As the Media Spins

Why do I read the news anymore? Well, why do I read news headlines? I have good sites to go to, but they still spin the schlock people want to read most. The past few days, I’ve been watching how the right-wing spin-mongers have totally wound their panties so tight, that their eyeballs are popping out. I just Googled “obama socialist” and got a pile of hits on this meme. Which makes me laugh since Obama isn’t really anything unless the Democratic corporate backers tell him what he is.

I got angry today when I saw the NY Times spin the Obama school address non-issue on their site. In the lead off paragraph, which is about all anyone reads these days, the Times said that the address “has set off a revolt among conservative parents, who have accused the president of trying to indoctrinate their children with socialist ideas.” Last night, on the Huffington Post, I watched as current media darling Glen Beck connected Obama to the Rockefellers to socialists and fasciscts via all the artwork on the Rockefeller Plaza by way of Van Jones (the current punching bag for the right wing mudslingers). Beck’s main piece of art was a Diego Rivera mural that is no longer in the Plaza, which most Americans have never seen in person. Finally, on the Drudgereport tonight, a link to a local news site stated that elected official U.S. Rep. Paul Broun “told a meeting of the Morgan County Republicans on Wednesday night that Obama already has or will have the three things he needs to make himself a dictator: a national police force, gun control and control over the press.”

I won’t bother talking about the lies and paranoia that filled that last paragraph. I won’t even talk about all the funny artwork that popped up on Google when I made that search. It seems natural that the losing side of a competition would tout the winner as a powerful leader. I saw plenty of creative posters at peace rallies, depicting Bush and Cheney as all kinds of evil and stupid historical and fictional figures. The right has the freedom to make fun of Obama anyway they want to. I support them for their own silly art, based upon anger and turmoil at being the losers after decades of running the USA (into the ground).

But what got me hopping mad today was the media’s willingness to report these “outrages” against Obama and his so-called socialist, dictatorial yearnings. Like pearls of information, paranoid, sometimes silly (yes, I have to admit that the right is acting somewhat silly at the moment) right-wing memes are constantly baraging the mainstream, and even left-wing media. I think if Obama decided to pick his nose a certain way, Glen Beck would do a 10 minute piece on Fox comparing it to Hitler via the work of Leni Riefenstahl that connects with Hillary Rodam Clinton. I guess it’s news, right? Just like the tea baggers and the birthers and whatever the folks at Fox think to spin out into the world.

I’m disappointed in the right wingers. Not surprised though. For years, the Bush critics tried to tell those TV-loving Americans that Cheney and his crew were idiotic mad men. The things they did while in office were laughable. Many times, my friends and I would ask “how did they get elected…. oh, they practically stole the election.” The things the Bush administration got away with! The lunacy.

Yes, the lunacy. What the media seems to be covering is some kind of psychic outing of the whole crazy bunch of ’em. But their crazy messages are getting airplay, and people believe what they watch on TV. TV = truth. Right wing insanity is on TV. Therefore TV = right wing insanity.

I guess I’m a bit jealous too. I spent many hours in the streets, getting hassled by cops for expressing my disagreement with the Bush war machine. My friends and I constantly discussed how Bush was pushing the boundaries of a sane, constitutional government. His bungling in New Orleans, with FEMA asleep at the control, worried us even more here in earthquake-prone San Francico. “Government will not support us. We really have to take care of ourselves.” And the media barely paid any attention to what we were saying in response to Bush’s regime. Guess we weren’t crazy enough to make the spin cycle.

But the way the media is spinning this new bizarro USA, Charles Manson’s race war is looming. Guns and ammo are flying off the shelves. Homeland Security is noticing a rise in (white) militias and hate groups. Then things get weird. According to the media spin: Obama wants to be a socialist dictator, he has camps ready for the right-wingers (pretty damn funny when the lefties said this about Bush), Obama’s going to indoctrinate the children with a speech, he has control of the media and the police force, he wasn’t born in the USA, etc.

In the odd universe of spin, who is wagging this dog? At what point do those heavily-armed militias decide that enough is enough. Just where is this Texas secession story going? And why am I wasting my time with these paranoid delussions, especially when things aren’t so hot here on Earth. Well, they’re hot all right. Just not in the right way.

At this point I can’t tell if the right wingers have control of this story, or if the media is pushing the narrative. Though there’s not much logic to their hairbrained schemes, this scenario is leading us over a cartoon cliff. I think Tom Tomorrow tied this madness up nicely with the following comic, titled “Strange Days.”