While the visible protests from productive Americans are increasing (and should really explode on April 15th http://taxdayteaparty.com/) I think we've overlooked one critical element. Even though hundreds, and thousands will take to the streets, most local media have a near-total blackout on any significant coverage. Like it or not, local television and newspapers still have a tremendous reach within our communities, and to a great extent, if they decide not to cover a story/issue/movement, well, then, it just doesn't exist. I'll give you a personal example:
I joined a protest of 500+ citizens in front of Dennis Moore's (D-KS) office in Overland Park on a cold and windy Saturday February 27th. This was a hastily organized event, and to my knowledge there has never been a public protest even approaching this size on any issue in this highly affluent, well educated county in its entire history, outside of public hearings on zoning or school board issues. Total media coverage of this event consisted of a less than 30 second clip on one of the four local stations that evening, and a 2 inch column on page 2 of the local section the next day in the Kansas City (Red) Star, and a quarter of that was a picture of Dennis Moore! The following Saturday I joined 200+ who showed up in a snowstorm to march on Claire McCaskill's office. Although there were 3 stations with crews there, I don't think they gave it any play. The Red Star actually gave it 6 inches on Page 1 of the Local section, with a picture from the event. Finally, last Saturday a group of 120+ commandeered a very busy intersection in Olathe KS - http://kansasmeadowlark.com/2009/03/07/tea-party-in-olathe-today/#more-1933 but again, not a peep from the Red Star. I actually went to high school with the editorial page editor and one of the political reporters, and am writing them to urge them to responsibly cover this unprecedented grassroots movement. I urge all of you to demand (loudly) the same from your local media. We're not ACORN/MoveOn types, but self-reliant individuals, so it's up to each of us to take it to the media - nobody else will do it for us. It's time to stand up and be counted.
Delegate Mike Watson, A great Legislator
3 years ago