The following is a selection of recent letters sent to the World Socialist Web Site.
Wonderful article! It’s good to get a socialist perspective on this conference. I thought I smelled a rat, and it was good to have my senses confirmed from reading this article.
A couple days before the conference, Robert McChesney, the founder of Free Press and long-time editor of Monthly Review, made a swing through Madison to promote his book at a radical bookstore, Rainbow Books. He spoke at Rainbow Books for about an hour before fielding questions.
In the first few minutes he spoke, he encapsulated in a few words everything he needed to say about the media, calling it a “capitalist” media. He then acknowledge all that that entailed before he went into the minutiae of the latest FCC rulings, the fight to save Internet neutrality, and the demise of a local newspaper, the Capital Times. He called John Nichols “his close friend.” I wonder if Bob McChesney’s socialist friends are so few in number that he has had to lower his standards and embrace this erstwhile Democratic apparatchik.
13 June 2008* * *
Your observation that media reform is “a movement still in the orbit of the Democratic Party” also seems true with Pacifica radio KPFK in Los Angeles. I have sent links to your article to several at the station and their “Program Comments” page.
“Democracy Now!” with Amy Goodman is perhaps the most listened-to current affairs program on KPFK. Every program highlights another specific economic or political crisis. There is no critical discussion as to why these events are happening, the underlying economic forces that connect “single-issue” problems. Political discourse is so “framed” at KPFK that listeners never hear about any alternative analysis outside the “status quo” box of electing a few “progressives” to reform the Democratic Party.
KPFK and Pacifica forever seem to exclude critical discussion of US and global capitalism as a root cause of the global crises that humanity now faces. Thus war, economic decline, starvation, environmental collapse, appear as an unending series of irresolvable “natural” catastrophes, or just a series of unrelated problems that will be fixed by replacing Bush with Obama or Nader!
14 June 2008* * *
You have a superb, valuable site. I follow it daily and find it invaluable. I fully agree with your comments about less than true-blue reformers showing up in Minneapolis. I’ve long taken issue with Amy Goodman, Moyers and others. McChesney is another matter by his dedication to real media reform and important writing.
The Nation appalls me often, and I cancelled my subscription after it supported the Afghan war at first. We agree. We’re either true blue or fake. I try to be the former in my writing and radio program. I wrote about Obama and denounced him. Article called “Nader v. Twiddle Dee or Twiddle Dum.” Much else as well.
Chicago, Illinois, USA
13 June 2008
For about a decade, I have been following your news analysis. I just reread the article on the Supreme Court’s decision to throw the election to Bush and came across this passage:
“Bush speaks for the most ruthless and avaricious sections of the ruling class—those who demand the removal of all legal, political and moral limitations on the exploitation of the working class, the realization of profit and the accumulation of personal wealth.”
WSWS gets it consistently right. Your analysis is brilliant. Or maybe just sane. Probably the latter. Thank you.
14 June 2008
A typically well-researched and -done article presented by Martin, although it ended a bit too blithely. “Even were it to succeed, the impeachment of Bush would not significantly alter the agenda that is dictated by the interests of the ruling elite.”
For it to succeed would mean a marked shift or eruption in the class struggle. The entire political line of the party for the past several years has been that no section of the political elite/establishment has been willing to take on the administration, in no small part due to their complicity or at least general support for their ultimate aims.
I think the general line—that the whole superstructure has become so sclerotic and brittle due to the vast social chasm that exists—is fundamentally correct. Any attempt to mobilize popular support to alter these policies has been repeatedly refused since the risk is great for the movement to move quickly beyond the limited changes in imperialist policy of a “legislative fix” like impeachment.
I think the WSWS is correct when it says that those who promoted the war should be held criminally responsible. It will be through one of these struggles that workers will become politicized and move well beyond what was initially sought or intended. I know I’m preaching to the choir, but it just seemed to be presented in a non-dialectical way.
15 June 2008* * *
Clinton lied; nobody died. He went through impeachment. Bush (and Cheney and Rumsfeld and Rice and Powell, etc.) lied and 4,000+ Americans and countless Iraqis died No impeachment allowed—not just by Republicans but also by Democrats. What gives? Your article answers the question. Neither party cares what the people want.
15 June 2008
Great article! It’s good to know that beneath the glitz of the strip, the class struggle is raging in Las Vegas. It’s also deeply disturbing that many poor workers have paid with their lives to build another piece of expensive property that they themselves will never utilize. Thanks for bringing this to all our attention. I look forward to reading your articles in the future.
15 June 2008
This is to express admiration for your review of The Kite Runner. I fully agree with you on all points. The Kite Runner received praise from all quarters, and such a review is of the utmost importance.
15 June 2008