In the past week, the focus of the media narrative has been centered upon language.In the aftermath of the Arizona shootings, the media has cleverly diverted attention away from discussing depictions of violence within the culture and guided the debate toward conservative rhetoric. Something that has become apparent is that the same people who dismiss conservative speech as promoting fear and suspicion have gotten into the paranoia game themselves. Along with serving as an excuse to distract from the childish premise that Sarah Palin was to blame for the Arizona shootings, the left-wing media have crafted an aimless conspiracy around the phrase “blood libel.”
Taegan Goddard, founder of Political Wire, was one of many that intimated Palin had ulterior motives:
“… while it’s not entirely clear what Palin intended, it’s possible she was trying to use dog whistle politics to speak to her religious base who often feel they’re an oppressed minority.”
Dog whistle politics is a term that claims politicians use certain phrases which hold no implications to the general population but are loaded with meaning to a specific portion of the electorate. The accusation that Palin is purposely using coded language carries a conspiratorial insinuation. Ed Schultz, left-wing commentator at MSNBC, expanded on the coded language idea to hint that Palin is trying to solicit those that would establish a fascist theocracy:
“Many people think she’s used the term “blood libel” as an appeal to an extremist Christian conservative base for 2012.”
[M]aybe she got some help on the speech from somebody who knows exactly what ‘blood libel’ means.”
Schultz never clarifies how the exact definition of blood libel is supposed to motivate Christian extremists. He stops short for the lack of a coherent explanation, but liberal talk radio host, Thom Hartmann, did take the dog whistle conspiracy a step further. On his radio program, Hartmann paints Palin’s blood libel comment as Manchurian code words that will activate assasins:
“The use of the term “blood libel” is stochastic terrorism. What it means is using the media to remotely activate lone wolves . . .they are activating the latent terrorist that are out there.”
He then goes on to draw parallels between the Tea Party and Hitler’s brown shirts and insinuates that Palin and the conservative media try to activate violent Tea Partiers. In a week where the left-wing media was focused solely upon the hateful rhetoric that comes from the Right, the best examples that they could produce are vague conspiracies based upon supposed code words.
If instead of “blood libel,” Palin had used the phrase “false witness,” one gets the sense that the media reaction to her statement would have followed a similar course because the recent media spectacle was not about toning down rhetoric in general; it was about stigmatizing conservative speech. For the Left to continue on its path toward statism, conservative speech and the new media must be marginalized.
In the absence of actual violent conservative rhetoric, the Left must deconstruct and decode statements made by conservatives in order to prop up the illusion that the country is full of right-wing hate groups that are waiting for a chance to seize power, and the Left works to portray themselves as the only obstacle that stands between civil society and a fascist dictatorship. This past week serves as evidence that the leftist media have been the true propagators of fear, suspicion, and paranoia.