I'm in the process of watching my recording of Chris Hayes's new show. (Even for a hardened political media junkie like me, 4 AM Pacific Time is too early to get up on Saturday morning). Before I get to the body of the diary, I want to shout out a quick thank you to MSNBC for finally modifying its vast weekend desert of prison documentaries by adding a small oasis of intelligent political dialogue. And I love the format; he's actually giving people time to talk, not jumping in every 3 minutes with "we'll just have to leave it there."
OK, on to my main point. John Fugelsang just condensed everything that's wrong with American politics into 12 pithy words.
Rich people pay Fox people to make middle-class people blame poor people.
Yeah, it sounds cute and a bit gimmicky when you first hear it. But the more I repeat it, the more I see that it integrates all the major issues in a really profound way.
Think about it. In a sentence that could fit on a bumper sticker, we are told:
• The rich are paying the RW media to do their political bidding
• The RW media are motivated by an underlying purpose that has nothing to do with "We report, you decide"
• The bought media distort our democracy by causing people to have false beliefs about the causes of what is happening
• It's the rich who are fomenting class warfare
• The "blame the poor" (blame the teachers, blame the unions, blame the immigrants, blame the Social Security recipients) movement that is overtaking this country is an intentional diversion to keep people from seeing that the rich are really to blame
We on this site already know all of the above. But I am constantly on the lookout for ways to frame and explain our politics that can help those who don't live on MSNBC, AM 1090 Progressive Talk Radio, and Daily Kos to see what is really happening. The last example I came across that I thought was as powerful as this one was the joke about the plate of cookies.
I think Fugelsang has just made a historic contribution to that genre. Obviously a lot of what it's saying is implied, not stated outright. But once implanted into someone's mind, these 12 words would serve as a cognitive framework for how they perceive the information that they receive thereafter.