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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.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (17+ / 0-)

    "These are not candidates. These are the empty stand-ins for lobbyists' policies to be legislated later." - Chimpy, 9/24/10

    by NWTerriD on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 08:59:06 AM PDT

  •  He's a Talented Guy. He's on Stephanie Miller's (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    theKgirls, NWTerriD

    show once a week and I think appears on her Sexy Liberal Show that's touring the country.

    One nit, unions and teachers aren't poor people.

    YET.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 09:16:20 AM PDT

    •  I was adding to the list (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wxorknot, FarWestGirl

      of who we are being told to blame. The poor and the unions and the teachers and the immigrants.

      And if those who pay Fox have their way, teachers and union workers will certainly be poor, and retired teachers and union workers will be destitute.

      "These are not candidates. These are the empty stand-ins for lobbyists' policies to be legislated later." - Chimpy, 9/24/10

      by NWTerriD on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 09:29:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Make it into a bumper sticker and make it viral. (5+ / 0-)

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 09:16:59 AM PDT

  •  A question I asked my sister (4+ / 0-)

    who worships Rush, FOX et al.

    "Do you know what you are voting for when you vote republican?"

    You are voting for a society in which a select few of super rich have all that they want, made possible by a brainwashing campaign that has convinced you that hard working dedicated Americans are out to take away your American Dream.

    Great way to sum that up.

    Growing old is inevitable...Growing up is purely optional

    by grannycarol on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 09:43:21 AM PDT

  •  I turned on Chris's show about 5:30 mst and (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NWTerriD, drewfromct

    really liked the format.  I came in at the discussion with the guys who made the indie documentary "Incendiary: The Willingham Case" which, alas, does not seem destined for general distribution.  Too bad, as the more people are exposed to what passes for justice in Texas, the better.

    Having a group of the same folks sitting around a table having credible discussions on several topics is something I hope the show stays with.

    "By means of shrewd lies, unremittingly repeated, it is possible to make people believe that heaven is hell -- and hell heaven. The greater the lie, the more readily it will be believed." Adolf Hitler

    by pittie70 on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 10:21:35 AM PDT

  •  Classic divide and conquer. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NWTerriD

    Made a comment in another diary that touched on this.

    The poor and middle class are at one another's throats; no matter your color, your political beliefs, religion, or no religion; whether you are male, female, GLBT, blue/white collar, you name it. Because if you are poor or middle class, you and I beat each other to a bloody pulp to the delight of the super wealthy, the bloated corporations and banks on Wall Street. And one more. The media.

    To what end?

    So long as we are preoccupied with one another, the thieves are going out the back door with our money.

    Our hands belong on the throats of the other guys. We have been divided along all lines, while our politicians do the bidding of their overlords.
    Divide and conquer propagated by the likes of Fox News, et al. All to the delight of all the usual suspects. We are being played and they know it, push it and market it.

    The poor and middle class refuse to recognize this scheme and until we do, further into the abyss, one by one and collectively as a nation we will go.
    Nothing but pawns, nothing but pawns for their unbridled greed.

    "The greater the ignorance, the greater the dogmatism." Sir William Osler

    by wxorknot on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 01:20:11 PM PDT

    •  I see it as a T graph (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NWTerriD

      Draw a T on a piece of paper. Below the line are left and right, battling it out for crumbs. Above the line are our corporate overlords, throwing those crumbs to keep us busy fighting so we won't turn on them.

      NWTerriD, thanks for those 12 words. They're going on my FB status.

      The Price of Apathy towards public affairs is to be Ruled by Evil Men. ~ Plato http://nobleexperiments.blogspot.com/

      by smrichmond on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 06:17:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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