Letters and Politics, for September 12, 2011 - 10:00am
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We thank you, Norma.
“Letters and Politics” will never analyse anything from a socialist perspective because that’s not what this show, nor Mitch Jeserich are about. The notion of progressive ideas or forward-thinking politics must be anathema to Mitch Jeserich.
MJ is about loving the Democratic Party. MJ is completely unable to synthesise an original idea unless it involves apologising for the Democratic Party. All one ever hears, by and large, on LAP are incessant minutiae of what the Republicans and Democrats are up to. Yes, we must be informed about Washington D.C., but why not assess the day’s news from a socialist, radical, or even progressive perspective?
There’s an arrogant air of superiority afforded the corporate-driven Congress on LAP, which never questions why alternatives to the twin-corporate parties are excluded. At the same time, third-parties are excluded as much as possible from LAP’s framing of the political issues of the day.
Given enough pressure from its audience, during election cycles, maybe MJ will air a socialist or independent or third-party voice here or there. But such voices are never consulted to analyse the issues of the day on a regular basis. Such voices are not part of MJ’s world-view and, consequently, will less likely be within the consciousness of LAP listeners. I’d bet if we tallied up all the voices one hears on LAP, 90% to 95% would be corporate party (Dem/Repub) voices or analysts.
This is why MJ always consults with liberal rags like The Nation, Huffington Post (now owned by AOL), and other centrist analysts whom will never deviate from a pro-Democrat line.
By 1999, when Democrat Clinton sent Janet Reno to Berkeley because cops were being too convivial with locked-out KPFA staffers and listeners protesting and camping out in front of KPFA, Democrats learned they couldn’t simply take radical KPFA by force after having cut most of its radical voices from the air. Democrats learned such brutish moves were too obvious and listeners would react.
Today, it seems Democrats have a more effective strategy: inject Democrat pundits under leftist cover and maybe listeners will never notice, as radical politics, socialist and activist voices are gradually marginalised and disappeared from KPFA’s airwaves. The trick is to appear sympathetic to activists and radicals, so LAP will air certain activists if they are funded by MoveOn.org or Democrats with ultimately pro-Democrat objectives.
As we approach 2012, when KPFA’s most political shows should have been helping educate its listeners to the fatal problems with the Democratic Party, just like the Republican Party, and featuring voices not often heard in the mainstream media (even most of public media), such as socialist or third-party voices, instead LAP insists on always straining to frame the Democrats as the only hope against the Republicans. This is a false narrative. People fell for this in the past. And if MJ and his partisan allies at KPFA have their way (Brian Edwards-Tiekert, Aileen Alfandary, Kris Welch, C.S. Soong, Sasha Lilley, et al.), people will fall for it every time.
Yes, building up grass-roots, radical alternatives will take time and commitment, as Norma Harrison reminds us. But LAP, with its mainstream, pro-Democrat world-view, is counter-productive to such goals.
We KPFA listeners remember, for example, economist Richard Wolff’s recent analysis of the political theatre we saw between Democrats and Republicans over the so-called debt ceiling crisis. (See http://www.democracynow.org/2011/7/28/richard_wolff_debt_showdown_is_pol... ) And we also remember RW remind us how Obama is always trying to please Republicans rather than his own constituency, as Republicans constantly try to cut him down during the analysis of Obama’s Jobs Act Speech last Thursday, 9/8/11 (http://www.kpfa.org/archive/id/73171 ). It was good to hear RW maintain his more progressive integrity against MJ’s mainstream talking points. At one point RW begins (circa 1:04:41), “Well, again, let me quarrel slightly with you…” as RW determined to re-orientate the discussion to a more realistic world-view. After RW made a good point, as usual, MJ simply changed the subject with nothing sympathetic or even thoughtful to add. This is habitual to MJ, to try and reign in radical analysis and when hard points are touched upon MJ steers discussion away. I commend RW and Sylvia Allegretto for holding firm to principled perspective, despite MJ trying to soften discussion.
The political world-view of MJ and LAP reflects either sociopolitical paralysis or being on the corporate payroll.
Obama is not for the people and neither are the Democrats. If this is not obvious to KPFA listeners, either KPFA’s failing its listeners or KPFA needs more debate on- and off-air.
Nevertheless, MJ and LAP function to keep everyone’s consciousness fixated solely upon the twin-corporate political parties, whilst appearing to be leftist. This is a bloody shame, indeed. KPFA can do better for analysis of U.S. politics and Washington, D.C.
Get a socialist analyst . These go-along analyses are zombie methods - all the dead stuff that doesn't work - do it again. Yes, working to build socialism will take more than a day or two . But same ol' as policy - is that what the station - we're about? [no]
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