The official National Conference for Media Reform has now gotten under way. Alas, as it is now less than an hour before Shabbos, when I will stop using all things electronic (which makes staying in a hotel with electronic card keys soooooo much fun). So I can only hit a few highlights.
1) They say 3000 people are here, and I believe it. While media consolidation as an issue is non-partisan (or bi-partisan, if you prefer), the conference attendees are most decidedly progressive. I hope the conservatives have their own anti-media consolidation conference.
In fact, I make it a challenge. Yo, conservatives! We hate main stream media more than you do! Can you get 3000 conservatives together to talk about how sucky media is? Well, when you do, lets get all 6,000 together and march on the Capitol. That will show us white-wine swilling effete liberals a thing or two!
2) Go to the Free Press video links and watch the speeches from the main ballroom. For most moving short piece on why media reform is a critical human rghts struggle and essential to the dignity of us all and our democracy, I nominate Danny Glover’s opening piece. Short and beautiful.
Bill Moyer’s speech was, as one would expect for Bill Moyers, brilliant. He began with some much needed words of caution. We can feel good about the fact that this is now a bona fide movement, and one that is winning. OTOH, this is the traditional moment when left-wing/progressive movements start fracturing and battling each other (usually with a little assist from the powers that be). How about we not do that this time? We got a lot of people working toward a common goal essentially to preserving our free society. If we keep working together, we will win.
Jesse Jackson gave the afternoon speech placing the media justice movement in the context of the civil rights movement and why we cannot achieve the success of the “broken promise” of liberty for all dating back to the Emancipation Proclamation without media reform. Why, he asked, do people have to learn about race relations from things like the “Call me, Harold” commercial? How can the same person who shows amazing affection and loyalty for a black athlete get all suspicious when the same black man is in a store buying groceries? Because the consolidation in the media deprives people of a diversity of voices and views.
Very good afternoon sessions as well as a good dealers space below. Also kudos for ubiquitous free wireless network which I am using to post this. Working pretty well so far.
Lest one thing that my affection and admiration for Free Press has blinded me to the need for journalistic objectivity, I should mention that last night’s “Save the Internet” party was totally lame. When I go to a party, I do not expect to pay $2/bottle of water. When Dorgan-Snowe (no longer Snowe-Dorgan!) passes, I am definitely letting the party animals at the Chirstian Coalition and United States Conference of Catholic Bishops plan the party.
O.K., journalistic integrity and “fairness” reestablished, I bid you all Good Shabbos. I’ll be here and around. You’ll know me as the guy who is standing by the electric doors waiting for someone else to work in first. Stupid electric doors.
Stay tuned . . . .