Media Matters

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:

drudge,wankery,michelle,obama

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!

...snip...

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.

...snip...

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!

Media Wars: Fox Pokes CNN, CNN Bites Back

Oh, boy -- the slings and arrows are just beginning to fly, and this time it looks like FOX News may have bitten off more than it can chew. And it got bitten back in return. Check out the following video from Media Matters TV (Hat-tip Bob in ABQ of DelphiForums and the Huffington Post):

For more information on this, see How Fox Justifies News Distortion as well as the tag Fox News and Citizen Journalist News Corpse.

Media Matters: CNN, Fox Mislead Viewers About Bush Administration's Misleading Iraq-Al Qaeda Link

From Media Matters:

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In June 5 reports on CNN's The Situation
Room
and Fox News' Special Report, CNN correspondent Carol Costello, CNN White House correspondent Ed Henry, and Special Report host Brit Hume falsely suggested that only the Democratic members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence approved the committee's June 5 "Report on Whether Public Statements Regarding Iraq by U.S. Government Officials Were Substantiated by Intelligence Information." In fact, the report had bipartisan support: Republican Sens. Chuck Hagel (NE) and Olympia Snowe (ME) endorsed the report and stated that it "accomplished its primary objective." As Costello noted, the report concluded that "the Bush administration misused intelligence to build its case [for war in Iraq] in 2003 and misled Americans about links between Iraq and Al Qaeda."

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Aren't we getting a little old for this?

Hasn't enough blood been spilled while people play their games of misinformation and propaganda, just to score political points and win the ability to commit even more heinous crimes on our watch?

This is exactly the sort of poor, inaccurate and untruthful information that explains why the traditional media is losing ground to blogs, and it helps explain the growing support and popularity behind the rise of the blogosphere and citizen journalists.