You got to feel for Walter Moore. Maybe he should just call himself “Wally” and dress up and act like Rodney Dangerfield who plays an obnoxious talk show host in a 1997 movie that at least got some reviews.
Whatever your politics, you ought to support Moore at least getting looked at by the local media, having his public fund-raising events at least get a brief notice and at least have examined why his constituency is so aroused by Jamiel’s Law which would crack down on illegal immigrants in gangs.
But poor Walter gets totally ignored in the media — except for radio talk show hosts like Doug McIntyre on KABC and blogs like Mayor Sam.
Moore held a fund-raiser at Cal State Northridge on Saturday and 300 people showed up so he can get a crowd. He raised about 10 bucks a piece from them to put his campaign warchest at $107,000 so he’ll qualify for city matching funds. But he got no press coverage. Stories written about the upcoming mayoral election.state Antonio Villaraigosa as the only announced candidate and refer to the fortune he’s raising for his campaign and the possibility that billionaire developer Rick Caruso who’s vacationing in Italy is the only possible serious candidate who might challenge him.
In the eyes of the media, it’s a coronation, not an election.
This isn’t new. Across the country, the corporate media are complicit with the vast machinery of big government, big money and big politics. It’s been that way a long time, ever since half the papers in the country went out of business in the 1950s and 1960s because of their inability to compete with television.
All that was left of a once free and vibrant press was corporate ownership of mostly monopoly newspapers. Gone were the 12 papers in New York, the eight in L.A. with a variety of owners and a variety of politics, styles and points of view. Instead, what we got was journalism that reduced politics to on the one hand this and the other hand that as if there were only two ways to see any issue. The result was apathy, alienation, the loss of freedom of expression and the vital public conversations that lead to compromise and progress.
Some think it’s all an overt conspiracy but that wasn’t my experience in my 44 years in newspapers and publications of various types in many parts of the country.
What there was and is today is a conspiracy of consciousness, a shared belief of journalists that what they’re told by the vast army of political operatives and politicians — and what they tell each other — is the American political reality, that the political reality inside the world they operate in is the political reality of Americans.
That is the big lie.
The insidious nature of this false consciousness was captured brilliantly by Rolling Stone
writer Timothy Crouse in “Boys on the Bus,” his book about the press entourage and its coverage of the 1972 presidential campaign.
It’s a fact of life that White House correspondents and political
reporters have a hard time taking different tacks in writing about
campaigns because editors in the home office see what the semi-official
government news service, the Associated Press, puts out and are fearful
of deviating much from how AP frames the story.
In a famous incident that Crouse reported, President Nixon,
beleaguered by the mushrooming Watergate scandal, gave a press
conference trying to put the story to rest but no one quite knew what he
said that ws new. All eyes in the press pack focused on AP’s correspondent Walter
Mears and the cry went out across the room, “Walter, Walter, what’s the
If the reporters knew what Mears was writing, they knew they could
write off of that and avoid that call from their editors sayng, “But
It’s a small example of how we have become reduced to choosing between
alternatives like deportation or legalization of illegal immigrants,
universal health care or no health care, abortion or anti-abortion and
all the other issues without ever actually finding the common ground,
without ever moving forward.
But the times they are a changin’ thanks to the Internet. The monopoly
of information is over. Newspapers are again dying because of their
inability to adapt to change. TV news is in trouble, losing audience
share and revenue. Blogs and web news organizations are growing and
everyone has a voice, everyone can speak up and have a chance to be
And the result is that there is hope for real change, real progress and
the rebirth of democracy in America. That’s what I’m fighting for in
L.A. and I’m finding there are thousands of people across the city
ready to join the public conversation about how we make this the great
city it could become.