Taughannock Falls

Taughannock Falls
from: althouse.blogspot.com

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The electorate is ill-served by the "infotainment" it consumes.

I had a conversation today with a guy I've known for many years. We got to talking politics, and he asked me why most Democrats insist on calling tax-break extensions for those making over $250,000/year "tax-cuts for the wealthy." He pointed out that his neighbor's house is assessed at $270,000, but his neighbor isn't really a rich man. I had to explain that Democrats didn't propose to deny tax-break extensions to people with a net worth of over $250,000. Instead they proposed to continue the breaks for everybody on their first $250,000 of annual taxable income, allowing the rates to go back up on annual income over that. He was amazed. Why did he have it so wrong?

My friend relies on T.V. news for most of his information on politics and national policy. Most of the mainstream media have done a great job in preventing accurate and coherent accounts of what is really going on in Washington D.C. from leaking out to the masses. I wasn't really that surprised to discover that my friend was completely unaware of Bernie Sanders' historic day-long speech. He had heard all about Bill Clinton's impromptu talk to reporters in favor of the GOP/White House deal. Since the Senator from Vermont thoroughly demolished the nonsensical arguments put forth by plutocrat-enablers, he was thoroughly ignored by the mainstream media. The tiny minority of cable-T.V. watchers who tune into C-Span were the only folks allowed to appreciate the heroic oration of Bernie Sanders.

So what can we do to make up for the lack of reliable news in the national media? I would suggest that concerned Americans create opportunities to tell their stories to local papers, radio, and T.V. stations. Nearly all significant national policy debates have local angles. The refusal to authorize significant infrastructure spending, for example, will likely mean that local bridges and rail facilities will go unrepaired. Local news folks, especially outside of major metropolitan areas, are not quite as slavishly attuned to the wishes of the plutocrats as the national media. It takes a lot of creative energy, but it is still possible to give people the truth.

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