or local. The only time I see it is when visiting other people or when on vacation. I'm always shocked at how bad it is.

    Reading Matt Taibbi, Paul Krugman, etc. and people like that who are knowledgeable and trustable is the only news source I need.

    •  I agree (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ybruti

      I gave up watching broadcast news shortly after the 2008 election.  I very simply decided that I didn't want to listen to the delivery anymore; it bothered me.
      Now I read the news, same menu as yours and I find that this is what works best for me.  I can absorb what I'm reading, pause and digest a little and then move on at my own pace.
      For breaking news I still turn to MSNBC but that's about the extent of it now.

  •  As long as we're distracted by the horse race.... (11+ / 0-)

    .....then we're less likely to take a closer look at who owns the horses.

    While I don't hold Obama in high esteem, that doesn't mean I would say he's the Devil Incarnate and the lessor of evils. He is merely the lessee of evils.

    by xynz on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 03:35:32 AM PDT

  •  And instead you're doing what? (7+ / 0-)

    It is the same thing at daily kos, yet you're still here.  

    First and foremost, they are not liberal:  blogs, TV news, or talk radio.  They are "elect the Democrats" blogs, TV news and radio.    Yepper, all about teams because you have no place else to go, they are better than the Republicans, and last but not least, the good ol' SCOTUS.  

    Once upon a time, I thought we could change things, and dailykos was one way how.  Now, I spend less and less time here.    If I am going to watch the news, it will be MSNBC; and if I'm going to turn on the radio, it will be talk, so thank god for the noise from the left.    

    What's up with that Phil Hendrie Show?   What a waste of four hours of air time even if nobody is awake and listening.

    "bin Laden's dead, and GM is alive" ~ Biden

    by dkmich on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 04:03:20 AM PDT

  •  The bigger problem is the dearth of (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bsmechanic, katiec, 3goldens

    local progressive programming. I love Thom Hartmann most of the time. It's not just the host; it's the callers.

    I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night, alive as you and me.

    by plankbob on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 04:16:39 AM PDT

    •  Good point. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      native, 3goldens, boudi08

      More than other prog radio personalities, Thom Hartmann seems interested in facilitating an actual conversation, which entails speaking to the so-called "other side." What this creates is more honest questions being asked by his callers (not to mention answers), and less Big Eddie-style name-calling and belittling. Even while writing this, I also consider that Ed Schultz has done good work standing up for unions.

      Hartmann also provides a consistent and reminding voice that the airwaves belong to the public. Less syndication, more local. Saturdays are a breath of fresh air on my local prog radio station, WCPT, whose programming reflects local politics and issues, down to even gardening. Which in turn reminds me of DKos' own Saturday community diaries line-up.

      One shrieks for three hours to millions of inexplicably loyal fans. The other... rock band... Canada.

      by bsmechanic on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 05:51:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  commercial television is so polluted (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    native, DelilahOhMy

    How do you talk upbeat about such a toxic environment as commercial television?  After being free of it for two years, I can say that, even though the world issues are still omnipresent, I am better able to participate with a clearer mind, with less cynicism in my voice, and a sharper set of points to make.  The worst part about commercial television is being part of a captive, non-interactive audience.  

    As such, we are the test-group for neo-fascism.  You'd better believe it.  If SOPA doesn't prove that, then maybe the NSA activities might.  Only this time around it won't be government-led, but corporate-led.  Fascism has been privatized.

    Call exploitation and debt slavery whatever you want.

    by jcrit on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 04:40:32 AM PDT

  •  Because I refused to read the NYT I was not fooled (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ybruti, native, orestes1963
    Complicating matters for journalists, the accounts of these exiles were often eagerly confirmed by United States officials convinced of the need to intervene in Iraq. Administration officials now acknowledge that they sometimes fell for misinformation from these exile sources. So did many news organizations — in particular, this one.

         Some critics of our coverage during that time have focused blame on individual reporters. Our examination, however, indicates that the problem was more complicated. Editors at several levels who should have been challenging reporters and pressing for more skepticism were perhaps too intent on rushing scoops into the paper. Accounts of Iraqi defectors were not always weighed against their strong desire to have Saddam Hussein ousted. Articles based on dire claims about Iraq tended to get prominent display, while follow-up articles that called the original ones into question were sometimes buried. In some cases, there was no follow-up at all.

    while all around me insisted it was still the paper of record with ALL the news that's fit to print. Um..no.
  •  You've lost your perspective. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    catitude, 417els, kalmoth, Sun dog, greengemini

    You have to put those type of shows in perspective.  YOU try to do an info/political/entertainment show 5 days a week, it's not easy.

    Accept them for what they are, weed out the fluff, take the good/new info, and hit some quality online newspapers and journals to get the details.

    Also, these types of shows don't give you the "fair and balanced" approach of the MSM.  Some points of views are far more than equal to a simple opposing point of view.  Citizens United is a democracy threatening, horrific decision by an extremely biased Supreme Court, and these types of shows will emphasize just how dangerous these types of events are.

    You may not be missing the "new", but you will be missing some needed emphasis.

    •  That's why these shows shouldn't exist (0+ / 0-)

      They're bad for the mind, bad for the soul, and bad for the body politic.

      •  Not at all, (5+ / 0-)

        Did you hear Elliot Spitzer talk about the JOBS bill the congress passed and the president signed?  It was very informative and caused me to do further research.  Did you watch the coverage of the Occupy Wall Street events last fall?  While the MSM was virtually ignoring OWS, it was the coverage from these shows that helped get the muddled message of OWS out, and that put pressure on the MSM to finally start covering the events.  And look how it changed the national conversation from deficits, deficits, deficits, to 99%, 99%, 99%.  This would have never happened without these shows.

        Just as I won't stop watching Jon Stewart and Colbert because their news coverage isn't "in depth", accept these shows for what they are, info/political/entertainment, because there's still plenty of good info in them and the perspective offered by the hosts, and especially the guests, is important.

  •  Good critique. I will continue to watch MSNBC (0+ / 0-)

    but I agree it could be better.
    They could replace some of their prison footage with information about solar power and recent science, etc.
    The could also discuss how we could solve some of our problems without being "anti-business".
    There's a lot they could do that would be actually "progressive".
    One thing they have the potential to do is to create "permeability" of thinking between cities and rural "red areas" and break down the tribalism.

    I'd rather have a buntle afrota-me than a frottle a bunta-me.

    by David54 on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 05:11:56 AM PDT

    •  The PRISON/ARREST MSNBC weekend is nauseating. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Frederick Clarkson, Ray Pensador

      From Friday evening until Sunday morning MSNBC is like the roller rink on the way into town that closed 40 years ago which, to this day, remains tightly boarded-up...saturated with decades old sweat and smelly feet; MSNBC's weekend is an oppressive wasteland.

      "Evil is a lack of empathy, a total incapacity to feel with their fellow man." - Capt. Gilbert,Psychiatrist, at the end of Nuremberg trials.

      by 417els on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 09:26:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Lot of nice old hardwood to be salvaged, though. (0+ / 0-)

        Yes, but it's gotten better with Chris Hayes and Melissa Harris Perry. Alex Witt's standard reporting beats the prison docs.
        To improve on my original comment, I think they could come up with some "progressive" programming on sustainable agriculture, solar power, new technology, educational issues that wouldn't be politically combative, necessarily, but would attract more mainstream viewers and might break through the "silo-ing" or "clustering" of viewers which might attract them to the more politcal shows.
        I feel like nearly every time Rachel Maddow is on Meet the Press she probably gains a new viewer because she usually kicks the opposition's ass.

        I'd rather have a buntle afrota-me than a frottle a bunta-me.

        by David54 on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 11:34:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I think you have good points (4+ / 0-)

    Elections in the US have indeed become nothing more than football games, with the red and blue teams each waving their pennants, cheering their scores, and jeering the other team.  That's why Dems can adopt a Republican health care plan and cheer madly when it gets passed, and why conserva-Dems are elected cheerfully and enthusiastically, and then defended as long as they have a D after their names. It long ago ceased to be about actual policies or goals, and has turned into nothing more than "our team wins and your team loses". Sadly the Dem party pennant-wavers are no better than the Repug party pennant-wavers when it comes to blind partisanship.

    Much of the TV programming aimed at our side plays directly into this (as indeed we already know that the TV programming on the other side does as well).

    One exception I can recommend is "Up!" with Chris Hayes.  Perhaps because "The Nation" is not a Democratic Party appendage (and indeed doesn't even particularly like the Democratic Party very much), it is less partisan party politics and more actual policy oriented.

  •  There is nothing more pathetic than (4+ / 0-)

    these smarter than, purer than you, leftest that can be bothered with only the purist party, politics and now the media. While they are busy waiting for leftist utopia, the Tea Party Republicans are spending every penny, changing every law, and doing everything they can to get back in power and turn this country into a living hell for anyone who isn't white, male and wealthy. Tea party politicians and their followers are smart enough to take their flawed candidates, flawed radio and television, unpopular positions and win, take power and grind the rest of us into dirt.

    I have no use for these holier than thou types or any movement that is sitting on the sidelines dreaming of a perfect union while the country and its great potential are being destroyed daily--they are worst than the tea party, because they are snakes in our tent.

    •  Yes! Most pertinent post here, and (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greengemini

      beautifully put. This is one of my big problems with Dave Marsh (apart from that he seems like a real asshole).  Each Sunday, he vents his frustration over his incomplete Wet Dream of a Third Party. His utter disdain for and trashing of Bernie Sanders and some of his own media colleagues is in poor form and downright tacky. He is like Lynn Samuels with a penis.  Same with Alex Bennett, who needs to join Dr. Laura over on Sirius Stars.

      While Ed Schultz may be a blowhard, I know that without his relentless coverage of the union-busting tactics of Kasich, SB 5 may not have been brought down in Ohio.  And he is doing the same with that clown Walker in WI.

      Yep.  While the petulant children sit home in November because Obama or their congressional Democrat is not "pure" enough, the Tea Party will gain a chokehold on this country. Then we can say bye-bye to Medicare, Social Security, and other things we sweated our whole lives for.  Wasn't 2010 lesson enough?

    •  I dream of policy and initiative discourse. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chuckvw, pot, Willa Rogers

      Horrors. So sideline of me.

      "In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder, a secret order." Carl Jung

      by Unduna on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 09:03:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Nice to know (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chuckvw, pot

      You hate the base worse than the teabaggers.   I suspected this was the case among party tribalists on here.  It's refreshingly honest.  

      If you haven't earned my vote when the time comes, don't blame me when you lose.

      by Nada Lemming on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 11:12:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Your whole post was full of "holier then thou" (0+ / 0-)

      bullshit yet you whine about holier then thou bullshit. LMAO

      But this is typical from some here, they like teabaggers more then they like leftists.

      Check out the group Daily Kos Gamers. We need more diarists interested in gaming!

      by pot on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 11:33:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Perhaps you haven't noticed but the people (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        catitude

        I am describing are not the base, they are a fringe of the base, and yes they deserve more contempt because they
        are a distraction to the mission at hand. We can not be defeated by republicans without the help of those who are supposed to share the same goals but don't. They are a rehash of Naderism when even the most bubble bound purist can see now that George Bush ended up being 1000 times worse than AL Gore could have ever been on his worse day.  Mitt and the teabaggers in power would be infinitely worse than that. Do we really have to repeat that again?

  •  i'll comment way at the end so i don't (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    native

    Get creamed...I really enjoy Maddow and O'Donnell, but they've started to annoy me of late. In "Last Word's" coverage of Trayvon Martin, O'Donnell just feels too excitable and hyper-thyroidal. I get that he destroyed that character that was touting himself as a spokesman for Zimmerma....O'D was right. But they way he did it and let his guest behave on the show was overwrought in the way Olberman used to get. It's too bad, because I really admire O'D...but the level of emotion and guests' emotion robs his credibility.

    Maddow is a different matter. It's great that she often finds a factual or intellectual alleyway within which implode her story, and much of the time it's really enlightening. But sometimes, it's just 10 minutes of trivia unnecessary to obtaining the facts. She says she's a wonk & I get that, she's just a little too satisfied with her wonkiness and overarchingly obsequious in confirming that she's being fair or intellectually honest. It's getting too much.

    I think both of them need to be taken in hand by whoever does that sort of thing at MSNBC and told to chill. They almost seem like parodies at this point.

  •  Yes, Ray, I don't watch MSNBC either (6+ / 0-)

    and when I say that on this site, I do get several people who try to convince me to watch - even Chris Hayes.  Thanks, but, no thanks.

    I, too, would rather read multiple sources and watch other programs in order to form my own opinion.  I find MSNBC redundant.

    love the fetus, hate the child

    by Raggedy Ann on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 05:33:43 AM PDT

  •  Sound advice (4+ / 0-)
    Blow up your T.V. throw away your paper
    Go to the country, build you a home
    Plant a little garden, eat a lot of peaches
    Try an find Jesus on your own

    John Prine

    "White-collar conservatives flashing down the street. Pointing their plastic finger at me."

    by BOHICA on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 05:38:08 AM PDT

  •  I haven't "stopped" watching MSNBC, but I've... (6+ / 0-)

    ...cut way back. Not, however, for any of the reasons mentioned by the diarist, but for other reasons: the network's longstanding love affair with Pat Buchanan (only recently dismissed), or the network's hard-right, Obama-hating morning host (Scarborough), or the mid-day fluff that makes the network indistinguishable from CNN. And so on.

    At any rate, what would the diarist have us do? Restrain Ed and Rachel and Lawrence so as not to offend? Defang them in the interests of political sensitivity? Leave 100% of the airwaves to mouth-breathing tools like Limbaugh and Beck and Savage and every Fox host, instead of the 95% or so they now command? Force us, the listeners and viewers, to sit in the grass, hold hands, and hum Kumbayah in unison while preaching the evils of partisanship, and ask our brethren on the Right why can't we all just get along?

    Puh-leez.

    While milquetoast liberalism may satisfy those of us who wish things were more genteel and less acrimonious between the two sides, simply pulling our warrior mouthpieces from the fight will turn the whole left side of the broadcasting spectrum into an even more boring version of NPR.

    Fuck that.

    P.S. -- Listening to left-leaning broadcasts isn't what makes me "feel intellectually superior to the neanderthal-like right-wingers". Actually being intellectually superior to them is.

    Cogito. Ergo sum ​​atheus.

    by Neapolitan on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 05:38:13 AM PDT

    •  My problem with Ed and Rachel (0+ / 0-)

      (especially Ed) is that they restrain themselves too much. Listen, we already know what douchebaggery the Republican Party is laying on us but Ed and (to a lesser degree) Rachel far too often go out of their way to minimize the damage done by corporate Democrats.

      "I wish I could tell you, in the midst of all of this, that President Obama was waging the kind of fight against these draconian Republican proposals that the American people would like to see. He is not." -- Senator Bernie Sanders

      by Sagebrush Bob on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 05:53:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I mean seriously... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Nada Lemming

        Do you really think that if Democrats publicize the fact that Republicans are fuckheads and publicize it 24/7/365 that eventually Republicans will surrender?

        "I wish I could tell you, in the midst of all of this, that President Obama was waging the kind of fight against these draconian Republican proposals that the American people would like to see. He is not." -- Senator Bernie Sanders

        by Sagebrush Bob on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 06:03:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  And if they don't (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          catitude

          it's unilateral surrender, which is what this diary seems to be suggesting. Diverse, in-depth, intellectual discussions about important yet arcane issues are perfectly lovely in theory — but we might as well be talking to three people in a closet while the right locks down public awareness even more than it has. This diary seems like a blueprint for complete defeat. It's nice to feel morally superior, I guess, but I don't want to live in the society that leads us to.

          Take the "Can't(or)" out of Congress. Support E. Wayne Powell in Va-07. http://www.ewaynepowell.com/

          by anastasia p on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 07:26:06 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  As long as "progressive" media (4+ / 0-)

            lead people to believe that our only choices are between batshit crazy Republicans and the "far left" Democratic Party (which is more like right of center), progressives are basically unilaterally surrendering already. Granted, I'd rather that people be indoctrinated by Rachel Maddow than Rush Limbaugh but by limiting the range of choices most people are exposed to so that the average American thinks Barack Obama and the Democratic Party represents the left, we only manage to continue shifting the Overton Window further and further to the right.

            When the average American knows more about Howard Stern than Howard Zinn, you know we've got problems - problems that aren't being solved by perpetual cheerleading. We need more truth tellers and less cheerleaders in the media, in politics, and in society in general.

            "I wish I could tell you, in the midst of all of this, that President Obama was waging the kind of fight against these draconian Republican proposals that the American people would like to see. He is not." -- Senator Bernie Sanders

            by Sagebrush Bob on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 07:52:41 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think Ed does this. At least not on his (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        greengemini

        radio show. I think he is right on on a lot of issues and he has certainly told the truth about Wisconsin.

  •  I totally relate (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JosephK74, native, anafreeka

    I gave up cable TV many YEARS ago and haven't missed it it a bit. I do listen to Malloy when I need a cathartic release. I do subscribe to the Peter B. Collins podcast and he's good. I'll occasionally listen to Thom Hartmann but he tries so hard to see the glass as half full when it comes to the Democratic Party that I find it more and more difficult to listen to him for more than brief periods of time. I listen to Norman Goldman a bit but I get tired of his compulsion to S-P-E-L-L words to me. Maddow is good when she wants to be but has tended to soft sell failures on the part of the Democratic Party.

    I'm extremely grateful that Bill Moyers is back (although not yet on my local PBS station.). Fortunately, I can watch complete episodes of Moyers online.

    "I wish I could tell you, in the midst of all of this, that President Obama was waging the kind of fight against these draconian Republican proposals that the American people would like to see. He is not." -- Senator Bernie Sanders

    by Sagebrush Bob on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 05:49:26 AM PDT

  •  I listened to progressive radio (0+ / 0-)

    for about a month.  Couldn't really stomach it.  It was a Mike Malloy rant that was pretty much just vile that did it.  Never went back.

    And the only opinion-as-entertainment I can deal with is Stewart/Colbert.  That's about the only TV I watch.

    Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe. ~ Abraham Lincoln

    by CJB on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 05:53:55 AM PDT

    •  My problem isn't that progressive radio (4+ / 0-)

      is "vile" but, rather, that most of it is more about cheerleading for the Democrats against the Republicans. The Stephanie Miller Show is among the worst of this sort. It simply doesn't follow that, in order to criticize Republicans, we should refrain from criticizing Democrats and/or make excuses for them when they do things that we have (quite rightfully) criticized Republicans for doing.  

      "I wish I could tell you, in the midst of all of this, that President Obama was waging the kind of fight against these draconian Republican proposals that the American people would like to see. He is not." -- Senator Bernie Sanders

      by Sagebrush Bob on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 06:47:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I heard Stephanie Miller regularly (0+ / 0-)

        a few years ago during a commute, but got tired of her giggling.

        The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right. -- Judge Learned Hand, May 21, 1944

        by ybruti on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 07:58:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Her show helped keep me sane (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ybruti, anafreeka

          during the Bush years but trying to listen to it now tends to drive me insane so I avoid it as much as possible.

          "I wish I could tell you, in the midst of all of this, that President Obama was waging the kind of fight against these draconian Republican proposals that the American people would like to see. He is not." -- Senator Bernie Sanders

          by Sagebrush Bob on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 08:02:22 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  budgets (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    native, ddn

    You have to realize that all of the MSNBC evening shows have very low budgets, with most of the cost paying the hosts' salaries. You can't really do much investigative reporting in the field without money. It's cheaper just to use Google for investigations, then yap incessantly about the arcane and make fun of the opposition; doesn't cost a dime after the salaries are paid and the set is in place. This has been Fox New's successful business model and MSNBC has just copied it.

  •  Sturgeon's Law (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Chi, native, DelilahOhMy

    90% of everything is crap.

    Which doesn't mean some things can't be 100% crap; Sturgeon was observing that 10% is usually the best you can hope for.

    But it's not just what you see and hear that matters. It's also the things that don't get into the discussion that matter. I had a diary up yesterday that focused on a rather egregious example.

    The other shoe I refer to is the realization by people that there's a lot being left out of the conversation that should be in there.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 06:03:25 AM PDT

  •  It's just a re-run... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Chi

    ...this site, i believe, is the source for most of their material.

    What you see on msnbc is a rehash of what's been discussed here all day....it's rhe same thing.

    I find it's pretty much a waste of time to watch msnbc (except rachel) because i've already seen it here and i don't need to hear the paid shills expound upon that which we've discussed at length.

    If corporations are people, what am I??

    by suspiciousmind on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 06:04:04 AM PDT

  •  I just disagree. If we all quit watching..... (7+ / 0-)

    then like Current TV which migh get axed for low viewership, we could risk the same with MSNBC - then were are stuck with that propoganda Fox outlet and pathetic CNN. If this action is good for you individually, good. But as a critical mass action good for progressives. NO WAY.

    •  Exactly right (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greengemini, PsychoSavannah

      This is an interdisciplinary effort. Whether or not individuals want to watch progressive TV is beside the point. But the worst thing progressives and liberals could do is to start thinking they're above media politicking. If you want to win the war for the soul of America you have to fight back.

      •  Ridiculous (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ray Pensador, DelilahOhMy

        First of all, MSNBC isn't remotely progressive. When's the last time you saw someone on TV making a strong case for trade protectionism? For nationalizing banks? For criminalizing our corrupt campaign finance syste. Or perhaps most importantly, democratizing the media itself?

        Real, progressive views have been so systematically erased from the national media that I suspect to many, even here, some of those views I cited above will seem alien and unrealistic, although they were commonly held 50 years ago.

        Second, as long as our enemies control the mass media outlets like tv and radio, (despite their willingness to allow a few allies on air every now and then), then it is our duty to do everything in our power to discredit and these outlets and deter people from watching them.

        Instead we should be promoting real progressive media like the Real News Network and Democracy Now, for example.

  •  We're seeing folks addicted to the struggle. (6+ / 0-)

    The game has become about destroying the opponent above all else. To the point that actual causes become secondary to showing our opponent what's what.

  •  yep (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JosephK74, Chi, native, angel d, DelilahOhMy

    I stopped watching any of that stuff quite a long time ago.  I didn't need to know what crazy crap is coming from the republican party, I don't need it analyzed, I want to know what good the democrats are doing for the country.  Since bailing out corrupt bankers, an health insurance program that people who need it most won't be able to afford, letting the bush administration get away with war crimes and letting bankers get away with financial crimes and pushing for more war with more sabre rattling with Iran (following the PNAC plan like bush) were all Obama's got while the country wallows in economic destruction ... I'm not interested in 'political media' any more.  

    "Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws." Mayer Amschel Rothschild, 1790

    by FreeTradeIsYourEpitaph on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 06:25:16 AM PDT

  •  Yes broadcast media is corporate (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Chi

    By definition it is.

    Listening to it doesn't make it more or less corporate. What is important is that you assess and weigh your sources of information and tailor your consumption to meet your needs.

    If, say, you are biking across America to raise money for pediatric leukemia or something, you might not need any news at all, save for checking the weather. If you're apolitical, you can check out of the game entirely.

    There does appear to be some kind of reevaluation of the social contract going on, though. Either we'll have access to healthcare or we won't. Either we'll have Social Security or we won't.

    If you want to participate in that discussion, you can cast a ballot this November in favor of your position on such matters. You can also participate more actively by interacting with your fellow citizens through media, through direct engagement with your representatives, and if you go that way, you'll probably need information. So there's that.

    The larger question is "do you need entertainment"? Personally, I avoid TV news and punditry as regular fodder. There just isn't enough time in my days to spend a solid hour attending to any kind of programming. However, when something noteworthy occurs, I'll tune into Maddow and similar for perspectives on it.

    A robust, well-rounded sense of "what's going on," if you need that, can be garnered from reading the paper, checking online newsfeeds, TV and radio, blogs, community aggregators, Twitter, and periodicals. I recommend sampling the broadest cross-section of such material as possible.

    Every day's another chance to stick it to the man. - dls

    by The Raven on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 06:27:09 AM PDT

  •  .... (0+ / 0-)

    Learn how to process information and digest information like a fully formed adult and you won't have a problem watching TV.

    The nicest and most intelligent people are the ones that share my point of view.

    by jbou on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 06:34:51 AM PDT

  •  Ray, I thought this was one of your better pieces. (14+ / 0-)

    All the peeps saying that you're bumming them out are the ones who don't get it IMHO. Our future looks more like a nightmare than a dream at this point. What's the point in obfuscating or ignoring that fact? Seems no different than global warming denial. Pretend everything is rosy then we won't have to do anything.

    Please remember this: when lot's of folks are criticizing you, you may be doing something right.

    Keep writing brother. Best of luck.

  •  Shrug. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jbou, kalmoth, Catte Nappe

    It has always been the individual's responsibility to parse any information source within the context of the format of delivery and the messenger's known biases.  A lot of diarists on here write 'formulaic' diaries - you find out what 'sells' to your given audience, and you then continue to write in the same way for as long as it continues to sell, either consciously or unconsciously.

    While I would agree that, yes, the guys on the left spend a fair amount of time on silly season stuff as well, I also recognize the value of rhetoric, and of 'talking point distribution' - short words and phrases that stick in the psyche and are easily transmittable, for use in daily conversations.

    Most people don't give a crap about how erudite my knowledge of the political issue du jour is, and will simply tune me out when I start getting too wonkish.  The talking points allow me to sway those even lower info voters than myself.  You can call it 'tribalism' or 'team' sports if you want, but if the overall result is getting more better Dems elected, I don't really care.  On average, we get more social justice, more power for the people and less for corporations when Dems are in charge.  So I'll keep on watching those 'neofascist' news sources along with the other news sources I use.

  •  Ray, I really like this piece. I totally agree U. (0+ / 0-)
  •  I never could tolerate them. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ybruti

    I've gotten nearly all my news from the written word for the last 4-5 years. Cannot take another minute of talking heads from either side.

    And radio talk shows just make me want to throw up.

  •  Excellent diary and very true. I agree with (5+ / 0-)

    others that Rachel Maddow stands out as someone with wit, intelligence and integrity, but the programming is what it is. I checked out awhile ago as well, from TV and even here at Kos. Because all this Dems vs Repubs is kabuki bullshit. Where are the good liberals now, defending Romney's healthcare plan? The pipelines that are being erected even as we speak, while domestic oil production is its highest in 8 years? Heckuva accomplishment to out-drill an oilman. Instead of moving the country forward with the bold ideas that voters wanted, we seem to be simply one-upping what used to be considered rational Republicans.

    And you know who donates money? People who are radicalized, pissed off, polarized, so invested in the idea of 'us' vs 'them' that they don't realize the 'us' is the country and the 'them' are politicians of both parties. Those who will part with $10 or $20 or $200 bucks of their hard-earned money because they support a woman's right to choose - even though that right has lost more ground the past four years than the previous decade. That was me in 2008. It's not me anymore. Politics is my hobby now but I've seen the reality of what it is and it isn't pretty.

  •  Bad Energy (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    angstall, ProfessorWho

    I did the same thing...  

    No more Cable TeeVee and I limit the negative energy that this place can emanate too...  

    Toxic stuff if not kept under appropriate CNTRL

    I do watch Goodman WIlliams on DN! daily, but that is about it...

    NPR is ALWAYS on a 10 minute sleep leash in an effort to catch local radio Wx, otherwise they are in their normal position; OFF-

    Even Rachel admits she watches NONE of it...

    GOod advice Ray; call me when real journalism returns and their privilege for emanating real news is their license to broadcast; till then I am done-

    Evidence that contradicts the ruling belief system is held to extraordinary standards, while evidence that entrenches it is uncritically accepted. -Carl Sagan

    by RF on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 07:01:50 AM PDT

  •  There's much irony in posting this diary on DKos (6+ / 0-)

    Yes, those programs are not news shows. THey don't present journalism, or any attempt to discuss events in an unbiased manner. They are, however, not news shows and offer no reporting -- just insight and commentary upon a slice of the news...that which is enmeshed in politics. If you want to know anything about the European debt crisis, the civil war in Syria, or even tornadoes in the USA, you're watching the wrong channel...unless of course, there's some US political dimension to these events. Then, that might get presented.

    They're opinion pieces -- offering the liberal line on political events, or the occasional news story that has some political dimension like the Trayvon Martin case. In essence, they are about rallying our side, offering up the "liberal view" and providing some entertainment within -- though, they're hardly as entertaining as Stewart and Colbert.

    On the other hand, that sums up 90% of the activity on this site, too.

    Even still, this kind of us vs them format does provide perspective and even more in-depethreportage that isn't found elsewhere...like the Occupy movement.

    Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you: Armisticeproject.org

    by FischFry on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 07:06:23 AM PDT

  •  I stopped a couple of years ago. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PsychoSavannah

    Not just progressive shows, but pretty much everything except an occasional fictional series that's good (e.g. The Wire).

    And recently I read Jerry Mander's classic Four Arguments for the Elimination of Televsion which details the issues with TV in general, and it all came together.  The amazing thing about that book is that Mander wrote it in the 1970s---as a former ad executive who realized the harmful effects of TV as a medium and the power he had as someone who knew how to bend that medium to his will.

    contraposition.org - thoughts on energy, the environment, and society.

    by barath on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 07:16:09 AM PDT

  •  I'm not sure I agree with this diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kalmoth

    But my issue with it is mainly the language used to describe these shows (I think the terms used are factually inaccurate).  Overall, I agree with the sentiment---turn off the shows---but I don't limit it to progressive shows, but everything on TV or its online equivalent (i.e. streaming) save the very occasional show or documentary.

    contraposition.org - thoughts on energy, the environment, and society.

    by barath on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 07:19:47 AM PDT

  •  Outrage Exhaustion... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Chi, boudi08

    The other day I heard myself voicing almost the same thoughts to a Canadian friend...he asked me "what the republicans are up to" and I said, "I couldn't care less -- I'm numb from outrage exhaustion."

    Makes you wonder whether that's the whole goal of the corporate MSM...

    "Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." -- Martin Luther King Jr.

    by SmartRat on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 07:20:20 AM PDT

  •  I rely on The Guardian (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kalmoth

    The internet site of The Guardian provides a wealth of information on important news that the US media fears to cover.  A perfect example is found in their coverage of the failure of the war on drugs.

  •  Good for you, you are the better for it (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    thestructureguy, Deward Hastings

    I often notice an attitude on the left that closely parallels devoted Limbaugh/Fox followers on the other side. They repeat propaganda and have closed minds. It's one of the main reasons I spend much less time on Daily Kos.

    “Some students of natural history want no predator control at all, while many hunters and farmers want as much as they can get up to complete eradication. Both extremes are biologically unsound….” Aldo Leopold

    by ban nock on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 07:24:37 AM PDT

  •  similar experience, but somewhat different (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    angstall

    for me is as follows: every now and again (more and more frequently, as time goes on), my psyche seems to have had enough with all of the political discussion. Politics is such a vile, disgusting thing, even when keeping up with it by tuning in to those who are more like me in their viewpoints, still makes me want to take a bath because the political process is just so...repulsive, disgusting, corrupt (and insert any number of equally intense adjectives here)...that it makes me just want to shut it all off for a while.

    Not subjecting myself to all of the political crap from all sides for a while...is very beneficial to my overall well being.

    But then, something comes along again that says there's a need to remain at least somewhat engaged, in order to make an attempt to be part of the solution. At least voting, writing a check, signing a petition or even calling my misrepresentative in Washington every now and against make me feel like I'm being somewhat responsible.

    However, having said that....tuning out of all of the political chatter, at least for certain periods of time, most definitely feels healthy.

  •  I feel kinda the same way (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    angstall, Chi, DelilahOhMy

    I haven't watched teevee in years and don't listen to radio very much.

    Knee jerk outrage just gets tiring for those who want substance.  It doesn't make anybody smarter to demonstrate that someone else is stupid.  

    It's not only the ownership of corporat media that's neo-fascist, but the nature of that style of discourse with all its gotchas and smugness.

    I spoze it has value, but not for me personally.  I think we here do too much of that as well.  Often it's like we're looking at a car wreck and talking about how horrible it is instead of taking an active part and doing what we can for those who are injured.

    The media would like us to confuse outrage and activism and accept the alienated passivity of watching in horror instead of standing up for ourselves and taking our country back.

    •  Bears repeating (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      angstall, Urizen
      The media would like us to confuse outrage and activism and accept the alienated passivity of watching in horror instead of standing up for ourselves and taking our country back.

      ♥ Medicare For All. ♥
      "Our health care system is like a casino. The insurance industry is the House... The House always wins." -- UnaSpenser

      by Chi on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 07:57:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Several things drive me crazy (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    thestructureguy, Chi, Ray Pensador

    about most of these shows.

    First, they all have the same regular guests who just get passed from show to show with nothing new to say.  How can anyone worth interviewing possibly come up with something worthwhile every single day?

    Second, the vast majority of guests always agree absolutely with everything the host has to say.

    But what drives me completely up the wall is the stock format they use to introduce regular guests....

    The host always welcomes the guest with some joke about a Republican in the previous segment, and asks the guest if the are outrageously silly, or just outrageous.

    The guest replies with a confirming witty joke about how completely outrageously silly the Republican was, and not only that, they dress funny.

    They both giggle.

  •  I don't think you're truly free from... (5+ / 0-)

    ...tribalism.  In fact, you're probably more tightly bound than some.  Listen to your first paragraph:

    You see, what happened is that at one point I realized that these stations being owned by what I consider to be neo-Fascist corporate media conglomerates, of course they were being used as propaganda, and what they were doing was even more insidious that the outright, in-your-face propaganda you get from FoxNoise.
    Right there, you have labelled a whole bunch of people and set yourself in opposition to it.

    What occurs to me is that a certain level of tribalism is inevitable in our behavior.  Tribal tendencies are built in to the way we operate socially, from the number of people we can deal with personally without a formal bureaucratic apparatus to mediate, to our tendencies to join up with and identify with others.

    You haven't found a solution, you've just redefined your tribe, redefined whose word you will trust.

    Personally, I don't watch them too often anymore, one because I don't have the time to do that and other things I want to do, but two, because I don't need to have my opinion spoonfed to me by anyone.  Rather than make a dramatic announcement about how independent I am, I simply spend time reading and examining other sources.

    And I have them.  Newspapers, Science sites, and more.  The key to dealing with the seductive lures of propaganda is knowing the limits of its wisdom.

    Fact of the matter is, we will have to join together, make compromises and do other things that don't allow us to simply work off our personal initiative and drives.  But if you really think about it, the fact that the Republicans can unite themselves effectively and we often don't has been something of a weakness for our party, however we rationalize it as good.

    It's a tricky question, and the problem with answering it your way is that you really don't face the fact that there is no sure-fire way to prevent ourselves from being had.  It's all a judgment call, and most of the time, all we can do is just make our best guess.  Our judgment will improve as we exercise it.  if we yield our judgment by being too quick to join, or by being too hesitant to ally with others because of our differences, our judgments will be weak and flabby.  In a way, we and the Republicans reflect two different sides of the same problem, that of a nation where we let politics overwhelm good judgment.

    As for your characterization of MSNBC?  I would say most media operations are kind of mercenary, and its our good luck that MSNBC has become kind of geared towards us.  At the same time, though, we can't simply go around just repeating what Rachel said, no matter how smart a woman she is, no matter how well she explains things.

    We need to pick up on sources beyond the political sphere, because if anything's happened to our politics, its the divorce of the political sphere from the scientific and the practical.  Politics is driving itself more than the needs, wants, truths and necessities of the real world are.  This is not an inevitability, it was a choice, and its a choice we can make in the other direction, too.

    I'd say eat three square meals of other information from non-partisan sources, and have MSNBC's line up for desert.  The best weapon against propaganda is that you have a robust sensibility of the world on your own.

    Simple question: In the years since Republicans successfully urged the disempowering of workers and unions in the Midwest, what has happened to those states economies?

    by Stephen Daugherty on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 07:34:39 AM PDT

  •  al jazeera available only on the "internets" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    angstall, Chi

    is a good source of news, I think.

    MSNBC is just an antidote to FOX.

    when Cenk Uygar left MSNBC he said that he had been called into the boss's office and told that he could not continue to express "outsider" views on his show and that MSNBC was not on the outside but on the inside and had to act accordingly.

    (Now he's on Current TV (Al Gore's station) which fired the slightly crazy but very lovable Keith Olbermann)

    so, as good as Rachel, Al, Lawrence, Ed are, they are serving a news/entertainment network that sells advertising.
    it makes us feel better to watch this antidote to FOX unpleasantness, but Ray Pensador is right.

    I still watch MSNBC but I keep switching back and forth to Current TV where Jennifer (Granholm) is excellent and Cenk Uygar is terrific and I miss Keith Olbermann.
    That said, during the week-end evenings, when they are not available and I watch CSPAN, I often find stuff that is truly interesting and not always political.
    There was a wonderful history lesson from Ohio State University by a fascinating teacher recently - Joan Cashin on civil war history from the point of view of people who were in slavery (or escaping from it).
    And a book talk about Comanches in Texas and the Commanche leader Quinlan Parker, son of a Commanche warrior and an American settler who was captured when she was a child and chose to live with the Commanches.

    That said, I too succumb to MSNBC and Current TV sometimes
    But Ray is right in what he says.
    Bill Moyers does have more thoughtful programming.

    The MSNBCs and Currents are welcome, but as FOX NEWS pointed out (during their discussion of the hilarious NBC Saturday Night Live Ben Affleck portrayal of Keith Olbermann) MSNBC is as much a  Barrack Obama station as FOX was a George W Bush statement.

    propaganda may be pleasant but it's still what it is.

    Finally people have gotten sick and tired of being had and taken for idiots. Mikhail Gorbachev

    by eve on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 07:37:58 AM PDT

  •  Just as long as you watch Stewart & Colbert! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Chi

    I totally agree on the vast majority of MSNBC programming; outside TRMS, it's mostly horserace or OMGOP! programming.  Inside TRMS, there is very good reporting, but you're probably right that the format could tackle more topics in depth and from an issue-based perspective.  I have never seen Current so I have no take.  I am glad to be cable-free except for the occasonal sports event, & watch Stewart & Colbert online.  

    Radio isn't much better, but it is better.  Thom Hartmann is great, even if he's sometimes a broken record after a few years of listening to him.  He's someone you can and should recommend to anyone; there is stuff you learn on his show that is nonexistent elsewhere in media.   Other than him, it's a matter of taste, I think.  I personally love Randi but I know she rubs plenty of people the wrong way.  Locally I listen to David Sirota in the mornings, and I'm glad he is who he is & does what he does, but sometimes he exasperates me.  However, he makes it clear he is all about issues, & decries what he calles the "red-blue summer camp color war" that you disdain as well.  

    Maybe you should give him a listen.

    Before elections have their consequences, Activism has consequences for elections.

    by Leftcandid on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 07:44:53 AM PDT

  •  I agree... I avoid TV anyway (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    barath, Quicklund, angel d, Ray Pensador

    I had not had cable for years, and in 2008 my wife prevailed and we got it to watch the election coverage and the inaguration.    I was amazed at how inane the political coverage was (and everything else is just below awful, worse than in the 80's when I gave up on TV.)

    I agree with you about MSNBC.   We liked Obermann at first, but noticed that the three shows in a row covered exactly the same thing, and it was almost always some shiny trivial object.   There would sometimes be a bit of meat, usually cribbed from the New York Times, but it was like the "pink slime" mystery meat.    I liked Rachel the best, but still she was usually just repeating what the others said.

    It had far too much coverage of the latest crazy thing said by the instigators of the right (Bachman, Pallin, ORielly, OKeefe, et. al) and remarkably little coverage of the real outrages that might just possibly spark a protest movement.    Of course there was no critical coverage of issues relevant to General Electric (their part owner) and absolutely no way, never, not a hint of negative coverage about Israel.    (30,000 Beudion being kicked off of their land? http://www.independent.co.uk/...  Meh, how about "World's worst Person!")    

    It is pretty frustrating, because you want progressive coverage to be without limits and it was quite clear that MSNBC is in a very tight box.   In some cases I think that it is used as a Trojan horse (See, even Rachel thinks that so and so is justified, now on to Bachmann's latest gaffe!)  

    We watched Al Jazeera English on the internet for awhile, it is several orders of magnitude better than US coverage although in the end it is still TV and operates within its own constraints.    However, it still has a shred of journalistic credibility which is why it is so villified in the US (it was started by former BBC employees so it is not what it is portrayed as by our media.)

    We did not keep TV for very long, back to surfing the internet which is perhaps not much better anymore.

    •  They ignore the fundamentals (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      boudi08, Ray Pensador

      I shared your frustration when I did watch them.  One of my perpetual frustrations was that Rachel is clearly capable of doing deep and long-running (multi-day) stories on subjects, but she so rarely did them, and usually she ignored big fundamental issues.

      For example, over the past few years she's done plenty of stories that are at least incidentally related to energy (everything from Solyndra to the high price of gas) yet not once, to my knowledge, did she step back from some immediate controversy and say "ok, why don't we look at this in some depth.  Let's talk to Richard Heinberg (like this excellent NPR interview) to understand what's going on in the energy world and how this will affect your life.  Let's talk to Bill McKibben to understand how the Earth has changed into Eaarth."  You know - some actually informative reporting on the subject.  Of course, the news is grim, but it's better to hear about grim and important news rather than the usual grim and unimportant news.

      contraposition.org - thoughts on energy, the environment, and society.

      by barath on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 08:02:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  personally, i favor amy goodman and juan gonzalez (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador

    they are journalists.

    "You've got to stop this war in Afghanistan." final words of R Holbrooke

    by UTvoter on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 07:56:08 AM PDT

  •  I have been stuck in this rut for years (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador

    Only recently I bought four books:

    1.  Drift by Rachel Maddow

    2.  Why America Failed by Morris Berman

    3.  Images of America
         Covington's Sisters of Notre Dame * by Wm. Michael
         Hargis

    4.  The Memoirs of John F. Kennedy - A Novel by
         Donald James Lawn

    *the beloved nuns who taught me for twelve years and did not abuse me in any way but loved me and nurtrured me and gave me a great education.

    Reading is again a bg part of my life and I am very happy to have rediscovered books at my age.  My computer has become addictive as has MSNBC.

    I am making an effort to read much more (offline).  It was a wonderful part of my life when I was young.  And of course, more fiction.  I need that escape again.  The political environment in the US has become overwhelmingly stifling and sad.  And frightening.  And dangerous.

    •  You are doing the right thing by cutting down (0+ / 0-)

      on TV watching and being aware of the addictive effects of the Internet.  The political environment is what it is, by design.  I'll be writing about that topic more.  Thanks for your comments.

  •  MSNBC was often the amplifier to the RW Noise (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    boudi08, Kickemout

    machine.  

    FOX: Obama's got crabs!
    CNN: Fox says Obama's got crabs!
    Olbermann: Horrible O'Reiley say Obama's got crabs!
    Maddow: Why O'Reiley says Obama's got crabs!
    Generic 3rd host: Let's discuss the Obama's got crabs! story.

    Repetition is a key method for getting people to accept propaganda.

  •  I couldn't agree more. I see the need for a (0+ / 0-)

    counter-balance to hate-news.  But it seems to lead to a rut:  see how bad they are and how good we are!  Seeing is a start, but only a start. Smugly nodding in approval doesn't mean anything.

      Despite how much I like various segments of the Daily Show, I'm disinclined to like it overall as I see them as fox-news-feeders.  Stewart needs fox news.

  •  Many of the people who are commenting here (6+ / 0-)

    missed the point of this diary.   I think I got it, and I would rec this 1000 times, if I could.  

    Matt Taibbi has written on this, as well:

    “When the Crossfire paradigm loses its force, all that's left is a bunch of people with different views all sitting together in a room, wondering why they're all paying three bucks a gallon for gas, why they have no health insurance, why their tax rates are higher than Warren Buffet's. If we're all equally a bunch of suckers, how could any of us be worth hating?”

    ― Matt Taibbi, The Great Derangement: A Terrifying True Story Of War, Politics, And Religion At The Twilight Of The American Empire

    [T]here is no more dangerous experiment than that of undertaking to be one thing before a man's face and another behind his back. - Robert E. Lee

    by SpamNunn on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 08:12:23 AM PDT

  •  Good work! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador

    I don't have cable so it is easy for me to avoid those shows. OTOH part of the reason I don't have cable is the news networks aren't compelling enough to make me want to pony up the dough. And we are back to your original point.

    But let's complete the picture. It's not just the corporate angle. Most newsreaders or pundits soon realize they have a sweet gig. No heavy lifting, six or seven figure salaries, and a batting average of 0.100 gets you on the all-star team. Only a rare few do not let themselves be co-opted.

    It's why I don't care the tiniest bit that Keith Olberman lost his job and why I don't look to Bill Maher for analysis. I listened to Al Franken when he was on Air America, but I only one other sometime-host was listenable.

    These shows are designed to pander to a market segment. Content is designed to generate phone calls and emails. These in turn are used to sell airtime. Look how MSNBC re-designed itself as the "liberal" cable network news channel after Keith Olberman got good ratings when he started ranting at Bush. MSNBC saw an under-served market and cornered it.

    That's good news of course, but never forget MSNBC's fecklessness. They can just as quickly re-design themselves as something else should the demographics shift.

    Just remember that when millions of dollars enter the picture, news organizations and news personalities often become most concerned with keeping the golden goose alive. That applies to the Limbaughs ... but to be honest it included the Rhodes too.

  •  You could listen to this show? (0+ / 0-)

    It's one of the things Jesse and I have been doing with other occupiers. Next one is out in a few days.

  •  Talk radio makes one pissed off. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    angstall

    That is how you'll feel after listening. Always. Either side of the political fence. And MSNBC seems hell bent on making people scared. Scared about the elections. Scared about Congress. Tune in tomorrow and you will see that's true. But I won't be joining you.

    Mitt Romney's Like A Box Of Chocolates. You Never Know What You're Gonna Get!

    by kitebro on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 08:22:43 AM PDT

  •  I just finished listening to a segment (0+ / 0-)

    from the Saturday, April 7, 2012 broadcast of Up With Chris Hayes and I was very pleasantly surprised! Those on the panel spoke so quickly they could barely get the words out, but they were excited. And points raised were respectfully debated and I was NOT left with the feeling that a salient hadn't been address. Overall, excellent progressive television!

    Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

    ">Up With Chris Hayeshttp://www.msnbc.msn.com/...

    I don't watch everything on MSNBC because it can be disappointing or too cute or too MSM, but I like to give credit where credit is due.

    "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

    by Lily O Lady on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 08:36:22 AM PDT

  •  I stopped other than Maddow (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador, Jujuree

    Because Shultz, O'Donnell, the radio people etc turned into loud mouthed ratings grabbers no different than Beck and Hannity.

    Boring, uninformative, and partisan cheerleaders regardless of what's right or wrong. No thank you.

    "When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained." - Mark Twain

    by Moon Mop on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 08:36:38 AM PDT

  •  Try Thom Hartmann (0+ / 0-)

    ..and Stephanie Miller. Neither are owned by the bad guys.

    Randi Rhodes is great but she signed with Premiere. I listen to her anyway because she's so smart.

    If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people. --Tony Benn

    by rhetoricus on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 08:37:44 AM PDT

    •  I guess it depends on your sense of humor, I find (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rhetoricus

      some shows to be make too many sex jokes and that doesn't appeal to me and I can't have it on when my kids are around.

      I like Thom Hartmann, he does seem to be independent. Randi Rhodes, I like her senses of humor. She has that dry, tell it like it is style.

  •  I find your attitude disappointing (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Terrapin, greengemini

    Ok, sure, many of the stories are conflict driven partisanship programmed by a media conglomerate who really only cares about selling ads. However, if we don't support progressive programming, then the networks will replace it with Limbaugh & Hannity clones because advertisers like them. They want the right wing noise machine in place because it's designed to reinforce the status quo. They want people to be brainwashed by the right wing agitprop, and if we don't fight to change how the networks program their stations, we'll never see decent representation in congress. The two affect one another.

    Catch St. Louis' progressive talk show, The Murdock Report, every Tuesday @ noon! Stream or download it: www.wgnu920am.com I do the twit thing too @SmokinJoesTruth

    by Da Rat Bastid on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 08:46:01 AM PDT

    •  I feel that these shows tell the average person (3+ / 0-)

      who doesn't have time to pay attention to all the issues, some of the more important things that are going on in congress or in the states. Otherwise these things would go under the radar.  I think Ed and Rachel have done a very good job of educating people about the 99%, the 1% issues and how trickle down doesn't work.

      I remember when 'trickle down' economics was very accepted, most people do not follow politics, they follow sports or other things. They are the great majority of voters. That is the audience that these people are taking a progressive message to.

  •  don't forget Chris Hayes (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greengemini

    he is doing some ground breaking stuff,

    of course to see it you need to get up really early, or DVR it.
    (or find the web site.)


    Commentary:  Us vs Them is politics,

    is what is required sometimes.  Hasn't the president tried the bi-partisan approach?  The Obstructionists would have none of it. So much for teamwork.

    I'm glad we have MSNBC.  It was a Conservative waste land prior to them, and their well verbalized counterpoints, to FOX and company.


    What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.
    -- Maslow ...... my list.

    by jamess on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 08:56:22 AM PDT

  •  They all carried the water for (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nada Lemming, Ray Pensador

    mandated private health insurance. They only let corporate stooges on the tee-vee. I cut off my cable because I don’t want to give money to the other (i.e. corporate) team. If you finance those who are playing for the corporate team you will get what you deserve (corporate governance, imperialism/feudalism).

  •  I mostly agree (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mike Taylor, Ray Pensador

    While I do believe that they mostly cover important issues that we need to know about, and not just fluff, and do it with some depth, I do agree that they tend to vastly overcover these issues, both within and between each show, night after night, until they're all played out, to a nauseating and unnecessary degree.

    It's the redundancy that bothers me, as well as, ironically, the often touch and go treatment that many issues get. It's like reading the Cliff Notes version of War and Peace over and over, each time based on a different translation.

    At least those of us with DVRs can FF the Exxon and Chevron and Carbonite ads (WTF?!?) and uninteresting or redundant segments. And those annoying 15-30 second micro-segments promoting an upcoming segment or showing a comedian making a funny that are intended to keep us tuned.

    My ideal nightly political news show would have less snark, rant and exploding graphics, and a more sober and dispassionate treatment of the big topics of the day, respecting viewers' intelligence by not repeating the same stories and themes night after night or trying to overdramatize each issue--while at the same time both refusing to be overly "fair" to the GOP beyond what the truth and rules of civility allow, and not being afraid to be critical of Dems when it's warranted.

    Kind of like, oh, Democracy Now. Or the News Hour before it went all "Fair and balanced". But truth be told, the former is usually too depressing to watch. I've become conditioned to being entertained while I'm being informed.

    A hard habit to break.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 09:06:09 AM PDT

  •  it is a problem (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador, DelilahOhMy

    progressive media has become a sort of political gossip magazine about republicans whereas at least the republicans talk about their ideas, as boneheaded as they are. I think it's why they win so often. They don't pander to demographics and they stay on message.

  •  Logged in to tip and rec (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador

    I haven't felt the need to do that in a while. Great diary.

  •  Run, do not walk, to Fareed Zakaria (3+ / 0-)

    I, like you, get to the point where I don't want to see any more Daily Show / Colbert for a while.  It's that I get it already; after a while I am the choir that doesn't need to be preached to, and my umbrage/outrage gland gets overworked.

    I suggest you watch Fareed Zakaria's GPS Sunday show on CNN instead.  He's so calm that it's a relief.  He's not going for laughs and he's not trying to poke you with a sharp stick.  Besides, there's a lot more to know about in the world than what the worst of the lot in the US are doing.  Yes, he'll call out Romney by name on his BS, and his analysis of Sarah Palin's performance soon after her arrival on he national stage was measured but damning - enough so that I wasn't worried that maybe it was just me. :)

  •  Wrong Message at the wrong time for the wrong (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kalmoth, greengemini

    people.  I leave your reasons out because I have no idea what they might be.  

    So the old "we're just as bad as they are" or phrased another way, "D's are just as bad as R's," is supposed to accomplish exactly what?

    "Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves." - Abraham Lincoln

    by leftreborn on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 09:39:01 AM PDT

  •  I could not disagree more.... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sun dog, Noodles, kalmoth, Terrapin

    I have seen and heard hard left Indy media.... I have issues with MSNBC on being to shrill.... Not setting a narrative that is not consistent. That being said the democratic party is the only vehicle to more progressive policy... This blog is a "democratic blog" it has many progressives but it is in fact focused in electing democratic votes in the congress..... I think UP with Chris hays is a great show.... I think racheal has moments of brilliance and her book is solidly progressive without being shrill. Lawerance could spend days on just how the senate works and what should be our democratic strategy but he fails. Who besides ED gives organized labor a voice? Who brought Wisconsin and occupy to the mainstream..... I remember N30 when there was no one covering the left....  Are the there for ratings and money of course do you gain from not supporting them to do better? Seems counter productive... Critique watch less push for better coverage content etc but shunning solid progressive
    And democratic message sounds Like a purity test and a good way to lose long term.... I would recommend they do less fox from the left and more depth facts integrated across platforms with source material.... More fact checking with support material.... Supporting more viral marketing of there shows and issues there viewer care about... Making segments easy to like to share on social media etc....

    •  It has its place but an echo chamber is where... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ray Pensador

      ... you only hear the views you want to hear. Yes there are good detailed readings into things on left leading broadcasts but they also discard some useful outside dissent. They won't show you when you're going off the rails.

  •  I am pulling back from liberal media too... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador, Jujuree

    They provide some valuable information, but are losing me by not calling out Obama and Dems when needed.

    NDAA, civil liberty abuses, assassination policies and surveillance beyond what Bush did. Nary a word on MSNBC, Randi Rhodes etc. (Mike Malloy is reliably populist, bless him).

    Obamabots are not the path of Progress.

  •  And folks here criticize because I listen to NPR (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe, Ray Pensador

    'cause they don't walk the party line and sometimes have real conservatives issuing real conservative viewpoints! It ain't news if you don't get both sides of the story in full and then have to work a bit to separate the wheat from the chaff. At least NPR give the liberal side as full a hearing as you'll get on mainstream media. And hopefully their new directive for less balance and more accuracy will make it exemplar in national broadcasting.  

    •  Noodles:Good on U 4 pointing out... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Noodles, Catte Nappe

      ..."It ain't news if you don't get both sides of the story in full and then have to work a bit to separate the wheat from the chaff."
      It has just this past week been made all 2 obvious 2 me that a set of DK readers & at least one main page writer seemingly do NOT feel that way.
      Note this comment
      to my recent Diary:
      "I'm saying that citing right-wing sites to back up your point of view is an indication that perhaps you lean right. There are plenty of places for us Kossacks to seek out

      right-wing points of view
      to educate ourselves in the political struggle we have with those folks.
      We don't need them here in our back yard."
      I note that INTERPRETATION of just about everything is rampant & is unfortunately so frequently based in personal bias.
  •  totally disagree (4+ / 0-)

    While I'm with you personally in that I don't waste my time watching newsertainment on the teevee machine, I think you're wrong to condemn the small efforts at combating the right wing noise machine.

     

    This is all about tribalism, about teams, about us vs. them
    Bullshit.  

    My whole political life, since shredding my newspaper in anger as a teenager in the Reagan years, the wingnuts have dominated the national conversation.  They spread lies as 'conventional wisdom' and it's only recently that there has been any real effort to check that on a day to day basis.  I believe the above it all sentiment you express here is a big part of why.  I'm old enough and know exactly who those fuckers are and what they're trying to do to the country so I don't spend my time watching tv talkers going over and over it.  But it's ridiculous to believe that there doesn't need to be a loud voice in media calling out right wing lies.  

    Don't watch it if you have better things to do.  Great.  But it's not just 'tribalism' to try to counter the constant rewriting of reality that is a profession of right wingers in America.  

    Are the commentators on the left lying like right wingers?  If not, don't lump them together as two sides of the same thing.  That's a huge part of the problem in getting the truth out there at all.  

    When the truth is only a matter of opinion, advantage goes to the liars.

    by Sun dog on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 10:03:34 AM PDT

  •  Thank you, Ray (0+ / 0-)

    I try to keep your attitude on this site as well.

    I'm not a Republican, but I'm saving up to be one. - Emo Phillips

    by GenXWho on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 10:10:34 AM PDT

  •  Won't take Cable to boycott Murdoch so I miss all (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ChadmanFL

    this programming.  I watch broadcast TV, and since much of that has devolved into reality garbage programs during prime time and even worse paid programs on late night and weekends, this means I don't watch much TV.

    People who have  Cable/Satellite tend to assume that everyone does.

    46 million Americans still watch TV exclusively over the air, says report

    By Phil Kurz

    The number of Americans now relying exclusively on OTA television broadcasting in their homes has actually grown to nearly 46 million — up from 42 million a year ago, according to new research from Knowledge Networks.

    Minorities make up 40 percent of all broadcast homes, the survey found. By minority group, the survey found the percentage relying on off-air reception to be:

    • 25 percent Asian households
    • 17 percent African-American households
    • 23 percent Hispanic (27 percent among households where Spanish is the language of choice).

    Republicans take care of big money, for big money takes care of them ~ Will Rogers

    by Lefty Coaster on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 10:14:16 AM PDT

    •  The Fox News crowd is literally dying anyway (0+ / 0-)

      I swear I read their average viewership age is over 60.  This is why even with more viewers than their rivals they still can't charge as much for commercials/sponsors.  Because the age group that matters to advertisers are young to middle-aged people.  Eventually the Fox News viewership will literally die off and I doubt the next generation of seniors will replace them.

  •  I stopped about 3 months ago... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pot, Ray Pensador, Jujuree, factbased

    I occasionally watch Rachel and I still think she's sublime. I do listen to Democracy Now! just to get an idea of what's going on in the outside world.

    But mostly, I just read...Actually, I just read "Manufacturing Consent" which is very apropos for what you are talking about here. It changed my entire outlook on the media and how we process information.

    The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places ~Ernest Hemingway
    Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle ~ Anonymous

    by SwedishJewfish on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 10:19:03 AM PDT

  •  MSNBC Sponsors=No Global Warming News+ Fossil Ads (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mike Taylor, pot, Ray Pensador

    What I notice is that Ms. Maddow and Ed and Lawrence never touch Global Warming, Keystone XL Pipeline, Tar Sands and Fracking, - in fact environmentalism and environmental justice just doesn't ever show up (or very little). We'll just ignore the planet....

    That the fossil fuel industry is her (their) major sponsor and actively pushing Tar Sands and Fracking and 100 years of carbon pollution in ads plastered over 10+ minutes of every half-hour, wouldn't have anything to do with that, would it? Clearly they are all editorializing (castrating) the progressive movement's strong environmental priorities in their content in order to not piss off their corporate patrons. Anyone at MSNBC, tell me I'm wrong, and show me the coverage.

    I like seeing progressive-oriented coverage, but MSNBC is almost as culpable on Global Warming as Fox. Remaining silent on the destruction of the planet, while their ads push more carbon pollution and block clean energy, lines up with climate change denial and the fast track to Thermal Hell that we are on.

  •  I stopped watching TV in 1989 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador

    when my 1st son was born. Suddenly, I had better things to do!

    I haven't missed it.

    The invasion of Iraq was a war crime, a crime against humanity, and a crime against civilization. Prosecute the crime.

    by Positronicus on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 10:41:05 AM PDT

  •  glad you said this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador

    I got fed up with MSNBC's largely contentless programming - they take a few Republican outrage stories of the day and then repeat them all night. Rachel is indeed the best of the bunch but that's not saying much. Rarely, she'll come up with something useful, like the Michigan Republicans fast tracking every piece of legislation via the 2/3 vote rule (without the 2/3 vote). Otherwise it's the same smirky snarky stuff all night - who needs it? I used to watch Matthews from time to time, but he too is useless, he and his gut and his circus of nightly hacks.
    I don't think this diary is gloomy at all, it is, rather, spot on illuminating. Unfortunately "we" have lost, this pathetic model is not going to beat Fox (it doesn't even want to), not going to advance progressive interests.

    Bold at inappropriate times.

    by steep rain on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 10:46:42 AM PDT

  •  Let's be smart about this (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    josmndsn, Catte Nappe, ddn, greengemini

    The fact that there are liberal-leaning shows with relatively large audiences (for cable) is a good thing.

    There is a reason they are not in-depth, dense, fact bombs.  Ratings.  Changing them into fact bomb shows means they will soon be off the air.

    The fact these shows exist is a win, and a small salvo again the right-wing noise machine.  At minimum it means the apolitical news consumer has exposure to non-right wing views.

  •  Is there progressive radio? I receive none (0+ / 0-)

    at home in terms of non-internet radio and I live in a major market. NPR is supposedly close but only its comedy programs remotely take care of progressive ideas and Democracy Now is far too infrequent on broadcast since I listen to radio mainly while driving

    slutty voter for a "dangerous president"; Präsidentenelf-maßschach; Warning-Some Snark Above"Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) "Sciant terra viam monstrare." 政治委员, 政委!

    by annieli on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 11:10:29 AM PDT

  •  Despite all the hard feelings (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Willa Rogers

    surrounding the Olbermann affair, Spitzer's program is very good and shows the greatest promise of being truly transgressive against the interests of the 1%... which probably means it won't be around long.

    Unlike most leftish folks on the air, Spitzer didn't earn his chops via an internship at The Nation, or on sports radio, or as a congressional staffer.  He knows what it is to really take on the forces of evil and what it is like to be targeted by them. He is tough as an old boot.

    I like Rachel Maddow and Chris Hayes (his show is pretty good so far) very much. They are bright, engaging, and capable of good journalism now and then. They are nice. But the urge to be a good host and make folks comfortable means that they can't get real traction.

    We need tough these days. Maybe some time down the road we can afford nice.

    And, of course, it's easier to make fun of the lunatics in the rethuglican asylum than to recognize that the status quo is toxic and that our team is doing little to change it. Deriding rethuglican stupidity will be the core of the Obama campaign this time. Most leftish pundits, and many here will toe the line.

    If only donkeys could have elephant balls... Occupy!

    by chuckvw on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 11:10:41 AM PDT

  •  It really is kind of amazing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greengemini

    to see Al Sharpton holding forth on the issues of the day. He's the left-wing answer to G. Gordon Liddy--a certified public creep, liar and rabble-rouser (I refer to the Brawley case that made his name) who leveraged his public creepiness into a media career. Ed seems like a nice guy and Rachel is really the genuine article but that's it.

  •  Rachel is brilliant, sorry (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greengemini

    I think her show is worth it.

    "For what profit a man, if he gain the world, but has to pay taxes on it?" -ontheleftcoast, The Book of Paul

    by MsGrin on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 11:35:12 AM PDT

  •  I feel that way about this site now and then (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador

    Best diary I've read in a year.

    We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both. - Former Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis

    by RageKage on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 11:39:01 AM PDT

  •  OMG Thank you! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador

    I seriously thought I was the only one on here who thought this. I remember during the dark days of 2006 I watched Keith Olbermann for a while, but had to stop because, you are right, MSNBC really is just a cheerleader, like Fox only without the crazy.

    I do not want to watch a news program that focuses much of its time making fun of the so-called "other team," which is MSNBC's main focus. I know it makes a lot of folks feel better, especially after years of bullying from the right wing in this country, but it is really bad for discourse. This is why I am so upset with Rachel Maddow. She is clearly a brilliant woman, she has to know the psychological effects of just making fun of the "other side" rather than just making your case, yet she does it anyway.

    This is why I love Bill Moyers so much. He does brilliant work, but he does not do it by being deliberately smug  or mocking anyone. He just tells the truth while being compassionate.

    I will make one exception, though. Kind of. Dr. Melissa Harris-Perry's new show has been surprising. I have been watching online video of it, and have been pleasantly surprised. Her discussion panels are full of academics and people who are quite calm, or who remain calm on just her show. She seems to focus more on social issues rather than political ones, and she has on people whose voices are generally never heard on television. Now, when she goes on other folks' shows on MSNBC, she does play the game, but her own show, I think, is a breath of fresh air.

    Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

    by moviemeister76 on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 11:48:06 AM PDT

  •  Kind of a moot point what progressives watch (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Crabby Abbey, NancyK

    or don't watch. The real problem is what conservatives or the unsuspecting viewers are watching. Nonstop conservative streaming on the airwaves and online. The damage it does is incalculable.

    I agree that a lot of what passes for "progressive" TV is a waste of time. There should be better and smarter progressive TV. But again, it doesn't really matter whether you're a consumer of that or not. What matters is if we're trying to educate the general public on progressive values and fight back against conservative propaganda. The worst thing liberals can do is to  believe that they're above media politics.

    •  Here's an example (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Crabby Abbey

      Look at Rachel Maddow. Her book Drift is a smart and detailed book, and it's number 1 on the New York Times Bestseller list. Do you think that would have happened were it not for her show? My point is that it's an interdisciplinary effort.

  •  I haven't ever had commercial cable (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador

    I have a "lifeline"-type deal with my cable company where I get essentially the same channels but in good quality that I would get over the air, HBO, and then I have a lot of stuff on-demand. But I don't have any cable channels other than HBO. I carry on a more or less endless political debate with my best friend who gets nearly all of his news from cable and it's interesting to observe the differences in the kinds of news that we get.

    But I really don't miss any of the cable tv squawkers at all. IMHO, they simply don't have enough time between commercial breaks to deal with any issue with any degree of substance or integrity. It's just the nature of the medium.

  •  As with food, a varied diet is best (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Crabby Abbey

    That should include some "MSM", and some "team rah rah"; as well as some deeper reading and less well known experts, and yes - even a dip into Red State from time to time to see what others are thinking and saying.

    As far as I'm concerned MSNBC has at least one great accomplishment - my father, who says the Republican party has left him, absolutely adores Rachel's work.

    from a bright young conservative: “I’m watching my first GOP debate…and WE SOUND LIKE CRAZY PEOPLE!!!!”

    by Catte Nappe on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 12:23:40 PM PDT

  •  What is wrong with tribalism? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Crabby Abbey, ddn, kalmoth, greengemini

    I am a member of a few tribes.  I am a Kossack, I am a Progressive, I am married and my own immediate tribe is important to me, etc...

    Progressives are a great tribe, and they are always looking for members!  They are the only voting bloc of size actually aligned with the economic best interests of ordinary Americans.

    The greater tribe of Democrats is less so, but still favorable.

    I like to know I am not alone.  I like to know my tribes have great values and are populated with great people!  I take pride in their numbers, and that gives me confidence, a source of strength and a place to go when I am needy or down too.

    As for the low content, gaffes, tit-for-tat garbage, it's worth remembering the GOP in general, started it.  They bully, they lie, they cheat, they steal, and most importantly, their tribe is all about making racists, bigots, theocrats and corporatists feel really good about it.

    When one takes a look at the various tribes out there, some look better than others.  Some are aligned with us as people and some are not.  

    There is no shame in promoting this, and frankly, if we don't do that work, promote our tribe, differentiate, then our tribe won't get the growth and the numbers needed to make a difference.

    And making that difference is why our tribes exist!  

    If we zoom out to a very macro view, somewhat shallow, low detail, the ugly tribes are out there big, pounding their drums, chanting, etc...   A decent person begins to wonder whether or not they are really alone, delusional, etc...

    Like it or not, that is the state of our media today.  On a personal values note, I don't like it much at all.  Would much rather the discussion be more sane, but it just isn't.  

    I don't take shit from regressives, because I have the self-respect to know what harm that does, and I don't take shit about my tribes, because I know if I have their back, they will have mine and that's how shit gets done.  Women are a tribe, gay people are a tribe, the poor people are a tribe, and they need to know who has their back and who does not, and together as a tribe, we can push back on these asses and take some of it back for us, because it's good for us, and we need it.

    ***Be Excellent To One Another***
    IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

    by potatohead on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 12:23:54 PM PDT

    •  The main point is that we are being deceived. (0+ / 0-)
      •  Yeah, bias is always there. Rather than lament it (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kalmoth

        I would just embrace it.  Media in the US is crappy, no doubt, but it's also very pervasive.

        This whole thing reads like "boycott them", and sure!  On a personal level I don't value it too highly, but then again, most people I know are not there.  And we all know how well those work.  Mostly they don't.

        So, to be relevant, I engage the media, just remaining critical.

        Ignoring it won't make it go away.  

        Punching through the deception happens one person talking / relating to another, one at a time, in parallel, everywhere.

        What to talk about??  

        Current events as a lead into greater topics seems a fine starter to me.

        ***Be Excellent To One Another***
        IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

        by potatohead on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 01:41:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Try listening to any of the five fine Pacifca (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador, leema

    Group radio stations, KPFA/KPFB in Berkeley, KPFK in L.A., KPFT in Austin, Texas, WBAI in New York and WPFW in D.C. Find them all streaming online.

    I thought I heard a boy cry, "Wolf!"

    by socalmonk on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 12:47:35 PM PDT

  •  But Obama is a leftist (0+ / 0-)

    so by definition anything he supports is leftist too.

    "I've seen the flame of hope among the hopeless/ And that was truly the biggest heartbreak of all" -- Bruce Cockburn

    by Cassiodorus on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 01:09:25 PM PDT

  •  Ray are you a libertarian? (0+ / 0-)
  •  Thank you for putting this into words. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador

    I stopped watching those three MSNBC shows several months ago, too.  I felt like I was being led, because while I agree with them on most subjects, I know who owns their channel.

    I think Rachel is great and sometimes I'll watch a segment I've heard about on the internet.  I have to wonder how  much better she'd be if she didn't work for G.E. and could actually do whatever she wanted.

  •  With due respect, I think you're wrong (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Terrapin, griffin459, greengemini

    While I admit I do not watch MSNBC as much as I used to and there is a wedge of truth in what you say. I have tuned out as it is boring at the moment. The Republic primary jumped the shark months ago. Now it is important for the electorate to know the non character of Mitt Romney, I personally do not need to hear about his flip flops and gaffes for 4 hours everyday.
     While Fox news still exists in it's present form of lies and distortion, and while the MSM continues to ignore this and pretend they are legitimate news, it is absolutely essential there be an MSNBC, and a Daily Kos for that matter.
     

    Whoever controls the media, the images, controls the culture

    by nezzclay on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 02:18:15 PM PDT

  •  They are all we've got!!!!!! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mrsgoo, greengemini

    Yes, they are not Democracy Now. They are not 100% perfect. But they are all we've got. And the things they report have ramifications in the culture. Especially Rachel. She is awesome and committed. You want perfect. You won't get perfect. You can denigrate them but remember..... They are all we've got. And this is war. This is not just politics. It is a war for women's rights. It is a war for environmental rights. It is a war for civil rights. And did I say....They are all we've got!!!!!!

  •  So Ray ascended to a higher plane of media ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greengemini

    ... consumption and has decided to slap downward at those that are trying to inform, inspire and rally the dispirited and forlorn Progressives who have suffered for decades in a conservative media environment.  Why must Progressives be so hard to please and even harder to help?  

    Hooray that you have found a more enriching media experience.  But of all the people you decide to denigrate it happens to be the stalwarts of the Progressive cable shows?  Can't you decide simply to appreciate what they do for the rest of the Progressive flock and those that may be considering joining it?

    Please do not be alarmed. We are about to engage... the nozzle.

    by Terrapin on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 04:41:07 PM PDT

  •  I watch them all but I have noticed that lately (0+ / 0-)

    it seems like they are all on the same stories. I especially dislike when they all use the same video clips. I have started watching LinkTV a little more and also try to catch Thom Hartmann. I'm probably the only person in the world who likes Jennifer Granholm on The War Room (current). I wish somebody would get aljazeera up for news. Good to see you writing again Ray.

    Sig seen on Redstate: ABO Anybody But Obama. Sorry, I'm stealing that.... Another Barack Opportunity. Vote Obama/Biden 2012!

    by mrsgoo on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 04:59:17 PM PDT

  •  I don't think that's the case.... (0+ / 0-)

    ....at all. Ed Schultz has been very supportive of labor issues, for example, and Maddow, as you point out, has directed a lot of attention to corporate abuses, particularly ALEC.

  •  It ain't all about you Ray... (0+ / 0-)

    Progressive media-- particularly talk radio-- works for the Blue Collar dudes driving around in F-150s who don't have sattelite or cable, never mind Twitter or Facebook; i.e. 80% of the American public.

    All of us Oh- So-Hip Kossacks who get our information off the Internet and thru social media... couldn't deliver enough votes to  elect the Marin County Auditor-- let alone win a Presidential election.

    Why is that? Because the other side GETS IT: AM Talk and "Tribal" cable TV shows DRIVE A MESSAGE and motivate voters!

    BTW...by driving away eyes and ears (Read: Ad revenues) from progressive media, exactly what is it that you are trying to accompolish?

  •  Thank God for Rachel, Ed, Al, Last Word (0+ / 0-)

    Wherein I here the truth that GOP does not want you to know and hear.  No it is not perfect but it is a point of light in an otherwords very dark media world.

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