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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
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
today's media are dominated by huge conglomerates. The three cable TV news
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.
of the war was denounced worldwide, even by the head of the BBC, as sanitized
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
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|this would be a scare
||Wednesday, May. 21, 2003 at 1:16 PM
|"Many Kucinich for President activists...
||Wednesday, May. 21, 2003 at 2:34 PM
||Wednesday, May. 21, 2003 at 4:03 PM
||Wednesday, May. 21, 2003 at 4:15 PM
|Dennis will change your mind...
||Friday, Jul. 11, 2003 at 9:37 AM
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