This is a test….

Did you hear about the “family values” party rejecting a bill to fight pedophilia? You should have.

….of the Democratic Party Noise Machine.  And it’s failing.

Yesterday, House Republicans, under orders from John Boehner, voted to kill the Child Marriage Prevention Act, a relatively small bill designed to focus US international aid efforts on preventing girls from being sold into slavery and forced “marriages.”  The GOP falsely claimed that the bill would increase abortions because it mentions “health services,” even though it is subject to the standard Hyde Amendment restrictions, and nowhere mentions abortion or family planning. 

Now, imagine if the shoe was on the other partisan foot.  By now, Mike Savage, Mark Levin, and Rush Limbaugh would already be announcing that Democrats favor child rape.  Fox News would have run several stories.  Hannity and O’Reilly would devote two shows to the issue.  And by the end of the week, some moron from the New York Times — probably Adam Nagourney — would write a Page One piece entitled something like “Experts Disagree on Whether Democrats Support Pedophilia.”

I first found out about this from the blogosphere, specifically TPM and the Washington Monthly.  But this shows how the stronger Republican electronic infrastructure drives the conversation.  The Right has Fox News and talk radio.  We have some blogs.  (And no, MSNBC and Jon Stewart aren’t close).  That’s not a recipe for political success.

Author: Jonathan Zasloff

Jonathan Zasloff teaches Torts, Land Use, Environmental Law, Comparative Urban Planning Law, Legal History, and Public Policy Clinic - Land Use, the Environment and Local Government. He grew up and still lives in the San Fernando Valley, about which he remains immensely proud (to the mystification of his friends and colleagues). After graduating from Yale Law School, and while clerking for a federal appeals court judge in Boston, he decided to return to Los Angeles shortly after the January 1994 Northridge earthquake, reasoning that he would gladly risk tremors in order to avoid the average New England wind chill temperature of negative 55 degrees. Professor Zasloff has a keen interest in world politics; he holds a PhD in the history of American foreign policy from Harvard and an M.Phil. in International Relations from Cambridge University. Much of his recent work concerns the influence of lawyers and legalism in US external relations, and has published articles on these subjects in the New York University Law Review and the Yale Law Journal. More generally, his recent interests focus on the response of public institutions to social problems, and the role of ideology in framing policy responses. Professor Zasloff has long been active in state and local politics and policy. He recently co-authored an article discussing the relationship of Proposition 13 (California's landmark tax limitation initiative) and school finance reform, and served for several years as a senior policy advisor to the Speaker of California Assembly. His practice background reflects these interests: for two years, he represented welfare recipients attempting to obtain child care benefits and microbusinesses in low income areas. He then practiced for two more years at one of Los Angeles' leading public interest environmental and land use firms, challenging poorly planned development and working to expand the network of the city's urban park system. He currently serves as a member of the boards of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy (a state agency charged with purchasing and protecting open space), the Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice (the leading legal service firm for low-income clients in east Los Angeles), and Friends of Israel's Environment. Professor Zasloff's other major activity consists in explaining the Triangle Offense to his very patient wife, Kathy.

10 thoughts on “This is a test….”

  1. The key to propaganda success doesn't begin and end with the loudmouths of the Right. The genius of corporate Media in promoting the rightward march of American politics has been the hiring of incompetent fops, to play journalists and talking heads in the "mainstream media". It is this latter group, which legitimizes Rush Limbaugh and all right-wing narratives, by relentless he-said, she-said, theatre-criticism political news reporting and formulaic commentary. It isn't just that "they" have Fox News and talk radio; "they" also have the Washington Post and CNN and Politico.com and the PBS NewsHour, just in a more subtle way. It's there, that the concerns of the Left are most effectively dismissed, while the ranting of the Right is legitimated.

  2. Well, where you stand depends on where you sit, maybe. I see NPR and the NY Times and Newsweek and the MSM in general as emanating left-liberal consensus.

  3. It isn't failing. It never existed. Andy Sabl had a wonderful post about this ~1 year ago. Talk radio is the perfect medium for disseminating propaganda, a category under which most right-wing political reasoning falls under. TV less so, but still a good fit. Center-left technocratese? Not so much…

  4. I am told the President of the United States can draw a reasonably large audience for his remarks on most subjects. That might help, except he never does it.

  5. The right wing Noise Machine in the US is impressive. But it stretches around the globe aided by corporate enablers. And I rarely if ever hear NPR puking agitprop, unless you consider a 4-minute piece on the diversity at a war rally is agitprop.

  6. Dave, the problem with accusations of right wing bias or left wing bias in news media is cherry picking.

    It's just too easy to pick out the N examples bias in any media source, while not seeing or ignoring the N*5 examples to the contrary. So while we agree that Fox News is more right than MSNBC, we will never agree on which is less biased. No Platonic truths here on this rock.

  7. Accusations of bias? How quaint!

    No, our contemporary problem is disinformation: the use of lies and selective truth to render information useless.

    I only wish we could crawl our way back to problems of mere bias.

  8. the progressives should stop whining!! the radical right is doing there things better than you. it's time to change your current minimally effective modus operandi. get into the new reality. /p

  9. oh, so spinning an issue for mainstream antiquated democrats and republicans to vote on something that would protect children from adults (like you) is "doing things better". You have got to be kidding. By the way, there is nothing "radical" about the "right" or even who you think as the"left". If you want radical thinking, you will not find it in mainstream politics; how embarrassing to even feel a need to respond…

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