You have heard it here before, but we all need to say it over and over again, and the word needs to spread out past the blogosphere until everyone “gets” what is happening to us. The Democrats’ Tiny Megaphone,
Indeed, the Right’s subsidizing of media may be the most under-reported money-in-politics story in modern American history. Many good-government organizations track the millions of dollars contributed to candidates, but much less attention is paid to the billions of unregulated dollars poured into media.
This imbalanced attention continues even though the conservative media is arguably the most important weapon in the Republican arsenal.
Political “propaganda themes” – often coordinated with GOP leaders – are distributed instantaneously across the country, reaching into both rural and urban America with a repetition that gives these messages a corroborative ring of truth.
The messages echo from talk radio to cable news to conservative columnists who appear in the mostly pro-Republican local newspapers. The themes then are reinforced in magazine articles and in books that dominate the shelves of many American bookstores.
But wait, there’s more. The Right has buit an “eco-system” around their media control. For example, books:
The Right’s media infrastructure also offers important secondary benefits to the conservative political movement.
Though right-wing media operations often aren’t profitable themselves, they help create an environment in which conservative writers and commentators get the publicity needed so they can earn millions of dollars on books. That, in turn, guarantees that the Right’s personalities are sought after by publishers focusing on the bottom line.
donate moneyBy contrast, the Left’s neglect of a media infrastructure has made liberal books a relatively hard sell with publishers. Without the expectation of a buzz resonating through an ideologically friendly echo chamber, the major houses are less eager to take on left-leaning books or give liberal authors reasonable advances.
But here is the key:
But what has been remarkable – considering the stakes involved for American democracy – is that wealthy progressives and major liberal foundations have mostly stayed on the sidelines, avoiding a significant investment in media infrastructure.
Currently there is a roadblock to building an effective counter-movement. Currently large foundations and a few wealthy donors are the “gatekeepers” deciding where money goes and they really, really don’t “get it” yet. We have not yet built up a culture of small-donor giving – and supporting tools – for “Dean-style” funding of efforts to build organizations and media outlets to take on the Right.
What can you do? Inform yourself, donate money yourself, and help get the word out.