A couple of weeks ago, Thers at Whiskey Fire put up a post examining the bizarre ideas revealed by James O’Keefe’s “sting” videos that’s worth thinking about.
But there is another level here that’s worth peeling back.
The most bizarre aspect of this wingnut “sting” is its intended “gotcha.” What the wingnuts thought they would be able to “prove” is that NPR is a biased socialist left-wing organization that would be thrilled to spread Islamist propaganda for a hefty paycheck.
What got the NPR executives fired was their alleged meanie comments about the Teabaggers being racists.
But the O’Keefe ratfuckers did not set this up in order to “bust” NPR executives as media moguls who do not like conservatives.
No, they hypothesized that NPR executives would be delighted to take money from shadowy Muslims and use it to undermine American security.
This is something we’ve been over in regards to the other recent O’Keefe “sting,” of Planned Parenthood. That “sting” depended upon the right-wing fantasy that there exist extensive well-organized juvenile “sex-trafficking” rings, something that upon even cursory examination turns out to be utter crap.
It’s only Thers’ conclusion I have problems with.
What I’m getting at is that I don’t think it is at all recognized the degree to which right-wing “ideas” are merely the emanations of a carefully constructed, internally coherent, yet deeply nonsensical folklore. It’s a hothouse cargo cult that scavenges in plain sight, battening off frequent, generous Fox News airdrop cultivation.
Actually, I rather wish that were the case. However, “folklore” implies that this all happens somewhere away from “real” life, in a land of the other. To a weird friend of that friend who knows everyone, or to those people who end up in the newspaper.
The problem is that these ideas do have analogs in reality–in right-wing reality, where these people live. O’Keefe thought NPR would play ideologue for money? You mean O’Keefe thought NPR was News Corp. He thought there were pools of young people kept subservient and preyed upon sexually by adults? How many authoritarian pastors caught molesting and raping kids do you want listed? O’Keefe thought others would aid the sex rings? How many institutions like the Catholic Church that try to control the sex lives of everyone but their leaders taking sexual advantage of their positions do you need?
It’s no secret that those screaming loudest on the right about redistribution of wealth are supporting a system that has been shifting wealth to the wealthy, or that those screaming about class warfare are insisting on a “shared sacrifice” in which the wealthy contribute nothing. The people who claim feminism is bad for women are not exactly known for supporting women themselves. Those who accuse the left of restriction religious freedom make the claim in support of government endorsing their version of religion over others. While the right is whimpering in fear of communist conspiracies, they’re electing Family men who introduce ALEC legislation.
The list goes on and on. In the latest example of the right being what they claim to fear, we have Mike Huckabee (starting at 30 seconds):
Thanks to Chris Rodda for preserving the footage.
It’s the combination of laughter and applause that gets to me. “Tee hee. Tee hee. Oh, that’s such a daring joke! Oh my blessed God, he’s serious! Yay!” Those who are terribly concerned that schools are indoctrinating our children go from disbelief to cheers when religion and the threat of being shot are added to the mix.
For all the work that the right-wing does to try to make us afraid, I think it’s time we start giving them some return on their investment. From here on out, I’m going to stop talking about conservative bogeymen. Everything they tell me I need to be afraid of, I’ll believe them. They know better than I do what bizarre forms of ugliness and evil want to intrude on our public life.
They have to. They own them. And now I know where to look to find them.