Saturday, January 8, 2011

Challenge corporatist right-wing and one-sided media coverage

Guest perspective by Ralph Nader
The timidity and silencing of the left fuels the steady impoverishment of a dispossessed working class and a beleaguered middle class. It solidifies a corporate oligarchy that is dismantling the anemic regulatory agencies that once protected citizens from predatory corporations.

Don't let media outlets overlook reporting on the work of progressives.
Write your own letters to the editors of your local newspapers and national newspapers.
Write opeds about topics you think the editorial writers are missing.
Challenge one-sided news coverage.

Make a New Year's resolution to challenge corporatist right-wing and one-sided media coverage.

The following letter appeared in today's New York Times.

The New York Times
January 3, 2011
How the Left Is Left Out: Ralph Nader’s View

To the Editor:

“The Repeal Amendment” (editorial, Dec. 27) asserts that many Americans who are economically struggling “have no progressive champion,” and that the left has “ceded the field to the Tea Party and, in doing so, allowed it to make history.”

Hello! There are plenty of distinguished progressive champions lobbying, rallying, exposing, suing and organizing at the national, state and local level. Yet they have been mostly left out of the mass media, on television and radio and in the news, feature, style, opinion and book review pages of major newspapers, including The Times.

Meanwhile, the Tea Partiers have seen their modest initiatives hugely magnified and therefore expanded by major media. This has mainstreamed the radical right, including Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Ann Coulter and Pamela Geller, as well as the most extreme neoconservatives who still receive media attention despite their deceptive, disastrous Iraq war-mongering.

Check your own pages and you will see the evidence. Or better yet, have your public editor look into why flagrant, often bigoted right-wingers are given so much time and space compared with fact-based progressive leaders committed to the “equality and welfare” that your editorial espouses.

After all, mass media coverage matters greatly for social and political movements.

Ralph Nader
Washington, Dec. 28, 2010

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