After listing just some of the disgusting things Ann Coulter has contributed to the national discourse, Atrios writes,
There’s nothing these people can say which will stop the mainstream media from putting them on.
I would like to add to this that “our side” CAN’T say ANYTHING that is able to reach the public.
I was on a conference call with Democratic Minority Leader Pelosi yesterday, during which she outlined some of the things she has been doing and saying. The thing is, there is almost not way you would know what “the Democrats” have been saying if you don’t hear it from her directly, or read lots and lots of blogs. You don’t hear about it on TV. It is occasionally in the newspapers — but no one reads newspapers anymore.
America’s “marketplace of ideas” is not a marketplace at all, it is a rigged system. It is rigged entirely in favor of the corporate viewpoint. When was the last time you head or saw someone discussing the benefits of joining a union, or perhaps an open discussion of what it would mean to nationalize the oil companies? What ARE the merits for, and arguments against, such an idea anyway?
Did you just snort coffee out of your nose when I wrote “nationalize the oil companies?” Is the very IDEA of someone saying such a thing so far beyond imagination? More to MY point – is that somehow more far-out of an idea than Ann Coulter being invited on national TV over and over again to say the things she says? But we’re USED TO that sort of thing on TV – we expect it – but we no longer expect rational discussion of how we as a democratic society should manage our commonly-owned resources.
Anyway, what I am trying to get at is that there are signals that are sent out to a society about what is and is not acceptable public discourse. Putting Ann Coulter on TV is a signal from which the public infers what can and can not be considered. Dick Cheney appearing on stage with Ann Coulter is a signal. President Bush refusing to meet with the Black Caucus or NAACP is a signal. NOT ALLOWING rational discussion of unions and allocation of public resources is a signal. More on this later.