So, how many of you were aware that this weekend, in Washington DC, the Power Shift 2011 conference has brought 10,000 (ten thousand) youth climate activists to help “‘shift the power’ and lead the clean power revolution?” Wait, you hadn’t heard about this important conference, even though it’s on an issue that affects the entire planet, and which is crucial to the future of our economy, our national security, and our future as a species? Well, if it makes you feel any better, neither have most Americans, thanks to our friends in the corporate media.
So, I just did a few Google News searches on this conference. One search was for “Power Shift 2011,” which returned 62 results, most of which are blogs or environmental news services of various kinds. Other than that, there’s a bit of coverage – in Politico and The Hill’s blog – about President Obama’s meeting with “young climate change activists.” Other than that, nada. I also did a broader Google News search, using words like “climate change” and “activists” and “washington,” and didn’t fare much better. Basically, the media is almost completely ignoring this important conference, even though it’s being attended by 10,000 people from across the country, even though President Obama just met with several of its leaders, and even though it’s an issue that’s absolutely crucial to all of our futures.
So, I was thinking, how much corporate media coverage would there have been if 10,000 Tea Party activists – or, heck, 1,000 or even 100 Tea Party activists – were convening in DC right now, spewing nonsense and conspiracy theory ravings? Right, we all know it would be massive, wall-to-wall, 24/7, on TV, radio, and in print media. What if President Obama had actually met with the Tea Partiers’ leadership, as he just did with the climate change youth activists? That almost certainly would have occasioned breathless, live, constant coverage by Faux, MSNBC, CNN, etc., not to mention domination of Sunday talk shows and editorial pages and front pages. But take away the far-right-wing lunacy, the funny costumes, and the lack of any substance, and what does the corporate media do? Ignore it, of course.
What’s the lesson here? A few things. First, the corporate media is utterly worthless, corrupt, and pathetic. Second, there’s the concept that there’s a “liberal media” is beyond laughable, when they almost completely ignore/black out a crucially important issue that also happens to be anathema to right-wing, anti-science, pro-polluter ideologues. Finally, it appears that the key to corporate media coverage involves some combination of: a) wearing funny costumes; b) acting like extremist know-nothing buffoons; and c) screaming that the media is biased against them.
It’s utterly infuriating, and the corporate media needs to hear about it. I strongly encourage everyone to write to Washington Post Ombudsman, for instance, and complain loudly about that paper’s disgraceful lack of coverage of a major event on a crucial issue in its own backyard. Also, here are instructions for sending the Post a letter to the editor. I’d strongly recommend you let them know how you feel about their blatantly anti-environmental, anti-progressive, pro-right-wing, pro-corporate biases.
P.S. It’s times like this I’m glad I have a blog to vent my frustration. This is infuriating.
P.P.S. Last night on ABC’s national news broadcast, the first 10 minutes of the show were on tornadoes and other extreme weather occurring in the United States right now. In all of that, there was not ONE SINGLE WORD about climate change, or about the Power Shift 2011 conference taking place this very weekend in Washington, DC. What’s THAT all about exactly? Oh yeah, that “liberal media bias” again. Hahahahahahaha.