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Public Discourse Statement: Talking Point Tennis

My parents are Democrats. They watch Chris Mathews and MSNBC My brother and his wife vote Republican. Fox News the place to be Everyone hears what they want to hear; pick a station, pick a side Media outlets broadcast talking points - head to head, lie for a lie Old saying goes - repeat it enough people will believe its true Bush got two wars with the word terrorist; youre with us or against us - choices limited to two Television the microphone, corporate media echoes through the home Solutions limited by the scope of the conversation - all most Americans have ever known Occupy Movement enters the conversation; blue & red media outlets spin it how they can Rhetoric for co-opting the movement; narrating their own story-lines - telling the audience where they stand Americans debate talking points over coffee - conversation framed entirely by The Man According to Fox News and Bill OReilly, the Occupy Movement already failed Bunch of thugs, anarchists, and crazies - time to throw them all in jail General message from mainstream media, protestors fail to make demands clear Wealth inequality and corporate greed under fire; coverage tends to end right here In steps the New York Times - impartial mainstream coverage at its best An expensive paper for highly-educated professionals - AP wire for all the rest AP stories & photos in national newspapers; chaos between police, the homeless, long-haired youth Reminds me of AP photos of Palestinians throwing rocks & sobbing uncontrollably Small piece of a much greater truth Democracy Now another media option; carrying the integrity torch for the investigative journalism beat Challenging U.S. propaganda - cross-section of everyday Americans that youll meet If youve lost faith in Democrats & Republicans this is your show Another media outlet preaching to the choir, telling its audience what they already know Everyone is right, someone else always the fool Good guys, bad guys - one way or the other; tidy as the version of U.S. history being taught to kids in school Talking Point Tennis - back and forth until someone seems to win the point Crowd mesmerized hours on end; spectators falling asleep, eating hot dogs, smoking joints Media following the corporate model; mergers & acquisitions in the headlines every week Fewer owners, fewer perspectives, fewer voices in the conversation Sound of spinning wheels - people only listening to themselves speak Research shows that in order to get someone to actually listen Express a true understanding of how the other person arrives at their point of view Successful negotiations depend on both sides understanding - what its like to be in the other persons shoes 2012 Democrat/Republican talking-point-tennis in full swing - Americans mesmerized by the ball Time to broaden the conversation beyond red and blue talking points Listen up, lots to ground to cover between now and the elections in the fall