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Silent Media, Silent Scream

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12 December 2007: Voice of the Voters: Silent Media, Silent Scream

This evening’s edition of VoV was more about those brave media activists who dare speak out than the 80 percent who are corporate controlled and thus, necessarily, tow that line.

     Lori Rosolowski hosted the first segment of the show, which featured Bob Koehler, award-winning syndicated columnist and editor for Tribune News Services, a self-described “controversial figure in the media.” He had his awakening into the election integrity movement in 2004 and wrote some eye-opening columns in 2005:

     "In contrast to the deathly silence of the media is the silent scream of the numbers. The more you ponder these numbers, and all the accompanying data, the louder that scream grows. Did the people’s choice get thwarted? Were thousands disenfranchised by chaos in the precincts, spurious challenges and uncounted provisional ballots? Were millions disenfranchised by electronic voting fraud on insecure, easily hacked computers? And who is authorized to act if this is so? Who is authorized to care?"

     Koehler credits polling expert Jonathan Simon with revealing such statistics to him. He spoke of reader responses to his columns, which sometimes can be labeled as hate mail, but most of the time when he responds to it, writers respond quite willing to communicate and flattered to have heard back from him. “I try to diffuse their anger, try to find common ground,” he said, a commendable formula for outreach that could save this country.

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     The big question of this segment was, of course, corporate control of the media and the concept of the iron triangle, which consists of editor, reporter, and source. What’s within this triangle often does not reach readers in its entirety. Small-town papers this characterizes like to keep things hunky-dory, “all’s right with the world.”

     How to break this triangle open?

     “It’s happening,” Koehler said. “The news business is changing. The Internet is giving Big Brother a run for his money.” We all can participate there, at many levels. To reach the public that we need to reach, there are further methods, including cultivation of reporters, becoming a source oneself, remaining persistent. Citizens must find out what they want to know by means of the media.

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     Rethinking how the government works, he continued, he conceived of the four branches of government. But where are the people amid all of them? “Everyone has a right to participate in the media just as everyone has the right to vote.

     “This country is one big [acerbic] discussion.”

     There are so many issues, so many struggles and problems. “We all have something to say. We have the right to break in.” The key is getting the people to learn. John Adams foresaw the importance of keeping informed to keeping democracy alive.

     Discussion and dialogue are crucial, said Koehler. Democracy is not something we inherit, but a verb; we deal with threats to it at all times. “It’s always in a state of crisis. One branch is always trying to take power away from the people.”

     He quoted Thomas Jefferson that “Each generation needs a revolution.” Each one of us must do more than we think is possible.”

     Bob Koehler’s provocative columns are accessible at his Web site

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     At this point, Mary Ann Gould took the microphone to interview film producer David Earnhardt about his 2007 documentary UNCOUNTED: The New Math of American Elections, which provides stunning coverage of how "American voters were cheated during the 2004 and 2006 elections--and why it will likely happen in 2008."

     She began by quoting Thomas Jefferson that whenever things go badly wrong the people can be trusted. The corporate-controlled American media “leave out the real facts and issues.”Americans are uninformed or disinformed, she said, a sure recipe for the loss of our rights. At the forefront are the provision of facts and truths, not spin and crossfire.

     Earnhardt’s film has been described as “a punch in the stomach, stunning.”
People are waking up, said Earnhardt. The biggest thing they are discovering is paperless voting machines and the irreparable harm they have done to this country. “Even the media are waking up.” They are piecing together the evidence and realizing that “they can’t even count on vote counting.”

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Marta Steele is an author/editor/blogger who has been writing for since 2006. She is also author of the 2012 book "Grassroots, Geeks, Pros, and Pols: The Election Integrity Movement's Nonstop Battle to Win Back the People's Vote, (more...)

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