Saturday, April 26, 2014
Not a Racist Bone
Rachel Maddow aired this brilliant piece Thursday (4/24/14) night on her show:
Yesterday afternoon on the Hannity radio show, which I'd inadvertently turned to driving home from work (by turning the radio on--Libby had been listening to the radio the night before driving back from Raleigh), Hannity was running some sort of chumly conversation with some other guy he, Hannity, claimed was a liberal radio guy. The guy, whoever he was, said he really hated how the liberals were pickin' on Shawn, cause he knew there "wasn't a racist bone" in Hannity's whole body. Who knew Cliven Bundy was going to come out with all that racist stuff, Hannity said. Later on in the evening, Mr. O'Reilly said Fox's support of Bundy, which wasn't mounted by all of Fox anyways, just a misguided few, was no different than Ms Maddow and the rest of MSNBC "convicting" Governor Christie just because MSNBC wanted to knock off Hillary's most difficult opponent in 2016, see it's all politics anyways.
But the goal, all the time, is to keep these things compartmentalized. This is the Atwater strategy:
Which might be called the Orwell double-speak strategy, if you want to go all classical about it. Nobody wants to be a racist any more, except a few idiots that nobody else wants to associate with. It's got to be some other, chillier, issue. In this case, "government overreach."
Mr. Jon Stewart, just the night before Ms. Maddow's brilliant historical analysis of Bundy's grounding, showed us just how deep the right's concern with the problem of "government overreach" goes. Cue the pepper spray. You can watch the whole thing via this link:
The thing is, the right wing media's "instant history" division wants us to forget yesterday, much less a year ago, or a decade ago, or fifty years ago. The right wing--that is, its funders--want the American voters constantly focused in the present and on the most emotion-laden events of the day. They want us to run, willy-nilly, from one fearsome prospect to the next. If they could run nothing but horror stories of black home invasion-murder-rape, that'd be just fine. Mr. Bundy thinks just like millions of other Fox viewers--he can imagine black people "better off" as slaves and at the same moment justify his own theft of government resources on the grounds that "at least I'm putting food on your tables."
Ms Maddow's piece reveals the real historical context--those people out there surrounding Bundy are the same folks who got so het up in 1995 that a couple of them blew up the Morrow Building in Oklahoma City, another blow against "government overreach." Somewhere there's a video of Mr. Limbaugh's howls when President Clinton suggested that his daily rhetoric of hate had something to do with the bombing.
That's the last thing the right wing media can ever allow to stand. That one thing might be connected to the next. Fox, Limbaugh, and the rest want us to be forever jittering from one crisis to the next. The hard task for people who see more clearly is the leaking dike problem. Tomorrow there'll be a tornado down the road, or hail stones the size of apples, which is pretty damn frightening, but of course has absolutely nothing at all to do with the CO-2 exhaust our magnificent engine keeps pumping into the atmosphere, 24/7.
Once Mr. Hannity put his arm around George Zimmerman, the rest was detail. And what do the right wing media funders want anyways? My guess is, to loot America till there's nothing left but old newspapers blowing down the deserted canyons of our cities, and scared white men with guns watching every crossroads out in the countryside. That's what's going on, when you look more closely.
[photo (c) Yasuhiro Ishimoto]