In the space of one day we heard "Yeller" Chris declare to Imus that Democrats couldn't be successful in talk radio or TV because they had nothing interesting to say. This was his answer to Phil Donahue coming back to MSNBC- talk TV in the slot just before him.Spiral, spin and ride the whirlwind.
Then later on "Crossfire," we read a post from an older woman praising Paul Begala and James Carville for standing up to the haranguing of Robert Novak and Tucker Carlson. She wrote how delighted she was because she'd heard nothing from Democrats for so long she thought they had all died.
Democrats are decidedly not dead, but they have allowed themselves to be beaten down by the constant right-wing blasts from the so-called Liberal reporters. True, 9/11 intensified it, but it began with many Democratic politicians getting on the hate-Bill-Bandwagon along with the GOPers to put the blame for everything on our former president to hide their own guilt.
True, Republicans own the media, lock, stock and Disney, but Democrats let them take it over, and many appear to lay down and let themselves be run over. Most still wallow in the mud of guilt generated by the proclamation that the media is LIBERAL. A charge repeated ad nauseum without foundation or fact. A charge made as an election strategy by Poppy Bush's pet pitbull, Lee Atwater.
In his book, Atwater tells how he urged Republicans to continually call and write media sources and talk shows and use the phrase, liberal media. Over time and constant repetition, it gained credence and reporters leaned over backwards to compensate. Following 9/11 they completely lost their balance and have fallen ignobly on their collective asses.
Listen to callers on talk shows when the subject is media bias. Conservatives are incensed that anyone is allowed to listen to what they insist are liberal biased networks. They want them eliminated. But they have no such problem with Fox News even though they admit it has a conservative bias. They are convinced that a conservative bias is fair and accurate because they agree with what is being said.
However Democrats and Independents do not find those so-called Liberal-biased networks give anywhere near equal time to Liberal news. This is what the fight for Congress and the presidency is all about. Are we to remain thought controlled by the government's lapdog media or do we make decisions for ourselves.
Ponder this addendum on polls. Most people are not surprised that Bush's approval ratings went up following 9/11 because it is a usual occurrence to support the president when the country is threatened. But it is very suspect that they stayed uncharacteristically high.
GenderGappers believes that the cause is due in part to people's fear of the Ashcroft/Bush Patriot Act that suspended Constitutional safeguards. When a pollster calls them they are reluctant to criticize Bush because it might cause Ascroft and the FBI to investigate them for being un-American.
This would explain why there is such a difference between the "approval of Bush" and "disapproval of his agenda." The majority in this country approve of the Democratic agenda balanced budget, NO tax cuts, cloning for medical research, reproductive rights, preservation of Social Security and the environment etc.
By the grace of God and Jim Jeffords, the Senate Democrats have just barely held back a tidal flow of bad laws and confirmed conservative judges. If this thin majority of one is lost in November, we and our environment are truly up shit crick without a paddle.
What can we do? Certainly we must contact our legislators and urge them to reach down deep inside themselves and find some guts, like Senator Harry Reid did recently on Crossfire. He cleaned Carlson's clock! They should all be out there on the lecture circuit and in press conferences talking to reporters, calling the Cheney/Bush administration on every lie as soon as it is uttered, putting forth the reasons for a Liberal agenda.
Recently the White House floated a trial balloon suggesting that Bush might choose Condi Rice as his running mate next time. No doubt she is a double threat since the Democrats' largest constituency is women and African Americans. Now the Bushies are polling to see how it plays, all the while denying that they have any intention to dump Cheney from the ticket
The "drumming" may stop in November and we will have lost 2 more years and who knows how much more of our Constitution and environment. "There'll be no second dance." It's going to take a concerted effort to get voters to the polling places and educated on the issues. The consequences of failure will surely be disastrous.
Copyright 2002 Renee T. Louise and Ruth M. Sprague, Ph.D. These articles may be republished for noncommercial use only, provided that they are copied intact, and that this copyright notice is attached. Address all queries to: firstname.lastname@example.org.