Sunday, July 03, 2005

Independent, My A- Er, Eye...

From the great Arthur Chrenkoff comes news of Independent World Television, whose self-defined mission is given here:
We need a news and current affairs network that defends the public interest and the highest standards of journalism. Independent World Television will be such a network, a non-profit broadcast service financed by viewers across the globe -- independent of corporate or government funding and commercial advertising.
Well, that sounds like a great idea...I'm all for that. Of course, Independent World Television is nothing of the sort - its name is positively Orwellian. Consider:
...The web allows millions to band together and raise capital to compete with corporate media outlets. Think of the 15 million people who demonstrated against war in Iraq on one day in 2003. Think of the internet fundraising successes of and the Howard Dean presidential campaign. Members of the Dean fundraising operation are already on board.
Uh-oh - Markos, is that you? Of course, when I think independent, I think of, Howard Dean, and Iraq war protestors, don't you?
IWTnews will hire journalists for their experience, political acumen and understanding of history.
Mmmm-hmmm...yes, their political acumen and understanding of history. I'll bet a strong familiarity with the works of Noam Chomsky would be nice, as well...

Here's the kicker, though...the Founding Committee includes the following illustrious, well-known voices of independence and moderation:
  • Jeff Cohen, founder of FAIR
  • Medea Benjamin, co-founder of Code Pink
  • Bob Fertik, president of (can't get much more independent than that!)
  • Linda Foley (!!!) - 'nuff said
  • former Weekly Jackass Janeane Garofalo
  • Lila Garrett - former campaign worker for Dennis Kucinich (it's all about the independence!)
  • Amy Goodman, famous Democracy Now! hack
  • Janine Jackson, cohost of FAIR's Counterspin
  • Mark Karlin, founder and publisher of far-left
  • Noami (gag!) Klein
  • Radical left dinosaur Lewis Lapham
  • Paul Maslin, former Dean campaign 'strategist' (snicker!)
  • Nicco Mele, former Dean campaign webmaster
  • John Nichols of far left rag The Nation
  • Chellie Pingree, president of Common Cause
  • Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch
  • Jonathan Schell, also from radical house organ The Nation
  • Stephanie Schriock, National Finance Director for the Howard Dean campaign
  • Gore Vidal, former Weekly Jackass and certified lunatic
  • Celia Wexler, Vice Presidency of Advocacy for Common Cause
  • Bill Zimmerman, political consultant and advertising producer
  • Howard Zinn, former Weekly Jackass and 'revisionist' historian
For those of you keeping score, 9% of my Weekly Jackasses to date are involved with this project. It would be hard to imagine a less 'independent' lineup than the one given above. Having long ago discredited the word 'liberal', and having made 'progressive' synonymous with Marxist, the Radical Left now uses the phrases 'democracy' and 'independence' as NewSpeak equivalents of anti-capitalist and anti-American.

Of course, there is no real cause for concern here; this sounds like an even more extreme version of NPR and Air America, and we all know how influential THOSE efforts have been...

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