“The demographics race we’re losing badly. We’re not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) to the Washington Post, August 29, 2012
I’ve said for a while now that “news’ organizations like Fox News and the various conservative “news” websites aren’t designed to make their loyal followers better informed, but rather they’re designed to make them less informed and angrier. Many of them proved it again this weekend as anything close to intelligence or facts went out the window, and an attempt to create anger was launched that was so mindlessly stupid that anyone who considers themselves a conservative should be offended by it.
On Thursday, the right-leaning MacIver Institute released a short video accusing Marvel of writing a story where Captain America attacks conservatives. The story cited by McIver features Sam Wilson (formally the Falcon and now wearing the mantle of Captain America) facing off against a group of masked, white supremacist extremists perverting both religion and law in the pursuit of their crusade on the country’s southern border. These are not merely people who are taking conservative positions on immigration, but masked fanatics taking matters to an extreme. The MacIver Institute described these lunatics as your typical, average “conservatives.”
In a fine example of monkey see, monkey do, monkey can’t think for itself, various conservative websites and figures leapt in to join the outrage bandwagon. Some of the higher profile members of the screamers were people like Allen West and the Saturday crew of Fox & Friends.
West’s article on his website was largely laughable on multiple levels- not the least of which was getting basic facts like character names and backgrounds wrong. The Fox & Friends bit was really laughable though. One hilarious, and hypocritical, moment was seeing a Fox News host saying that she wanted to see them do an issue that promoted her POV, a political POV, and then turn on a dime and declare that they should keep politics out of comics when ending the discussion on the issue itself. What a nice, subtle way of saying that people shouldn’t think or write something unless it’s Heather Childers approved. Anyhow…
The thing I find amazing about this isn’t the professional conservative media outrage brigades deciding to get upset about this and whine and cry about basically nothing. No, what I find amazing is how many really stupid people are going along with the outrage without realizing what they’re actually saying.
The bad guys in this story are clearly white supremacist styled extremists. These are fanatics who are subverting and perverting both the law and Christian beliefs. Conservative commentators looked at these loonies and declared them to be “conservatives” and, in the words of Tucker Carlson, “ordinary Americans” and “probably some of you watching at home.” That idea is reflected in the comments sections by the viewers and readers.
Let’s look at that one more time. A conservative-leaning think tank, various conservative bloggers and editorialists, and the Fox & Friends producers and onscreen talent looked at characters that were-
1- Clearly white supremacists
2- Fanatical extremists
3- Perverting both law and Christianity with their actions and words
-and declared that these were conservatives who represented their readers and viewers. Then, rather than tell them how full of it they were for comparing characters like that to them, their viewers and readers, rather than turning their brains on and thinking about this for more than a second or two, actually agreed with them.
I really am almost at a loss for words as to how one would address this. The creators of the new Cap series basically used a decades old comic book twist on the KKK for their story, conservative pundits looked at them and declared them to be just your everyday, typical American conservatives, and their loyal followers all agreed that, yup, that’s them alright.
Where do these nutballs go from here? If a story’s hero goes after black market gun dealers, are they now attacking the NRA and conservative 2nd Amendment supporters? If they take down a corrupt cop, are they now attacking law enforcement?
Seriously, how do you as a conservative pundit look at a group of masked, white supremacist extremists perverting both religion and law and declare them to be your basic, everyday, run of the mill conservative Americans with a straight face? Even more impressive, how in the hell to you tell your loyal audience that these masked, white supremacist extremists perverting both religion and law are just like them and get your audience to declare that, yup, that shoe fits fine? Can you imagine the conniption fits that would be happening from the very same people right now if left-leaning media outlets looked at this Captain America story, looked at this group of masked, white supremacist extremists perverting both religion and law, and declared this to be typical of mainstream American conservatism?
If anybody needed a great example of how many of these web outlets and how many of the Fox News programming hours are designed to make people less well informed and/or more mindlessly angry at meaningless or fabricated issues, this would be it. If you needed a great example of how so many of the “attacks” on conservatism, Christianity, or fill-in-the-blank that these people promote are fabricated issues and nothing more than them saying “Don’t think, just get angry!” and having their audiences loyally obey, this would be it.
They’ve spent the last four days telling their loyal audiences that Marvel Comics had one of their flagship characters fight a group fanatical, extremist, white supremacist lunatics who spew warped versions of Christian beliefs, and this meant that they were attacking people just like them. Their audiences responded by saying that, yup, that was them and they were outraged by this attack.
Guys, seriously, if even you’re going to say the shoe fits…
Look, I know people who are hardcore conservative Republicans. They’re not fanatical, extremist, white supremacist lunatics and they don’t spew deranged, warped versions of Christian beliefs. They’re not the group from the comic book, and the group from the comic book is not representational of conservatives as a whole.
If you’re a pundit or writer and you’re saying this crap to create even more pointless anger among the faithful and the stupid, you’re a manipulative asshole. If you’re a member of their audience who’s swallowing this manure and happily agreeing with them, you’re a fucking idiot.