Connecting Dots

So Sunday while I was surfing, I ran across this article at Little Green Footballs. Though I am aware of their work, I don’t normally read LGF, but I was drawn by the headline at Memorandum and clicked it. Here are the essentials:

I don’t even know what to say about this any more [sic]. There’s a real sickness running rampant in the right wing; the Fox News comment thread on Whitney Houston’s death is yet another disgusting deluge of outright racism: Singer Whitney Houston Dies at 48 | Fox News.

I read a few on that page and then clicked through, and yes, the comments are offensive as hell, with the n-word littering the discourse. Damning, no?

Now I’m not in the habit of defending FOX news by any stretch of the imagination. But here’s the thing; I’ve been reading FOX news for years now, not exclusively, but I treat them like I do CNN or MSNBC–they’re interesting for what they’ll tell you about that faction’s POV on a given subject, and sometimes they do just straight up report stories. In my years of reading them, I have never once witnessed a train wreck like that one. Never have I seen FOX commenters en masse racially attack someone.

I’m not saying it’s not real; I’m saying I’m suspicious. I remember all too well the online games that went down with operatives and volunteers in the 2008 primary, and I am aware of Cass Sunstein’s work manipulating online watering holes. Most of us were at DKos, Jeralyn’s place, and other prime online targets and we are well aware of the methodology. My suspicions primarily revolved around this information, and knowing that race is an easy exploitation device, one for which the Obama Administration has reached again and again.

So imagine the alarm bells that went off for me when I found this article on David Brock and Media Matters (via Dana Loesch on Twitter) at The Daily Caller (who, you may recall, broke the Journolist story):

Last spring, some at Media Matters headquarters and in other parts of the progressive world were caught off guard by an interview Brock gave to Ben Smith at Politico, in which he promised to wage “guerrilla warfare and sabotage” against Fox News. “It was insane,” says a coworker. “David was totally manic at the time. We were all shocked.” [Bolding mine]

Now this paragraph is 5 pages deep in an article that discusses the web of media contacts that Media Matters has cultivated and the methodologies they use when a reporter is resistant to working with them.  It’s pretty damning stuff. There’s also a lot about founder David Brock’s mental and emotional status, which I think detracts from the overall article, but I suppose they hope it intensifies the  negative portrait they are trying to paint. (Still, I recommend you click through to it. I think it’s going to be hot today.)

They don’t need it. What has happened to the left, how it has completely adopted wholesale the methodologies they once claimed they despised, and, more important, the policies they once claimed they despise, is self-evidently ugly and negative. What happens when there’s no one to tell the truth is that one must spend huge amounts of time reading between the lines looking for subtext, connecting dots, and trying to reverse-engineer strategy. Which will, in turn, get you accused of being conspiratorial (to come properly full circle with Sunstein).

But I’ve digressed. My point is that I’m now wondering if the comments on that FOX News article are an early indication the Obama administration’s online ground game with conservatives, and neutralizing FOX news this election year. And David Brock would have knowledge of such a campaign, which would certainly be sabotage, and may even bear some responsibility for perpetrating it via Media Matters vast web of members and contacts. I can’t know for sure, but I certainly smell something fishy.

Update: Hot Air is covering the DC storyand Ed Morrissey also notes the odd framing Tucker’s team put on it. It really serves to hide the most salient points of the exposé:

The actual story here might be the reverse of how Carlson et al frame it here.  This sounds as though the White House uses Brock and Media Matters to conduct a proxy war against its perceived enemies in the news media and to push its propaganda out through the MSM.  The DC’s descriptions of attacks on reporters and media outlets who don’t fall in line would make MMFA a very valuable pitbull for Jarrett and Obama, and one with some plausible deniability, at least until now.  This should really be the screaming red flag in the article, rather than some of the salacious tidbits about Brock.

About Woke Lola

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46 Responses to Connecting Dots

  1. HELENK says:

    the sad part is that it would not surprise me. Things have been happening in journalism since 2008 that destroyed my belief system.
    It may have been going on longer than that but it really came out in the open then.

  2. Three Wickets says:

    Do I think it’s possible OFA surrogates plant racist commenters to alienate undecideds from the ‘racist’ right. Absolutely, not a doubt in my mind, and they most likely get paid to do it. Here’s some more news about OFA, the comparatively softer side. Obama campaign plans rapid response.

    On Monday, the president’s reelection team will unveil a trio of websites dedicated to providing supporters with information on the president’s record — and more than a little dirt on his Republican rivals. The campaign has named it Obama’s “Truth Team,” and the goal is to arm millions of surrogates with the facts, figures and talking points they need to engage in ground-level political combat — on their Twitter and Facebook feeds and in old-fashioned conversations with friends and neighbors.

  3. DandyTiger says:

    That definitely smells fishy. And it sounds just like the crap we’ve seen in the past. I’d say the game is on. Be prepared for the ugliest, dirtiest game ever played in politics. I think 2008 will seem like kindergarden compared to what’s coming.

  4. myiq2xu says:

    You can’t blame FOX (or any other news network) for the comments posted in their threads. Moderating comments was a full-time job at TC when we were getting 10,000 hits a day.

    In my experience the people who like to use the N-word the most are Obama supporters.

  5. myiq2xu says:

    BTW – sometime today we passed 700,000 hits.

  6. myiq2xu says:

    The first two commenting rules at LGF:

    Comments do not necessarily reflect the views of Little Green Footballs.
    Obscene, abusive, silly, or annoying remarks may be deleted, but the fact that particular comments remain on the site in no way constitutes an endorsement of their views by Little Green Footballs.

  7. 1539days says:

    This is fitting. I wrote on my blog last night about the smear site Gawker claiming racism from a video shown during CPAC. They claimed the guy doing the bad rap lines used the n word when he was clearly using the word “knickers,” referring to the colonial era clothing he wore in the video. In fact, the video spends half a minute joking about the confusion. Gawker eventually backed down slightly, blaming the poor quality of the video and the sound.
    http://daysofchange.wordpress.com/2012/02/12/day-1195-the-talent-gap/

    LGF is a weird site. They first became famous as ground zero of the fake Bush memo debunkers of 2004. The site became something of a right-wing oasis for a while. A few years later, Charles Johnson seemed to snap and became a hater of all things Republican, much like David Brock. He had a lot of bad shit to say about Sarah Palin being dumb and ultra conservative in 2008. His rules his comments with an iron fist, so most of the comments are like a 5 minute hate against the GOP anyway.

    • Lola-at-Large says:

      I remember that transformation. It was wild. It was like he flipped a switch right after Obama was elected. Didn’t something similar happen at Balloon Juice, or am I misremembering?

      • Lulu says:

        I am an old cynic. The only two things that I know of that can make someone do a 180 are Jesus and cold hard cash. And occasionally both at the same time.

    • votermom says:

      If you accept the premise that W & B0 are backed by the same interests, then it makes sense that a site that used to back W would turn around and start backing B0.

  8. Lola-at-Large says:

    The DC link is already in the New Item Finder at memorandum and is the third top story. Wonder how long it will take to move to the top. Will this be my first post linked at Memorandum? Inquiring minds want to know! 😀

  9. Glenn McGahee says:

    this world of politics and media manipulation is definitely the bizzarro world. It was David Brock of media matters that was almost personably responsible for the attacks against Clinton that brought abouyt the Whitewater investigations and troopergate. Then all of a sudden a few years later he says “never mind” and apologizes but the media manipulation and the folks out in TVland never realize what hit em and repeat the crap forever. I don’t watch TV news at all. I hardly read any political literature. I pick and choose stuff skeptically. Almost like Palin when she was asked by Couric what periodicals she reads. I liked her answer because she obviously read none of them so was influenced just by her emotion and common sense.

  10. Lulu says:

    Well I just looked at DK so you do not have to. The main story on horrible bigoted attacks on Fox is written by the main OWS guy over there. So there are intersections all over the place in the agitprop dept. They are definitely looking for stuff to blow up over.

  11. votermom says:

    OT, this made me lol. Best bday cake ever:

    http://lockerz.com/s/182589679

  12. DeniseVB says:

    When I was at DU, it was a sport to go over to sites they hated and “mess with them”. I think their favorite target was Free Republic where many of them had sock puppets so they could post something outrageous, then respond to themselves.

    I never could understand that kind of hate and obsession.

    Then of course, DU and Dkos had a major cleansing of Hillary supporters who dared question Obama.

    • Lulu says:

      I did a post on DK when I researched about 20 of their most incendiary and sycophantic Obot posters and they had a 8 hour per day range than almost all of them posted. Almost all were 8-5 CST. A few were 4-12. Many screen names would post 5-10 remarks per minute. It was scrubbed and I was banned. That was Feb 2008. It was a frenzy.

    • DeniseVB says:

      Commenters have to register to post on the Fox site, wouldn’t they be traceable ? Fox should dig into it 😀

      Did a few spins around some conservative boards and blogs and have only seen respectful posts over Houston’s death. Maybe a few angry at Bobby and drugs……

      • elliesmom says:

        I did the same and found the same. I saw a lot of “wasted talent” comments, but none that referred to Ms. Houston’s race. I have a rabidly liberal friend who always rails against Fox News. I asked him if he ever watches it, and he says he doesn’t have to. He already knows the network and everyone who watches it are racists. If he were asked to help “bring down Fox”, I think he’d participate.

        • Lola-at-Large says:

          The comments have since been removed, elliesmom. I did see them yesterday. It was a train wreck and a half.

        • elliesmom says:

          I saw the comments at Fox, too, but I also looked at several other right wing blogs where the comments are not moderated, and I didn’t see a single racist comment anywhere. I saw some commenters who hold Whitney Houston accountable for her own death, but nothing about the color of her skin. You’re right. The comments at the Fox article were more than a trainwreck, which begs the question, “Why there and nowhere else?”

        • Lola-at-Large says:

          Ah, I see. Thanks for clarifying! Yes, it is very curious! I would have loved to have read your Dkos article. Did you save it?

        • Lola-at-Large says:

          Whoops, that was Lulu who wrote the DKos article. Sorry elliesmom.

      • DeniseVB says:

        This is the Whitney link from Free Republic, which is the arch nemesis of DU.

        http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2845500/posts?q=1&;page=1

        I think if racists were to appear, it would definitely be here, well, if you believe DU 😉

        Scanning through the comments, I not only learned that Whitney’s Super Bowl Star Spangled Banner was released as a single and became #1, but she donated the proceeds to the USO.

  13. Lola-at-Large says:

    The Other McCain makes another good related point: No other unmoderated threads in the conservative interwebs about Whitney Houston bear the markings of this racism. It’s just Fox. And just that one article. http://theothermccain.com/2012/02/12/an-idiot-obsessed-with-commenters/

  14. DandyTiger says:

    Here’s something to read. Take some drinks first though:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/03/obama-explained/8874/

    • Lulu says:

      University of Chicago professor? The bots cannot get that out of their heads. It is their lodestone. I wonder if U of C law school ever got his transcripts to hire him to teach.

  15. Lola-at-Large says:

    If nothing else, here’s a list of potential targets to keep an eye on. If you see funny stuff going on at these sites or attacks on these folks, you’ll likely know why. Part two of the DC expose: http://dailycaller.com/2012/02/13/inside-media-matters-david-brocks-enemies-list/

  16. yttik says:

    Well, with leadership like this, how could anyone NOT consider the possibility that Obama supporters are running around the internet trying to create a false narrative?

    Obama Campaign Launches ‘Truth Teams’

    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/02/obama-campaign-launches-truth-teams/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

  17. mothy67 says:

    I read a few different blogs each day and have become familiar with some of the voices trying to cause havoc. Interesting that on some sites the same person is posting at all hours of the day. When reading the comments it is easy to discern that the authors are different people.
    Favorite though the miscreants at Althouse as those going there to just be antagonistic all have blocked profiles

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