Mike Papantonio appears on STAND UP! with Pete Dominick to discuss how corporate mainstream is attempting to label everything as liberal media.

Transcription of the above video:

Dominick:
What we’re hearing is that NBC, who you name-checked, or CNN, or the Washington Post, they’re all the liberal media. How do you hear that when you know that you’re not able to say certain things, when you know all these different industries and organizations, specifically the big media companies which are now consolidated and about to become potentially more consolidated with this AT&T and Time Warner, how do you hear, Mike Papantonio, the criticism that these are the liberal media?

Papantonio:
Yeah, so here’s what happens. When we use the term liberal … Democrats are wonderful about this. Democrats are always pushing this idea we’re better for you. We’re better for you on maybe gender rights, that’s true. Maybe they’re better on women’s rights, that’s true. They’re better on a lot of social issues, but when it comes down to the test between Wall Street and the mom-and-pop consumer, mom and pop loses every time under the Democrats, under the Republicans; it doesn’t make any difference, because this label liberal really has no meaning where it comes to how we treat people in this country.

Take the welfare system, for example. The welfare system gives a fraction of what we give to corporations all over America, a fraction of what we give them in subsidies and tax breaks. We think that the Democrats are liberal because they want to give more money there. Comparatively, it’s very little that they give. This thing that liberal has typically been associated with … liberal, we give people money for nothing; liberal, we take care of gender rights; liberal, we take care of racial issues that the other side won’t take care of. Liberal has no meaning; it has zero meaning where it comes to politicians and the DC bubble taking care of consumers in this country. The consumers are working up against a stacked deck.

Dominick:
I’ll push back on that only because you used extremes, and I don’t like extremes. For example, liberals over the past four years, eight years, and maybe not to our satisfaction, Mike, but have regulated the insurance industry with the Affordable Care Act. They have regulated the fossil fuel industry using the EPA and Clean Power Plan. They have avoided … this president and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton … a war, fought back against the military-industrial complex. You’ll never get credit for proving the negative, but they avoided a war with Iran. They have done a number of other things that I would argue that … I could still criticize they haven’t gone far enough, and that campaign finance is a huge issue, but I think those are really good things. I don’t think that’s nothing.

Papantonio:
They are. They’re better than nothing, but what I’m trying to say is we can do better.

Dominick:
Sure.

Papantonio:
You bring up the word liberal-

Dominick:
What stinks is when you say they’re doing nothing because that reiterates the kind of dismissive ideology that makes people even more cynical and more bitter. You know probably a lot more congressmen than I do, but of the senators and congressmen I’ve sat down with, I understand how the system works. I understand the system that we’re in, but I don’t like the criticism that you make there because what happens is the public and people listening to our conversation just want to finger-point at the people in power, not only in the Congress but in their PTA and at their gas station, and never look at themselves and say we’ve got to be able to support, for example, President Obama in 2010 and help him keep the House. I feel like you don’t give any responsibility to voters and to the public when we’re too extreme.

Papantonio:
Pete, here’s the point: We become too satisfied with what we think should be the norm. I could take, for example, every one of the examples that you just gave about the fact that maybe the Democrats moved the ball here. Iran, for example. We would be in war with Iran except for the progressive arm of the Democratic Party, the pushback. We would be at war with Iran right now. We would be at war with Syria right now. What I’m trying to say is we can’t be too comfortable with the norms.

Dominick:
That’s different. I’m with you on that.

Papantonio:
You’re talking with a guy who has raised huge money for the very things that you’re talking about, for Obama. Every day, I was out for Obama on Fox News, for God’s sakes. I was the only liberal on Fox News defending Obama. That doesn’t mean I have to embrace everything Obama does. This isn’t a football game. I’m not talking about a football team here.

Dominick:
I totally agree with you, but that’s the only thing I’m trying to push back on. I love that; I love what you just said. Meg Whitman was on there today before the debate saying, “I’m supporting Hillary Clinton.” They said, “But you’re a Republican and you support TPP.” She says, “I don’t have to support everything.” That’s the nuance that I want in the conversation in the media. We use extremes like, “They’re doing nothing,” or “They’ve done nothing.” I think it disregards a lot of good work that they have done and they are doing.

More importantly, we have to support them in a number of different ways, and support their causes. What President Obama has tried to do, and what Democrats in the Senate, for sure, tried to do, with comprehensive immigration reform is another one. They got comprehensive immigration reform passed through the Senate, and the president led on that, but of course John Boehner didn’t even take it up for a vote in the House because it might have passed. That was a huge accomplishment, I would argue.

Papantonio:
You’re saying no scorched earth, and I’m not scorched earth at all, Pete. I’m not scorched earth at all. If you look at my history supporting these candidates money-wise, effort-wise, media-wise, I’ve done it for years. At the same time, I’m always cognizant of the idea that this tendency to compromise causes us such harm in the long run. That’s what Law and Disorder … If you take a look at Law and Disorder, the book is about … Those aren’t extremes in there at all. That book, Pete, is based on my experience as a trial lawyer for 35 years. There’s two more of them coming out. The real cases, the real events, except for the murder in the first one called Law and Disorder; that murder is not true.

Dominick:
We’re talking about Mike’s novel, and I’m glad you brought it up. I promised I was going to get to it. That’s why Mike is on. You’ve been in the media game for a long time, and I ask this question; I have a lot of thoughts about it. I created this channel here on Sirius XM called Insight, where comedians host conversations about public affairs, and news, and so on because I think satire and comedy really is more influential. I feel like the liberal media is not very influential. Conservative media is extremely influential. You’ve been in “liberal” media for a long time. How come liberals don’t get the types of ratings, the types of viewers, on radio and TV that conservatives do?

Papantonio:
You’re not going to like this answer, Pete. You’re not going to like this answer. All the way back to Air America, what I started seeing a trend with liberals is if it’s not their idea, they don’t get behind it. In other words, liberals are such … They’re precise thinkers in many ways. If you were to say, “Is there a substantial difference in the way that a conservative views the world and a way a liberal views the world?” that’s obvious. Really, there’s research to show it’s even more fundamental than that. There’s physiological issues. There’s all kinds of issues that we have ignored for many years.

The point is there’s something about the liberal movement that when somebody comes up, if you take the folks at the top of the … What is it called? I’m trying to think of the name of it .. the Allied Democrats or something to that effect, they’re extremely powerful. They’re extremely wealthy Democrats who meet and make decisions about what are we going to back. Are we going to back this, or are we going to back that? What are we going to do?

Air America was a great example of the fact that that all had to be filled in. There had to be an answer to the right-wing media. Everywhere the leadership of Air America went to try to get help, it was turned down. You had incredible talent. You had Rachel Maddow. You had Lizz Winstead, Chuck D, Bobby Kennedy, Al Franken. You had an incredible line.

Dominick:
Sam Seder, Marc Maron.

Papantonio:
Yes, Sam Seder, Marc, it was just an incredible lineup. What we were trying to say is we have to push back. The reaction was almost it’s not my idea; I have my idea that I have to take care of. Conservatives don’t think like that. Conservatives will jump behind the bandwagon much quicker. We might say, “Yeah, because they’re not analytical.” No, that’s not really it.

Dominick:
I’m going to push back because I’ve got what I think is proof that that’s not necessarily true, or maybe that what you’re saying is true of everybody, conservatives and liberals. Here’s the proof: The New York Times article … rather, Sunday Times article by Robert Draper from a couple of weeks ago about the split in conservative media. The conservatives that are not supporting Donald Trump, Mike, are losing listeners big time, losing ratings big league, I should say, and subscribers to their emails, because they’re not telling their conservative audiences what they want to hear, which is that they’re supporting Trump. I feel like the criticism that you’re making is true of everybody when it comes to politics. If you don’t tell me what I want to hear or what I agree with, I’m turning the channel.

Papantonio:
My experience has been worse, I suppose. My focus has been more towards liberals doing that because I’m a liberal and I’ve watched it for so many years. Whatever it is, it’s not good. There has to be some unity in an effort, and we have to understand that we can’t always be … Look, you can’t allow the village idiot to walk around the town square poking people in the eye with a stick. That’s what we allow as liberals sometimes to go too long.

We won’t push back. We won’t become as aggressive as we need to be. Air America was an effort to be aggressive. It was an effort to say we can move into that space. It would’ve worked had there been more support from liberal leadership. There was not.

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Richard Eskow is host and managing editor of The Zero Hour, a weekly radio program produced by We Act Radio. He was the senior writer and editor for the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign. Richard has written for a number of print and online publications, was a founding contributor to the Huffington Post, and is a longtime activist. He is also a Senior Fellow with the Campaign for America’s Future.