This past weekend I attended the National Conference on Media Reform in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I spent my time attending numerous workshops, panels, and speeches by leading minds in the Media Reform movement. Over 3,000 people attended the event from all 50 states and beyond. We heard from Bill Moyers, Naomi Klein, Amy Goodman, FCC Commissioners Jonathan Adelstein and Michael Copps and many more leading voices on this issue. You can view some of the speeches and get more information at this link:
Over the course of the weekend I couldn't help but be reminded of what many already know, that an independent and free media is necessary in order for the public to be informed and for democracy to function. This is the key belief of those within the Media Reform movement. We believe that we have slid into dangerous territory with greater media consolidation, propaganda being used on U.S. citizens and media outlets that act as little more than a megaphone for the official word. It is important for us to look beyond the myth of the so called "liberal media" and give careful examination to the role that giant corporations have upon the information that we consume on a daily basis. It is clear at this juncture, that our very democracy is in trouble. It is not simply enough this time around to remain silent and hope that the issue resolves itself. Fighting for an independent press is a fight for our democracy and should not be taken lightly.
There are many in the corporate media who feel that dismissing those of us who gathered this weekend as "far-left" or "nuts" as Bill O'Reilly has put it, will negate the issue. In fact, O'Reilly sent his producer to ambush Bill Moyers while at the conference as to why Moyers will not appear on O'Reilly's show. First and foremost, ambushing someone, is not journalism. The attempt that O'Reilly used was nothing more than an attempt to gather a sound byte with which he could use on his show to attack and defame Moyers without any discussion of the real issues at hand. The raw footage of this incident was captured by other journalists at the Conference and I have included it below. Bill O'Reilly has promised to show his audience just how "nuts" those who attended the conference are on tonight's show. I will be comparing this raw and unedited footage below, with what airs on Bill O'Reilly's program and make discussion of this the topic of my next blog.
We need to fix the media for this very reason. If what you see below qualifies as journalism then it is obvious that we have a long fight ahead of us.