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Another year, another instance where progressives and liberals gathered for an annual Netroots Nation conference that earned nowhere near the coverage its conservative counterpart generally does. On “The Young turks,” Cenk Uygur reveals four simple reasons why conservative events like the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) draw more media attention than liberal and progressive equivalents.

A couple of the reasons are very practical. The conference isn’t held in Washington, DC and liberal politicians and pundits don’t make as many outrageous statements as right-wingers. However, Cenk suggests that the biggest reason for the difference is that the media hates liberals.

“I’ll give you an example. Whenever you talk about the different budget proposals in Washington, do you ever hear about the [Congressional] Progressive Caucus budget proposal? You hear about Paul Ryan’s, you hear about the Tea Party’s, you hear about the conservative study group, and you hear about the president’s,” he says. “By the way, out of all of those, none of them balance the budget. There is actually one that does balance the budget. It’s the Progressive Caucus budget. So, does that ever get talked about? Almost never. Wait a minute, how come you don’t talk about the one budget that is proposed that would actually do the job?

“They would raise taxes on the rich and cut defense spending, like a majority of American want and have said over and over in polling… If you go down the priorities of the Progressive Caucus budget, it is almost identical to the polling of the American people. Never discussed. Why? Because liberals are in the fringe; they’re not mainstream. You don’t talk about liberals.”

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Comment Preferences

  •  Why Would Media Cover the Opponents of Themselves (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raincrow, TomP, peacestpete, fumie, cybrestrike

    and their sponsors and owners?

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 08:25:06 AM PDT

  •  I would use the word discipline (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VClib

    One thing that progressives could control better, which is really within the range of capabilities that people with educations actually have, is the discipline necessary to achieving an impact.

    Conservative groups get a lot of attention because they are disciplined - and really, really well funded.  

    One might actually take a look at what is going on with think tanks and the other mechanisms that produce the effect of conservative influence in the media and on politics.

    Start by looking at what is going on with university departments like Journalism, English, Advertising and PR.  There are a whole lot of people every year who graduate with bright hopes, hoping to make a living and raise a family on it.

    The billionaires figured out a long time ago that their money could buy up whole graduating classes, attract the best and brightest and they could do the work of shaping public opinion.

    This was happening when I was in school, in the early to mid 1970s.  That is a lot of years and a lot of growth in a PR industry funded by many people like the Koch brothers.

    Why spend so much money?  A lot of these people are born again Christians who believe with a capital B that they have a God given mission to turn society around.  THey saw the
    progressive era of the 60s as America being lost.  They are desperate to save America.  

    I knew kids I had gone to school with who just seemed at the time like party loving yutzes like everyone else, except that they inherited major oil fortunes.  Now they are among those people who back the right wing in Texas.

    Progressives tend to be naive about the force of the determination in this cohort and what their resources can do.

    There is also an old saw about the liberal firing squad.  It has seemed in the past to be true.  There is a tendency for people to get more antagonistic towards fellow progressives than towards conservatives.  Interesting psychology.

    But when people are distracted by arguments they have with each other they don't focus as well on the real business at hand.  

    Here we are dealing with issues like over populating the earth, climate change, acidifying and over fishing the oceans, international finance screwing things up, an economy that is unsustainably dependant on consumption, the end of cheap oil, etc. etc. and we can't see clearly what is at stake.

    Discipline would involve thinking deeply and clearly about what is truly important and about how to engage the public so that there is broad support for an agenda that can have some chance of getting us through the 21st century.  

    hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

    by Stuart Heady on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 09:03:16 AM PDT

  •  The biggest reason is that NN isn't held in DC (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    doc2, cybrestrike, AlexDrew

    If NN wants to have a real impact on politics, and be noticed by the MSM, it needs to be in DC and not in the summer. Have regional meetings in the summer that move around within the region, but the hub for political news is in DC.

    "let's talk about that" uid 92953

    by VClib on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 09:17:10 AM PDT

    •  Obviously true. And I'd add (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VClib, AlexDrew, StevenWells

      that a top tier PR firm should be hired, if publicity is what is desired. The thing is, if NN were to get a high level of attention, it would also draw lots of counterprotesters and all sorts of Breitbart folks intent on sabotaging the conference. NN could turn into a battle zone. Is this really what people who attend NN want? Maybe, but that's not obvious.

  •  Controversy creates attention (0+ / 0-)

    Arguably, holding NN15 in Phoenix and realizing the potential for a huge pie fight over the location is the sort of thing that can draw the media and it will be up to those in attendance to leverage that attention into some coverage of real issues.

    Liberals simply need to be more confrontational and belligerent so that the media is drawn by the possibility of fireworks.

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