We all suspected it right? That the mainstream media is rigged, some outlets more subtle about it than others at first they seemed all the same to me. Then MSNBC became known for its progressive leanings which I likened to artisan whole wheat toast with homemade organic jam, as opposed to the white bread and grape Denny’s jelly of CNN’s bland news fare.
One afternoon in the Spring of 2011 while channel surfing, I tuned in to MSNBC and was pleasantly surprised (and frankly a little shocked) to see Young Turks host Cenk Uygur taking it to ’em right there on my TV set. I wondered how his style would translate to TV. I loved his heated and unfettered discussions. I cheered as he challenged the party talking points of his guests.
All my conspiracy theories about mass media were challenged as I conceded– they let Cenk on MSNBC maybe things really are changing toward more government transparency and honest to goodness debate. I scheduled my day to be able to be available to watch in the afternoon, something I’d never done before, and then, one day about a week ago I tuned in and he was gone. Al Sharpton was on in the time slot instead. My heart sank a bit in disappointment thinking maybe Cenk was on vacation.
And then I saw this:
Don’t get me wrong I have been to rallies with Rev. Sharpton and I appreciate his work. I just don’t enjoy watching him as host as much as Cenk. He does not seem to be as well prepared often stumbling on his topics. I don’t see Sharpton giving guests as strong of a challenge nor a new and innovative perspective. His is the same ball-playing show that other shows offer. It’s not worth scheduling my day for, but I usually check out some highlights online later. Like an interview with Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) that I’ll discuss on another blog.
If we the people can’t have the access to ask the tough questions through our media representatives like The Young Turks then it is fair to ask the question is Freedom of Speech and more specifically Freedom of the Press an illusion? What we have is some kind of strange opiate of the masses goop that makes us feel like we have the power of speech but it’s not if the leaders we are trying to speak to aren’t listening.
I felt when Cenk was given access to “the big boys” that some progress was actually being made. That he was asking the raw-meat questions that I wanted answered. That he was as tenacious as I would want to be; not allowing guest to slip out with shallow party talking points. He was actually an accurate, well-informed, intelligent mouthpiece to the establishment conveying a point of view that was easy to relate to.
I will continue to support The Young Turks on You Tube. I think there needs to be a strong message from consumers of news and media to Washington DC if you won’t speak transparently to “our guys” we don’t need to have anything to do with you. We need honesty, not denial of access.