Friday, September 26, 2008

Episode 1: Is There Really Such a Thing As Liberal Media


Welcome to The L-Comment! This is the rebranded version of my old blog “The Blue States.” As you may expect from the title, this blog is a collection of essays on the state of things in the U.S. and the world. I figured writing essays is a good way to release negative chi. For those new to the blog, I love a good debate. As such, I tend to take sides on a particular issue, usually for team Blue. However, I try not to blindly follow the herd, so if my team is acting up, I will call them on it. But please, leave comments! I’m always very interested to know how others react to today’s issues. With that said, onward to Episode 1…

I have noticed recently, ever since the presidential race started heating up, liberal media became even more liberal. There is the super far left MSNBC and left-leaning CNN cable news networks. Then you have The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. In print media, you have The New York Times, Newsweek, The Nation, and The Rolling Stones, to name a few left-leaning publications. And it seems the right-wing really only has Fox News and The Wall Street Journal as its primary sources. Why is there such a disproportionate balance of left and right media?

To research the content of left and right leaning programming, I subjected myself to Fox News for a few days (the things I’ll do for research!) in addition to my regular Situation Room, Hardball, Olberman, Maddows lineup. What I found was very interesting. To name a few headlines:

“Obama is actually Muslim”
Fox and Friends were reporting last week, that Barack Obama was Muslim and may have practiced radical Islam. Now this myth was debunked long ago, and was uncovered to be an internet hoax, spread through email chain letters.  

“Barack Obama will raise taxes”
Almost every Fox News anchor exclaims this fallacy. The truth is he will cut taxes for anyone making under $250,000 a year. This has been stated numerous times, and is even published in his website.  

“Sarah Palin voted against the bridge to nowhere”
Believe it or not, this was a point a pundit made two days ago, even though there is considerable documentation that shows she was for it until the government pulled the plug on the project. By “thanks, but no thanks” Palin actually meant she didn’t further pursue that earmark.

All the while these fallacies make right-wing headlines, left-wing media has been correcting all of these errors…

Today’s media landscape is reminiscent of the Civil War ideology of clinging for dear life to preserve a way of life. There was a change brewing. Owning slaves was becoming passé. The Industrial Revolution was well underway. The North States were becoming more progressive by the day. The Civil War was the catalyst for a cultural revolution that took a whole century to come full circle with the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. 

 It has been 140 years since our last major cultural shift. The possibility (especially considering the current polls) of electing our first African American president is great. And what better choice than Barack Obama, a man who in a single body, embodies the American dream? He carries the blood of a Black father, White mother, Indonesian step father and siblings, and Chinese in-law. He rose from meager beginnings to utmost prestige and a chance at becoming the most powerful person of the free world. He is a candidate who has been committed in his academic, professional, and political career to creating an atmosphere where the lower class can realistically aspire to earn wealth, and the middle class can realistically aspire to put their kids in college, start a business, or own a home. He does these things while reiterating the need to once again become interdependent. He bolsters a sense of community, sacrifice, and volunteerism, that is necessary to unify a nation to prepare it compete with the global economy.  

The right-wing base is largely afraid of change. It is not that they don’t want change necessarily, but rather they fear what they don’t understand. There are some who never experience a face that doesn’t look like them well into their college years… now they are expected to jump head first into the global market? So instead, the right will publish smears and use fear tactics to scare people into maintaining the status quo. With each passing year however, more people are starting to get onboard with the new cultural revolution. The numbers in the right base are beginning to dwindle. With the internet matured and all kinds of information easily accessible, ignorance is no longer a viable excuse.  

It is my opinion that there is really no such thing is liberal media. Conservative outlets are really an opposition to the cultural revolution the “liberal” media reports. I imagine in the future, we will label media as “progressive” or “more progressive.” Time will tell.

The Bush Administration is the last vestige of the old ways. A McCain presidency would indicate the majority of Americans aren’t ready for the revolution. I trust however, Americans by in large hunger for change, and will make the decision on November 4th which reflects it.
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