Slate’s Weigel Disconcerted With Conservative ‘Trolling’ That Made DNC Platform Change a ‘Controversy’
posted at 9:15 pm on September 9, 2012 by Matt Vespa
In the wake of the 2012 Democratic National Convention, Slate’s David Weigel said the convention was “successfully trolled.” It was a nauseating seventy-two hour exercise in extreme leftism, but Weigel says – in his September 7 column– that he was disconcerted with the “distracting” headlines derived from a handful of conservative media reporters who disseminated the truth.
However, Weigel doesn’t want to be pejorative.
I don’t use troll in the pejorative sense. Actually, I may be trying to craft a neutral meaning of troll where none previously existed. The term, in its modern Internet usage, refers to people who want to start fights online to bring the universe into an argument on their terms. It comes not from Grimm literature, but from a fishing technique in which multiple lines are baited and dragged to haul in the maximum amount of cold-bloods.
He mentions the incident when Democratic delegates booed God.
Democrats did not expect to spend Wednesday arguing about the capital of Israel and the appearance of the word ‘God’ in their platform. There were, reportedly, 15,000 members of the media in Charlotte, of whom maybe 14,980 could have given a damn about the party platform. On Tuesday night, when the Obama campaign and the DNC released its platform, none of the bigfoot media outlets in town spent time on the text.
No, it took until Wednesday morning for Jeff Dunetz, at the YidWithALid blog, to comment that ‘Democrats have removed this pro-Israel section from their platform.’ (They had removed references to Hamas and references to Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.) At 11:26 a.m.,Weekly Standard reporter Daniel Halper published a story on the platform, making the same point. (He credited YidWithALid.)
It could have ended there. But within a few hours, CNN and Fox News were browbeating Democrats to ask why they’d changed the platform—why, too, had they removed an old reference to “God-given talents,” and thus deleted YHWH from the text? Democrats gave up. They forced a vote on new platform language, restoring the 2008 lines.
Yes, in the Information Age, social media and other outlets used to communicate or vilify are seen as legitimate forums of news. I agree with Weigel on that. However, to say the DNC was taken advantage of by a “small band of saboteurs” is unfair. These people did their job. But, Weigel says the whole episode was a distraction.
The Examiner, Washington Times, and Center for American Freedom’s teams were only fractions of the size of the CNN or New York Times teams in Charlotte. But they wrote the convention’s distracting stories. On Wednesday night, CNN scored an interview with Wasserman Schultz on the convention floor… ‘President Obama really felt,’ she said, ‘that it was personally important to him that his personal view—that Jerusalem is and will always be the capital of Israel—was reflected in the platform.’ The network cut back to Anderson Cooper.
‘I mean, Debbie Wasserman Schultz just said: It wasn’t a change of language,’ said Cooper, mocking the DNC chairman on air. “There was no discord that we saw. It was a two-thirds vote. I mean, that’s an alternate universe.’
Yes, they are living in an alternate universe. The booing of God exposed the Democratic Party as the “extreme” party in American politics. And because it showed how extreme they’ve become – it’s newsworthy. In addition, besides the most religious country in the industrialized world booing God, one has to ask – were Democrats thinking of softening their support for Israel? These are fairly non-controversial issues and the original platform that omitted these two policy points are indicative of something sinister brewing within the American left. Lastly, does anyone remember the egregious platform slander CNN engaged in during the Republican National Convention?
Yet, concerning the Democrats and their platform – it’s a “symbolic” document that’s immediately “forgotten.”
Lastly, Debbie Wasserman Schultz tried to fundraise off the RNC platform by misquoting the LA Times to tie Romney to embattled Missouri senate Republican candidate Todd Akin.
While Weigel may be uncomfortable with the “trolling” at the DNC, some might call it responsible reporting.
P.S. – even Paul Begala found the incident embarrassing and that people needed to know that “the Democratic Party is a pro-Israel party…and we are a party of people of faith.” It doesn’t seem that way Begala. You just got caught.