Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Building Up a Truly Liberal Media

In order to win elections, political parties need to get their message across consistently, and to do that they need regular media access and the ability to maintain a constant flow of information. In "Too Little, Too Late," Robert Parry argues that Democrats and liberals (and the left, too, I'd add) must follow the example of the right, who have spent the past twenty-five years buidling a "vertically integrated media apparatus—reaching from the powerhouse Fox News cable network through hard-line conservative newspapers and magazines to talk radio networks, book publishing, well-funded Internet operations and right-wing bloggers."

If the left doesn't establish a similar media infrastructure, comparable in size and scope, the right will continue to win the war of 'ideas' (propaganda) and, of course, the elections. One major problem is obtaining and sustaining the flow of capital needed to maintain an effective media juggernaut. Apparently, rich liberals have been reluctant to invest in Air America, the liberal radio network, so why would they help to fund other ventures in the mediasphere?

I can't answer that question for wealthy liberals, who will have to decide themselves whether or not they are willing to wage the necessary ideological battles with the Republicans and the conservatives.

The fact that John Kerry raised so much money through relatively modest individual dontations gives some hope that even if the left lacks the backing of a Rupert Murdoch or a Sun Myong Moon, it might find other sources of captial.

One thing is clear, which is that the mediasphere needs a forum for liberal and leftist thought. What Parry doesn't address is whether it a liberal or leftist media network would deploy the dirty tricks used so effectively by the right.

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