Just as the Tea Party itself is a faux populist movement, subsidized behind the scenes by a combination of hidden corporations, represented publicly by discredited figures like Dick Armey, or greedy bastards, represented by the organizers of many of their most highly touted events, so the news organizations now covering their first annual convention in Nashville, are combinations various bizarre business models that pretend to represent some new paradigm.
I call them the "screw you" media. Leading the pack is Fox News, other Newscorp products, Andrew Breitbart and Pajamas Media's PJTV.
PJTV is such a serious endeavor. Their lead correspondent in Israel last year during Operation Cast Lead was Joe the Plumber. If there was an Emmy for worst war correspondent ever, Joe would have gotten a lifetime achievement award for his foray into that one-sided conflict:
Here's an example of his reporting:
That's right - "media should be abolished from reporting."
Sort of like Sarah Palin's media philosophy, as exemplified in many of the Sarah-to-Todd emails released today by MSNBC.
Teabaggerfest 2010 begins today. Topping off the coverage is PJTV's wall-to-wall, over-the-top programming, closely followed by FOX News. Here's PJTV's opening segment:
I've never seen such a growing gulf between two sets of visions of a public person as is that in the case of Palin. Part of this is the general national malaise that almost unknowingly keeps on accepting the IOKIYAR blather we were subjected to during the Bush administrations. Part of it is the overall eclipse of the viability of the traditional media establishment, as cable TV creams the networks and Craig's List creams the newspapers.
I'm fascinated by how fixated the traditional media is on aspects of new media that support the far right, and how oblivious or neglectful they are of new media that has supported and is supporting the left.
This past week's development of the narrative around Rahm Emanuel's "fucking retarded" remark - made quite a while back - when his statement was finally picked up by Rebecca Mansour and turned into a Sarah Palin facebook entry is a good example. The media fixed on the use of the term "retarded" rather than upon those to whom Emanuel was directing his epithet.
The Democrats owe the size of the majority in the U.S. House and Senate to several factors, but right at the top of the list are Howard Dean's 50-state strategy, and the activist organizations Emanuel was dissing. Blue America/ActBlue, a funding tool used primarily to help progressive Democrats was key to the senate victory of Alaska Democrat Mark Begich. He barely beat longtime GOP crook Ted Stevens, even with Stevens having been recently - momentarily and erroneously - convicted of several felonies. ActBlue, created by Emanuel's "fucking retards," raised more money for Begich than did any other entity. He would have lost without the help of the "fucking retards."
The same goes for Sen. John Testor in 2006, and for several other freshmen. The very pragmatically progressive Rep. Donna Edwards, unlike the borderline Conservadem Begich, is probably the best investment organizations like ActBlue made in 2008.
Perhaps if more progressives were admitted to the upper ranks of the national Democratic Party and its established fundraising entities, the narrative on how 2010 and 2012 are shaping up might be different. And far more productive.
Meanwhile, the far right new media/screw you media is getting much more recognition than their attention to the truth deserves. The leading headline aggregator, memeorandum, almost looks like an egghead version of the Drudge Report some days. When is the last time, for instance, the national traditional media treated Crooks & Liars with the same respect they seem to be giving Andrew Breitbart?
The solution to this imbalance? Don’t ask me. I just keep on trying to write about the truth as I see or hear or read it. Watching Howard Dean bounce back from the many attempts to stifle him over the past six years is certainly a reminder, though, that we can make a huge difference, even if we only end up getting slammed after pulling off a magnificent achievement.