Expanding the Mainstream Media Spectrum to the Far Left

I watch and read a lot of mainstream news right now because that is what the public consumes. Now there are great leftist media sources out there I like to watch/read, such as DemocracyNow!, Libcom.org, or even the centrist PBS Newshour. But most Americans do not watch or listen to those outlets. What they do read/watch is FOX News, CNN.com, and whatever else flows across their social media news feeds. And the one thing I observe in the mainstream media most glaringly in terms of a leftist movement is the argument made by Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky in their classic analysis “Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media.”

Herman and Chomsky argue in MC that there is only so wide of a spectrum of allowable opinions which can be covered and/or expressed by journalists and/or pundits. E.g., The “Medicare-for-All” movement which, I admit, has finally started to squeeze in to the margins of discourse, has been outside of the spectrum of possibilities for decades. The journalists and pundits always put forth the arguments that it would be too expensive, or that it would lead down the slippery slope towards Soviet-style communism. But according to a Nov. 7, 2018, AP poll, nearly 6 in 10 voters said it should be the responsibility of the federal government to make sure that all Americans have health care coverage. So, the majority of people want, following that simple logic, a Medicare-For-All law, a public option, or a fully socialized healthcare system. And even though all other industrialized countries have healthcare provided to there citizens by the government, it has always been off the spectrum of acceptable media discourse here in the U.S. until the last few months, I estimate.

Therefore, leftists must widen that spectrum to the left the best ways we can. Rather it be on a blog, or podcast, or through social media, we must provide an alternative to the mainstream news because we mostly control these media. Even though we can complain about FB or Twitter suspending accounts in the name of “proper discourse,” it’s still the Wild West out there. If we spread the word, like what has happened with Bernie Sanders’ supporters who first argued for Medicare-for-All in 2016, we can expand the spectrum. But this will be tough, e.g, the public has supported stricter gun laws for decades, yet NRA lobbyists keep it taboo on the GOP congressional floor. But if we remain tenacious in our efforts, we can affectively expand the mainstream media’s spectrum of acceptable discourse.

The mainstream media is influenced by blog posts and Tweets, if even subconsciously through retweets and responses read by readers, but do not think it is going to happen overnight. Yet it shouldn’t be given up on by good radical leftists all over the world.

Reliable Sources On O’Reilly’s Lies

Bill-OReilly-finger-pointHave you been keeping up with the “puffing-up” of Bill O’Reilly’s past mainstream reporting finally receiving mainstream news coverage? You know, the stories that are just flat-out lies?

I know I’m late on this but there was a great report on CNN’s Reliable Sources last Sunday (03/08/2015) on these mistruths. It goes through a list of falsified remarks by O’Reilly and features analysis from former Fox News anchor Eric Burns who hosted “Fox News Watch” for about a decade.

Burns describes Fox viewers as “cult-ish” and tells RS that Fox News President Roger Ailes and O’Reilly are interested in ratings above all else. He gives many other Fox insider observations that are also very interesting.

Watch Here Please:

http://www.cnn.com/video/api/embed.html#/video/tv/2015/03/08/former-fox-insider-on-oreilly.cnn

 

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Let’s Assume “Homosexual Impulses” Did Play a Role in UCSB Shooting…

In the aftermath of the recent mass shooting in Isla Vista, Dr. Robi Ludwig suggested the killer may have been set off by “trying to fight against his homosexual impulses” during an interview on Fox News.  She has somewhat backed off the assertion and probably wishes she had chosen her words a little more wisely.  But, just for the sake of argument, let’s assume she is 100% correct.

If he were attempting to fight these “impulses”, our first question should be: why?  Why can’t he just embrace the feelings and be happy with what his brain is telling him?  What is it about the culture of the alleged freest country in the world that causes him to suppress natural, harmless, and legally acceptable impulses?  (Quickly getting to the legal part nationwide anyway.)

If Dr. Ludwig wanted the answer to that, she should realize a big part of the problem is the network in which her image was appearing, Fox News.  It’s not hard to see the hatred and bigotry, much of which is very open and not the least bit veiled, on Fox News regularly, such as the pushing of state anti-gay bills or the absurdity that ensued over the Micheal Sam celebratory kiss or any other incident in a slew of despicable acts you can find over at http://equalitymatters.org/.

It is, whether people want to admit that or not.

The fact that fighting homosexual impulses could even be plausibly given as a possible contributing factor to such a vicious act should speak volumes about the amount of bigotry that exists in the United States and it should be addressed accordingly.  It is even reminiscent of racists in the distant past claiming things about African-Americans like, “the same weak impulse control that leads to such high crime rates among young black males inevitably means more disruptive behavior in school.”  And by distant past I, of course, mean two months ago.  But you get the idea.

The underlying reality here is people just want to feel like they are special and better than others and they will find whatever ways they can to first differentiate themselves from other groups and then explain why they are better.  Whether it is race, sexual orientation, religion, or even simple geography, people want to find differences and say they are the better breed of human no matter how similar to others they actually are.  And it’s this arrogant need to feel special that gives rise to this widespread hatred.  It’s difficult and sometimes even hard work making yourself feel special by uplifting others.  The easy and cowardly way to do it is by making others feel terrible.

If Dr. Ludwig was in any way correct, the list of questions we should be asking is not just why the killer let culturally suppressed homosexual impulses take control of his behavior and led him to commit this awful act.  The question should also be why so many others let their (sometimes culturally accepted) bigoted impulses take control of their behavior and end up hurting so many.

Is Rolling-News Outdated?

Sky-news-studio-007A great piece from The Guardians’ Media Blog giving several criticisms and argument points on how rolling-news channels (mainly what we see on cable news channels where it continues with an anchor 24 hours a day) are outdated in a digital world with Facebook, Twitter, and, yes, blogs. A must read.

Read Here.

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FOX News Only: What Was Learned?

megyn_kelly2-620x412A great piece at Salon by admitted left-of-Obama liberal John Haggerty on what he learned from not consuming any news outlets other than FOX News for a month, at three hours a day.

Now, though he is a leftist, he comes up with some insightful observations that go beyond just the usual liberal laundry list against FOX.

Very interesting.

Read Here. 

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Media in a Socialist Society

hannity_oreilly_kelly-620x412A fascinating piece found at Salon.com by Fred Jerome excerpted from the book “Imagine: Living in a Socialist USA.”

Featuring a good critique of the modern media landscape, he illuminates how the media serves to ‘fool and rule” the masses. He then follows by painting a picture of what the news could be at it’s full potential when existing in a socialist society.

Read Here.

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Duck Dynasty and the Right

dd_mgall_05212013_kw_0073_image_982wA good op-ed in The Guardian by Ana Marie Cox explains how “Duck Dynasty”‘s Patriarch Phil Robertson’s view on race, sex, and religion ring quietly true with Conservative values.

Read Here.

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Jesus Is Not White!

e07fc8d1aA great piece in The Atlantic by Jonathan Merritt rebukes FOX’s Megyn Kelly’s forceful statement that Jesus was white. (Note: Depictions of Jesus in Chinese art portray him as Asian)

Read Here.

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What War On Christmas?

oreilly_christmas-620x412A good piece on Salon.com (originally on Alternet) dispels all of the Right-wing madness about the “War on Christmas” by debunking many of Fox News and Sarah Palin’s claims. Fun article for the Holidays (not just Christmas for STL readers of all faiths, or those with no faith at all [like me].)

Read Here.

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Hannity’s False Evidence

hannity_screens-620x412A great piece on Salon.com  covering a recent episode of Hannity featuring people who supposedly will be hurt by Obamacare are being screwed by the new healthcare system . But in this article by Eric Stern, he contacts the claimed victims to only find that all is not what it seems over on FOX News.

Read Here.

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