Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Democracy Now!

Lawrence here, with a link to the page at the "Democracy Now!" website titled "Bringing 'Democracy Now!' to your community." It has the best way to do it and plenty of links to make it happen, if you can.

"Democracy Now!" is Amy Goodman's hard-hitting Pacifica Radio (and rarer TV link) that can be heard on about a hundred stations in the U.S. but only three stations in Texas. Three stations for 19 million people. It's carried on three stations in Missouri and three in Alaska, for crying out loud. It's on four in New Hampshire and Mexico, five in Oregon and North Carolina, eight in Vermont, twelve in Colorado and 28 in California. What does this say about the great gallumping state of Texas?

We're about as backward as they come. Even the liberals here don't know how backward we are. So many of them have been desensitized to what it means to have anything but a parochial, patronizingly patriotic conversation devoid of a bigger world view.

Amy Goodman is an inspiring speaker, tough as nails, brave, dogged - a tomboy lady as American hero, if you ask me. The problem is that even though Goodman and DN are often right on, it could, especially in this regressive state, clearly be labeled a clear conspirator in the "the liberal-biased" media - though it is certainly NOT "mainstream." But it's not communist, either. It is very much FOR America, for the valor and the virtues of a better nation.

I think DN may just be too edgy (and 'radical' - meaning passionate and blunt) for many public and private radio stations in this rash red state to consider. And it's not an NPR program, so its distribution is often due to word of mouth with a budget that's hand to mouth.

Of course, it is a farce that the conservatives have been so good at pinning the "mainstream media" with a "liberal bias." This in itself is a huge danger to the health of our society and our culture, whether it's Bloggerland or Dowdland or Foxland or Lehrerland. Americans are very touchy about and resentful of the perceived (and real) education gap between "East Coast/West Coast liberals" and "heartland conservatives." That uppity investigative news where sharply pointed follow-up questions are not a thing of the past is just TOOOO "anti" American....

For more on this sham, see the writings of NYU journalism professor Todd Gitlin (a favorite of mine, often to be read in "The American Prospect" and many of his own good books - see "Media Unlimited" for example). Also, you might catch the renowned works, "The Myth of the Liberal Media" by Edward S. Herman and the even more popular "What Liberal Media?" by Eric Alterman (Alterman has his own A-list blog).

My only hope for the heinously underinformed hinterland is that we might get more of the programming already on other, more worldly NPR and independent stations. (This antidote to the narrow and woolly WORLD of Rabid Talk Radio will be essential to turning some red states blue.)

In the meantime, 'til Goodman and crew (that would be me and you) can cause a Radioland revolution, that seems like a reasonable compromise to me. We really do need more - and more substantial - news (besides all the blather you see on these silly blogs). Give us that good ol' fashioned boilerplate! Here's to the straight scoop from... the BBC. Invaluable, I hear. Maybe it's time to get Sirius about XM.


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