Okay, I've got a thought on where George Soros needs to spend his money. (Yeah, yeah, I know it's presumptuous to tell anybody where to spend their money, but just listen...) We've been talking about Framing The Debate, right? The Republicans got where they are because they're very good at it, and one reason they won the last election was because somebody said early on: "We'd better define John Kerry before he defines himself." They did, and they won. Okay, if we're serious about not sitting still and taking it anymore, we've got to fight fire with fire. We've got to counter the conservative media, including Sinclair, Salem and Fox. A liberal TV network. (Stop snickering over there, Mr. Limbaugh. They are not all liberal.) The more I think about this idea, the more I like it. An alternative to Fox. A 24-hour amalgam of straight-up news, talk shows and historical programming. News: By which I mean real news. Not that stuff they have on CNN. No "bottom of the hour" stories about buying patio furniture or Jessica Simpson's latest marriage. Hard news, done straight like ABC's...but with an extra edge, asking the hard questions, delivering the tough analyses that the corporate-owned networks aren't comfortable doing. Talk: Sure, you can do news 24/7, but you also might get more viewers by airing talk shows...and you've got a handful of them ready-made for you. CNBC (or somebody) already does Imus in the morning. Why not put a camera in Al Franken's booth and simulcast him? Historical programs: Shows that demonstrate the accomplishments of liberalism: the New Deal; labor, environmental and workplace safety laws; Social Security; the space program; civil rights; the internet; public education; rural electrification; the FDIC; the Family and Medical Leave Act; the Americans with Disabilities Act; and more. Why not a half-hour program showing how these things came to be, and how conservatives fought them? This is not to say that such a network should whitewash the times when liberalism hasn't served us so well, such as LBJ's acceleration of the Vietnam War. To say that everything liberal is good, and everything conservative is bad, would be unbelievable to a large segment of viewers. And with good reason. By showing even the warts on occasion, I think you'd build up a level of credibility that Fox doesn't have. And one final ingredient: A fact minute: A series of one-minute PSAs throughout the day that serve to dismantle the blatant untruths generated by Rush, Hannity and that whole gang. Believe me, there are tons of truths out there that much of the public still doesn't know. How many people do you think really know, for example, that Richard Clarke wrote a comprehensive anti-terrorism plan at the end of the Clinton administration, presented it to his new boss (Bush)...and was ignored? How many people know that the plan Bush is using now (and taking credit for) is essentially the same one Clarke wrote in the last months of the Clinton administration? All people tend to hear from Rush is that Clinton "did nothing" about terrorism. Anyway, I don't think such a network should be blatantly partisan; part of the "genius" of Fox is that to so many people they look centrist, even if they're not. But I think a cable channel with a subtle yet liberal spin would not only inform the country, but by being to the left of the rest of the media, it would help the country realize that most of the media is really very centrist. The fact is, if liberals are going to Reframe The Debate, they've gotta start doing it now...not two or three years from now as a run-up to the next election. Start giving people some cogent thoughts and hard truths to think about now. Instead of just guessing or going by polls, let us see what the American voters actually respond to, and what they don't. I wonder if Soros and some of his wealthy liberal buddies could pull off something like this. The synergy with Air America would help both, and they really wouldn't have to start a new cable network, they could simply buy out one of the existing ones. Hey, maybe they could turn G4 TV into something good!