Social Question

ETpro's avatar

What do you think of the 99% becoming a major voice in the Media?

Asked by ETpro (34242 points ) May 26th, 2012

Please watch this 3-minute video before answering. Then let me know if you think this can work.

CoffeePartyUSA.com is setting up a Social Media solution to giving the rest of us a voice as loud as the 0.001% and the mega-corporations have through corporate controlled media.

I believe that something has to be done. Here’s just one example of why I think the loss of independent journalism is a threat to the continued existence of democracy and liberty.

In the Wisconsin recall election of GOP Governor Scott Walker, Walker is whining about how unfair it is that “outside forces” and “union bosses and their thugs” are paying to defeat him. All the while, he’s taking money from the Koch Brothers and other non-Wisconsin Billionaires, the US Chamber of Commerce, and Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS PAC. Lots of money. Almost all of his funding is from outside Wisconsin. He’s outspent his opponent Democrat, Tom Barrett, 25 to 1. Nearly all the advertising Walker has run are falsehoods used to smear his opponent. But even his positive advertising is filled with lies. He claims he’s created 30,000 jobs since taking office when the truth is he has seen 30,000 jobs leave the state.

Democracy and Liberty itself are now on the auction block thanks to the 5 Supreme Corporatists and their legislation from the bench.

Since I’ve expressed my opinion in the question details, feel free to express differing views. I just ask that we keep our discussion civil and fact based.

We have some pretty good writers among the Jellies here, and I am sure there are many more outside the Fluther Collective. Who says we can’t be heard? Who thinks that only the multinational corporations owning huge Media conglomerates should be have a national platform from which to push their agenda?

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16 Answers

Keep_on_running's avatar

I don’t think anyone has 3 minutes here. rofl

bkcunningham's avatar

It is sad and scary to me to see the decline of journalism in this country. I don’t like that people are redefining journalism in this way. It is very dangerous. I’ve seen it on this site, as well as others, where people post something from a blog or an opinion piece from a website as is it is the gospel. I’ve seen people post comments that aren’t researched and apparently not very well thought out and others comment in goosestep. I don’t think it is a positive or a good thing. That’s just my opinion.

flutherother's avatar

I agree there is a problem but I can’t see how this can be the solution. For example how are the 99% going to find out what is really going on in Afghanistan? All reporters are embedded with the military so their reports are censored at source, but how can we get around that? Not by sharing stories that we read on the Internet. We need reporters on the ground as events unfold who have the freedom, the determination and the courage to find out what is really going on and to tell us about it.

YARNLADY's avatar

It’s really a shame when the misinformed, provincials become a major voice. Try looking at the entire world economy and you will find the most Americans are actually in the top 10% financially but unfortunately a much lower percentage when it comes to being politically aware.

ETpro's avatar

@bkcunningham All too often now, what passes for major media political “journalism” is simply interviewing this or that politician and, regardless of their party or how absurd their talking points, simply regurgitating what they said with no fact checking. That’s enabled Big Lie politics to take root and spread its cancer in America. When there are people out there trying to get at the truth, those who actually do will rise to the top. As the original prophet of Big Lie propaganda, Joseph Goebbels wrote, ”“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

We need a press that isn’t afraid to challenge any politician when they hear a claim they know to be patently false. While the Internet will allow for hotheads and radicals to rant, they aren’t likely to rise to prominence. I trust that journalistic standards and truth will win out.

@flutherother I frankly wish that the whole language of the 99% versus the 1% would go away. That is one of my objectives in getting involved. I will use what influence I can exert to frame the discussion better. The truth is that in a poll of American millionaires, 60% said they would support a tax increase on themselves if the revenue were used to put unemployed Americans back to work on infrastructure projects. I’ve combed through the Forbes list of billionaires. There are over 500 people on the list, and only a handful are supporting further tax cuts for themselves and tax increases coupled with assistance cuts for the poor. It really isn’t the 99% versus the 1%.

@YARNLADY Another good point. We have a growing wealth inequity problem here in the US. It began to grow 30 years ago, and rose sharply under George W. Bush. We need to turn that around, and that’s what the 99%ers are concerned with, however misguided their choice of banners may have been. But we can’t ignore the even more glaring wealth inequality between the developed world and the third world. There are way more of them than us, and if we don’t turn our minds toward how to establish at least basic human dignity for all, it will eventually come back to bite us. There is no escaping the Law or Reciprocity.

flutherother's avatar

@ETpro Goebbels never said that but I take your point. With the media it is often a case of ‘what I tell you three times is true’.

bkcunningham's avatar

The Goebbels’ quote just enforces my point. Also, @ETpro, you said to @flutherother that you combed through the Forbes lists of millionaires and billionaires. Your statement that about the “500” billionairs on the Forbes list is also wrong. There are quiet a few more than 500 billionaires in the US. There are, according to the list from Forbes, 1153. http://www.forbes.com/billionaires/list/#p_5_s_a0_All%20industries_United%20States_All%20states_

Did you find a survey of the 1153 US billionaires and the some 3.1 million US millionaires? I’d love to see that survey or whatever source you used for your statements to @flutherother regarding support of tax increases if the revenue were used to put unemployed Americans back to work on infrastructure projects. If you would link it here, I’d appreciate it.

ETpro's avatar

I was beyond tired last night when posting the above, and clearly sloppy in not researching it. My post is certainly not the sort of writing I would do in a piece meant for publication.

The Big Lie quote attributed to Goebbels developed from writing by Adolph Hitler in his 1925 book, Mien Kampf about the use of a lie so colossal that someone “could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously.” Naturally, Hitler attributed the technique to the Jews whom he claimed had falsely blamed Germany for WWI. The purported Goebbels “quote” apparently has not been found in his writings. It’s possible he said it in a speech. It’s also possible Allied propagandists put the words in his mouth. But in any case, it is clear he actually understood the principles of the Big Lie exactly as they are articulated in the supposed quote. He used thise principles often. And actions speak louder than words.

I should have looked the number of billionaires up. I confused it with a separate list of the 500 richest people in the world. No intent to deceive, I was just tired, rushing to finish posting so I could collapse in bed, and didn’t take the time to look it up. And @bkcunningham, you get a flunk on research too, which perhaps further reinforces the point you were making. :-) The 1153 billionaires are not in the US alone. That’s Forbes list all billionaires in the world.

Finally, the millionaire poll does exist. It was conducted by Spectrem and more than 67% of the respondents favored increases in taxes on those making over $1 million per year, along with targeted spending cuts. The number dro[[ed to 45% when asking about a tax hike on all making $250,000 or more.

The actual list I looked through for donors to the network of far right think tanks was the list of all American billionaires. I did that in 2010, so the numbers will have changed somewhat by now. But the far right funders at that time were a minuscule number of all those on the billionaire list, and I am confident that would still be the case. The Spectrem Millionaires Corner work was a poll, not a survey. Polls are not conducted by asking every single member of a target population, so no, it made no attempt to cover all US millionaires and billionaires. Rather, it applied statistical tools to draw meaningful results from a much smaller \data set.

Bill1939's avatar

First, @ETpro, thanks for the link. I will check out the Coffee Party. As a child from the fifties, I have watched our nation become increasingly less progressive. I still consider myself to be a liberal like Adlai Ewing Stevenson II. The term liberal has been vilified and denigrated, associated with communism and socialism, as the word progressive is now becoming.

I view the strategy of creating a 99% versus 1% almost as bad as the Birther tactic. However I support this proposed movement because it seems obvious to me that there are many wealthy people who are seeking to increase their political power by playing upon the emotions of the populace, especially the feeling that the White House should be a White Only House and our country a WASP nation.

Perhaps I have become paranoid as I enter the second half of the fourth score of life. However, the worldwide economic down turn seems to require a “devil take the hindmost” philosophy be followed. I feel that if we do not take care of the “least of these” that we will all go to hell.

bea2345's avatar

@flutherotherhow are the 99% going to find out what is really going on in Afghanistan? – the same way that academics, reporters and working stiffs do: they look for other sources of information. But it is not easy. It requires a substantial amount of reading in all media.. Over time, one learns which are the best sources.

For example,the invasion of Grenada (1983) damaged my confidence that the press was accurate or even dispassionate. I live 90 miles from Grenada and had the benefit of minute by minute radio reporting (mainly because of the BBC, trust them to be on the spot). The reports from the ground differed enormously from those in the U.S. media. Since then, the Internet has made it easier for people to source information and there are many ways of checking reliability..

flutherother's avatar

@bea2345 We need unbiased investigative reporters on the ground in Afghanistan and elsewhere. You can look through all the written sources but if none of them are based on firsthand accounts they are of limited value.

Take today for example. The massacre in Houla in Syria has had a lot of coverage in the media, and quite rightly, with TV pictures from the scene and interviews with local people. Meanwhile a family of eight including six children has been wiped out in a NATO airstrike in Afghanistan but there is little sense of outrage as there are no reports from the scene, no pictures of the dead and no interviews with the locals. And yet the bombing in Afghanistan was carried out by our forces and we are responsible for it.

Paradox25's avatar

Be careful about that “99% should have a voice” type of talk, the ‘right’ might label you as a communist. America’s founding fathers never intended for the 99% to have a voice, at least according to the right wing think tanks.

ETpro's avatar

@flutherother I certainly was not suggesting that some group of unwashed and unschooled people suddenly;y supplant the UPI, BBC, API and such. Where on Earth did you come up with that interpretation from anything I said in the OP or subsequent posts?

What I am suggesting is that those concerned with America’s drift toward corporatism and increasingly large wealth inequity take an active role in reporting what is really happening domestically. I’m not envisioning them reporting on Afghanistan or Syria for the moment.

ETpro's avatar

@Paradox25 I think I mentioned it elsewhere, but one of my Pie-in-the-Sky goals in diving into this is to redefine the struggle. Casting it as the 99% versus the 1% plays right into the GOP talking point, “Class Warfare.” It’s short, pithy speech, but it paints with way to broad a brush.

Bill1939's avatar

Sadly, I feel that ‘Class Warfare’ is only too real. However it is not being driven (yet) by the ‘99%’, but by the very wealthy who, in this time of diminishing resources, seek to secure their way of life by limiting the flow of capital not directly supporting their interests.

ETpro's avatar

@Bill1939 I totally agree and that’s why I think it is so ill advised to craft a bumper sticker for a movement and in doing so play riught into the hands of the real class warriors and their Newspeak.

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