Today's mainstream-press darling is CJ Pearson of Grovetown, Georgia, a thirteen-year-old African-American who's made a name for himself (with some professional help) by releasing a series of YouTube videos that mostly consist of right-wing boilerplate. In his latest video, Pearson attacks President Obama for inviting Ahmed Mohamed to the White House -- to the delight of The Washington Post ("This Ted Cruz booster is 13, black, and just shredded Obama on clock kid"), as well as Time , USA Today , and a number of local media outlets.
The Post gushes:
“Mr. President,” [Pearson] began, speaking with a Southern twang. “When Kate Steinle was gunned down by an illegal immigrant, you didn’t do anything. You didn’t even call the family. You didn’t invite them to the White House. Is that okay? I don’t think so, Mr. President.”
Twenty seconds had gone by -- but CJ was just getting warmed up.
“When cops are being gunned down, you don’t invite their family to the White House,” he said. “You never did.”
This was just the set-up. Then came the punch.
“When a Muslim kid builds a clock?” CJ said. “Well, come on by. What is this world that you are living in?”
As smoothly as a seasoned commentator three or four times his age, CJ then pivoted. He pointed out that it took Obama longer to lower the White House flags to half-staff than it did to light 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. with rainbow colors after the Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage. He blamed Obama for the immigration policies that allowed Steinle’s killer in the country. He blamed Obama for rules that prevented Marines from carrying their own firearms in Chattanooga. He said Obama was trying to appease “domestic terrorists” -- that is, Black Lives Matters protesters.
Pearson's backstory is that he became well known in some circles for -- as the Post story puts it -- "another video critical of Obama." In fact, it was a video accusing Obama of "downright hatred for America" and "downright hatred for this nation." (Go to 1:03 in the video for those phrases.)
Almost immediately, Pearson demonstrated a genius for grabbing media attention. He was twelve when he made the first video, and he claimed that Facebook banned him for the content of this video rather than because he was underage. (He's back on Facebook now.) Subsequently, he received some harassing messages on Twitter, pursued legal action, and -- hey presto! -- made his first appearance on Fox News. By that time he'd connected with a firm called Vice and Victory that "assist[s] CJ with managing his online presence." I'm assuming Vice and Victory is responsible for this impressively slick homepage, complete with a logo that's better than some of the ones used in this year's presidential campaign:
I also assume Vice and Victory has something to do with Pearson's ability to get all those media hits.
Now, why is Pearson so upset about Ahmed Mohamed's White House invitation? Perhaps because, in a June 23 video, he asked the president to invite him to the White House, and he's never gotten a call back.
In this video, Pearson says he wants to tell the president about his "vision" for America -- but I've watched several of his videos and I have no idea what the hell his "vision" is.
The Post story would have you believe it's a nonpartisan vision:
If Ahmed -- a young man of color embraced by the White House for its own reasons -- is a political prop, isn’t CJ?
“Not at all,” CJ wrote. “At the end of the day, I’m not beholden to the Republican Party. They don’t own me and they never will. My political involvement is based on fighting for the conservative principles I believe in and fighting for the future of my generation.”
Pearson is "not beholden to the Republican Party"? That's odd, given the fact that one of his videos is titled "Why I'm Proud to Be a Republican."
In this video, he rattles off a few phrases that suggest what he actually stands for ("limited government, personal responsibility, equal opportunity") -- but most of the clip is Pearson telling us what he's against.
Conservative values have made this nation what it is today, and liberal values and the liberal agenda has turned this nation into someplace where we just don't want to be at this time. We're going down a dark, dark path, and it's time that we found ourselves on the right path once again. Like I said, I had the option -- my parents are Democrats, they wanted me to think their way, but I just couldn't, because I wasn't going to endorse failure. I wasn't going to endorse the failed liberal agenda, and I wasn't going to buy into the liberal plantation.... Republicans here, we have an agenda, an agenda that we stand by, that we fight by, and we will defend until we can't defend anymore. As far as Democrats, they seek to divide us all, to pit class warfare against the rich and the poor, blacks against the whites, Hispanics against everyone else. They seek to tear us apart so they can take over. But I will not allow it.
I'm giving him a hard time, but for a kid his age, Pearson is smart and ambitious. I hope someday he finds something worth living for that's bigger than "liberals suck."
Crossposted at No More Mr. Nice Blog