Freedom Over Fascism
Freedom Over Fascism
40. Stephanie Schriock, former ED Emily's list on the need to own media distribution

40. Stephanie Schriock, former ED Emily's list on the need to own media distribution

Hi friends,

We find ourselves in a moment of immense uncertainty here in the United States and around the world. We have the potential to work together to save freedom, but we face very strong headwinds. Most of our conversations on this podcast are about how we work together to reclaim freedom in MAGA-captured or battleground states. In other words, we focus pretty strongly on state and local politics and how important they are for building power for democracy across the whole country. So we know that we have to focus on our state and local involvement, which moves more slowly but can have a greater impact on our lives. Many of us in MAGA captured states are at the beginning of organizing for a decade or more of power building.

But this moment requires us to hold multiple things in our heads at the same time. We need to keep focusing locally—on local organization, local politics, and local media…especially in places where MAGA has a stranglehold. But we also can’t lose sight of the national picture. The 2024 presidential election is about whether we continue to have a constitutional democracy. We’ve seen that Donald Trump has promised to be a dictator if he wins. We also see that other Republicans have promised to pardon him if they win. And we see that the right wing political class has promised us with Project 2025 that if Republicans gain the presidency, they will purge the civil service, take away marriage equality, ban abortion nationally, and continue to take away trans rights.

Our media sits at the fulcrum of the major forces at play in 2024. Our major national media is failing to protect democracy and focus on what is at stake in the next election. A major example of this is Texas ignoring a Supreme Court order and claiming the right to national security, which the is the federal government’s purview. This standoff, in which Greg Abbot is defying the federal government and 25 MAGA governors have gone on record supporting, is the kind of conflict that can precipitate a civil war. Yet the media has said very little about it. And when they do, they treat it as a dispute between two sides who have a minor difference of opinion. What they should be doing is talking about how Texas is trying to provoke a stand off or start a war, and how Republicans in the House are refusing to negotiate a border deal so they can preserve it as an issue for Trump to run on against Biden.

And that’s where my conversation with Stephanie Schriock comes in (listen here or read the transcript). Stephanie is the former director of Emily’s list and is currently engaged in finding ways that democrats can control a media distribution network to actually break through with our shared values of community and freedom.

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We talk a lot here about the right messaging. Stephanie believes that we have good messaging, but what we don’t have is a great means of delivery. There are a lot of unrelated initiatives going on: there are communications hubs in some states, but not all. The right wing owns a lot of the public media, and Stephanie Schriock is trying to convince wealthy progressives to buy more media at every level. Our friend Simon Rosenberg sees that we have a massive group of activists who communicate online, which is why he does his Zoom presentations and talks to every outlet he can. manage. Anat Shenker Osorio and the research collaborative hold briefings on the state of democracy and on messaging that works. We have a ton of digital organizers spread across all our social media. And we’ve got an army who will be working on relational organizing full time.

Stephanie Schriock is trying to bring together a lot of these different streams in which our candidates, activists, and even the president have a more reliable method of reaching the voters than the national or local media. She’s working with groups to strengthen local media, and others to create a larger platform.

What we as activists can do is pay attention to the media and information distribution, and look for ways we can contribute…either locally, or as a digital army that must reach beyond our own social media silos. We can support podcasts like this so that our message gets out as much, in as many formats, in as many styles as possible.

So now, where I usually give you a pitch on how to support us directly, I’m going to ask all of you to think of ways in which you might want to sponsor the show and place ads here. Do you have constituents you want to reach? Do you have an organizing platform that activists should know about? Do you want to hear from a series of state-level candidates? You can help fund one, some, or all of these things to keep spreading the word to members of our podcast community, who are activists, voters, organizers, candidates, and—above all—people who care deeply about the country and our future, especially in areas that can use the most help.

So please think about what you’d like to hear on Freedom Over Fascism and be in touch to sponsor a series or a conversation or a panel. Thank you. Now, for my conversation with Stephanie Schriock. I absolutely LOVED talking with her. I’m a true believer in the need to control more means of information distribution. And I think you’ll really enjoy our conversation.

Freedom Over Fascism
Freedom Over Fascism
Freedom Over Fascism hosted by historian, comms consultant, and activist Stephanie Wilson, investigates what it takes to rebuild power and freedom for people in MAGA captured states. MAGA is waging a full-out war against Americans to gain authoritarian power, and we must reclaim our freedom and our power.
We talk to authors, experts, activists, historians, and officials who sound the alarm and work to build freedom over fascism. Together we’ll discover what it takes to win in parts of America dominated by MAGA extremists.