March 06, 2003
The media and politics In

The media and politics

In the "better late than never" category, I guess we can add this Toronto Star article about the two month-old survey that showed how many USofA citizens thought Iraqis were some of the terrorists.

I'm glad to see the article, though, because after citing statistics from the survey, Antonia Zerbisias adds her voice to those pointing out that the USofA media, well, let's put it politely and say it isn't doing it's job the way it should.

"They package and market this "Showdown" thing like info-burger: Pre-ground, overcooked, and then served with a side of processed cheese, just like the Monica Lewinsky scandal."
She also points out:
"The media's failure to serve the public interest helps explain why, as the Internet audience measurement company Nielsen NetRatings revealed last month, Americans are turning more and more to news sites outside the country for a more accurate and balanced picture of the world."

Also, the media is occasionally stupid. They hired someone who spoke Arabic but presumably had a more television-friendly voice to "do" Saddam Hussein on the Rather interview?

And in the end, it's just spin, okay?

The Republicans can choose to talk about "climate change" instead of "global warming" and it sounds less scary to the population, but that doesn't change reality. (Why is it that some people continue to think that if they just say something loudly enough and often enough, it will be true?) The environment is in more trouble today than it's been in a long time, based solely on this Administration's attempts to dismantle protections.

" Among the ways to "challenge the science," the memorandum says, is to "be even more active in recruiting experts who are sympathetic to your view and much more active in making them part of your message" because "people are more willing to trust scientists than politicians."

Not your scientists, though, Bush. (And I'm still bemused by the announcement that "many voters" think scientists don't all agree on global warming. Where do these people get their focus groups?)

Also. Politicians? Some of them should be ashamed of themselves.

Completely ashamed.

You know what the problem with liberals is?

The problem with liberals is that they do actually believe what they say. They believe that everyone's entitled to their opinion and to express that opinion in a way that doesn't materially damage others.

They believe you should be fair and even-handed and consider all sides of an issue and then come to a conclusion.

That's why a journalist would agonize over exposing a "liberal" position publicly. If he'd been coming out bitterly against the war, he could have joined protest marches, written columns and articles, and done pretty much anything he wanted. It's only because what he wanted to do was not in line with the conservative media's party line that he got flak.

(Well, that and the ANSWER connection, which I continue to find regrettable but do not intend to blame any individual marcher for.)

But I suggest that those idealists looking to establish a "liberal" radio network not abandon their liberal beliefs to do so. By all means, find a rational and articulate Conservative to present alternate points of view. Even invite a few of them to come on down and debate the issues with us.

But whatever you do, do not try to develop a lefty version of Rush Limbaugh.

I promise you. You can win the hearts and minds of the people even while you're being the intellectual party. Honest you can. And liberal issues are sexy, okay? They don't have the sheer, heart-pounding hate-filled emotional punch of a rant against People Not Like Us, but they don't need that junk. It's only useful when you don't have any real ideas to present, anyhow. If the Republicans were for things instead of just being against most kind of equality, they wouldn't need the hate-mongers either.

If you talk about environmental abuses, activism, clean air, clean water, human rights, equality, and political accountability, people will listen.

(Throw in a few jokes from time to time. Being liberal isn't all that grim, okay?)

Posted by annezo at 09:18 AM


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