Right-wing propaganda is destroying this country. Propaganda forces Democrats to frame all issues in right-wing terms, and to focus only on those problems which Fox News considers worthy of attention.
Not long ago, Steven Almond
contributed a piece to the NYT which argued that Fox News will become powerless if non-conservatives simply ignore it. Balloon Juice
gave a superb response:
The logic goes something like this:
1.) Ignore Mean Republicans
I will agree that Almond’s piece was wrong-headed, but the problem is coming up with a good strategy to counter the right-wing propaganda barrage. Allow me to make five suggestions.
1. Non-conservatives must not cooperate with the propagandists.
Not even momentarily. Almond is, to this extent, correct.
2. Insist on truth in labeling.
Every Democrat, liberal and moderate — including the president — should refer to Fox News, by name, as a nest of liars. Never say “Fox News;” always say “The Fox propaganda network.” No weasel words; no euphemisms.
Use the harshest terms imaginable. The White House press secretary should use such terms, and so should all Democratic congressfolk. When the inevitable backlash erupts, double down. Never apologize.
3. Engage the enemy while marginalizing him.
The Democratic party should erect and publicize a “Propaganda watch” website which chronicles the many lies emitted each day by the right-wing misinformation machine.
It is important to engage with Fox News, but only in the way a specialized team might engage with a zone of radioactivity.
4. Do the research.
Investigative reporters should track the money and the intelligence connections behind the Murdoch empire, Clear Channel, and Breitbart. That work has not been done.
For example, we know that the Breitbarters recently got ten million dollars in venture capital money. From whom? How can these “venture capitalists” hope to make any profit from a site that does not feature advertising? (And even if it did have ads, would the economics justify the investment?)
5. Put pressure on larger internet media to cover non-conservative viewpoints.
For example, most of Memeorandum’s links veer right. They almost never allow stories from (say) Alternet or The Nation to set the agenda. Yet they often link to Malkin or Breitbart -- not just as commentators, but as if they were reporters. If we wrote to the folks at Memeorandum — not just once, but regularly — they might be more evenhanded.
I think the five tactics listed above would do much to combat the propagandists. The first three points are directed at politicians and other “important” figures; we smaller-scale bloggers and citizen journalists cannot really help. But when it comes to points 4 and 5 — well, that’s where we can do real service.
Thoughts of your own...?