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What does it take to motivate young people to meaningful political action? This VideoNation report looks at how three protests drew three very different constituencies.

Americans overwhelmingly oppose media consolidation, but the FCC is poised to further relax media ownership rules.

In the guise of giving us what we want, media giants have created a
culture defined by untrammeled greed, the worship of power and a
ruthless disregard for the public good.

The fight over media consolidation is anachronistic. Progressives
should focus instead on mastering the tools of new media--it's here,
not in the corporate boardroom, where the new media wars will be fought
and won.

Corporations used to disguise their attempts to masquerade as
"indie," but now they've become invisible to the naked eye.

National media are increasingly catering to the highly mobile,
globalized, mostly white middle class, leaving those who can't afford
access to slip into a separate and unequal world of second-class
information.

The music industry lives in fear of downloadable media, but artists
have the vision to re-engineer our collective psyche.

New forms of participatory media have changed public discourse,
enabling people to publish, share and disseminate their own media
creations. But will only the affluent be able to play?

Fewer minority-owned outlets means fewer minorities in the media. With
such threats to public discourse, what will become of our voices,
points of view and interests?

The collapse of journalism and the rise of commercialism is sparking a
reform movement that will fight to ensure the First Amendment endures
in the digital age.

I'm just back from Washington, DC, where the Campaign for America's Future staged its fourth annual Take Back America conference at the Hilton hotel near DuPont Circle. Bringing together close to 2,000 of the country's most dedicated progressive activists and strategists for a series of speeches, conversations, panels, workshops and parties, TBA showcased a raft of innovative policy proposals, initiatives and projects. Also on hand to make speeches was much of the Democratic Party leadership, including Senators Harry Reid, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Barack Obama, Russell Feingold and House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi.

Unfortunately, the story out of the conference, according to most media accounts, was the division in the progressive community, demonstrated by the booing Senator Clinton received as she defended her opposition to a timetable for withdrawing US troops from Iraq. I was at the speech. Though she did get static on Iraq, the general response to her talk was overwhelmingly positive. She garnered five enthusiastic ovations by my count, and by the end of her speech--mere minutes after she supposedly alienated the crowd--she left to a standing ovation much, much, much louder than the earlier booing.

Now I'm not saying that the positive reaction was necessarily a good thing. My feeling was that she was able to win a legitimately progressive crowd over far too easily with hollow progressive rhetoric. (And this isn't a call for heckling either. I think it's worth listening to people with whom you disagree. You just don't have to cheer them madly!) But people's reactions are complicated. My only point is that I didn't leave the conference feeling the story was "the widespread disagreement among left Democrats," as a particularly egregious piece in the New York Sun reported yesterday, and as the Washington Post and New York Times have echoed in dispatches this week.

Compliant coverage of the Iraq War proved the news business is morally
compromised, no longer driven by creative people with something to
tell but by global corporations with something to sell.

We don't need to buy a network to get our message out--just creatively
use an array of low-cost tools from the Internet to iPods, cellphones
and whatever comes next.

If the promise of new media is to be fulfilled, progressives must chart
a course of activism that confronts the increasing concentration of
ownership among the Big Media powerhouses.

Back in November, after Jack Murtha shocked the political establishment by calling the Iraq war "a flawed policy wrapped in illusion," Congress rushed to vote on his resolution.

Murtha's proposal called for the redeployment of US forces "at the earliest predictable date" with an "over-the-horizon presence of US Marines" deployed in the region so the US could "pursue security and stability in Iraq through diplomacy." But the House never got to vote on Murtha's resolution. Instead, Congressional Republicans rewrote it to read: "It is the sense of the House of Representatives that the deployment of United States forces in Iraq be terminated immediately."

It was a sham vote, pure and simple, that reached its climax when Republican Jean Schmidt called Murtha a "coward" on the House floor. "I thought the tone was a bit over-the-top," House Majority Leader John Boehner said later. "And frankly, I wasn't very comfortable with how it was done and some of the words that were used."

A new collection of letters between Rainer Maria Rilke and Lou
Andreas-Salome reveals an intimate portrait of a poet and his muse.

Reviews of novels by Anne Tyler, Chris Abani, and Rodrigo Fresan.

When liberals and conservatives discuss the United States' role in the
world, they are really talking about the narcissism of small
differences. Two new books show how both sides share a conviction in
American exceptionalism.

A new generation of student activists is flexing its muscles, rolling
back employment rules in France, demanding education reform in Chile
and fighting for immigrant rights in the US.

In South Dakota, prochoicers are fighting back with a bipartisan
initiative challenging the abortion ban and a grassroots effort
that has put progressive Native American women on the ballot.

Under Karl Rove's deft hand, Bush has been maneuvered from one
catastrophe to another. Why is the left obsessed with him?

It's hard to tell whether the US is conducting a war against terror or
against Native Hawaiians, as the military uses parts of the Waianae
coast as a live-fire training ground.

The debunking of a PR agency that circulated a bogus story about persecution of Jews in Iran exposed the moving parts of a media machine bent on preparing the American public for another war.