Tuesday, April 28, 2015


You played Telephone as a kid, right? One person whispers something to the next person, who repeats it to the next person, who repeats it to the next, and so on. The fun is finding out how much the message has changed after several repeats.

Right-wingers play Ideological Telephone. It's a very different game: Instead of changing the message inadvertently, they do it deliberately. The fun for them is increasing the level of hate in America, as fellow right-wingers become enraged at what they now think someone they don't like has said.

Righties playing it now. Here's something President Obama said today during an appearance at the White House with Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe:

I don't have the exact wording. It's being reported several different ways. Here are a couple of other reports:

You get the message.

[UPDATE: Here's what he said, via NBC:
"If we really want to solve the problem, we could. It would require everybody to say this is important, this is significant and that we just don't pay attention to these communities when a CVS burns, when a young man is shot or when his spine is snapped."]
Now, how is it being reported over on the right? Here's Fox's Todd Starnes:

And here's a random right-winger:

The president did not "speak derisively" about the CVS -- unless you also think he "spoke derisively" about Freddie Gray when he said that we shouldn't pay attention to black communities only when one of their residents is killed the way Gray was killed.

Todd? SNITFIT? Do you think the president went out of his way to speak derisively of Freddie Gray?

The right wants us to be at one another's throats in a left-right war. There's enough tension in American society as it is (as if that isn't obvious at this moment) -- but when there's a fire, out comes the right with gasoline cans.

And somehow, safe in exurbia, none of these right-wingers are ever burned.


aron said...

To be fair, if your aim is to avoid a left-right black-and-white, one-versus-the-other war, it would also be useful not to paint the entire "right" with the same brush. It's the same kind of souring, alienating generalization as when a conservative fails to differentiate between a bolshevik communist, a wobbly, a social democrat, a democratic socialist, the Green Party, a liberal, or whatever the DNC is today.

So you know, maybe don't call them right-wingers, for one thing. Call them racists, nutjobs, pseudoconservatives, anything you like. But I really don't think right-winger is workable terminology here.

Yastreblyansky said...

Obama hopes we will pay attention to the community BEFORE a CVS burns. The right wing really wants that drugstore to burn down so that everybody will understand how horrible the people in the neighborhood are.

Nefer said...

"The fun is finding out how much the message has changed after several repeats."
When the dear nuns at my elementary school taught us how to play telephone, it was not intended to be fun, but an exercise in the dangers of gossip and "bearing false witness" and how that could hurt other people.

We took it seriously (obviously I remember it to this day), but there are apparently many people on the internet that don't care if their lies about the President make Baby Jesus cry.

Victor said...

Maybe if these lunatics lived in cities, they'd appreciate the need for racial harmony, and harmony between the police and the minority communities - as well as other types of harmony.

But, sitting in some mostly lily-white suburb, you can firebomb away on the internet, and not have any consequences.

Glennis said...

Is it simply some kind of deranged inability to understand basic human communication? In what universe is what the President said "whining" or "speaking derisively?" It reminds me of when he spoke of how Trayvon Martin could have been his son. In Normal World, this is called having empathy for the parents. In Right Wing World, it because too weird to understand. Has their hatred of Obama flipped off some basic emotional comprehension switch?

And it shows you what kind of person Starnes is that his initial reaction is about the store burning, not about the young man with the broken neck.

Unknown said...

The right wing philosophy is that just believing you're being oppressed justifies taking up arms against any government as seen at the Bundy ranch.

So actually, the right wing position is that Blacks who feel they are oppressed should be shooting the police...Right?