Brief Update and Two Recommended Posts

Shortly (I hope) I’ll be announcing a new education blog related to my nonprofit.  In the meantime I’d like to recommend two exceptionally insightful posts…

The first is from Tom Tomorrow, and it captures the correct response to the media’s problems with credibility and cash flow perfectly:

But this is the point, and I am entirely certain Glenn Greenwald would agree: criticizing someone for doing an important job badly does not mean you wish that no one was doing the job at all.

We criticize journalists because we want them to do a better job, not because we want to see their profession eliminated entirely.

That’s what right-wingers want. That’s how right-wingers want to live, in an information-free zone in which facts are supplanted entirely by opinion, in which there’s no need to hear from a reporter on the ground in Fallujah as long as Rush Limbaugh has an opinion on the topic. But it’s not how I want to live.

Its not how I want to live either.  I want the media to figure a way out of its financial woes and take a good long look in the mirror.  Journalism is necessary for a free society, and without it so called “new media” simply would not exist.  We need some kind of solution that recognizes this.

The second post is a bit of a read for anyone else with a little tendency towards an attention deficit, but its absolutely brilliant and insightful and if you care about politics I strongly urge you to read it deeply.  Amanda Marcotte has outdone herself (emphasis mine):

Truth is, if you’re a lover of liberty, the corporate grip on our lives is much more restraining and humiliating than the government grip.  The number one reason people self-censor and carefully hide who they are and what they believe is not fear of government censure, but the fear that you’ll never be able to get paid employment.  Obeying a speed limit is less demoralizing than peeing in a cup for a job.  The grind of the cubicle life saps the spirit more than arguing with the guy from the Metro offices ever could.  But conservatives happily submit to the much more oppressive corporate authority because it’s legitimate, male authority.  Federal authority is seen as feminine and illegitimate, especially if Democrats are in charge.

So when I say that I think feminism and anti-racism is central to really getting it, I’m not just trying to puff up my boutique issue.  Our opposition is organized in very fundamental ways around hating women and racial minorities.  Really getting this is going to be incredibly important when it comes to the battle for universal health care.  Yes, mindless bitching about bureaucracy is going to be a big part of the right wing argument against it, but that’s nonsensical because, if anything, the government has an opportunity to make the bureaucracy of getting health care less painful.  But if you see what’s behind it—a sense that universal health care is “nanny state” emasculation, a genuine anger that black people might get the same level of health care on average as white people now, frustration that universal health care will make it easier for women to access the means to control their reproduction, access for gay people and others considered sexual deviants, fears that immigrants will be able to get health care—you won’t be blindsided when that stuff comes up.  And it will.  Think about how John Boehner tried to use the fear that women might take the birth control pill to tank the economic stimulus package.

This is an essential insight to have, and one I’d argue ought to be taken advantage of when framing the coming debates.

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