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From clore@columbia-center.org Thu Aug 24 07:31:56 2000
Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2000 21:44:17 -0500 (CDT)
From: "Clore Daniel C" <clore@columbia-center.org>
Subject: [smygo] Media Coverage Overshadows Demonstrators' Goals
Article: 103270
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
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Media coverage overshadows demonstrators' goals

By Michael Kozart, Daily Bruin, (Los Angeles)
Updated 12:00 PM ET 21 August 2000

(U-WIRE) LOS ANGELES -- On Monday evening I was one of thousands of peaceful demonstrators assembled outside Staples Center to express political views all but banished from the platforms of the two-party system. We chanted for universal health care, for the abolishment of the death penalty and for an end to the racist bias with which it has been implemented. We also spoke out for the rights of international workers who have been systematically exploited by leading U.S. manufacturers, and for the environment. We challenged the DNC to hear our voices.

Yet, when it came to the media, the issues were nowhere to be found.

On the evening news we were treated to video clips and sound bytes of protesters clashing with police. We saw one scene after another of tear gas and rubber bullets being pumped into crowds of running people. Of the little commentary offered by the networks, we heard from the police, bragging about their "strategic" and "measured" response to a "bellicose" mob, and we heard from demonstrators, complaining about the excessive and indiscriminate use of force. We did not hear about the issues. The demonstration was reduced to a mindless confrontation of people versus police.

In a manner echoing the Democrats' (and Republicans') dismissal of the issues that matter for the world, the media has effectively silenced the essence of the DNC demonstrations. Still, this is a larger conspiracy of silence: the very willingness of the police to order a crowd of 15,000 to disperse because of the few hoodlums who ignorantly hurled rocks, shows how little tolerance our civil government has for the lawful expression of political dissent. I can imagine far more imaginative ways by which the police could have responded to the violence of the few in order to enable the demonstration of the many to proceed.

I am bored by what we see on the TV, and I am resentful of the implication that the DNC demonstrations are mere occasions for unruly anarchists to vent their rage. But why should we be surprised? There is a corporate machine behind the news, and behind the convention itself. It is all about the money, and money, as we know, is made from action films.

Dan Clore

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