11/24/2004

Getting It

Instapundit pointed out Sunday's Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer, primarily for the remark by Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) that "The media certainly is not in our hands any longer". That's a fairly interesting observation, by nature of what it seems to imply: We used to control the media, and now we do not.

To her credit, Sanchez didn't accuse the media of laying down for the Republicans. That didn't stop Blitzer from serving her up a softball question with which to make the point.

BLITZER: What do you think? Loretta Sanchez, what do you think?

SANCHEZ: I agree with Jesse. I agree with my colleague. I believe that we made mistakes. The media certainly is not in our hands any longer, and, in particular, radio talk shows where that is completely in the opposition's hands, and they use it effectively against us.

BLITZER: But, Loretta, when you say the media -- when you say the media is not in your hands, are you saying that ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN are hostile to Democrats?

SANCHEZ: No, that's not what I said. I'm saying that -- if you would let me finish -- that the majority of people are now receiving a lot of their information out of radio. And the radio isn't in the hands of the Democrats anymore.

Many years ago, the Republicans made a very effective play. They sat down. They made a strategy. They decided they were going to put big thinktanks around, that they were going to fund them. They decided that they would buy radio, that they would use that to talk to people. And people drive in their cars, they're listening to the radio all the time. They're getting a lot of information that way.
Sanchez was included in a segment that featured Democrats talking about the future of the party. Also involved in the discussion were Al Franken and Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL). Franken (whose doing Stuart Smalley schtick on his radio program these days), was more than happy to lay blame for Kerry's defeat on the doorstep of the Fourth Estate:
BLITZER: But why have -- the Democrats, as you recognized, had a great opportunity this time because of those issues that you're just raising right now. Yet, despite that, Bush got 51 percent of the vote.

FRANKEN: Well, I think that a large part of it is that the media hasn't done its job.
From where I stand, it is not the "media's job" to articulate the message of either political party - that's the job of the parties themselves. Yes, yes, I hear the words "Fox News" forming on your lips; I'll give you Fox News if you give me The New York Times, The L.A. Times, CBS News, and NPR.

I thought the wisest observations in the segment came from Congressman Jackson.
Democrats need to focus on two areas: message and organization. We must take the time to create and articulate guiding principles that withstand the test of time and not just see this process as every two years and then four years and six-year election cycles. We must make that commitment.

But we must also emerge as a national party and not a party that writes off the South, that writes off the Western states, that ignores whole regions of the country while pursuing a few electoral votes to deliver the presidency. [Emphasis mine.]
Jackson appears to understand that sentiments like "Fuck Middle America" are part of what got Democrats into this mess to begin with, and has correctly identified the right way out - connecting with Middle America.

I hope that voices like Jackson's are given a fair hearing in the raging debate over which way to take the DNC.