It didn't take long for the Villagers to fall in line, did it? Reality has no meaning. I'm not sure why Rush Limbaugh is getting nervous about the astroturfers. He's saying the teabagger protests are not bought and paid for: "It's not ginned up, it's genuine. It's real." Can't he see that they are falling right in line? Matthews certainly has.
And here's the way the overarching media narrative that supports it gets set:
Matthews: What do you make of this firestorm that's going on across the country. We've got pictures from Texas and Long Island and Philly. Every time a congressman calls a town meeting now, the people show up and it's like -- I don't know --- it's like Iran! It's like the streets of Tehran!
Michael Smerconish: People are hot. I sense it in the phone calls that I get every day. I think they're very nervous about what's going to come out of this debate about national health care, and Chris if I've heard once in the last couple of days, I've heard it 50 times: "if they can't get cash for clunkers straight, what in the world are they going to do with my national health insurance?"
Matthews: You mean they won't get the numbers right?
Smericonish: Yeah they won't get the numbers right and it smacks of bureaucratic ineptitude, that the federal government has blown through this money so quickly on a plan that seems so straighforward.
I also think that what going on is that many people don't understand the elements of this debate, so what do they know? They know that they have health insurance and they know that this enormous price tag is being assigned for the 45 million or so who don't have it. And frankly what they saying is, why can't we just write them a check and pay for it. It sounds like it could be less expensive.
Ok, neither Smericonish, a conservative, or Matthews, a Village dullard, mention that the "riots" are not exactly spontaneous uprisings, but are rather the result of well-financed astroturfing enterprises, much like the ones that were done to disrupt the Clinton rallies back in 1994. (In fact, the threat of violence was so great that they ended up cancelling them, which is something we may yet see this month.) Matthews who prides himself on being an historian of arcane political strategy throughout the ages seems to know nothing of what's happenening now or then.
Meanwhile, he lets Smerconish disseminate this summers "drill, baby, drill" --- that insipid "cash for clunkers" line that Jim Demint cloddishly threw out there on the Sabbath Gasbag shows --- with no explanation as to why it makes no sense at all. (After all, the program proved to be so popular that they need to extend it -- that's usually thought of as a success, not a failure. Everywhere but in the village, that is.)..read on
It goes on. Surely Jonathan Martin of the Politico will straighten all this out, right?
And as A.B. Stoddard tells us, it doesn't matter if these events are shams because the media will just transmit them along to the public, unfiltered.
Here's Lawrence O'Donnell sitting in for Ed Schultz:
O'Donnell: AB, does it matter if these protests are organized or spontaneous? I mean, isn't it true that it's just the video that ends up on the local news that does the damage here?
AB Stoddard: It doesn't matter at all, and the fact is that the only goal for the Republicans right now is to scare people off this, to depress voter support for this so that when they come back in September it's even harder for the Democratic Party than the chaoes we just just witnessed on capitol Hill this month. All they have to do is just say, "this is going to be terrifying, this is a risky experiment." They don't have to be constructive right now. Remember who turns out in mid-term elections: the angry, ok? African Americans are not going to turn out at the rate they did last year and neither are young people. The people who carried marginal Democrats in in formerly Republican districts .. . It's going to be a very tough year for Democrats.
There you have it. The future is foretold. Journamalism isn't there to give the facts or tell the truth. It doesn't matter anyway, because "it's out there."
The only responsibility journos have is to to get it out there, dog.
(Please send me your videos of any town halls you go to at firstname.lastname@example.org)