The work of the new Salon: Should progressive and liberal news orgs ape the conduct of Fox?
In our view, the answer is no. In our view, you can’t create a progressive politics by misleading progressive voters. Beyond that, we can’t imagine a good outcome from teaching liberals to hate.
More and more, though, the methods of Fox seem to pop up at Salon. That brings us to Digby’s new posts.
Doggone it! The analysts burst into tears when they read her post about Rick Perry. That’s because they had already read the news report to which Digby linked right at the start of her post.
Doggone it! In the highlighted passage, Digby is conning her readers:
DIGBY (7/22/14): Everyone has undoubtedly noticed that Texas Governor Rick Perry is suddenly sporting a pair of hipster glasses which his advisers clearly think make him look so much smarter than he was in 2012, when he could barely remember his name in the Republican primary debates. (In fairness, he has since admitted to being high on drugs at the time.) Much like his fellow Texan George W. Bush, Perry is a guy who does love to sport a costume. For instance, this fetching Halloween get-up in the character of Doug Neidermeyer from Animal House. (Again, in fairness, this was his actual uniform in the corps of cadets at Texas A&M.)Did Perry mean that “the little children” are the ones who are “assaulting America?”
Now that he’s off drugs and wearing some sharp Warby Parkers, Perry is making another run at the presidency. And as the Texas governor (for what seems like the last century) he’s milking the refugee crisis at the border by remembering the Alamo and standing his ground against the hordes of “illegal” children and nursing mothers who are invading his state. He said yesterday that he “will not stand idly by while our citizens are under assault and little children from Central America are detained in squalor.”
It looks like the geek specs haven’t improved his verbal clarity. One can’t be sure who it is he thinks is assaulting the American people but by process of elimination one can only assume it must be the little children.
As she quoted Governor Perry, Digby linked to this Washington Post news report. If you read its first five paragraphs, you can see that Digby was misrepresenting what Perry actually said.
(Note the reference in paragraph 2 to “preventing criminal activity by Mexican drug cartels on the Texas side of the border.” Also note this sentence: “Perry did not outline any role for them [the guardsmen] in dealing with the unaccompanied children at the border.”)
What Perry proposed may have been fairly dumb. For some reason, Digby seemed to feel the need to make it crazier, almost perverse.
Hannity has done this sort of thing ever since roughly forever. In fairness, Digby was giving us a wonderful way to hate Perry even more.
But can you build a progressive politics by misstating basic facts in such obvious ways? We’re going to say that you cannot, and that the “decent people” for whom Digby claims to speak wouldn’t want her to do so.
Yesterday, Digby took a different tack. In this overwrought post about overwrought people, she fell back on her fainting couch concerning the demons of Dealey Plaza.
Yesterday morning, this was the featured report at Salon. Let’s get clear on the situation which had Digby clutching her pearls.
She started with a rather detailed history of the killing of President Kennedy. Reading it, you’d have no idea that Kennedy was killed by a rather crazy person whose politics came from the left.
Conservatives often claim that liberals distort the history of Kennedy’s death this way. Until yesterday, we’d never seen anyone torture the story in precisely the way conservatives like to mock.
Digby’s history was rather strangely told. As she continued, she focused on a bunch of people who apparently conduct a monthly demonstration at Dealey Plaza.
We watched the tape Digby provided. By our lights, the people staging this demonstration express silly, overwrought views.
That said, there seemed to be maybe eight of these people—and while they seemed rather foolish to us, they weren’t threatening anyone.
We’re talking about a tiny handful of people. Still and all, these were Digby’s words as she fell back on her couch:
DIGBY (7/24/14) Unfortunately, the venom, the incoherent conspiracy-mongering, the visceral loathing still exist. In fact, in one of the most obliviously obtuse acts of sacrilege imaginable, Dealey Plaza is now the regular site of open-carry demonstrations. That’s right, a group of looney gun proliferation activists meet regularly on the site of one of the most notorious acts of gun violence in the nation’s history to spout right-wing conspiracy theories about the president while ostentatiously waving around deadly weapons.Go ahead—watch the tape. Virtually no one is there!
Travelers from other nations who come to Dealey Plaza to pay their respects are undoubtedly startled to see yahoos carrying guns and passing out extremist literature very much like the literature that was distributed in Dallas in the fall of 1963. In most places in this world, such contempt for national hallowed ground would be frowned upon by decent people. But in America, armed men and women marching around spouting hatred for the president at the very spot where a former president was assassinated is business as usual. We are “free” here to carry guns in public and dare others to argue with us. But that doesn’t make it any less vulgar and profane to do it in a place of national grief—and what should be a monument to right-wing ignominy.
On the 50th anniversary of the assassination, historian Darwin Payne, who was a journalist in Dallas in 1963, said, “You could feel it in the air. When I hear some people express hatred for Obama, it feels the same. But I never have felt we are on the verge of anything like the events I witnessed back then.” Let’s hope he’s right. There are a whole lot of people with a political ax to grind who are wandering around our streets armed to the teeth. As Mrs. Doyle said in her letter, “These people are crazy, or crazed, and I’m sure that we must realize that their actions in the future are unpredictable.”
Here’s the video of the Dealey Plaza open carry event.
We think that handful of people hold rather silly views. We think Digby is possibly being sillier.
You might call it “the Pawnbroker syndrome.” A person can become so obsessed by the bad acts and vile thoughts of The Other that they can’t live without finding the latest example.
If the latest example involves eight people demonstrating once a month, that bad act will have to do. The offended party will shriek about the eight bad people, hoping to get everyone else in the tribe riled up.
We feel sorry for those eight people, who seem to be lost souls. They're showing bad judgment in our view, but they don’t seem especially dangerous.
We feel a bit less sorry for Digby, who is way too smart to be behaving these ways.
Last week, it wasn’t true that “scores of people” were spitting at those kids. This week, that isn’t what Perry said—and that dream fugue history of JFK’s death comes straight from conservative fever dreams about what “The Liberals” do.
It was Dr. King’s explicit bottom line: You will not force me to hate you. Dr. King is remembered, revered throughout the world because of that bottom line.
At some point, tribal players start needing the hate. Has the hate started swallowing Digby?
People! No one was spitting at the buses. And that isn’t what Perry said!