Conservatives are so confident about their ability to play the mainstream media that they’re now saying the quiet part out loud. After his successful work at getting the mainstream media to carry his anti-“woke” anti-“critical race theory” narratives, American conservative activist Christopher F. Rufo instructed them on the next step to tie terrorist organization Hamas to BLM and more.
“Conservatives need to create a strong association between Hamas, BLM, DSA, and academic “decolonization” in the public mind. Connect the dots, then attack, delegitimize, and discredit. Make the center-left disavow them. Make them political untouchables,” wrote the Senior Fellow at the center-right Manhattan Institute.
When his fellow conservatives pointed out that he was saying the quiet part out loud, he admitted it happily, “Lots of debate in the replies. Many critics arguing that I’m “saying the quiet part out loud.” To which I respond: Yes.”
Maybe you’re thinking, how much can one activist really do just tweeting his “ideas,” and sadly the answer to that is: A lot.
“How a Conservative Activist Invented the Conflict Over Critical Race Theory,” is the New Yorker‘s title over a 2021 piece on him. They note, “To Christopher Rufo, a term for a school of legal scholarship looked like the perfect weapon.” Rufo wrote to them, “‘Critical race theory’ is the perfect villain.”
He thought that the phrase was a better description of what conservatives were opposing, but it also seemed like a promising political weapon. “Its connotations are all negative to most middle-class Americans, including racial minorities, who see the world as ‘creative’ rather than ‘critical,’ ‘individual’ rather than ‘racial,’ ‘practical’ rather than ‘theoretical.’ Strung together, the phrase ‘critical race theory’ connotes hostile, academic, divisive, race-obsessed, poisonous, elitist, anti-American.” Most perfect of all, Rufo continued, critical race theory is not “an externally applied pejorative.” Instead, “it’s the label the critical race theorists chose themselves.”
Chris went on Tucker Carlson’s show to propagandize that critical race theory was “an existential threat to the United States” and the next day, Donald Trump’s Chief of Staff Mark Meadows was calling him to “take action.” Rufo flew to DC to help the president out with the executive order. (Why a president would need help with a legitimate, well thought out executive order is for another day.)
As “the conservative campaign against critical race theory consumed Twitter each morning and Fox News each night,” Rufo told the New Yorker’s Benjamin Wallace-Wells, “This entire movement came from nothing.” Wallace-Wells continued, “But the truth is more specific than that. Really, it came from him.”
Conservative-led states are now letting “parents” ban books based on Rufo’s demonization of critical race theory, which the media didn’t seem too bothered to explain isn’t actually taught in schools.
Here’s more of his “thoughts” if they can be so called:
For decades, the mainstream press has let conservatives lead it around by the nose. There are studies proving that conservatives manage to successfully insert their talking points into the political narrative time and time again. In 2017, Columbia Journalism Review released a study showing that far-right coverage “strongly influenced the broader media agenda, in particular coverage of Hillary Clinton.”
But it didn’t stop then, even though everyone was aware of the way conservatives were gaming the media and leading it around by the nose. And the media keeps falling for right wing narratives, even when it’s fake.
This phenomenon is so well known by now that NBC News’ Ben Collins wondered if the mainstream press would fall for it again:
Same playbook, new acronyms. Wonder if the mainstream press will fall for it again? pic.twitter.com/iySS5l6CLn
— Ben Collins (@oneunderscore__) October 14, 2023
It’s unnerving to see the media still fall for this stuff, even after the terrorist attacks of 1/6, the Republican attempt to overthrow the government supported by a large amount of elected officials in both chambers of Congress, their relationship to escalating hate crimes in the United States and the fact that the party is led by a man who is accused of inciting a terrorist attack against his own country, so it’s hardly just the fringe members that are radicalized — and still, carry Republican water undeterred by facts or context.
So there it is. Soon the media will be parroting the “concern” that the “left” is equally to blame for the extremist polarization of our government, even though in reality it is Republicans who have refused to even send aid to Israel. If Republicans actually cared, they’d elect a speaker — even if it were a moderate Democrat, because yes, they’d care enough to do what Democrats have done time and time again, which is to put politics aside and winning aside for the greater good.
Furthermore, Republicans have blocked our Middle East ambassadorships and top military appointments at the same time, which is to say that the discussions about systemic inequality are not the *actual* problem causing extremism. Ironically, the only people who think addressing inequality is a problem are themselves part of the problem.
You don’t even have to wait for it. The Sunday shows handed it to us on a platter.
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Sarah has been credentialed to cover President Barack Obama, then VP Joe Biden, 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and exclusively interviewed Speaker Nancy Pelosi multiple times and exclusively covered her first home appearance after the first impeachment of then President Donald Trump.
Sarah is two-time Telly award winning video producer and a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.