Last seen: 1 year 10 weeks ago
Jed Lewison at dKos has a new story up on the right wing faerie tales of Michelle Obama's recent statements:
The headline on Drudge Report was sinister, touching off racially paranoid fantasies in each of the 11 or so states where his site is still popular:
Increase intensity? Oh no! Michelle Obama is telling African Americans to band together to fight white people! Michele Bachmann and Glenn Beck were right! She's coming to get us! They are coming to get us! And I'm scared!
But there was still part of me that wanted to see her full, unsnipped remarks. I just had to see each and every one of her awful, wretched words. So I kept on digging until I found the transcript.
Actually, it turns out that the transcript was at my fingertips the whole time. It was sitting right there in my inbox from the White House Press Office. How nice of them to send me her hate speech.
The first thing I noticed was that not only did Michelle tell African Americans to "increase intensity" but she also urged more "discipline." Those were truly frightening words to hear, given that the race war was finally upon us.
I kept on reading, hoping to gain insight into her battle plan.
And that's when it happened. After completing the next paragraph, I realized this wasn't a speech about race war. In fact, Michelle Obama was talking about the scourge of childhood obesity.
You can read the actual speech in Mr. Lewison's piece. It suffices to know that the right took a story about childhood obesity and tried to make it look like some radical and divisive speech.
Now... I am no expert on dog whistle politics, the art of targeting certain segments of the population with messages that they will get... But most of the time they aren't so blatant in whistling to these bases and it does not take a rocket scientist to view this within the scope of other recent non-factual stories running rampant in the right wingnutosphere these days. In example, Dave Weigal types out one massive tongue in cheek title and follows with the real story, of which I am only going to use the title and the last paragraph summary:
The conservative narrative goes like this: Eric Holder's DOJ got into office and skunked a successful case against the racist fringe New Black Panther Party because it doesn't want to defend white voting rights. (If anyone has a bunch of examples of white voters being repressed in the Obama era, please, send 'em my way.) In several segments about the case, Glenn Beck has tied the Panthers to Bill Ayers, Charles Ogletree, and Van Jones as the latest "militant group" pulling the strings on Obama policies. A simple issue -- whether the Panthers should be prosecuted further for briefly showing off their nightsticks and glowering at voters outside of a mostly-black Philadelphia polling place -- has been conflated into a catch-all storyline that really makes no sense.
It does not make sense at all since the Bush DoJ was the group that stopped chasing this before Obama was even in office.
But if you were looking for a real story to report on it is in the right wing echo machine... Because there is an ongoing theme of some pretty darn blatant dog whistles in their stories.
The stories the right wing are trumpeting in carefully messaged headlines and echoing through their faerie tales are so fact free that it is almost embarrassing that anyone on the left has to write about it.
And the racism and bigotry behind these tactics are so blatantly evident this time it is probably not really a dog whistle so much as a GOP Klan rally call.
As far as "The New Black Panthers" and their actions? Not the smartest thing to do but the fact remains that nobody reported actually being harassed by them at the polls. NOBODY. Go ahead and look for the police reports from voters that felt harassed. Or any other report beyond the video of them standing there at the polls. And the Bush Doj did not pursue it. But I still think that Michelle Malkin may have actually gotten one right for change, as documented by Media Matters:
July 12, 2010 1:45 pm ET by Eric Boehlert
Back to Michelle Malkin's recent hissy fit about how the the press isn't paying proper attention to the right-wing's concocted conspiracy involving Obama's DOJ and the New Black Panther Party.
When Malkin wasn't whining about the lack of press coverage for the non-story, she complained the press wasn't treating the New Black Panther Party the way it treats the conservative Tea Party:
If a Tea Party activist threatened to kill the babies of his political opponents, it wouldn't just be front-page news. It would be the subject of Democrat-led congressional hearings, a series of terrified New York Times columns about the perilous "climate of hate," a Justice Department probe by Attorney General Eric Holder, a domestic-terror alert from Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and another Important Teachable Moment Speech from Healer-in-Chief Obama.
But with the racism shoe on the other foot, Team Obama and its media water-carriers are exhibiting the very racial cowardice Holder once purported to condemn.
Do you see the blatantly phony premise Malkin sets up? If Tea Party activists had done X, Y, and Z, the press would have gone bonkers. But New Black Panther Party members did do X, Y, and Z and the press didn't care? Not fair claims Malkin because the two groups ought to be treated exactly the same.