Andrew Bretbart may smell like bad ass, but he knows how to grab center stage as the corporate media breathlessly latches on to his bigoted scams and lies and -- thus -- making the Democrats in D.C. looking like they just took a bath in watered down cow dung. That's why BuzzFlash honored him as the Media Putz of the Week a few days ago.
Breitbart's ostensible most recent target, as ACORN and multiple other progressive groups and persons have been, was Shirley Sherrod, a role model for racial healing that BuzzFlash honored with its Wings of Justice Award. And take her down he did, as he utilized FOX and the right-wing echo chamber to prime the corporate mainstream media into its usual tabloid frenzy whenever a juicy morsel of mistruth and fraudulent character assassination emerges from the likes of Drudge, who gave Breitbart his start, or FOX Fraudcasting.
Except Sherrod was not the target, just the vehicle to distract the media from a week in which Obama signed a relatively weak but nonetheless historic financial reform bill. What's more, the right-wing media echo chamber has two main strategies to weaken America's movement forward as a socially and economically just society: 1) make vulnerable whites feel that they are being vicitimized by blacks and other minorities (make them feel it in the gut); and 2) yank the chains of the Democrats in D.C. by making them look weak when attacked. On both counts Breitbart, FOX Fraudcasting, Beck, Limbaugh and their co-horts are extraordinarily successful.
Just look at how the White House first reacted to the baseless and edited-videotape Sherrod charge; it fired her. It makes the White House look weak and -- well -- like a sissy. And the right wing is all about the assertion of white male power -- from the "shock and awe" of Iraq, to the financial pickpocketing of America by primarily white male barons on Wall Street, to the omnipotent power of the gun lobby, to the opposition to enfranchisement of blacks and Latinos. So Breitbart, with the Sherrod accusation (which no major media outlet would have covered had it not originated from a "respected" member of the right-wing character assassination squad) not only achieved goal one (riling up the emotional sense of victimhood confused and bigoted whites feel minorities impose on them), he threw Obama off his game and made him look weak. And looking weak is the ultimate failure in the world of the high-testosterone white males.
Since BuzzFlash started in 2000, we
have hammered away at the sweeping context and "conventional wisdom"
created by the corporate media (which is deferential to the right wing
"frame" and memes), and how the Democrats in D.C. not only rarely fight
back, they almost never put the character assassins and right-wing
manufactured factoids and "center-right" conventional wisdom on the
As we see almost every week with the GOP and its Amen Chorus in the media, if you repeat a lie five times it becomes the "truth" to many Americans. The Dems in D.C., including the White House (except for an occasional lip service denunciation from President Obama), continually retreat when confronted with the repeated lies and are afraid to even utter the truth. That explains why someone like Alan Grayson becomes a hero to progressives; he not only fights back, he also offers up the truth and doesn't back down.
Breitbart claims that he is an upholder of morality and some higher ground of an America who has lost its principles, when he is a shining example of just how badly we have lost our bearings; he operates from the gutter and seeks to create a paternalistic nation of oligarchical rule. His is not the United States; this is the Europe that we rebelled against in 1776, although even that monarchal system was infinitely more civil than Breitbart and his band of bilious, vitriolic dirty trick manipulators.
Before he took office as President, Abraham Lincoln wrote, in response to threats by the slaveholding states: "We are told in advance the government shall be broken up unless we surrender to those we have beaten, before we take the offices. In this they are either attempting to play upon us or are in dead earnest. Either way, if we surrender, it is the end of us and the government. They will repeat the experiment upon us ad libitum [whenever they want]."
Lincoln knew that the Southern white males were testing his resolve and manhood, and that he could not yield because that would just invite further "tests." Lincoln never compromised his moral compass, and he never surrendered from telling the truth in the midst of lies and immorality.
President Obama would be wise to learn the lesson of Lincoln's firmness in the face of a slimy but well-oiled propaganda machine of lies that evolves into "conventional wisdom" and the faulty perception of a "center-right nation" by the corporate mainstream media.
Lincoln made, in 1858, the famous utterance that a "A House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand." Obama needs to assert the leadership that unclothes the lies that have become "conventional wisdom" and unite the nation against the carnival barkers of the right.