Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Birthers! Truthers! Mama Grizzlies! Tea Partiers!

(Or the more offensive, homophobic term for Tea Partiers.) Crosshairs! Targets!

The list could go on of the labels attached to groups of people or concepts by the media when they want to discount, demean, belittle, discourage discussion, demonize a group, or frame the issue how they want it to be, rather than how it is.

We saw this just recently with pundits rushing to frame the Tucson shootings as ratcheted up Republican rhetoric - falsely, as the facts later showed - from big time sources like the NY Times (Paul Krugman), Huffington Post (Arianna herself), DailyKos, and on and on. The shooting of Rep. Giffords and the other 18 victims was immediately put in the context of Republican political rhetoric being to blame for the actions of the shooter within a few hours of the event. Now, even though this meme has been proven wrong, pundits continue to say things like, "rightly or wrongly, the issue of civility is now front and center." Well, it is WRONGLY, but every time they mention it, they continue to perpetuate this false meme. Civility had nothing to do with it at all, but now, whenever this issue comes up, like Pavlov and his dogs, that is what we think.

This ratchet response, ingrained in us by the media, is coming up again this week in terms of Obama's birth certificate. A couple of articles have surfaced in which the Governor of Hawaii, Neil Abercrombie, in an attempt to dispel once and for all the allegations that Obama is not a natural born citizen, was unable to find his birth certificate. Oops. Apparently, there is a notation of Obama's birth, but no long form has surfaced.

Additionally, a former Hawaii elections official, Tim Adams, has sworn, under oath, that neither hospital in Honolulu has a record of Obama's birth. He doesn't stop there - he goes on to say he was told there was no long form, and also to stop mucking around in this issue.

I am not getting into whether or not Obama is, or is not, a natural born citizen. That is not the point here. Check your response to what I wrote. Even bringing up this issue, no matter how or what has been discovered, is generally discounted as a crazy conspiracy theory, and that it is CRAZY to even mention it.

And that is because that is what we have been told by the media to think (pant, pant, pany, as Pavlov's dog would do). The mere mention of Obama's birth certificate brings derision and scorn upon whomever has the temerity to mention it. For the first time, for as long as I can remember, a presidential candidate was not required to present this document, one routinely required for a number of less important jobs. Yet requesting this one piece of paper has created a maelstrom of gigantic proportions.

We all know that by the mere fact of requesting this document, the requester is crazy. The media told us so. So, there.

Just like they told us Hillary was a cold, heartless Iron Bitch.

Just like they told us Sarah Palin was at the root of the Tucson shootings, or is a crazy "Mama Grizzly," or that she could see Russia from her house (i.e., she's stupid, got it? C'mon, only a MO-RON would think something like that. Never mind she never said it. Picky, picky.).

Just like they told us Tea Partiers are a bunch of racist yahoos (someone might want to tell Representatives Tim Scott and Col. Allen West that they are racists for belonging to the Tea Party. Ahem.).

I am sure you get the idea. The media is not reporting the news, they are shaping what they want people to believe. Even now, CNN and MSNBC continue to perpetuate this whole civility/Republican rhetoric meme for the Tucson shootings, regardless of the facts. That is not news - that is propaganda.

We learned of the JournoListers coordinating efforts to advance Obama's candidacy for president, keeping important stories that might impact his chances out of their respective mediums. That was behind closed doors.

But now, media personalities are getting more blatant about it. Just recently, the Washington Post's Dana Milbank calls out for a "Palin-Free February." Yes, he has put a call out to his fellow commentators to not write or talk about Sarah Palin at all in the month of February.

Now, what kind of responsible journalist, or commentator, for that matter, would even consider such an action, except to continue to shape opinion about this figure? In his article (which you can read if you really want to give him the traffic), he makes some other (predictable) snide comments about Sarah Palin. That is the meme, after all - she is to be derided, demeaned, and ridiculed at every step, dontcha know, lest anyone start to take her seriously as a potential candidate. We cannot have THAT, after all. Rather than straight reporting, or basing commentary on, oh, I don't know, let's say, FACTS, now we just make shit up as if the person said or did it, then attack him/her for it mercilessly until the person become a mere caricature, and should anyone else still actually like them, they are nothing but a bunch of ignorant gun-totin' hayseeds who likely don't have a row to hoe anyway, so who cares what they think? Stupid heads.

And that is where our media is today. They set up these ratchet responses to labels, and dare anyone to stray from their definition or their insistence on who/what those labels represent, tearing down anyone who is foolish enough to disagree. They attack, deride, persecute until the person breaks, then respond with a, "see?? We TOLD you they were x, y, z..." They create the meme, then do everything in their power to make it true.

So, I reckon since I mentioned the whole Obama Birth Certificate thing now, no matter what I did or did not say, I will, forever after, be labeled a Birther. So, what the hell - for good measure, the government carried out 9/11!!! They did! There is no evidence of a plane at the Pentagon! Tea Party members are racist America-haters! Sarah Palin is personally responsible for the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords, and should be thrown in jail immediately!!! (Snark, snark, snark - just in case that was not abundantly clear.)

Hey, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em, right? Wrong. We must stop this insanity with our media. When (formerly) great newspapers like the Washington Post and the New York Times become rumor-mongering rags, we are in serious trouble. Legitimate questions deserve legitimate answers, not derision. Serious investigative journalism must be restored to our media outlets, not regurgitating press releases from this or that party. Rather than allowing loud-mouthed pundits to determine the news, how about having some actual journalists (if you can still find them) to report the news, rather than craft the news? We must stop allowing them to silence us if we do not agree with their manufactured outrage and meme.

Just a thought. But hey, I am just a Birther/Truther/Tea Partier/Mama Grizzly Wannabe/Crosshair Target-er. So what do I know?!


ryanshaunkelly said...

glenn beck
neocon aipac
controlled media
michele bachmann
Divide and conquer?

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

That says it all - "Divide and conquer." Thanks!