Go Mobile

  • Bookmark the mobile version of First Draft HERE!


to First Draft

Tip Jar



Ad Network

  • advertise_liberally

Paying the Bills

Blog powered by Typepad

First Draft Krewe in NOLA

  • Click above image for our Hurricane Katrina coverage, including photos and stories from our recent First Draft New Orleans trip.

Lower 9th Ward: March 2006

  • 23
    These are stills captured from video shot March 2006 in the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans specifically the area between N. Claiborne, Florida Ave, Tupelo and Tennessee.

Lower 9th Ward: August 2006

  • 9th_marking_side
    These are photos and stills captured from video taken August 2006 of the Lower 9th Ward specifically the area between N. Claiborne, Florida Ave, Tupelo and Tennessee.

Paying The Bills

« Odds & Sods: Ick Factor Edition | Main | Election Night Crack Van »

November 08, 2011


Thank you for that!
I have been a political junkie since I watched the President murdered when I was seventeen. It has become progressively more difficult to find out anything, about anything except the weather, from local news sources. I am grateful for the interwebs.
Most people are not activists or political junkies so they trust the local and national news media to draw their attention to what is important. Your list of what CNN thinks they should think is important is a perfect example of how well the wedge applied in the eighties has split the tree.

Also, crack van?

There's also the despair factor. Going into 2006, the country is going in the wrong direction. So the voters flip control of Congress. How did the Democrats handle their majority? Name the big accomplishments? They could have at least ended the wars. Nope. OK, so maybe the problem is Bush. Put a D in the White House in 2008. And the economy stays in the toilet. So after a couple years people look around and go, huh, we're still fucked. So what then? There are two parties. Broadly speaking, all the electorate can do is flip control. So you keep flipping until one of them finally addresses what's wrong.

And if you try to do something like get a third party going, you're unserious.

Also, crack van if you can whip one up. I'll try to update from these parts as results come in.

This is my first time posting here and I'm doing so because I so agree with you. Love Charles Pierce's posts, but I disagreed with this one for the same reasons you mention. Our media is corporate owned and TV "news", such as it is, serves the 1%. The vast public that are not political junkies who get their info online are most definitely underinformed and misinformed and that isn't an accident. Furthermore, people do indeed have plenty of worries to occupy their time and attention, which makes it easier for the media to continue to disinform them.

And around we go. Corporate owned and consolidated media are lynchpins of the 1% stranglehold on our government, lives, country.

As a bit of counterpoint. I know that my problem is that my own field is expanding so quickly that there is no way that I can keep up with even just it. While there is a need for information exchange between people of different fields, the different fields are necessarily fragmenting as the former specialist, out of simple self survival, has become increasingly focused on just a narrow sliver of their field (example, what used to be called a Chemist first had to split into broader chemical fields such as organic, physical, etc. But now has trouble keeping up with what is known about just one enzyme.)

So I can't individually quiz each of the relevant candidates (not to mention, how close can I get to say, one of the repub prez hopefuls before I'm in handcuffs and what is the chance of MY question being asked and answered instead of some other question or air time for gratuitous sex and violence.

Admittedly, I'm upset with the situation (and I'm sure you understand the anger isn't directed at you). But in the world of constant connectivity to the internet, it is starting to seem like we are further removed from the candidates than we were in the days of Washington and Jefferson.


Thanks for that -- as a teacher I'm often astounded and discouraged at the vast, vast indifference and ignorance of a big portion of college students I see, but this is a good reminder of why intelligent and responsible people would have no time or attention for politics. It makes sense from where they sit. Yeah, that's probably not an accident.

Good one. And to further add to what you said - Noam Chomsky's perspective :

There is a right-wing populist uprising. It's very common, even on the left to ridicule them. But that's not the right reaction. If you look at those people and listen to them on talk radio, these are people with real grievances. I listen to talk radio a lot and it's kind of interesting. If you can sort of suspend your knowledge of the world and just enter into the world of the people who are calling in, you can understand them. I've never seen a study, but my sense is that these are people who feel really aggrieved. These people think, "I've done everything right all my life, I'm a god-fearing Christian, I'm white, I'm male, I've worked hard, and I carry a gun. I do everything I'm supposed to do. And I'm getting shafted." And, in fact, they are getting shafted. For 30 years their wages have stagnated or declined, the social conditions have worsened, the children are going crazy, there are no schools, there's nothing, so somebody must be doing something to them, and they want to know who it is. Rush Limbaugh has answered: it's the rich liberals who own the banks and run the government and run the media. They don't care about you. They just want to give everything away to illegal immigrants and gays and communists and so on.

The reaction we should be having to them is not ridicule, but self-criticism. We are the ones that ought to be organizing them, not Rush Limbaugh. There are historical analogs, which are not exact, of course, but are close enough to be worrisome. This is a whiff of early Nazi Germany. Hitler was appealing to groups with similar grievances and giving them crazy answers, but at least they were answers: that is, they blame the Jews and the Bolsheviks. They were the problem.

I mean, the liberal democrats aren’t going to tell the average American, “Yeah, you’re being shafted because of the policies that we’ve established over the years that we’re maintaining now.” That’s not going to be an answer. And they’re not getting answers from the left. So, there’s an internal coherence and logic to what they get from Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and the rest of these guys. And they sound very convincing, they’re very self-confident, and they have an answer to everything—a crazy answer, but it’s an answer. And it’s our fault if that goes on. So one thing to be done is don’t ridicule these people, join them, and talk about their real grievances and give them a sensible answer, like, ”Take over your factories.”

Charlie Pierce aside, this is the best post you've ever written.

Sorry, Charles Pierce.

Great article G3. I had not read that before but I was beginning to get a sense that the Dems needed to step up and actually educate people instead of ducking and covering everytime a Rethug says something mean.

There are disgruntled people and rightly so but they shouldn't be listening to bloated crackhead for answers. Dems need to provide answers based in reality and market, yes market, those answers to the aggrieved American public. Occupy Wall Street has created a huge marketing opportunity and it is rolling big time. The Dems need to get with this and fill the void in peoples' lives with real solutions.

OkieBlue wrote: "Occupy Wall Street has created a huge marketing opportunity and it is rolling big time. The Dems need to get with this and fill the void in peoples' lives with real solutions."

The problem is that the Dems, just like the Rethugs, get the lion's share of cash for their campaign coffers from the one percent elite. Like the late, great Molly Ivins always said, "You got to dance with him that brung ya." The beltway Dems won't get on board with a populist uprising because they stand to lose just as much as the GOP if the system changes.

CNN (and cable news in general) is rapidly becoming the newspaper of tomorrow. Probably has already.

(Athenae, if I may.) *steps onto soapbox*
Once upon a time, children, newspapers ruled the media world. Men like William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer could elect presidents and start wars by using two simple tools: journalism and a printing press.

Then television came along, and while newspapers didn't vanish, they kind of stepped back into second place. TV ruled the world, and men like Rupert Murdoch could elect presidents and start wars by using two simple tools: journalism and a cathode ray tube.

Now the internet has arrived. TV isn't going anywhere, and neither are newspapers, or magazines, or books for that matter. But cable ratings are dwindling and Murdoch's empire is falling. No doubt some internet yellow journalist will arrive on the scene soon enough to elect presidents and start wars. That seems to be how this storyline goes. In the meantime, well, be excellent to each other and party on.

*steps off soapbox*

Also, Charles Pierce rocks.

Pierce may be the asskickingest political writer today, but you're giving him a run for his money, Athenae.

mississippi AGAIN voted for a publikan governor. pleased as punch in being on the bottom.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Contact Info

  • Adrastos
    adrastos at bellsouth.net
  • Athenae - Allison Hantschel
    athenae25 at yahoo.com
  • Jude
    jude_t at live.com

Athenae's Books