Archive for August 10, 2010
Iowans Lose As Wedge Issues Favored by Corporate Media
by Dave Bradley
Favored: 2. endowed with special advantages or gifts. 3. providing preferential treatment
As the 2010 mid-term election lurches toward a climax, the corporate news media continues to drive the conversations on issues. The themes it trots out daily are often those pushed by the right wing of this country. These are often wedge issues that Republicans use to drive people to vote against what would normally be thought of as their own best interests.
Many of these issues are the same ones that have been trotted out for what seems like the last five or six elections – abortion, gays getting rights, marriage equality, church and state separation or lack thereof, immigration. I am sure most readers could easily come up with one or two more. These issues are seldom allowed to be acted on because once put away, they could no longer be pulled out for elections.
But one effect of the constant blather about these issues by the media is that other real, pressing and far reaching issues receive only a cursory discussion if there is any.
Today, I would like to begin a list of some of the issues that corporate media hides and politicians would prefer not to discuss. If you can, see if you can get an answer on some of these from the likes of Grassley or Branstad.
1) Internet Neutrality – just this past Thursday stories abounded and then disappeared concerning two mega players working on a backroom deal. Think of what the internet will be when controlled by the same folks who have brought us the pile of crap known as cable TV. Ugly, yes? [Editor's Note: You can take action on this issue now - click here to stand with Senator Al Franken to save net neutrality and stop the corporate takeover of our internet, final fortress of democracy and the free flow of information]
2) Infrastructure – We are but 3 years removed from the collapse of the I-35 bridge over the Mississippi in Minneapolis. Yet the yammering over the so called ‘hot button’ issues has caused our collective memories to forget the role Minn. Gov. Tim Pawlenty played as the media touts him as real serious presidential material.
3) Social Security about to be attacked again – Remember when SS was the “third rail” of politics, that is, untouchable? My how times have changed. Mr. Grassley, you favored privatization once before, do you still?
4) Water privatization – There has been a slow, steadily creeping movement for municipalities to hand over their water plants to private industry. Think of how wonderful the world will be when a corporation controls your access to water. See South America to see how it works in real life.
5) Verified voting – Every other year we are allowed to hear a bit about this before the media tucks it back safely in a corner for another two years. Despite some incredibly hard work by some wonderful people, the media sure wants this to just vanish. No need to tell you why.
6) The START treaty – Thanks to Paul Deaton this gets a well deserved discussion here. But have you heard much discussion anywhere in the mainstream media lately? It disappeared quickly.
7) Vander Plaats campaign to unseat the Iowa Supreme Court justices who dare issue an unpopular (on one side) decision - Iowa has been one of the leaders for citizen rights over the years. If VP and Branstad have their way, our kids may not inherit this great value as our courts will be politicized.
The internet and, I believe, LPFM are two of the ways that we can avoid the shackles that corporate media wants to impose on what citizens are allowed to know. When I heard the story on a backroom deal tinkering with internet neutrality Thursday – confirming rumors that had been out there all week – my heart sank.
Thus today’s column on real issues that are being buried on purpose.
E-mail Dave here
Dave Bradley is a self-described
retired observer of American politics “trying to figure out how we got
so screwed up.” An
Iowa City native currently living in West Liberty, Dave and his wife
Carol have two grown children who “sadly had to leave the state to find
decent paying jobs.“