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"The Revolution Will Not Be Televised"

by S. King Wednesday, May. 21, 2003 at 12:24 PM

DON'T MOURN MEDIA COVERAGE, ORGANIZE!

Many Kucinich for President activists have complained about how mass media

marginalize our candidate, belittle our chances, attack our policies. The

complaints are valid, but such coverage is exactly what we expected. Given

their bias and boosterism on the war, one could hardly expect these same

outlets to fully and fairly cover the presidential candidate who led antiwar

opposition in Congress.

The Kucinich campaign is no ordinary campaign; it is a movement campaign.

The mainstream media are not going to be any friendlier to us than to the

movements that animate our campaign: peace, labor, environmental, family

farm, consumer rights and every civil rights movement for equality and

dignity.

Kucinich supporters have to be brave enough to keep building, recruiting and

organizing our grassroots campaign without validation from mainstream media.

"Don't count on the mainstream media to lead a social revolution," a former

New York Times reporter once said. "They won't even know about it for six

months."(In Seattle in 1999, when Kucinich joined thousands of labor and

environmental activists in protesting the WTO, no group was caught more

off-guard by events than mainstream media.)

We will of course continue fighting for access to mass media forums, reaching

out to conscientious journalists who work in the mainstream, and responding to

media attacks (often with your help/ see bottom) -- but our strategy must rely

in the coming months mostly on grassroots organizing, plus independent,

alternative outlets and the Internet.

Let's face it: as a result of deregulation that Dennis Kucinich has long

opposed,

today's media are dominated by huge conglomerates. The three cable TV news

channels

are now right, righter and rightist, and conservatives dominate opinion shaping

from radio and TV talkshows to syndicated columnists. Outlets formerly seen as

"liberal," including public broadcasting, are corporatized, timid or both, and

the spectrum of mass media opinion typically extends from GE to GM. U.S.

coverage

of the war was denounced worldwide, even by the head of the BBC, as sanitized

and

propagandistic.

Given the narrowing center-right media spectrum, when Dennis Kucinich proposes

common-sense programs that are popular with most Democrats, and often most

Americans -- national health insurance, ending unfair trade treaties, returning

Social Security's retirement age to 65, cutting the bloated military budget,

reversing a reckless foreign policy to conform with international law and

treaties -- he is deemed beyond the pale by elite punditry.

To mainstream pundits, Lieberman has "serious" foreign policy views... because

they're so indistinguishable from Bush's. Gephardt has a "bold" health plan...

because it keeps the private insurance bureaucracy in the center of healthcare.

Dean is the "peace candidate"... because of a shallow critique, free of any talk

about cutting a military budget that almost equals the military spending of

all other countries combined.

Due to the grassroots nature of the Kucinich campaign and late start, our

fundraising and organizational apparatus are just getting going. Both will

be upgraded in the next months. While mainstream media may take note of that,

we should not count on mass media to legitimize a progressive campaign that

-- unlike those of Dean and Gephardt and Kerry -- seeks to transform the

policies of the Democratic Party and the nation.

The insurgent campaigns of Jesse Jackson in '88 and Jerry Brown in '92 got

little help from mainstream media and a lot of ridicule -- but they persevered

in spite of media attacks, and rocked the political process.

In recent weeks, Kucinich has been attacked by leading conservative commentators

and operatives -- including George Will and Mary Matalin. This is good news.

Let's keep building, recruiting, fundraising, organizing in Iowa and elsewhere,

and we'll earn more such attacks!

But don't count on the mainstream media to help us build a movement to transform

the party and country. They won't even know about it for six months... until we

rise up in the Iowa caucuses come January.

***

Spread the word about the Kucinich campaign [http://www.kucinich.us]

Contribute to the Kucinich campaign [https://www.kucinich.us/contribute.php]

Check out our new web feature 'Responses to Media'

[http://www.kucinich.us/responses_media.htm], and join our effort to challenge

biased coverage.

Report this post as:

LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 5 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
this would be a scare Sheepdog Wednesday, May. 21, 2003 at 1:16 PM
"Many Kucinich for President activists... daveman Wednesday, May. 21, 2003 at 2:34 PM
Kucinich brigg Wednesday, May. 21, 2003 at 4:03 PM
bump bump Wednesday, May. 21, 2003 at 4:15 PM
Dennis will change your mind... S. King Friday, Jul. 11, 2003 at 9:37 AM

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