Friday, October 26, 2018


The bombs sent to CNN and prominent Democrats are now the lead story at most media outlets, but earlier in the week it was the caravan -- just when early voting has begun in the midterms. The caravan has become a huge story even though similar group migrations are frequent, and the refugees are far away from the U.S. border. The caravan is a distraction from issues non-Republican voters have on their minds, as Paul Krugman notes:
... the caravan hysteria is no accident: creating a climate of hatred is how Republicans avoid talking about health care. What we’re seeing in this election is a kind of culmination of the strategy the right has been using for decades: distract working-class voters from policies that hurt them by promoting culture war....
In a post I quoted a couple of days ago, Brian Beutler listed the GOP distractions in the last three election cycles:
... the coverage of the 2018 midterms looks as much like the coverage of the 2014 campaign as it does of the 2016 campaign, which is a damning fact, because it’s actually the third time journalists have allowed Trump to lead them by the nose to bullshit ahead of an election. Four Octobers ago, Trump—who was then a racist birther reality television show host, and thus an important figure in Republican politics—fanned racist panic about an Ebola outbreak in west Africa, which he and the GOP immediately stopped pretending to care about once Republicans won control of the Senate.

Republicans also predictably stopped pretending to care about government email protocols after the 2016 election, and, thus, so did journalists.
Republicans didn't play the race card as much as usual in 2016 because they could play the Evil Hillary Card. But they always try to distract us from the issues.

There were several distractions in 2010, although the mainstream press didn't play along quite as much as it has with the caravan scare, the email hysteria, and the Ebola panic. A person very much in the new right now was a key distracter.

It's being noted that Megyn Kelly was racist on the air long before she defended blackface. Here's one example, noted by USA Today's Kirsten Powers:
One of my craziest on-air experiences debating a conservative — a very high bar — involved Kelly yelling at me on live television for nearly 10 minutes for disagreeing that the “New Black Panthers” were a threat to Good People Everywhere.
And when was that exactly?
In the summer of 2010, Kelly made a meal of a menacing but very small hate group called the New Black Panthers, saying a campaign of voter intimidation occurred. Several of them faced criminal charges for an incident in 2008, but the charges against the group were dropped after U.S. Justice Department officials said there was no compelling evidence the group itself was involved. One member was legally sanctioned. But no voters appeared discouraged from voting.

Kelly devoted hours to the New Black Panthers over a three-week period, attacking other media for failing to cover the story....
(Emphasis added.)

Also in the summer of 2010, Kelly covered the "Ground Zero mosque" story, which did cross over to mainstream media. And prior to that, she helped destroy the group ACORN well before it could register voters for the 2010 midterms (and also in time for ACORN to be a right-wing rallying cry during those midterms):

At least when she was at Fox, Kelly wasn't just a racist -- she was a racist on behalf of Republicans in strategic moments in the electoral cycle. If she were still at Fox, her show would be wall-to-wall caravan right now.

No comments: