Friday, August 26, 2011

Don't Trust the Corporate Media

These are dark political times to be sure. The best way we can fight back is to support the most aggressive, effective progressive media we can muster.
I'm writing you, in the heat of August, with surprising earthquakes and hurricanes on the East Coast, and on the chance that you are reading your e-mails and AlterNet, and not on vacation -- though a vacation is a very good idea about this time.

We are in an agonizing, infuriating, depressing political crisis -- I don't have to tell you that. And here is what I'm supposed to tell you next -- how we get out of the crisis. But I can't. Because I don't know. And if anyone is telling you they know how we change this present crisis, they are full of it. I've been doing this work for more than 30 years. It hasn't ever been this bad.

We Must Do Something

But we must do something. Strengthening the progressive media is a good place to start. We absolutely need the most aggressive, effective media we can muster, and that goal is the theme of this letter to you. Can you help AlterNet fight tooth and nail to push back against the right-wing hostage takers?

Normally we wouldn't start our Fall campaign until after Labor Day, but frankly we couldn't wait. There is a crisis everywhere we turn -- the crashing global economy; the sky-high jobless rate; the mortgage crises, which is getting worse, not better; the denial of climate change; the broad attacks on unions -- teachers, even fire and police; the undermining of Social Security. I could go on. We have to answer back. And the best way is to have strong media on our side.

The Corporate Media Facilitates Taking the Nation Hostage

In the current crisis, as Paul Krugman writes, the right-wing "Republicans have taken the nation hostage." They have disrupted "the essential running of government," and "purposefully undermined the economy, to force concessions they could never get legislatively." And Congress is on vacation now, but we know there are plenty more shenanigans coming down the line.

But you know what? As Krugman reminds us, the corporate media is a big part of the problem. And it is not just Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, and the right-wing media. It is also CNN, the Washington Post and the television networks. "When the mainstream media obsessively reports that both sides are to blame, no matter what the facts, there is no penalty for extremism." In fact it encourages it.

The radical conservatives pay no price for trying to wreck the economy with their lies, and their hostage taking. Why should they stop if they aren't challenged?

Fight the Propaganda Machine

So we have to challenge the right-wing and the corporate media. Every step of the way. They enable the right's machine in its goal to crush its opponents, and turn our country’s values back to the Ayn Rand fantasy days of psychopathic individualism. It is like a war for them. Their team must win at all costs. There is no reason, compromise, good sense. Well that is ridiculous. It's time we said enough.

So, we have to fight with all we have, and this isn't a short-term thing. We have to dig in for the long haul. Things aren't going to be turned around in two years or probably even four. The pendulum that many count on is not exactly swinging back, as we have moved to the right every year since Reagan was president, when compared to the 1970s. That has to end. Can you help?

Our Goal and the Plan

What is our goal? We aim to raise $52k in this campaign. We came up a little -- $2k -- short in the Spring, but we didn't want to hassle you with too many appeals; we know that can be annoying. We figured we would make it up now.

So what's the plan? First, a reminder. There is no easy way out. There is no short-term fix, no candy coating it. That is why I sat down at my computer in August. We can't wait, but we need to invest for the long haul.

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