Renewing a Modest Proposal for the 2012 Democratic Convention

Now that we know the 2012 Democratic Convetion will be in Charlotte, we should try to make sure that Fox “News” is denied privileged access to it.

As befits a person of my high stature, I received a “personal e-mail” from Michelle Obama this morning, letting me on the secret that the Democratic Party will hold its 2012 Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Seems to me that it’s a good choice: the Dems will get a lot of free media in a state that Obama carried in 2008 and will make it difficult for the Republicans to win if he carries it again.  (It’s also got a very nice new airport, which will help.).

But Michelle — and of course the FLOTUS and I are on a first name basis now — also told me that she needs 

to hear from you. We want to know what you’d like to see at next year’s convention, how and where you plan on watching it — and the very best way we can engage your friends and neighbors. Jonathan, please share your input with us right now — how can we make The People’s Convention belong to you and your community?

Well, that’s easy: I don’t really have strong views about what I want to see at the Convention, but I have a very strong idea of what I don’t want to see: a Fox News skybox.

Fox “News” is not a news organization: it is an arm of Movement Conservatism in general and the Republican Party in particular.  Just today TPM’s Brian Beutler revealed that Fox managing editor Bill Sammon pushed very hard in 2008 to emphasize Obama’s “socialism.”  An estimated three people nationwide are surprised at this.  Of course it has every right to advocate and support Movement Conservatism, but there’s no reason why the Democratic Party should help it to do so.

The Republican Convention shouldn’t give a skybox to ACORN, and the Democrats shouldn’t give a skybox to Fox.  It’s that simple.

Author: Jonathan Zasloff

Jonathan Zasloff teaches Torts, Land Use, Environmental Law, Comparative Urban Planning Law, Legal History, and Public Policy Clinic - Land Use, the Environment and Local Government. He grew up and still lives in the San Fernando Valley, about which he remains immensely proud (to the mystification of his friends and colleagues). After graduating from Yale Law School, and while clerking for a federal appeals court judge in Boston, he decided to return to Los Angeles shortly after the January 1994 Northridge earthquake, reasoning that he would gladly risk tremors in order to avoid the average New England wind chill temperature of negative 55 degrees. Professor Zasloff has a keen interest in world politics; he holds a PhD in the history of American foreign policy from Harvard and an M.Phil. in International Relations from Cambridge University. Much of his recent work concerns the influence of lawyers and legalism in US external relations, and has published articles on these subjects in the New York University Law Review and the Yale Law Journal. More generally, his recent interests focus on the response of public institutions to social problems, and the role of ideology in framing policy responses. Professor Zasloff has long been active in state and local politics and policy. He recently co-authored an article discussing the relationship of Proposition 13 (California's landmark tax limitation initiative) and school finance reform, and served for several years as a senior policy advisor to the Speaker of California Assembly. His practice background reflects these interests: for two years, he represented welfare recipients attempting to obtain child care benefits and microbusinesses in low income areas. He then practiced for two more years at one of Los Angeles' leading public interest environmental and land use firms, challenging poorly planned development and working to expand the network of the city's urban park system. He currently serves as a member of the boards of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy (a state agency charged with purchasing and protecting open space), the Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice (the leading legal service firm for low-income clients in east Los Angeles), and Friends of Israel's Environment. Professor Zasloff's other major activity consists in explaining the Triangle Offense to his very patient wife, Kathy.

6 thoughts on “Renewing a Modest Proposal for the 2012 Democratic Convention”

  1. Of course you are right…

    And since I'm also a personal friend of Michelle, I'll tell her too.

    Speaking of Acorn…

    Now that movement conservatism has successful trod them in the dirt.

    Has anybody else stepped up to register America's middle class and untouchables?

  2. Bad idea. It gives the impression that Democrats are somehow afraid of or intimidated by Fox, which they aren’t (or shouldn’t be). Fox will set up across the street and broadcast from the convention anyway. The best way to deal with Fox is for Democrats to present their perspective in a consistent, convincing, compelling way in every other news outlet. Those who only watch Fox won’t hear this – but they’re a lost cause anyway. The key is to destroy Fox’s credibility among those who do occasionally watch other networks. And, over a longer term (but not too long), wait for Fox’s viewership to die off – I believe their average age is in the 60s.

  3. Jonathan — I don’t understand how you can suggest some form of equivalence between ACORN and Fox News. One was an organization of value to the Republic. The other is a fake news organization. Perhaps you owe someone an apology!

  4. Sure, do it, Basilisc is right about the impression it will give, and truth in advertising is good.

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