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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-20-09 11:48 PM
Original message
The Internet Surging as a Major Influence in the Political Landscape
For those of us who view corporate monopoly control of newspaper, television, and radio news as a major obstacle to democracy in the United States, there is some good news at hand. That good news could hold the key to the restoration of democracy in our country, and with that, the re-emergence of a progressive/liberal agenda could someday end the stranglehold that the wealthy and the powerful hold over ordinary Americans.


The problem Corporate control over most of the news that Americans receive

Democracy is only as good as the information that we receive. Our right to vote means very little if we dont have enough information on which to make an intelligent choice in the voting booth.

That is why corporate monopoly control over much of our national news media, which was greatly facilitated by the Telecommunications Act of 1996, has been so toxic to our democracy. With that Act, the wealthy and powerful were able to exert so much control over the news that the average American receives that they created a radically alternative reality for most Americans.

During the 2000 Presidential race, Al Gore, one of the most decent men to ever run for the U.S. Presidency, was recast as a liar and an egomaniac. His resounding victory over George W. Bush in debate after debate was recast by our corporate media as a humiliating defeat by repeatedly emphasizing his sighs, rather than the numerous Bush lies that were the cause of those sighs. In 2004, John Kerry, a legitimate war hero, was recast as a fraud, through the constant repetition of lies promulgated by an organization with close (but unrevealed at the time) ties to George W. Bush while Bushs use of his family ties to avoid service in the Vietnam War (which he said he supported) were virtually ignored by the corporate news media.

Ive quoted Bill Moyers on this subject enough times that some of you may be tired of it, but this statement that he wrote during the Bush administration is so critical to this discussion that I cant leave it out:

What would happen, however, if the contending giants of big government and big publishing and broadcasting ever joined hands, ever saw eye to eye in putting the public's need for news second to free-market economics? That's exactly what's happening now under the ideological banner of "deregulation". Giant media conglomerates that our founders could not possibly have envisioned are finding common cause with an imperial state in a betrothal certain to produce not the sons and daughters of liberty but the very kind of bastards that issued from the old arranged marriage of church and state.

Consider the situation. Never has there been an administration so disciplined in secrecy, so precisely in lockstep in keeping information from the people at large and -- in defiance of the Constitution -- from their representatives in Congress. Never has the powerful media oligopoly ... been so unabashed in reaching like Caesar for still more wealth and power. Never have hand and glove fitted together so comfortably to manipulate free political debate, sow contempt for the idea of government itself, and trivialize the peoples' need to know.


The vast change in how Americans receive their news

In 2001, when George W. Bush took office, a Pew Research Center poll showed that 74% of Americans received most of their national and international news through television, 45% through newspapers, and only a paltry 13% through the internet (Observant readers may have noticed that those percentages add up to more than 100%. All I can say is, poll respondents must have been given the option of indicating more than one choice). By 2004, when George Bush won his second presidential election, the situation was somewhat better, but not a whole lot. Those who said they received most of their news through the Internet had risen from 13% in 2001 to 24% in 2004. But by 2008, the Internet had surpassed newspapers as the second most common source of news, and it lost out to television only by 70% to 40%. Here is a graphic demonstration:



There are two very strong trends that make these findings very significant as a portent for the future. First is the time trend, which Ive already mentioned. Note the vast jump in Internet viewership, just from 2007 to 2008. Secondly is the age comparison. Among people younger than 30, by 2008 the Internet had equaled television as the major source of news each stood at 59%. Just one year prior to that, television predominated over the Internet in that age group by a two to one ratio (68% to 34%). Obviously, people under the age of 30 will be voting in our country for a much longer period of time than older people. It doesnt seem likely that these people will give up the Internet as they age, and each four-year election cycle brings millions of additional 18 to 22 year olds into the picture.

And furthermore, it seems likely that Internet viewers are more likely to vote in large numbers than those who obtain most of their news through television. It is much easier to obtain ones news through television than through the Internet, and it therefore seems that Internet consumers of news would be more motivated to vote than TV consumers.


The importance of Internet vs. TV consumption of news

Ive already noted the virtual corporate monopoly over television news in recent years. Some would counter that fact by saying that TV news is nevertheless superior to Internet news because it is presented to us by experienced and professional journalists. In 2007, NBC anchorman Brian Williams complained about that, saying:

You're (meaning him) going to be up against people who have an opinion, a modem, and a bathrobe. All of my life, developing credentials to cover my field of work, and now I'm up against a guy named Vinny in an efficiency apartment in the Bronx who hasn't left the efficiency apartment in two years.

What about that argument? Should we acknowledge the superiority of TV over Internet news because its brought to us by experienced professionals? My short answer to that is, ABSOLUTELY NOT!

Experience and so-called professionalism mean nothing at all when theyre clouded in self-interest and bias. No, I take that back. Its a lot worse than nothing. Its like hiring a man convicted of bank fraud to be your financial advisor. Does he know a lot more about the ins and outs of finance than the great majority of people? Sure. Would you trust him with your money? Not unless youre a complete idiot.

In contrast, the Internet is filled with a tremendous diversity of news sources that, taken together, comprise a much more representative view than what we get from TV news.


Flaws and advantages of the Internet as a news source

But what about the flaws in the Internet as a source of news? Unlike established TV networks and newspapers, they have few if any standards to adhere to. Anyone can post a blog with no oversight whatsoever, so how are we supposed to determine the accuracy of what read on the Internet?

The answer to that question is very complex and would take several pages, or even a book to address adequately. I wont attempt to do that here, but I do have a few things to say about it.

Dont reflexively believe anything you read, even if it comes from your favorite politician. Consider whether it makes sense in the context of everything else you know about the subject. Consider its consistency with what you know to be reality. Consider whether evidence is presented or merely assertions, and consider the quality of the evidence. Consider whether there are rebuts to it, and how much sense those rebuts make. Consider the ultimate sources of the information and the reliability of those sources. Consider whether you believe what you read merely because you want to believe it. And then there is video evidence, which is all over the Internet today, and usually much more difficult to fake than other kinds of evidence.

Notwithstanding the many potential problems with obtaining news from the Internet, the diversity of news sources provides a great advantage over what you get from TV news. Is a lot of news that you get from the Internet pure garbage? Certainly it is. But you have a lot to choose from, and you have competing points of view. At least you have a good fighting chance to obtain an overall picture about major issues that is pretty close to reality as long as you take the time and care to evaluate what you read and see. But if you rely totally on television or radio as a source of news, you have almost no chance at all (unless you spend a lot of time listening to Keith Olbermann and Rachael Maddow).


Some examples of how the Internet has radically changed the political landscape in the U.S. in recent years

George Allens upset loss in the Virginia Senate race
In 2006, Senator George Allen of Virginia was not only considered a shoo-in for the Virginia Senator race, but he was even considered a leading contender for the presidency in 2008. That was before he showed his racism by referring to his opponents Native American staffer as Macaca. A few years earlier, with the corporate media remaining silent, few Americans would have known about that incident. Or if they had been informed about it, Allen could have denied it. But the incident was captured on video, and it spread all over the Internet on U-tube. Democratic candidate Jim Webb won the election, and with that the Democrats took control of the U.S. Senate, which they have not relinquished.

The debut of Sarah Palin at the Republican National Convention of 2008
In her debut on the national stage at the 2008 Republican National Convention, John McCains pick for his vice presidential running mate, Sarah Palin, gave as impressive a performance of reading a teleprompter speech as Ive ever seen. Her words were well articulated, and she didnt make a single gaffe. It was a nation-wide hit.

There was just one small problem with the speech It was filled with lies and grossly misleading statements. She claimed to have told Congress No thanks to the infamous Bridge to Nowhere, though that was a lie. She proclaimed herself a stalwart supporter of special-needs children, despite having slashed funding for special needs children as Alaskan governor. She boasted of her credentials as an ethics reformer, despite the fact that she was in the process of being investigated by the Alaskan legislature for ethics violations.

She claimed to have bravely opposed big oil. But on the other hand, she claimed that alternative-energy solutions are far from imminent; she said she was unconvinced about how much human emissions contribute to current global warming trends; and, she opposed listing polar bears as a threatened species because it could require action on climate change.

She grossly distorted Senator Obamas record: She said that he had not sponsored a single major piece of legislation, though he had sponsored a law with Senator Lugar to secure and destroy loose nuclear weapons, he sponsored the first bill to deal with pandemic flu preparedness, a bill to provide government oversight of genetic testing, and with Hillary Clinton, a bill to require hospitals to disclose medical errors. Palin claimed that Obama planned to raise taxes, when in fact Obamas tax plan would reduce taxes for working and middle class Americans.

When Sarah Palin told all these lies she must have thought that we were still living in 2001, when she could expect our corporate news media to successfully cover up for her. And indeed, she was immediately acclaimed as the New GOP Star by our corporate news media.

But the days when pathological liars could reasonably expect to get away with all that while the corporate news media covers up for them were over. Palins lies were exposed all over the Internet, in blogs such as this one. By Election Day 2008, only 38% of voting Americans believed that Sarah Palin was fit to be President.

Exposure of John McCains voting record on veterans benefits
Veterans were considered one of John McCains most solid demographic groups, since he himself is a veteran. He never tired of pushing that point home, as when McCain said to Barack Obama in response to Obamas criticism of McCains voting on veterans issues:

"And I will not accept from Senator Obama, who did not feel it was his responsibility to serve our country in uniform, any lectures on my regard for those who did," the Arizona senator said in a harshly worded statement...

No matter. Let McCain try to avoid discussing his woeful voting record on veterans benefits. That record was picked up and blasted all over the Internet, including: McCains April 2005 nay vote on $2 billion for veterans health care; his March-06: nay vote on a bill to increase medical care for veterans by $1.5 billion; his nay vote on a April-06 bill to increase outpatient care for veterans by $430 million; his May 2006 nay vote on a bill to provide $20 million for veterans medical facilities; his nay vote on a June-06 resolution for withdrawal of troops from Iraq; his July-07 nay vote on cloture of a bill to specify minimum rest periods for troops in Iraq; and many others.

You would rarely if ever hear the corporate media talk about this. But for those who were hesitant to believe that John McCain would vote against veterans in that way, all they had to do was look up the votes themselves, through the links that were so frequently displayed along with the articles that exposed McCains voting record. By the time Election Day rolled around, McCains straight talk express was almost totally derailed.


Conclusion

The rapidly increasing influence of the Internet as a source of news, at the expense of corporate owned newspapers, radio and television, creates a tremendous opportunity for advocates of a progressive/liberal agenda for our nation. Its not only that getting the truth out to more and more Americans predisposes them to vote for Democratic over Republican, as evidenced by the 2006 and 2008 landslide elections.

Its much more than that. It seems obvious to me that the corporate leanings of so many Democratic politicians today are influenced largely by their fear that voting for the American people at the expense of the corporatocracy will risk attracting the vicious criticism of the corporate news media. With the Internet poised as a counterbalancing force, that fear should consistently recede. When our elected representatives vote for measures that give powerful corporations the license to screw ordinary Americans out of their life savings, they can expect more and more that their votes and actions will be exposed.

That is the way it should be. When our Founding Fathers took such great care to create the foundations for a free American press, they did not imagine that our press would one day be controlled by interests so inimical to the American people. Our own government facilitated the conditions that allowed that to happen. Bill Moyers struck at the heart of the matter in his book, Moyers on America A Journalist and his Times. He explained that in 1934 (FDR's Administration) the Federal Communications Act (FCA) was passed, with the intent of preventing monopolies of news that would allow a small number of news organizations to operate against the public interest.

However, the Reagan Revolution ushered in a deregulation ideology beginning in 1981 that resulted in the elimination of many of the public interest safeguards of the FCA. Moyers notes:

A crowning achievement of that drive was the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the largest corporate welfare program ever for the most powerful media and entertainment conglomerates in the world. It passed, I must add, with support from both parties. The beat of convergence between once-distinct forms of media goes on at increased tempo...

But now, with the rapidly increasing influence of the Internet, the corporatocracy is losing its hold on the news that most Americans receive. With that, a great opportunity has arisen for the American people to take back their country. We must not let the corporatocracy take that away from us.
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JeffR Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 12:16 AM
Response to Original message
1. You've laid out an eloquent case here.
I hope this doesn't sink. This is a topic everyone on DU should be thinking about carefully, as the OP did.

I'm not so sure things have come far enough with digital freedom of information, but at a minimum I can say the last 8 years were made a little more tolerable and better comprehended thanks to online sources.

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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 08:22 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. Thank you -- I agree with you that we still have a long way to go
But at least with respect to restoring the ability to get important information out to the American people, we are moving in the right direction. I was astounded by that Pew poll to see the tremendous increase in Internet use as a source of news, just over the past year.
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Mr Generic Other Donating Member (362 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 12:55 AM
Response to Original message
2. thank you for the wonderful analysis of news source trends.
as poster number 1 said, you have laid out a powerful case for optimism over the possibility of regaining our senses and maybe even our democracy.
your graph clearly illustrates that more and more people are becoming skeptical about the nature of the news provided by main stream media outlets and are turning to the internet to supplement or replace the more traditional sources of news.
i only wish that 70% of americans got their news from print media and that 35% got news from television rather than the other way around. somewhere in the print media the truth is always buried. one has to read beyond the headlines and all the way to the end of even the long articles but the truth can usually be figured out.
i fear the ones reading online are the same as the ones who read the papers. i'd rather see the loss of television news than newspapers.
the real beauty and advantage of the internet is the speed in which information can be exchanged. the examples you provide from the last election are right on target.
i hope it is okay for me to share them with my students who are investigating media issues right now. the moyer's quotes are great.
thanks.
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The Wizard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 09:16 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. Here's the problem
"i fear the ones reading online are the same as the ones who read the papers. i'd rather see the loss of television news than newspapers."
Far too many illiterates in this country get their information from TV propaganda outlets.
Let's frame TV news for what it really is, propaganda.
For me it became apparent during the Clinton witch hunts. They were promoting the Republicans who wanted to overthrow a duly elected president because he wouldn't disclose details of his sex life.
Their blatant bias was/is disgusting.
It was the New York Times that kept the Whitewater bullshit alive long after it was established there was no wrong doing by the Clintons. That evolved into the stained blue dress and made the United States an international laughingstock for expending our resources on presidential orgasms.
The Times' Judith Miller provided the Bush Administration with an outlet for false information that led to the immoral and illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq, thus transforming the United States into an international pariah shortly after having the world's support after 9-11.
The same corporate media failed to report on Wall Street shysters undermining our economy.
As Keith Olbermann succinctly put in his Special Comment this week, "Enough."
Orwell recognized the dangers in TV brainwashing in his book 1984, but that requires reading and critical thinking. The great dumbing down has achieved its desired effect for now, but as the graph indicates, things are changing.
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Kablooie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-22-09 12:23 AM
Response to Reply #5
56. If I remember right, the 'stained blue dress' came from Drudge -- the internet.
Like it or not, the internet reveals the views of all sides of an argument, true and false both.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 03:27 PM
Response to Reply #2
29. Thank you -- That's a good point you make about the speed of information exchange
The internet is not just a news source, but it's an interactive media that is used for the rapid exchange of information.

Sure it's ok for you to share with your students. That makes me feel great that this OP could be put to a use like that. What do you teach?
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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 03:10 AM
Response to Original message
3. I'm gonna use this in class. nt
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SpiralHawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 09:20 AM
Response to Original message
6. The k and the r
I have lost my ability to tolerate corporate spin and truth omission from the major corporate media catapults.

Ptooey. Like so many Americans, I have awakened, and turned my back on corporate 'news product.'
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 09:41 AM
Response to Original message
7. What else is there? Haven't actually read your post -- back later !!!
But every other medium is polluted with propaganda ---

This is the ONLY place we can hear the true voices of the people . . .

as they educate themselves via this method, I might add.
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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 09:46 AM
Response to Original message
8. This piece is excellent, Time for change. Keep them coming.
I've also noticed the explosion in DU membership, now over 138K, not even including the tremendous numbers of lurkers.

People are reading again, and that is what's so gratifying for me. We are taking back this country, a word, a discussion, an opinion shared, at a time.


Good work, Time for change.

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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 07:46 PM
Response to Reply #8
41. Thank you seafan
Here's to taking back our country :toast:
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L0oniX Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 10:14 AM
Response to Original message
9. Fight net neutrality to keep it that way.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 01:57 PM
Response to Reply #9
22. You mean
fight FOR net neutrality, right?
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L0oniX Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 02:27 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. Of course.
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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 10:25 AM
Response to Original message
10. When the internet can hire and fund investigative reporters, THEN we'll have reason to celebrate.
The internet is not itself a "source" of news. It's a source of discussion ABOUT the news that real life reporters have gathered. With the demise of newspapers comes the demise of funding for real on-the-ground investigative journalism.

How will anyone reading the internet know about which Lobbyist is visiting which government official's office if a real life reporter isn't in DC writing a news story about it?

If there are no newpapers paying reporters' salaries, all we'll be left with is the corporate-controlled media making all the decisions about what's newsworthy and what isn't (anything that puts the corporatocracy in a bad light).

What good will the internet be then? It will just bounce around the corporate media stories in an endless loop of non-information.

The internet is indeed wonderful for bringing together pieces of information and finding connections and providing analysis. But real reporters have to be out in the world gathering that information in the first place. And real reporters are becoming an endangered species.

If the internet is to become an actual SOURCE of news, it will only happen if there are online news organizations paying reporters' salaries. A chance YouTube video going viral is not enough.

sw
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 11:01 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. I don't agree with that assessment
Edited on Sat Mar-21-09 11:30 AM by Time for change
I don't believe you can separate out the Internet from TV news by saying that the Internet is not a source of news, whereas TV or newspapers are a source of news.

There ARE real reporters that report news on the Internet, and others who synthesize news from other sources. What differentiates a real reporter from someone who just discusses news from real sources is not whether the person gets paid or not. It's where the original source comes from (much of what we get on the Internet is from original sources) and what kind of original thinking goes into the article. Much of what we get on TV and newspapers is simply discussion about news from other sources. When Judith Miller of the NY Times reported unnamed sources at the White House claiming to have evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, was that news?

Here is a very good article of a prime example of journalism on the Internet: "Get Off the Bus -- The Future of Pro-am Journalism":
http://www.cjr.org/feature/get_off_the_bus.php

Citizen journalists... gained worldwide praise for providing the inital bursts of information during the terror attacks last year in Mumbai.... By the fall of 2008, OffTheBus readers could choose from a broad and motley assortment of stories and features...

Across the country, news budgets and newsrooms are shrinking. Newspapers are going out of business... In all this, there are many opportunities for critical collaborative-reporting projects that will engage thousands of people who want to make themselves useful to the press...

And what would you call the examples in this OP? Were the George Allen "macaca" videos not news? Where did most people find out about that -- on the Internet or on TV or newspapers? To the extent that we heard about this at all through traditional news media, don't you think that they were forced into covering it because it was all over the Internet? And what about all of Sarah Palin's lies? How many people do you think would have known about that if not for the Internet? I don't doubt that if we had as many people getting news from the Internet in 2003 as they do now, that the Iraq War may never have been politically feasible.
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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 11:46 AM
Response to Reply #11
16. I'm not saying that the internet isn't a powerful force for disseminating information.
And maybe I'm worrying needlessly. It's just that the bulk what gets posted on the internet is news gathered by people who paid to gather news -- so I wonder what will happen as there are fewer and fewer such people.

Thank you for posting that CJR article, it addresses what I was trying to say -- and better yet, offers solutions.

I love your posts, and don't really want to disagree with you, this just happens to be one of those subjects about which I have some ambivalent feelings.

I was remiss in not complimenting your excellent OP before proceeding to raise my questions.

sw
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 12:16 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. Thank you sw -- I have some ambivalent feelings about it too
I think that one of the keys is that there are so many thousands of people willing and eager to make valuable contributions without getting paid. It would be great if the corporate media devoted a large part of its vast resources to unbiased investigative reporting. But that won't happen. They are interested in two things mainly: immediate profits and swaying public opinion in a direction that will benefit their bottom line. So, it's up to ordinary citizens, most of them working for free, to take up the slack, using the only medium available to us -- the Internet.

But we also need to take back TV and radio and newspapers. A good place to start with that would be the repeal of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.
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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 01:05 PM
Response to Reply #18
21. The repeal of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 would definitely be a great step.
Local control of local media, serving local needs.

And it's not just the media, somehow we've got to rid ourselves of corporate control over every aspect of our lives. If we're going to survive and prosper, decentralization is one of the key strategies.

Thank you for all the good work that you do.

sw
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creeksneakers2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 04:27 PM
Response to Reply #16
34. That is a lurking problem
Perhaps after competition shakes out some players, the others may be able to charge subscription fees for their net news. On one hand, it might be good if that happened because it could diminish the influence of advertisers. On the other hand, people on the net have a certain type of story they are interested in, like "macaca." Many really important stories are ignored on the net.

The greatest thing about the net isn't that it provides news that isn't provided elsewhere. Its the fact checking that occurs on the net. The net is making the mainstream media more honest. There was a big turn around in the coverage of the last election. It was first all for McCain with lots of lies to benefit him. Then the coverage turned in favor of Obama near the end. That was because the media knew their lies were being exposed. That discouraged them from telling more.

Another dark side of the net is the tendency for people to only read items that confirm what the reader already believes. Americans are going off on different tangents. They receive little to rebut what they've heard, and they don't want to hear rebuttals when they are offered. We have come to a point when different segments of the population have their own realities. How can we have an honest debate when nobody can agree on the basic facts?
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bvar22 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 11:24 AM
Response to Reply #10
13. The Internet does give immediate access to the Foreign Press.
!
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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 11:54 AM
Response to Reply #13
17. Never mind me. I jumped in without really thinking carefully enough.
I get a whiff of "internet triumphalism" (whether it's really there or not) and have a knee-jerk reaction. My bad.

sw
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mwooldri Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 02:35 PM
Response to Reply #10
25. Well there is this guy called Greg Palast...
He is freelance AFAIK. You're right - the corporate media in the US pretty much ignored him. He got picked up by the BBC & The Guardian instead. Though I understand from his bio on his site that he was an author first who turned to investigative journalism. He also didn't study journalism at school: he studied finance.

The future in investigative reporting is freelance I'm afraid. They'll be putting together the stories on their own risk, time and money. They will then either offer it to news organizations they may have worked with in the past (domestic and foreign), or they may go straight online.
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bvar22 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 11:20 AM
Response to Original message
12. My "News" comes from the InterNet tubes.....
...and Jon Stewart (of course).
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suston96 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 11:32 AM
Response to Original message
14. Well studied and expertly presented. All the more reason why we must research and think.....
... about when and what we post when getting involved in these individual commentaries.

Every single one of us is a participant in this new and very young news reporting scheme. We must use it wisely.
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PassingFair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 11:36 AM
Response to Original message
15. Macaca
One word says it all!
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annabanana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 01:00 PM
Response to Original message
19. "Mcaca" and Palin's lies did eventually get covered by coporate media.. but
only because they were shamed into it, really.

The people who decide what makes it onto the Networks are 'net savvy themselves. When corpomedia is putting out stuff that all of the "decider's" friends are laughing at ... they finally have to come 'round and report what "everybody" already knows...

And in doing that, they inform millions of people who would never have known otherwise...
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Juche Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 01:04 PM
Response to Original message
20. I learned about Sibel Edmonds from the internet
No national news media will cover it, but it was all over KOS and that is where I learned about. That to me embodies why the internet is going to keep taking over, because it will address the issues nobody else will address. And because of low overhead there are not nearly as many corporate and advertising masters to please.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 08:50 PM
Response to Reply #20
46. Exactly -- Surfing the Internet for news is like opening up a whole new world for people who
previously got their news only from traditional sources. So many things are simply "unmentionable" for tv or print news. I find the whole thing so repressive, it gives me great satisfaction to see tv news lose viewership to the Internet.
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certainot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 02:33 PM
Response to Original message
24. radio monopoly is the biggest problem- it enables and intimidates the rest
we would not be in this bush disaster if reagan had not killed the fairness doctrine 20 years ago.
 considering the time we've lost dealing honestly with global warming, progressives ignoring talk radio may be the biggest political blunder in history. progressives must not ignore the radio monopoly any longer while expecting and hoping for the internet to make up the difference soon.

talk radio monopoly is a pressing problem. TV and print, as corporatized as they are, still have to at least pretend, within acceptable framing, to put on two sides and it is often talk radio that decides what is and what isn't acceptable when the limbaughs and hannitys can threaten for weeks without contest and put enormous coordinated pressure on management to enable and give cover to republican owners. for firing dan rather for instance.

the internet is still relatively free and in that sense democratic and will reflect an overall liberal america. it can react and inform, usually by choice. it cannot indoctrinate, propagandize, and create like the talk radio monopoly can- there is too much choice and truth available.

while print and TV are most anti-democratic in what they omit, only the talk radio monopoly, through coordinated UNCONTESTED repetition, can create and establish its own reality of myths, distortions, lies, and exaggerations that the rest of the lazy celebrity talking heads as well as GOP and blue dog (limbaugh) democratic politicians can count on by the end of the day or week. TV and print could not turn the democratic party into the democrat party. they couldn't have turned john edward's $400 haircut into a character-defining issue. they couldn't have turned a decorated war veteran into a traitor while turning an AWOL failure into commander in chief.

by ignoring the talk radio monopoly democrats have been playing politics without a front line. rove and co have been beating them with an invisible political 2x4. they've been feeling it but have been turning the dial and analyzing their beatings as if the GOP has mass public appeal instead of the biggest bullhorn and uncontested soapbox in the country, mostly in large expanses of those red states with a disproportionate number of senators and a lot of people who's only choice for politics may be an AM radio while they're working or driving. and don't give me any crap about waiting around for satellite radios in every car- that will be the next GOP legislation.

there are three choices that i see for progressives (yeah yeah plenty of others).
1) congress can pass some new kind of Fairness Doctrine or very fast acting demonopolization,
2) progressives and unions can boycott and picket their local RW radio stations and their local sponsors until they stop filling the community airwaves with lies about their candidates and causes and really support them.
3) or they ignore talk radio, continue to cede it to the GOP, and continue to work twice as hard and pass twice as many concessions to get even the most watered down progressive legislation past more talk radio enabled filibustering and blue dog (limbaugh) democratic bullshit- despite internet growth.

every day we see more examples of the effectiveness of GOP obstruction of obama and the groundwork is done by talk radio. just the other night on PBS news hour a panel of media people was being asked what kind of feedback they were getting from their local citizens and there was probably little knowledge, and certainly no acknowledgement of the effect limbaugh and hannity and sons were having on the feedback they were getting. two recent polls (pew and cnn i think, in 9-12 and 12-15 march) showed a dramatic increase in the number of people who thought obama was doing too much. i'll bet anything that the initial groundwork nationwide push of that talking point started on talk radio, coinciding with those poll results, and that is why limbaugh and hannity get hundreds of millions of dollars.


and not only does it enable a it reaches way into teh internet as well
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 07:05 PM
Response to Reply #24
40. I partially agree with that
Talk radio is a problem, and it needs to be more democratized so that other points of view have more of a voice.

But I disagree that it is as big a problem as you believe. You say "While print and TV are most anti-democratic in what they omit, only the talk radio monopoly, through coordinated UNCONTESTED repetition, can create and establish its own reality of myths, distortions, lies, and exaggerations..."

I don't understand why you feel that talk radio is a bigger problem that TV and and print media. Yes, Limbaugh, the king of RW talk radio, has a very loyal and vocal audience. But his approval by the American public is only 19%. So how influential could he possibly be? Those 19% are fringe right wingers. Few if any of them would vote for anything but the most RW agenda, with or without RW radio.

And you say that TV and print media "couldn't have turned john edward's $400 haircut into a character-defining issue." On what basis do you say that? They have much more of a following than RW radio. It seems to me that they were much more influential in turning the Edwards haircut into a character defining issue than RW radio was, simply because of their much larger following.
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certainot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 08:10 PM
Response to Reply #40
44. TV and print can't make shit up and distort like talk radio can because
there is still some competition and for print the evidence is right there to see. you can wave it back in their face. TV still must offer balance even if it is pretend balance or within the limits of a particular framing. it is the coordinated uncontested repetition that counts.

discussing the edwards haircut for hours on TV is made possible because of talk radio repetition earlier in the day or week. no guest or host is going to use precious TV time for it if that one liner or talking point wasn't prechewed on radio first possibly for days. who's going to take the first shot except one of rove's GOP operatives on fox, which basically exists to put visual whipped cream on the talk radio lie turd pie. and few people read the same stories over and over. talk radio is the medium that can decide what molehills the roves decide to turn into mountains. and they've been doing it for 20 years without the dems noticing because they turn the dial instead of listening to the attacks that give them headaches. it has been the perfect weapon.

blowing up the immigration issue was something talk radio did. dobbs didn't jump on that bandwagon until weeks of talk radio work got going right after katrina. as a matter of fact the katrina disaster wouldn't have played out like it did, with bush/rove waiting 5 days for black on white violence, if they didn't think it could be used by limbaugh and hannity all the way to the elections.

it was talk radio that did the swiftboating of 'flip flopper' kerry. it is concerted coordinated last day/week radio blasting of the country that gets dem appointees abandoned and neanderthal supremes passed. it was talk radio repetition that enabled the bush admin operatives the certitude with which to lie us into iraq- they knew rush and hannity had their backs and the lies they were telling had already been pounded into the earholes of tens of million, some of whom would also attack and complain about media giving time to traitors who dared to question bush. the days before the vote to give bush the OPTION to attack iraq the air when the dems wanted to keep debating, ALL the RW bloviators were chanting the same mantra- call your senators and tell them to "stand up and be counted".

a great deal of america;s political victories and defeats have been analyzed in a talk radio vacuum because until obama finally did what gore and kerry should have done and named limbaugh the most important man in the GOP, as point man for the talk radio monopoly, dems have completely ignored democracy's biggest foe.

as for approval at 19%, it is his ability to mobilize the misinformed, and establish the GOP framing and talking points as common knowledge that spreads way past that 19% to friends and family and then into the rest of the media that makes it so effective. it is the biggest soapbox in the country and it includes many local and national wannabes repeating the same crap that allows them to determine what is and what isn't acceptable in US media. while creating the whole concept of liberal political correctness there has been no bigger PC cop or censor-by-threat than the coordinated talk radio megaphone.
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LiberalLovinLug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 02:42 PM
Response to Original message
26. The corporate elite try and dismiss the net
It's obvious to anyone that the MSM TV companies are trying their best to marginalize any news reaped from the internet as what "some anonymous person wrote on some blog somewhere"

That is until they get all their pieces lined up in a row and defeat the net neutrality laws so that only a handful of corporations decide what gets on the net and what does not, and how much you will pay for it.
I know that now it seems that that will never happen, but we all have to be vigilant in the most important free speech fight of our generation.

And I don't see why an online news blog/sources/message board cannot have a paid reporter. The Huffington Post on the left and the Drudge Report on the right are probably the most well known sites. And as the traffic increases and high-speed internet is spread out further into rural areas, there will be an ever increasing audience for ad revenue. As internet bandwidth technology gets better and computers get faster, and monitors get larger, we won't be using our TVs anymore. Doesn't Raw Story already have a paid reporter?

The point is that getting your news from the internet is far superior to a 10 minute loop of the most infotainment appealing stories of the day read by pampered talking heads on the television. The power shifts to the news gatherer. It becomes not "We Report - You Decide" More like "We Report - You check other sources on the same story instantly - You Decide"

As long as we keep the corporate net nannies at bay, and more and more of the population discovers how to surf for the news, it should bode well for news hounds and truth seekers.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 10:35 PM
Response to Reply #26
53. I agree
Edited on Sat Mar-21-09 10:35 PM by Time for change
There is no reason why on-line news organizations can't have paid reporters. I believe that there are some now, but I can't be sure.

But whether there are or not, the more important point is that there are many excellent on-line reporters that provide us with lots of valuable information -- whether they are paid or not.

You're right -- we need to be very vigilant about the possibility of losing net neutrality. That would be a major blow to our democracy, from which we may never recover.
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antimatter98 Donating Member (537 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 03:05 PM
Response to Original message
27. Here are my thoughts on this, fyiw.
Edited on Sat Mar-21-09 03:11 PM by antimatter98
Internet radio shows, and interactive web sites are definitely helping to
inform Americans who choose these media. But, a lot of folks just watch
FOX News, CNN, and read the paper, or watch CBS or ABC News, all of which
still have good penetration. The question is demographics, and I can understand
that the Web is reaching more younger folks. But, there are a lot of middle age
Americans who are finding the Internet to be more informative.

If you buy the idea that corporate media slants the news, and this is what I
believe, then the Internet is that "Radio Free Europe" that used to beam 'the truth'
behind the Iron Curtain during the Cold War---that is, giving outside perspective
and news to those trapped by their own radio and television.

Will the Internet survive in the United States? I believe we will see continuing
pressure to limit Internet radio and alternative web sites. One way this could
be done is to require Internet radio and news sites to carry liability insurance in amounts
that no one could pay (and of course, AM radio hosts would not be required to have this)
Another way would be to simply declare some Internet radioand web sites as 'Patriot Act'
violators and to ban them, or require licensing and logging of all content.

What about blogs in specific? One thing that has crossed my mind is that blog sites,
sites like DU or dKos, are good for getting information out, and allowing individuals to
express their views (like I'm doing), they also, unless people take up action, serve
as energy and anger absorbers--how many blog and then go to bed, rather than
organizing and making something happen? If you lived in the 60's, you know that street
demonstrations and political rallies in public, stopped the Vietnam war and later caused Nixon to
resign. There were no blogs then. No Internet. No Twitter, flash mobs, etc., just flyers on telephone polls,
telephone organizing, and committed individuals. My question: do Internet blogs
actually weaken us, since unless we organize and act, blogging our frustration doesn't change
much.

Just some thoughts. I believe we will have to fight to keep Internet radio (the political kind)
and blogs and (alternative) news sites alive and accessible. don't forget that corporate
media owns the major internet ISPs---your gateway to political blogs and news and radio. Just
as you see the banks looting America, you could see corporate ISPs simply do what they have to
do to censor, or to eliminate 'net sources that we believe are important.

But, 'on the street' demonstrations will not replace blogging as a means to change America,
in my view.

Good Luck.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 03:20 PM
Response to Reply #27
28. "Do Internet blogs actually weaken us, since unless we organize and act, blogging our frustration
doesn't change much?"

I doubt that very much. I can't prove that the answer is no, but I doubt it.

For one thing, the Internet is a great organizing tool, and in that sense it could be, and has been used to organize demonstrations.

I don't see any reason to blame the lack of more vigorous demonstrations on the Internet. The Vietnam War was different than Iraq in that far more Americans were being drafted and killed in the Vietnam War than what we see in Iraq. Today we have no draft, and the total U.S. soldier death toll is thus far less than 10% of what we saw in Vietnam. I think that is the main difference, rather than the Internet.

Also, I disagree that it was street demonstrations that led Nixon to resign. He resigned because he counted up the votes in the House and Senate, and he knew that if he didn't resign he would be impeached and convicted. The event that led to that state of affairs was the Senate Watergate hearings -- more specifically the testimony of Alexander Butterfield, which led to the White House tapes, which turned out to be the smoking gun that would have convicted Nixon had he not resigned.
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Uncle Joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 04:04 PM
Response to Original message
30. Kicked and recommended.
Thanks for the thread, Time for change. :thumbsup:
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varelse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 04:11 PM
Response to Original message
31. K&R
When our Founding Fathers took such great care to create the foundations for a free American press, they did not imagine that our press would one day be controlled by interests so inimical to the American people.
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spanone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 04:12 PM
Response to Original message
32. "Democracy is only as good as the information that we receive..." A M E N
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customerserviceguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 04:23 PM
Response to Original message
33. Interesting read, but we need to remember
that the Internet is a two-edged sword. It's a powerful way for misinformation to be distributed as well, as we've all seen. The "Obama is a Muslim" meme got distributed widely by wingnut websites as well as emails from the people barely bright enough to turn on a computer. Surely, the impeachment of Bill Clinton was given a mighty push by the Internet.

We're about to witness a first in the next few months or years, a Democratically appointed Supreme Court nomination in the Internet Age. When Ruth Bader Ginsberg was nominated, a tiny minority of people had Internet access, and she sailed through unscathed. But in the most recent nomination battles, we failed to derail Roberts or Alito, but the right wingers were successful at getting Harriet Miers thrown from the train.

My point is, the wingnuts have been extremely successful at using the Internet to accomplish their goals, and the only one we can possibly point to is the election of President Obama, through his use of it to raise funds in a way that had only been hinted at in the past.

Sometimes, having editors is a good thing, even if they are perceived to serve corporate masters. We're about to enter the world where they really won't exist anymore. Buckle up.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 04:58 PM
Response to Reply #33
36. Yes, it is true that disinformation is spread through the Internet
That is a risk we need to accept. However, we have a way to counteract that -- rebut it with the truth. Let them try to spread their misinformation. Undoubtedly, some people will fall for it. But when everyone is equally free to provide their input, the truth will usually win out.

The "Makaka" episode is a good example. The information in that case was indisputable. How could they dispute it? Compare that to the "Obama is a Muslim" crap. He wasn't. There was plenty of evidence that he wasn't. So, when most reasonable people compared the rumors to the evidence, the evidence won out. Very few people believed he was a Muslim. Look at the election results.

You mention the failure to derail the Roberts and Alioto nominations. Certainly you're not blaming the Internet for that, are you? I think that due to the Internet there was at least an effort to derail it.

You say that "Sometimes, having editors is a good thing, even if they are perceived to serve corporate masters". The first part of that statement is true. Yes, editors are sometimes a good thing. But the end of that statement -- "... even if they are perveived to serve corporate masters" -- misses the main point. The problem isn't that they are perceived to serve corporate masters. The problem is that they do serve corporate masters. Much better to have no editors at all than to have that kind of editor.

And the Internet is not without editors. Many or most sites, to varying degrees, have editors. Even on DU we have editors to varying degrees -- and I'm not just speaking of the admins and the mods. Any post that gets attention has the potential to be called on providing inaccurate information. It happens all the time here on DU, and that serves the useful purpose of providing different points of view for people to consider. That kind of editing is a long way from perfect, but in my opinion it's a lot better than corporate editing in the service of merely advancing a private agenda.
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customerserviceguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 07:54 PM
Response to Reply #36
43. You've made some good points
and I guess I really should have re-thought the word 'perceived' in that case, but I was looking to wrap up and get back to fixing my homemade spaghetti sauce!

Rebutting with the truth is indeed all we will have left, but people often disagree with what is 'truth'. In the case of George Allen saying "makaka", we do have evidence that was not disputed. But phony 'evidence' can be manufactured, and while presently detectable, that might not always be the case. I gotta tell you, after I saw Tom Hanks drop trou when he 'met' Lyndon Johnson in "Forrest Gump", I said to myself, "I can never truly believe a photographic image again."

You're right that most people didn't believe the "Obama is a Muslim" crap, but he was benefitting from the general public's trust. Should he get on the wrong side of that trust as the present recession may morph into a depression, he might not have that benefit of the doubt.

My comments on the Roberts and Alito nominations was only to reflect the fact that the right wing has been very effective so far in using the Internet to their purposes, and that we will surely see them try to use their skills again on the very next Democratic Supreme Court nominee. I expect that person to be pilloried like we've never seen before.

Again, I used the example of Harriet Miers. The freepers decided early on that she was not right wing enough, and they went to work on her. Sure enough, Bush dumped her. What if his father's nominee, David Souter, had been nominated in the Internet Age? Surely, we would have all kinds of stories trashing him, probably centering around the fact that he has never married. We have yet to see what they're going to pull out of the trash heap to use on President Obama's first Court nominee.

We're entering a bit of the Wild Wild West here, the lines will start to blur between the various sources of news, we already have a large part of the Internet population choosing either a progressive or conservative filter for their news, and I see that trend continuing. It seems like ancient history when literate Americans got their news from their local papers, Time and Newsweek, and Walter Cronkite. At least we had a common set of information with which to expand our debates upon.
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creeksneakers2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 04:36 PM
Response to Original message
35. K & R
Excellent post.
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caseymoz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 05:18 PM
Response to Original message
37. That's probably a major reason why Obama won.
Edited on Sat Mar-21-09 05:20 PM by caseymoz

The Internet is changing society in many ways.

But there are so few companies in charge of its access, and they are trying to eliminate net neutrality.
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mntleo2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 06:07 PM
Response to Original message
38. And digitilizing television could be a death knell
...for television now. Only 40% of this country has cable television. With the new digital signals taking over the analogue, even less people will be watching television. Internet has the best bang for the buck, if you pay for anything. On the Internet, you can watch television programs on the computer, you can email, you can blog and be on forums, you can do research as well as chat and talk in real time.

Believe me, I am poor, and I do not have cable television. The Internet replaces BOTH newspapers and television for me and it is a powerful place to find a voice as well as information. I would never waste my small amount of income on cable television when it merely has repeats and the same ol' same ol' only these repeats are on 100 channels by what is it ~ 6 companies who do it all? I would rather find something that is created about anywhere in the world, choose what i consider "News" and do it in my own time. So why kill trees when I can sit in my own room and read the information on my own computer?

Pee Ess: I bought my computer for 50 bucks and yes I am able to upgrade it and tweak it because I am a geek, mostly self taught, though I do have a state college degree in computers. I help other low income people get on line as cheaply, if not cheaper. It is my mission in life to wean my neighbors off the television and onto the Net because that is where the action REALLY ls happening ...

Cat In Seattle
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Uncle Joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 06:16 PM
Response to Reply #38
39. I had a digital T.V. only a couple of years old that went on the blink, so now
I'm watching my old analogue model, and as it turns out FOX quit telecasting on analogue.

I still get the major networks and PBS so I told the electronics store to hold on to my digital until June.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 10:43 PM
Response to Reply #38
54. That's a great mission
Best of luck to you :toast:
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Jackpine Radical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 07:46 PM
Response to Original message
42. Thanks T4C.
You stir a couple of partially-baked ideas in my thoroughly-baked brain.

The first is something like a news-wiki. Ever notice how fast Wikipedia entries are made and revised in accordance with events? It's sort of like a collective consciousness. It all happens for free, too, just like Sourceforge, where people build software to rival the for-profit behemoths like Microsoft. The news-wiki could either be a new and independent entity or a specialized function of Wikipedia. Stuff would come in from people on the scene around the world, receive comments from people elsewhere who have relevant information, etc. Whistleblowers could post, and more complete stories could be built as more information comes forth from other sources. We think of news as instantaneous stuff, the TV news truck on the scene of a fire or something, but the most meaningful news is generally not like that. Investigative stories take months to build. The wiki approach certainly moves fast enough for that.

I think that some combination of existing or evolving dynamics could provide a very good online news service that would carry stories from all sides of the political world. If people read it, advertisers will come. What advertiser will decline exposure of his message to a gigantic set of readers? The whole enterprise could be set up to ensure that advertisers have little voice in what is covered, and how. The pay-by-hits system may turn out to be a tremendous force for democracy. Money could also come from donations. There would be ways to pay at least some reporters and editors.

As I said at the beginning, none of this is thought through to any depth; I'm making it up as I go. It will be interesting to see if anyone picks up on it.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 10:07 PM
Response to Reply #42
50. That sounds intruguing
It's beyond my ability to evaluate it or even understand it very well, but it sounds very good.

Go for it! :thumbsup:
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Norrin Radd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 10:48 PM
Response to Reply #42
55. Wikinews:
http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Main_Page

It's rumored that rightwingers have squatted there, but I've only ever looked at it once, so I've no confirmation.
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marybourg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 08:10 PM
Response to Original message
45. I get most of my news from Public Radio.
But I don't even see it on the chart.
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peacetalksforall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 08:51 PM
Response to Reply #45
47. Take their news and process it yourself for propaganda - especially
opinion about news that comes out of the mouths of Cokie Roberts, Juan Williams, Mara Liasson, Neil Cohen. (perhaps others will add their un-favorites?)
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marybourg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 10:11 PM
Response to Reply #47
51. Goes without saying. .
But they're better than anything else. IMO
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PM Martin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 09:09 PM
Response to Original message
48. I agree. Let the traditional media die off.
They have caused too much harm to this world.
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madokie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 09:27 PM
Response to Original message
49. I enjoyed reading that
I agree with every word.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-21-09 10:16 PM
Response to Original message
52. Haven't read the article . . . will be back . . . but when people start asking . ..
Edited on Sat Mar-21-09 10:17 PM by defendandprotect
"what's Fox...?" and no longer recognize the news readers/anchors ---

when they aren't aware of the garbage the corporate-press is spewing and might

only be aware of it from some liberal organization alert .....


THEN we will be getting some where --- and I have my fingers crossed it could be soon!

Turn off those TV's . . . !!!



PS You can watch the first half hour of Olbermann . . . and all of Jon Stewart!!!

Anything on C-span . . . but too damned many Repugs are on and Democrats should watch that!
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Usrename Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-22-09 01:11 AM
Response to Original message
57. Brian Williams
I saw him on a panel once with dan rather and mike wallace and a whole bunch of other news anchors. peter jennings and tom whatever his name is (the greatest generation, I can't stand him because he preempted the last half of the Giants-Bears game the night Reagan met in Iceland with Gorbachev, but I digress) - brokaw - were there also. The only thing I remember is that they were all empaneled for a frank discussion of "media bias" and at the end of the discussion williams said (paraphrasing):

- - - I don't have any media bias and you can tell by my hate mail. They're about 50-50 so that proves I'm right in the middle. - - -

A light went on all of the sudden inside my cranium. He has no concept whatsoever about what journalism is. None at all. He thinks that the truth is determined by polls. If he has to bury a story because it's unpopular, well then, who cares. As long as both sides like ME or hate ME equally, then I'm doing my job.

What a clown. Lecturing us about the bathrobe brigades when he admits that he is perfectly satisfied with giving a platform to a bunch of lies just as long as it keeps him popular with both sides. He is more than a just a little bit disgusting.



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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-22-09 01:46 AM
Response to Original message
58. "38% of voting Americans believed that Sarah Palin was fit to be President."
This illustrates how far we have to go, and how stupid voters are. Didn't more than 38% of voters support her!!!
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antimatter98 Donating Member (537 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-24-09 07:52 AM
Response to Original message
59. Corps will shut down the net as we know it, it's getting too powerful politically.
I believe the corporate sector that runs the net will make major moves
to curtail net freedom, and that this will have the support of Congress
and the White House.

We see--at least those of us who use the 'net--that we're learning the
truth of the bailout, of AIG, the behind the scenes work of the Obama
White House to get banks what they want, etc., that is, we're learning
that we've got fascism/kleptocracy in full blown motion.

I expect to see regulations that do things like:
1. require all ISPs and blog/news site owners to carry liability insurance
that will be prohibitive for all but the ABC's, CNN's, to pay for.
2. require all internet users---that is, people who have an IP address (and we all do)
to license those IP addresses, and by doing so, to follow rules set down by the
FCC or another group that will require you log where you go---web site addresses,
time spent there, etc.
3. the use of the Patriot Act to indict web site owners and users who 'traffic in
anti-American, terrorist related' speech on the 'net. This will apply to Internet
Radio especially. This internet radio curtailment will result in the dedicated moving
to off-shore shortwave or AM radio.

I expect to see ISPs (the corporate giant ones at least, but they will effect
other smaller ISPs) use their already available user surfing logs to make corporate
judgements about which web sites are 'outside political mainstream' or which sites
are 'terrorist' in nature, or 'sites that are inappropriate,' with the resulting blockage of these sites. And once
say, a Comcast does this, other majors will follow suit-- just as we see with
bandwidth caps now. The White House will support all of this.

I'm seeing the Obama White House as completely working for corporate power and banking
power. Right now, Internet content offers the most durable, detailed critique of this power,
and this is why I expect the 'net to be locked down very soon, but it will come via a series
of Congressional and FCC regulations. (while the banks are left unregulated)

We will have just as much power to counter this as we currently do regarding the banking
situation. None, or very little.

Obviously, my assessment above is pretty dark, but I cannot imagine that corporate power
would tolerate the degree of push back we're seeing and hearing on the net. Same opinion
regarding political power. Right now, I think they believe the 'net is just a playpen in
a padded room, offering no threat to the status quo. Obama's use of the net shows that he
was able to manipulate supporters, but so far we've not seen the 'net act as a true political
change agent since blogging does not equate to making changes directly in Congress or the
White House---as we saw, getting into the streets to support Obama got him elected.

If Americans ever start using the net coupled to massive street protests, then I think you will
see a clamp down come very quickly. So far, Americans blog, then go back to watching TV, and
don't act in person, on the streets, in DC. They email their Congressmen/women and those emails
are never read, and the citizen goes back to the TV. This is one reason I believe corporate and
political power feels safe. But I bet their strategists have plenty of plans and are watching.
So far, the 'net has only helped the status quo raise money, the net has not really changed
policy or corporate regulation policy. We're just yelling here, nothing much happens as a result.
Threaten power and we will see a reaction.





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olegramps Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-24-09 08:52 AM
Response to Original message
60. Excellent commentary.
One of the things that I appreciated the most about the Internet is that when someone attempts to push a line of bull crap that it is immediately challenged with facts. I really like that because even though I have a lot of time on my hands because I am retired, or just plan tired, I don't have the resources to investigate each and every assertion. There is nothing more effective then having thousands of people who have special knowledge of an issue to critique a discourse.

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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-24-09 11:22 AM
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