Claim: Procter & Gamble supports the overturning of a Cincinnati charter amendment that prohibits the City Council from enacting any protections specifically aimed at gays and lesbians.
I have Snopes’ RSS feed on my Bloglines list and I’ve noticed an increasing number of articles appearing relating to what is transparently right-wing email activism. Today I also read this one:
Claim: The Communist Party USA is endorsing John Kerry for President.
Status: Multiple — see below.
To summarise, the CPUSA wants to get rid of Bush, thinks Kerry has the best chance of doing so, and isn’t fielding a candidate of their own. The email this is in response to is designed to imply that Kerry is a Communist, along the lines of the nonsensical “Kerry Is More Liberal Than Ted Kennedy” stuff talking points that have come out of the RNC (working on the infantile fiction that there is some sort of sliding scale from “conservative” to “liberal” as well as simple logical flaws of association, and if Kerry was more “liberal” by most definitions I’d probably like him more). So it doesn’t really mean anything – what, the CPUSA was going to endorse Bush?
I’m not going to rant about the Procter & Gamble email either – what’s the point? It’s sent by the American Family Association which is the sort of no-fun Christian bigot club that makes foreigners laugh at the USA. Of course they’re going to think pandering to the Homosexual Agenda is bad. We know these people exist; displays of shock and outrage on some guy’s blog aren’t going to change that.
The point I’m trying to make is one that I’ve heard fairly often, that the American right seems to be making far more use of this sort of grass-roots campaign. Of course they’re not really “grass-roots”; that implies that they originate from the bottom, whereas they’re distributed from above. That just makes them more effective, though, because the message can be distributed across all levels. Take something like “flip-flop”, one of the more effective recent attacks. It starts with Bush and co making speeches claiming that Kerry changes his mind and is undecisive. It filters down via odious right-wing pundits who repeat the message until it hits the email and discussion board circuit – I’m a little out of touch with that, but I’m sure there are hundreds of forwards and posts out there with “Kerry’s Top Ten Flip-Flops”. These can be entirely bogus or irrelevant, particularly in comparison with Bush, but that doesn’t matter. The point is the universal presence which pushes the idea into the agenda, so that his supporters feel the need to defend him against this charge. Same with a whole load of other things you could mention – the Swift Boat nonsense comes to mind.
» Continue reading “Top-down media”