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Sweeps: Media Boycott Part II

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This month, all of the major television networks will be faced with pressure to come up with invigorating "specials " and other interesting and sensational broadcasts to boost their ratings. The tradition of Sweeps provides progressives with a unique opportunity to make our message heard.

In years past, networks have run specials digging into the history behind The DaVinci Code and milk-water discussions debating the existence and works of the historical Jesus of Nazareth.

What they haven 't done is used this time to provide some hard-hitting coverage of the degradation of American politics.

Let 's encourage them to change their ways. There have been countless documentary films made and books and articles written over the past six years about the Bush Administration and its policies, the media 's complicity in promoting ignorance about the war in Iraq, and the various scandals of the Bush White House.

But most Americans don 't watch documentaries. Most Americans don 't read these books and articles.

They were too busy reading The DaVinci Code and watching CNN.


So, I put forth this task: I call upon all conscientious progressives to write letters, write emails, and make phone calls to all of the major networks, urging them to focus on real issues facing the American public during Sweeps this year. Encourage them to talk about the war --interview real families who have lost loved ones in Iraq. Not just "patriotic " families, in the propagandistic sense, but also members of Gold Star Families for Peace and others who have a slightly less enthusiastic view of this war.

Ask them to talk about the various Downing Street Memos which get so little attention from the mainstream media. Tell them that you want to hear about what really matters. Ask them to tell you when they will be airing special broadcasts on the Abramoff scandal and a detailed look at new Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito and Scooter Libby 's trial and Plamegate.

Ask them to really discuss the fact that President Bush not only sanctioned the wiretapping of United States citizens, but that he knew that it was illegal and made a conscious decision to break that law.

Ask them to report on the commission created by US citizens to hold President Bush and his administration accountable for the crimes they have committed against humanity. (Get link to info on commission.)

There is too much going on in America today for the media to continue ignoring it all. While television pundits are busy making derogatory comments about the conduct of those who gathered to celebrate the life and works of Coretta Scott King, they ignore what the Democrats have begun to refer to as the "culture of corruption " that is sweeping across our great country.

It is time for the mainstream media to choose integrity over corporate interest and truth over the favor of the White House.

What do they have to lose? Millions of progressive viewers who are tired of the mainstream media propaganda mill --that 's what. These networks are not going to be put out of business for telling the truth --but we can bankrupt them if they refuse.

I ask the progressives of America to stand with me and many others in demanding that our media fulfill its true function as the Fourth Estate, and if it refuses, then I ask you all to join me in a nationwide boycott of all mainstream media outlets, including FOX News, CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and all of the many others that no longer serve their purpose in this country.

A media that only serves its own corporate interests is no media at all.

Demand accountability. Contact networks here.

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Katherine Brengle is a freelance writer and activist.

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