Thursday, August 08, 2013

In Defense of Partisan Media

I really appreciate MSNBC, and because of that, I have come to appreciate the role of Fox News. 

I understand that MSNBC is both independent and partisan; it's not the same as the emails I get from the Democratic National Committee, or Organizing for America.  But it does represent the progressive coalition in the United States.  It has a point of view on current events and it presents it.  
It informs me of what is going on, but more importantly, it equips me to be a progressive activist myself.  

Plus, it puts more journalists and activists of color on my tv to offer their analysis of events than all of the rest of the media combined.  

I now get what Fox News (which was talk radio with faces) did for the conservatives.  It equipped their activists with a fully detailed narrative about national events.  Their activists could then set about persuading their friends and families.

A fully functioning democracy includes an informed and activated public.  In the old model, it was assumed that eventually everybody would read news sources which were objective and non-partisan, and then take positions on issues based on their deep reflection, and then, and only then, ally themselves with political leaders that represented their opinions.   All of which happened regularly under the two suns of the planet Zoomar.   

It would be like reading the sport pages when you don't have a team that you are following.  Maybe a tiny handful of people in the baseball business aren't fans and want really objective baseball news.  
No, a person becomes an active citizen by being mobilized, not be being persuaded. 

And partisan media is one way they are mobilized.  Good.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

It would be nice to have a little fact checking that I could trust, not that facts are necessarily all that "objective" either....

Anonymous said...

The David Susskind Show was my idea of quality television; respectful, intelligent discourse on important topics. Those days are gone forever now. The screaming, talking heads that dominate the airwaves today are doing their veiwers a terrible disservice. I've stopped watching them altogether. The corporate controlled "news" media's only goal is to keep us divided, anxious and in the dark when it comes to the facts. We would all be better off if everyone tuned them out permanently.

Anonymous said...

And what a treat, Crossfire is coming back to CNN. Oh boy!

Clyde Grubbs said...

Hmmm.

Alice Walker, in The Color Purple, wrote
“. . . tell the truth, have you ever found God in church? I never did. I just found a bunch of folks hoping for ...(God) to show. Any God I ever found in church, I brought in with me. And I think all the other folks did too. They come to church to share God, not to find God.”

We come to church to share our values with people who share our values as well. And find a way, together, to live into our values.


Tom Schade said...

Anonymous, Crossfire is the old "neutral" media with the cultural style of professional wrestling. Two sides go at it in the ring provided by CNN. And you, the viewer, are supposed to enlightened by this 'debate'.

Partisan media (Fox and MSNBC or Democracy Now) assumes that you the viewer already have a political stance. They try to give you information and perspective that will make you more effective in promoting your side. It's political mobilization and training.

The old media model is designed to demobilize and paralyze the citizenry, saying "There is always two sides and they are always just yelling at each other and who can tell the difference -- we will have to leave it there."