Saturday, September 13, 2008

I need to stop watching Bill Moyers Journal on Friday evenings. I don't sleep well after. This time, he talks of the role of politics in controlling the media. There are those on the left who think it is the other way around, but I am not sure that they really understand what is happening with the 4th Estate.

Moyers begins this segment by citing novelist Russel Banks.
we choose our presidents not on the basis of their experience or even their political views, but on how well they tap into our basic beliefs, our deepest communal desires, including our religious or spiritual beliefs.
It is clear to see that is what is happening with Sarah Palin. It seems that no matter what the media does, and they have done a lot, people have responded to Palin at a visceral level that defies rational analysis.

He then goes on to show a CNN segment where Campbell Brown, not one of my favorite journalists, gained some esteem by not accepting the talking point that being the nominal commander of the Alaskan National Guard provided Palin with any valid experience. All Campbell did was to keep repeating the question that the McCain/Palin publicity flack kept ducking.
Can you tell me one decision that she made as Commander in Chief of the Alaska National Guard, just one?
This was set up as "belittling" her experience and the result was to cancel a McCain appearance on CNN.

This is the entire segment. The cited material as almost at the end.

We Greens have a real quandry. The truth about candidates does not make it through the media. Many of the public are reacting to the myth rather than the facts. The corporate media becomes the enemy, not of the public, but of the politicians who rail against the media so that you stop trusting them.

From the days of founding of this country, we have been told that an informed citizenry is essential for Democracy. Now, we have a bunch of politicians who are trying to make us stupid, who do not want us to be informed, but rather to be controlled.

If people want a myth to believe, what are we giving them? I hope that is is one of a new future, not a bleak past, of potential to be realized, not of opportunity squandered.

We may turn to the Internet, but then the responsibility for determining truth is now on us. Caveat emptor. I am not sure that most of us are up to the task. The internet is a very Balkanized space where people who share beliefs reinforce those beliefs with each other and do not reach beyond their immediate. If we are looking to the Internet to be the way we tell the world about ourselves, that we attract new members, then we probably need to provide a degree of professional management of what we say and how we say it.

If there is any one position in this party that we need to turn into a full time paid position, it is that of press secretary. The work to counteract the BS that is generally available is just too daunting to rely on volunteers to get the job done.

The work

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