Media activists and other progressives know that the corporate media is no longer trustworthy as a source for information. Those of us who believe in democracy understand that the central plank of a true democracy lies in the media informing the public, so that the people of the United States can make an informed decision. Many of us already know that the media have completely failed the American public in this regard. However, it is not just the corporate media that are failing to inform the public. The same charge can be made by so called independent, alternative media as well.
Case in point are recent examples that I have experienced and I know it is being mirrored all over the country.
A few months ago, I attended the September 24th, 2007 Conference on NAFTA in Minneapolis. One of the keynote speakers was John Nichols of the Nation magazine. After Mr Nichols spoke, I talked to him, explaining that I was a US Senate candidate in Minnesota with the Green Party and gave him my card. The very next week, John Nichols did a piece in the Nation magazine on the US Senate race in Minnesota. The piece glorified Al Franken, dismissivly mentioned Jack Nelson Palmyer in one line near the end and there was no mention of my campaign at all.
Then on June 5th, 2008 we had the Media Reform Conference in Minneapolis again. Again at this conference Mr John Nichols was present and spoke, ironically on the media shutting out voices. I approached John Nichols again, mentioning that i was still a candidate for US Senate in Minnesota, again handing him my card. Mr Nichols looked uncomfortable and mentioned "Well don't worry, we in the Nation magazine are doing another piece on the Senate race in Minnesota."
That week, the Nation did another piece on the race in Minnesota. Again, glorifying Al Franken and yet again, no mention of my campaign for US Senate in Minnesota. Ironic that this was done on the same week as the Media Reform Conference.
Then we have the local Minnesota Air America radio KTNF AM 950. This radio station, which markets itself as "progressive" have never had me on the air, to speak on the issues that our campaign is addressing. Critical and progressive issues it must be noted. It would appear that the local Air America cannot even say my name. The only time that you will hear the name Michael Cavlan is when someone calls in or when I purchased commercials there. In another case, one of the local shows was doing a series on Single Payer Healthcare. There was a call for Nurses to speak on this issue. I and other Nurse activists I work with offered to speak on it. At first, the producer of the show was excited, e mailing us back and forth. Then the communication suddenly died. We can only assume that orders came down from above. No mentioning Cavlan or indeed the Green Party.
These kinds of things happen all the time, in what can only be called blatant acts of political bigotry. That those of us who are dissidents of this countries corporate corrupted two party system should simply be quiet and go to the back of the political bus. That we should not exercise our Constitution right of Free Speech and Free Assembly, in the electoral arena.
Those of us who are media activists have long pointed out that the job of the media is to inform the public and let them make their minds up on issues relevant to them. We have long known that the corporate media shut out our voices and do not allow our ideals and beliefs be part of the free market of ideas. We have long known that the media's job is to attempt to shape public opinion.
We have expected this behavior from the corporate and it saddens and angers us to see it happening with media which claim to be progressive.
Despite your attempts to silence and marginalize us, despite your acts of naked political bigotry the movement to break free from the corporate corrupted two party system is alive and well in this country.
Mr Nichols, Air America, it is your integrity and reputation that has been damaged and tarnished. You are the ones who will fail. We are made of far sterner stuff than you and the corporate corrupted political system that you make excuses for and protect.
The time for our message is ripe and we are ready to deliver that message, with you or without you.