Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Wingnut Watch: Sharia Law, The Man from C.L.I.M.A.T.E., and Actually Existing Media Bias

with 6 comments

Newt Gingrich has heroically called for a federal ban on the real menace: sharia law. The line on Twitter is that we should probably ban unicorn hunting next—but I want to call special attention to this comment from TPM at well:

But now they finally seem to be on the brink of having stupified their followers and coopted the MSM to the point where they can just make up their next mythic Enemy out of whole cloth, without any need for it to have even the most tenuous anchor in reality. So when this whole Islamophobia thing plays out, I really expect them to just invent some nonexistent entity, like S.P.E.C.T.R.E. or HYDRA or a deeply buried conspiracy of secret Satanists who have infiltrated every segment of society or something of the sort.

Indeed, an entirely nonexistent enemy would have manifold advantages for them. Any industrial accident that results in an explosion could be blamed on them and if accident investigators say, no, the problem was slipshod safety practices, that just proves the accident investigator is part of the plot. Any academic, politician or commentator who makes them look stupid is obviously a member who need to be investigated, and an investigation will always turn up something to prove the charges. And if it doesn’t, it just goes to show how fiendishly clever and how thoroughly penetrated we are as a society.

It’s not that this would work; it’s that it’s already worked. Or haven’t you heard about the sinister machinations of C.L.I.M.A.T.E. scientists? Here’s Steve Benen on the sad state of public discourse today:

In previous generations, the American Right still had to contend with some accurate information. That’s no longer the case — a Republican activist can listen to talk radio during the day, listen to Fox News after work, read right-wing blogs with breakfast, and hang out with Tea Partiers over the weekend. It’s possible, if not easy, for a conservative to come in contact with literally no accurate, objective journalism.

Meanwhile, Christine O’Donnell is following the Sarah Palin, Sharon Angle, and Rand Paul trajectory by canceling her lamestream media appearances altogether. Tragically, the Democrats have no candidate in the DE-SEN race, so Face the Nation has been forced to book Republican strategist Ed Rollins and former Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson instead.

6 Responses

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  1. Alex

    September 18, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    • Makes me want to reread Jameson’s stuff on paranoia and totality.


      September 18, 2010 at 4:32 pm

      • Sometimes I’m really not sure I can tell the difference.


        September 18, 2010 at 9:26 pm

  2. My senior year research project on conspiracy and paranoia in American history and pop culture was remarkably well-timed: I think the kind of fear and hysteria that you see frankly not infrequently throughout American history used by the right is regrettably coming back into vogue…


    September 19, 2010 at 3:00 am

  3. The target isn’t actually Sharia law. It’s the incorporation of International Law into the U.S. courts, something this article doesn’t get at, but which the following quote from the article does:

    “A few months from now, when Oklahoma voters march to the polls, they will face “question 755” on their ballots. Born out of the “Save Our State” constitutional amendment passed by the Oklahoma legislature earlier this year, question 755 will implore voters to forbid courts from using international law or Sharia law in their decisions. In state legislatures in Tennessee and Louisiana, similar bills await consideration. And in New York, Tennessee, Florida, and California, Americans are fiercely protesting the construction of mosques.”

    Sharia then becomes the bogeyman through which Conservatives prevent International law from being incorporated in domestic law. Score one for fear.


    September 19, 2010 at 3:30 pm

  4. Alex

    September 19, 2010 at 3:31 pm

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