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Jon Stewart is pretty funny going after the media in this clip:
[W]here were the real reporters on this story? You know what investigative media, see me on camera three: Where the hell were you?
You’re telling me that two kids from the cast of “High School Musical III” can break this story with a video camera and their grandmother’s chinchilla coat? And you got nothing? They did it for $3,000, and that’s Blitzer’s monthly beard Wetvac budget. It probably cost CNN that much to turn on their hologram machine.
I’m a fake journalist, and I’m embarrassed these guys scooped me. Let’s get to work people.
Journalists need to ask themselves, how did this happen? How could they miss the corruption at ACORN? President Obama was once an ACORN lawyer, so the group is certainly significant enough to warrant media scrutiny. Then how did all the seasoned professionals get scooped by two students—James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles—one of whom isn’t old enough to legally drink?
ACORN’s many problems have been well known for quite a while, at least to anyone venturing beyond network newscasts and liberal blogs. As an organization, ACORN doesn’t just limit itself to churning out forged voter registrations. It’s a full-blown racketeering enterprise worthy of The Sopranos, and it finances its operations with the help of taxpayer money.
So how could the major media fail to hold ACORN to account all these years?
I have my pet theory.
Political correctness has been slowly rotting the establishment media to its core, to the point where few professional journalists would dare launch a serious investigation into the exalted Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now. Why? Simple: according to the tenets of political correctness, the racial makeup of the communities being “organized” automatically confers the presumption of moral superiority upon ACORN. So all those nasty rumors about ACORN must be no more than lies spread by racist propagandists.
To understand the mindset of the politically correct, there are a few rules of racial relations that you need to know. These rules establish the Hierarchy of Multiculturalism:
- If a person is a member of a group guilty of past racial oppression, that person has no moral standing in relation to anyone in any group that’s ever been a victim of that oppression.
- A member of an oppressor group is always assumed to be guilty in relation to a member of a victim group.
- An oppressor can only avoid presumed guilt by making a display of his or her sympathy for the oppressed.
- Members of victim groups can lose their moral standing by expressing a preference for individual rights as opposed to group rights.
- Advocating on behalf of a victim makes one almost as unassailable as being that victim.
- Coming to the defense of an oppressor is even more repugnant than being that oppressor.
This thinking is so common these days that many prominent liberals—from New York Times columnists to former presidents—believe that criticism of President Obama can only be motivated by racial bigotry.
That’s because people at a lower rung of the Multicultural Hierarchy are never allowed to challenge those above them. The purpose of this is to quell criticism and enforce thought conformity. Why break the rules and risk being thought of as a bigot?
Media coverage of Kanye West’s latest outburst at the MTV Video Music Awards illustrates this. Imagine the racial roles reversed:
It’s the Country Music Awards. A black female performer is accepting her first-ever award. She’s happy and a bit surprised; her style of music doesn’t usually win Country Music Awards. Halfway through her emotional acceptance speech, a white male country music singer runs up on stage, grabs the microphone from her, and announces that another woman should have won, a white woman—a “real” country singer—instead of the underdog black woman.
I’d bet my life savings that the reporting would be quite different than what happened in Kanye’s case. Sure, he was roundly criticized in the media, but we’re in an age when hidden motivations are attributed to every interracial interaction, so it’s interesting that few dared to discuss a racial angle to the Kanye West/Taylor Swift confrontation.
There’s a simple explanation. By the rules of the Hierarchy of Multiculturalism, when a member of a victim group is the actual victim in a real-world encounter, it’s an example of oppression. But when an oppressor becomes a victim in real life, that’s just karma, man. Any possible racial angle becomes irrelevant.
So forgive me if I don’t believe that the abundantly Caucasian and overwhelmingly liberal journalist class is capable of taking on a target like ACORN, no matter how apparent the criminality might be.
In the end, though, it doesn’t matter. The work of Giles and O’Keefe highlights the diminishing relevance of the establishment media. Despite the story getting no coverage on broadcast TV or in any major newspaper, it propagated online, then to talk radio and Fox News. And before any “mainstream” media outlet covered it, the political pressure grew to the point that the Census Bureau cut all ties to ACORN, and U.S. Senate voted by the overwhelming margin of 83-7 to cut off the group’s federal funding.
Even after these events, a vast majority of the media ignored the story. And yet the public kept getting the truth, which only made the media appear to be in the business of hiding news rather than reporting it. Realizing that this is not a winning business model for an ailing industry, a few of the more independent-minded reporters started covering the story, and now the White House Press Secretary is busy deflecting questions about the president’s former colleagues and fellow community organizers at ACORN. Despite the media’s best efforts.
James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles represent another massive power-shift in the age of Internet media. The first occurred when the Drudge Report broke Monica Lewinsky’s affair with President Clinton, a story that Newsweek got first but declined to run. The second was when CBS News got hoodwinked by documents that purported to impugn President Bush. After bloggers exposed them as forgeries, the documents ended up tarnishing CBS News instead. Long-time anchor Dan Rather was forced to retire in disgrace.
This is another huge embarrassment for Big Media—not so much because they look foolish, but because they’re beginning to look irrelevant.
A version of this post appears on BigGovernment.com.