The hard-left hootenanny known as the "National Conference on Media Reform," -- usually ahem, distinguished by a long Bill Moyers rant about the media being saps for the neoconservative war machine -- has a new star this year: Dan Rather. The former CBS anchor will join Moyers, Arianna Huffington, Katrina Vanden Heuvel and Pacifica's Amy Goodman in calling for courageous, independent (read: radical left) journalism, free of corporate cowardice, from June 6 to 8 in Minneapolis.Former UPI reporter Helen Thomas is also hitting the left-wing hustings, this very weekend, in fact. She is a keynote speaker at the Women, Action & Media (WAM!) Conference in Cambridge, Massachusetts, sponsored by a group called the Center for New Words and the Women's Studies program at MIT. Leftist sponsors also include the sites Alternet, Feminist.com, the Feministing blog, and the magazines Bitch, Dollars and Sense, and In These Times.