I was reminded last week just how important independent progressive voices and liberal blogs are still needed in the country, especially now that president-elect Donald Trump, barring some miracle with the electoral college, will soon be the next racist and sexist leader of the so-called free world.
This week at progressive state blogs: OK's Pruitt now America's problem; guns may go anywhere in MO https://t.co/WI4Qllf0mW
— Daily Kos (@dailykos) December 10, 2016
First, I was contacted by the eclectic and creative site Fusion, based in the Miami, Florida area, for an interview about Trump’s selection of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to serve as head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Pruitt is a dangerous man when it comes to the health and viability of the planet, as I pointed out in the interview, and his EPA tenure could become one of the most catastrophic events in the twenty-first century. That could change if Democrats could win back at least one chamber of the legislative branch of the federal government in two years, but right now that looks bleak.
Second, my own main post about Pruitt’s selection on Okie Funk and Blue Oklahoma was reposted by a prominent writer at the Daily Kos. This excellent blogger runs a weekly roundup of progressive blogs throughout the country, and all progressives should be grateful for it. It has been a while, but I have posted and cross-posted at the Daily Kos through the years, and it’s still churning out truth on a minute-by-minute basis.
It should go without saying that the Democratic National Committee, other well-funded progressive organizations, and, yes, rich liberals should double down on a new 50-state strategy when it comes to progressive blogs and media. The blogosphere has matured, and those of us who have endured, and that includes Okie Funk (since 2004) and Blue Oklahoma (since 2006), should get the financial and technology infrastructure support we have so long deserved. This is a much better strategy for liberals than trying to play the mainstream media game and spending millions of dollars on media ads that are rendered obsolete by one short tweet by Trump or by so-called “fair” reporting, which reports his outlandish lies as political arguments or official statements, all of which threaten our democracy.
I get it that a lot of blogs and sites come and go, and, believe me, as a college professor, I know fake news is here to stay as long as the internet exists, but there’s now a clear track record of progressive web writers who have been in it for the long haul and for the right reasons.
Of course, another wise course of progressive action, which could work as well as investing in blogs and/or as part of the overall effort would be for mainstream media outlets demeaned as “liberal” by right-wing folks to incorporate more advocacy journalism on their pages, sites and networks, and what I mean is advocacy for the truth. Here’s stating truth, for example: No matter how much The New York Times or The Washington Post try to present what their editors might see as balanced reporting, the right-wing will accuse them of liberal bias. At what point, do these media outlets, and other media outlets, rise up defiantly to save our constitutional rights and freedom of the press? There are also many, many progressive bloggers who could be absorbed into the mainstream media. (Wink, wink.)
As I’ve written before, even though I’ve been a critic of the press as the conservative movement has manipulated it like a puppeteer, I’m still a strong supporter of the basic mainstream media, which doesn’t, of course, include the national Fox News or The Oklahoman. Those two media outlets are right-wing propaganda organizations disseminating lies to earn profits for two old, evil white men, who inherited their money. But many metropolitan newspapers, in particular, are staffed by progressive and bright, idealistic reporters. It’s the new financial reality and the outdated rhetorical formulas embedded in the stories and opinion pieces that need to be addressed in the mainstream media. I’m referring here in the second part of that previous sentence to the actual written language we’re reading and hearing, not technologies. Newspapers were late, true, to embrace the web, but all the larger newspapers are now fully invested in it.
The question for years now: “But how do media outlets, besides television networks, make money under the new model that includes the internet.” That’s the wrong question. The right question is this: “How do mainstream media outlets report the truth?”
I believe truth will make money and perfect sense in these dangerous times facing this country right now under a Trump presidency.