Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Taking America back

Your blogstress reaches her devotees today from the hotel known in Washington as the Hinkley Hilton (so nicknamed because it's the place where John Hinkley attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan). What brings your cybertrix to such digs? Why, that would be the annual Take Back America conference hosted by the Campaign for America's Future.

Yesterday, your Webwench attended a lively panel discussion hosted by Mother Jones publisher Jay Harris, which included an all-star cast of progressive media types, including the media structure maven Tracy Van Slyke, publisher of In These Times, Cenk Uygur of the Sirius Satellite Radio show, The Young Turks, Robert Greenwald, the filmmaker who has brought vous et moi such gems as "Outfoxed" and "Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price," and Alex Walker, executive editor of TomPaine.com. It was Harris who, several years ago, convened a group of liberal media types to create a mutually supportive consortium through which to plot strategy and hash ideas. Since then, the group has evolved into a true incubator of new ideas.

Your blogstress found herself quite taken with panel members Robert Lovato of New American Media, a consortium of some 700 "ethnic" publications, and Julie Bergman Sender, filmmaker and principal of an outfit called "The Cause," perhaps because both affirmed your net-tĂȘte when she made her push for opening liberal/progressive media to great representation by artists. This is your Ă©crivaine's great bugaboo -- that her colleagues on the left moan about the movement's own lack of diversity while missing the points that:

a) communities of color often organize and politicize through the arts (hip-hop, homo-hop, poetry)

b) that whitey wonk-speak and Woody Guthrie-era labor songs ain't gonna win us converts from where we need 'em.

That said, many other ideas were bandied about, but this is your blogstress's blog, so she knows you're here to read about her. However, she does promise to bring you the messages of the thinkers on the panel once the conference has ended, and she has time to loosen the stays of her bustier and go through her copious notes.

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