Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Our Liberal Media

Here's a fine article by Digby over at Hullabaloo about why the Right can get away with saying the most bat-shit crazy stuff and be taken seriously while "librul socialists" must walk on eggshells constantly.
She compares the firestorm of controversy surrounding one ad by Move-On that compared Bush to Hitler with the silence and chirping crickets surrounding Glenn Beck's hour long tirades comparing Obama to Hitler and Stalin.  She plausibly suggests that their power is a combination of bribery and careerism.

I must admit that I have a hard time being too alarmed about all this stuff.  Maybe it's because I grew up in an environment that was soaking in right wing bile.  The Dallas of 45 to 50 years ago was a very angry paranoid place where John Birch Society propaganda was the norm, and where Adlai Stevenson could get heckled and beat up by a mob.  None of this stuff is new to me; the paranoia, the apocalyptic scenarios, the conspiracy theories, the over-heated rhetoric, it's been around forever.  What's new is the national stage and that backing of powerful corporate interests.   The business oligarchy that ran Dallas 40 years ago (The Dallas Leadership Council) usually kept a lid on the crackpots and limited Klan activity in the police department -- bad for the convention business.  Today, the much bigger oligarchy that owns and runs the United States finds the crack-pots useful.  They deflect public anger over the crumbling economy and unraveling social fabric away from them and toward straw men (like gays and Latinos).  Easily intimidated journalists working for a shrinking "mainstream" journalism industry are usually willing to play along. 

One thing we do have today that we didn't have then is this conversation on this medium.  The Internet seems to have made a difference in the last election.  The Powers that Be no longer control information and public conversation like they were once able to do.  That's why I can't get too alarmed by all this stuff.

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