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The Orwellian Doublespeak of Media Matters’ David Brock

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Posted on January 17 2011 9:00 am
Walter Hudson is a political commentator and co-founder of Minnesota's North Star Tea Party Patriots, a statewide educational organization. He runs a blog entitled Fightin Words. He also contributes to True North, a hub of Minnesotan conservative commentary. Follow his work via Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.
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Doublespeak: The art of persuasively articulating nothing.

Winston sank his arms to his sides and slowly refilled his lungs with air. His mind slid away into the labyrinthine world of doublethink. To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them…

George Orwell thus laid the groundwork for the coinage of doublespeak, at best a simple euphemism, sometimes mere ambiguity, and at worst deliberate deceit. The purpose of doublethink is to synthesize the irrational. The purpose of doublespeak is to propagate it.

Media Matters’ head honcho David Brock is a master of both. As he leads the leftist herd in advancing the meme of conservative rhetoric causing violence, he attempts to cloak his demagoguery in a false concession.

Behold the cognitive whiplash in a video Brock addressed to Sarah Palin last week:

I agree with you that the “monstrous act of criminality” committed this past weekend in Arizona stands on its own and that we as Americans are better than mindless finger-pointing in the tragedy’s wake. I also endorse your purported desire to “peacefully engage in the great debates of our time.”

… without skipping a beat…

Since early 2009, when the Right ratcheted up its attacks on President Obama and progressive policies, I have warned about the very real dangers of extreme anti-government rhetoric.

Brock goes on to cite previous examples of the Left blaming violence upon conservative rhetoric, as if the act of blaming were an axiomatic conviction.

Brock thus presents two contradictory positions side-by-side. In a Friday interview with talker Ed Schultz, Brock continued the “mindless finger-pointing” which he claims to be better than.

We are making sure that conservative media doesn’t operate with impunity… We’ve had a very busy week this week, with Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck and the whole question of whether progressives are ready to declare that violence or any language hinting at the acceptability of violence is out of bounds. That’s our position and we’d like other people to stand up and join us(…)

… Now we also know of a pattern and a history with Glenn Beck, again before this [Tucson] incident, where he triggered – very clearly, with very credible evidence that we’ve gathered… linking the potential thwarted assassination attempts to Glenn Beck’s rhetoric(…)

So I think we’ve got a huge problem here. I’m just reading that Gov. Chafee in Rhode Island is saying that there should be real world consequences, to this kind of violence, involving advertisers. We’ve had an advertiser effort going to educate those advertisers about what they’re supporting with Glenn Beck and violence. And this isn’t a partisan issue, Ed. We’re not at this point disagreeing with the political slant of FOX [News]. Of course, we think that is a separate problem. But the particular problem here is the link between rhetoric and action.

Brock can’t have it both ways. Either Jared Loughner’s actions stand on their own, or they do not. If they do, that is the end of the conversation. To concede that Loughner’s crime “stands on its own,” only to continue advancing the notion that there is a “link between rhetoric and action” is to create a cognitive dissonance.

To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them…

Perhaps Brock does believe both. Regardless, we need not speculate regarding his intent. Wielding the subjective standard of “any language hinting at the acceptability of violence,” and wholly dispensing with the concept of moral agency, Brock wishes to impose “real world consequences” upon those with whom he happens (through pure and wholly unrelated coincidence) to disagree with politically. Orwell could not conceive a greater object lesson.

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