January 7, 2011
Ralph Nader, the author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us, responds to the New York Times’ article “The Repeal Amendment” in his letter on “How the Left is Left Out”:
“The Repeal Amendment” (editorial, Dec. 27) asserts that many Americans who are economically struggling “have no progressive champion,” and that the left has “ceded the field to the Tea Party and, in doing so, allowed it to make history.”
Hello! There are plenty of distinguished progressive champions lobbying, rallying, exposing, suing and organizing at the national, state and local level. Yet they have been mostly left out of the mass media, on television and radio and in the news, feature, style, opinion and book review pages of major newspapers, including The Times.
Meanwhile, the Tea Partiers have seen their modest initiatives hugely magnified and therefore expanded by major media. This has mainstreamed the radical right, including Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Ann Coulter and Pamela Geller, as well as the most extreme neoconservatives who still receive media attention despite their deceptive, disastrous Iraq war-mongering.
Check your own pages and you will see the evidence. Or better yet, have your public editor look into why flagrant, often bigoted right-wingers are given so much time and space compared with fact-based progressive leaders committed to the “equality and welfare” that your editorial espouses.
After all, mass media coverage matters greatly for social and political movements.