Archive for August 31, 2010
Iowans Must Plan a Media Strategy
by Dave Bradley
Many of you endured a series of articles I wrote giving a brief overview of how those on America’s right wing slowly and steadily took control of nearly all media in this country. We are now in the midst of the havoc that having little competition in media can create.
It is so disturbing that media can gin up loud and rabid outrage on the most insane and inane issues in just a short amount of time. And sadly 50% of America takes up their cause believing such cause to be a true test of patriotism. But much more sadly, save for a few tiny voices, no one in the media calls the right wing on their craziness nor their lies. Instead they go along, I guess so the loud and rabid citizenry will not turn on them.
The media I speak of here consists of newspapers, radio, television (including cable), and the internet. Of these only the internet is still open and available to all voices and views. The others have long ago restricted access only to the approved voices. We now have a media that has the range of views equal to that of the old Soviet Union.
How could a non-issue like a Muslim community center in NYC become a national issue? How can half of American be so convinced that voting against their own interests is good? How can a country believe that a man who has been president for 18 months is responsible for all national debt that has accumulated over the country’s life? How can a senator (Grassley) who was responsible for rubber stamping the largest and most damaging borrowing in this country’s history be considered a financial conservative?
Why would a party that openly works only for a very small slice of our population have even a prayer of winning any seats let alone half of them?
I think we all know the answer. Media, which most Americans trust to be truthful, has so distorted reality that many believe provably false things to be true.
Has all been lost already? Should we surrender and sew Goldman –Sachs medallions on our shirts? Of course not! But we do need to engage much more actively in returning the media to a balance.
First and foremost we must not permit the takeover of the internet by corporate gate keepers. After the election, protecting internet neutrality must become mission #1. It looks like corporations have happened on a strategy that may allow them to control traffic via court decisions. When you get a notice to call congress people to protect internet neutrality do so immediately. Internet neutrality needs to be codified so it can no longer be messed with.
Second, progressives, lefties must come together to build a network for disseminating information. Low Power FM (LPFM ) has the potential to be the backbone of such a network. It is time that we fight fire with fire. The right wing will not give up their stranglehold on media; in fact they want to tighten it even more. While our leaders must push for a national media policy, we need to plan as if nothing will happen in that arena.
Given that media outlets are not available and are expensive, keeping the internet open and the strategic use of LPFM, seems like a good place to start.
Dave's previous articles on the media:
on the Media in Iowa
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.”