Sunday, November 07, 2010

About that 'brave' 'left' media

foundation money

Tuesday night during what passes for 'independent' media coverage, yet another 'lefty' on the George Soros dime was making allegations about the Tea Party and Karl Rove (yes, he was too stupid to grasp that the two are opposed to one another) and we were not only left to chuckle over the Soros whore's hypocrisy (money's bad unless it's tucked into his g-string, apparently), we were also reminded of the refusal by certain elements of the left to work.

The begging has been well documented. From time to time, a few attempt to document the reality of the left and money. When they do, they tend to move on quickly or (shut down). One of the few on the left who repeatedly pursues this topic like a dog with a bone is journlist Bob Feldman whose strongest piece thus far on the topic may have been "Alternative Media Censorship: Sponsored By CIA's Ford Foundation?" and, recently, Feldman came across an important section in Remembering Tomorrow by ZNet's Michael Albert:

"...We know that money matters in society, but we don't seem to realize that money matters on the Left... "
...The area I have some experience with, alternative media, is graphically if not universally donor, and donor dynamics, dominated. For example,
The Nation was begun and financed by large donors who, at most points, occupied the key decision positions in the periodical. The same holds true for Monthly Review, Mother Jones, Utne Reader, In These Times, and New Left Review. In cases where the big donor didn't come abroad, it was generally the best fund-raiser or most financially connected participant who had the corner office. With our activist hats on we decry mainstream media for being owned and thus beholding to big money in its motivations and structural choices, but then, when we don our media hats, we construct operations no less beholden to big-money interests, but now via the largesse of donors rather than direct owners. "
When leftists I have known have talked about a major nonprofit--say the Ford Foundation--they...certainly haven't described an institution free of constraint...

Which goes to the sameness in so many 'left' outlets and which also tends to weaken whatever character might be left in 'left' media personalities. They no longer take brave stands, they whore repeatedly and they always need the quick thrill of turning another trick for cash.

And you can't think of the street walkers of the faux left without thinking of Robert Parry.

To this day, many on the Left refuse to acknowledge that this shift in strategy was a miscalculation. Some say it was important not to be corrupted by Washington. They also still resist moving to address these dangerous shortcomings. Just this year, wealthy progressives pulled the plug on Air America.

Oh, my goodness, Bobby Parry! Say it isn't so! The financial sinkhole that was Air America Radio -- which had to stab lower income children in the back to get their original toe hold -- lost millions and Parry's big upset is that "wealthy progressives pulled the plug on Air America." Yes, Parry, better people should continue working for a company that repeatedly couldn't make payroll throughout its lifetime. Better they get screwed over repeatedly, right?

Air America Radio -- in all of its forms -- was a huge disappointment and a huge lesson. AAR had a brief flurry of success. That's when it was having trouble getting radio stations to play its programming but was the number one streamer online. Many would see that as a good thing and something to build on. AAR couldn't be part of the future, it wanted to compete with the past. Instead of building on its huge success, it squandered it. It wasted time finding radio outlets and getting into litigation with them due to lack of funds.

And that lost money isn't Parry's concern. He's not worried all the workers screwed over. He's just worried that some pampered lefties and centrists who couldn't get their own lives together can't continue to enrich their own pockets.

Parry is nothing but a Democratic Party tool. That's what happens to the beggars. They beg and they whore and they have nothing to offer. Which is why Parry can never stop writing about Jimmy Carter -- but can never point the obvious fact that Carter was not just an utter failure, his actions and those of his administration (particularly the politically insane Zbigniew Brzezinski) brought on post-9/11 America. He likes to bluster about truth-telling but what's he really told? When's the last time "I am an investigative journalist!" broke a story?

Seems to us it all goes back to his days at AP.

If Parry's got a case to make for independent journalism, maybe he should be making it and stop trying to hector people about how they vote?

But he's not about investigative journalism. He's about whoring for the Democratic Party. Which is why he writes the garbage that he's written for the last years as opposed to breaking one damn investigative journalism story.

Which only became more clear via John Halle's recent work -- click here, here, here and here. Halle (rightly) holds Parry accountable for his baseless attacks and Parry's response is to repeatedly distract.

On its most basic, his argument is all wrong for one reason only: His argument is yet another plea for money -- for him to benefit from money.

We see a lot of people asking for money and we don't see them doing much with it. The Nation magazine, for example, is most infamous these days for wasting donations to their investigative journalism fund on digging through the trash cans of people they hate or in refusing to run a piece outing Senator Dianne Feinstein on her conflict of interests and how it may have impacted her votes and appears to have enriched her husband.

Robert Parry -- and his friends -- have spent the last ten years whining and whining about how this big donor turned them down or that big donor turned them down. They've uncorked that so many times, you'd think their whine cellar would be empty.

But it's so obviously not.

When people even make noise about a third party, along comes Parry and his crowd screaming "No! No! No!" and insisting the money would be better spent investing in an echo chamber that they control -- an echo chamber that deceives and lies, that fails to inform.

They don't want grass roots, they want an uninformed body they can control.

That's why they have nothing to offer but their op-eds over and over. Their bad columns passed off as reporting. Their bad columns which they insist you must fork over money for.

Robert Parry wants to insist that work, energy and (most of) money put into building a third party is a waste of time. But he and others like him have had how many years to demonstrate that their outlets can accomplish anything and what do they have to show for it?

Where is their Watergate expose?

Where is anything to point to with pride?

You're a grown man begging for money and your life is meaningless and your work is fluff.

You also note that no serious effort has been made on building a third party, suggesting apparently that that is still the way to go. But there are also structural reasons why third parties have failed in the American winner-take-all presidential system. So even if more resources were invested, the likely result would only be the election of more right-wing candidates. That is why the left-of-center publications you cited objected to the Nader campaign in 2000. They recognized that all Nader would accomplish would be to help put George W. Bush in the White House, which is what Nader did.

Okay, Robert Parry, let's say you're right for the sake of argument. By the same token, as you've spent over a decade begging for money, what have you accomplished?

The shine on you tarnished before the eighties ended. You could blame the outlet for that in the past, but for over ten years now you've had Consortium News as your outlet. You and you alone have determined what gets published and what doesn't. So where's the big scoop. Over ten years, you should have accomplished something, right?

If someone's going to rip apart the work required to build a third party and insist that their method is so much better, okay. But shouldn't they have to prove that in some manner? Shouldn't they be forced to show what their own efforts have resulted in?

All these years of 'freedom' and 'independence' and where's the big scoop? Where's the mind blowing, life changing report -- even one -- that can be pointed to with pride?

There's not one. And the current system pretty much ensures that there won't be.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Poll1 { display:none; }