Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Nation's Political Elite Live in a Bubble

"Do not go gentle into that good night; Blog, blog against the dying of the light."
- Blogger Cathie from Canada

Nation's Political Elite Live in a Bubble
Progressive Bloggers Needed Now More Than Ever

Progressive bloggers understand that America's political elite live in a world all their own. Unfortunately, opinion leaders lay their 'bubble-speak' on the American public 24/7 on cable news networks and the public is believing in their bubblemush just as much as they believe that "reality TV" is actually "reality".

Dave Johnson of Seeing the Forest writes:
" America's political elite live in an information bubble. It's like the Right has set up a "conventional wisdom machine" that is targeted at opinion leaders, legislators, their staffs and the circles they associate with. Heavily-funded right-wing organizations work to infiltrate their message into the information that these "leadership elite" receive. They achieve this in many ways. One way, of course, is that they have their very own bought-and-paid-for media outlets like Fox, the Washington Times, and most of AM radio. But they also have worked to get the more mainstream opinion leaders under their influence. Influential columnists and reporters receive large speaking fees from corporations and trade associations. They get free "retreats" where they learn about "market solutions." And everyone is certainly afraid of the shame and humiliation should they become the target of the character assassination machine. That acts as a powerful incentive to toe the line and reject "marginalized" information sources -- people like Scott Ritter and Michael Moore, constituents complaining about election fraud, and Progressive online news sources or blogs (those terrible things that leaked the exit polls) -- and stick to "credible" sources.

The Armstrong Williams scandal shows us the amounts of money involved in, and the "reach" of this effort. I mean, Armstrong Williams? If Armstrong Williams is getting $240,000 directly from the government, imagine what mainstream opinion leaders are getting from the big-money corporate trade associations, right-wing think tanks, etc. -- over (speaking fees, travel, gifts) and under (bribes, like Williams got) the table..[.] "

* [Where's 'the drumbeat' on Armstrong Williams, by the way? David Corn has plenty of insightful commentary about Williams this week. ]

[.]" ..The amounts of money the Right is putting into their outside-the-election-process propaganda effort -- over $300 million a year just for the think tank/advocacy communication infrastructure -- ought to warn us that most of the traditional channels through which "the leadership elite" get their info are likely targets of this effort.

Marginalizing sources like blogs is one way to scare Washington types away from the info they contain. Reading blogs is a way to break through that bubble."

To All Progressive Bloggers -

We need you more than ever. Keep it real. Keep truth alive. America needs you if you care about truth. We've already seen most truth bled from the mainstream vein of journalism.

Our democracy's future rests with you, Progressive Bloggers. This is no easy task, and Heaven knows it's not a thankful or economically lucrative job. But when you think about the big-time cable journalists raking in their far-more-than-decent payday while touting their cherry-picked headlines (I just saw one about Kim Jong-il's hair on MSNBC complete with a playing of the song "God Bless The USA") and giving the political elite endless (hot)-air time, and then you look at the measly little blogger expecting no reward and loving her country and the world's people enough to care to be here working day in/day out - -

Well, you tell ME who has more stock in having "an agenda". Look in the mirror. See the ones who really care, knowing the news and views they relay bring them no reward. We do what we do all day long, and will get up tomorrow and do it all over again.

We have an endless love affair with truth and compassion.

Progressive Bloggers, I'm grateful to each one of you.

Howard Dean: "I'm Running"

Howard Dean: "I'm Running"
"There is only one party that speaks to the hopes and dreams of all Americans. It is the party you have already given so much to. It is the Democratic Party.

We can win elections only by standing up for what we believe."