This is a great 4 part video interview with Jeff Cohen, a media critic and lecturer, founding director of the Park Center for Independent Media at Ithaca College, where he is an associate professor of journalism. Cohen founded the media watch group FAIR in 1986. It is a great discussion, short, and really addresses what I believe are our core problems and what to do. I urge you to watch this–Well worth the minutes!
When you hear the term “swing voter” in our society, you’ve got think working-class, middle-class whites, because, you know, rich people, whether they’re Republicans or Democrats, they know who they’re for. Poor people, people of color, they know who they’re for: they’re for Democrats. Religious fundamentalists, Christian fundamentalists, they’re for the Republicans. But there’s this middle group that is—they’re called swing voters or independents. They’re given a lot of names. One thing we have to understand about this group is the stagnant wages, stagnant income for decades, even though now there’s two wage earners in so many families, which changed since the 1970s. So in this backdrop, you have these elections that are constantly about throwing the bums out. And this class that I’m talking about, of largely working-class whites, lower-middle-class whites, they’re not heavily ideological. There’s no one less ideological than a swing voter, by definition. And they see themselves as beleaguered, no one’s talking to them, and they just go. You know, so Obama was the agent of change in 2008, and in Massachusetts these independent voters—and there’s more independents than Democrats in Massachusetts—they went with Obama.
JAY: You campaign about fighting corporations. You campaign with this populist message for—you campaign from the left, but if the party’s actually controlled from the right, you’ll never going to be able to deliver on the campaign promise.
COHEN: It’s always fake left, go right.