Mediatank held a really marvelous presentation of first the two Federal Communications Commissioners Michael J. Copps & Jonathan S. Adelstein, then had a panel of eight other media professionals and then opened the floor to comments from the audience (Audience members signed up to speak at the entrance to the forum and were then called in the order they signed up in). The closing of WHAT Radio was a major subject and how different organizations used their resources to bypass the major media and get critical stories out to the public was another.
I spoke on my recent PhillyIMC piece on the major media and how the left blogosphere, an aroused and active citizenry that uses blogs, among other tools to raise awareness that a profit-obsessed major media can't be bothered with.
There's an extremely sad report from Media Matters that demonstrates just how severely messed up the major media is. Reporter John Solomon from the Washington Post tries desperately to "gin up" a scandal by ignoring neighborhood housing prices and darkly suggesting that first Senate then-Minority Leader Harry Reid "collected a $1.1 million windfall on a Las Vegas land sale" and now suggesting that "Sen. John Edwards recently sold a home for $1.4 million more than he had paid for it." What Solomon leaves out of course, are the housing prices typically paid in those neighborhoods. Had he done so, he would have seen that there was absolutely nothing noteworthy about either sale.
"Twice in three months, Solomon has written an article in which he makes much of a real estate transaction in which a prominent Democrat appears to have made a million-dollar profit. Twice in three months, Solomon has hyped the gaudy number without placing it in context. In both cases, that context showed the profit to be far from atypical."
This is very clearly the behavior of a writer trying desperately to re-live the "glory days" when journalists could say whatever they liked about progressives. As the blogger Atrios puts it: "Under 'the Clinton rules of journalism,' you can say any goddamn thing you want -- as long as you say it about the Clintons. This [sic] rules have already begun to affect the way Campaign 08 is covered."
Personally, I really couldn't care less how much journalists enjoyed the Clinton Presidency when they could say whatever they pleased about progressives with no consequences. I and many, many millions of progressives, radicals, liberals and moderates HATED those days and HATED the "Clinton rules"!
Is the next president likely to be a Republican? Two years is an awfully long time and lots can happen, but the situation does NOT look good for Republicans. It's looking a lot like the next several election cycles will be Democratic ones. We lefty bloggers, liberals, citizen activists and Democrats will need to keep the pressure on for a good long time, until the media grows up and stops looking to play "Gotcha!" with us all.