Dear Media: You Are Not The Gatekeepers Anymore

Dear Media: You Are Not The Gatekeepers Anymore

Last night, it finally crystallized in my head: The media is doing a slow burn, not even over Hillary Clinton specifically, but over our refusal to accept theirs as the only legitimate opinion.

They're the Gatekeepers! God anointed them!

For ten years now, C&L has documented the media effect, noted their use of loaded language and called them out on it. We've chronicled the subtle and not-so-subtle strategies they use to shape the political conversation, and how ultimately disastrous it's been for the body politic.

For instance, they were unquestioning vehicles for falsified information that propelled us into the disastrous Iraq war. They knew about the U.S. torture and refused to write about it.

But the real sins are those of omission, the questions they don't ask. Our national papers refuse to acknowledge the corrosive influence of the Koch network and the right-wing extremism behind it. People who aren't media-savvy tell themselves, "If there was really anything to this Koch brothers stuff, wouldn't I have seen it on TV or in the New York Times?"

If only it was so.

And now, the latest round of Clinton attacks. (If only they'd put this kind of energy into exposing the Bush dynasty, life would be very different now in America.)

I won't rehash the Clinton era, and Hillary Clinton's presidential run. But I want to point out that the corporate power of the media has only gotten more powerful since then, and I don't want these people picking the next president.

That's exactly what they want. They see it as their birthright. They know better than us. (And I include the ones who are still working for the CIA. If you believe George H.W. Bush's reassurance that nothing like Operation Mockingbird would ever happen again, you have a long-term memory problem.)

I saw some of this elitist attitude up close when I was press secretary on our mayoral campaign, and it really, really depressed me. I said to myself, "If it's this bad in a city election, how much worse is it for the national races?" I came out of that campaign with even fewer illusions about the media than I had when I went in.


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Yeah, they throw in the occasional positive story for "balance," but make no mistake: They believe they're entitled to pick the winners.

And I'm just enough of an asshole class warrior to believe I should be on the side of anyone they hate that much.

I have no idea where Clinton currently stands on issues; we'll find out when she announces next month. But I do know that after the right wing unloads everything they have against her, she'll still be standing.

I like that in a Democrat.

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