Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Yellow Brick Road

Yes, I am still seething about the Shirley Sherrod hit, now being doubled down upon by the right-wing and the media. Even though the entire right-wing narrative apparatus has been found fraudulent on this issue, their position has been so strong and unchallenged for so many years that they are still painting "surrender, Dorothy" smoke signals in the sky.

When did the political and media establishments in this country become such cowardly lions; so weak-kneed that they just bow and scrape to right-wing political narrative? Are they so scared to be called the "liberal media" that they will do anything to appear balanced?

Because funny time is over. If perception is reality, then shit may really end up smelling like roses, at this rate, because Andrew "Behind the Curtain" Brietbart told you so.

Let me get this straight,

Breitbart took a speech about racial unity and, through video editing, turned it into a speech about hate. He misrepresented it in such a way to sell his product, a narrative that President Barack Obama and members of his administration are racists.

He's a good enough salesman that not only did the usual suspects buy his ruby slippers, but so did members of the Obama Administration.

Once exposed as a bold-faced fraud, Breitbart then tried to lie his way out of it, by suggesting that the video was really about other kids, and phantom audience reactions were something other than what they are.

And yet, according to the right wing (hell, even a lot of regular conservatives whose opinions I respect on so many other issues), it is Shirley Sherrod, the NAACP and the Obama administration doing the race baiting and lying. Any individual with the temerity to point out that Brietbart got caught lying to sell his snake oil, any individual with the stones to point out that Fox News and the right-wing sphere of influence swallowed this horsesh-t and asked for more - those individuals are the race-baiting liars.

(Though it is acceptable behavior to criticize the Obama administration and the NAACP for jumping the gun and not actually investigating what was going on. Though the "liberals" won't do this. Mainly because some people refuse to acknowledge when "liberals" criticize the "Chosen One," because that strains the "truth" behind a completely seperate right-wing narrative. See how that works?)

That's such reality-resistant marketing that for his efforts, he recieved not the disgrace and disdain he deserved, but accolades. The Republican Party wants to trot out this individual to raise money. Because that's what is important to Republicans, these days. Not policy, not governing, not even tax cuts - it is all about marketing, because that's all they have.

But my biggest problem is the lack of calling shenanigans on shenanigans. Breitbart got caught lying to sell his product. His odious falsehood got someone fired for doing their job. I mean, if all "racists" were able to save the family farm of the people they were discriminating against, no one would complain about racism again, ever.

For all intents and purposes, Breitbart's career should be spectacularly over at this point, and anyone who has used him as a source in the past should be re-checking what they've written or said to make sure it isn't really about Lollipop Land. A lot of credibility should be suspect, here. Lord knows, if this had been a member of the "liberal" media, the disgrace would be piled high.

However, for some reason, this situation is nebulous. We're back to the dangers of reality-bending narrative and the power of people to delude themselves. We're back to the dangers of "balance," when "balance" too often has been used to refute reality.

Tom Scocca blogs about the confusion of the Washington Post. But there is also a larger point to be made:

Some people believe that an Ivy-educated establishment striver who put Wall Street loyalists like Tim Geithner and Larry Summers in charge of the economy is really a Muslim Communist demagogue and a sleeper agent who used time-travel powers to forge his own birth announcement. Other people believe that those people's passion might be grounded in something other than the president's performance and policy agenda.



DADvocate said...

Sorry, but from what I saw of Shirley Sherrod on CNN, she's as racist and almost anyone. Of course, her talk to the NAACP shows, she promotes class warfare, too. Apparently, you're one of those who believes blacks can't be racist because they're black.

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

If all racists expressed their hatred by doing things like intentionally saving the family farms of people from other races, no one would complain about racism again, ever.

I like to think that growing up down south has exposed me to the ills of all types of racism in one way or another. From all that I have seen and experienced, I just don't get how someone can find racism from Shirley Sherrod based on that NAACP video or her CNN clip. I just don't see it in either one.

What I did see was Breitbart get caught in a knowing and vicious lie that ended someone's carrer and smeared her good name. He did this just so he could further a talking point and make money from advertising. That is despicable behavior that should be roundly denounced.

I'm willing to allow that Sherrod might be angry about that situation. We all might be.

While I'm not willing to call Breitbart a "racist", I can certainly see how someone might think so. To date, his boldest fairy tales have come mainly at the expese of black people, in order to further talking points against a black president.

But I don't know the man from the character he plays on TV, so I will simply call him a partisan and willfully untruthful because that is what he has demonstrated with all this.