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OpEdNews Report on Senate Dem Progressive Media Summit

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Rob Kall       (Page 1 of 3 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   6 comments

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Yesterday, I attended the invitation only Progressive Media Summit, organized by the Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee (DSOC).

About 70 progressive media people participated, including a number of people on the business side, including Tom Athans, founder of the Ed Schultz show, Ron Hartenbaum, owner of the Stephanie Miller show, and Mark Green, President of Air America.

There were representatives from firedoglake and dailykos and bloggers John Aravosis of Americablog, Jerome Armstrong of MYDD, Duncan Black of Atrios, and Matt Stoller of openleft, plus a number of talk show hosts and their producers, including Ed Schultz, Jon Elliot, Mark Levine, Christiane Brown, Rob Sherman and Andre Michael Eggelletion.

I was surprised to see many major progressive media sites not represented and I'm not sure if these were not invited or just chose not to show up in person or have a staffer represent them. These included: Huffingtonpost, Rawstory, alternet, thinkprogress, truthout, commondreams, buzzflash, talkingpointsmemo, counterpunch, thinkprogress, smirkingchimp, tompaine, wonkette...

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I'm just glad OpEdNews was invited and that I made the decision to show up-- making the 3.5 hour schlepp down to DC and the five hour trip back-- by train.

The reward was direct contact-- Q & A, handshakes, conversations with almost two dozen senators and leaders in the house. Here's the list of members of congress who spoke to our small group. I had a chance to chat with, ask questions of and/or shake hands with and chat with the ones who I've placed an asterisk next to.


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*Debby Stabenow
Harry Reid
*Jeff Bingamin
*Amy Kobuchar
*Stenny Hoyer
Byron dorgan
*Sherrod Brown
*Chuck Schumer
*Bernie Sanders
*JOhn Conyers
*Ron Wyden
RObert Menendez
*Bob Casey
Jim Webb

*Patrick Leahy
*Ted Kennedy
Ben Cardin
*John Tester
*Barbara Boxer
Diane Feinstein
*Daniel Akaka
Blanche Lincoln

The goal of the conference was to build bridges between the Democratic outreach committee and the progressive media, to thank us for what we'd done, to ask for patience, because they were very aware of high levels of dissatisfaction with the failure (my word) to end the war and deal with FISA, SCHIP, etc. Officially opening the meeting, Harry Reid told a story illustrating the need for patience,

A fellow asked God, "I've always wanted to know, with you, hOw long is a million years?
And God answered, 'About a second.'
And then, the fellow asked, to you, how much is a million dollars?
God answered, "About a penny."
And the man said, well, could I borrow a penny from you?
And God answered, "I need a second to think about it."

Reid thanked the progressive media for being in the trenches, "protecting our backs" using the example of how the right wing media had attacked the Frost boy they had used as an example in the efforts to pass the SCHIP bill.

"You spoke out. You turned that from a negative to a plus," Reid said, "You did a wonderful job of responding.

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...Your criticism, I always take it as constructive criticism, hard as that is sometimes,
has helped us to stay grounded, to focus on what we're doing.

....The role of progressive radio, and of course, on-line work, has changed and increased in efficiency, breadth and I think in direction significantly. I recognize that you and I are not always going to agree on things... but I think if we are honest with each other, that's a tremendous step in the right direction.

Reid specifically singled out progressive media people in attendance who had been especially helpful-- Joan Carter with Dailykos, Christine Hardin Smith with Firedoglake, and talk show hosts Stefanie Miller, Ed Schultz and Christiane Brown (of Reno's KJFK.)

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Rob Kall is an award winning journalist, inventor, software architect, connector and visionary. His work and his writing have been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, ABC, the HuffingtonPost, Success, Discover and other media. He's given talks and workshops to Fortune 500 execs and national medical and psychological organizations, and pioneered first-of-their-kind conferences in Positive Psychology, Brain Science and Story. He hosts some of the world's smartest, most interesting and powerful people on his Bottom Up Radio Show, and founded and publishes one of the top Google- ranked progressive news and opinion sites, OpEdNews.com

more detailed bio: 

Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project. 

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