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.