Recently I wrote about the strategy and tactics used by the right when they attack people. On December 4th MSNBC management caved to a handful of alt-right people and twitterbots and fired Sam Seder based on an obvious satirical tweet from 2009. Seder is the host of the progressive podcast Majority Report, and MSNBC contributor.
Here is a video from Seder, explaining what happened, who is behind it and how they plan to respond.
Disclosure: I'm a friend of Seder and have been a guest on his show.
On Monday's show Sam educated the audience about the instigator, Mike Cernovich, how he relentlessly pushed the “alt-right”-fueled “Pizzagate” conspiracy, his criminal history, and joked about how to pronounce his name.
Seder showed the Periscope video of Cernovich congratulating himself and his followers for duping MSNBC. Seder used the video as an opportunity for further mocking and used the attack to strengthen his support in the progressive community and raise funds. This is a smart response.
When I wrote about strategies to deal with right wing attacks, some people thought that the best way to deal with these people is with violence. I strongly disagreed, but I understood the frustration, anger and the desire to knock them down so they stay down. If I was human I would say, "I feel ya." I want people to fight the right, but I want them to be smart about how they fight. When I develop plans to go after the right, I try to think 3 steps ahead and that includes preparing for their retaliation. Because unlike after-school specials, bullies don't just back down when you punch back.
Here's the deal, we know there are people on the right who want someone on the left to threaten them or punch them-- preferably on camera. Adult bullies use your literal and/or figurative punches to get you into trouble.
In this clip
Cernovich talks about how his family is threatened. Are they? Maybe, maybe not. Given how he convinced MSNBC that a satirical tweet was a serious statement, I'm sure he and his minions will attempt to convince the police that a tweet, blog post, email or Facebook comment that is not obvious praise is a threat of violence.
I know from experience that the police have a hard time responding to true threats on the internet. Therefore, Cernovich will probably do what Rush Limbaugh did to my friends at #StopRush. Limbaugh hired some guy to go after the people who wrote polite emails, tweets to advertisers showing them multiple, accurate examples of the things that Rush Limbaugh seriously said. If the alt-right can willfully misinterpret a satirical joke even a third grader could spot, they can easily twist your mean comment into an excuse to contact your employer.
So, please folks, don't give these paranoid conspiracy theorists anything they can turn into mud balls to throw at you. However, that does not mean that you do nothing!
Support the people who smartly fight the right. Specifically you can become a member of Seder's show or contribute to the defense fund at GoFundMe titled NAZIS ATTACKING: Defend Sam Seder.
One of the ways Seder is going to use the money is to further expose Cernovich and his minions so that corporations and the media don't buy into the alt-right's alt-reality. The failure of the media was one of the reasons that many of us got into blogging in the first place. Listen to Sam making a passionate argument about why the media needs to be able to accurately access reality.