The Facts Machine

"And I come back to you now, at the turn of the tide"

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

NEWS FLASH! WARD CHURCHILL TO STEP DOWN AS SENATE MAJORITY LEADER!

Hmm, that doesn't sound right.

Anyway, since I mentioned him ever so briefly in my previous post, I thought now was a good time to draw attention to Kevin Drum's excellent post outlining, via Nexis, how an old and relatively insignificant story about the ravings of an nutty prof from Colorado named Ward Churchill became a widespread story, and the topic of multiple "talking points" segments on The O'Reilly Factor. Hint: right-wing echo chamber.

The goal of the Scaife/Moonie/Murdoch types in this matter is to somehow implicitly link Churchill to, say, Harry Reid, even though the guy is an obscure nutbar from Colorado. Or at least to argue that people of his mindset have significant sway in the mainstream Democratic Party.

How does this play out? Here's an example: on February 3rd Joe Scarborough devoted the first segment of his show on MSNBC, Scarborough Country, to Churchill's comments, and then he devoted the third segment to asking why Ted Kennedy wants to see the efforts in Iraq go up in smoke. They think if they can sprinkle enough of this fellow into the cauldron of Center-Left America, they can spoil the broth in the eyes of enough Americans to help the GOP maintain its electoral advantage. When in reality, he's a fringe professor with tenure, that's it. What makes the whole thing even more cynical is that most of the people in the 101st Fighting Keyboarders know full well that he's a fringer, they know full well the implications of wanting the media to expend so much energy on him, and yet they keep blogging about him anyway.

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