Friday, May 07, 2010

Them v. Us: "An Uneven Contest" Over Money and Media? (Now what?)

"An Uneven Contest" (Ernest Partridge):
What if there were a great debate concerning the nature and future of American society, and only one side showed up?

That approximately describes the condition of the U. S. media today.

The right wing is operating a super-charged carnival of hype, hysteria and hoopla, while the left struggles along with a pipsqueek sideshow: a few magazines like The Nation, Mother Jones and The American Prospect, with minuscule circulation among the already converted, some tolerated columnists like Paul Krugman, Bob Herbert, and Frank Rich, and of course there’s Shultz, Olbermann and Maddow on MSNBC.

Meanwhile, one by one, the lights are going out: in January, Air America Radio fell silent, and last month David Broncoccio’s outstanding investigative program, NOW, closed shop. Last Friday, Bill Moyers’ Journal on PBS broadcast its final program. Shultz-Olbermann-Maddow remain on MSNBC at the sufferance of the owners and managers of NBC and MicroSoft, while Comcast is attempting a takeover of NBC. If successful, how long will this lone outpost of progressive cable-TV commentary remain?

The good news is that the audience size of FOX News is vastly over-rated. On a good night, Beck or Hannity or O’Reilly will be seen by three million viewers. That’s less than one percent of the U. S. population. The worse news is that the progressive voices at MSNBC draw about a third as many. MORE
"Rove, GOP plot vast network to reclaim power" (Mike Allen and Ken Vogel-Politico)
The Republican Party’s best-connected political operatives have quietly built a massive fundraising, organizing and advertising machine based on the model assembled by Democrats early in the decade, and with the same ambitious goal — to recapture Congress and the White House.

The new groups could give Republicans and their allies a powerful campaign apparatus separate from the Republican National Committee. Karl Rove, political architect of the Bush presidency, and Ed Gillespie, former Republican Party chairman, are the most prominent forces behind what is, in effect, a network of five overlapping groups, three of which were started in the past few months.

The operating assumption of Rove, Gillespie and the other organizers is that despite the historical dominance of Republican fundraising and organizing, the GOP has been outmaneuvered by Democrats and their allies in recent years, and it is time to strike back. MORE

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