Democratic Underground  

Writing for the Internet
August 12, 2003
By W. O. Coach

For the thousands who take the time and make the effort to sit down and hammer out a rant, essay, article or news story and send it to their favorite web sites, does it have any effect? Are we making a difference or are we just preaching to an already enraged choir?

Dems of course are still furious at the election theft of 2000 followed by Bush acting as if he had some sort of mandate while pushing an unpopular hard-right agenda. Repubs are just furious. They're always furious, it's their nature.

So, we all write, and we rant, and we vent. The mainstream media has become a joke and offers little outlet for meaningful dissent. It's nearly impossible to get published on an opinion page in a major publication. This leaves the Internet and I see a tide of sorts turning.

I'm in awe of the numerous bloggers, websites, and other Internet entities who work tirelessly on a daily basis to keep the rest of us mopes entertained and informed while providing a venue to contribute our personal gripes. The writing on some of these sites is incredibly clever and poignant. And even better, they link to "real" writers (if you're progressive) like Joe Conason, Gene Lyons, Molly Ivins, Paul Krugman et al.

America is at a crossroads. Our economy, foreign policy, world standing, environment and basic sense of right and wrong has been hijacked by a mean-spirited cabal of power hungry, religiously insane, greedy bigots who will do or say anything to suppress the wants of the average American - the vast majority by the way - in favor of benefiting wealthy special interest groups.

This is not only disgraceful, it is un-American. America is about everyone having an equal chance on a level playing field. The so-called "fourth estate" is bought and paid for leaving our last defense of American ideals to the capable hands of Internet bloggers and websites.

Now here's where I'm going to get in trouble, but there are certain websites that need to be recognized for their wonderful efforts. I spend at least four hours a day reading my favorite sites including the major media. If I miss your site, or need to be clued in (the most likely scenario), feel free to bring me up to date:

BartCop, Buzzflash, Media Whores Online, and Eschaton in my view offer the most informed and humorous commentary. Take Back The Media, Daily Howler, American Politics Journal, Democratic Underground and Salon are also necessary daily reads. (I'm old and too lazy to provide the links, but type them into a Google search and you won't be sorry.) For those I've missed, I'm sorry, I really am a senior and forgetful.

And if you get a chance, check out the incomparable Rackjite, who's not that active anymore, but has a wonderful online book entitled, "Conservatively Incorrect." It's the best read on the net.

Right, the commercial is over and it's time to get back on point. Does it make a difference, our writing and squawking?

You betcha.

Write, complain, rant, vent, squawk. Never give up, and take advantage of ever opportunity to call our lazy fourth estate to task. Your country and way of life are at stake.

Meanwhile, my hat is off to the websites and bloggers who have been doing the heavy lifting for far too long. If you can, support them financially with a couple of bucks, or if you're among the hundreds of thousands who've lost your job under Bush, send a letter of support or a copy of a letter or e-mail to your Senator, Congressman or local media.

Do it. Do it because you'll help your country and you will feel better. Oh hell, just do it.

And don't forget to vote in 2004!

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