In the wake of Republican threats, last week, to commit acts of violence against Democratic campaign staffers, right-wing blogger Michelle Malkin suddenly published a story about a so-called "raving leftist" who confronted a college Republican in Virginia. There were two...
In the wake of Republican threats, last week, to commit acts of violence against Democratic campaign staffers, right-wing blogger Michelle Malkin suddenly published a story about a so-called "raving leftist" who confronted a college Republican in Virginia.
There were two problems with Malkin's piece. For starters, the person she labeled a "raving leftist" in her story has absolutely no connection to liberal blogs, organized progressive activism or any Democratic political campaign. But beyond that, Malkin's piece seemed to undercut was a week long effort by progressive bloggers to shine a light on the violent rhetoric and threats injected regularly by Republicans into U.S. politics.
Malkin made a falsehood seem like a truth--she made it seem that there are violent types on both sides of the political spectrum.
In fact, the piece was really about Michelle Malkin flexing her media muscle, her way of shooting back at progressive blogs by saying, "Ha! You can call the right violent all you want, but in the end I get to decide because I have an agent, I appear regularly on TV."
Malkin, in other words, wins the debate not through the truth of her arguments, but by having regular access to large-scale, broadcast medium. She goes on TV, so her version holds.
A regular on FOX TV, just last week, Malkin was a substitute host for the Bill O'Reilly show where she makes most of her appearances. She has an agent. She has a publicist. She has legal advisers. She has solid, organizational footing in the media.
And so the lesson for progressives is clear: rather than just sticking another finger in Malkin's eye by responding, we must realized that the goal is more than to get the truth out. The goal must be to build structures that can hold ground in media driven politics. We must form associations, hire publicists, consult a legal advisers, get listed on the news wires, and get on TV.
Then, and only then, when progressive bloggers say the right is violent, will it hold. In the meantime, we will remain correct--but without the structures to hold ground.
It is not an easy step to take, but it is the most important step of all.
© 2007 Jeffrey Feldman, Frameshop