Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Can we reach "regular folks" despite the noise?

I've been bouncing around with some perhaps loosely related constructs for several days, pondering when I was working on some grunt work about the Ponderosa, with all of these themes it seems tied in to how ideas make their way into "the media" and thus our zones of awareness. Learning about our world is hard enough it seems for those that might actually give a damn and yet I’m further discouraged by having to slog through and work around so many interferences to our seeking truth and sharing ideas.

It started with Jim "The Tool" Wooten of the AJC meriting "Wooten's World : No Doubt Just Dogma" and then Jim Wooten - "Nothing to see here. Move along." over the last few days. Jim’s just across the river and I often spent time in “Wooten’s World” in my efforts to keep up with Georgia news via the AJC. Heading to the Lowlands, I then stumbled across a Mobile Press-Register editorial from this past weekend that makes me wonder if Mr. Wooten is secretly on the their Editorial Board. MPR’s “At the end of the day, probe won't find much” will eventually get a post on how dead wrong they are on the Plamegate affair and their “facts” and “perceptions”. One of the many things that bothered was their throwing around “Partisan Democrats and obsessive Bush-haters” and “the mean-spirited hopes of the administration's foes” in an Editorial. It seemed way over the top in many places, again especially for an editorial.
Here are some blog posts that I’ve been cooking with, or otherwise seasoning with now. Glenn Greenwald, of “How Would a Patriot Act? fame, posted “Why right-wing extremists merit attention” that I quickly read as it was mostly limited to UT Law Professor Glen Reynolds/Instapundit. Today, Hume’s Ghost, posting at Glenn’s Unclaimed Territory, served up “Why Respond to Malkin?” that linked back to his previous post “The Bizarro World logic of Michelle Malkin”. Both are worth a read to understand the Right Wing Noise Machine.

Craig Crawford was on Olbermann briefly this evening discussing Dan Rather and CBS parting ways and his “Attack the Messenger : How Politicians Turn You Against the Media” came up as well which added to my material. Also, Hume’s Ghost send me to David Neiwert (his blog Ornicus has long been one of my favs) for Rush, Newspeak, and Fascism: An exegesis and to The Green Knight, with lead blogger being a High Church Anglican English Professor that I’ll want to return to as I have time, for “Coulter and What Her Book Says About Us”. Returning to Mr. Neiwert’s work, this is a long and serious resource that I’ll need time to wade through.

The quandary I’m struggling with is how do Progressives reach regular folks when they are getting hammered with so much of the above foolishness. Getting poorly educated (even if one has a college degree they can still not be properly educated I’ll add), lazy, selfish, easily distracted, busy, … to even engage can be work enough yet some of our many ignorant citizens are even a tougher nut to crack. I’m convinced the more informed and better educated a person is the more likely they’ll not fall for today’s GOP conservatism. Perhaps in the old days some intellectual conservatives floated in and out of the mainstream to create a following of smart folks yet are there really any of those left? Even George Will has gotten a rather sloppy lately it seems.

This evening I watched a little Hardball on MSNBC. Tweety was gone but Noron was covering just fine for Fox News Lite. I watched Ken Mehlman massage the message as delivered by the hierarchy that is today’s GOP. I heard him say the same things that essentially every other loyalist repeats and repeats and … The right has a serious organization and discipline and money and wing nut welfare and a built in GOTV in the Religious Right and ...

I work hard to stay informed yet I still miss things. There are items that come along where I’m lost. Some I have to punt on due to time yet I try to get to the bottom of anything that interests me. I did not learn issues and politics from folks like Ann Coulter or Rush “Big Fat Idiot” Limbaugh or Sean “Vanity” Hannity or … What about regular folks? When Ann Coulter gets on The Tonight Show or The Today Show or … people hear her lies and smears and threats and gradually some accept her trash as reality. When Noron and Ken the Grin chatted this evening how does Joe Sixpack, assuming he’s not watching wrestling, cut through the crap? 24/7 news channels, the internets (as Dubyah would label), blogs, talk radio, podcasting, … and we are more lost than ever it seems in getting to the meat of the matter. Complex ideas take time to explain and understand yet Rove’s “cut and run” has been repeated hundreds of times every day as of late.

I’m tired but still frustrated so I’ll just stop. Usually the posting leaves me feeling vented and pepped up yet I’m still conflicted. Might work on this one some more yet it’s a start. Peace … or War!

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