Prior to Palin’s appearance on the national political scene, conservatives had long griped about the fact that the media’s narrative was slanted against them, but it was often difficult to point to something obvious that demonstrated this fact. The media slipped up occasionally in big ways, such as Rathergate, but usually the bias was expressed more subtly, with turns of phrase, and over- or underexposure of issues. With Palin, though, the ideological Left has abandoned subtlety and given up on any effort to advance actual facts.
I’m not the only one who has noticed the wholesale embrace of absolute falsehoods. Ace noticed it too and did some investigating. He discovered that the hardcore Left is encouraging the dissemination of out and out lies as an absolute necessity in the war against McCain and Palin. Here’s Ace:
That’s a weird thing: Coordinated mass lying. Shit is slipping by us that we’re assuming might be true or somewhat true (those missing months of Bristol’s when she was carrying baby Trig, that “Alaskan Airline crew members stated Palin didn’t look pregnant,” etc.) just because we’re simply not used to thousands of people agreeing to spread deliberate lies to as many people as they can. The fact that multiple people on multiple websites are claiming it, seemingly independently, tricks us into thinking, subconsciously maybe, “Gee, they must have gotten that from some article; they all couldn’t just be lying in unison.”
Or could they?
I’ll print this posting found at DU, tipped to me by the great Larwyn, again:
122. What many here don’t understand. It doesn’t matter if it’s true or not. RUMOR IS TRUTH.
The modern laws of media hype and political warfare have a useful tenet:
Repeat ANYTHING or raise false concern over ANYTHING and it is likely to be planted in the conscious/subconscious of many voters.
If people start to think that there might be something fishy with Palin’s last kid (if hers), then that’s FINE. One more doubt (whether tied to reality or not) is another hesitation at the ballot box.
GET WITH THE PROGRAM PEOPLE. The “rising above it” bullshit has served us so well in the past, hasn’t it?
If you have problems with the story, then STFU and get out of the way of Dems who are engaged in MODERN POLITICAL WARFARE. Go tend your garden or some other pedestrian task, because the “concern trolls” are not helping shape the message.
By the way, if you’re a student of history, the directive in the last paragraph quoted, the one about abandoning truth in favor of useful lies, may strike you as familiar. It’s the same technique that Goebbels perfected on Hitler’s behalf. Goebbels’ theory was that the only “truth” is that which leads to the desired goal. Or, as he said, “That propaganda is good which leads to success, and that is bad which fails to achieve the desired result. It is not propaganda’s task to be intelligent, its task is to lead to success.”
Repeat lies, big and little, often enough, and you will convince people of their truth. Confuse straightforward arguments with myriad irrelevant, and often false, facts, and you will eventually exhaust people. The good will walk away in disgust; the weak will capitulate and accept your false premises. Either way, you win.
There is a point to this post beyond the obvious one of highlighting the way in which the Progressives, Liberals and Democrats (and whatever else they’re styling themselves)* have gone after Palin in an attempt to destroy the Republican ticket. As many of my regular readers have noticed, my comments have been visited with overwhelming frequency by a handful people who oppose Bush and the Republicans, and are supportive of Obama and the Democrats. Certainly that is their right to hold those views.
However, while their views are rightfully theirs, this blog is mine. I’ve always encouraged open debate in the comments at this blog, and I’d like to continue to do so. As long time readers know, some of the most interesting, enlightening and truly civil discussions here have involved people who are not conservative, but who come here with genuine good will and a desire to discuss issues.
My recent liberal commenters, however, seem less interested in reasoned debate, and much more interested in generating confusion and disinformation. In other words, their tag team approach, demonstrated by an overwhelming volume and immediacy of responses, suggests a concerted effort to “shape the message” in precisely the way described in that DU post Ace describes. Not only does this hog space, but it turns reading my blog into an exhausting exercise, and makes the blog a hostile environment to my regular, more temperate readers.
If this were a public forum, of course, we would all put up with this noise, since it would be a sign of a healthy public marketplace of ideas. This is not a public forum, however. It is my personal blog. If you, my readers, are enjoying the debate, I will continue to let it flow freely. However, if the intentional or unintentional tag-team approach that’s playing out now results in my blog being co-opted as a forum for views with which I disagree, let this post stand as warning that I will block commenting privileges — and I will do so by the end of this week.
And please don’t anybody cry censorship. I’m not the government. This is not a public space. This is my intellectual parlor, and I am free to include those I feel enter with good will, and exclude those I feel come with a more nefarious purpose.
*A propos the way in which liberals keep changing their name: There seems to be a sense among them that one term after another that is associated with them degrades in value. We know this happens with language. The most lovely example is the word beldam, which now means an “old hag,” but which comes from the French phrase for beautiful woman. As the term “liberal” has become degraded from its association with the Left, the Lefter side of the spectrum has abandoned it for the term Progressive. However, as long as the ideas continue the same, I suspect the title “Progressives,” too, will fall into disrepute.
UPDATE: Old War Dogs has an excellent no troll policy. A little more blunt than anything I would write, but the spirit is dead on correct.