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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Manufacturing the news

The economy is running in neutral. Unemployment remains too high. The Gulf remains polluted through mismanagement by a company that coddled a terrorist for the sake of a good deal with Libya. The extremes of the climate are as pronounced as they have ever been.

A common thread that unites these themes is a conservative mindset that rejects growth, punishes the unemployed and coddles big companies. Oh, and is a master at changing the subject.

Washington was caught up with this week with the latest scandal of conservative manufacturing: Obama racism. Yep, the president is a racist, the theme that Glenn Beck has been peddling since Jan. 20, 2009, if not earlier.

And the proof -- the sudden termination of an African-American Agriculture Department employee accused of being a racist herself in a video clip.

The right wing echo chamber and the Twittersphere become inflamed and the mainstream White House press corps follow.

Only one problem: the alleged incident never happened. Shirley Sherrod's words were snipped from a longer video and twisted totally out of context by a member of the vast right wing conspiracy.

There are guilty parties in the middle and on the left: the NAACP for buying the distortion hook, line and sinker and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack for sacking Sherrod without a speck of due process.

But the real culprits here are Andrew Breitbart, who has freely admitted his role as a conservative propagandist and the mainstream media that swallowed this exercise in fiction without a speck of introspection.

Maybe we should edit the No. 1 rule of journalism: If your mother says she loves you, check it out. And if Andrew Breitbart says it's true, assume it is not.

And maybe, just maybe, focus on real news.

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Anonymous Joel Patterson said...

OL--you should check out No More Mr. Nice Blog's post on Breitbart and the MSM: The reason the MSM continues to give credibility to conservatives like Breitbart, Coulter and Limbaugh is "reparations" for all the bad press the "liberal" MSM gave Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Bush.


July 23, 2010 9:21 PM  

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