Progressive Media - A PR War Room for Obama

Liberal think tanks and advocacy organizations formed during the Bush/Cheney regime are working in close and well-funded coordination as a PR messaging machine for the Obama Administration's foreign and domestic policies. A Washington Post blog noted that the Center for American Progress is now running Progressive Media which was begun by Tom Matzzie and David Brock in 2008 and now "represents a serious ratcheting up of efforts to present a united liberal front in the coming policy wars." Progressive Media is a joint project with CAP and Brock's Media Matters Action Network and "headed by well-known liberal operative Tara McGuinness." Matzzie recently reminisced about his work with MoveOn's "Tara McGuinness, Eli Pariser and others" organizing Americans Against Escalation in Iraq. Today MoveOn, USAction and others in that coalition are working hard to push Obama's policies, including rationalizlng or defending his escalation of the wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan as "sustainable security."


The text at the "read more" link ends at the same place, and there isn't a period after "sustainable security" suggesting there should have been more.

I used to have respect for Eli Pariser and Move On. This reads like media "prostitution?" tsk tsk. The problem is not PR, is it? The problem is schisms between "intelligence" , the Pentagon and corporate lobbies within the White House, causing contradictory "BUT"s from Obama. Policy Confusion is the result.

Advocacy groups are advocating. What's the news here? Only that they have coopted the word "media" to describe their activities. I have no problem with that, since the demise/decline of advertiser-financed news organizations is leaving a vaccuum that someone has to fill. This is not unprecedented in our history. The original "press" of the Jefferson era was virulently partisan. The ethos of an "objective" press didn't emerge until the 20th century. Perhaps what we need to do is get rid of the word "journalist," which connotes someone objectively describing what happened, and replace it with pressperson or simply "the press." Freedom of the press always did belong to whoever owned one, and now, with the Internet, that is damn near everyone.

Now is a time where an objective press and professional journalists acting through ethical guidelines is needed most. Because the Internet has opened the ability to communicate and discuss public ideas, citizens need outlets they can rely on that aim to not show bias to one group over the other. Historically the press was (and still is in many places of the world) partisan, and there certainly should be a space for that, but if we are to properly give citizens the tools they need to make informed decisions and ensure that centers of power know that they are being monitored, then an objective press plays an important role in the future of our democracy.

Isn't this a violation by these front groups of laws against domestic propaganda a la Pentagon "message multipliers" etc.? Or of IRS regulations? Just because it happens a lot doesn't make it right. Robert Jereski