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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 3/18/10

Part Two: Documentary Filmmaker Sue Wilson's Got the "Broadcast Blues"

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The big surprise is that people in liberal areas of the country like Broadcast Blues, but people in conservative areas of the country LOVE the film. In Hot Springs Arkansas, the audience literally leapt from their chairs and cheered, thanking me for making this movie!

I think it is because red state progressives know their voices are entirely shut out of the national debate, and that the entire culture has shifted rightward due to group think. Consider, these are areas where all they can hear is Rush and Glenn and Sean and Laura, and nothing else, so millions learn their talking points and shout down anybody who opposes them. The entire discourse has been skewed, and people are tired of it.

And people are also surprised to learn that even our public safety has been damaged by media consolidation. The story in the film about how no one could reach any radio stations with emergency information after an ammonia spill in Minot, North Dakota is chilling. And people in the midwest used to get tornado warnings on the radio; those days are gone.

But we can bring them back! People are encouraged when they learn that poor media policy is the culprit here, and that we the people can change policy, provided we stand united and pressure Congress to act. So many people tell me they are inspired and energized after they've seen the film.

The great challenge is getting people to see it! Public Interest Pictures has made several films, all of which were televised, including Hacking Democracy, which went on HBO. But, not surprisingly, TV networks are saying no to Broadcast Blues (this truly is the movie the media does not want you to see!)

So how do we get the message out? What this film needs is a big grassroots effort in 2010; it is a great tool to give progressives something to get excited and rally around! I'm happy to say I am working with California Common Cause and the LA Media Reform group and Occidental College's Urban & Environmental Policy Institute for a special screening in Los Angeles March 25th at Occidental. Longtime news anchor Bree Walker will introduce the film.

The screening is to promote the "Preserving Democracy Media Reform Summit" at Occidental March 27. (Occidental College, for those who have forgotten, was President Obama's school during his Freshman and Sophomore years.) Sarasota Alliance for Fair Elections, the group which has taken election reform issues all the way to the Florida Supreme Court, has also been working hard to promote Broadcast Blues. They see a direct correlation between election problems, the lack of paper ballots, and the lack of reporting on the topic. But we need to be working with a half dozen groups in every state to really get this to roll. (Anyone who would like to help, please contact me. We can take the media back, and create fundraisers for groups at the same time.)

Now that I think about it, the warm reception Broadcast Blues has had in conservative areas is not so surprising. We can't underestimate how this film has empowered folks who have felt totally ignored and unrepresented. And, that's great about the showing at Occidental College in a few weeks. I say that as a proud Oxy alum (before you ask, I was there first). Anything you'd like to add, Sue, before we wrap up this interview?

Just this: Let's do it! Let's really take the media back! We can match the energy of the Tea Parties if we all join together and make it happen. So let's go!

Thanks so much for chatting with me, Sue. Broadcast Blues is a blockbuster of a film that I highly recommend. People should go see it precisely because the corporate media don't want them to. Good luck with it.


Part one of my interview with Sue

Public Interest Pictures Broadcast Blues website

Sue Wilson Reports: news and commentary about the media itself.

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Joan Brunwasser is a co-founder of Citizens for Election Reform (CER) which since 2005 existed for the sole purpose of raising the public awareness of the critical need for election reform. Our goal: to restore fair, accurate, transparent, secure elections where votes are cast in private and counted in public. Because the problems with electronic (computerized) voting systems include a lack of (more...)

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