Thursday, June 16, 2005

History before our ears and eyes

Thank you for the excessively kind words regarding my review of Coldplay's X & Y. I'm glad you were able to dig it. I've spent the evening with friends over (including Dak-Ho, Maggie, Sumner and Toni).

I really thought I'd write my White Stripes review tonight. What stopped me was the fact that I heard history today. Maybe you did too. If you were listening to Pacifica's coverage of the John Conyers' hearings.

It's been a zoo here tonight with everyone coming over to talk about that. There's one person here (out of thirty-two) who watched it on C-Span. The rest of us all relied on Pacifica and I'm guessing that a lot of people did that because I got knocked off about fifteen minutes into it. C.I. had told me if that happened to hit one of the Pacifica sites proper or one of the affiliate stations. So I went to the Fresno affiliate and listened there.

It's weird because I wasn't even bothered to be knocked off. I was kind of excited and proud for
Pacifica that so many were listening in that there wasn't enough bandwith for all of us.

This is the sort of thing, Ruth will tell you, that you once could hear on NPR. You can't anymore.

While I'm not screaming "Death to NPR!" I do wonder why in all the handwringing so little attention has been given to Pacifica? Do most people not know that it exists? It is public radio.
And it's not public radio that's brought to you by "our corporate sponsors . . ."

The only people I know that listen to Pacifica are Sumner and C.I. If I hear something on Free Speech Radio News or FlashPoints, I can always mention it to them and they'll know what I'm talking about.

So I'm really excited that the word got out on Pacifica broadcasting the hearing live. I can't imagine anything more dull than sitting in front of the TV. I'm too nervous and mobile to sit and watch TV. But I could listen to the hearing and walk around the place doing what I needed to do (the usual daily nonsense like dusting, et al) and take part in hearing history live.

I hope that some of the people who made a point to check out Pacifica today will remember that it gave them live coverage and think to check it out again.

There is a clampdown going on and I think it's really important that we support the independent media that's refused to take part in the clampdown. That means radio, blogs, alternatives, web sites. Everyone's learned of it from some place. For me, it was at The Third Estate Sunday Review. The mainstream failed us. So make a point to give props to the sources who provided you with the information you needed.

I'm worried, everyone here is, that when the papers get tossed tomorrow morning, we'll find either nothing on the hearing or we'll get snide and snarky from the likes of little junior Tom Zeller in the New York Timid.

But I think a difference was made today and that's another reason I was excited when I got knocked off the Pacifica stream. That so many people were listening, making a point in their day to hear some truth that they couldn't get in a lot of other places speaks highly of the number of people who are paying attention to this issue.

I know that here, we've talked about nothing else all night. It is making a difference and, not to get too heavy on everyone, we are making a difference. Sumner listened at work and had people coming over to his desk to listen in. Many of them would say, "Downing Street Memo?" They had no idea because the mainstream would rather tell you about Michael Jackson or something else that, to be C.I. about it, isn't going to protect you or put food on your table. Bit by bit, a shift happens. And to hear Sumner and others talk about how they had their radios on and were able to get people around them interested in it demonstrates that the mainstream media, fat and lazy, is not the be-all, end-all it once was.

If you were able to listen to the hearing or watch it, you were a part of a history. Note that. History before our ears and eyes. And without prodding from the mainstream media that had to be dragged kicking and screaming to even give slight coverage to the issue.