Thursday, September 17, 2009

Talking Points Memo Makes Me Want

to tear out what's left of my hair. They front paged a speech by former Bush administration official Ellen Sauerbrey at a Maryland Republican dinner saying that Obama was like Hitler and Juan Peron.
Sauerbrey said that President Obama was surrounded by a cult-like following, edging towards that of Juan Peron or Adolf Hitler. She told the paper that she was not making a comparison between Obama and Hitler, but instead saying that the conditions in this country were such that a dictator could usurp the rights of citizens.
Why? Why? Why? Ellen Sauerbrey was a nobody Assistant Secretary of State for a Neglected Function in the Bush administration. And there's no good reason why she shouldn't continue to be a nobody. However, Talking Points Memo (TPM), a progressive media outlet, is giving Sauerbrey her shot at becoming a somebody because they're giving Sauerbrey's little speech national play. Given that TPM has become a source of stories for the mainstream media, Sauerbrey's views could be all over television by the end of the week and she could start getting invited to the Sunday talk shows.

Talking Points Memo and HuffPost should seriously think about their role in communicating and amplifying the right-wing message.


Todd Mayo said...

The mistake Talking Points Memo and HuffPost make here is the assumption that printing and making public the toxic vitriol which passes for conservative "thought" will so disgust people that more and more moderates will abandon the republican party in droves. They have failed to account for the fact that when media attention is focused on the sludge which even nobodies like Ellen Sauerbrey vomit at public events, the net effect is worse than the words themselves. The publicity energizes the already dangereously reactionary elements of our society. These are the people who are predisposed to believe that President Obama is the vanguard of a movement toward some sort of faccist Hitler-esque dictatorship. But that is only part of the problem. This woman's words are, as you pointed out, now being carried across the country. Sauerbrey is definatley a nobody but it is no accident that she and others like her reference Juan Peron or Adolf Hitler, or Stalin, name the monstor. Association of ideas works. Sauerbrey is a nobody but she's a nobody who served an administration which openly and notoriosly usurped the Bill of Rights, (minus the second amendment which seemed to expand greatly in meaning), every chance they had. The administration for which Sauerbrey worked took us to the brink of dictatorship. So she should know something about which buzzwords will frighten people and fan the flames of reaction. Sauerbrey was a nobody who should have stayed a nobody. Now she's another voice in the fringe-right chorus who would be all too happy to undo the Presidency of Barack Obama and the leadership of the Democratic party in the House and the Senate. So, I concur, Talking Points Memo and HuffPost need to THINK before they give the right-wing attack machine free coverage.

Dale Greer said...

The right uses common language to get their lies accepted. By calling tax cuts for the rich, “tax relief,” they convinced average Americans to fight for tax cuts that hurt them. Republicans have poured millions of dollars into think tanks, etc. to instill their Orwellian language into the brains of Americans (think Grover Norquist, Karl Rove). "Death Panels” and “Communism” are screamed at us daily and we liberals scream back “lies—stupid!”—and media that is sympathetic fights the latest absurdity by interviewing the culprits and promotes the lie rather than debunking it. Sadly, we liberals are so unconsciously brainwashed by the right, we even use their language.
Liberals need to spend millions on Think Tanks that re-frame the way we talk about our values... Read More—come up with concise statements that Americans can understand (as the Right has done). Re-framing does not have to be unethical. To call polluting the “Clear Skies Act,” is unethical, but if liberals learn how to fight back in common little phrases-truthful ones- we can stop the right wing’s brilliant but evil assault. My little essay placed here is pretty much useless. 85 percent of Americans would not take the time to read it. If we want more help from media outlets such as Talking Points, we need to come up with some talking points.

Ric Caric said...

To Dale Greer--Fair Enough.