Thursday, July 22, 2010


The most frequent excuse coming out from the exposed Journolisters is that the splashy comments are being taken out of context, that most of the discussions were far more prosaic. They are quick to point out that there was no co-ordination, no conspiracy, just people expressing opinions, some of which were extremer than others. I don't doubt that most people who agree with them find this an acceptable explanation.

It is unfortunately not one they extend to their opponents. The most recent Tea Party racism scandal concerns a satire that wasn't especially racist. It merely transgressed the way they think we should talk about race. By extension, they think this must mean there is racism driving it.

What they demand from their opponents they should have demanded from each other, if they want credibility. When such unfair tactics as shutting down Fox, or intentionally downplaying a story to help Obama, or calling opponents racist as a mere tactic to put them on the defensive, or describing violent fantasies of "find a rightwinger’s [sic] and smash it through a plate-glass window. Take a snapshot of the bleeding mess and send it out in a Christmas card to let the right know that it needs to live in a state of constant fear," or watching Rush Limbaugh suffer a horrible death, they should have been denounced instantly. Decent people should have said "either she goes or I do."

An additional point, supporting my oft-repeated contention that this is a socially-driven, primitive tribal group rather than an intellectual movement. In advocating that the government shut down Fox News, one said
...shows you that a genuinely shameless and unethical media organisation *cannot* be controlled by any form of peer pressure or self-regulation, and nor can it be successfully cold-shouldered or ostracised. In order to have even a semblance of control, you need a tough legal framework.
Exactly as I have said. They enforce by social pressure, sneers, and condescension. When thwarted, some are apparently quite ready to encourage personal destruction instead. Not that they would engage in any violence themselves, of course. They leave that to others.

1 comment:

Texan99 said...

That's it, isn't it? A group of people exercising their First Amendment rights must be controlled, because they refuse to regulate themselves. Peer pressure doesn't work, because they don't care what you think. Ditto ostracism, because they don't want to hang out with you. What's left? Tough legal control.

Otherwise the fascists will take over.