Friday, December 31, 2010

"Shooting the Messenger"

A commenter from Canada (he says) complains that I was "shooting the messenger" in my last post.  I guess it depends on what that metaphor means.  I always figured that the idea behind "shooting the messenger" was, somebody brings bad news of some kind to a person of power (frequently "the King), and because such news upsets said person of power, he dispenses with said messenger in a fit of pique, such dispensing  being fundamentally unfair and unjust, since the messenger is just passing some information along and might not even have, as Mr. Clinton enjoyed saying, "a dog in the fight." 

So then, having gotten the definition right, did I shoot the messenger when I suggested that the right wing punditry is sort of like Lord Haw Haw invited into the tennis match, where Mr. Haw Haw spills the lemonade and throws cue balls and soccer balls around the court until the party is pretty much over, and Mr. Haw Haw's employers can come in and build themselves a nice shopping mall on the ruins?

What I perceive is a massive stream of political propaganda coming from the airways, 24/7.  A cacaphony of voices, all reinforcing a number of lies and false presuppositions to the point that the "average voter," who hates politics and at best just goes and votes at the last minute, begins to believe many mistaken things about, in the case in point, liberals generally, and the Democratic Party, and the current President.  These mischaracterizations become so commonplace as to be "truths."  Or perhaps "truthies," to cite a pretty good commenter on the scene.  And behind this onslaught of Haw Haws?  Well, there's certainly a lot of money, and monied interests, as usual.

So I'm just drawing attention to this feature of the landscape, and I don't think I'm capable of doing anything more that quoting the Red Queen, since I'm certainly not the king of anything.  I would imagine that people who are "fair-minded," versus those who are engaged in some sort of "culture war," would be concerned about this army of Haw Haws.  It's not the individual arguments that worry me, it's the massive deluge. 

Having stated this worry as clearly as I can, I'll move along.  Y'all have a Happy New Year if you can. 

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