Losing the Talk Show Battle

We are beginning to think we need some Democratic answer to Ann Coulter. It should be easier to demonize these Bush Republicans. We could actually have some truth behind our harsh verbal attacks.

Part of our problem is just being nice when nice does not win.

The complete failure of the 527s [independent advocacy groups] to back the many local progressive, Democratic, pro-labor or anti-corporate talk radio shows around the nation has denied us a way to get our message out to the public. We badly need Air America Radio talents like Mike Malloy, Sam Seder, Al Franken, Janeane Garofalo, Mark Riley, Robert Kennedy Jr., Randi Rhodes, Steve Earle, Marty Kaplan, Laura Flanders, Lizz Winstead, Chuck D, Rachel Madon, Betsy Rosenberg, Kyle Jackson and Mike Papantonio to match Rush, Hannity, Boortz, Liddy and other national right-wing talkers. We have other nationally-known talents like Jim Hightower, Bernie Ward, Peter Werbe, Thom Hartmann, Ed Schultz, Ray Taliferro, Peter B. Collins, Doug Stephen, Diane Rehm and many more.

However, the radio dial nationally has hundreds of LOCAL right wing Republican talk shows. We need to support LOCAL Democratic talkers even when they are not local to our home community.

Unions, 527s and Democratic donors everywhere should be seeking out these programs to fund. Instead, these Democratic entities are putting almost all their money in short TV ads during elections. The language battle is being lost between elections. Talk radio works by repeating phrases and themes over and over again. Opinions are developed over time. Last minute TV ads will not work in changing these deeply held opinions developed over time. We can compete in this arena community by community with just a very small financial commitment!

As a party, we are not making this commitment. Corporate interests (Republicans) will not buy advertising on these programs no matter how high their ratings. It is up to our grassroots and organizations to fight back, program by program.

We have the talkers who are often funding their own programs at great personal costs. Why have we left these Radio Heroes for Democracy to bear this burden alone? It is not in our own interests!

Many of these shows are located in the Red States. We have Democratic Talk Radio, on the Tennessee-Alabama border, which was off the air most of the last year before the election for lack of under $3,000. In Florida, we have many local shows like Neil Rogers in Miami, The Guy James Show and Andy Johnson's Down to Business. We have former Congressman Mike Ward on the air in Kentucky. Lynn Cullen knocks them dead in Pennsylvania. Duke Skorich and Shawn Prebil both have popular shows in Wisconsin. Mike Webb and Erin Hart both have shows in Washington state. Arnie Arnesen played a key role in Kerry winning in New Hampshire.

Our talkers are from all over the nation. Glenn Urbach is on the air in Texas. Nate Clay has a great show in Illinois. Sam Greenfield is on the air with our message in New York. KGO in San Francisco runs many different excellent programs. Including the Internet shows, the list runs into the hundreds, including Meria Heller, Outrage Radio and Radio Left, to mention just a few.

We need to support all these programs ... especially the small ones in the Red States. We cannot surrender the airwaves or the language anywhere in the nation!

Stephen Crockett and Al Lawrence
DemocraticTalkRadio.com (www.democratictalkradio.com)
Fayetteville, Tenn.

Need Media

Bob Herbert of the New York Times wrote 11/8/04 that a great many who voted for Bush were ignorant of the facts -- that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and there was no connection between Iraq and al Qaeda to account for the bombing of the World Trade Center. It was al Qaeda alone. It is obvious that these voters want to believe Bush and Cheney who keep asserting the two false associations as true. It's their reality vs. the facts.

How about a mass information program to help people develop a more aware social consciousness to know and understand the implication of these facts as well as other truths? As for al Qaeda -- though many leaders are gone the movement is worldwide and we are less safe than ever! The program could involve starter money from Soros or other millionaires, there would be TV and radio programs, discussion groups in homes, etc.

Sid Moss
Elkins Park, Pa.

Media Liars

I want to comment on the letter to the editor about "Democracy Relies on Media" [11/15/04 TPP]. I have been doing my news show on the 'net for over four years now. Nothing but the best people and minds on the planet. It is a real information show, separate of the lies that many supposed "liberal" stations present.

I have no corporate sponsorship, thus the show struggles day to day. However, many who are supposedly on the left, progressive, etc. side choose to work against my show rather than with it. Now that another election has been stolen in plain sight my credibility has shot up. I receive many emails from people saying "you were right, we just didn't want to hear it," etc.

There is NO media out there that is independent. What passes as truth is actually "truth lite," another word for LIES.

If America wants real media, they must choose to break free of the illusions out there, tune in to my show, catch up on the 1,100-plus shows in the archives, and support THEIR media by helping support the show. This is the only way we can have our own media. Doing it OURSELVES and supporting those that do, if we can't.

If you still depend on radio, television or newspapers for news, you're still in the system of lies. With politicians, "If their lips are moving THEY'RE lying." My opinion is that anything coming from our government sources is a CONSPIRACY unless proven differently.

Yes, the truth is hard to take at times, but we are each entitled to it. Now with endless war on the horizon, bankrupt USA and four more years to lock in Christo-Fascism in America, the time is more important than ever to make that break.

Keep up the great job,

Meria Heller, producer/host
"The Meria Heller Show"
www.Meria.net and
WARL 1320 AM, R.I.

Whose Gold Rules

"How About a Golden Rule Club for CEOs" by Rev. Allen Brill [11/15/04 TPP] is an excellent idea. He needs to define his terms, though. Jesus' Golden Rule is "Do unto others as you would they would do unto you." Rabbi Hillel's is "Do not do unto others what you would they would not do unto you." And the pathetic plutocrat's is "They who own the gold make the rules."

We were there in 1972. Peter Drucker's Management [New York, 1973, 1974] says, "Specifically, in the typical American business the inequality of income between the lowest-paid people and the people in charge ... is at most one to [three] if taxes [and] fringes are taken into account." (p. 370.) The Vietnam conflict was being fought with draftees. The top income tax rate was 70% and President Richard Nixon had imposed price and wage controls so that the nation had a sense of shared sacrifice and would not lose the war on poverty.

Joseph P. Kuciejczyk
St Louis, Mo.

Now We Know

About our continuing president, Molly Ivins asks [11/15/04 TPP], "How dumb does he think we are?"

"We" just provd how little "we" deserve the flattering compliment.

Fact is, Bush and/or his people know just how dumb "we" are. So I hope next issue Molly will investigate and research the cause of our embarrassing, possibly tragic, dumbness.

Greg Foote
Indianapolis, Ind.

Hands Off Social Security

President Bush's idea of privatizing Social Security is a bad idea. If people have to put this nest-egg money into private investments it is a question if they will do it. Most of them don't know how to do it. Besides that, the stock market and other institutions are unreliable. And savings accounts are too easily accessible for not touching.

Many people would by the end of their working days end up with no money left over to support their retirement living. G.W. Bush and his likes are in a different category concerning financial aspects. They are used to investing money and know how to do it very well.

But the average working-class people usually spend what they earn on monthly living expenses.

Leave Social Security alone. Treat it like a mother who knows how to take care of her children in times of need.

Social Security is fine, unless the government is constantly "borrowing" money from it. That has to stop. It is a hazard, which makes Social Security weak.

Lisa K. Zencoe
Lake Worth, Fla.

Invincible Ignorance

Some time ago, I commented in a letter to The Progressive Populist that: "... American progressive/leftist activists may prevail against ruthless multi-national corporations. They may prevail against amoral, corrupt politicians. But American progressives will never prevail against the great mass of the brainwashed, abysmally ignorant American electorate."

I rest my case.

Gus Mirsalis
Richmond Heights, Ohio

Shame on Daschle

In your 11/15/04 issue Molly Ivins has written a very confident article titled "No more years" and obviously it was written before the election. She ends her article with a question, "How dumb does he (Bush) think we are?" From hindsight it is easy now to pinpoint our mistakes but there is one thing very obvious, that Bush took advantage of our "meek" leadership. I am specifically referring to one incident that occurred sometime in late summer of 2003. It was during the Meet the Press interview when Tom Daschle was asked about his reaction if there was no WMD found in Iraq. This was after our invasion in Iraq and the beginning of the Iraqi resistance -- our soldiers were dying in increasing numbers. It was the perfect moment for Tom Daschle to announce that if there are no WMD in Iraq Bush should be charged with war crimes and treason for lying to the American People. The meek-mannered Daschle not only does not say this but tries to justify that besides the WMD there were other reasons we went to war with Iraq. (Such as what, Tom?)

Maybe such an early denouncement of the war would have started a groundswell to Bush's opposition but instead his response allowed the Republican political machine the wiggle room that they needed. I wonder why the leader of the Senate Democratic Party "held" himself. Was he afraid that his condemnation of the war would have "fractured" The Republic? Was he afraid that going against the irrational war sentiment that was prevalent in the country would go against his own popularity and hurt his reelection? SHAME ON YOU, TOM DASCHLE.

G.M. Chandu
New York, N.Y.

Keep Principles

I think if we Democrats have to waive our basic beliefs to get a president elected in our name, we might as well remain dedicated backbenchers. I'd rather be a member of a principled minority than sell my political soul to gain the White House. For what it's worth, I think the mainline media stampeded real Democrats away from Howard Dean and into the Kerry camp. I followed Dean's media exposure during the campaign, and became ever more convinced that the party had passed up its best chance to make a run at a guy like Bush, who needed a "take no prisoners" adversary. I hope Dean continues to make his presence known in Democratic party circles.

Rudy Dalpra
Safford, Ariz.

The Primary Issue

Amy Chasanov had an excellent article in the 11/15/04 Progressive Populist ["Buck doesn't have to stop here"] about the need to increase the national minimum wage. The need is so great that it is hard to understand why this is not the prime issue that the Democrats would be pushing. Any time others say "tax cut," they should respond "minimum wage." Amy said that there is little chance of this passing in this Congress. I say, "So what?" A year and a half of shouting this issue might just get some of the non-voting poor to vote Democratic in the next election.

When it is passed, the states must, of course, have the ability to have higher rates. That is already being done. They must have a rate that is adjustable to inflation, which states are already doing.

Amy listed many of the good benefits that will come from this. The one item she missed was the impact that this will have on Social Security. Workers pay Social Security taxes on their income. A boost in minimum wage will increase the amount going toward the Social Security Fund. The Republicans will be talking about Social Security. The response should be "minimum wage."

Bob Cassidy
Eugene, Ore.

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