Friday, June 04, 2004

Partisan Pseudo-Media and the Soros Smear Campaign.

This is really, really sick.

But it's a pretty good opportunity to see the Rove attack machine in full gear.

Many of you may have heard of George Soros. He's a wealthy philanthropist who is best known for heading up the Open Society Institute, that's been responsible for promoting education, human rights, social, economic, and legal reform, public health, media access, etc. around the world. A lot of people in the world can point to a few things that they've done to make this a better place, but I'll bet that very few have accomplished a fraction of the things that Mr. Soros has done. Here's a short list of some of OSI's initiatives.

But there's just one problem.

In addition to doing all of the above things, Mr. Soros is also a contributor to THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY!!! Oh noes!

Soros has a lot of money and a lot of clout, so it's kind of understandable that there would be subsequent attacks and propaganda focused against him, in typical Rove fashion ala the infamous New Hampshire insinuation of McCain having an illegitimate black child and more recent political hits on Joe Wilson and his family and Richard Clarke. That kind of power probably inspires a lot of political anxiety and, through some stroke of coincidence, like everyone else who has posed a threat to Bush's electoral campaigns, one would expect that he would probably become the target of a really ugly smear campaign, filled with mountains of ridiculous misinformation. Now, I can't say for certain who would be behind such a push, but past experience gives me a pretty good idea*

But frankly, I'm kind of amazed by the job they're doing with Soros. Watching some conservative media outlets, one gets the impression of a very concerted effort to taint the guy's image. We're not talking about a few off-handed remarks... we're talking about a focused effort... the whole echo machine roaring at full blast after this one guy.

O'Reilly (the alleged independent who has spent lengthly amounts of time attacking Soros on his television and radio shows, including a puffball interview with the editor of the less than reputable source of pseudo-news, newsmax.com, but has denied even a moment of air time to a Soros supporter), Hannity, Limbaugh, the RNC, et al are in full effect.

For a brief rundown, you should visit mediamatters.org.

But as I said, this is really sick. The energy being spent by media charlatans who have dedicated their careers to misleading, faux journalism to discredit someone, whose life's work they could never hope to mirror, is just insane.

I guess I'm at a loss for why people can look at stuff like this and continue to believe that O'Reilly and company represent legitimate media. It doesn't even feel like they're making an attempt to cover up what they're doing. It's so arrogantly obvious, that I'm shocked that anyone would defend this attack machine anymore. This isn't about partisan mud-slinging. There are idiots and geniuses, people with and without integrity on all ends of the political spectrum. I just can't see how a respectable conservative individual could stand having their ideology represented by this kind of dishonest horseshit.

On a lighter note, I think the absurd moment of the week can be summed up in this quote from O'Reilly to Mr. Poe of newsmax.com: "If Soros is what you say he is, and I have no reason to doubt it."

Did you hear that? He just said that he had no reason to doubt the claims made by the editor of a newspaper that has spear-headed such ridiculous content as:

Jerry Falwell's article, detailing the coming oppression and persecution of Christians, in America of all places, where a non-Christian can't even get elected to the presidency, in the name of an agenda of "tolerance" and homosexual rights (his scare quotes, not mine)

An article alleging that Kerry opposed the Vietnam war because he was collaborating with the ol Communists

And this utterly ridiculous article that alleges that Kerry flipped off a heckler at the Vietnam memorial that A. Describes an event that managed to not be noticed by any other network with cameras at the event, B. Fails to identify the source of the information, and C. Was probably taken from the lone word of the person who was allegedly flipped off, Ted Sampley, who has a disturbing history of claiming that McCain was a Manchurian Candidate who was brainwashed by the KGB while a POW to infiltrate America, lying to families of MIAs by saying that their loved ones had been chopped to pieces before they were safely recovered, spending time in jail for assaulting a McCain staffer, receiving a restraining order from Sen. McCain, questionable business practices, and an attempt to fund the vigilante bombing of a building in Laos, in a crude attempt to destroy the Laotian government.

Yeah... that's the news source that O'Reilly has "no reason...to doubt." Way to go there, Mr. Fair and Impartial.

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