At patterico.com, it’s all Lee Stranahan, all the time! But if he keeps writing good posts, I’m going to keep linking them.
How do you stop effective techniques from your political adversaries?
The Andrew Breitbart / Shirley Sherrod controversy, the Hannah Giles / James O’Keefe ACORN sting, and the current James O’Keefe / Simon Templar / Shaughn Adeleye NPR sting all have a common technique that been used to attempt to discredit them – call it a Misdirection Pile-on.
In all three cases – Sherrod, ACORN, and NPR – there were proven issues that resulted in immediate action; people fired, placed on leave and organizational defunding. Whether you agree or disagree with the outcome, you can’t argue with that effectiveness. Because a group like Media Matters for America has been so demonstrably ineffective in defending these liberal institutions, they need to try to weaken any future attacks. That’s precisely why organizations like MMfA are so desperate to discredit Andrew Breitbart, James O’Keefe and (as I’ve seen firsthand) anyone who works with, defends or even sort of likes them.
So here’s the blueprint for Misdirection Pile-on : when with incontrovertible video evidence, gin up some faux-troversy that will get the liberal base to ignore the real controversy and focus on some side issue that you can beat into the ground through the left wing blogosphere’s echo chamber and (in a slightly subdued form) into the mainstream media that sympathizes with you. Use meaningless catch phrases like ‘heavily edited’ and watch gleefully when they become common parlance.
Lee goes on to explain how he believes the Blaze piece about O’Keefe’s editing did just that. The focus is a comparison of what the media initially found compelling about the video, compared to what the Blaze focused on.
One thing I noticed: Lee has not (as of yet) provided a detailed picking-apart of the Blaze article, point by point, regarding each video alleging selective editing. (I already shouldered the burden on the key points here.) After reading Lee’s latest piece, I asked him: what about the Blaze’s detailed criticism — specifically the minor points that I didn’t already address? Do you have anything to say about that?
He replied that he does, and it’s coming up. So, stay tuned.
P.S. Here’s a bonus link to a New York Post column about O’Keefe: In praise of muckrakers.