Friday, July 18, 2008

How the Media Learned to Bend Over Backward to Please the Right-- LIVE

Panel / Fri, 07/18/2008 - 1:30pm, Exhibit Hall 4

Once upon a time, dramatic TV coverage of showdowns in Birmingham and Selma made the media equal partners in the struggle to civilize America. After the 1968 Democratic Convention,however, executives startled to learn that most Americans reviled the media for "taking the protesters' side" set in motion the broken mainstream media dynamic of today: bending over backward to please a mythic "middle America," patronizing even the most popular liberal political expressions as "elitist." Building on Rick Perlstein's NIXONLAND, this panel will explore this pattern's causes and consequences, and whether and how online activism might change it.
PANELISTS: Paul Krugman, "Digby" Parton, Rick Perlstein, Duncan Black

Great panel featuring some more big brains of the media, writing and blogosphere.

Digby started out by dedicating this Panel to Molly Ivans. (recieved with a great deal of applause)

Rick Perlstein starting out by giving context to the modern corp. media based on the research he did for his Bestselling book NIXONLAND. Great quotes from his book giving a historical background for this topic.

Next up: Paul Krugman.
He started out saying he doesn't really have info on what kind of pressure was being brought to bear. Over time it is clear that the people who noticed something was wrong before a crisis... are the ones no one asks to comment when the crisis happens. This does not encourage people to speak out in the media as they see the news or the indications of events on the horizon. Happened with Iraq, and the housing bubble.

Very little of the pressure seems to come directly from the White House or gop. Instead the news, pressure and talking points are being put out from side groups that are basically unofficial extensions.

This comes from Truth Squad publications like the National Review.

Pressure that comes in the form of mail. Hostile mails get to journalists. And there are coordinated efforts to do this. Happened to Krugman during the debates about privatizing social security. This does seem to put pressure on reporters. Beyond that there is out right character asasination.

NEXT Duncan Black, Atrios
for 30 years or so, Liberal News Media and Elite has been the meme.

-Doesn't think that the media are in touch with the common man. Though they like to think they are.

- We do have elites, but they are not liberal elites.
- sympathetic to the Christian right. Media did not reflect the world view. And this was true about us to. The netroots also don't feel like our views are being reflected back to us on TV.
- 'Liberal' Media does not really have liberal values. Look at how Olbermann is treated for being a liberal in the so-called liberal media.

We need to create a storm when the media goes wrong. We need to cause a lot of noise to get their attention. It would be great if we didn't have to but we do. The right has known that media activism was a core part of their movement, and we need to realize that this has to be a core part of our movement.

UP Now
Points out we need to see and recognize the 30 years of this issue. And the meaning of our political discourse has been shaped by this history.
They have created the myth of the Liberalism. We need to find ways to expose what we see. Point out the village, and village elders who are telling us what to do, are really a group of high paid media personalities and world leaders. They are not our village elders they are actually talking down to the american public and our job is to poke holes in these myths.