Thursday, April 1, 2010

First you build the strawman...

"The current media talking point is that ONLY the Tea Party/the Right/Republicans/Conservatives are making threats, against Democrats." - ONLY the Right huh? - The Daley Gator

I won't go so far as to say that no media personality anywhere has made any such claim, but I submit that there are very few who have, and that they're likely not serving a major market... In short, contrary to the claim of this blogger--as well as others who are spinning the case that liberal violence, vandalism, and bigotry are treated differently than conservative violence, vandalism, and bigotry, background circumstances being equal... or somewhere close to equivalent, anyway--it's far from a media talking point.

I asked the blogger who posted that whether he'd be willing to quote a few of those media talking heads saying that ONLY the right are making threats in a comment early yesterday morning, saying:
I take issue with your premise…

Any chance you might provide a few quotes of individuals in the media saying that ONLY the right engage in this behavior? Because I’ve heard a good bit of “the other side does it, too” from the reportage, even involving instances where the broken glass/nasty phone message/cut gas line about which they’re reporting is only found on one side of the equation…

I submit that, when the terms are the same, anyway, the media reports/doesn’t report pretty much evenly. (By which I mean that no, threatening verbiage against Breitbart won’t get the same coverage as threatening verbiage against an elected official, but when it’s elected official / elected official — say Cantor vs Stupak — the amount/degree of coverage is pretty similar.) - ONLY the Right huh? - The Daley Gator, March 31, 2010 at 5:04 am comment
but so far, there's been no response.
Let's go to the video tape:

A collage of Tea Party activist signage over the past year:

A collection of anti-war protester signage and spoken word collected while Bush was in office:

Anyone see a substantial difference between the extremist nutjobs on the left and the extremist nutjobs on the right? I don't, but some folks on the right sure seem to...

Evan Coyne Maloney, the man who created the latter video, had this to say:
Not too long ago, taking to the streets to protest your government was considered a patriotic act.
What we said, if I'm not mistaken, was that it wasn't an anti-American act, and that this country was founded on dissent. Protest pretty much always has been patriotic, but that doesn't mean protesters are free to say and do anything they wish without facing criticism from the rest of us or legal action when appropriate. The impulse and the act of protesting is patriotic; bigotry, violence, and vandalism however, are not patriotic acts, even when committed at otherwise patriotic, all-American events.
But it seems that publicly airing your grievances stopped being patriotic right around noon on January 20th, 2009.

Once President Obama was sworn in, protesting became incitement to violence.
Of course that's ridiculous... It's not protesting against this or any President or policy that's potentially dangerous, but what some fools say and do at protests and elsewhere that may incite violence and other bad acts...
If you’ve opened up a newspaper or watched a cable news program in the past week or so, you’ve probably seen members of the media painting Tea Party activists as dangerous bigots. That’s because disagreeing with President Obama on issues like government spending and high taxes makes you a racist, you see.
What you've seen for the most part is members of the media highlighting individual Tea Party activist words and deeds that they believe have been dangerous or bigoted, as well as other members of the media ignoring or papering over those "few bad apples" and defending the Tea Party as a whole. Disagreeing with the President on the issues has never made anyone a racist. Expressing disagreement with the President on the issues in racist terms however, has.
What’s interesting about the media’s latest freak-out is that there were radicals a-plenty under President Bush. They protested in the streets. They talked openly about revolution and killing. But oddly, the violent imagery used by people claiming to be advocates for peace never registered with the media. They were too busy fawning over Cindy Sheehan.
More whining victimhood about a media that hates conservatives...
Yes, there were protesters (and radicals, too) under President Bush, just as there are under President Obama. And yes, the Tea Party reactionaries and their bigoted, violent imagery has gotten more attention than the anti-war radicals and their violent imagery. But that's because the Tea Party movement as a whole has gotten more media coverage. (Does anyone remember an hour long CNN special on anti-war protesters, where representatives were able to come in and express their views, unfiltered? Yeah, me neither...)
Why the difference in coverage? Did the media cheerlead the protests against President Bush to hurt him politically? Are they trying to marginalize the increasingly powerful Tea Party movement because they favor President Obama’s agenda?
The difference in coverage of the Tea Parties in general isn't very difficult to explain... (It has to do with the fact that one of the organizers is a lobbyist and former US House Majority leader... Just a guess...) And cheerleading? FoxNews hosts fanned out and became featured speakers at Tea Party events throughout the country, running free advertising for Tea Party events for weeks, as well. (It's one thing to cover the story; it's quite another to be the story...) Show me a mainstream news source that did anything like that for anti-war events.

As for why the bigotry and vandalism is getting more coverage, I think that also has to do with who the victims of the behaviors are... Call a former civil rights leader and current US congressman a nigger, and/or spit on the guy, and it's going to make news... When there's a rightwing nut on the internet who suggests breaking the windows at Democratic congressional district offices to protest the passage of healthcare reform--and then there's a series of broken windows at Democratic congressional district offices--the media is going to notice and report on it. First black President as monkey? As witch doctor? Watermelons growing on the Whitehouse lawn? I'm sorry, man, but that stuff is clearly bigotry, and like it or not, it's going to make a difference to we citizens, both in and out of the media...

Yes, Dubya was portrayed as a smirking chimp too, and yes, it wasn't very nice when individuals on the left did it to him, either--but anyone who doesn't understand the difference between portraying a white man as a monkey and a black man as the very same monkey just doesn't have the intelligence one needs to speak in public... It'll be a great day when protesters can portray anyone of any race as a monkey and have everyone take it as a comment on the person's intelligence or protrusive ears, and not a comment about race, but we just ain't there yet...
One thing’s for sure: If there is such a thing as dangerous rhetoric, then the media is at least one president too late in reporting the story.
There is such a thing as dangerous rhetoric, and both videos above show some... If it's wrong to demonize the president by comparing him to Hitler, it's wrong to demonize the president by comparing him to Hitler... Two wrongs apparently do make a right to some folks, though... If your first response to seeing bigoted signs being held by your own side is to point to bigoted signs being held by the other side, there's something wrong with you. (Now, if you can show me a guy holding a BusHitler sign in 2004 saying that tea baggers holding Hitlerbama signs are crossing the line, I'll join you in condemning the hypocrisy and double talk bullshit of that asshole...)

Free speech is a wonderful thing; you can learn a lot about your fellow Americans by really listening to what they have to say, good or bad.

Oh look... Donald Douglas at American Power has added his two bits: BUSH = HITLER: The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same...
[Evan Coyne Maloney] is therefore in a good position to recall the signs and symbols of the left-wing opposition to the Bush administration's post-9/11 national security policies. How do they compare to the Tea Party protesters expressing their opposition to Barack Obama's program of national socialism?

Evan has now produced a timely new video splicing together footage that he calls "A trip down memory lane." He describes it as four minutes of nonstop examples of violent imagery and extremist rhetoric employed by left-wing anti-Bush protesters. He writes: "For some reason, despite it being well documented at the time by me and many others, the media chose to ignore it." Indeed.
Here's another photo of the BUSH = NAZI ideological demonization from March 20, in Hollywood:
"Stop Bussh"s Terrorism" (with nazi SS's, natch) photo cut
Recall that "SS" stands for "Schutzstaffel," Hitler's paramilitary security state within the state.
Plus, posted previously, "BOOSH," the racist Bush slur.:
(This one you had to see...)

Racist Bush slur?

Maybe I'm just not smart enough to understand the subtle workings of the neocon mind, but that sure looks like an explosion to me... You know... Boom!!?!

Boosh!! go the bunker-busters!!

(As near as I can figure it, Dr Douglas is trying to say this Boosh! sign has something to do with the internet term "Joooos," which I'm pretty sure is a pronunciation thing--often used by Cons like Donald, very much the same way they've taken to using "raaaaacist" of late--to refer to folks on the left who they claim are anti-semitic -- which begs the question as to why an anti-semite would be making fun of himself by using the term... But I didn't major in neocon logic. (I think I read on a wingnut blog somewhere that the term neocon is itself anti-semitic... Which'll be news to Dr Douglas (Americaneocon), I'm sure... unless it's one of those "it's only ok when WE do it," things... like these Nazi/Hitler references, apparently...) ((Neat how I got back on topic there, eh?))

One more thing you probably ought to know about the picture I posted and the one I didn't... They were back to back, on the same sign. So even assuming Boosh!! is in some way a bigoted thing to say, it only counts as one bad liberal apple, not two...
When it comes to the Democrats, I'm ashamed for my country. But I'm not resigned. The tea parties are the salvation of democracy.

And since I know lefties will say "both sides do it." .... No, sorry, there's nothing -- absolutely nothing -- comparable to the secular demonization and violent rhetoric against the GOP during the Bush years, and it contiues today.
Ashamed of your country, Donald?... I seem to recall you having quite the little hissyfit when the First lady said that... Guess it's ok to say, now that a Republican is no longer President. (Con "rules for thee, but not for me," section 102)

And while I understand that YOU feel that conservative Tea Party Hitler signs are completely different from liberal/anarchist/libertarian anti-War Hitler signs, your feeling that way just doesn't make it so... Unless I miss my guess, most people will think all Hitler signs and other over the top, bigoted, violent exhortations are pretty bad no matter which side is responsible for 'em or what you happen to believe about any of it, but I guess only time will tell...

Also blogging:
Evan Coyne Maloney’s Trip Down Memory Lane : Founding Bloggers
Hate, Violence, and a Short Memory - The Republican Heretic

No comments: