Protesters, big media left behind

first_imgAS major protests continue by illegal aliens and rebellious students over pending congressional legislation, their dated tactics imitate the 1960s and 1970s in a communications world that long ago left them behind. At one time, major liberal newspapers and network news would be the only voices heard on this issue, spinning the protests as an expression of oppressed people who deserve rights to American largesse. College campuses and political and church elites would follow suit, making average, law-abiding people feel marginalized in their belief about the wrongness of the protesters’ race-based arguments and expectation of protection from immigration laws. But the army of talk-show hosts and Internet news sites have changed the information and communication landscape to such a degree that a street rally now creates only one part of the picture. It does not command the central position it once enjoyed. Protesters cannot pretend that they represent the mainstream, and they cannot win the propaganda war a crucial component in their attempt to assert power. With these new media, Americans no longer feel intimidated by anger-based protests. Many remain firm in their opposition to giving financial privileges to illegal aliens. Although protesters amassed a half-million people in March, local talk-radio hosts boast millions of devoted listeners to their radio rallies, where they argue against the arrogant attitude that breaking the law and stealing from taxpayers are justified. And so, the hard questions the sort that Big Media would like to ignore are getting asked nonetheless. Some ask why protesters shout “Viva Mexico,” when the Mexican government oppresses its own citizens and drives them out with its corruption and Third World politics. Talk-show host Dennis Prager asks why protesters have not thanked America for what this country gives them. But their movement, based on resentment, not gratitude, sees itself like angry Palestinians who view Israel as the occupier of their land. To them, the real civilizing force is the enemy that took what belongs to them, and the corrupted regime is seen as their ally. It’s a shame protesters don’t start considering some of the tough questions for themselves. They should begin by asking why it is that America, and not Mexico, is the place where they find opportunity, prosperity and the opportunity to have a political voice. At all the various rallies and protests, we don’t see any capitalists on the podium saying that the Western democratic system not protesters charging down the street in a rage will free economic refugees. But isn’t that the message we’re supposed to be delivering in Iraq? If free markets and democracy can purportedly save the Middle East, can’t they save Mexico? Aren’t these protesters protesting the wrong government? And what about the activists, the teachers and the media outlets who have encouraged students to ditch school to blockade streets? What about school districts that are now considering a day of silence to honor their activities? Can we expect a similar reaction when students organize to block streets as a protest against the lack of prayer in schools? Or how about if students want to ditch class to bring attention to the need for vouchers to go to private schools and escape the moral ineptitude of public schools? Will the American Civil Liberties Union bring a civil-rights action against the protesters who block streets and steal the right of the citizenry to access public areas and their school, similar to the action it took against New York for blocking anti-Bush protesters last year? Will school districts accept this sort of civil disobedience, or just civil disobedience in pursuit of policies their officials support? These are questions that protesters, elites and Big Media all strenuously ignore, but that doesn’t keep them from entering the public conversation. The elites no longer control the debate. The rest of us are asking these questions and getting a voice on the Internet, on the blogs, on talk radio and other alternative media. The conversation and attitudes shaped over these issues no longer arise from Big Media, but rather from alternative news sources. That is the real news. Caroline Miranda is a freelance writer in North Hollywood. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl event160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img