The BuzzFlash Story…
BuzzFlash began in May of 2000, when there were no major sites bringing information and inspiration to counter corporate bias in the mainstream media, and the right-wing bubble of Fox news and right-wing radio.
We were galvanized to create BuzzFlash after watching the calculated, partisan pursuit of Bill Clinton by Ken Starr and his staff, which included Brent Kavanaugh. Several months after starting BuzzFlash, the Supreme Court by a 5-4 vote stole the White House from Al Gore (who won the popular vote nationally). BuzzFlash highlighted the work of Greg Palast that proved Gore would have won if there had not been a purge of Black and Hispanic voters by then Florida Secretary of State Kathryn Harris, with the full approval of then-Governor Jeb Bush.
"the shrillest and the most dimwitted political site on the web."
-The Wall Street Journal
BuzzFlash, during the Bush years, unrelentingly focused on injustices and Republican bullying and corruption during many of the nation's deepest crises. These included exposing the Bush administration incompetence in preventing 9/11; the lies surrounding the "rollout" to the Iraq War (while newspapers such as the New York Times and Washington Post were parroting and amplifying the Bush-Cheney propaganda to justify the "shock and awe" war); Along with David Corn, we were one of the only news outlets to initially realize and expose the Bush Administration involvement with the outing of Valerie Plame as a CIA operative; we ferreted out and informed readers that the anthrax attacks did not originate from a foreign terrorist, but came from an anthrax strain from a US military facility in Fort Detrick, Maryland.
We so angered many in the corporate media that the Wall Street Journal, at one point, called BuzzFlash "the shrillest and the most dimwitted political site on the web." In an age of "news" that changes by the minute and flattens out the importance of issues and personalities, BuzzFlash provides much-needed background to events of the moment. Even Trump, a reality-TV show star turned president, was foreshadowed by an actor turned president, Ronald Reagan, and a former governor of Alaska, Tea-Party favorite Sarah Palin. Without this historical understanding of the racism and big money that animates the GOP, there will be no defeating Trumpism. That is because the roots of Trumpism are embedded in US society.
"Thank God for you guys – whoever you are. I am spreading the word about your website...Keep it up – our democracy depends on you."
Over the years, BuzzFlash has had many prominent readers including Rachel Maddow (whom we interviewed when she was at Air America and mentioned BuzzFlash was one of the two sites she first reads in the morning), Bernie Sanders and the Gores (when they were still married). In fact, Tipper Gore wrote: "Thank God for you guys – whoever you are. I am spreading the word about your website...Keep it up – our democracy depends on you."
By the summer of 2000, we were receiving four million visitors a month.
BuzzFlash has received four Project Censored awards and in 2010 became a part of the venerable social justice website, Truthout (which was the other site Rachel Maddow said she first visited in an interview when she was on Air America). I proudly worked as editor of BuzzFlash at Truthout for eight years (with two managing editors) – and wrote a daily BuzzFlash commentary.
In late 2018, Truthout wanted to focus all of its staff on the main site and generously returned BuzzFlash to an independent site. Since that time, we’ve been constructing a new site with limited funds, aiming to fill the hard-hitting niche that marked our emergence in 2000.
The one thing none of us can afford to do is give up. The Republicans rely on squashing our morale. Too many Democrats in Congress and state legislatures let them get away with it. The Republicans are extremely successful at shaping the narrative. When Nancy Pelosi charges that Trump is guilty of crimes, but hesitates about impeachment, it is not that she is fearful of Trump not getting impeached in the Senate. What she fears is that the Dems won't be able to control the narrative. After all, if Mitch McConnell can get away now saying he would vote on a Trump-nominated Supreme Court justice within the year before a presidential election, you can see how fearless the GOP is about controlling the narrative. They know that the Dems don't have the strategic ability or consensus to put the Republicans on the defensive. Given that the Obama administration failed to build a national consensus to force a vote on Merrick Garland, that it failed to use political capital and effective political messaging, it is an indication of how openly audacious the GOP can be without repercussions.
There is hope on the horizon, however. BuzzFlash is energized by the rise of numerous organized leftist popular movements. These catapulted in strength after the Wisconsin union protests against Scott Walker and Occupy Wall Street, building upon the foundations established by MoveOn and Netroots. Then Trump was elected and the resistance gained even more energized grassroots groups, including the Democratic Socialists of America. One of our goals is to amplify those efforts, with your support, on the reborn BuzzFlash. They represent the future of a just and embracing democracy, and a world that must rapidly address climate catastrophe
Come grow with us as we expand with your support.
-Mark Karlin, Founder and Publisher of BuzzFlash