Saturday, April 21, 2007

La, La, La, ... We Can’t Hear You.

Posted by olvlzl.
Back in the last congress if you asked someone in the media why their guest lists, on-air clips and quotes were so lopsided with Republicans they sometimes said that it was because they had control of the legislative and the executive branches. In my state, Maine, that situation was particularly bad, the amount of time the two Republican Senators get as opposed to the two Democratic Congressmen (Maine has only two) is entirely out of wack. As she prepares to go back on her solemn promise, to only serve two terms, Susan Collins is everywhere on the radio and TV, her likely Democratic challenger, Congressman Tom Allen, is seldom seen. A casual observer in Maine might be forgiven for not knowing what he even looks like.

You might think that in the aftermath of the Gonzales fiasco the other day that the Democrats, who did most of the questioning, including the hard questioning would have gotten the majority of the coverage. But starting with the hour long wrap up on NPR that night and in news story after news story the coverage has been all about the Republicans and their reaction. Even in this story, carrying the headline, “Pelosi Joins Calls For Gonzales Resignation”, the positions of four Republicans make up the majority of the story, Leahy the only other Democrat mentioned.

he media are acting as if Republicans were still in control of the legislative branch of the government. Arlen Specter, who just might be the biggest camera hog in the entire congress, is treated as if he is still in control of the Senate Judiciary Committee. This can’t be an accident, it has to be the result of an intentional policy to silence Democrats in order to lessen their impact. By pretending that they don’t exist, by putting the cameras on Republicans, the media is shamelessly providing them with publicity. And in politics, if it’s not bad publicity, it’s campaign publicity. You might have understood there to be a financial motive for them doing that when they were in a position to hand the corporations in control of the media favors and perks but they aren’t in that position anymore.

It’s time for Democrats in the congress to take notice and start drafting legislation to diversify the media and to force equal time provisions on them. The media are not their friends. The media has demonstrated its bias so fully that there is no point in getting into a debate. Democrats have nothing to lose by leveling the media playing field. And it has to be based in the law instead of just easily changed executive branch regulations.

Coda: If, as is being floated, Ted Olsen is nominated to succeed Gonzales, the Judiciary Committee should hold no-holds barred hearings and go over his entire record. Since it is the most shameful violation of democracy and voting rights in modern history, Bush vs. Gore should be a major topic of the hearings. Olsen argued the case in front of the Supreme Court, he certainly was a party to stealing an election. All relevant records should be subpoenaed, he and other members of the administration should be required to respond to questions and then he should be rejected on the basis of contempt of the most important branch of government, The People.

Olsen would be infinitely more dangerous as the head of the Justice Department. He shares Gonzales’ character defects and magnifies them through not being incompetent at what he does. He would do what has been done and be smart enough to cover it up better. The Bush regime, now being exposed for the bunch of mobsters they are, can’t be allowed to put someone like Olsen in charge of investigations and prosecutions.