This Salon article makes the ultimate case for having and supporting independent media that is devoid of the need for corporate financing. One should not falsely believe that MSNBC and other supposedly Progressive media outlets funded by corporate dollars have any latitude to report and have advocates, for real Progressive values. In fact, they always veer Right at the first opportunity. Please read.
How comes a purportedly Progressive station tends to cater to right-of-center Republicans and Centrist Democrats when they have a decidedly Liberal audience? The Salon article by Paul Rosenberg points out the following reality. MSNBC was derelict and continues to be derelict in the biggest Progressive story of the day that is impactful. Teachers are striking throughout Red country. If this spreads to other states and professions, a new labor movement could be underway, an action way overdue.
A striking example of what’s missing at MSNBC can be seen in how the network virtually ignored the wave of red-state teacher strikes. On March 2, FAIR published an article noting that except for "one two-minute throwaway report" on a daytime show, MSNBC had not dedicated a single segment to the West Virginia teachers' strike, including on the programs of supposed progressive stalwarts Chris Hayes, Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O'Donnell. Hayes did a short segment later, after the FAIR story posted, but MSNBC returned to generally ignoring the issue since then.
To say that's underselling the importance of these strikes is to put it mildly. A month later, as teachers’ strikes had spread to Kentucky, Oklahoma and Arizona, political scientist Corey Robin’ called them “the real midterms” and described them as epochal. Looking back to the watershed year of 1978, Robin noted that national voters re-elected "a Democratic House and a Democratic Senate by wide margins," despite "two years of a historically unpopular Democratic president" (i.e., Jimmy Carter) with tanking approval ratings.
The article points out how MSNBC continues to push current failed economic tenets when there are Progressives out there with alternate views and answers.
“West Virginians have witnessed a remarkable indifference among their elected leaders to the common good, and have instead seen their futures traded away for incentives aimed at fickle corporations and their investors,” Catte continued. “Democrats who have seen their fortunes fall in so-called Trump country should prioritize righting this imbalance or face squandering any political momentum these recent collective actions might offer.”
A better range of political options necessarily calls for different perspectives on economics — another way in which MSNBC falls short. Ali Velshi and Stephanie Ruhle, hosts of the daytime business show that bears their names, are well-intentioned but highly conventional economic reporters. To their credit, they enthusiastically debunk a lot of right-wing garbage. But there are plenty of dubious dogmas they simply accept, such as the supposed virtues of balanced budgets, or blaming the federal budget deficit on Social Security and Medicare. MSNBC hardly ever offers time to economists who dispute such claims, such as Dean Baker (defender of Social Security and Medicare and early predictor of the housing bubble crash) or Stephanie Kelton (proponent of Modern Monetary Theory and the universal job guarantee), for example.
In addition, when President Trump recently announced his steel and aluminum tariffs, Velshi and Ruhle pointed out some typical and obvious Trump lies and misdirections, but offered no hint that are legitimate arguments for protectionism that have a long history. In contrast, Democracy Now! featured a debate between two progressives — Lori Wallach, author of "The Rise and Fall of Fast Track Trade Authority," and Michael Hudson, author of "America’s Protectionist Takeoff 1815-1914" -- which cast both sides of the argument in a very different light.
Rosenberg referenced his past article pointing out the popular ideas most Americans want.
- Allowing the government to negotiate drug prices (supported by 79 percent)
- Offering students the same interest rates as big banks (78 percent)
- Universal pre-kindergarten (77 percent)
- Fair trade that protects workers, the environment and jobs (75 percent)
- Ending tax loopholes for corporations that ship jobs overseas (74 percent)
- Ending gerrymandering (73 percent)
- Letting homeowners pay down mortgages with 401k funds (72 percent)
- Debt-free college at public universities (71 percent)
- A $400 billion infrastructure jobs program (71 percent)
- Requiring the NSA to get warrants before collecting our data (71 percent)
- Disclosing corporate spending on politics and lobbying (71 percent)
- Medicare buy-in, available to all (71 percent)
- Closing offshore corporate tax loopholes (70 percent)
- A "Green New Deal," creating millions of clean energy jobs (70 percent)
- A Full Employment Act (70 percent)
- Expanding Social Security benefits (70 percent)
If supposedly Progressive stations like MSNBC adopted their position more than just nominally, they would not just garner a much larger TV share, they would help give these people hope that they can fight the extracting Plutocracy that is destroying their economic futures. But how can they really do that if they are beholden to them? They can't. An independent media supported by individual Americans are our only saving grace. One hopes sooner than later more of us realize that the Right and their minions invest in their sources of misinformation, even some who claim to be Progressive. That requires that Progressives invest in, and make sure Progressive Media remains viable.