So now it’s time for Ken Carman’s unofficial conspiracy theory number… oh, hell, why would I even bother trying to count?
Was it a long time ago, in a galaxy far away? Seems like the last Planned Parent shooting could be described that way, or at least the mainstream media may wish that was true. Could that be by design?
More outlandish theories might insist the couple somehow were part of some vast right wing and terrorist conspiracy, intentionally enabled by the mainstream media, but that’s so stretched we might as well blame the anti-truth fairy. Even if true. It’s certainly very anti-Occam’s Razor-ish.
Yet it sure did shove one theologically incorrect massacre by a terrorist off the front page, or away from even being a back page story, for the more right wing theologically correct terrorist story done by those claiming to be Muslims.
David Brock wrote a book a while ago called The Republican Noise Machine. To be honest I found it a tough read, but only because instead of focusing in on the story of what happened he spent too much time trying to include every name of every person responsible from day one for creating the noise machine, and then expecting the readers to remember almost an infinite number of names he kept fading in, and out, of the story. He seemed to care more for that than the actual story he was telling.
That criticism may be a hint unfair. Having been one of the “faithful” in the 60s, however, I can see how it would be a hard story to tell without at least some of that.
But more to the point, David showed how their ability to fund, organize and make a hell of a lot of noise, was very successful in cowing mainstream media into downplaying aspects of some stories in favor of others.
A story, like the Planned Parenthood shooting, is something that the right finds offensive because it’s counter to the narrative they really would rather not be told: how their constant demonization, and outright encouraging violent action among the craziest; most paranoid, gun owners in their base, is not to be mentioned, or even given the chance to come to light. Responsibility for one’s words is a one way street, to them. So dropping less convenient terrorism ball for a more convenient one comes naturally.
How do they influence the media, if it’s not just some “conspiracy?” Well, one of the main ingredients in their formula works quite well: be like the loudest, most tantrum-y, child in a very, very small store. You know: the squeaky wheel paradigm.
The cost of staying on the Planned Parenthood story was just too high. So maybe less of a the mainstream media participating in some complex “conspiracy,” than exposing, once again, the shallow, knee jerk, gutless mainstream media.
So it’s no surprise they were hot to get off the Parenthood story, especially because there was nothing there that the right could sell to promote their holy jihad against an organization that does far, far more to help prevent abortions than doing them. That’s the “planned” part of their mission.
But, you see, birth control doesn’t fit their narrative either. Punishing women does. Blaming all Muslims does. Blaming “sluts” like Sandra Fluke does. Claiming conception rarely happens after a rape does. Turning pregnant women into no more than incubator chambers controlled by the state does.
Avoiding, lessening, abortions via readily available birth control and the knowledge needed for to avoid their dictum of forced birth at all costs?
Not so much. Well, not at all. OK, just the opposite.
Despite Media Matters, and many other fledgling organizations, the hyperbolic tantrums that provide a deafening clamor as soon as something happens that can be skewed the news cycle back to some more politically, and theologically, correct narrative dynamic is here to stay until we can out shout, out scream and out “noise” them. For these are not days of rational, respectful, discussion, unfortunately. Meet the Press type shows have become more “meet the Republicans.” NPR and PBS have been stripped of journalistic integrity by corporate funding and partisan appointments. And Firing Line has been replaced by the screams of “do it live,” calling everyone who dares to disagree a “pinhead,” being told someone else has to do your “thinking” for you, someone testifying for women’s rights has to be a “slut…” Well, there are too many examples to list.
You’ll never win a WWE fight by being in defensive mode, appealing to rationality: “But wait a minute, that’s not logical…” You’ll just get, in this case, a rhetorical chair slammed into your head, and kicked in the jewels. And the rabid crowd that cheers on the bashing is eager for the “big gun” to climb into the ring: in this case the terrorist who will either silence the “bad guy” they don’t like, or feed the desire to see more blood, more gore.
So until rationality rules again… do we REALLY need to start having our own tantrums?
Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 40 years. Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks, and into the unseen cracks and crevasses,that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.
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