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Same Old Media Parade: Why Are Liberals Cheering?


Same Old Media Parade: Why Are Liberals Cheering?

Jeff Cohen

When the “War on Terror” was launched in 2001, mainstream media—especially cable TV news—started a parade. It was a narrow parade of hawkish retired military and intelligence brass promoting war as the response to the crime of 9/11, predicting success and identifying foreign enemies to attack.


Answer to Jeff’s headline question:

Observing the liberals that I was surrounded with in Seattle for a quarter century until I escaped, the only logical conclusion is that liberals differ from the GOP only on social issues. Congressional Democrats support of regressive 1986 tax “reform”, Bill Clinton’s and Obama’s POTUS track records confirm that this has been the case at least since the 1985 formation of the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC).

Trump’s 24/7 reality TV White House has provided liberals and their media the perfect smokescreen to distract us from escalating undermining of what little remains of democracy, and accelerated depletion of the US Treasury.


Why Are Liberals Cheering?

Because this is what they do every time someone bangs the war drum. In the lead up to the Iraq war whatshisname on MSNBC-Chris Matthews, was jumping up and down in his chair, urging and boasting about the US invading Iraq. He kept bringing up the fact that there was a tile floor in the entrance to the El Rashid hotel w/the senior Bush’s image (and the words “Bush is criminal”) on it to rile up the warhawks. https://www.agefotostock.com/age/en/Stock-Images/Rights-Managed/TRI-10479955
Neither MSNBC nor CNN hosts could contain their excitement at the prospect of the US going to war – it made them and their jobs (reading script) more important.

Seriously folks, MSNBC, CNN, (and FOX), are all talk shows. The hosts read written script and/or follow guidelines as to what their corporate owned networks allow them to say. They are not reporters, they are show hosts, period. GE owns MSNBC, GE is a war contractor.


All progressives should agree that an essential task is to end Republican control of Congress and depose Trump.

This essential ‘task’ for progressives is irrelevant - or even counter-productive - if it isn’t part of a larger effort to depose the entire Duopoly and replace it with democratic, socialist and independent alternatives - especially on the national level.

Are you listening Bernie and (Not) Our Revolution?


Actually worse than that. CNN & MSNBC have been caught regurgitating FOX without fact checking their reports. Right down to errors so obvious an 8th grader could readily see them.
And yes, before progressives or greens get too excited about the upcoming political realignment, what’s shaping up is a new center-right/right coalition on many issues of American Foreign Policy and economic policy. That’s horrible for the 99s at home and the rest of planet, as well.
At least Peter " Pete " Peterson is no longer around. That Blackstone creep was like the Black Plague to the working classes. And, of course, was loved by Clintonistas and Obamabots running U.S. domestic programs; mostly into the ground, or privatized. Happy Trails, Pete.:grinning::grinning:


I would have to say TV news, now and even going back before cable news lowered the standards for news reporting to the days of the big three networks, does not do foreign policy well, particularly when it comes to war. When it came to Vietnam I am not even sure the networks knew that Kennedy had sent in military advisors or even where Vietnam was on the map. Probably the first time the networks began to cover the Vietnam conflict was when student protests broke out on college campuses. Their coverage was so bad that when students went home for the holidays they wound up in heated arguments with their parents who know nothing about what was going on except that the US was trying to prevent dominoes falling as the communists advanced to take over one country after another. With Iraq we had cable news and the parade of retired generals. At the very least cable news should inform the public about who these retired generals are now working for so any possible conflict of interests would be known to the public. I haven’t watched cable news much since Nov 8, 2016 but it sounds like nothing has changed. But we should keep in mind the main goal of cable news. It is make money. In my view there is no need for cable news and it undermine democracy because Fox News is basically the propaganda arm of the Republican Party and so to a lesser extent MSNBC is the propaganda arm of the Democratic Party, with the former specializing in alternative facts and the latter specializing in real facts. CNN seems to be most about liberals and conservatives arguing with each other which is supposed to boost ratings as it does not seem to serve any other purpose.


Why? Liberals are democrats hiding behind republicans as near as I can tell.


Those who continue to vote Republican OR Democrat bring this on themselves. It’s the same war-mongering reporting and policy initiatives that get repeated over and over, year after year, with only a change in the targets. Both parties are criminally complicit, both parties are up to their neck in blood and so, too, are voters who continue to look the other way and keep these two war parties in power.


I have always found it inexplicable the way, when it comes to US militarism, the liberal media loves war at least as much as FOX does. Back in '03, nobody was a bigger drummer for invading Iraq than the liberal NPR was.

Might it be that the compliant, vain, consuming urban gen-x yuppies that the corporate media peddles to its advertisers are largely dependent on the capitalist war machine, directly or indirectly, for their lucrative incomes - I know that is the case in the huge sprawling affluent DC area where NPR is based. The media does not want to piss off this demographic if they know what’s good for them.


Those who think that voting in itself will EVER significant change are deeply deluded. But this does not mean one should not vote. Just spend those few minutes voting in a way that gives us a chance for better outcomes where we spend the rest of our time organizing outside of electoral politics. Surely, particularly on domestic issues, you have noticed that Republicans, particularly on domestic issues, only dig us into a deeper hole that we will have to fight for years just to get back to where we started.


I don’t count NPR as particularly liberal. I think it goes out of its way to voice “multiple perspectives,” even if those perspectives are rightwing bullshit.


Very true and is an important point about keeping up with current affairs; the corporate based sources have to shield their major stakeholders and have only to put up proper sequences of discussions to give the appearance that they are presenting facts. As other commentators here pointed out, context is so often missing. I can’t stand to watch the discussions on CNN about Syria which seem to almost always assume that anyone who resists the government of President Bashar al-Assad is good because he is evil. But that is only one example where no grey areas are allowed, where we are not given context and history.

I think it all goes back to a streak of anti-intellectualism in this country which I believe explains a lot of the Trump administration’s appeal to dumbing down all approaches to discussion about government and politics.


Nicely put. You make some excellent points here.

I recall a study that was done after the 1990-91 Gulf War that found that the more viewers watched television news, the less likely they were to understand the basics of the issues. Not surprising as Marshall McLuhan identified television way back when as a “cool” medium, meaning that you have to fill in the blanks to make sense of what you’re seeing. The late journalist Alexander Cockburn wrote of television news delivering “depthless coverage,” meaning that there is no context or history provided for an event, what I call “a thunderbolt in a clear blue sky”–it appears but you don’t know why or from where it came.

Moreover, television, like movies, plays to the emotions more than the intellect. Maybe I’m getting old, but I can’t really learn comprehensively unless I’m reading or listening to something without visual distraction. Visuals can be evocative, and I do think they have their value, but they can often overwhelm the essence of a topic.

And, as you mention, the arguing among experts (feel free to put that in quotes) does seem to be a ratings boost, but I think it does serve another purpose–to agitate viewers, to push their emotional buttons at the expense of any reasoned discourse. (Unfortunately, that tendency does also seem endemic to the online discussion forums I’ve visited over the years, but that’s another story.)


So then I expect everyone complaining about the duopoly to quit telling me I’m the electoral equivalent of a baby-killer when I say that the Democratic Party deserves to die and be replaced by the Green Party. The only significant party in this country, with ballot access, that is grass-roots driven, from the bottom up; does not, and will not take lobbyist, billionaire, or PAC money; and stands for every issue near and dear to every progressive, anti-war/defense spending; $15/hr. min. wage; single-payer health care for all; free public college tuition for all; restoration of full labor rights including the repeal of the dreadful Taft-Hartley Act; green energy and other environmentally-friendly policies. Why do many of you continue to decry those in power, yet tell me and the rest of we Greens that we are a major part of the problem, and we have to bow down and keep voting for and electing the same stooges because there is no hope of any real change? Well there never will be if we don’t try. That is the only certainty. Really, I have a strong suspicion that most of the push-back is coming from trolls and bots for the party establishment, because no matter how much I quote stats and arguments refuting their lies, they just keep posting them.


I believe GE sold NBC (and hence MSNBC) to Comcast back in 2013.


Nothing is to interfere with the maintenance of eternal “Groundhog Day.”


Yes, Comcast bought out GE in 2013. However that was after the Iraq war.

"… the Democratic presidential (Sanders) hopeful has rarely, if ever, articulated it as bluntly as he did in an interview that aired on MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” on Friday night. Sanders called out the network for its corporate character in a novel exchange with host Rachel Maddow.

“The American people are sick and tired of establishment politics and economics, and by the way, a little bit tired of corporate media as well,” Sanders told Maddow in an interview taped in Burlington, Vermont."


I am a Green, too. Yeah, I’ve heard the wasted vote thing so often I could puke. Really, if we’re going to talk about a wasted vote, what vote could be more wasted than a progressive voting for a party that intentionally co-ops the progressive vote to prevent a strong third party movement and that always betrays progressives the end, election after election? How many times must progressives get kicked in the teeth to learn this lesson?

Despite what the hold your nose and vote cranks want people to believe, there is a choice. We still can build a strong third party in this country. Won’t be easy, thanks to a rigged system, but it’s still possible if enough people find the courage to stand up to the duopoly and say, “no more.”


That’s funny. I spent a lot of time listening to NPR before the Iraq war and thought the coverage was far better than the TV stations. The afternoon show “To the Point” (I think that was the name) was particularly good. They had many experts on who did not get any time on TV and really excellent questions were asked. Also, the local NPR shows were good but that might vary in different parts of the country and depend one’s local NPR station. Two people could be listening to NPR but get very different shows depending on their location and the time of day they tune in.


In Oregon in the 2016 Presidential Election Jill Stein finished 4th (2.53% ). Sen. Sanders most likely got more write-in votes than Dr. Stein.
The Green Party has a dilemma not unlike the Environmental Movement. The umbrella of The Sierra Club may touch Earth First!, but the coverage is not 100% waterproof. It’s more like 50% water resistant. Does that help?