Updates from Frederick Smith, former Detroiter living in Los Angeles, and author of Down For Whatever (July2005) and Right Side of the Wrong Bed (December 2007).
Friday, September 23, 2005
Phil Donahue is The Man!
OK kids. Before Oprah, before Tyra, before Ellen, and way before before the news was owned by one or two corporations, and when reporters actually investigated and questioned authority (and when it was seen as OK to do so!), rather than embed themselves with the government...
A real intelligent, thoughtful, progressive television host. And he covered issues like racism (and white responsibility), abortion rights, civil rights, gays and lesbians, the quest for equality, trickle-down economics, poverty, divorce, etc... This was before news became info-tainment. I hope they're not teaching info-tainment or embedded journalism at my alma-mater, The Missouri School of Journalism, these days. Anyway... he was one of my journalism/social justice role models when a little kid. Yes, I remember the Phil Donahue Show!
The other day he took on the conservative Bill O'Reilly on the conservative Fox Network and won. Video here. The transcript here. Phil did what many others, including Keith Boykin just the other day in his column, suggest that progressives and liberals need to do... take the offensive in stating our opinions and views, and not just react to what the right is shoving down our throats.(Kids. On a side note... I hope the only reason you'd watch Fox is MAYBE for seeing what your conservative neighbors talk and think about you... idiot intelligence gathering... and not for any kind of unbiased or real news coverage.)
They were discussing the massive Anti-War protest taking place in Washington D.C. this weekend. Cindy Sheehan, the peace mom, came up in conversation. And it was ON between Phil and Bill. Phil won! I wish I could have seen it. Did you? Not that we're looking for winners and losers. It's all about intelligent discourse and being willing to learn and listen. Not just shut up and take what you hear.
If you're in D.C. this weekend, please try and stop by to support the peace cause. They say this will be the largest Anti-War demonstration in the nation's capital since the Vietnam War protests in the 60s and 70s. And this morning on the news, for the first time, I saw moms of dead soldiers of all ethnicities and backgrounds, not just the white images we think of in terms of peace activists. Black and brown people are fed up and are speaking out. Gays and lesbians are speaking out. Intelligent people. Housewives. Pookie and Nae Nae and Yi. Michael Moore. People of conscious. With social justice and equality as a core value.