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November 27, 2012

Time: Hey, You Know Who'd Make A Good Person of the Year? Sandra Fluke, That's Who

I know she can count on the votes of ten people in a parking lot.

One major advantage the leftists have over us is their domination of the media, of course. They can confer "Hero" status on any leftwing political actor, no matter how marginal, no matter how, frankly, whiny and cloying.

This was the real problem with Rush Limbaugh's "slut" comment. It wasn't that he called a woman a slut -- Bill Maher does that a lot. The problem was that the media declared Sandra Fluke a "Hero" and you cannot call a Hero a Slut, just the same -- almost exactly the same, alas -- as you can't shout and give the finger to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

So this whole problem was really the media's creation -- not Rush Limbaugh's mistake.

When Jake Tapper did a soft-focus Hero piece on Fluke, I asked him repeatedly what she'd done, precisely, to earn such status. I also asked him when ABCNews would be running an accompanying context piece analyzing the truthfulness of Sandra Fluke's various "stories" (stories she heard second or third hand, largely via posts on a website) of Birth Control Calamities. He kept saying such a piece was in the works, but it never aired.

At no point did anyone in the media seriously ask if what Sandra Fluke was saying was actually true. They didn't ask because, of course, the answer would not have been to her -- or their -- advantage.

The only relevant fact was that Sandra Fluke was politically aligned with them, and the general leftist attitude they call "pro-sex" (it's not; everyone's pro-sex; Sandra Fluke was specifically pro-subsidized-minor-expense-precautionary-birth-control, not pro-sex). Her "truth" was the vague "truth" of the allegedly pro-sex feminists, which was basically that anyone traditionalist or rightist is evil and backwards and sexually repressive. Since that "truth" they all take to be True Beyond All Contestation, they didn't feel the need to examine her actual claims in detail.

I've made this point before, but I think I'm going to keep on making it. The right cannot seek credibility only in the political realm. Politics are contentious when they're not boring. The best way to win on political points is to do what celebrities and the media do -- win a certain amount of goodwill or credibility in non-political areas, and then spend that capital of goodwill and credibility on politicking.

I saw in the Daily Beast a pointless, hackish article about Karl Rove's love of Argentinian fabulist writer Jorge Luis Borges. (One of his stories, "The Library of Babylon," can be read here. Alas, he's not on Kindle yet, at least not in English translation.) He's often called a fantasist, but this may be misleading for Americans whose idea of fantasy is shaped by someone like Tolkein. Tolkein wrote fantasy, whereas Borges explored the idea of fantasy, what it is, why it happens, what purposes it serves. More like Philip K. Dick than Robert E. Howard. One of his best-known stories concerns a man who creates a fictional world so detailed that other writers begin adding to it, until the time comes that the fictional world is so well detailed it is as real as the actual world. (I think maybe he got this idea from Lovecraft.)

At any rate, this nothing of an article contained three points:

1. Jorge Luis Borges is a writer interested in the idea of fantasy.

2. Karl Rove likes him.

3. Karl Rove ergo has learned from Jorge Luis Borges the art of creating fictional realities for dumb Republicans to inhabit.

I have to stress there was absolutely nothing in this "article" -- really a blog post -- apart from a brief background on a writer, a slim newshook, and a paragraph and a half of the most hackish, tendentious "Republicans Are Dumb and They Lie" bullshit. Seriously, very low level, off-the-cuff blogshit.

Nevertheless, this squeaking fart of a piece was included in their "Books" section, part of their "cultural coverage." And why did I click on it? Because I like Borges. Why did others click on it? Because they like Borges. But instead of reading anything novel about Borges they got a full-face egg-fart about Lying Liars who Lie.

As I said, I'm going to keep stressing this. Conservatives cannot just keep expecting that politics itself moves people towards political choices. The left has created a virtually seamless full-spectrum messaging machine in which hardly a word can be said about any subject without the commentator putting in a good word for socialism or Marxism (or, far more frequently, attacking those who stand against socialism and Marxism).

The right-leaning media would be well-served in expanding its own range of interests to subjects other than politics qua politics, and maybe, at some point, do a little of its own leveraging of non-political credibility into political agitation.

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posted by Ace at 12:22 PM

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