March 22nd, 2014

This is what we’re up against: the WaPo and truth

Last Thursday the WaPo published the usual takedown of the nefarious Koch brothers, purporting to show that “biggest lease holder in the northern Alberta oil sands” is a Koch brothers holding, and that they would be a big beneficiary of the Keystone Pipeline. John Hinderaker took them on, then the WaPo replied, and now Hinderaker has replied to their reply.

It’s not just a reply by Hinderaker, it’s an evisceration of the WaPo article, its authors, and the WaPo editors. You have to read the whole thing to get the details, but here’s an excerpt:

So in the Post’s view, it is acceptable to publish articles that are both literally false (Koch is the largest tar sands leaseholder) and massively misleading (the Keystone Pipeline is all about Koch Industries), if by doing so the paper can “stir and inflame public debate in this election year?”…

Let me offer an alternative explanation of why the Washington Post published their Keystone/Koch smear: 1) The Washington Post in general, and Mufson and Eilperin in particular, are agents of the Left, the environmental movement and the Democratic Party. 2) The Keystone Pipeline is a problem for the Democratic Party because 60% of voters want the pipeline built, while the party’s left-wing base insists that it not be approved. 3) The Keystone Pipeline is popular because it would broadly benefit the American people by creating large numbers of jobs, making gasoline more plentiful and bringing down the cost of energy. 4) Therefore, the Democratic Party tries to distract from the real issues surrounding the pipeline by claiming, falsely, that its proponents are merely tools of the billionaire Koch brothers–who, in fact, have nothing to do with Keystone one way or the other. 5) The Post published its article to assist the Democratic Party with its anti-Keystone talking points.

There’s more, much more, about the relationships of one of the article’s authors to various leftwing “green” causes with an interest in sinking the pipeline. It’s a very convincing indictment of the WaPo and the writer.

Hinderaker is a formidable foe in terms of his knowledge and his ability to write. As a blogger, he has a wide audience—on the right. But there’s little question in my mind that the WaPo knows that its desired message “Koch Brothers evil, Keystone Pipeline benefits them, Keystone Pipeline evil,” will be received (and quoted) by far more people than will ever hear Hinderaker’s on-target reply.

The WaPo appears to have factored in all of this, and has decided that—in the words of Churchill—”A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.” I can almost guarantee that the “Kochs own the Keystone Pipeline” meme is already widely established, and that Hinderaker’s excellent refutation will hardly make a dent in it.

That’s the power of the press and the power of propaganda. The esteem in which papers like the WaPo are held has dropped in recent years, but not nearly enough to cow it into telling the truth or to end its influence.

25 Responses to “This is what we’re up against: the WaPo and truth”

  1. Eric Says:

    ‘What difference does it make.’

    The lie moves us to Point B in the narrative and the zeitgeist, another click over of the ratchet, and that’s what matters … that’s what counts in real life.

    Once they move us to Point B, debating the truthfulness of the way points becomes an academic exercise, easily waved away as ‘what difference does it make’ in terms of relevance.

    In real life, the end justifies the means and it’s whether you win or lose, not how you play the game.

    The solution is proper Marxist-method activism by the Right that seizes the initiative and never lets it go, defines the narrative and the zeitgeist, polices our culture, and controls our collective course, including and especially the law, while preventing the Left’s activists from controlling our collective course.

    Leftists are simply realistic in doing what needs to be done to win the Marxist-method activist game, which is the only social-political game there is. They’re earning their dominance.

    Hinderaker’s work is a necessary component but it’s useless by itself. The only way to counter the Left is proper Marxist-method activism by the Right.

    In other words, right now, the Right needs community organizers more than governors.

  2. Ann Says:

    The solution is proper Marxist-method activism by the Right that seizes the initiative and never lets it go, defines the narrative and the zeitgeist, polices our culture, and controls our collective course, including and especially the law, while preventing the Left’s activists from controlling our collective course.

    Okay. But getting down to practical matters — just how do we define “the narrative and the zeitgeist” without being in control of major newspapers, TV networks, and Hollywood?

  3. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    The man who pretends at neutral objectivity while covertly lying to gain political leverage is a far more despicable person than the unapologetic tyrant.

    Ann,
    there you go again, confusing the issue with questions of factual relevance…I too wonder exactly what “Marxist-method activism by the Right” consists of and given the Marxist categorization, I suspect lying and deceit are involved. I’m open to persuasion but doubtful.

  4. Paul in Boston Says:

    Our side is a bunch of wimps who refuse to be rude. Here’s a suggestion, always refer to George Soros with his full honorific, the Nazi Kappo, George Soros. He admitted to it in an ABC interview by Steve Kroft and even said that it was exciting. He’s also been convicted of securities fraud in France but that’s not nearly as strong. “The convicted felon”, wouldn’t make a Democrat bat an eyelash.

  5. Eric Says:

    Ann,

    First, drop the helpless attitude. Activism is designed for asymmetrical competition, ie, the guerilla in the revolution. Being the underdog in the contest actually places the Right in the driver’s seat.

    Second, don’t look childishly to the GOP to run the show nor to GOP pols as messianic saviors. That’s obsolete thinking. The GOP needs a people’s movement to save it; it won’t work for the people to look to the GOP to save them.

    I won’t go into tactical detail on activism because that loses the forest for the trees and there’s plenty of literature and experts that instruct the gameplay far better than I can. For example, see Bill Moyer’s Doing Democracy, which is a popular guidebook to social movements.

    Learn the tactics and strategy the Left has used to seize the high ground. It didn’t happen spontaneously, by magic. You don’t have to cargo-cult copy the Left, but you can adapt their ways.

    Recognize that the Marxist-method activist method employed by the Left is mercenary, available to anyone to use, including the Right. Activism, simply stated, is sociology weaponized.

    Generally speaking, identify what you can do and can’t do to begin with. Then start by doing what you can do.

    Respect the enemy. Allow the enemy to teach you how to beat him. Don’t fear the enemy. Recognize you won’t win the contest with one bite. You’ll face setbacks on the way. It’s a sequence of steps. Your capabilities will grow as your social movement progresses. As Sun Tzu counseled, opportunities multiply as they are seized.

    Recognize the nature of the contest is one of maneuver in the military sense. Rhetoric involving truth, morals, and principles – while they define your ultimate ideological goal – is a subordinate device in the maneuver contest.

    That’s an ugly mindset, but a necessary one. If you lose the social-political/cultural power struggle against Marxists, then your choice of truth, morality, and principles is just pathetic bloviating, if not criminalized, while their truth, morality, and principles are reified. You (and I) may wish for a society where it need not be either/or, but when competing for the national soul against Marxists, it’s either/or.

    One thing anyone can do at any time is to organize in pockets at grassroots, on campus, and on street corners. The Tea Party movement looked like it started doing this, but lost their way and failed to reach beyond their in-group. The primary goal of a social movement should not be getting people elected. Elected office is a lesser included element. The center of gravity of a social movement is the social movement itself. That’s the source of the power that makes a difference. Construct a social movement that relentlessly, repetitively normalizes your premises, stigmatizes your enemy’s premises, and continually proselytizes, grows, spreads, and replicates as a social virus.

    Don’t rely on the media. Manipulate the media. They have their push-button cues, too; learn how to push their buttons. That’s part of the activist method.

  6. southpaw Says:

    As influential as the WaPo is, I would argue that it’s not an issue that will energize democrat voters as much as it will conservatives. I might be wrong, but I will bet the issue is very low on the list the typical democrat – the largest body of democrat voters are concerned with the goodies and benefits their local candidate is handing out, especially in a weak economy — for example, who’s promising to extend unemployment benefits, food stamps, an other programs that benefits them personally. A pipeline in an unpopulated part of the Midwest, 1500 miles from DC, is a political abstraction more than a wedge issue that’s going to motivate the masses — those hardcore left wing morons who oppose the pipeline are going to show up at the polls regardless.
    But your point is taken about propaganda and its purpose. They’re nothing but frauds and tools of the democrat party.

  7. Eric Says:

    Add: Especially, because the Left holds the media at the outset, the social movement can’t be only virtual and limited to an anonymous internet phenomenon. It needs to be sensed in real-life space – visibly and palpably progressing and growing into a critical mass as a social center of gravity.

    Again, the Tea Party movement looked like they were starting to do this, but they cut themselves off.

  8. Eric Says:

    Geoffrey Britain: “I suspect lying and deceit are involved.”

    Perhaps. What high-level, high-stakes competitions in the real world are free of deception?

    When the enemy’s end-state is intolerable, then defeat to the enemy is intolerable. When defeat to the enemy is intolerable, then you do what is necessary to win and impose your preferred state.

    Remember, on this one, we don’t get the choice to abandon allies who had trusted us with their lives to the whims of the enemy, and fly home and ignore their dying protests of our betrayal. This competition is in and over our home.

    As an activist, you control the gameplay. If you don’t want to be Stalin, it’s simple: don’t be Stalin. But don’t try so hard not to be Stalin, that you be Nicholas II, instead.

  9. FOAF Says:

    southpaw, it’s not about the “issue” whether or not Keystone is built. It’s about battlefield preparation and continually demonizing Republicans and conservatives to preserve their hold on power. Same as with the unending accusations of “racism”, they don’t really care about race. It’s all about making anyone who questions Obama or the left look like unhinged bigots while they (Dems/left) are the “regular decent folks”.

  10. Eric Says:

    FOAF,

    Yep. A vote is a low-barrier action. It need not be justified like a peer-reviewed article published in a scientific journal.

    A vote can be against something emotionally, abstract and vague, as easily as for something tangible, critically weighed.

    For most, the narrative and the zeitgeist, easily grasped, trump the confusing bundle of issues when deciding a vote.

    The Right can still talk issues, but they need to learn to compete for control of the narrative and zeitgeist.

  11. parker Says:

    “The Right can still talk issues, but they need to learn to compete for control of the narrative and zeitgeist.”

    This begins by controlling the terms (actual language) of the narrative and taking on the MSM as the enemy. We have to turn their words around on them. I know how to do that when discussing issues one on one with a progressive, but it must be done on a wide scale. The GOP establishment wants to be liked, they want to be invited to the ‘in crowd’ cocktail parties, they want to blow out of their pie holes on the Sunday morning ‘news’ shows, and they fervently want the MSM to treat them with respect instead of painting the MSM as running dog lackeys of the left.

    “Here’s a suggestion, always refer to George Soros with his full honorific, the Nazi Kappo, George Soros.”

    That is indeed the correct approach. Let’s all start referring to HRC as the woman who lied about dodging sniper fire on the tarmac. ;-)

  12. KLSmith Says:

    So Eric: which street corner are you preaching on? Love to come hear you sometime and note the reactions of the masses that gather to listen. If you are not out there preaching, why not?

  13. J.J. Says:

    I think what Eric is talking about is using what power of free speech and assembly we can to challenge the left’s message. And to get the conservative message out. How do I do that? I write/call my Congress Critters regularly. On issues that really bite my hinny, I write/call multiple times. I’m in touch with my local TEA Party. When they decide to do a protest, I’m there with my walking shoes on. I write to my newspaper expressing opinions that challenge the leftist narrative. I engage my neighbors in conversations about national and local political issues. I volunteer and work for conservative candidates in our local level elections. I attend city council meetings and feel free to speak up when able as well as engage the mayor or council members on issues. I live in a sea of liberals and many times I feel like I’m drowning. But I’m often surprised when a neighbor or fellow citizen makes a point of telling me that they think I’ve got some good arguments and information. I call it trying to be an engaged citizen. Maybe it’s not as an activist unless I’m at a protest, but I’m doing what I can. I also give money (small amounts – I’m no plutocrat) to conservative candidates that I favor. These are things that all concerned citizens can and should do.

    Our local TEA Party has gone away from protests, which don’t seem to get much traction here in deep blue Washington. It has become more involved in grass roots organizing for the primaries and general elections. We’re outnumbered, but we’re not quitting.

  14. KLSmith Says:

    J.J. : sounds like you are doing as much as a citizen can do. Eric has you used the street corner preaching advice several times (yeah like that’s going to work) and has attacked the tea party frequently.
    He may be a very nice guy but most of his advice is not relevant for the real world most of us live in. It is one thing to be aware of Alinsky tactics and turn them against the left when possible. But to go on and on in practically every comment he writes on how we all need to start a mini-me Marxist movement just rubs me the wrong way.
    Sorry. No offense to those of you who think he is contributing something. I see it as monotonous, redundant, and not very useful. It seems trollish and I know I don’t need no stinking community organizers/agitators telling me to go stand on a street corner sounding like a crazy person.
    And me and my trillionaire friends could be creating a new culture and media. We just weren’t smart enough to know we should. Until somebody told me.

  15. Beverly Says:

    I’m still working on my friend Vinnie. Today I told her that the goobermint is planning to nationalize our 401k’s.

    Boy, that hit a nerve! “Nobody touches my money,” she growled as only a NY Italian can do. She was livid.

    :-)

    See, I’ve found that telling old-school Democrats (the type who would’ve been Reagan democrats back in the day) a couple of Fun Facts to Know and Tell, without attacking their entire worldview, and using a mildly regretful tone, works a lot better than the direct attack. So does a sense of humor.

    So it’s only one person? Well, true. But I have another friend I’m bolstering, and I (very) occasionally lob some truth over the transoms of my leftie relatives.

    Drip, drip, drip: water wears down stone. Or, to use a better metaphor, if you cut across a mountainside of snow, you can kick off an avalanche with just a pair of skis.

    Most people aren’t annealed to any political party. Most are just going about their lives. They’re very reachable, actually: but they need a shock or two. Obamacare will be one HUGE shock for millions.

    I’m somewhat hopeful. I also remember this:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1TXPgMmzveo

    (God bless them, they remember the words, AND the spirit. It’ll take a lot more that a passel of parlor pinkos to bring down this nation.)

  16. parker Says:

    Beverly,

    After the blood and guts were cleaned from the streets, the dead were buried, and the injured were no longer in the MSM 24/7 spotlight; the citizens of Boston continued to vote for their masters. Sad and pathetic, but true. Heart felt memories are ashes in the mouth and dust under the fingernails if one continues to vote stupid time after time. It is just so much deja vu all over again and frankly I am tired of hollow men/women and their phony remberances.

    “Oh, mama can this really be the end to be stuck inside of Mobile with the Memphis blues again.”

    First time I can forgive, second time you become my enemy because you voted for the master who will, with your applause, kill me and mine simply because I know I am a free individual by virtue of the fact that I breathe the atmosphere and piss water. I am proudly and enemy of the state.

  17. Ymarsakar Says:

    Breitbart was already getting hits on the Left. But he conveniently died.

  18. Ymarsakar Says:

    The Left’s Main sewer mambo propaganda relies upon the principle of critical mass. They need a certain amount of people with word of mouth in order to spread the propaganda meme. That’s why it doesn’t matter that WaPo has less readers. What matters is that the Left’s propaganda pipeline is still active. They have one writer and 10 people read it. Those 10 people tell their 1000 allies. Those 1000 allies tell another 10,000 loyal goons. So on and so forth, the critical reaction begins and is self sustaining.

    While for the LEft’s enemies, the problem is one of a lack in numbers, not so much money or influence. Some guy writes a rebuttal, we read it, and it then stops there.

    Breitbart had his own media powers, but he was really good at doing a judo throw with the Left, by provoking the Left and getting the Left to invest their propaganda strength in a position. Then using overwhelming evidence to conquer the Left’s position. Breitbart didn’t need his own criticla mass of supporters, because he was right in the Left’s face using up the Left’s own face time with the Left’s audience.

    It’s not that individuals using the truth makes zero dent in the market and audience. It’s more like new authors have quality stuff, but nobody knows who they are so they don’t buy their stuff in large numbers. Until you get to a critical mass of people who network and talk about it, gossip doesn’t sustain itself.

    Tim Larkin recently wanted to use the main sewer media’s pipes to project his campaign concerning women’s defense. That started with publishing a book and getting it on the New York Best Sellers list. That, of course, wouldn’t work if the main sewer media were hostile and had already pre targeted him.

    Breitbart used a bit of that, but in a more offensive context of attacking the main sewer media head on. Getting in the Left’s face, using their own protest cameras against them, using the damage control of ACORN as just more propaganda grist for the mill.

  19. Ymarsakar Says:

    But getting down to practical matters — just how do we define “the narrative and the zeitgeist” without being in control of major newspapers, TV networks, and Hollywood?

    The thing about the Left is that they think they will change the world, mostly because it’s too hard to change themselves.

    For individuals and those that don’t like obeying Evil, the issue is reversed. We must change ourselves first, before we will ever be worthy of changing the world.

    Thus what should be changed first is the mentality and spirit when it comes to dealing with the Left. Most people deal with their friends and families on a social level. The Left deals with people on a war footing. We can’t react to Leftist tactics or pre empt their tactics if we cannot think on that level.

    So the practical first step is to become strong enough to change yourself, that way the Left won’t be able to change your batteries so easily.

    Given a choice between changing yourself and changing the world, the Islamic Jihad, the Left, Global Warming cult fanatics, and Democrat rich Fs, always chose the latter. That’s because they are weak, and weakness in corruption is their best specialized tool. A bunch of rapist, murdering, hedonistic criminals are going to change the world for the better? As if…

  20. Cornhead Says:

    Really like the idea of referring to Soros as former Nazi Kapo, but would add he is a convicted *French* felon.

  21. Ymarsakar Says:

    http://neoneocon.com/2014/01/03/blame-rudeness-racial-divisiveness-it-worked-so-well-for-obama/#comment-725932

    Tone wrote something months ago about the K brothers. It’ll be interesting to see what move the Left uses, since they’ve already begun the attacks. Their army divisions are already moving.

  22. Rob Says:

    First, Breitbart was right. The right needs brave souls who will use Abbie Hoffman tactics to get attention. Calling names won’t work. It is important to highlight hypocrisy. The left favors the rich by printing money, racist by not supporting charters, and the newspapers creating propaganda. Create a circle and try to levitate the WaPo offices.

    Second, we need a stock market crash. More than anything it will discredit the current ruling class. Obama will do nothing in Ukraine because it could raise gas prices. Gas tax, good. Jimmy Carter spike, bad.

    Oh, house of cards is helping.

  23. rickl Says:

    parker Says:
    March 22nd, 2014 at 10:28 pm

    This begins by controlling the terms (actual language) of the narrative and taking on the MSM as the enemy. We have to turn their words around on them.

    One small thing we can do is to quit using the Red=Republican, Blue=Democrat meme that the MSM created. Every conservative pollster and commenter should flip those colors around. We all know the Democrats are the real Reds. And explain what we’re doing and why we’re doing it.

  24. Ymarsakar Says:

    Red is seen as the color of happiness in certain parts of Asia, but in the West it signifies blood, guts, and tragedy.

    Anyone hear the daily casualties out of Afghanistan? Remember when they were psychologically raping Americans with Iraqi car bomb casualties every day? They knew we were the enemy back then. Why are Americans then treating the Left with such mercy?

  25. Ymarsakar Says:

    Right now, Republican powers obey the Left more than they obey the people. That’s understandable, since the Left is fearsome and powerful, while the people are easily crushed, raped, and killed.

    In every city, in Afghanistan, foreign and domestic, it is happening to Americans. Republicans know this, that is why they fear and obey the Left. Those at the bottom may be ignorant, but Congress level knows the reality.

    That is why conservative “pundits” won’t obey a unified strategy to take on the Left until talking heads fear the enemies of the Left more than they fear attacking the Left.

    This then brings us to the internal fight between political parties.

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