propaganda

Liars Among Us Blame Obama for Policy Initiated Under Reagan and GW Bush

Posted by on Sep 26, 2011 | 2 comments

A bit of historical revisionism occurred recently. Dozens of news outlets, including Fox Nation,  and dozens of conservative blogs were repeating the same inaccurate headline verbatim (or nearly): “Obama Administration to Ban Asthma Inhalers Over Environmental Concerns“.  Little Green Footballs debunks the story handily. But, it’s emblematic of a larger problem, a culture of lying, and revising established fact-based history.

Oliver Willis catches one conservative trying to backtrack without admitting the error and calls it as he sees it:

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How To White Wash Racism: Revisiting the Tea Party Racists

Posted by on Apr 26, 2011 | 1 comment

It’s been difficult for the Tea Party faithful to simply admit that yes, they do have racists among them. Every party does, why should they be any different?  It obviously doesn’t mean they are all racist any more than it means that Democrats or Republicans are all racist because they have racists in their ranks. It does though raise important questions that American’s have to weigh when looking at the party, or any party for that matter. There are racists in all parties. Even the Tea Party. But, for some reason, they resist it. My intuition tells me this is because they are hiding the ugly fact that for some one of their primary motivations against Obama is racism. It wouldn’t be new in the annals of American conservative extremism and nativism. So, along comes confirmation of my intuition.

Apparently, my post last year on Glenn Beck’s pleading to the Tea Party to leave their signs at home for the “Restoring Honor” rally struck a cord. Here’s a comment made in, of all places, a fishing forum. (Which popped up in my trackbacks.)

It’s rather revelatory, because it pretty much dances over the blatant racism in the signs I use as examples in my post. Either the author – who not surprisingly uses the anonymous moniker “Detbuch”- doesn’t see the racism, or thinks it’s not important. Either way, he pretty much proves my point.

The anonymous “Detbuch” opens up with a basic logical fallacy, using a straw man argument to essentially say: “Some great American’s were racist, should we have not listened to them?” Which misses the point entirely. He adds to it with  more apologizing for racism via the “we’re all racists” approach. He goes after me a little, not realizing that I didn’t have a problem with the stated point of the Beck rally, I was though making it clear that it was obvious why Beck was asking attendees not to bring signs, because he was afraid there would be racist signs. (As it turned out, that was the least of his worries.) Then in the middle, he gets to doing a “critique” of the photos in my post, in a rather pathetic attempt to prove the signs are not racist.

The problem with personal/anecdotal accounts is that they are all only tiny slices of reality, or versions of reality. Living in Detroit, most of my acquaintances are black. In private situiations, they are all overtly racist–unabashedly and proudly so. They are all Democrats. Is that a reason to not associate with Democrats? FDR, Woodrow Wilson, Teddy Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln, Margaret Sanger (founder of planned parenthood), the founders of this nation, were all racists. I suppose they should not have been associated with. Maybe most, if not all of us, are or have some degree of racism, and we should all become hermits. Can’t we, even with racist tendencies, still have salutary ideas and solutions to political and economic problems? Can’t we even be constitutionalists?

As for Twang’s thang re Beck’s restoring honor rally–just another biased hit piece–and one before the rally even occurred. Speaking of some previous rally, he, as is the common practice, cherry picks a few signs that he considers racist or having racist themes, totally ignoring the host of other signs such as one minutely seen in a background–“congress works for us not the other way around”–which is the predominant animus for the tea party movement. Even most of those he chooses, though rude and crude, are not racist. One refers to religion not race. Another reversed the slavery cliche. Two compared Obamacare to voodoo, another referred to his supposed connection to Islam (Hussein), the Dixie Chicks, and his supposed non-citizenship (Kenya). Another slammed cap and trade and played on the word “trade”–to “trade” him back to his supposed lack of citizenship (Kenya). The last one actually had a racist, mispelled pejorative “niggar.” Twang totally spins and paints Glen Beck’s positive attempt to unify Americans with, at the time, an upcoming rally, into Twang’s misconceived, hateful version–“Beck’s decision to blatantly ride on the coat of Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights movement is nothing except a badly orchestrated and cynical effort to coopt the gravitas of MLK and the Rights Movement in order to replace the glaring lack of it in the Tea Party movement.” Twang’s own lack of “gravitas” is evident in his myopic, slanted, name-calling (teabaggers, tea bag party) and too easy and uncritical accusation that the tea party is a platformless group of know nothings. The actual Restoring Honor rally was of a different philosophical “color” than that which Twang tried to paint it.

Each sign that I highlighted in the post has a unique view that is blatantly racist. It’s not difficult to figure out. But “Detbuch” glosses over it with the nonchalance of one completely desensitized to racist jargon and imagery.

Let’s go over each photo with “Detbuch’s comments and see what’s what.

“Even most of those he chooses, though rude and crude, are not racist. One refers to religion not race.”

“Detbuch” misses the obvious racism here which is implied. Comparing the Christian and the Kenyan with a final “That explains a lot about you.” is a basic eliminationist tactic. It’s implying that being Christian is good and that being Kenyan is a threat in some way, or that is means something bad. It’s hard to think of any of reason why someone would think that being from Kenya is bad other than the fact that Kenyan’s are dark colored. What other reason can you think of?

“Another reversed the slavery cliche.”

Clearly, “Detbuch” is simply not honest enough to see that implying that Obama is a “massa” is using racist loaded imagery and words to make it’s point. And, of course, the idea that a black man in power would be compared to a white man in power in this regard is using racist ideas to make it’s point. “Detbuch” chooses to gloss over it.

“Two compared Obamacare to voodoo…”

Racism is always about demeaning the person. This is an attempt to present Obama as a primitive, an ignorant “witch doctor”. The term “bone in the nose” was often used – and still is – as a racist insult. Pretty cut and dry, wouldn’t you think? I suspect that “Detbuch” lacks essential compassion for blacks, so he simply can’t see the racism that is blatantly clear here. It’s meant to demean Obama and lower him. Perhaps “Detbuch” doesn’t understand the actual definition of racism?

“…another referred to his supposed connection to Islam (Hussein), the Dixie Chicks, and his supposed non-citizenship (Kenya)”


Notice how “Detbuch” glosses over the “go back to Kenya” slight. To him, it’s just a reference to Obama’s “supposed non-citizenship”. When actually, such references have a long racist history. Telling people to go back to their native land is a long time cry of Nativists and racists. “Go back to Africa” for example. You’d think he’d brush up this stuff wouldn’t you?

“Another slammed cap and trade and played on the word “trade”–to “trade” him back to his supposed lack of citizenship (Kenya).” Here’s the photo:

Once again, “Detbuch” misses the racism here.  This one is so obvious, it’s just like the prior one. I wonder why Detuch doesn’t see it? Probably because he focuses on the “cap and trade” but not the actual racist part that says: “go back to Kenya!”. Odd that. Maybe he didn’t read it all?

The last part by “Detbuch” I won’t even go into since Detbuch simply tries to turn the tables on me, and he does such a bad job of it I’d be wasting my time. And, the term “Tea Baggers”, and “Tea Party” are commonly used on Tea Party sites to refer to themselves. Interesting how he thinks my using the term is some type of insult. Who knew. I’d suspect like most Tea Partiers, he was completely unaware of the double meaning, of the former and was not happy. That’s what you get for stealing something rather than inventing your own name.

Finally, it’s telling that “Detbuch” apparently has no idea that the Know Nothings were a real conservative political movement and that the reference to them was not a slight as in “know nothings” but a historical fact that the modern Tea Party are the philosophical and political heir to the Know Nothing party of the 1800s.

Isn’t it odd that “Detuch” doesn’t know his own political ancestry?

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Paranoid People versus Evil Reality

Posted by on Nov 20, 2010 | 2 comments

They are scaredToday’s scary paranoid statement. Proof positive that fear propaganda works. And, works quite well:

“This whole TSA terrorism is nothing more than obama getting back at the American people for his “shellacking” at the polls…”

It must be utterly exhausting to contain so many bloated, incorrect and downright insipid conspiracy theories inside such a wee little brain.

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Glenn Beck to Tea Party: Leave Your Racist Signs at Home!

Posted by on Aug 28, 2010 | 0 comments

Glenn Beck is one cynical and desperate dude. The upcoming “Restoring Honor” rally at Lincoln Memorial is meant to re-brand the sullied and racist image of the Tea Party into the rainbow coalition just in time for the fall election. But, Beck’s decision to blatantly ride on the coat tails of Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights movement is nothing except a badly orchestrated and cynical effort to co-opt the gravitas of MLK and the rights movement in order to replace the glaring lack of it in the Tea Party movement. They are that desperate.

It gets even better though. From the Atlanta Constitution-Journal:

On the air, Beck has asked attendees not to bring signs or come in anger, but to come in a peaceful spirit akin to the one espoused by King. “Don’t bring your signs,” he said on TV. “Bring your hearts … bring your open minds.”

Not bring signs? It’s a rally! Of course you bring signs! But, Beck is obviously concerned. It’s an admission that something went astray last time. He’s worried the same thing may occur this time. The Tea Party 9/12 rally last year was a smörgåsbord of racism and allusions to racist themes. Some examples for historical context:








The Tea Bag Party faithful brushed the documented claims of racism off as untrue, even in the face of the photographic and video evidence. Perhaps they simply can not see the racism. Perhaps they don’t want to see it. But, America knows what it saw.

To be clear, I’m not saying all Tea Baggers are racist. Yet, it can’t be denied that there is a strong racist element within the Tea Party ranks, and that a great deal of the motivation behind the entire platform (such as is is) is of a nativist, racist, hateful and eliminationist nature. Historically, fear, hate and racism have been great allies. And, they continue to be such. The Tea Party is the current day Nativist party, a modern version of the Know-Nothings. The platforms and ideas espoused are practically identical. No one disuptes that the Know-Nothings were a racist and eliminationist movement. The question remains who will claim the mantle of leadership of the Tea Party. Who will speak out against the racism?

The signs above tell the story. Will it happen again? Time will tell.

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Be Careful With That Axe, Jim Hoft

Posted by on Mar 4, 2010 | 0 comments

Jim Hoft, the last great American Patriot in America gets all litigious on Al Gore:

A seven-month old baby girl survived a shot to the chest after her parents shot themselves and their two-year-old in a global warming murder-suicide pact. […] Someone should sue Al Gore. He played on their fears and now a whole family is dead.

We’ll let it slide that if the seven-month old baby survived it would technically mean that the “whole family” was not actually dead, since it’s obvious that Jim is blinded by his grief. So, just as I was considering the warped logic of suing Al Gore for the motive and actions of two obviously mentally deranged persons, when the following came over the AP:

The leader of a household described as a religious cult was convicted of second-degree murder Tuesday along with two of her followers for starving a 1-year-old boy to death because he did not say “Amen” during a mealtime prayer.

The logic of Hoft’s thinking is laid out in all it’s bare nekkid silliness. Given that Jim believes Al Gore should be sued because he “played on their fears and now a whole family is dead” because of global warming, doesn’t it make sense that someone should be sued for the death of the little boy because he wouldn’t say “Amen”? Who inspired this cult to murder? Let’s start with Jesus Christ and end with every Christian church on the planet.

You can see where this is going.

It’s ridiculous of course, but Hoft has never been known for his intellect or integrity nor his consistency. He’s a propagandist, and a good one.
So, anything to taint Al Gore in the eyes of the true believers, even the patently ridiculous, is fair game.

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Dick Cheney’s personal war and fighting terror with democracy not more terror…

Posted by on Feb 15, 2010 | 0 comments

Monday link dump…

  • Cheney: Waterboarding should have been an option for underbomber – “I was a big supporter of waterboarding. I was a big supporter of the enhanced interrogation techniques,” he said. Of course, for years the CIA has maintained that torture does not produce actionable intel. And, of course, the public practice of torture (they went public with this remember) is more PR than anything. I am of the opinion that Cheney understands that torture does not create actionable intel. But, the propaganda value is simply too great in his view. This is the discussion we should be having…
  • Cheney Struggles To Explain Terror Contradictions – Dick Cheney has never been one for consistency of message, nor of adhering to the established facts. It’s unfortunate that he now feels comfortable undermining a sitting president (no matter his political affiliation) in order to secure his own personal legacy and save his ass.
  • Biden: Cheney ‘not entitled to re-write history’ – See above.
  • A Terrorist Tried In Federal Court: The Case Of Aafia Siddiqui – When we examine the facts, it becomes clear that the GOP is using terrorism as political fodder. So, facts such as this get brushed under the carpet. It’s bad for the coutnry and it’s bad politics. But, they are a party in decline after all…I am for trying terrorists in civilian courts. So is the Pentagon.
  • Critical Mass: Dem Agenda Opens Right-Wing Doors – Mandatory reading…
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“they’re stealing our best tricks!”

Posted by on Jun 16, 2009 | 0 comments

Don Surber on the (obvious) White House health care PR push…

A real debate would be between Obama and someone on the other side. Maybe Sarah Palin. Maybe Fred Thompson. Maybe Mitt Romney. There is no shortage of people who would love to clean his clock on this issue.

Mighty impressive list there. Nearly choked on my bagel.

Amusing how conservatives get their underwear in a twist when the Obama Admin uses the public relations tactics that the Bush White House perfected to a razor’s edge.

This is a close second:

When liberals write “faux outrage” they mean that conservatives have a legitimate concern.

Actually, no. When liberals write “faux outrage” they mean to call conservatives on their use of “paranoid style” and other mock forms of propaganda that are solely meant to incite an emotional response devoid of real facts.

It’s telling that Surber feels it entirely necessary to downgrade the point initially, since it does come from the king of right wing disinformation, Matt Drudge… Surber writes:

I was not going to bother with this issue. I saw the headline on Drudge — “ABC turns programming over to Obama; news to be anchored from inside White House” — and figured Matt was having a little fun with the news. A little summertime hype.

Always trust your gut Don. You had it right, then dropped the ball.

But, then… it’s all about us versus them, isn’t it?

Yup.

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Rush Limbaugh: Pied Piper of the GOP

Posted by on Jan 30, 2009 | 0 comments

The Conservative media icon is leading his brethren to their demise.

Last week on Campbell Brown’s show on CNN, Republican Strategist Ed Rollins was asked about Rush Limbaugh and the perception by the public that the GOP is a “bunch of white guys”, and that Obama won, according to Limbaugh, because he was black, and Rollins  replied:

“The reality is Rush is an entertainer. “

It’s a point that is overlooked and needs to be brought to the fore, most especially  since Limbaugh (by the weight of his ego and because a huge power vacuum exists in the Conservative movement at the moment), is the de facto leader of the GOP. But, he’s only a media visage. Not a policy maker.

Rush Limbaugh is an entertainer, a clown, an angry white guy with an axe to grind. There is no delicate way to put it. And, like Sarah Palin, he is only a partisan media image, an anti-intellectual icon created in order to stir anger and hatred amongst the GOP base. Limbaugh is not interested in actually solving problems or offering any workable solutions. He is a propagandist, and a symbol of a power structure and media tactic that is on the decline and inherently detrimental to the work of restoring public confidence.

Take for example Limbaugh’s recent Op-Ed in the Wall Street Journal. His importance to the current debate on the economic crisis is non-existent and ill-informed. Limbaugh’s “economic proposal” is nothing of the sort,  it is only more of the same policies that have already failed.  As neo-con pundit David Frum presciently noted  last fall when assessing the reaction that most Conservatives would embark upon after an Obama election victory:

One thing that will certainly happen is a fundamentalist response…”‘If only we had been more consistently conservative, none of this would have happened; there’s still a conservative voting majority out there, and Bush alienated them with his too-centrist policies and various deviations from conservative orthodoxy; McCain was obviously unacceptable and if the voters turned down ham and eggs, it’s because they wanted double ham and double eggs.(emphasis added)

Rush Limbaugh has shown Frum’s prediction to be true. And, one has to ask: given Limbaugh’s obvious hatred for all things Liberal, and his public statement that since Obama’s policies are “socialist” he wants Obama to fail, if Limbaugh’s Op-Ed is even on the up and up.  Is Limbuagh to be believed? Who is to say his ultimate goal isn’t to sacrifice economic recovery for an Obama slide in popularity and the return of GOP dominance once again? His partisan goals have to be considered. He is obviously more interested in his ideological pals getting back into power than seeing the country regain it’s economic footing. The question for Limbaugh is: If economic recovery meant implementing policies you did not agree with, could you see beyond your ideological blinders? Because as it stands, not even Nobel Laureate’s in Economics have any clear answers as to how to solve the economic crisis. And, it’s hard to believe that Rush Limbaugh is the one who figured it all out.

Beyond this, there’s the sheer ridiculousness of an entertainer like Limbaugh hoisting himself into the economic debate and the political process. Via Skippy, John Cole over at Balloon Juice puts it quite succinctly:

to put this into perspective, imagine the reaction if rhandi rhodes was penning editorials in the ny times dictating the course of policy for the democrats, and the democrats were embracing her pearls of wisdom. i can’t believe the republicans are going to gamble their future like this, but then again, nothing they do surprises me. and, in fairness, considering i voted for bush twice, i am not really in any position to say the country won’t be stupid enough to fall for this. i am living breathing proof that yes, we are that dumb.

And, I have to think it’s more than that. Is political sabotage in the works? Digby writes it seems more than plausible, and I have to agree. A quote from Limbaugh that shows his inner thoughts on Democrats:

I mean, if there is a party that’s soulless, it’s the Democratic Party. If there are people by definition who are soulless, it is liberals — by definition. You know, souls come from God. You know? No. No. You can’t go there.

Continues Digby:

That sure sounds like your garden variety unhinged terrorist to me.Sirota reminds us why it’s not a good idea to negotiate with terrorists, especially one with little power. It tends to do the opposite of what you want it to do.

And, the zeal to see Obama fail apparently extends to GOP House members. From the David Sirota post that Digby refers to:

How do you know House Republicans aren’t negotiating in good faith and are acting as legislative terrorists? Because their rantings are verifiably crazy (h/t Steve Benen):

Representative Virginia Foxx, Republican of North Carolina, said that former President George Bush’s signature tax cuts in 2001 had created years of growth but that the nation’s problems started when Democrats regained majorities in Congress in the 2006 elections.

Again, only legislative terrorists desperate to sabotage the economy would make such deliberately insane statements. Only legislative terrorists would insist that the economy was Teh Awesome under George W. Bush. Only legislative terrorists would ignore the basic facts that most Americans innately know, and that were perfectly summarized by Washington Post.

As I’ve said previously: extremists (or legislative terrorists)  need to be marginalized and kicked to the curb with cogent policy and intellectual integrity. Non-partisan exchanging of ideas is democracy. Holding the process of government hostage and working for failure of policy that could work when you have no alternatives goes by another name.

Go sign the petition and let Rush Limbaugh know that his voice is heard but if he chooses to place ideology before the real debate and the process of implementation of policy that could work (while offering no viable alternatives) then he will be met with ridicule and contempt.

Entertainers and charlatans have a role, but when they become obstructionalists purely to ensure that their ideological power structure (that has been proven to be devoid of any further role) remains in power, then they’ve crossed a line. How we deal with it properly within the rule of law and our democracy will be the test of our mettle.

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start your whining early, avoid the long lines

Posted by on Jan 19, 2009 | 0 comments

Sure to be the main theme of all right wing intellectual thought the next four years (and beyond) the jingosphere gets to whining early and often so as not to be caught without forks and knives once Obama is duly sworn in. The current completely made up scandal du jour?

“What recession? The $170 million inauguration”

Except it’s untrue. Eric Boehlert has the ugly truth. In a nutshell:  The costs quoted and compared – Bush spent 42 million, Obama spent 170 million  – are incorrect:

” …the unsubstantiated Obama cost of $160 million (inauguration + security) compared with the Bush cost of 42 million (inauguration, excluding security). Those are two completely different calculations being compared side-by-side, by Fox & Friends, among others, to support the phony claim that Obama’s inauguration is $100 million more expensive than Bush’s”

Sadly, it will be stated as the 100% truth within the hour and at a thousand dining room tables by supper tonight.

(via Digby, who notes how it’s part of the larger “big spending liberals” meme that conservatives will be peddling ad nauseum.)

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do we torture?

Posted by on Jan 16, 2009 | 0 comments

There’s a lot of historical revisionism going on with regard to US torture policy. Some go so far as to say we’ve only tortured a handful of people… Let’s get it right… So, I dug up an oldie but goodie…

From the Jakeneck Archives in 2005:

Of course the US tortures people

Admitting that fact is another issue entirely. The Bush Administration condones torture and practices it, which promotes a general atmosphere of oppression that turns against American citizens. Not to mention the fact that US companies profit from torture as well.

Torture is big business. But, like the mafia, doesn’t really exist. (wink wink)

Torture
(Editorial cartoon by Andrew Wahl, via Buzzflash.)

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Yes, Virginia, the U.S. occupation of Iraq is about oil

Posted by on Dec 23, 2008 | 0 comments

The Jakeneck Archives. An oldie but goodie from June 12, 2003:

The problem with public relations spin, deception and lying is it will come back to haunt. You’d think that the Bush White House would have learned that lesson from the Clinton experience. But, no.

In the spirit of “If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.“, the current administration has worked assiduously at priming the public relations pump, spreading the word, insisting that the once over and now continuing war against Iraq is not about oil. The sound bite rhetoric is familiar to us all: “This is not about oil. This is about a tyrant, a dictator, who is developing weapons of mass destruction to use against the Arab populations.”

The problem is twofold: 1) the intelligence used in the failed attempt to convince the world that Iraq had viable WMD’s is suspect, the search effort is slowing down, and all of this is creating great trouble for British Prime Minister Tony Blair. 2) The truth is hard to ignore. Statistics are brutal in their logic. The economic/oil situation is not a constant one at all. It is in flux. And, at risk.

The fact that it was always about oil is becoming much more clear. Especially since members of the Bush administration and advisors own words regarding Iraq and Hussein don’t shy away from mentioning oil as a primary concern. As stated in a “Letter to the President” dated January 26, 1998, signed by Elliott Abrams, Richard L. Armitage, William J. Bennett, William Kristol, Richard Perle, Peter W. Rodman, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and several others: “It hardly needs to be added that if Saddam does acquire the capability to deliver weapons of mass destruction, as he is almost certain to do if we continue along the present course, the safety of American troops in the region, of our friends and allies like Israel and the moderate Arab states, and a significant portion of the world’s supply of oil will all be put at hazard.” (Italics mine.)

That seems pretty clear doesn’t it? But, the massive PR push the past few years had a very specific task- to convince the populace both in the US and abroad that the war was over more palatable issues- terrorism, human rights, spreading democracy. Things that make us feel good about invading another country. Anything except oil. Because, there is always the great possibility that, as stated in “The Trouble with Powell“: “the American people do not want their young dying for $ 1.50 a gallon oil.” But, deception is deception. And, it would appear at this juncture that it may have gotten out of control. And, investigations on the WMD problem are coming. Even if the Bush White House and Republicans don’t want it.

Which begs the question: Would they investigate the possibility of cooked Intel if the WMD’s were wearing a blue dress? That old double standard is a drag, isn’t it?

Yes it is.

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using 9/11 as political fodder at the RNC

Posted by on Sep 6, 2008 | 0 comments

The RNC video “tribute” to 9/11. With Obermann’s reaction, and he hits it on the head.

Disgusting.

Note the scary music (juxtaposed with schmaltzy music) with clean and dirty images and the jingoistic narration. Walter Lippman would be proud. My comments follow.

What occurred on 9/11 is not for sale. It’s not an event that is to be used for political posturing, most especially by a group of American extremists who would use it to proffer the most un-American of ideas: if you disagree with us you are the enemy.

The video is propaganda meant to promote fear not only of terrorism, but of any political opposition. Taken in context with the many speeches at the RNC, the only
conclusion that can be made is that Conservatives see political opposition and those who were responsible for 9/11 as one and the same.

It’s all a ruse to continue their goal of one party rule. The most un-American thing I can think of…

What about you?

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Fox propaganda against Obama mirrors Kerry attacks

Posted by on Sep 6, 2008 | 0 comments

Via Sister Liz, Fox News propaganda:

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the mighty right wing machine rattles on and on

Posted by on Aug 23, 2008 | 0 comments

The other day on Hardball on MSNBC, an interesting moment occurred.

Chris Matthews and guests Howard Fineman and Andrea Mitchell started out discussing Obama’s looming VP choice, the various “front runners” on the “short list” (a completely made up list by the media, since no one has a clue, but they make it sound like they do.) and then they switched to discussing McCain’s choices for VP, (which they are equally as clueless about) in particular Joe Leiberman. It went like this:

FINEMAN: Well, I don‘t know. First of all, I think a lot of conservative activists, including Rush Limbaugh, wouldn‘t take Joe Lieberman, either. They respect him. The same with Sean Hannity. But they…

MITCHELL: They wouldn‘t take him. They‘ve already said (INAUDIBLE)

FINEMAN: They said they wouldn‘t take him…

It’s an extraordinary admission that went entirely overlooked. Here are three major media players discussing how conservative media pundits have a powerful role in choosing who will be the Republican choice for VP. The equivalent simply does not exist on the Liberal side. Which Liberal media pundit has that much power? None. An important point to remember in these times.

One of the basic tenets of the modern conservative movement is a hatred for the “mainstream media”. The “conservative wisdom” is that it’s riddled with Liberals and that Liberals control it. Far from the truth obviously.

Yet, by their own logic, Limbaugh is the enemy, since he is a member of the mainstream media who literally has a role in controlling our lives and our government functions. Yet, they don’t seem to mind. It’s about ideology of course. It has nothing to do with the higher ideals of democracy and freedom of the press and everything to do with limiting the message to only those ideals they profess, limiting it to conservative ideas. It’s basic fascism and eliminationism.

And, seeing it referred to in such a blase manner on Hardball was shocking to say the least.

When I was a boy, I would read about how military and press people had control of the process of government in the Soviet Union, and it sent a cold, rippling shiver down my spine that I always remembered.

That feeling has returned.

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us versus them

Posted by on Aug 22, 2008 | 0 comments

A friend sent me a video that bothered me a great deal. It’s something I’d seen before, earlier this year. In a nutshell, it uses sugary music and mixes clean and dirty images to pound home the message that the evil Palestinian’s have killed 123 Israeli children since 2000. And, there are videos from the Palestinian side that demonize the Israelis for killing 1050 children, (Human Rights Watch numbers) using forceful rap music to present a different hipper attack, but one that is as dishonest and one-sided.

It’s bothersome for a pretty elemental reason: there are always two sides to every issue. And, that’s part of the problem with grey propaganda of this nature: It’s meant to portray only one side of a very very complicated issue. Especially egregious considering that it’s horrific that children are dying while adults argue about who is right.

Rather than get in a tit for tat who has suffered more, bigger numbers means bigger pain or higher moral ground argument, it’s best to remember that the fatal flaw in propaganda of this type is that it foments hated by hiding behind saccharine sweet music (or hip pop rap) and the faces of children juxtaposed with graphic horrors of destruction, of torn and twisted bodies. It offends on the most basic of levels. It’s only aim is to keep the fires of hatred burning. Yet, people eat the message up with a spoon, because it appeals to our basic fears and biases.

Serious issues deserve serious thought. Not propaganda that reasserts hatred in the guise of sweetness and light, or by asserting that people kill to “be cool”. People kill because they are detached from reality. Eliminationist rhetoric and You Tube videos that propagate eliminationist thought are a symptom of the inability to move beyond fear and hatred. And, that’s a huge problem. Especially when it’s packaged in a way that makes viewers feel they are watching something of depth, when they are being manipulated.

Both Israelis and Palestinians need to stop jockeying for the who has been victimized more award and start facing the bitter realities of what is going on and fight for solutions. Because they exist.

Anything less is insulting to the memory of those who have died on both sides and ensures that more will die in the future. And, that’s tragic.

And, unnecessary.

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