"Joy and pleasure are as real as pain and sorrow and one must learn what they have to teach. . . ." -- Sean Russell, from Gatherer of Clouds

"If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right." -- Helyn D. Goldenberg

"I love you and I'm not afraid." -- Evanescence, "My Last Breath"

“If I hear ‘not allowed’ much oftener,” said Sam, “I’m going to get angry.” -- J.R.R. Tolkien, from Lord of the Rings

Monday, December 01, 2014

A Couple of Thoughts on Ferguson

From Digby, this observation:

Forget the shooting of an unarmed man. Let's talk about the reaction to it instead. That seems to be the M.O. of the right when it comes to dealing with Ferguson and the hideous underbelly of American racism. Elias Isquith at Salon talked a bit about this last week:

From the very beginning, before St. Louis County prosecuting attorney Robert McCulloch had uttered the first word of his defensive and dissembling speech, the fix was in. The conspiracy this time was not to protect Officer Darren Wilson from standing trial for the killing of Michael Brown, though that was certainly related. This time, the conspiracy was to organize the announcement of Wilson’s exoneration in as provocative a way as possible. The ultimate goal was to manipulate the public and the press into forgetting the real story of Ferguson — of police brutality and racial injustice — and bickering about the morality of rioting instead.

Thinking back, Digby and Isquith hit it right on the head. It's been a pattern for a while, and the sad thing is, it works: we're led to focus on the reaction and not the trigger, and not the underlying causes.* It's a long post, but worth reading -- Digby has a lot of examples going back over the past several years, detailing not only the misdirection, but the lies used to support it.

This is the sort of thing that Digby's talking about: That paragon of journalistic integrity, Rich Lowry (and if you don't know who Lowry is, yes, that was meant to be snarky) rode along with Darren Wilson earlier in the day that he shot Michael Brown, so Lowry, of course, knows exactly what happened when he was no longer there.

Thinking about this, I've come to the conclusion that labeling the press as "complicit" assigns them too much agency: they're lapdogs, nothing more. (The ones who aren't tend to be in exile or relegated to the sidelines. Think about what happened to Soledad O'Brien for giving Tony Perkins a hard time -- she's now with Al Jazeera.) It's at the point now where, if you want to know what's happening in this country, you have to go to the foreign press, because the domestic press has an agenda dictated by the powers that be, and it doesn't include honest reporting.

* Footnote: plug this post by Tom Sullivan into the mix to get an idea of those underlying causes.

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