ABC Has Lost Its Cotton-Pickin Mind / What Do We Do? (Update: FCC Reform!)


cross-posted to jack & jill politics

"Senator Obama, a guy who you sat next to you on a plane for several hours was recently heard saying that America wears combat boots. We've brought him here tonight. Will you kill him with your bare hands, or do you not love America?"

That about sums up the so-called "debate" which was much more freak show than anything resembling a deliberative discussion. Constitutional Hall should be declared a national disaster zone.

I may write something more substantive later, but what happened on television last night was a disgrace and a great disservice to the American people and the people of Pennsylvania. I watched from a bar in Philly not far from the debate site and had a mind to walk over there and pull the plug on the entire operation. Utter and complete nonsense it was.

To add insult to injury, here's the headline from ABC News' own coverage:

Clinton, Obama Find 'Brotherly Love' at Philly Debate
Dems Last Chance to Settle Scores Before Pennsylvania Primary

Half of the debate. Half was entirely about bullshit the country has already processed and was more than ready to move beyond. I could barely contain myself, and I got even more frustrated when my fellow debate watchers weren't ready to storm the place with me. Thanks for keeping me sane JJP.

Here's something from The Onion (YouTube) we can all appreciate:


Poll: Bullshit Is Most Important Issue For 2008 Voters

So what can we do? I'm quite tired and have to get up early, but would love to hear your ideas and leads. Is it even worth calling, writing and tying up the lines at ABC? Pressing for non-renewal of their FCC license? Harassing advertisers? Increase coordinated efforts for media reform?

Of course I'm bothered by the lack of balance and hate that they slammed Obama as hard as they did, but I'm most deeply offended by the lack of substance!

I have a feeling a boycott won't work in a case like this. Folks are likely to move on. I guess I expect very little response from ABC or any MSM outlet. We have to keep doing us, building up our grassroots media and activism and accountability.

Share your ideas in the comments, and let's see what folks respond to. Also, what are other blogs and organizations doing?

Update @ 10:23 am

The NY Times debate tool is very useful in times like these. This was a 90 minute debate. Iraq came up at minute 41. Minute 7 is where they started into Obama over bittergate. That's 34 minutes of bullshit to start the debate off. Of that time, 5 minutes were spent on Hillary's credibility, the remainder on Obama.

So 29 minutes on Obama
& 5 minutes on Clinton

6-to-1 pile on measured in the most important terms to television: time.

Now as for what we can do...

Some steam-blowing-off activities:

  • George Stephanopoulos got his Weather Underground question from Sean Hannity. Here's the audio to prove it.

  • Get at ABC News via web form

  • Jam their phones with complaints. 212-456-7777 when you call, if you ask for News, then press 2 then 199 you can leave a message for "Other News"


A constructive activity. VERY IMPORTANT.

ABC is but a recent expression of a larger genetic defect in our media system. We've suffered a lower standard, in part, due to the treatment of news as a profit center and massive consolidation.

Go to FreePress and Sign The Petition at StopBigMedia.com. This will call on Congress to reverse a recent FCC decision to allow further consolidation.