June 17, 2002
The sun circles the earth.|
The earth is flat.
The media is liberal.
Ancient people can be forgiven for once believing the first two propositions. Their own senses appeared to confirm them; they knew what they saw.
The third proposition, however, defies both logic and the evidence of people's own senses. So how can so many people believe it? Unrelenting propaganda from the right.
The media is not liberal, of course.
In reality, the mainstream corporate media -- i.e., the media that the vast majority of people depends on for news -- ranges from conservative to revanchist. In a few areas of social concern, it approaches moderate, but without much conviction. In economic matters, it is at best reactionary.
What would we be seeing and viewing if the media were truly liberal? At least some of the following:
* Newspaper editorials calling for the nationalization of utilities and major industries, instead of the privatization of governmental duties.
* Coverage of labor actions on a daily basis, and a labor section as well as a business section in newspapers and TV newscasts. Continuing stories on the plight of the working poor, and stories following what happens to people who are 'downsized'.
* Coverage of the diseases and social problems of the poor and powerless -- e.g., AIDs, homelessness and malnutrition -- in addition to the current saturation coverage of today's fad neuroses and the agonies of finding termites in a vacation home. In-depth coverage of what happens to people who are thrown off welfare.
* Critical analysis of the tax-cuts-for-the-wealthy and living-cuts-for-the-poor. Coverage of the immense and growing wealth gap and exploration of what this means for the society as a whole. Daily comparison of the compensation rates for CEOs and upper level management to that of line workers.
* In-depth coverage of corporate welfare.
* Prominent and continuing coverage of the differential treatment of minorities and the poor in the courts. Daily coverage of police behavior during arrests and at bookings.
* An exploration of exactly how Bush and the Republicans stole the election, with an in depth look at the way that thousands of blacks in Florida were denied the right to vote.
* Environmental news such as global warming covered with the same intensity as the lead-up to the Super Bowl.
* Daily coverage of the Shrub's latest gaffes.
* Coverage of corporate actions on public lands -- for example, monitoring of the felling of first-growth trees for private profit. Analysis of the prices paid by private corporations for running cattle, strip mining, logging, and otherwise using up public lands, compared to profit rates, and the costs of doing those same things on private land.
* Attention to what governments and corporations are doing to the Commons, the things that all life on earth shares -- air, water, lakes and oceans, wilderness areas, the quiet of the night, the stories and games of childhood, the street life of a city, the accumulated knowledge of humanity.
* World news consisting of reports of labor activities, cultural and community activities, financial news, environmental news, and political news -- from all over the world all the time, not just when the US is bombing.
* Bill Clinton labeled a "right-wing Democrat" instead of a "moderate," and Jesse Helms labeled a racist.
* A socialist seen as someone advocating an economic position, not a criminal akin to a pedophile.
There are a lot of other things the media is failing to inform us about -- the true story of 9/11, U.S. actions in Afghanistan and Iraq, and an honest look at the Israeli rampage through the Occupied Territories, for example. But those, unfortunately, cut across liberal/conservative lines with far too many liberals supporting the outrages.
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Related Internal Links
Propaganda Then And Now (Gilles d'Aymery - November 2001)
The Media Marches Off To War (Deck Deckert - October 2001)
The Media (Deck Deckert - April 2001)
Deck Deckert has spent nearly two decades as copy editor, wire editor and news editor at several metropolitan newspapers, including the Miami Herald and Miami News, before becoming a freelance writer. His articles and stories on everything from alligator farming to UFOs have appeared in numerous U.S. publications. He has written two young adult novels under a pen name, and co-authored a novel about the NATO war on Yugoslavia, Letters from the Fire, with Alma Hromic.
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This Week's Internal Links
Invent The Future (Introduction to Robin D.G. Kelley's essay) - by Gilles d'Aymery
Finding The Strength To Love And Dream - by Robin D.G. Kelley
Newthink - by Milo Clark
Where's The Fiddle? - by Michael Stowell
Shiva, Come Home - by Aleksandra Priestfield
And What Will They Tell Them For Fairy Tales...? - by Alma Hromic
Pillar Of His Community, Destroyer Of Others - by Stephen Gowans
Differences, Patterns . . . Barbarity - by Milo Clark
Controlled News; Dying Democracy - by Deck Deckert
Unpleasant Truths - by Stephen Gowans
April 10, 1999 - Poem by June Jordan
The Oracle - by Alma Hromic (Book Excerpt)
Letters to the Editor
Deck Deckert on Swans
Essays published in 2002 | 2001