I missed "Why this Decade Sucked," by Ed Edroso, back in December. Wish I hadn't. While it's over the top in spots, by and large, it's spot on,  and reminds me of Norman Solomon's words in the mid 90s, when he quite rightly warned that the Internet would empower the status quo, while projecting a mass delusion that it was challenging it.

"We should have known from blogging's early successes what was really going to become of it. Those successes were not about enlightenment — elucidating issues, or spurring debate — but about taking down public figures obnoxious to bloggers."

"I admit it — the liberal media were never that powerful, and the whole thing was often used as an excuse by conservatives for conservative failures." William Kristol, New Yorker, 5/22/95

Articles and Essays

The Price of the Liberal Media "Indeed, if an honest history of this era is ever written, one of the most puzzling mysteries may be why the American liberal community – with all its wealth and expertise in communications – sat back while conservatives turned media into a potent weapon for dominating U.S. politics."

What a 'Liberal Media' Might Look Like Let’s imagine a fictional cable network called LNN – the Liberal News Network. What might the morning news on such a channel be?

Conservative Op-Eds Voices Dominate In American Newspapers In addition to dominating talk radio, the right wing also dominates Newspaper Op-Ed columns.

The Myth of The Liberal U.S.A. Media — Conservatives Unfairly Dominate Todays Media

This article is a bit dated, but still an excellent of overview without a lot of fancy academic language.

The conservative media tilt has become a dominant reality in modern U.S. politics. This imbalance was not an accident. It resulted from a conscious, expensive and well-conceived plan by conservatives to build what amounts to a rapid-response media machine. This machine closely coordinates with Republican leaders and can strongly influence – if not dictate – what is considered news."


Where Did the Worst of Bush's Cronies Go?

They went to work for the  Corporate media

they’ve become pundits. And unlike ex-Democratic pundits, who tend to want to prove their mettle as independent analysts by attacking their ex-friends using Republican talking points — demanding to know why presidential candidates do not wear flag pins and are BFFs with Louis Farrakhan and the like — they keep up exactly the same shenanigans that landed this country in the screwed up place they left it. Admit it, it’s impressive.

Lies, Conservatives and Statistics How Brent Bozell's Media Research Center, an organization that manufactures myths about the Liberal media, works its propaganda magic on a very gullible public.  Each time you hear another tirade against "the liberal media," you will often find this well funded lie-factory in the background, somewhere.


VIDEO: Rise Of The Conservative Media – By MediaMatters for America Media Matters releases new video showing right-wing media's leading role in driving movement. Very, very powerful. You must show it to everyone you know.

Illuminating Humor

Myth of the Liberal Media — by Bartcop

It's 10 years old (yes, Barbara Olson is dead), but this is still a classic that illustrates just how absurd the "liberal media" claim really is.

What would happen if Dateline did an unflattering portrait of Bush?


What Liberal Media? — by Eric Alterman

This book will be required reading for anyone in politics or journalism, or anyone curious about their complicated nexus.

From Publishers Weekly While the idea that a liberal bias pervades the mainstream media has been around for years, it gained new currency with the 2001 publication of Bernard Goldberg's Bias and its 2002 successor, Ann Coulter's Slander. Alterman (Sound & Fury; Who Speaks for America?; etc.) now seeks to debunk the notion and goes so far as to argue that bastions of alleged liberalism like the Washington Post and ABC News "have grown increasingly cowed by false complaints of liberal bias and hence, progressively more sympathetic to the most outlandish conservative complaints."

The Republican Noise Machine — by David Brock.

Still as current as ever, this was the seminal work on Right-Wing Media and how it corrupts democracy. Aa vital read for any citizen.

Related Reading:

List of  Progressive Rants & Primers

Conservative Media Rogue's Gallery (coming soon)

Below is a list of articles written which I feel every progressive, or at least people who still believe in reason and evolution, should read.

I have chosen them for their ability to cut through the clutter of academic and philosophical verbiage, and get right to higher truth about the insane and dangerous phenomenon of American Extreme Right Wing Politics.  Hofstaeder once called them the "Radical Right." That might have been appropriate in the 1960s, but today, corporate-backed lobbying armies and influence merchants, using a Fox News fueled media hysteria and a small army of populist demagogues have transformed them into what I call the "Rabid Right," or the "Hatriots Movement."

While some are just good angry rants, most are the foundational grist that give rise to the rants, thus serving as backgrounders helping to inform people about how we got into this nearly ruinous condition, who did it to us, and why we're probably not likely to ever escape it in your lifetime without economic collapse, armed conflict, or both. I will be adding to this library routinely, eventually moving it to a formal library software I am working on, so please check back often for new additions.  I hope you enjoy them (in a manner of speaking), and pass them on.

Note: If you like this sort of compendium, you may also may want to see my "Essays Every Progressive Should Read" page.


What Is Conservatism and What Is Wrong with It?

Liberals in the United States have been losing political debates to conservatives for a quarter century. In order to start winning again, liberals must answer two simple questions: what is conservatism, and what is wrong with it? As it happens, the answers to these questions are also simple:  What is conservatism? and What is wrong with conservatism? by Philip Agre, UCLA

Related, by same author:  Coup Watch: The New Jargon *Important*


Shifting to the Right: USA 1950 to Present

If you read nothing else on this page, READ THIS.

The purpose of this writing is to demonstrate and document the rightward shift of the political spectrum that has characterized domestic politics in the United States. This examination begins in the 1950s and takes the reader to the current American political paradigm. This marginalization and demonization of left-of-center politics in American discourse has its roots in the McCarthyism of the 1950s and has survived in one form or another to its present state.

15 Mind-Blowing Facts About Wealth And Inequality In America.

The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. Cliché, sure, but it's also more true than at any time since the Gilded Age. The poor are getting poorer, wages are falling behind inflation, and social mobility is at an all-time low.  If you're in that top 1%, life is grand.

The Urban Archipelago: It's The Cities Stupid

It's time for the Democrats to face reality: They are the party of urban America. If the cities elected our president, if urban voters determined the outcome, John F. Kerry would have won by a landslide. Urban voters are the Democratic base.

The Wrecking Crew

By Thomas Franks

Casting his eyes from the Bush administration’s final months of plunder to the earliest days of the Republican revolution, Thomas Frank uncovers the deep logic behind the graft and incompetence of conservatives in power. He shows how leaders dedicated to a doctrine of government by entrepreneurship proceeded to sell off the state, channeling the profits to cronies and loyalists. He surveys the federal agencies doomed to failure by the inept and even hostile staff appointed to run them.

The Powell Memo — How the Modern Conservative Movement Got Wings

How did conservatives, once considered "Fringe" in America, come to so dominate our media and public narratives? Some feel this memo is the key to it all. You must understand it, for all the rest of what is on this page to really resonate with your inner rage.

Not everyone agrees this was the seminal work it's reputed to be, in terms of its inspiration for many right wing triumphs in the past 35 years. But I find this article unconvincing in trying to minimize what has resonated with the memo–especially in recent years.

More: The Powell Memo and the Teaching Machines of Right-Wing Extremists

A Day In The Life of Joe Conservative

Joe gets up at 6 a.m. and fills his coffeepot with water to prepare his morning coffee. The water is clean and good because some tree-hugging liberal fought for minimum water-quality standards.

The Paranoid Style in American Politics

by Richard Hofstaeder

The legendary political historian wrote this essay in 1964.  It could have been written for this week's edition of Time Magazine, with Glenn Beck on the cover.  About Hofstaeder

24 Kinds of Libertarian

A cartoon that says so much about people who know so little. I really hope the cartoonist makes a fortune from posters. It should be on everyone's wall.

Like A Virgin — by @Mr_Electrico

Blisteringly brilliant summation of just how and why the Right wing emerged from an amateurish band of Clinton haters (ignoring his sheer brilliance as a Republican president), into a pathological order of fascist zombies focused only on regaining the throne of power no matter who or what opposes them–including the very Constitution they claim to love (but barely understand).

Dear Republicans — The Rant You Wish You Wrote 

If you're a Progressive, and this doesn't capture how you feel, you probably don't have cable.

An Open Letter To American Conservatives

Since I pimped it heavily on Twitter in late March, 2010, this has begun the new gold standard in rants about the mess these gangsters in the #GOP have made. 

Fuck The South — Another Rant You Wish You Wrote.

Fuck the South. We should have let them go when they wanted to leave. But no, we had to kill half a million people so they'd stay part of our special Union. Fighting for the right to keep slaves – yeah, those are states we want to keep…

Dear Red States — Still a classic, and still a treat.

American Conservative Movement in Pictures

My good friend @stephanieWDC went to a teaparty (Washington 9/12 Teaparty, 2009) and recorded the most frightening glimpses of a nation of racist proles gone mad.

A Method to Their Madness


They may be easy and fun to mock, but doe not underestimate the power of the Rabid Right. They are a grave threat to democracy, and the future of the United States.

Two Santa Clauses —or How The Republican Party Has Conned America for Thirty Years

by Thom Hartmann

A mistake or two does not deflect from this spot-on analysis of the cynical con-job done on America using tactics refined by the same Conservative Rabid Right/Republican machine elsewhere illustrated on this page.

The Idiots Who Rule America

by Chris Hedges

As a culture, we may have yielded too much of our nation to the middle managers who were needed as foot soldiers by the corporatists who have turned us into wage slaves. We have no good ideas, because we have no more people with the courage–or motive–to have them.

Proud to Be a Liberal

by Brian Elroy McKinley

Excellent overview of some of the most misunderstood (and misrepresented) aspects of Liberalism, and why it's always been seen as the very core of American values (according to almost any non-partisan historian or political scientist).

Goodbye Cruel World

By Jane Smiley

The world would be a better place if the American right wing had never existed

Liberalism Resurgent

By Steven Kangas

The famous essays by this web pioneering liberal, who,in 1999, mysteriously–and almost inconceivably–managed to commit suicide in the washroom, down the hall from the office of ultra right wing billionaire, Richard Mellon Scaife, a frequent target of his political views.

The Republican Noise Machine

by David Brock.

Still as current as ever, this was the seminal work on Right-Wing Media and How It Corrupts Democracy. It's a vital read for any progressive.

Best Letter-To-Editor, Ever!

Daniel Rosen 

One of my very first posts to this blog (still not quite ready for prime time), and it’s a gem,  to my limited  mind.  In response to the stealthy and disingenuous screed by Stephen Hayward (AEI) on Sunday, this letter was sent to the Washington Post.  Short and sweet, it takes just 100 word to eviscerate conservatism better than 10,000 word essays by some pretty bright progressives ever seem to do. I may print wallet cards with it.


Related Reading: