Saturday, February 28, 2009

Obama's War with the Right (& Media)

By Robert Parry
February 28, 2009

In a startling ambitious budget message, President Barack Obama has thrown down the gauntlet to the American Right not only by tying the current economic crisis to the recklessness of the past eight years under George W. Bush but by tracing it back further to the anti-regulatory, anti-labor and anti-government policies of Ronald Reagan.

Read on.


Anonymous said...

The sad thing is that all the politicians behave as if it must be taken for granted that the media will savage them if they step out of line. You don't have to write down your policy if everyone knows what it is: say or do anything to threaten the well-vested interests and not only will the People not hear your message, we will rewrite what your message was and browbeat you for things you did not even say (or mean.)

When the Fourth Estate becomes the Fifth Column, we have trouble. It appears we have to attack media outlets for cause, with a unified message: tell the truth or else.

Obama should install an FCC chair who dismantles empires such as Clear Channel, and I'd like to see a rule that says that any given company cannot own more than one station in ANY market. (Forget stopping ownership of more than one station or medium in one market: of course do that. But the rule should say you, the owner, get to choose ONLY one market, and then you're done. Forget owning stations in multiple cities.)

We have to break the right-wing media monopoly or we won't be able to have these discussions in not too long from now. They will come and "disappear" you for being an enemy of the State.

-Eric Dynamic
Berkeley, California

libhom said...

Clear Channel should be broken up under antitrust law.

Ramona's Voices said...

I'm getting increasingly nervous about the media and its rightward leanings at a time when we so desperately need an open dialogue about the impact the Reagan/Bush Years have had on our economy.

Nobody ever talks about the impact the Reagan Years had, even though America's love affair with Big Business was wholeheartedly resurrected during his terms.

Labor became the scorned lover, cast aside for glitz, glamor and profit, and ever since, the Republicans (and the Corporate-owned media) have done their best to keep the flames of passion alive.

Now that it looks like that hot affair is about to become cold ashes, the money people are panicking and out come the big guns. They won't talk money now, they'll resort to blatant appeals to populism. Rush is their new leader--a scarier thought I can't imagine--and Ann is their First Harpy.

We can't let them win again. We have to fight them with words, if nothing else. If we want to save this country, we have to override the mainstream media and take to the blogosphere. I've tried and tried to come up with another way, but those forces are much too powerful. It takes ALL of us, and out numbers are growing every day.

Thanks for you efforts. I've become a new fan and I've put your link on my blog, if that's all right.

Ramona (

Anonymous said...

Main stream media seems to be crumbling before our eyes. Ruppert Murdock is having financial problems, Major newspapers are going under, investigative journalism is deep-sixed with budget cuts. Conservatives haven't changed their message all these years, but I think their audiences are diminishing as quickly as their fortunes and power. Organizations like Media Matters for America monitors MSM for misinforming the public and calling out biased propaganda parading as news. FreePress has also done the public a huge favor by campaigning for alternative sources and viewpoints missing in MSM. Divide and conquer hasn't been working as well as it used to. The country has been inoculated with a big dose of healthy skepticism. I have hope that intelligent life will prevail now.
CAJ in Dallas, TX

Frank Hartzell said...

AS a reporter and editor for small and medium sized newpapers and stints as a journalism prof, I agree with all of this. But I see some ommissions- Clinton mostly. Clinton didn't change the course of the right wing at all, in fact his superior intellect (over W, pops and Ronnie) allowed free trade and financial deregulation to move faster, not slower.
Now Obama needs to reverse not only the Republicos but his own party's history.
This ommission is glaring in an article that is otherwise superb."
Im rereading and loving this;
"In both right-wing and mainstream news organizations, stories continue to be structured as faulting Obama and largely absolving Bush (not to mention the iconic Reagan).
All true but getting the existing media to break out of the mainstream I have concluded is hopeless.
I got very burned out as a journalist trying to argue with my fellow "liberal" reporters about the trickle down theory, which they all bought into as they bought their big houses
At first, I went with the Internet as salvation. But the internet for now is an exercise in self stroking , to be done by those with another job or who want to do fundrasing 24/7.
We need to take back by force not just the airwaves but the print media. I dont think the net can substitute in our lifetimes.
What do others think?

Anonymous said...

Great article. The takeaway: now is the time for progressive forces to gird their loins and march into battle. This is a fight for the survival of the nation! The Republicans are making it clear that they will not play along with Obama, so, to hell with 'bipartisanship'! The only way to win this one is to utterly discredit Reaganomics, aka voodoo economics, aka trickle-down economics. A stake must be planted in the heart of those who would continue to use free market economics as an excuse to suck the blood from the middle class.