Sanders on the Media

In his recent MSNBC Bernie Sanders here mentions the possibility of the Democratic Party funding an alternative to Fox News.

Here’s what I wrote in The Public and the Mass:

“The lessons from Scotland are clear. We can cease to fund media operations that do not serve our interests. We can fund new, public-oriented media with some of the money we thereby save. We can begin forming publics where they don’t exist and we can restore the public character of existing institutions by participating in them energetically and without illusions. Indeed, these lessons are so clear that millions of people who know little or nothing about the politics of the independence referendum are applying them in Bernie Sanders’ attempt to capture the Democratic party and in Jeremy Corbyn’s efforts to reform the Labour party.

The threat to the existing order in Scotland revealed biases in the communications fabric and prompted the creation of an alternative. The attempt to save the economic system that collapsed in 2007-8 has revealed similar structural biases in the Anglo-American mass media that compromise their attempts to describe and explain contemporary reality. The brute facts of the economic system, never mind the inequality and injustice they generate, cannot be treated adequately in the existing communications order and the need for a new one is becoming increasingly obvious. A fraction of the millions Bernie Sanders has raised for his campaign would be enough to put this alternative into beta.”

An actually fair and balanced description of current conditions would make highly effective propaganda for social democratic and socialist politics. Combined with proposals for practical reform and some Charlie Chaplin clips it would be pretty much unstoppable.


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