If they were less blatant about it we might not crack their code so easily

Jed Lewison at dKos has a new story up on the right wing faerie tales of Michelle Obama's recent statements:

Right-wing machine attacks Michelle for focusing on childhood obesity

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:

Michael Mukasey's secret plot to aid the New Black Panthers

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.

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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.

Fear the black man! They are radical! They are coming to get you!

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:

Hmm, Malkin compares Tea Party to radical, fringe racists?

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

Oh brother.

No votes yet


she walks softly and listens.....GOP is powerless and not being able to criticize really freaks them out.

Really good commentary!!!!

And received a link last night in emails that pretty much started where I was going. I kind of modified it for "GOP theme week" given Jed Lewison's story this morning.

I don't know how long this topic will cycle...........

Thernstrom may be right, but she misses the point. Like the ACORN case, it's not about a real investigation; it's about staging an effective piece of political theater that hurts the Obama administration.

have nothing to do with the old "Black Panthers" and neither have anything to with Obama. Though, I suspect you'd find some of the old Black Panthers involved politically or financially a bit now. I would not be surprised if some of them are even Republicans. lol Anyways, it is all a political witch hunt:

A conservative dismisses right-wing Black Panther 'fantasies'
By: Ben Smith
July 16, 2010 05:48 PM EDT

A scholar whom President George W. Bush appointed vice chairwoman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Abigail Thernstrom has a reputation as a tough conservative critic of affirmative action and politically correct positions on race.

But when it comes to the investigation the Republican-dominated commission is now conducting into the Justice Department’s handling of an alleged incident of voter intimidation involving the New Black Panther Party – a controversy that has consumed conservative media in recent months – Thernstrom has made a dramatic break from her usual allies.

“This doesn’t have to do with the Black Panthers, this has to do with their fantasies about how they could use this issue to topple the [Obama] administration,” said Thernstrom, who said members of the commission voiced their political aims “in the initial discussions” of the Panther case last year.

“My fellow conservatives on the commission had this wild notion they could bring Eric Holder down and really damage the president,” Thernstrom said in an interview with POLITICO.

Read on...

And the GOP drumbeat goes on...has the DOJ become politicized?
Bring on the probe...we don't want white people intimidated at the polls but did anyone complain?

Probe in New Black Panther case

The Justice Department's internal watchdog is investigating allegations that its civil rights division enforced voting laws in a racially discriminatory manner, officials said Monday.

The review by Inspector General Glenn A. Fine is an outgrowth of the political controversy over a 2008 voter intimidation case against members of the New Black Panther Party. Some conservative lawyers, politicians and commentators have said that the civil rights division improperly narrowed that case, part of their broader allegations that the Obama Justice Department has failed to protect the civil rights of white voters.

It appears the DOJ focused on the man carrying the nightstick and not the other accompanying men due to lack of evidence.

Here we are January 2011. I found an interesting article with details previously withheld from the public. It is a good read, photographer statements, video. This is also the first time I saw mention of the hiring of a videographer....

TPM Excerpt:

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, which has doggedly pursued the Justice Department's handling of the New Black Panther Party voter intimidation case, released the final version of their report this week, complete with responses from all the commissioners on the panel. Two Democratic commissioners who have dissented from the investigation pointed out the additional footage in their reply and note that while the Justice Department handed over a full copy of the video, the Commission didn't see fit to post it online until this month, far after the report had been finished.

The video shows that the white Republican poll watchers who showed up to the majority African-American precinct knew exactly what kind of media sensation they had on their hands.

"We're on the same team," says another Republican poll watcher off screen.

"You're fucking up the story. Don't fuck up the story," one unidentified poll watcher tells Morse.

"You guys are lawyers, I'm a videographer," Morse says.