Monday, January 15, 2007


That is the goal of the Third National Conference for Media Reform being held in Memphis this weekend.

But before we can do that, we need to be clear about how and when the media went from being the people's voice and the people's resource to being an extension of government spin machines.

The only speaker to emphasize this was Juan Gonzalez, co-host with Amy Goodman of Democracy Now, the too little known news program whose subtitle is "The War and Peace Report", and which has been airing on Pacifica radio and tv for the last ten years.

Gonzalez, who comes across both on the screen and in person as anything but in-your-face, gave an impassioned plea for greater recognition of the fact that media repression didn't start with the Bush administration.  He traced it back to the 1830's, with particular emphasis on Teddy Roosevelt's disenchantment with the fourth estate.

I'd always thought the problem pretty much started with McCarthy, so I'll certainly be reading up on whatever Gonzalez or others have written on the subject.

Meanwhile, I'm passing on the fact that Democracy Now has a team of people ready to instruct and lobby local radio and tv stations about The War and Peace Report, so if you can't get it in your areas, go to to let them know you're out there and want them to be there too.

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