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.

U.S. Creates Fake Twitter for Cuban Dissent

Yoani SanchezRead this article from the AP and I’ll show you how out-of-touch Congressmen and Women are wanting to stir-up a revolution in Cuba, even if that is possible from a non-domestic action.

Read Here.

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“The Day We Fight Back”

4a716d9a-de79-4fde-b0a9-e2fd6b46bc1d-460x276A short piece in The Guardian on “The Day We Fight Back” protests that occurred Tuesday involving organizations and individuals against government surveillance of internet activity.

Interesting to see how protests are further morphing as the digital age is progressing, if even it is still the digital age at all.

Read Here.

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Chinese Internet Censorship and Media Intimidation

China internet cafeA good report in The Guardian on how activists are using mirror-sites to make available banned news sites in China.

The article also goes on to outline the various ways the government has been intimidating journalists who the Chinese feel have been overly critical of Party members and national policies.

Read Here.

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Feds Won’t Do It, States Will

felipe calderonThe federal government has shown that they have no qualms about collecting and tracking tons of electronic/internet information on American citizens here and abroad. So in this article in the NYT the paper reports that up to 10 states’ legislatures (from OK to CA) are passing laws that protect user privacy.

Read Here.

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Open Software/Hardware and Privacy

header-logoA good piece in the NYT by Eli Douardo from George Mason University who explains that the possibilities surrounding open software and hardware may be a good first step in preventing internet spying by the NSA and other government institutions.

Read Here.

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Kansas City, Kan. Poor Fight for High-Speed Internet

A great article in the NYT about how in Kansas City, Kan., the poor area of town is being denied high-speed internet access due to a lack of money, understanding of the service, and various other reasons that would affect the effort in any mostly black, urban center across this nation.

But in the east-end of K.C., there are drives of various sorts and grants provided for users organized by local citizens and leaders with Google in the community.  These drives are the best way to get access to recent technology to the poor which could help bridge the gap between the haves and the have-nots in K.C.

Read Here.

 

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