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July 20, 2010

JornoListers In Media Conspired To Kill Jeremiah Wright Story By Calling Questioners "Racist"

Too hot for the sidebar.

How the "racist" sausage gets made.

Katha Pollitt – Hayes’s colleague at the Nation – didn’t disagree on principle, though she did sound weary of the propaganda. “I hear you. but I am really tired of defending the indefensible. The people who attacked Clinton on Monica were prissy and ridiculous, but let me tell you it was no fun, as a feminist and a woman, waving aside as politically irrelevant and part of the vast rightwing conspiracy Paula, Monica, Kathleen, Juanita,” Pollitt said.

“Part of me doesn’t like this shit either,” agreed Spencer Ackerman, then of the Washington Independent. “But what I like less is being governed by racists and warmongers and criminals.”

Ackerman went on:

I do not endorse a Popular Front, nor do I think you need to. It’s not necessary to jump to Wright-qua-Wright’s defense. What is necessary is to raise the cost on the right of going after the left. In other words, find a rightwinger’s [sic] and smash it through a plate-glass window. Take a snapshot of the bleeding mess and send it out in a Christmas card to let the right know that it needs to live in a state of constant fear. Obviously I mean this rhetorically.

And I think this threads the needle. If the right forces us all to either defend Wright or tear him down, no matter what we choose, we lose the game they’ve put upon us. Instead, take one of them — Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares — and call them racists. Ask: why do they have such a deep-seated problem with a black politician who unites the country? What lurks behind those problems? This makes *them* sputter with rage, which in turn leads to overreaction and self-destruction.

Ackerman did allow there were some Republicans who weren’t racists. “We’ll know who doesn’t deserve this treatment — Ross Douthat, for instance — but the others need to get it.” He also said he had begun to implement his plan. “I previewed it a bit on my blog last week after Commentary wildly distorted a comment Joe Cirincione made to make him appear like (what else) an antisemite. So I said: why is it that so many on the right have such a problem with the first viable prospective African-American president?”

And that was the media's actual attitude, wasn't it? They mentioned it begrudgingly, but then sought to penalize those asking questions as racists, or suspiciously unwilling to let go of old racial grievances, didn't they?

The defense will be made, and it's true to some extent, that the people engaging in these racist strategy sessions are mainly out-and-proud lefties, and so this doesn't say anything about the broader MFM.

But it does -- because the broader MFM may not have been commenting -- too careful to weigh in like that and leave tracks -- but their representatives were reading. And they seemed to be of like minds.

In the midst of this collaborative enterprise, Holly Yeager, now of the Columbia Journalism Review, dropped into the conversation to say “be sure to read” a column in that day’s Washington Post that attacked the debate.

And I don't see the Daily Caller noting any MFM types making a defense of ABC's coverage of the bona fide story.


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posted by Ace at 10:45 AM

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