Why the 'progressive' blogoshere silence about the Jena 6?

by Chris Kromm, Facing South

[A cross-post of this has ignited some fierce debate over at Daily Kos; see also Pam Spaulding's valuable take on why the progressive blogosphere is MIA on the Jena 6.]

As we reported earlier today, thousands of people -- with African-American youth being the largest contingent, say our sources on the scene -- have descended on Jena, Louisiana for a historic march in support of the Jena 6.

The Jena 6 has become the main topic of discussion on countless black websites, radio stations and street conversations, inspiring countless activists young and old to take action.

But on this historic day for the most high-profile civil rights issue of the moment, where is the progressive blogosphere? I did a quick tour of the major "progressive" sites to see how they were covering it -- and was astounded to find a complete white-out of this historic cause:

* DailyKos features a handful of posts about injustice in Iraq today -- but not a single entry on its main page, or even its user-generated "diaries," about this important case.

* TalkingPointsMemo, a favorite of the DC wonk set, is similarly incensed about foreign policy, but apparently not about racial justice in the South -- nothing there either.

* Long-time progressive blogger Atrios doesn't have a lot of posts up,but found time to touch on Paul Krugman, Iraq and the state of the Euro -- but not this major issue.

* Surely TalkLeft -- which has positioned itself as the leading progressive blog about criminal justice issues -- would have something? Think again -- not a single mention, not even in the quick news briefs!

* What about another progressive favorite, FireDogLake? A rant about Republicans being "little bitches," but nothing on the Jena 6.

When the Jena 6 does make an appearance on progressive blogs today, it's little more than a passing nod. Huffington Post has a blog post buried below the fold; ThinkProgress gives it a two-sentence news brief.

However, many of these blogs are eagerly pointing to news stories which suggest the Republican candidates don't care about black issues.

But who is showing they're out of touch with the issues that matter most to the African American community?

article originally published at http://southernstudies.org/facingsouth/2007/09/why-progressive-blogosphere-silen....

The media's job is to interest the public in the public interest. -John Dewey