by KingOneEye - Texas Kaos - Sun Jan 13, 2008
There's been a lot of talk in these parts about how the media is shutting John Edwards out of the race. He has been excluded from polling. His campaign events have not been covered. Other candidates with less to show for themselves receive more attention. Etc.....Brought to you by...
All of the these things are true. And all of the solutions I've seen have merit. We definitely need to put pressure on the media to cover this election fairly. But the media is probably not going to alter course and suddenly exhibit a journalistic integrity that they haven't even thought about since their freshman year of college. They need to be given a reason to change course; a reason that fits their definition of news.
So either Edwards could engage in a high speed police chase with Britney's kids on his lap and a missing white girl in the trunk, or he could raise $7 million dollars in one day.
News Corpse, The Internet's Chronicle Of Media Decay.
Money is one of the key validators that establishment media recognize. It is an extension of their fixation on the primacy of wealth in this materialistic culture. It is the reason that corporations are favored by most political operators and institutions. And it is the reason that these corporate-dominated media companies are marginalizing Edwards in the first place. As more than one pundit has put it, Edwards is their worst enemy.
Edwards' campaign has been the most forthright in attacking the epidemic of corporate greed. He has brought the issue of health care into the realm of the personal by spotlighting the tragically horrendous treatment of Nataline Sarkisyan by Cigna. He is relating the challenge by Warren Buffet to Forbes 400 CEOs to prove that they pay more in taxes than their secretaries. And he has directly taken on the media corporations themselves, particularly Fox News. It is notable that he is the ONLY Democratic candidate to continue to decline to appear on Fox. Obama broke ranks last week and Clinton never really joined the effort. Neither did Biden or Dodd. Kucinich is a frequent Fox guest. Only Edwards has had the courage to make direct statements addressing the dangers of consolidated media conglomerates. From his letter to the FCC:
"High levels of media consolidation threaten free speech, they tilt the public dialogue towards corporate priorities and away from local concerns, and they make it increasingly difficult for women and people of color to own meaningful stakes in our nation’s media."
And on Fox News:
"The basis of a strong democracy begins and ends with a strong, unbiased and fair media — all qualities which are pretty hard to subscribe to Fox News and News Corp."
Given Edwards' propensity for speaking truth to power, we might have expected the counterpunch that these media corporations have wielded. But we don't have to quit fighting.
Ron Paul has managed to stir up respectable levels of exposure despite his low standings in most polls. After being excluded from a Fox News-sponsored debate in New Hampshire, he has now been invited to participate in a Fox debate in South Carolina. That reversal on the part of Fox didn't occur due to some crisis of conscience. It occurred partly because Paul's supporters were pissed and they let it be known, and partly because Paul had validated himself in terms the media can understand - fund raising. Having drawn in a record $6 million dollars in one day went a long ways toward forcing the press to pay attention.
What I want to know is this: If Paul can do it, why can't Edwards? Edwards has far more support than Paul and he ought to be able to mobilize his supporters to attempt to set a new fund raising record. I don't know if Edwards has anything like this in mind but there is no reason his supporters can't embark on this on their own.
So I propose that we do so. I would like to suggest Friday, January 18, as the day to shatter both the record and the media's tinted glass ceiling on coverage. This would give us all five days to publicize the effort. If successful, it should generate some press in time for the Sunday papers and news programs. Then on Monday, there is the debate in South Carolina, where Edwards could promote the results. This would then be followed by the primary on Saturday which, hopefully, would benefit from the newly enhanced press attention.
If we believe that the media is unfairly slanting coverage, it is up to us to do something about it. We must not let them make our decisions for us. By thrusting Edwards' visibility forward with financial support that makes the press do a double take, we are effectively slapping the collective faces of the reporters who think they know what they're talking about; of the pundits who think they know what's best; of the blowhards like Bill O'Reilly who dismissively wave off our candidates as phonies and losers.
...Go to the donation page at JohnEdwards.com and make a donation for whatever you can afford. Personally, I think Clinton and Obama supporters should do this as well in order to stick it to the media. I'm sure they will consider that a disingenuous ploy to squeeze money out of them, but it isn't. I am completely serious when I say that the press is out there to do us harm. It may be Edwards now, but it will be your candidate later. So this opportunity to spank them is worth embracing.
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