After my sister in law mentioned going to a rally in southern California as a show of support to the people protesting in Wisconsin, I looked up the WI protests and started following.
The first aspect to grab my attention was the lack of news available on the subject. Not all coverage, but the main coverage seems to be on The Huffington Post - which is a blog - and Twitter. People have been commenting all over the Internet that they can't get the info they want from their regular news outlets, so they are turning to Twitter. The NY Times, who I usually like to read and would endorse, did do a fine long piece that the governor of Wisconsin loved, which turned out to be total poppycock, and the Times had to run at least two corrections. So not only is main stream media not covering the story adequately, but they are spreading highly influential information that hasn't even been fact checked.
You might assert that the media coverage in other places must be adequate, because The Huff is getting it from somewhere. Just because The Huff posts content from other outlets doesn't mean those other outlets are covering the issue adequately or well. The mere presence of The Huffington Post demonstrates the need for a consolidation of the WI news so people can piece things together and understand the events of a story that they can't see covered coherently on just one of their favorite stations.
The perspective seems to be that people are pretty pissed about major media not covering this giant political, economic, and social event, but are content to rest on the idea that this is a world now dominated by the Internet and social networking where events are as easy to consume as the doughnuts on a free breakfast buffet. They think people are getting the news despite big media abandonment. I think people are missing the buffet.
I don't think it's true that people are getting this news anyway. There are people out there casting votes for candidates like John Boehner. If they are stupid enough to do that, then I feel confident that they are missing the skills necessary to learn and/or understand rational information. They either don't have a computer, don't know how to read, or are so socially inept that they want to watch Fox all day. There are many people not getting news of the Wisconsin protests because major media isn't allowed to cover it.
As for Fox news, they discredited themselves in week one when they showed violent footage from another rally in conjunction with an interview done out of Wisconsin. They clearly and purposely linked volatile footage with the WI story to mislead people into having a perception of the Wisconsin protests that is false. Why did they want that? What was their end? Why would the people at Fox commit this act of giving the people of Wisconsin a bad name? What could they gain from it?
I feel like everyone must know this stuff, but I'm going to say it anyway, just in case.
Why aren't they allowed to cover WI? Because the situation in Wisconsin acts against the interests of the wealthy people who collectively own the media. Journalism is supposed to be fair and unbiased. It certainly is not. The number of hands that control the media diminishes from decade to decade. That means the aims of the people who control the information that is allowed into your home and your head get more and more narrow all the time, but gradually enough that you don't feel compelled to act; actually, you probably don't notice it at all. From the selection of topics to the political leanings on every story including hurricane coverage and gas prices, the media is the dancing snake seduced by the money pipe played by the top 1%.
Here is an eye opening website: Facts on Media in America
FACT: The nation’s largest broadcast companies that will benefit from looser ownership standards have given more than $13.3 million in political contributions to federal candidates and national parties since 1995. These same media giants have spent more than $68 million lobbying Washington since 1999.
These people have tons of money. They don't need money, so what do they want? They want power. They want power over your decisions. You let them into your home via the TV and you let them suggest what you should buy and what you should think. We have become pets. There is no aspect of American life that is not largely decided by corporations. From the food available to you in the grocery stores to the programs you are allowed to watch on TV, Americans have been slowly and actively assimilated into believing that they are bankrupt and helpless creatures. The more sedentary Americans are, the more disparate the wealth distribution becomes. This makes the wealthy (and therefore powerful) people happy. You are doing what they want, which is nothing, and they are allowed to bend every rule ever made to protect you so that they can get richer and richer. But there is only so much wealth in circulation, which means they are taking YOUR money. A few cents every day over decades, and a few hundred at tax time. The pennies of millions add up to some pretty great real estate.
All of this and much more is why the events in WI are monumental. Those Americans were abused to the point that they woke up and realised that they are not their owners dogs! They looked down and saw that they indeed have opposable thumbs! They tore their feeble wire crate doors open and took to the streets. There are thousands of people out there getting in the faces of the powerful and telling them to shove it, and telling them that the people will not be further divided, disorganized, and conquered. And things are happening. Some of their legislators responded and used what power they have, the power of their absence, and they skipped town in the name of the people they represent.
Tens of thousands of fellow Americans are standing up for their rights. The Court just ruled that the state of WI violated free speech and assembly rights of Americans. A number of ethics complaints have been filed against Governor Walker of Wisconsin for questionable statements and strategies. Legislators who stand with Gov. Walker have plans to fine the lawmakers who left the state in support of the protesters. These are big announcements that the public should know about.
Why aren't these stories making it to the people? Even if someone were to suggest that the purpose of the media is not inform us, but to entertain us (how silly would that be?), is it true that people are not interested? I can't imagine a topic that brought tens of thousands of free citizens to stand in the cold for weeks does not grab people's attention. Despite the lack of coverage and the bad coverage, this topic is still getting out there, is mentioned on the late shows and has gotten into headlines around the world. It's either naive or blind to think that people are simply not interested.
And besides, do you expect a company that is sabotaging the content of national news to, in turn, make that news exciting and interesting to watch?
The main stream media loves to show us stuff where people are hating on each other. Look at all the big political hosts - they are the most verbose, bombastic people imaginable. There is some good fightin' and therefore good entertainment out there in WI. There is another reason it's not being covered; It scares away the advertisers. WI is just not good business.
I expect the Wisconsin protests to end in some kind of compromise, not in a great victory. But that's how they've stolen the people's pennies - quiet compromise after quiet compromise - and that's the same way the middle and lower class can get it back. If the people are willing to fight.
Most dogs could tear their owners apart if they wanted to, but they don't because they are generally intelligent and amiable animals, and because they have been trained not to. This Wisconsin thing is a big deal because it proves again and proves right now that we the people do have the power. We the people have just given it up to the illusion of alienation projected for us. Will the people continue to "roll over" because they are told to, or will we fight for the financial equality we deserve? Well, I don't know, but the top 1% will make sure that you aren't inspired by your television set. Not on their dollar.
I think this speech from Michael Moore is awesome. It's grassroots. It gives us a peek at the power we have and opens our eyes to our potential. Michael Moore's Speech: America Is Not Broke, given to the people of Wisconsin standing out in the cold.
I am full of not just hope, but knowing. I know that the American people as well as people in every country have the power to create the world they want to live in, over time... at least a place where they can own a home and afford to send their kids to college.