To add to Hume’s Ghost’s comment on the istandwithRush post, the San Francisco blogger Spocko’s Brain (who participated in my book salon at Firedoglake the other day) is not just a really smart writer but a genuinely successful activist who has achieved real results–not so much with threatened boycotts, he emphasizes, as with a kind of cognitive ju jitsu. He sends the sponsors of hate radio shows samples of their hosts’ most egregious moments and asks them if they want that message to be associated with their brand.
He describes his tactics in detail in his recent post How to Use Social Media as a Weapon Against Organizations.”We on the left know how to respond to overreach,” he writes. “We aren’t as good going on the attack and creating outrage…I like to fight the right and force an error or overreaction on their part because then I’m the victim. The left knows how to support victims, but we don’t know how to support our warriors.” This was certainly the case with the Rush Limbaugh controversy. Now Rush himself and his surrogates are playing the “victim card” no less contemptibly than he’s accused his targets of doing in the past.
In some ways, radio haters serve progressive interests by saying explicitly what the political class can only signal. The Blunt amendment, for example, was carefully framed as a protection of religious freedom, but Rush Limbaugh’s calling a Georgetown student a slut and a prostitute ripped that particular curtain away.
The larger issue is that the left has a lot of tools at its disposal that it is only now beginning to use–not just to punish its enemies but to hold its so-called leaders to account and prod them into taking bolder stances. If Obama is reelected, history will record that he owed a good part of his success to the message he adapted from OWS.
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