A couple of days ago, I blogged about a Minnesota legislator’s proposal to criminalize the documentation of animal cruelty. It got me thinking about the ways in which surreptitiously obtained video is used, for political purposes, and my mind kind of went from there, for better or worse.
The vile antics of Andrew Breitbart and his idiot right-wing cronies are well known. But plenty of “legitimate” news organizations engage in similar tactics, though their agendas and methods are admittedly substantially less extreme and dishonest. I’m thinking, specifically, of KSTP (“Hubbard News,” because it’s owned by prominent Minnesota conservative financier Stan Hubbard), and a series it did a while back purporting to “bust” public employees indulging themselves as if at a Roman bacchanal (that’s about how I thought it was presented, given the manufactured outrage, etc., anyway), while on some kind of retreat.
So, it’s fine and dandy, to go after your political opponents with undercover video, but when someone seeks to use it to call attention to animal torture, it’s not?
Of course the answer to that is “right on,” to the conservative “mind.” Going after public employees not only seems to be something that prominent righties (even those that are employed in public capacities themselves, like political office) personally enjoy, presumably because the majority of them tend not to vote Republican; there is also political gain to be had by diminishing their numbers and destroying their unions. But, I think most of all, it’s a pretty desperate effort to try to divert the public’s attention from what should be the focus of its ire: the rich man and his bootlicking politicians and propagandists. Because it would be pretty awful, if the public got up in arms about something like this:
instead of those lazy, greedy, incompetent teachers, social workers, and the like.
On a more personal level, anybody who honestly believes that everything should be privatized, because profit-driven corporations are all about wildly dedicated, motivated employees giving their all in righteously productive innovative frenzy, every minute of every workday, has either never actually worked in any kind of private industry, or has perceptions so twisted and selective that the result borders on schizophrenia. The way people fart around at work, in reality…come on, you all know what I’m talking about. I’m not asking you to proclaim it, out loud.
Add that all U.S. “private” firms are hugely dependent on big government. And that the most fulsome propagandists for welfare-for-the-wealthy, “free-market” ideology, the inhumanly selfish likes of Grover Norquist and Steve Moore (or, closer to home, Jason Lewis and Michael Brodkorb) would likely soon be destitute wards of the state if they ever had to try to earn honest livings in the real world, and you realize just how farcical the conservative worldview, on this as on so much else, is.