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1 comments | Wednesday, November 30, 2005

I don't really think that having a perfectly balanced media is an attainable goal... In fact, I don't have a very good idea about how the mass media could be regulated correctly in the United States. Perhaps, limitations should be put on how many point of view/oped shows are allowed on an MSNBC or Fox, but even then networks can slant coverage by choosing to cover some things over others... I have not seen an in depth study done, but from what I've heard and seen of Fox news even the 'objective' stories that they cover are prompted by Republican talking points. A network can slant by omission and slant by commission.

What I've noticed that seems to be happening on television is that MSNBC has followed Fox's lead and they have no or little commitment to objectivity. The only strong liberal on their channel is Ron Reagan, and I don't think one should have to be the son of one of the most conservative presidents ever to be allowed to voice a liberal perspective on television. So television appears to be following the radio model of something like five conservative shows to one liberal one. It's my understanding that these Rush/Hannity et. al. shows originally sold themselves (got past the fairness doctrine) by saying that they are entertainment and not news; but the a.m. stations in my area that play these shows call themselves 'news' channels. These channels are, of course, propaganda channels (it's quite interesting that Air America and in fact no liberal host that I know of make claims to be providing news, instead they make no bones about providing perspective); and television 'news' channels, too, seem to be morphing into this same type of channel.

I think it's actually much easier for media to be slanted than to be balanced, and as I asked before how possible is perfect balance? Those of us on the left are well aware of the kind of brainwashing being perpetrated on the American public by the mass media. Anyway, in concluding my rant I think my main point is that progressives should not be overly conscious about balance. We should borrow the self-assuredness and opportunism of the right and provide progressive perspective wherever there is an opening. It should be clear when the media is actually too liberal, and at that time a re-evaluation of the goals of the progressive media movement should take place. Prior to achieving this aim progressive media activists should write, speak, or blog their way to balance and beyond.