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"America has two great dominant strands of political thought - conservatism, which, at its very best, draws lines that should not be crossed; and progressivism, which, at its very best, breaks down barriers that should never have been erected." -- Bill Clinton, Dedication of the Clinton Presidential Library, November 2004

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Thursday, May 22, 2003 interview

posted by Aziz P. at Thursday, May 22, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
William Pitt has a cool interview with Dean on that's well worth a read. It looks like we in Dean Nation were scooped, in a sense - the interview questions were compiled in part with suggestions from readers at Democratic Underground. I found Dean's comments on media consolidation and corporate influence to be very relevant:

PITT: For a great many people across the political spectrum, the number one issue of concern is the vast and growing power of corporations within government, and even more so within the media. It can be argued that one of the main reasons why the Bush administration continues to enjoy the approval ratings it does is because the news media has been demonstrably derelict in its duties. Where do you stand on the power of corporations in America, particularly within the media? Do you have any thoughts or ideas on how that might be dealt with?

DEAN: I do. I think, first of all, it is true that the media has a conservative bias, and is being well-funded by conservative people like Rupert Murdoch. There is no question about that. But I also believe that part of the fault belongs to the Democrats, because the Democrats don't stand up and therefore there is no other side to cover. We've got to do that. Now, some of them are doing it during election time, but it's a little late. Here's what we need to do. In politics, sometimes one single event can crystallize what the problem is. For me, when the Cumulus Corporation, which owns a lot of radio stations, kicked the Dixie Chicks off their networks – a couple hundred radio stations – I realized that media corporations have too much power. What they were doing was using a public resource, i.e. the airwaves, and removing the ability to view and represent both sides of an issue.

When you have that kind of power, you have too much power. I believe we need to re-regulate the media, go back to limiting the number of stations that can be controlled in one particular area, so we can be sure that the American people get moderate, conservative and liberal points of view.

PITT: You're talking about reinstating the Fairness Doctrine.

DEAN: Yes, reinstating controls over how many outlets you can own in any particular media market. The media has clearly abused their privilege, and it is hurting our democracy. Deregulation in many areas has simply proved to be bad for America, bad for the American economy, bad for the average working person, and bad for democracy. We need to take a different view. Some deregulation is a good thing. We went too far, and now we need to cut back.

PITT: Given the fact that the Republicans control Congress, if you were to win the election in November, how will you go about getting these kinds of policies through a Republican-controlled Congress?

DEAN: I won't have to. I'll simply appoint different kinds of people to the FCC, and they'll be more pro-consumer and pro-average American than they will be pro-corporation.

Dean also addresses the Patriot Act, the Israeli-Palestine conflict, national security, 9-11, and more. He lays the blame for most of these things squarely on President Bush, though he does have a few critiques of the Democrat elites. Still, the bulk of the topics on the DeanBlog interview remain open so we still have something to look forward to :)


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About Nation-Building

Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.