Sunday, August 20, 2006

Ann Coulter Conquers, Air America Sleeps

Huffington Post
Brent Budowsky
Ann Coulter Conquers, Air America Sleeps

Lets give a standing ovation to Ann Coulter for tactical brilliance in achieving a total domination of the modern media, giving her a platform to make many millions of dollars, and successfully supporting the demonization of Democrats and liberals for being the party that supports treason and opposes God.

Meanwhile, would somebody explain to me, why Air America may be the only company
in the history of the entertainment business that adamantly refuses to put out even rudimentary press releases?

The triumph of Ann Coulter speaks volumes about why Washington is today the functional equivalent of a one party state, and why the right perpetually dominates the media message machinery. The lethargy (at best) of the Air America management speaks volumes about why the progressive and moderate viewpoint, which represents far more people than the Bush and Cheney viewpoint, and infinitely more than the Ann Coulter viewpoint, perpetually lags behind and is trapped playing minor league baseball against a world series opponent.

Lets follow the Coulter trial, her m.o. and her patented formula for success:

First she makes an accusation and launches an attack and stops at nothing: even pond scum such as attacking 9-11 widows.

Then she saturates the entire hard core base of the conservative and Republican machine. She launches on talk radio, Sean and Rush and the crowd will either offer crocodile tears, saying they don't completely agree with her, or they simply agree with her. They inject the venom into our body politic. The very idea of a pro and con about whether liberals are traitors or against God is the essential tactic of Joe McCarthy. The very pro and con is the power of the thing: it is impossible to win that debate.

Then, she moves to conservative cable, with Fox giving her the equivalent of a Papal audience, and Fox Lite, otherwise known as MSNBC and CNBC, giving her the megaphone.

Meanwhile, conservative financed publishing, conservative financed newsletters, and the conservative financed magazines give her a publicity blast. CNBC does a one hour solo that I saw repeated at least four times in two days. She is everywhere, saturating and dominating the media, which stimulates books sales, which reach best seller lists, which gets her more appearances everywhere.

Then, finally, the networks. It does not matter if Matt Lauer takes her on; the poison and the venom and the damage is in the repetition of the charge, 24/7, everywhere. When Middle America hears this so repeatedly, they might conclude liberals are evil and Godless traitors, or they might conclude that liberals are not so bad, just merely out of the mainstream, but whatever they conclude, the pro and con debates of this leaves them worse than before the debate began.

Trust me: mark November on your calendar, for the next fearmongering scare that will be broadcast and rebroadcast, written and then re-written, though the same conservative media machine, then the same conservative cable channels, then the Fox-Lite cable, then the networks will have an election eve debate about whether liberals are dangerous to American security.

Perhaps by then, Air America will put out a press release. Perhaps not. I am not referring to the talent on Air America. They have some wonderful people on the air. I am referring to the management of Air America, which does such little outreach, publicity and straight marketing and advertising that they keep the Air America talent more secret than Bush keeps the NSA intercepts!

Here is the strange part. I am not the smartest guy I ever met, but: the American people are fed up with fear and smear media and fear and smear politics, which is why Democrats might win the election in spite of themselves.

Second, the number of people who oppose the status quo is huge, far more than the number of people who support it. And third, the hard core base of progressivism and of the Democratic Party is larger than the hard core base of conservatism and Republicanism.

So: why do we have this giant, huge, powerful media megaphone and money machine on the Right that injects fear, demonization and even the most pond scum attacks into the heart of the entire media? Yet there is virtually zero media megaphone on the other side, even though we represent far more people, with a far larger audience base, which is just as committed as anyone on the right?

Candidly: If I were an investor in Air America I would be staging a hunger strike in front of their office. If I were the management of Air America, I would be reaching out like mad to the progressive equivalent of right wing radio, the blogs, and merging their potential power and reach together and creating an election year war room on the radio.

But Air America is not the problem, only the symptom of the problem, and the real problem is that large right wing money is far smarter than large progressive money, and, frankly, far more committed to their cause. That is the problem: conservatives have superior millionaires to progressives, in ways that matter to win elections and govern the country.

The entire Armada and media machine of the Right, which is more than thirty years old, could have long ago been matched and then surpassed by progressives and moderates who represent far more people. At a minimum when Bill Clinton controlled the White House and the Democrats controlled one or both houses of Congress, there should have been a very systematic and well funded megaphone and media to speak to the under-represented majority who remain under-represented today.

But it didn't happen; not in 1992, not in 1996. It did not happen with the rush to war in 2002, which most Washington Democrats supported. It did not happen in 2004, even when our war hero nominee was slandered by the smear. It did not happen in 2006, when the major money people of the Democratic Party and the progressive movement allow many of the best voices for people and ideas to struggle to survive even though they speak for the overwhelming majority of real people who support Democrats.

Any one big Hollywood star could change the world by putting money where it matters, to create the alternative to the right wing media and megaphone machine. Any one of the 100 largest Democratic contributors could change the course of American history by financing, empowering and giving voice to those who speak for and mobilize the majority that is largely unheard, while the pond scum attacks reach the best seller list and dominate the major media.

The hard truth is: their money people give generously and brilliantly measured in billions of dollars to a massive machinery of ideas and communication and message. Ours do not. Ours put virtually no money, where it matters the most. Even when they would make profit by so doing, they still don't. It is Kafkaesque.

I am actually getting optimistic, because the winds of change are blowing and money is starting to move. But those of us who believe our national security is not merely a matter of of exploding bombs but must lead with a battle of ideas, must understand that the first battle of ideas begins at home. We will not win elections by liberals telling liberals how much they detest Ann Coulter, though I am glad to jon in.

We will win elections, lead the nation, and make America the best it can be when we build and finance the megaphone that will end the one party state once and for all, by ending the one party media that makes it possible.