Monday, August 06, 2007

The Real Reason The Wingnuts Hate YearlyKos


Once upon a time, it was easy to be a GOP propagandist.

Up until the mid-1990s, Republicans could spew out lies all day long and rarely had to worry about any watchdogs holding them accountable. Oh sure, there were a few obscure leftist print publications here and there, but they had tiny circulations and were often difficult to come by.

Back then, the GOP propagandists certainly didn't have to worry about the corporate mainstream media keeping them honest. Indeed, the likes of CNN, The Wall Street Journal, and even The New York Times were quite happy to carry the GOP's water.

With the dawn of the Web, it began to dawn on the GOP propagandists that they were no longer able to spew out lies without being challenged.

Suddenly, anyone could set up a Web site for relatively little cost and effort and instantly have a potential worldwide audience.

GOP propagandists like Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly soon discovered, to their horror, that they could no longer peddle their daily lies and bullshit and have no one to challenge them.

This, I believe, is the real reason that the likes of O'Reilly and Limbaugh have been attacking sites like Daily Kos and events like the latter's YearlyKos convention. And despite O'Reilly's boasts of success in countering Daily Kos, it's obvious that he is scared shitless these days (as evidenced by his hysterical, over-the-top denunciations of the site).

O'Reilly and Limbaugh and their ilk have found that everything they say these days is going to be picked apart, analyzed and fact-checked by the progressive Web. As a result, the GOP serial liars have been exposed for the frauds that they really are.

Watchdog sites like Media Matters terrify the GOP propagandists. The latter have discovered that once they tell a lie, it is promptly dissected and debunked and then lives forever on the Web---only a mouse click away for any truth seeker.

The old GOP propagandists' old tricks no longer work in cyberspace. No longer can GOP liars like Dick Cheney fall back on their usual tactics (like claiming they were misquoted). On today's Web, your words live forever in easy-to-access audio and video files that let people hear your actual quotes first-hand.

The dawn of the Web gave the ordinary people a voice that, for the first time in history, could potentially rival the traditional corporate media. Indeed, Daily Kos, with its millions of visitors, does rival the likes of Fox News in audience size. And YearlyKos sums up everything that the GOP/Fox News/Wingnut crowd hates about today's new era of media democracy.

However, the Web hasn't yet succeeded in ending ignorance in America. For every Daily Kos or BuzzFlash, there are wingnut sites that still spew out White House propaganda and talking points on a daily basis. Unfortunately, the Web can transmit lies and ignorance just as quickly as it sends out the truth.

But on the whole, the Web has been a boon for those of us who've long been disappointed in the failure of the corporate MSM to bring the truth to the people. As long as the progressive Web is around, the GOP propagandists will no longer have a stranglehold on the nation's political discourse, as they did as recently as the mid-1990s.

Which bring me to a final point: how long can this golden age last? I've never been one for conspiracy theories. But I just can't believe that the nation's ruling elite are going to allow this state of affairs to continue forever.

People like George W. Bush and his billionaire allies have utter contempt for democracy and a truly free exchange of ideas. No doubt, at some point, they will attempt to crack down on the progressive Web. I suspect they'll even give this crackdown a friendly-sounding, market-tested Orwellian name like "The Internet Freedom Act."

But until that day comes, let's enjoy the likes of Daily Kos, Progressive Daily Beacon, BuzzFlash, Crooks and Liars, and the rest of the progressive Web, which have ushered in a Golden Era of truth in America.


cwilcox said...

On July 31 the FCC ruled that the 700MHz band of our airwaves that are going to be freed up when television stations go digital will be auctioned for a network where consumers can attach any mobile device and use any application. The rules failed to guarantee wholesale open access which would have ensured more open broadband competition that could bring high speed internet to more Americans. In essence this ruling insures that broadband spectrums will remain in the hands of corporate giants, think ATT, Verizon, et al, and we all know how progressive the traditional gatekeepers are.

Anonymous said...

O'Reilly is always slamming Daily Kos for extremist speech. But what he is referring to are anonymous comments that anyone on that site can leave (even mischievous Republicans for that matter). And O'Reilly never mentions that his own Web site has had extremist/hate speech comments posted.

Brett said...

As a liberal who's been demoralized by the 2000 and 2004 election thefts, as well as recent Democratic capitulations to Bush on Iraq and warrantless wiretapping, I'm going to be optimistic for once. The Internet will live on, no matter what the corporate powers do.

Even if they manage to create a two-tier system of the Internet, where the corporations control the broadband spectrum and the low-paying site get discarded to the dialup "tube," the free exchange of ideas will go on. They can't stop us. Even if we have to go to slow-loading sites to do it, the Great Debate will continue. And even if they outlaw non-corporate Internet usage (which they would only be able to do under extreme and highly unlikely circumstances), we will continue to log onto the Internet in secret and, no matter what they do, they cannot stop the Internet from growing and its users from talking to each other. It's just too big for them to ever control.

Remember, the Internet is worldwide, and if the corporations get a strangehold on it here in the U.S., we will move our conversations aboard and fulfill the true vision of a democratic and free people.

Realist said...

This piece is spot on. Our only hope is the Internet, and how long WILL the frightwing allow that?
A good example of bill naming: The one just passed last weekend, and already signed into law by Bush, the one that lets the government wiretap American citizens without a warrant or court oversight: Protect America Act.
Act like you care, America, it's now or never.

Anonymous said...

I have the first sentence for a scary political thriller novel.

"When the president of the US shut down the internet, the power grab was accomplished..."

Chuck said...

Hi Marc.

What you say makes perfect sense to me. I don't like to think about where this all may be heading, but I know we have to force ourselves to stay informed. These are scary times...the scariest I have seen.

I just noticed your link back and wanted to thank you. I'll be back more often.

Batocchio said...

I don't think they're terrified, but they are vexed. When the fact-checking and insight of the liberal blogosphere enters the MSM, then they'll be terrified.

Anonymous said...

what world do you live in. CNN NEW York time carry the water for the GOP. man can i have some of your drugs and live in your world. Those 2 sourse are so far left they are not even on the radar.

Marc McDonald said...

In response to the previous poster who said The New York Times is "far left," I've got two words for you: Judith Miller.
The fact is, no MSM outlet in America did more work in selling Bush's (bullshit) case for war than the Times did in 2003.

Marc McDonald