"There you go again!"

Once more, as they have so often done, the right wing is going to try to rewrite history, methodically reconstructing 8 horrendous years of the Bush administration, replacing a systemic pattern of crimes, malfeasance, and incompetence with glowing portraits of another unsung American hero who exists only in their minds, and the pages of a carefully crafted script, written by a right wing organization and hand delivered to Fox News for a daily distribution to the masses.

It's begun with the pimping on his memoir, and a slow and steady parade of pundits and commentators "suggesting" that the Bush years may be in for a big makeover.

It will get steadily worse over the next year, as the GOP attempts to place all blame for the nation's economic malaise onto Obama and the Democrats, while recasting every historical reality they can sell to their increasingly (and embarrassingly) gullible Foxified audience

And they know how do do it. They did it with Ronald Reagan. Most people under 40 are still working with bastardized facts, alternate reality fabrications, and outright lies about his miserable presidency, the many policies of which helped lay the foundation for the absolute ruination of the American way of life that Barack Obama is now tasked with holding together with paste, bailing wire and duct tape. 

You can blame Grover Norquist for what a rather brilliant strategy and near perfect execution. I call his technique, Colorforms history. Plastic dress and ornamentation are applied to a skeletal frame, presenting a fun and colorful portrait which suits the makers rhetorical, political, and propaganda ambitions. With enough repetition by a compliant media, the plastic bonds to the frame and the false depiction becomes the permanent reality—even in text books.

It Doesn't Have To Work This Time

Learn Grover's methods and note his tricks. You will soon seen them turning up everywhere—again. The primary devices can be seen in this one brief profile of his most successful project ever:

The Ronald_Reagan_Legacy_Project

Now that democrats are once again in the minority, the GOP will launch a steady stream of investigations, resolutions, and commemorations, all orchestrated by astroturf groups, with the express purpose of convincing the next generation that one of our worst presidents, was actually one of our best.

Please help resist this grotesque manipulation. Each time you see evidence of their efforts to fool us again, lash out hard. Direct people to this post using blog comments, tweets, or any other web tool at your disposal. And of course, retweeting this post often with the little green button will help jump start an effective counter-revisionism right now. Worry not when you do; this blog never sells advertising. Unlike Grover, it's about truth telling… not selling.

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About Grover Norquist

About Revisionism & Propaganda

Ed Wasserman, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation professor of journalism ethics at Washington and Lee University finds cause for optimism in all the venture capital, conferences and media experiments.  But he also, rightly, questions whether it's too little, too late. The entire business model of media now seems to revolve around the incredible lightness of bullshit.

Still, the chatter and innovation, so often illuminated by a few social media watchers like of NYU's Jay Rosen (whom  I refer to as thought pimps), are a welcome development.  Despite our best efforts toward a media-enabled cultural suicide, sometimes unforeseen things— even good ones—can appear.  Accidents do happen. Just ask Snooki.

It wasn't just that the crumbling of the century-old pillars of advertising support had raised doubts about whether a new microeconomics of news was feasible. There was also dark brooding about whether journalism still had a place in public life, or whether a professional practice of fact-based reporting about contemporary realities would vanish, and be replaced by a clamor of opinion mongering, speculation, gawking and manipulation by marketers and publicists.

But suddenly, it seems, the clouds are parting. We've entered a time of dreams and hopes, of growing buoyancy. I know this from the glut of industry gatherings.

Read: The media as enabler  – MiamiHerald.com

Enough is Enough

We have endured this pretense that Fox News is a legitimate news organization for too long. It's not. It's the 24 hour propaganda channel of the Republican party, and Washington should marginalize and stigmatize it until it withers and dies. (More on this in a later post). 

The first step is for all real journalists to watch and read Olbermann's special comment, and use it to launch their own national conversations—as Charles Kaiser has now done in a MUST read essay  — about how this obscene insult to their profession can be knocked off its ghastly pedestal and pushed with market forces into some kind of more responsible new organization—or just driven out of business.  It has completely polluted and distorted most all of our other national conversations, precisely at a time when we need to have them the most.

I am not suggesting censoring Fox. I am suggesting that we kill it with intensive levels of rejection of everything it does and stand for until no decent sponsor will get near it. The @stopbeck movement proves Fox can be hurt. We need to hurt them far more. And fast.

On July 23rd, Keith Olbermann took on Fox News… frontally:

Let me make this utterly clear: What you see on Fox News, what you read on Right Wing websites, is the utter and complete perversion of journalism, and it can have no place in a civilized society. It is words crashed together, never to inform, only to inflame. It is a political guillotine. It is the manipulation of reality to make the racist seem benevolent, and to convict the benevolent as racist — even if her words must be edited, filleted, stripped of all context, rearranged, fabricated, and falsified, to do so.

    What you see on Fox News, what you read on Right Wing websites… is a manipulation. Not just of a story, not just on behalf of a political philosophy. Manipulation of a society, its intentional redirection from reality and progress, to a paranoid delusion and the fomenting of hatred of Americans by Americans…The assassins of the Right have been enabled on the Left.

    — Keith Olbermann, from his Special Comment on Sherrod debacle (below fold )

The Reaction

While long overdue, Olbermann calling out the Fox culprit, unambiguously, seems to be finally bringing forth a reaction from the mainstream journalism community that Fox should have provoked a decade ago.  But if this Google News search is any indication, it's still not getting nearly enough reaction. It's only Monday, but I sure hope there will be more on the level of the remarkable piece by Charle's Kaiser (posted next).

I am going to keep track of what DOES appear here. If you see more, please tweet them to @shoq with the hashtag: #killFox

The Shame of the Fourth Estate — by Charles Kaiser [Essential Reading]

It has become fashionable to dismiss Keith Olbermann as an over-the-top ranter or as the MSNBC host put it himself, “a mirror image of that which I assail.”  But there was nothing over-the-top about his special comment about Shirley Sherrod.  Every word he spoke was true. 

Enough right-wing propagandaby E.J. Dionne

The mainstream media and the Obama administration must stop cowering before a right wing that has persistently forced its propaganda to be accepted as news by convincing traditional journalists that "fairness" requires treating extremist rants as "one side of the story." And there can be no more shilly-shallying about the fact that racial backlash politics is becoming an important component of the campaign against President Obama and against progressives in this year's election.

Video: Olbermann's Special Comment

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