the right wing echo chamber has a party

Posted by on Jul 31, 2007 in blogosphere, conservative, GWOT, Iraq war, liberalism, terrorism | 5 comments

(Updated below)

It’s always interesting to me how the right wing reacts to certain articles that espouse ideas that are so close to their own. Most especially when those ideas are from the most hated of enemies, the despised New York Times. Catapulting the propaganda via the right wing blogsphere. From Memeorandum:

New York Times:

A War We Just Might Win — VIEWED from Iraq, where we just spent eight days meeting with American and Iraqi military and civilian personnel, the political debate in Washington is surreal. The Bush administration has over four years lost essentially all credibility.


You’ll notice a few similar points repeated over and over: The two writers are “liberals” from a “liberal think tank”, Brookings Institution. Neither is really true. Anyone who thinks that Brookings is liberal hasn’t been paying attention.

This smells of a well organized propaganda campaign if ever there was one. “Liberals say the war in Iraq can be won.” Good headline that. And, it’s great fodder for the spinning masses, who can reverse the direction and turn it into something like: The War The Dems May Lose. Brilliant. But, ultimately misguided. Lies come apart. A lesson that these clowns can’t seem to quite comprehend.

And, this isn’t the first time that Kenneth Pollack, the co-writer of the NY Times article above, has carried water for the Bush White House. He did so in August of 2006 in the Washington Post:

Much as Americans may want to believe that the United States can just walk away from Iraq should it slide into all-out civil war, the threat of spillover from such a conflict throughout the Middle East means it can’t. Instead, Washington will have to devise strategies to deal with refugees, minimize terrorist attacks emanating from Iraq, dampen the anger in neighboring populations caused by the conflict, prevent secession fever and keep Iraq’s neighbors from intervening. The odds of success are poor, but, nonetheless, we have to try.

In essence: “Stay the coarse.”, which was the Cheney Administration mantra, and remains so today. I wonder who sent the e-mail to all of the right wing shills above alerting them to the NY Times article this morning? Nicely done. But, pretty obvious.

Of particular note is how the wingnuts swallow this fish whole. No calls for confirmation of the points in the article, as they’ve done with Scott Thomas Beachamp. Considering that the article is in the evil librul traitorous New York Times, you’d think that would neuter the credibility of the article, right?

Yet, there it is, in black and white and they love it. LOVE IT.

Food for thought. There’s a reason behind it all.

Update: Atrios agrees. So does John Cole, and Glenn Greenwald.

Update 2: Think Progress looks at some of the inconsistent facts from O’Hanlon and Pollack’s article.

Update 3: McQ at The Qando Blog steps up and begins the spin when he writes :

The SNAFU Principle has decided reaction to this particular article today smacks of a conspiracy. The proof?

“You’ll notice a few similar points repeated over and over: The two writers are “liberals” from a “liberal think tank”, Brookings Institution.”

Huh. We’re listed with the conspiratorial cabal, but as I scan the post, the words “liberal” and “Brookings Institution” are nowhere to be found. What, did I miss the memo?

And to seal the deal, to make the conspiracy claim irrefutable, he declares breathlessly in an update:Update: Atrios agrees. So does John Cole, and Glenn Greenwald.

Oh, well run up the white flag, the big three have spoken.
Yeesh.

The name of the post? Uh, “The right wing echo chamber has a party”. Yeah, I know … irony impaired. At least the blog lives up to its name.

Of course no mention of the substance of the article, not that any was expected.

Interesting for a couple of reasons.

First, McQ seems to think that simply because the words “liberal” and “Brookings Institution” aren’t in HIS posting, that I am wrong, because, you know, I MUST have been talking specifically about HIS blog. Well, no. Sorry, I don’t read it. But, if one is to, oh I don’t know, think about it for a moment, the liberal New York Times, the liberal think tank Brookings… Not a great jump in logic or facts there McQ. Click on some of the dozens of other links I provide, well, it’s pretty obvious. And, it’s quite clear that the word “Liberal” and “Brookings” and “liberal” and “New York Times” go together in the minds of many on the right. Playing childish games doesn’t alter that. But, I’ll give McQ a A for effort. A C- for execution since he falls onto the tried and true “tin foil” hat offensive attack. Poke that puppy with a stick.

Second, I never said it was a conspiracy. I simply said it was a good example of how the echo chamber worked. And, one way it works is via e-mail to a few of the bigger bloggers and it rolls from there. Same thing happens on the left. It’s not a conspiracy. It’s how propaganda is catapulted. Give it a nice kick, and the masses of true believers, like McQ, will eat it up and do all the work. The blogsphere is fantastic in this regard. But, it also shows a level of informational organization (and ideological group think) when so many link to a single article so quickly. Especially when that article is an Op-Ed in the NY Times, it being one of those places that the right loves to link to so frequently, the hub of extremist right wing thought that it is…

My further point was also quite clear: the massive linking was an example of how the right has no compunction about dismissing liberals, except when when fake liberals spout right wing talking points. (See Joe Lieberman) They get pretty gold stars when they can call people who espouse conservative ideas liberals, in some twisted exercise in proving that all liberals were wrong because a select few from the ranks disagree. The Times functions in that way as well. “Read what it says in the New York Times, of all places” is crowed. Add to it the little bit of cognitive dissonance about the NY Times being the citadel of hated liberalism except when it’s spouting right wing talking points… It’s an important observation that is shared by many.

McQ doesn’t address the fact that neither O’Hanlon or Pollack, or Brookings for that matter, are not actually liberal. It’s a misrepresentation that is used to the advantage of the right. Nor does he address the selectiveness of the right in embracing the hated NY Times when it suits their agenda. A clarly propagandistic practice in both instances.

Third, I didn’t address the “facts” in the O’Hanlon and Pollack article simply because I felt that three of the links I provided, Greenwald’s, Think Progress, and Media Matters had already covered that ground more than adequately. Perhaps McQ didn’t click on them or read them, so he was ill informed.

Finally, McQ seems to not understand exactly what the SNAFU Principle is… and gets hung
up on that first word. Pretty typical. It’s a lot of syllables to be sure, and literary. Here’s a clue, McQ. Maybe you should read the book.

So, in the end, it’s rather telling that McQ decides to invoke the tinfoil hat attack, and the condescending attack, when it is plainly clear what I was saying. It must have hit pretty close to the mark to get him all riled up like that, don’t ya think? Maybe he’s just upset cause he never got an invite to the party.

(Correction: For some reason, the WaPo quote that I placed in the final draft reverted back to one I had in a prior draft. The blockquote code in the Memeorandum quote seems to be the culprit. I’ve corrected it.)

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