I first saw this video posted at Rage’s blog, Down on the Brown Side. His blog is awesome and I highly recommend folks check it out to see what this conscious brother is thinking and doing in NYC.
That being said, Ohio congressman Dennis Kucinich’s speech a couple days ago at the DNC was the shit. I was so sick of all the pundits on CNN talking about how “no one was firing up the crowd” on the same day that Kucinich gave this speech. See how fired up the crowd gets when you give them a progressive populist message? That’s because those are the kind of politics that the people are hungry for in these bleak times. And yet, the Dems continue to move to the right in an attempt to appeal to everyone (I was really not inspired by Joe Biden’s Cold War-esque jabs at Russia and China and his call to send tons of troops to Afghanistan in his speech last night). As one of the last staunchly progressive voices in the Democratic party, I hope that Kucinich doesn’t continue to get marginalized by his own party.
Also notice how Kucinich’s speech was only televised on C-SPAN, which brings me to my next schpeal. You don’t hear this too much on The Cheddar Box, but God bless this old white guy:
Who is this old white guy, you ask? That’s Brian Lamb, the founder and CEO of C-SPAN. I’ve come to appreciate C-SPAN more and more lately because of its position as a television station airing nonstop coverage of government proceedings and public affairs programming that is unedited, uncensored and commercial free. According to it’s wikipedia entry:
Uncommonly for a television network, C-SPAN is operated as a non-profit organization by the National Cable Satellite Corporation, whose board of directors consists primarily of representatives of the largest cable companies. C-SPAN accepts no advertising; instead, it receives nearly all its funding from subscriber fees charged to cable and DBS operators. Contrary to popular perception, C-SPAN receives no funding from government sources.
In its early days, cable companies tried to replace C-SPAN with revenue-producing channels. As stated above, C-SPAN is funded by the cable industry; thus, the industry loses money airing C-SPAN. However, C-SPAN had developed somewhat of a “cult following” among political junkies and citizens who had always wanted to see what was really happening with their elected officials. Avid C-SPAN viewers often refer to themselves as “C-SPAN Junkies,” “SPANners,” or “Spanheads”.
Over time, the cable companies and the general public realized that C-SPAN provided a desired and much needed public service; a “window” into the operations of Congress. C-SPAN has never had the ratings of major networks, but it has a devoted following.
It’s crazy to me that in the hyper-capitalist cable industry that is so centered on ad revenue, there is a space for politics that is unedited, commercial free, and paid for by the cable industry itself! That means C-SPAN’S existence actually loses money for the industry, but they keep it going because the people demand it. Bananas. So even though I might not always be glued to my seat while watching a four hour session of the joint House and Senate Printing committee, I appreciate knowing that if I really wanted to, I could watch it on C-SPAN.