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Regardless of the outcome, even if highly favorable, this election season has made something beyond clear: We can no longer tolerate a system of oligopolous media control where an endless torrent of lies is promoted or at least unchallenged.  Even if we manage to overcome it this time, there is no guarantee about next time when we don't have such great candidates and enthusiasm.  The status quo has proven beyond the shadow of a doubt that the media conglomerates that cumulatively control thousands of radio stations, TV stations, and newspapers throughout the country - upwards of 90% of this nations' news media - are a clear and present danger to democracy in America.  Candidates and policies that enjoy overwhelming majority support in nations with a freer, more robust media have to tread water to even become electorally viable in this one because of the money control of information in the United States.  We can no longer tolerate this.

Raving psychotic Republicans are entitled to their opinions.  They're even entitled to their lies.  What they are not entitled to do is monopolize our PUBLIC airwaves - taxpayer-subsidized, licensed MONOPOLIES that exclude others from access - to spread their sick, anti-democracy ideology, lies, and propaganda to smear our candidates, deceive the American people, and sway elections.  No more.  Nor are they entitled to use their money to envelope us in a bubble of lies through near-monopoly control of other mediums.  They are not entitled to use their ill-gotten gains to control pretty much every information medium other than the internet to achieve a takeover of American politics that elections in a free and open information environment would never approve of.  No more.

These lying bastards have already cost lives in the massacres by mentally unbalanced individuals influenced by right-wing propaganda, and I don't expect that they're going to hold back in the near future since they've never been held accountable before.  They've inflicted unspeakable horrors on this country for well over a decade using their domination of our information system to spread lies and hate, and put criminal sociopaths in office via the "Corporations United" decision handed by the 5 Supreme Courtesans in 2010.  They've stood in the way of our nation's recovery to expand their own power and privilege, created alternate universes in the minds of gullible victims and the willfully bigoted, and pissed on everything this nation stands for and has ever stood for.  No more.

For the first time in a long time, there will be consequences for all the lies and propaganda following this election.  If we win, we will be happy and contented for a while, but the knowledge of what Republicans did to try to seize this country from its people will not leave our minds.  And if shit happens, by hook or by crook, we will know exactly from what direction it came.  We can't tolerate this shit any longer.  Republicans can express themselves nine ways from Sunday, but they better damn well expect that if they use our public resources to do so, we will be represented beside them, rebutting their lies and offering our vision for this country without some psychopathic executive cutting off our microphones.  And if they try to bury us in  money - money they stole from the American people - we will not rest until this country is safe from their tyranny:

1.  Punish advertisers who benefit these parasites and predators.
2.  Occupy the physical infrastructure that they use to spread bigoted anti-American, anti-democracy propaganda on behalf of the Republican Party's plutocratic agenda.
3.  Lodge complaints with the FCC where applicable, and pursue all practical legal action.

This is our country.  This is our government.  This is our media.  We will allow Republicans to have a say because that is their right, and because we are fair.  But they will not be permitted to own and propagandize our media any longer.  No more.  No more loaded headlines and false equivalencies.  No more.   No more treating mendacious right-wing ideology mills as credible think tanks.  No more.  No more stacking the deck.  No More  No more reporting based on stenography of Republican talking points, horse race narratives, and nihilistic reduction of reality to two equally matched opinions rather than objective facts.  NO MORE.  NO FUCKING MORE.


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Comment Preferences

  •  Oh, if only... I'd sure like to see this happen. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave in Northridge, Troubadour

    But I'm not holding my breath. Maybe if we somehow get the House...

  •  Rush Limbaugh: enemy of America. I want (6+ / 0-)

    to see that ass hole lose his job.  He IS losing his advertising base/dollars.

    Expose the lies. Fight for the truth. Push progressive politics. Save our planet. Health care is a right, not a privilege.

    by lighttheway on Sat Nov 03, 2012 at 07:44:10 AM PDT

    •  lighttheway - I think that's how Limbaugh (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lighttheway, Troubadour, wasatch

      is stopped. The advertising boycott is the most effective way of reducing both Limbaugh's compensation and his reach. He is clearly on a downward cycle. However, he is not going off the air overnight, he still has the largest audience in AM radio.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Sat Nov 03, 2012 at 01:16:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This I'm Afraid Is Hard Wired Into the 1st Amend- (6+ / 0-)

    ment. We can return to mid 20th century practices of constraining the media's business activity and power, which might get us partway back to the more journalistic press we had in those times. Nationalizing the cable and satellite transmission infrastructure might be needed to extend broadcast licensing requirements to these other domains.

    Hard to say; broadcast was born at the beginning of the New Deal regulatory regime, so journalistic news had never been a profit center for broadcast up to the day we began deregulating under Reagan. Now they've had 30 years to learn how to make news profitable. It may be that restoring those business regs will not materially restore journalism to the infotainment and propaganda business.

    I wouldn't argue against popular action but we need to have some people thinking more fundamentally systemically about what creates the sociopathic information environment under our system that doesn't exist under all the other advanced democratic systems.

    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 Nov 03, 2012 at 07:47:45 AM PDT

    •  I already simplified this for everyone (5+ / 0-)

    •  As always very astute, Gooserock. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Meteor Blades, Troubadour

      My concern with boycotts is that is works both ways, and frankly the RW has more money behind them to carry out boycotts that could silence voices that they find undesirable.  In fact, big corporate money will get behind them to drown our voices - we know that from experience.

      You are right that we can look back and see a time when there were licensing regulations that kept the newsroom as a nonprofit part of the TV station.  I agree with you that this is where we need to begin our examination of the situation.  

      Maybe we can't put the toothpaste back in the tube, but perhaps we can find a contemporary solution that will promote solid and informative journalism.

      I frequently watch Euronews, and I find it to be very professional, and their coverage is much more expansive than the US news services.

      It gets on my nerves, and you know how I am about my nerves...

      by ciganka on Sat Nov 03, 2012 at 08:55:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Absolutely (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Troubadour, karmsy, Chi, G2geek

    No more horse race coverage of elections. It's not only the propaganda, it's that they think the viewing and voting public is STUPID. Remember, we got Dr. Laura off the air for her racism and homophobia.  There are more of us now who have seen the idiocy that constitutes American political broadcasting and have understood what it means.  We can do this.

    -7.75, -8.10; All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent, and we are all Wisconsin.

    by Dave in Northridge on Sat Nov 03, 2012 at 07:51:27 AM PDT

    •  We are already doing it. (6+ / 0-)

      We will continue. Remember hate merchant Glenn Beck? He was taken out, his prime-time career ended, by an advertising boycott because consumers were sick of the hatred and craziness. Dentists and housewives--little every-day nobodies--got lists of advertisers on Glenn Beck's show and they telephoned those advertisers and let them know they wouldn't be buying their products as long as that continued. That did it. Beck's advertisers started dropping away, and ultimately Fox decided Beck was a liability. They didn't renew his contract. Now Beck has signed another big contract elsewhere. There is still a market for his vileness, but Beck has been so marginalized, he isn't regarded as part of the cultural mainstream anymore. He isn't quoted for "comments and perspective" for stories in the corporate media. His name is no longer a household word. Thus he has become a has-been.

      We will do exactly the same to Rush Limbaugh, and others.

      It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

      by karmsy on Sat Nov 03, 2012 at 08:31:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The "mouthpieces" are small fry. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The problem are the organizations that hire them.  They have to be smashed and swept away from the public airwaves, or broken up if they monopolize non-regulated media.

        Voter suppression is treason.

        by Troubadour on Sat Nov 03, 2012 at 09:44:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I certainly understand the frustration (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    defluxion10, coffeetalk, VClib, nextstep

    but, to be honest, I'm not sure it's as warranted as it was 10 years ago.  The right wing has FOX, but MSNBC has changed dramatically in recent years and is now as far to the left as FOX is to the right.  And that leaves CNN waffling in the middle (though tending rightward).  

    I watch MSNBC all the time, because that's where I feel ideologically comfortable. Sometimes, when I switch over to FOX, just to see, I'm stunned by how different things look from the other side of the looking glass.

    We've become highly polarized since 2000 and the Tea Party has made that even worse since 2010.  It seems that the best solution is to try to decrease the polarization, as Obama consistently tries to do.  The only other alternative is to become a country of extremists.  Yet, at heart, I don't think that's what the majority of Americans really are.  Maybe 30%.  And that could be counterweighted by 70% purple.

    If we insist that the right wing will not be allowed "to own and propagandize our media" any longer, what would happen to MSNBC according to this logic?  It's all progressive all the time.  As I said, that where I get much of my news, but isn't their bias equally unfair?

    I dunno.  That's just my 2 cents.  

    •  Uh, no. (4+ / 0-)
      The right wing has FOX, but MSNBC has changed dramatically in recent years and is now as far to the left as FOX is to the right.
      For MSNBC to be as far to the left as Fox is to the right, it would have to be openly, straight-up Marxist with hammer-and-sickle flags flying on its logo.  It's basically a Republican media executive's idea of what we want to hear - they manage to get it right some of the time, but they will never really understand the difference between journalism and pandering to the sensibilities of an audience.

      Voter suppression is treason.

      by Troubadour on Sat Nov 03, 2012 at 08:07:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'd like to see this be… (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Troubadour, karmsy, ciganka

    the purpose and goal that unites the site, much like the election is. Issue discussion will always be here, but unity in focus can be extremely effective. Great idea. Can't wait to find out what I can do to help, or even where not to shop.
         This could very well be a momentous four years, and this can be the focus that lets Kossaks play an game changing role. And talk about helping to elect good Democrats in two and four years, nothing we can do would be more effective. When, where, how do we begin?

    I'm voting for the UPPITY ONE

    by qua on Sat Nov 03, 2012 at 08:04:14 AM PDT

  •  The organized and savvy (5+ / 0-)

    grassroots boycott of Glenn Beck's advertisers launched a very exciting trend in public control of the airwaves. Now we are single-mindedly pursuing the silencing of hate merchant Rush Limbaugh, in the same manner, by going after advertisers on his show. I believe this is only the start. We will succeed again and again in exactly this manner.

    Remember, the progressive movement has the potential for a diverse and clamorous grassroots presence the RW only dreams about. We are starting to realize to realize that potential. May it continue.

    I tipped your diary because of the topic. I rec'd it because you included examples in the final paragraph. We need more discussion of this kind. Thanks.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Sat Nov 03, 2012 at 08:11:08 AM PDT

  •  With respect to the MSM... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Troubadour, defluxion10, ciganka

    I also believe we should really prioritize demanding that our local community television stations provide better, and factual, coverage of local and state government affairs.

    We can rail about FOX News and RW talk radio 'til the cows come home, but I see the real problem with "low information" voters (whose numbers far exceed those who are addicted to RW outlets) as having no clue what their local and state governments do because local TV stations only ever cover sensational crimes and lurid tragedies- aside from sports and weather news. Here in Virginia- as elsewhere- any government actions barely ever get a passing reference.

    It appears that even with cable news and digital media, local television news is how most people might stay "informed" (if at all) of their localities and perhaps of any factual national issues, as well.

  •  I'm in. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Post election let's make a plan.

  •  Yes, the media has concerned me for quite some (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    time.  Will Greider wrote, Who Will Tell the People, and this book was published in 1993.  He pointed out some serious flaws in our media and sure enough, over time these flaws have become major problems.

    I am not even going to look towards FOX News and RW talk radio.  The problem goes much deeper than that.  At one time journalists had adversarial relationships with politicians.  Today they all attended the same schools, and belong to the same clubs.  Their power comes from their access, and they will not endanger that.

    Furthermore, media persons are now superstars.  Their reporting on foreign affairs is particularly disgusting because they learned during the Balkan Wars that they could write books, create history out of thin air, and ultimately become superstars.  They became the story.   That is why there are Sunday shows that are actually about journalists.

    This Greider book really has the whole back story that can easily see how we have come to this.

    I really appreciate this diary because the coverage during this long campaign has just been unbearable.
    I also believe that after this election is over, something must be done to call to account a media that has served the American people so poorly.

    It gets on my nerves, and you know how I am about my nerves...

    by ciganka on Sat Nov 03, 2012 at 08:45:00 AM PDT

    •  a note on the "Dean scream" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      marina, Troubadour

      Remember how many times that distorted clip ran? Distorted because the sound of the crowd he was trying to be heard over had been turned down to make it sound crazier.

      I originally saw the raw footage on BBC and thought nothing of it; it sounded no different than other candidates shown yelling to be heard over crowds. The "yargghh" or whatever was just a vocal tic of enthusiasm. Insignificant. Imagine my surprise when the next day, the distorted clip was all over the news, over and over and over, like it actually meant anything.

      Guess what Dean said just days before that?

      That the media monopolies had to be broken up.

      Coincidence? I've never thought so.

      To be fair, the powers behind the media may well have found a reason to take Dean down anyway, but I was really struck by the "Dean scream" sabotage so closely following that statement, a statement that is never part of the usual political discourse for obvious reasons. What really saddens me is that such a cheap stunt was actually effective in killing his campaign. I mean, really? Even with the distortion, what a ridiculous thing that was. I never understood why anyone bought the "unhinged" narrative of that particular media meme.

      I remember reading stories in the 00's about immigrants/visitors from former Eastern bloc countries pitying Americans, because under Communism, they KNEW that their news was propaganda. As much as Americans of all political persuasions complain about the media, many don't recognize how much of our news is indeed propaganda.

      •  Dean was a gaffe-monster anyway. (0+ / 0-)

        I knew that about him long before the scream incident.  I'd seen him in several appearances, and he just couldn't speak extemporaneously without garbling his words and/or saying things that were cringe-worthy.  And when he spoke from a script, he often seemed on the verge of befuddlement, like he was just barely keeping up with himself.  

        It was very different with my chosen candidate in the '04 primaries, Wes Clark, but he too ended up being ganked by the media - he just didn't give them any excuses, so they just made stuff up.  Unfortunately, Democrats still hadn't caught on yet that the media is full of shit, so they believed it as a self-fulfilling prophecy that Clark wasn't succeeding despite having brought together a remarkable coalition in a short time.  The media basically shut him out, then declared that he wasn't "media savvy" and it was insane because his events were crammed with people.  Michael Moore had got on board with him.

        Dean had good issues and had pioneered internet fundraising, but he wasn't the kind of candidate who could handle every little thing being constantly scrutinized and exploited by ruthless enemies.  Being Governor of Vermont didn't really prepare him for any of that.  If he'd won the nomination, he would have lost the election massively.  I maintain to this day that Wes Clark, had he been nominated, would have smashed George W. Bush to smithereens.  I think the media was aware of that fact, and acted to prevent him ever getting the chance.

        Voter suppression is treason.

        by Troubadour on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 01:06:31 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I thought if Obama imposed (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the Fairness Doctrine from the moment he came into office, as his first priority, then he would have a chance at achieving his goals. But the right wing and some of the left screamed censorship and then FCC chairman Genachowski put the Doctrine in a shallow grave.

    We can't continue operating as a democratic republic while polluting the social milieu with falsehoods. That much is sadly plain to see.

    •  The Fairness Doctrine (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VClib, nextstep

      would likely be found unconstitutional today as contrary to the First Amendment.  Its justification was based solely on the fact that there was limited access to the public airwaves (only three tv networks at the time).  That justification is gone, and I can't see any way that Congress can now constitutionally justify something like the Fairness Doctrine. Now you have private cable and satellite networks, and the internet -- virtually everybody in this country has access to differing views, so there's no justification for saying that it's necessary to make sure that people who WANT to hear the opposing views get them -- people who WANT opposing views can certainly find them.  The fact that progressive views are probably more prevalent on the internet, and conservative views are more prevalent on talk radio is not a function of government, so government can't constitutionally try to "balance" the views in each medium.  

      In addition, it constitutionally cannot possibly be applied to cable networks, cable radio, and the internet, as there is no First Amendment justification for regulating speech in that way.   There's no First Amendment justification for the federal government to say, if you watch Rachel Maddow, we (the government) think it's a good idea for you also to hear conservative points of view, so we are going to make Maddow cede part of her time to a conservative.  Or for saying that so much a percentage of the DailyKos website has to be ceded to Redstate.  The government does not get to choose which speech we "should" hear.  We do.  If I choose to watch Maddow and not to watch a conservative show, if I choose to frequent DailyKos , the government has no place telling me that I "should" also hear Hannity and see Redstate.  

      And it's a bad idea.  Who gets to say who gives the counter presentation to Al Sharpton, or to Sean Hannity?  Is there only one counter?  How many other views must you give?

      I firmly believe that the only solution to speech you don't like is more of your own speech.  

      •  Okay then (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        let's break up the media monopolies so that tv, radio, print are owned by many diverse voices instead of only a corporate few.

        The government (we the public) can apply rules and regulations when public resources are accessed or applied. I'm not giving up on this. Lies cannot be granted equal weight with truth, or we are done.

        •  If they meet the legal definition of a monopoly (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          then the tools are in place to do that under federal antitrust law.  The problem you have is that I don't think there is one entity that qualifies as a "monopoly" in any of those areas.  

          Several entities that all share the same political views does not meet the definition of "monopoly." So if you have 3 unrelated entities that, among them, control the market, and all three have conservative views, that's not legally a monopoly -- that's three entities competing in the marketplace.  If hypothetically, Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint are all conservative, that doesn't make them one entity for purposes of federal antitrust laws.  Government cannot constitutionally consider the political viewpoints of people in making those kinds of decisions.    

          The fact that Limbaugh, et al are in so many radio markets is largely a function of the market -- Limbaugh draws (relatively speaking) huge audiences, which means that he makes money for the radio stations.  The solution is to build your own competition -- just as they did, by starting small and building (Limbaugh started as a DJ and his first political talk show was on a single Sacremento station) and, most importantly, drawing an audience so that you can make money for the radio station.  THAT is what will balance the speech on radio, if that is your goal.  Government constitutionally cannot do that for you.  

        •  see above (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I was looking for the right comment to post what I did just a little above about media monopolies and Dean, and this one fits the bill.

          I agree.

          I think it would be a long and difficult fight with a powerful adversary who has a huge megaphone. They react quickly to any perceived threat, and it would require enormous public will to get politicians to listen, which means educating a public who doesn't want to hear it.

          Multiple strategies, and I'm not sure what to suggest, but it's a fight worth having, and the left has a lot of creative minds, plus the internet.

          A few Twitter memes have been more effective than I ever imagined they could be in countering media so-called "conventional wisdom". That's a trivial thing, but every bit helps, and this will require using every resource.

          It's encouraging that Occupy overcame media blackout, though of course most of the official message was negative and garbled. 99% resonated and mainstreamed.
          99, 47, 100,.... who knew that numbers in isolation could make such an impact on people's views?

  •  Agree 100% (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    But how does anyone "take-over" a corporate media monolith?

    The "traditional media" is unspeakably awful, FOX is deplorable on too many levels to count and a menace to decent society but as long as the ad time and the eyeballs interact - they're not going anywhere.

    I think we have to cut the feet from under the monster and be the new media. Replace them.

    The truth is out there, Share it.

    Perhaps one day the Fourth Estate will take their jobs seriously. Or not..

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Sat Nov 03, 2012 at 09:41:40 AM PDT

    •  You compete and win the audience. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ciganka, VClib

      That is what you have to do.  

      Rush Limbaugh started as a DJ and his first political talk show was on one Sacramento station.  FNC did not start with the audience it has now.  If progressives want the radio audience to have more access to progressive views, they have to compete and win that audience, one station at a time.

      If you aren't personally going to compete (and most of us don't have the finances to do that), then you as a consumer do your part through your choices.  You choose which speech you "buy" (as a listener, you are a consumer as far as advertisers go).  You also choose whether or not to patronize those who support the speech you dislike, and you have every right to let them know why you choose to buy, or not to buy, their products.  Why do you think that most talk radio (even my local station in New Orleans, WWL, which has mostly local news and sports talk) has "codes" that you use with their advertisers that can get you discounts if you patronize the advertisers?  Advertisers want to know whether their ads on this show or that show are getting people to buy their products.  

      Unfortunately, you have to have enough people join you to make a difference.  As long as 10 million people choose to tune in to Limbaugh, he's going to stay on the air, unless he wants to quit (he's certainly rich enough to do that if he wants).  That's how things work in a democratic capitalist society.  

  •  fight the good fight (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    if republicans want to survive as a party, they have to repudiate their own sleazy right wing that has lied and whipped up their 20% mob.

    as ej dionne said, the right admitted they could not win an election when they saw romney tacking left and held their silence.

    a guy like lugar, a decent guy, but mostly held his silence while the republican party went nuts. the left can boycott rush, and it is a great idea, yes, but the real separation from this horrible human being and others like him has to come from the republican party itself.

    war is immoral. both parties are now fully complicit in the wars. bring everyone home. get to work.

    by just want to comment on Sat Nov 03, 2012 at 10:39:26 AM PDT

  •  Wisconsin example of this (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Troubadour, wasatch, marina

      I wrote about this today- in Wisconsin and especially the Milwaukee area, the newspaper, radio stations, and TV stations work hand-in-hand with the RW lie machine. And it usually takes outside sources to hold them to account, as the exposure of GOP lies and the maker of racist billboards generally came from outside of corporate-owned media.

       We have to smash these guys and make them play it fair, but they'll never do it unless we draw attention to it and hurt their bottom lines by doing so.

  •  The problem lies in TV itself. (0+ / 0-)

    Simply turn it off.  It has never provided the protection of our democratic freedoms the way the print media has.  It creates an atmosphere of gossip and superficial obsessions and we don't have time to waste trying to reform it.  I will not waste one hour after this election wrestling with the corporate media.  The time has come to focus on BIOLOGY.

    "Something in the way, yeah." Kurt Cobain

    by The Hamlet on Sat Nov 03, 2012 at 08:12:16 PM PDT

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