Kathy Welch, a Democracy for Virginia leader from Blacksburg (and host of the Blacksburg DFA Meetup) published a great op ed piece in today's Roanoke Times on the "so-called liberal media", here in Virginia and nationally. An excerpt:
Until May 13, the news pages of The Roanoke Times failed to report what's circulated the globe for weeks: notes from a July 2002 meeting among high-ranking British officials, revealing that the Bush administration knowingly cooked the intelligence on WMDs and more.
But lying about sex, now that's worth front-page coverage, years of media time and more than $50 million.
Even conservative William Kristol has admitted there's no such thing as a "liberal media" (according to Joe Conason in his book, "Big Lies").
But bullies shout that well-worn myth to manipulate, stifle and discount balanced reporting. They try to silence Tommy Denton and staff, whose op-ed section is the only place in The Times where moderate and progressive views appear. These same bullies also try to intimidate letter writers.
So, you've got to hand it to Denton and staff, small-town heroes, trying to create some degree of balance and open discussion in a hostile environment.
Some question whether those of us who care about media issues are wasting our time. What choice do we have? It's our duty to care what happens to our country and our communities. And an honest, open and reflective press is everyone's concern.
Kathy has been leading grassroots "rapid response" efforts for Democrats in Montgomery County and beyond, encouraging more ordinary Virginians to become active questioners and responders to media reporting, not just passive consumers. Kudos to Kathy for getting published today!
And on a side note, my good friend Teri Mills, a leader with Democracy for Oregon, yesterday captured the "holy grail" for op ed writers - a spot on the New York Times Op Ed page - with a great piece proposing her idea for a National Nurse. I fondly remember reading Teri's thoughts on the National Nurse idea in the comments section of Blog for America during the early, heady days of the Dean campaign in 2003. With other BFA regulars, I vicariously shared in her delight when she first got very positive feedback from Gov. Dean about the concept. Since then, she's branched out from her career as a nurse educator to become a weekly contributor to BFA on health care policy. It's amazing to see her graduate to the "big time" at the NYT!
Kathy and Teri remind us all that we don't have to be entirely passive consumers of the news and that ordinary citizens can make an impact. Thanks for the inspiration!