Taking a rif from Kos's recent diary about Current TV, I thought about what it would take to really counter the growing right wing machine, set in motion by, among other things, Reagan's erasure of the Fairness Doctrine.
This all would have been easier at the start of the recession. Newspapers were reeling. A billionaire lefty could have purchased the New York Times, the LA Times and the WaPo for a song, purged these papers of their nutcase righties and their mushy centrists, and remade them as truth-telling, leftist newspapers. As in, real leftist papers, telling truth to power, never beholden to any corporate interest or any political party.
At the same time, they could have propped up smaller mags like Mother Jones and The Nation, and helped out organizations to their left as well, like Dissent, Jacobin, Monthly Review and the folks at Climate and Capitalism.
The next step would be to start up a leftist cable network, and produce shows with a left-wing bent. Have a cable show for the editors of the new NYT, WaPo and LAT. Have another one for The Nation, Mother Jones and Dissent. Shock the country by having actual socialists and ecosocialists heading their own shows, by bringing in people like John Bellamy Foster, George Monbiot, David Harvey, David Graeber and Terry Eagleton, to name a few. We could have a Sunday show for ecosocialism. Another for Marxism today.
Some might say, that's crazy. The country will never go for it. Well, think about the media landscape before Fox. How many people, left of center, ever imagined that such a mendacious, mean-spirited and obviously propagandist organization would have been so successful?
Unlike Fox, a truly leftist media empire would have truth, facts, empirical data on its side. It wouldn't need to lie to make its case.
(More after the fold)
To use a sports metaphor, the above is about stretching the field. Instead of seeking incremental, slow change, via three yards and a cloud of dust, we go long.
It's also about the Overton Window. Media create and recreate their own frames, and they alter the status quo. The absence of Media only makes the other side more powerful. And the left is simply drowned out in the media landscape now, between the centrist or center-right MSM, and unabashed rightist media.
My fantasy would require deep pockets, obviously. Most likely, many deep pockets. But it's time for those deep pockets to also think big. Really big. Not just on the lines of MSNBC or Current. But something that embraces the entire spectrum of the left and offers it up as an alternative to the right. Let America see, first hand, what the Left is all about, in its own words, instead of getting their idea of the Left through Fox, the CIA, the FBI and the MSM.