Liberal Paranoia and the Kopechne Effect
posted at 5:10 am on August 28, 2009 by The Other McCain
Have you ever noticed that liberals in recent years have become obsessed with what is being said on conservative blogs, on talk radio and on Fox News? This is the subject of my latest column at The American Specator:
Thursday afternoon, libertarian journalist David Weigel sent out a message on Twitter that struck me as profound: “The proliferation of liberal media watchdogs has led to much, much, much more repetition of what conservatives say.”
Watchdogging is perhaps the sincerest form of media flattery. If what was written and said by conservatives on the Internet, radio and TV had no influence on public discourse, liberals would not be constantly monitoring Mark Levin, Glenn Beck and Michelle Malkin. What is amusing, to anyone directly familiar with the haphazard operating environment of right-wing communications, is the liberal suspicion that everything conservatives do is carefully orchestrated. . . .
[I]t never occurs to liberals that their political antagonists are capable of independent thought and action in the field of communications. If Mark Levin, Michael Reagan, Glenn Reynolds and Ann Coulter say similar things about any particular phenomenon — e.g., the media’s absurdly hagiographic tributes to Ted Kennedy — this can only reflect a purposeful coordination of effort. Somewhere, there must be some right-wing Gepetto pulling the strings.
Note how this parallels the usual liberal explanations of how the world works. . . .
Please read the whole thing, and if you don’t mind, let me offer some advice from Vast Right Wing Conspiracy HQ on how to be an effective cog in the wheel of this orchestrated propaganda machinery that inspires such fear in liberals.
Suppose that you read something online — perhaps my American Spectator column or even this very blog post — that seems to you enlightening, instructive or persuasive. Should you allow yourself to be the final consumer of that information? Oh, no, no, no, my fellow minions. Be like that dangerous right-wing extremist Paul Revere and help spread the word.
- Copy the URL address and a tasty excerpt of the article into an e-mail, and send it to your family and friends, with an attention-grabbing subject line.
- Also post excerpts to whatever Internet venues you customarily use — Facebook, Myspace, discussion groups, online forums, etc. Remember to include a link to the original URL, so that other people can “read the whole thing” for themselves.
- Do not neglect dead-tree opportunities. In the Internet age, sometimes people forget the power of the printed word. Click onto the printer-friendly version of the article, and print off a few copies (you are reading this at work, right?) then collate and staple. Take these printouts to the break room at your office and hand them out at lunch. Or deliver them individually to co-workers in their cubicles with a personal recommendation: “Hey, Josh, you’ve got to read this, man — it’s great!”
This sort of amateur pamphleteer routine is an old-school method, but you might be surprised by how effective it can be.
When I tell people I used to be a Democrat, they often ask why I changed. It’s a long story, but a major part of the story is that about 15 years ago there was someone I worked with who did this kind of stuff. He’d get through reading his copy of National Review and drop it on my desk, open to some article that he thought I should read. If I wasn’t at my desk he’d attach a sticky note like, “Great point here! TT.”
“TT” — his name is Tommy — didn’t waste time arguing with a Democrat about politics. If I wanted to argue, he’d just smile and say something to change the subject. But he kept the written material coming: A Xeroxed copy of the latest column by Cal Thomas or Thomas Sowell, an essay from Commentary or Reason, and so on and so forth. Sometimes it would be a straight-news story from The Wall Street Journal or USA Today which, by the nature of the facts reported, tended to bolster some point of conservative philosophy.
This continued, at a pace of maybe three or four times a month, for about two years. Tommy wasn’t pushy about this. He was friendly and courteous and, like I said, he never allowed me to draw him into anything that you’d describe as an argument. But over the course of those couple of years, my viewpoint shifted and I began to see things in a way I’d never seen them before.
If it could happen to me — and brother, I used to be a hard-core partisan Democrat — it could happen to other people, perhaps even someone you know, if you’ll be like my old friend Tommy.
The death of Ted Kennedy could be one of those “teachable moments” the liberals always like to lecture us about. So if you like my Spectator column — or any other commentary that strikes your fancy — just click over to the printer-friendly version and get to work, my fellow minions.