I, too, detect that unmistakable odor of media malpractice in the air: the miraculous discovery of a previously unknown race—the “white Hispanic”; the predictable arrival of those human hyenas Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson (and worse, the media’s respectful treatment of these two unrepentant humbugs); and now, news that NBC edited George Zimmerman’s 911 call to make him sound more “racist.”
Then we have Spike Lee apologizing for directing lynch mobs to the wrong house, the knock-off T-shirts, and the dramatic rise in Skittles sales. My bullshit detector won’t stop beeping.
I’ve spent much of my online life talking dejected comrades off political ledges. When a “right-wing Christian” shot up the Washington, DC Holocaust Museum, I helped publicize evidence that the guy was, in fact, a 9/11 truther who hated Christians, especially that “neocon” George Bush. In short, his rantings were indistinguishable from random comments at the Daily Kos.
After the massacre in Norway last year, I helped counter received liberal wisdom about the “extremist right-wing Christian” shooter—whose “fascist” manifesto inconveniently quoted Naomi Klein and other progressives and who’d boasted that he hadn’t gone to church in seventeen years.
See, I have a personal blogging rule that costs me plenty of traffic. It also helps prevent unnecessary humiliation. That rule is: Wait for evidence before jumping to conclusions.
So I waited about a day to begin posting about Trayvon Martin, and I limited myself to exposing media and/or race-hustler exploitation. I’m not alone. At the time of this writing, the national conversation seems pretty balanced for a change (if that’s the right word for the sound of 300 million people screaming at each other). That is, thanks to a robust alternative media, a counter-narrative is challenging the mainstream’s rapidly metastasizing Emmett Till-inspired hagiography.
Now I’m worried about the Bubba Effect.
That’s what Glenn Beck called it in a show about the Trayvon Martin case. Beck claims he “learned the expression from a former Special Ops agent.” (Now that you’ve finished rolling your eyes, I’d like to point out that “crazy” Glenn Beck bought gold at $400.)
It’s a handy expression for a behavior we’ve all observed and maybe even practiced: Average Joes siding against the media/law enforcement/political authorities to cheer on a possibly shaky “undesirable” (maybe even a criminal) because that “bad guy” is a “Bubba” like themselves.
Remember the rush to demonize Joe the Plumber or Sarah Palin—and the subsequent time-lapse-photography-style germination of grassroots self-appointed defenders? Are these three-minute-hate figures saints or geniuses? Of course not. But they’re “our sons of bitches” and “we’re mad as hell,” etc., etc.
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