In no particular order:
I fear that media exclusion will be endorsed, not challenged, by the Left. After Amy Goodman interviewed Larry Flynt she said she had received a large number of letters asking why she would interview him at all. Keeping Flynt off the air seemed to be more palatable than hearing the mix of progressive (Democrats and Republicans exhibit hypocrisy with sex and money scandals) and regressive (women’s equality movement is nothing but a bunch of ugly women; no woman has ever complained about their photo in Hustler) statements Flynt made.
FAIR surveyed corporate media (including PBS which takes corporate “underwriters” — ads that don’t mention prices) and concluded that “Of all 393 sources, only three (less than 1 percent) were identified with organized protests or anti-war groups”. The Left has something to complain about here. This is a significant problem everyone ought to be genuinely concerned about. When Leftists encourage that exclusion, they exhibit hypocrisy.
The cure for bad speech is more speech. The Left can debunk arguments by including those they object to. Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 is a perfect example of what happens when media exclusion is leveraged: he turned Disney’s unwillingness to distribute the movie into an ad for the movie. Doubly ironic here because his movie wasn’t as good as “The Corporation” or “Super Size Me”.
- The anti-war movement was right but the marches have stopped. Why? The anti-war organizers claim that the marches will pick up after the election; in other words, after one has lost their only leverage to make a candidate move to their agenda.
- A full belly is the enemy of the revolution. Clinton was many times more effective at killing Arabs than Bush yet the Left was largely silent. Clinton’s wars are barely mentioned today. The Left was easily placated with jobs (even jobs which don’t pay a living wage) and at the time there were no big marches against the killings going on overseas.
Going beyond one’s expertise with bad arguments/Engaging in behavior one criticizes elsewhere: Professor Robert McChesney has written some of the most insightful media analysis. His “Media Matters” show covers issues of interest to media analysts and interviews people who talk about media analysis. People listen to his media analysis for good reason, he backs up his statements up with examples and logical criticism based on what actually happened.
Yet on Sunday, October 17, 2004 his show offered electoral analysis which was largely flamebait for Nader voters (or anyone who dares challenge the Democrats). Listen as he and his guests discuss why voting for Nader is a mistake. There’s no substantive discussion of voting records, campaign funding, or campaign promises. They claim Nader has none of the arguments he had in 2000 and that he is “right on every issue”. The guests and host didn’t know why people would support Nader, and in a turn reminiscent of Fox News, there was no attempt to bring in a guest who could respond or explain how even if one buys the “safe-state” voting strategy, one can still vote for Nader in the majority of US states (including in Champaign County, Illinois where the show is produced) either on the ballot or as a write-in. One could use this same argument to support any other non-Democrat/non-Republican.
By contrast, listen to Nader’s recent talk in Seattle. His main question — What’s your breaking point? — can be interpreted in a way that has nothing to do with his campaign for US President. If the Left has no breaking point, the Left should admit that they are unquestioning Democrats, willing to go wherever that party leads.