Thursday, April 22, 2010

Sauce: Goose, Gander

Just sat through 11 minutes of video (posted and duly re-posted on the Facebook walls of some friends) in which an Obama-supporting chap interviewed a succession of Tea Partiers, highlighting a certain lack of resolution in their data. Pause for popcorn:

Sorta like if Jay Leno's "Jaywalking" segments were produced at MSNBC, right? Not the most stellar performances of wonkery from the lumpen non-wonkers.

But it reminded me of something. Let's see....

Oh yeah! That was it.

So, what's the take-away from this little exercise in compare-and-contrast? Well, that would kinda depend on  your chosen set of goggles, now wouldn't it? Is it an indication of how much more [insidiously] effective Right-Wing media outlets are in promoting a set of talking points? Is it a sign of the Left-Wing Media's emphasis on emotionally salient but factually-unfurnished memes? Is it a simple matter of (Camera One) Tea partiers' brainwashed vacuity? (Camera Two) Obama supporters' blinkered adherence to the cult of their Dear Leader's personality?

Is it an indication of how the granularity of much-needed data gets sand-blasted in an environment of entrenched partisanship, such that individuals on  both sides (not to mention all the other possible "sides") are deprived of the means (or even the vague sense that there is a need) to flesh out their wafer-thin comprehension of Very Important Stuff?

And where in this process might we situate the act of promulgating one of these clips in the absence of the other?


Mr.Hengist said...

Rhetorical questions all, I'm sure, but I'll offer an observation. It's a notorious trick from the dinosaur MSM to slander a group by going to an event and interviewing the most ignorant, foolish, and offensive clowns in the crowd, and then presenting them as being typical or representative of everyone there. The intended effect is for the audience to shake their heads and conclude that they're all a bunch of idiots.

Sometimes they really are all a bunch of idiots (hello, Truthers!), but the fact is that anyone can join a public protest. There are many, many galleries of images from Liberal-Left protests in which the protesters do a fine job of beclowning themselves - see for some examples - but that does not prove that the anti-Bush, anti-war protesters were all of the same ilk. In fact, they weren't.

There are many lessons to be drawn by comparing photoessays such as the ones at zombietime and coverage of those events by the dinosaur MSM and Liberal-Left blogs, but they deserve far more extensive treatment than can be discussed in a blogcomment. Personally, I laugh at fools in the camp of my political opposition and roll my eyes at the ones in my camp, but painting the entirety of your political opposition with the broad brush based on the fools in their camp is always either a mistake or a smear - unless, like the Truthers, their message, which they all stand behind and support, is itself foolishness.

The best way to determine the beliefs and intentions of any unfamiliar group is, in order of their truth value, to listen to 1) what they say amongst themselves, 2) their recruiting messaging, and 3) what they say to their opposition.

Noocyte said...


dmnorman said...

This is why C-SPAN is a godsend at around election time. Beyond that I always suggest looking at the bylines/producer credits and then reading both about the person whose byline/credit an item ran under and reading/viewing other things they have written in order to determine if the information is being presented by an honest, even if opinionated, broker.