Winona Dimeo-Ediger of Banks, Oregon. Winona is a student at Portland State University and a freelance writer. Usually, she blogs at the fashion blog, Daddy Likey.
I traveled from my little Oregon town to Washington DC on September 15th to take part in the revolution.
I bought a plane ticket with money I didn't quite have so I could march from the White House to the Capitol, joining what turned out to be nearly 100,000 people who demanded an end to the war in Iraq. I marched alongside veterans, teenagers, grandmothers, and children. We rallied in front of the senate, waving our signs and facing down riot police with their trigger fingers twitching over packets of tear gas. And then 160 of us were arrested, voluntarily, for crossing a police line. The crowd roared "Thank you!" as each handcuff snapped shut, because we thought we were making a statement; we thought we were changing the world. We would have, too, but the revolution was not televised.
I called my family right after the crowd dispersed, begging my brother to turn on the TV and describe the coverage.
"There's nothing," he said.
I told him to check online.
"I only see OJ Simpson," he insisted. "Did you know he got arrested again?"
Over a week later, after relentlessly searching online, TV, and print media, I can count on one hand the number of stories I've found concerning the march. Not only that, but every single news item gave equal ( and usually more) coverage to the pro-war protesters who stood on the side of the road spewing death threats. You'd never guess from the biased coverage, but in reality, the ratio of peace marchers to pro-war advocates was roughly 1,000 to 1, a number that reflects public opinion.
Where's this liberal media that everyone's talking about?
The march on Washington was a throwback to the power-to-the-people movements of the 1960's, to be sure. But had this been the 1960's, one thing would have been very different: this gathering of 100,000 people against an extremely unpopular war would have been considered news, and it would have been covered, incessantly, in the mainstream media.
Instead, we heard about OJ, and here's why: Five giant media companies currently own the majority of all media outlets in the United States.
And these are five companies with a motive to keep us in the dark.
A couple examples:
Rupert Murdoch owns FOX, FOX News, and the Wall Street Journal, among countless other newspapers, magazines, and television stations. His pro-war stance and conservative politics are not exactly a secret. FOX News reported that only 5,000 people showed up for the peace march. See a problem?
General Electric owns an 80% stake in NBC (including CNBC and MSNBC). General Electric is also one of the largest defense contractors in the world. It is a company that profits from war. See a problem?
People cannot demand accountability when they do not have the information. And Big Media will never give us the information when they have a stake in our ignorance.
The day after the march - heck, the hour after the march - things went back to normal in Washington DC. Thousands of protesters got on the bus to go home to cities and towns across America that will never know the march even occurred. People will talk about OJ Simpson and the war will rage on and more soldiers will die.