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Member since: Mon Apr 28, 2014, 07:28 PM
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About Me

Counselor, economist and public servant.

Journal Archives

A brand new, shiny, media wedge.

I have been listening today to the media working really hard to generate controversy between progressives and centrists in our party. The way it is being reported is that the 'progressive' issue of defunding police supposedly hurt some candidates and helped others, depending on who you're talking to.

Excuse me, please, for expressing a bit of frustration around this. Honestly, I'm about as progressive as they come, and I heard very, very few people, except those Minneapolis City Councilmen, actually call for 'defunding the police.'

Let's think about that for a minute. Defunding. To defund the police implies getting rid of them, because we have no context telling us 'defund' to what extent? Does that mean cut funding for some things, and increase it for others? What things? My boss, whenever I go into her office (which has been awhile, because we're all at home) and say, "Well, I think THIS! or I think THAT," she will look up at me and ask, "Okay, what does that LOOK like?" I thank her for that because it makes me be a bit more precise when I'm advocating THIS or THAT.

Let's take that a step further. When you were driving to work this morning, how did you know that the opposing traffic would stop at the red light and let you go when you had the green? How did you know that people would go in turn at the four-way stop? What keeps you from killing the jerk who cut you off? When you left the house this morning, were you confident that you'd come back to an intact household and a safe family?

Because, if all of a sudden we had no police, we really couldn't be confident of these things, could we? Because we would have anarchy, and academic theories aside, no sane person wants to live in a state of anarchy.

But here we have the media, like a giant mouth that roared, pounding in the 'defund the police' wedge.

Before we continue this fruitless, losing, and futile train of argument, maybe we should step back and find out who REALLY said we ought to 'defund' the police, and who has been saying other things, like de-militarize, increase accountability, require body cams, require civilian oversight, and so on. There is absolutely no doubt, NONE, that police and sheriff departments NATIONWIDE need massive reforms. This idea they seem to have that they are at war and we are the enemy, especially if we are non-white, has got to go.

But 'defunding?' We need to take a page from the Republicans and craft some talking points and come back with those talking points whenever this comes up. We have to somehow take the wind out of the sails of this 'defund' deal.

Defunding the police didn't hurt Jaime Harrison because he was advocating it, or because Biden or anyone else of national significance was advocating it, or because it was on the Democratic platform, which it was NOT.

Nope. WE let the Republicans paint him with that brush. Simple as that. Remember that AM hate-talk, QAnon, and so on are basically echo chambers and once some meme gets going, it lasts and lasts and lasts, and it is designed that way. Trump knows this and this is why he is pounding on the idea that he was cheated. Same concept. Use the echo chamber to make the lie an article of faith among Republicans.

We have to find a way to stop this from going on by increasing our penetration of, and influence over, social media.

Am I wrong here? Overreacting? Seems to me we're being crucified on a cross of semantics.

The tribal journalism of cable news is at a crossroads.

This piece is well written and comes from the Hill. Here is the link: https://thehill.com/opinion/technology/525004-the-tribal-journalism-of-cable-news-is-at-a-crossroads

Okay, now that you have read what Joe Ferullo says, here are my own thoughts:

From the conception of radio back in the 20s, and subsequent growth of television programming beginning in the 50s, we had a thing called a Fairness Doctrine.

Basically, this doctrine called for news to be called news, and for it to be kept above the ratings - more a public service offered by a free press on a new media platform. Revenue was generated by other programs, and while there were commercials on news, the thing that drove viewership was the thoroughness of the presentation, and the quality of the presentation in terms of being factual.

Guess which party ended all that? You got it - Republicans! Ronald Reagan let the Fairness Doctrine die in 1987. News shows slowly evolved to become entertainment. They did this by increasing a 'gotcha' approach to generate controversy, which then drove up advertising revenue.

The birth of AM talk radio, and the birth and growth of Fox 'news' happened according to a plan set forth by Lewis Powell in a manifesto he wrote to the US Chamber of Commerce in 1971.

What made Powell write what he wrote, and the US Chamber take it to heart? Profits. The quest for more and more money.

We often lament that healthcare, military spending, and much of our politics supports profits over people. The interests of billionaires, corporations, and shareholders are held above those of the people, and this is enforced by the media itself driving up the costs for candidates to be elected.

You all know this, right? You want to start ending it, get rid of Citizens United, reimpose a Fairness Doctrine that defines what news is, and require networks who are using the airwaves, whether radio, television, or wifi, to offer real, factual news, treat it as that, and report it as that.
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