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.

Should Police Be Able To Search Your Cellphone?

d13c4308-33a2-4369-a3a7-d352625b0a29-460x276A great op-ed by Yochai Benkler on the arguments heard today by the Supreme Court regarding two cases revolving around the question of whether or not police should be able to search your cellphone without a warrant if you are arrested.

While arguing against warrant-less searches of ones smartphone, he asks the question will the Court become a technical legalistic court, or a broad constitutional-vision court able to keep up with the fast-moving technology of today and tomorrow.

Read Here.

 

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U.S. Investment in High Finance

Krugman_New-articleInlineA good piece by NYT op-ed columnist, and Nobel Prize Winner, Paul Krugman on how our government’s investments in making things easier for high finance Wall Street swindlers has little return for the ordinary American.

The main point here, as I see it, is that if Wall Street is making big money it does not equate the same thing for the rest of us.

Read Here.

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Techies for Privacy

NSAA good article in The Post on how “techies,” and not off-the-grid wackos, are showing up to lobby congress against the extensive NSA spying. It’s not just the ACLU and similar groups against the data collection, it’s postgrad tech engineers who will be creating the next wave of technologies that are getting involved.

Also, there is a good mention and analysis of this weekend’s Stop Watching Us march in DC advocating for less privacy violations by the NSA and other government institutions.

Read Here.

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Oppostion Leader in Russia Convicted of Trumped Up Charges

19navalny-articleLargeAleksei A. Navalny, an opposition anti-corruption blogger and leader of street protests running for Mayor of Moscow, was tried on trumped up embezzlement charges today receiving a five year sentence and $15,000 fine. Both the EU and the United States have criticized the verdict harshly.

This case, along with recent others, have shown that in Russia, with Vladimir Putin’s “soft”-dictatorship active, that the legal system may be used to silence  popular opposition leaders there.

Read Here.