After the Revolution: The Arkansas Times
The Arkansas Times has a weekly paper, a daily blog, and an image. The image they seek to project is that of the idealistic left-leaning journalists who dare to challenge the system and it's face-men. In this ideal world, it's like reliving Woodstock everyday.
But time marches on. The sounds of Woodstock have faded into the mists of time and the noise of life. The idealism of combating outward injustice can neglect to confront the fact than evil also lies inside one's heart, not merely in "the system". Yesterday's angry young men clamoring for justice can become today's crotchety old men. Men whose real function has sadly devolved into keeping the next generation of justice-seekers confined into long-corrupted channels of expression for their political angst. Few things are sadder to watch, and less necessary, than to see yesterday's revolutionaries become today's conformity police. And what's more, they can't name the date they changed, or perhaps even noticed at all who or what they have become.
I talked with Rod Bryan, the personable man who ran as an Independent for Governor. We talked about which media outlets might be willing to cover his endorsement of Ron Paul for President. At first, I assumed that the Arkansas times, with their cultivated image of being daring and on the "cutting edge", would be more willing to cover the event than the big corporate media. But that daring and cutting edge image, though it may have been true at one time and though it may be how they still perceive themselves, did not match reality. Rod basically told me that during his Governor's run the Arkansas Times worked harder to ignore him than just about anybody- it was harder because his was exactly the kind of campaign they might be expected to cover if they were still actually who they held themselves out to be.
Sure enough, the ArkTimes did not cover Rod's endorsement of Paul, but managed to put up some blather about a cheerleader at a High School in Little Rock. But blacking out the story was not enough for the guardians of the Woodstock Revolution. It got worse, a guy from the Times called Rod, not to cover the story, but rather to tell him that he might want to "re-consider that" because of all of the alleged "evidence" that Ron Paul was "racist". Never mind that the President of the Texas NAACP had put out a press defending Paul, or that Walter Williams, one of the most famous black conservatives in America, endorsed Paul.
The once-upon-a-time challengers of the system were reduced to trying to herd independent-minded 30 somethings back unto the failed and corrupt Democratic Party reservation with bogus accusations of racism. Sad.
Well The Times, They Are A Changing again. The ones who were at the forefront of change last time are the ones who now "stand in the doorway and block up the halls". To the Guardians of the 60's leftist revolution: The re-revolution is coming, and this time we are going to do it right. "Peace-train take this country" like the old anthem said. Guys, we want you on the train, but if you won't get on the train, then at least get off the tracks.