Thursday, September 30, 2010

DADDY'S LITTLE RAGE-PROP. If you want a rare insight into how the Tea Party people keep the rage flowing, even under circumstances that should embarrass rather than enrage them, take a look at what happened with Carl Paladino, the lunatic TPer now running as the Republican candidate for Governor in New York, and how it was covered by Glenn Beck's web outlet.

As to events, New York's Daily Intel put it beautifully: "Who would have thought that insinuating [opponent Andrew] Cuomo cheated on his ex-wife wouldn’t even be the most insane thing Carl Paladino would do in one day?" Paladino also got into it with Fred Dicker of the New York Post. Dicker demanded evidence for Paladino's charge against Cuomo; Paladino blamed Dicker for the Post's taking photos* of his 10-year-old love child from an actual affair, then told Dicker he was going to "take him out." There was a brief scuffle, and then Paladino's campaign manager stepped up to tell Dicker he was off the campaign because he was biased in favor of Andrew Cuomo.

That's right -- Fred Dicker, of Rupert Murdoch's Post, is working for the Democrats. Even other conservatives know that's rubbish. These guys are real bridge-builders.

The coverage is as you might expect -- except at The Blaze, Glenn Beck's web boondoggle.

Here's their lede:
It has already been clear that New York gubernatorial candidate is no shrinking violet! So he’s not about to walk away from a situation like this:
He's not crazy, he's feisty! The commenters, most of whom seem not to know what's going on specifically or in general, take Paladino's side, and take it on faith that Murdoch reporter Dicker is just another "Lame Stream Media" "plant reporter" out to help Cuomo, Obama, and Hitler.

They also believe that Paladino's rageaholic episode was thoroughly justified because someone took a picture of his illegitimate (and unacknowledged by Paladino until last year) daughter:
I would vote for him just because of his anger towards those targeting his daughter...

Well when you mess with a mans daughter you better expect an explosion of a reaction...

...You decide to run for office and some sleezeball reporter starts violating your families privacy, He hounds and intimidates your daughter that lives on her own... I would have laid the SOB out, right then and there. It would and could be classified as self defense in that context.
The consensus is that, if they had secret second families and someone reported it, they'd act the same way -- righteously indignant that the Press had attacked their widdle girls!

This is out of the same playbook as Sarah Palin's constant whining about her own children, which has proven a reliable way to agitate the troops on her behalf.

Recall the outrage Palin stirred up after David Letterman made a joke clearly meant for Bristol Palin. The incident that inspired the joke, it turned out, involved a younger sister, and Letterman apologized, but Palin and her paladins continued to holler about it for weeks as if Letterman had snuck into their home at night and fondled the children.

Then there's Palin's reliable outrage over jokes about Trig Palin -- not just the actual, direct ones ("Family Guy Takes Shot at Sarah Palin's Mentally Disabled Son, World Awaits Her Facebook Retaliation Rant"), but also the ones she infers out of all reason -- like when Rahm Emanuel called liberals "retarded" and Palin actually demanded, and got, an apology because the common insult was allegedly a crime against "all God's children with cognitive and developmental disabilities -- and the people who love them" (such as the world's most famous Down Sydrome child and her mother).

Seeing the even-more-insane lengths to which Paladino is taking this aggrieved-parent approach to politics, and the reaction of the true believers to it, is instructive. The long-term strategy is obviously to get their followers trained to the point where they don't even need a real insult against the candidate's children to get them started -- soon they'll just be able to yell "MSM SKREE MY LITTLE GIRL!" and the mob will commence ravening.

In fact, they won't even need real children! Hell, Paladino didn't even own up to this kid until she was nine -- when the going gets tough, a Tea Party candidate can just suddenly announce that he or she has a bastard, and that the media has forced him or her to admit it. (Maybe they can briefly flash a doll, or a stock photo of a cute kid making an awwww face.) They'll be stringing up reporters in no time!

UPDATE. The best video's been pulled, but Tom Robbins' play-by-play of the Dicker incident is a thing of beauty.

*UPDATE 2. Actually I should clarify that Paladino only claimed the Post had tried to take such pictures -- they haven't run in the paper yet. It would be a sucker's bet to take one side or the other in an honesty competition between Paladino and the Post.

UPDATE 3. Left Coast Rebel suggests it's a net plus for Paladino:
But NY is the place John Steinbeck once penned "neither good nor bad but unique." It's the home of mega-radio shock jock Howard Stern. NY is a place where polling shows that a majority of people in the state had no problem with Paladino's distasteful emails. It's a place where sometimes, the bad guy is hero.
As LCR's own link reveals, this finding regarding the "distasteful" Paladino emails (e.g. "Run, niggers, run") comes from an internal Paladino poll which, given the harem-scarem way that campaign is run, may or may not actually exist. Their claim is that "70 percent of Republican men said that they had received or forwarded the same [kind of emails]. And that 55 percent of the general electorate males had done the same thing." That claim's a little spongey -- I can say that I've gotten emails like this from my idiot friends, too, but that doesn't mean I approve of them, let alone that I would ever vote for a psychopath like Paladino -- though it's interesting these people would find it something to brag about, rather than being deeply ashamed, as a normal person would. Maybe Steven Thrasher was right!

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