Karl Rove was on ABC's This Week, haranguing the health care reform bill.
After my initial reaction of disgust, I asked, "Why Rove? Is he now the font of knowledge on healthcare reform?" Karl Rove is arguably one of the most polarizing political figures in recent times. To my mind, he's never served as an elected official and yet he's often called upon to speak on a broad range of topics on behalf of the "American people". So, I wondered, why does mainstream media pick the spokespersons it picks and how is our society impacted by their decisions?
Almost immediately, my thoughts jumped to a statement made by Jared Diamond, author of the Pulitzer Prize winning "Guns, Germs, and Steel".
Looking at why societies collapse, Diamond capsulized several points. But one in particular came to mind when Rove started raving.
Diamond said, "one of the blueprints for trouble, making collapse likely, is where there is a conflict of interest between the short-term interests of the decision-making elites and the long-term interests of the society as a whole, especially if the elites are able to insulate themselves from the consequences of their actions."
Does corporate funded media make decisions that are in their own short-term best interest but bad for the long-term interests of the nation? Are you as sick and tired as we are? Do you want mainstream media to serve the public interest? They certainly use the public airwaves.
If you want more than what you're currently getting from mainstream media, there are some things you can do to support alternatives.
The LA Media Reform Group, California Common Cause, and the Urban & Environmental Policy Institute are conducting this summit on March 27, 2010, at Occidental College . Given the recent Supreme Court decision, Citizens United v. FEC, the changing media landscape, and the importance of the upcoming election cycle, the theme is, “Preserving Democracy.”
To that end, the day will kick off with a keynote address from Brad Friedman of the Brad Blog followed by a panel discussion:
"The Future of Media and Democracy: Traditional Journalism vs. New Media -- Friends or Foes?"
The panel of experts include:
- Steven Cuevas, from KPCC
- Sue Wilson, filmmaker of Broadcast Blues
- Brad Parker, from the Huffington Post
- Moderated by Ian Masters, KPFK
The afternoon of breakout sessions covers a wide array of topics including:
- Citizen Journalism on the Net
- Communicating Network Neutrality
- Hate Speech and Bad Stories
- Video Activism
- Local Ethnic Media
- Media Literacy in Education
- And more!
The day will conclude with remarks by Dr. Anthony Samad, speaking on "Alternative Media: The Ultimate Check Against Propagandizing America."
What: LA Media Reform Summit 2010: Preserving Democracy
When: Saturday, March 27
Where: Occidental College, 1600 Campus Road - Map and Directions
Admission: $15 in advance, $20 at the door; $10 for seniors and students with ID; free with Oxy ID
To register and get more information: https://lamediareform.wordpress.com
We hope that you’ll join us for what portends to be an inspiring day, with optimism, hope and serious dose of reality. Please register today!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful. committed individuals can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. --Margaret Mead