Good, Better, Best: How to Speak Liberally, Part 1

It’s abundantly clear—loud and clear, in fact—that, when it comes to political debate in this country, conservative corporatists not only own the field of play, they make up the rules to suit their game plan.

What used to be known as the “news media” has been bought out and fashioned into primarily a rumor-mongering, ratings-chasing sideshow of sex, fires, car crashes, murders, and horror-show disasters of all stripes. With the occasional feel-good homily about Sally’s fundraising lemonade stand and nudge-wink reference to the latest UFO sighting thrown in for good measure, of course.

Fox News: all the latest right-wing rumors and propaganda all the time.

In short, investigative journalism has been unceremoniously replaced with info-tainment. The pyrrhic lesson of impeccable former CBS News anchor Dan Rather has not been lost on a subsequent generation of journalists who now busy themselves chasing celebrities and avoiding the wrath of well-paid right-wing legal flying monkeys lurking in the corporate woods awaiting any outbreak of genuine information or revelation of truth. Rather, you might recall, had the unmitigated gall to reveal the truth about George W. Bush’s draft-dodging past. Can’t have that! Swarmed, threatened, and attacked by the Wicked Witch of the Right’s aforementioned aerial minions, CBS banned rather from Oz. Although Rather has resurfaced doing excellent work—reporting (gasp!) actual news—he’s now consigned to remote cable channels. No longer welcome on the oligarchic playing field.

What, in the name of Dan, are we liberals to do? Re-gain home-field advantage by speaking plainly, for starters. F’rinstance…

• The mainstream corporate media, and even most die-hard Democrats (Jay Inslee, campaigning for governor here in Washington State, comes to mind) continue to refer to our horrific incursion into the Middle East as “The War in Iraq/Afghanistan.” Excuse me, what war(s)? A good (i.e. more accurate) phrasing would be, “The Oil Wars in the Middle East.” A better one, “The Invasion of Iraq/Afghanistan.” Perhaps the best, “The Bush/Cheney Invasions of the Middle East.”

• How about health care reform? “The Affordable Health Care Act” ain’t bad. “ObamaCare” is even better, giving proper attribution to insurance reform that is even now beginning to benefit everyone in America. But the best may be, “O’RomneyBamaCare,” since it was Willard “Mitt” Romney who, in conjunction with the right-wing Heritage Foundation, laid the groundwork for affordable health care when he was Governor of Massachusetts. Whatever happened to Willard, anyhow? The boy should stand up and accept the appreciation of a grateful country, don’t you think?

Get the drift? There’s more to come. Meanwhile, just start telling it like it is to your whacked-out Uncle Bob who gets his gospel from corporate lackeys like Limbaugh and Hannity every day.

Originally published at

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