Newsweek has a special report this week, “A Surge of Hate,” on the rise of “extremist organizations” and “virulent anti-immigrant groups.” The print edition contains white text on a black background with a red border. Both the graphic design and the terminology used in the article were calculated to conjure up the usual Pavlovian images of Klansmen and Hollywood Nazis.
This so-called report doesn’t even have a pretense to objectivity. It is the usual editorial boilerplate rehashed from the SPLC and rewritten for mainstream consumption. Here’s a sample of the left-wing rhetoric used:
“anti-government sentiment, extremism’s bloody legacy, extremist, extremist organizations, hate speech, extremist outfits, skinheads, white supremacists, Klan robes, Nazi garb, loudmouth militia groups, domestic extremist threat, haters, sometimes incompetent, truly unhinged, Night riders terrorized, demagogues, conspiracy theories, fear of “the other,” hate crimes, tortures and lynchings, express hatred, twisted minds, addled war veterans, sitting around in their basements, one world government, black helicopters, express hatred, rambling rants, dark social network, extremist movement, grim fantasies, particular brand of sly paranoia, etc.”
Actually, this is good news for us: it reflects a growing sense of anxiety and unease among the liberal power elite in Washington. A few decades ago, liberal publications like Newsweek had the power to define the political mainstream and exclude independent dissident voices from the American Heartland with the “extremist” label. In the age of the internet and social media, anxious liberals are horrified to find out that old trick no longer works. They are losing their power to set the ground rules of the national political conversation.
Since 1990, Newsweek’s circulation has fallen by 52%. It was expected to drop by another 25% from July 2009 to January 2010. Advertising revenue is collapsing. According to Brent Bozell, “Newsweek’s strategy in the midst of all its financial decline is to double and triple the amount of editorializing, cast aside all semblance of “news” in favor of long, liberal essays by self-impressed Newsweek editor Jon Meacham and his international editor Fareed Zakaria.”
In other words, Newsweek is producing and marketing content to a shrinking core liberal constituency that feels increasingly besieged by the rumbling discontent in White America. With the advent of the internet and social media, these people are now online talking to each other, not being talked down to by elite liberals with journalism degrees from Ivy League universities.
What’s especially disturbing is that racially conscious Whites are talking back to the mainstream media and attracting an audience to all these horrible “extremist” ideas. Information is cheaper than ever to produce and distribute. By exploiting the same tools of social media, a Stormfront, White News Now, or Occidental Dissent can now compete with mainstream liberal news magazines who are desperate to maintain the old marginalizing stereotypes of “Far Right” activists.
In reality, I live in a nice expensive house, not a double wide trailer. My inner circle of friends at OD Headquarters in Charlottesville, VA are all of above average intelligence and have college degrees. We are far more net savvy and up to speed with current events than the typical Democratic voter. In the morning, I like to enjoy a nice mocha frappuccino while updating my so-called “hate site.” On the weekends, we enjoy hiking the trails of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Several of us work out at the local gym at least five days a week. Aside from our content, OD is a typical Web 2.0 start up media organization.
The same is true of broader right-wing resistance bubbling up across the country. Progressives were stunned this past week to learn that the Tea Party protesters are your average slice of White Americana.
They are above average in intelligence, education and income; more likely to be White, male, conservative, and employed. Several recent polls have shown that left-wing stereotypes of the Tea Party movement as a bunch of uneducated, violent, aging rednecks are far off the mark. The truth is that ordinary White people are waking up in ever greater numbers. They are networking with each other and tuning out the liberal mainstream media.
Most of these people only have a vague sense that they are “losing their country.” It’s our job to give them the perspective that unveils their rulers.