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Conservative Media Echo Chamber Dominates, Steers Democratic Party

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The Right has shown in the past months it has extraordinary power in America. Even when in the minority, the Right is proving that, through certain apparatuses and organizations, it can determine the shape and outcome of policy and who or what organizations will be allowed to be affiliated or involved in government as these policies or reforms take shape.

Democrats have done virtually nothing to prevent conservative media attack campaigns on members of the Obama Administration or organizations supportive of Obama from being successful.

House Democrats and Senate Democrats have knowingly supported the Republican campaign against ACORN, an organization which played a significant role in registering new voters in the 2008 election. These Democrats have caved to a media smear campaign waged by conservatives who have been inciting their base to make more and more noise about an organization that they wish to see defunded because it is so effective at registering the poor and working class folk that they regularly stomp all over when developing policy and reform.

A recent study on media coverage of ACORN by Peter Dreier and Christopher R. Martin shows that the media has allowed conservative opinion campaigns to determine news coverage of ACORN. The news has spent more time on the charge that ACORN is responsible for voter fraud than they have spent time on the organization's living wage campaigns. And, the news has failed to report that ACORN is a Republican target. [Full study can be read here.]

Democrats, afraid of supporting an organization that the public believes has a link to voter fraud and other corrupt activities, have stood behind decisions to have the Census Bureau cut off ties with ACORN. This shows Republicans were successful in spreading the myth that the organization was going to be providing workers for the census.

FactCheck.org responded in June to the uproar created by FOX News and proved that they would not be providing workers but would simply be one of 30,000 partners the government would be working with to make the census a success.

The Rachel Maddow Show has been investigating the campaign against ACORN. Maddow has been rightfully showing how this is only empowering Republicans to move on to other organizations so they can wholly defund and delegitimize groups and organizations that conservatives believe help prop up the Democratic Party.

What is happening with ACORN is similar to and cannot be separated from the successful campaign to smear and discredit Van Jones, who was promoting green jobs as a member of the Obama Administration. Both campaigns came from the right wing noise machine, which consists of FOX News, several newspapers (like the Wall Street Journal) and a number of conservative websites.

Last week, the right wing noise machine got another victory. The National Endowment for the Arts' (NEA) Yosi Sergeant resigned from working with the NEA two weeks after being "reassigned from his post as communications director."

This man who became well known during Obama's campaign for president because of the work he did with Shepard Fairey on the "HOPE" poster, (a poster that became an icon of Obama's campaign) was accused by Glenn Beck of arranging an August conference call with the Office of Public Engagement and United We Serve to "recruit artists to create work in support of Obama policies."

Like Van Jones, the Obama Administration threw Sergeant under the bus. Allowing Sergeant to resign without defending him provided Beck, again, with the pleasure of knowing that the Obama Administration will not, if the noise is loud enough, seek to challenge or disprove conservative smear campaigns.

Conservative opinion entrepreneurs and the conservative media echo chamber has now moved on to Patrick Gaspard and the SEIU. Simultaneously, they are going after Gaspard with the false claim that he is an "ACORN operative" and that "ACORN has somebody on the inside of the White House."

Forget the fact that Gaspard has been an utter disappointment to ACORN if he is in fact an insider and that ACORN may consider him to be a traitor or fraud if they really had put him in the Obama Administration to get specific policies or reforms. Gaspard's history shows he became well known because of his work with SEIU.

According to Change.gov, Gaspard, who is now the Director of the Office of Political Affairs for Obama, once served as the "Executive Vice President of Politics and Legislation for Local 1199 SEIU, United Healthcare Workers East, the largest local union in America, where he helped coordinate political activity and government relations on behalf of 300,000 members." He also "served as the acting political director for SEIU International during the national union's successful effort to help Democrats capture majorities in the House and Senate."

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Kevin Gosztola is a writer and curator of Firedoglake's blog The Dissenter, a blog covering civil liberties in the age of technology. He is an editor for OpEdNews.com and a former intern and videographer for The Nation Magazine.And, he's the (more...)
 

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