Knowledge is Power

In Nashville my access to progressive, liberal and alternative news is only the Internet & reading. AM WLAC and FM 99.7 (Both talk formats) are conservative. A few progressives get air time on low power fm or college radio. My favorite…AIR AMERICA I download from the internet the next day. I’m a day late but at least I get it. Since I’m on a farm in the country my Internet choices are slim too. Most of our neighbors here are still on dial up so downloading podcasts is not an option. I guess they could buy XM radio but I’m sure many of them have no idea what that is.

I have to work to get my information. Many people in my situation are completely in the dark…AND THEY WILL BE VOTING. Their decisions will be based on “facts” they have learned from right wing media outlets. It is up to all of us to engage them in conversations and talk about the issues. Family, friends, co-workers, neighbors. My mother used to say: “don’t talk about politics or religion.” If we follow that rule and stay silent about what we know is true in America today we will lose in the political arena and the religious right (and multi-national corporations) will gain an even firmer foot hold in our government.

I harp on the problems with our media a lot and here’s why…I don’t think we’re going to have a democracy much longer if we don’t fix it. I don’t think, as GLBT people, our chances are very good in a fascist dictatorial system. As gay people, we’re worried about issues like marriage…that might seem trivial to us if we’re worried about just being able to survive. In Iran for example gay people are executed. In Nazi germany gay people wore the pink triangle in the death camps along with the Jews. We have a pretty big interest I’d say in keeping the promise of America alive.

The foundation of a free society is information…a free press. In 2006 we ranked 53rd in the world

according to the government’s own website
In a democracy the press should operate free from governmental control. Democratic governments do not have ministries of information to regulate content of newspapers or the activities of journalists; requirements that journalists be vetted by the state; or force journalists to join government-controlled unions.”

George A. Krimsky/The Role of the Media in A Democracy said:
“A self-governing society, by definition, needs to make its own decisions. It cannot do that without hard information, leavened with an open exchange of views. Abraham Lincoln articulated this concept most succinctly when he said: “Let the people know the facts, and the country will be safe.”

When you hear right wingers talking about the “liberal media” I hope you read the following report. (keep in mind this is an election year) It shows you what we’re up against…the reality of the talk radio market these days. Also, when it comes to a free press I just read a few other related items:

The Air Force is blocking internet access to service people (any site that has the word “blog” in it…I guess they won’t be reading mine…) If it ain’t corporate owned mainstream media they ain’t gettin’ it. Gotta make sure the gatekeepers only give ’em what they want them to hear. Of course Rush is on armed forces radio…

In this country… 60 minutes finally picked up on the story last week about the former Governor from Alabama in Prison but when they aired the segment Sunday the Mississippi station that reaches northern alabama suddenly had “technical difficulties” and went dark ONLY during that segment.

If you want to learn more about what’s up with the U.S. media go to www.mediamatters.org
If you want to know what you can do about it go to www.freepress.org They could use whatever time or money you can offer. I did a podcast from their convention last year. There was a handful of gay people there. One afternoon session discussed GLBT people and how we’re portrayed in the media. We should have a whole contingent there this year along with representatives from GLADD and HRC. Every election year we are used as the “hot button issue” to get the religious right out to the polls. It’s time we rolled up our sleeves and flicked our boas and found our place at the table too.

here’s the report on talk radio…
As this report will document in detail, conservative talk radio undeniably dominates the format:
Our analysis in the spring of 2007 of the 257 news/talk stations owned by the top five commercial station owners reveals that 91 percent of the total weekday talk radio programming is conservative, and 9 percent is progressive.
Each weekday, 2,570 hours and 15 minutes of conservative talk are broadcast on these stations compared to 254 hours of progressive talk—10 times as much conservative
talk as progressive talk.
A separate analysis of all of the news/talk stations in the top 10 radio markets reveals that 76 percent of the programming in these markets is conservative and 24 percent is progressive, although programming is more balanced in markets such as New York and Chicago.
This dynamic is repeated over and over again no matter how the data is analyzed, whether one looks at the number of stations, number of hours, power of stations, or the number of programs. While progressive talk is making inroads on commercial stations,
conservative talk continues to be pushed out over the airwaves in greater multiples of hours than progressive talk is broadcast.
link to full report

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1 Comment

Filed under Political

One response to “Knowledge is Power

  1. Happy to see that I am not the only one saying what you say. I have a media button on http://fp1.centurytel.net/democracy/ where I will put this article.

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