But what’s funny is that when conservatives point this out, the left gets — they get crazy. I mean, when Dan Quayle pointed out that Murphy Brown had changed minds about single motherhood, the left went completely nuts. When Candice Bergen, who played Murphy Brown, said a few years later that Dan Quayle was absolutely right, the left kind of shrugged. When people like me suggested the Will and Grace had had an marked impact on how people think about gay rights in this country, people scoffed. Hey, you know, that was these crazy right-wingers with their theories about propaganda. When Joe Biden said the exact same thing, the entire left nodded along.
The left understands exactly what it’s doing in terms of narrative. That’s why these stories matter. That’s why the Zimmerman story was a story. The story mattered.
If the left had to go to statistics, if the left had to reveal, for example, that 6,600 black people are killed every year, and ninety-three percent of those are killed by other black people, that doesn’t help their case. If the left had to reveal that four times as many white people are killed by black people as black people are killed by white people every year, that would not help their case. Statistics, evidence, proof, those things don’t help the left. What helps the left is stories that frighten people. It’s the kind of stories that make Melissa Harris-Perry talk about how when she tucks her kids in at night, they’re crying because they’re afraid that someone like George Zimmerman is going to stalk them and kill them in the streets, despite the fact that any black kid in America has a much higher chance of being killed by another black person than by a white person.
So all that matters to the left is story. And the truth is, most people, left and right, think in terms of story. This is why Reagan was so popular for people on the right. He’s the only president in — really in the last hundred years for Republicans, who really knew how to tell a story. And that was an amazing skill. Most Republicans don’t know how to tell a story. And because they’ve been shut out of the culture so long, they tend to not only ignore the culture but denigrate the culture as though it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter what happens in the movies. It doesn’t matter what happens on TV. All of that’s frivolous. What really matters is this latest Heritage Foundation report.
Well, no. I mean, what really matters to the vast bulk of the American people is what they watched on Big Bang Theory that night.
MR. DRISCOLL: I was living in New Jersey at the time, so I vividly remember when Al Sharpton originally burst onto the local New York political scene in the mid-to-late 1980s, first on the Morton Downey Jr. Show, and then ginning up the Tawana Brawley incident. Over 20 years later, in 2011, MSNBC president Phil Griffin told NPR, “I’m a big fan of the Reverend Sharpton. I’ve known him quite a bit. He’s smart. He’s entertaining. He’s experienced. He’s thoughtful. He’s provocative, all the things I think that MSNBC is.” How did somebody like Sharpton, who’s one of the ultimate bullies, rehabilitate his reputation, to the point where he became first a powerbroker in New York City politics, then a Democrat presidential candidate, and now the thoughtful, provocative, entertaining all around swell guy who’s all things that MSNBC is?”
MR. SHAPIRO: He never had to rehabilitate himself. Remember, the left never cared about Tawana Brawley. As soon as the Tawana Brawley case exploded, it disappeared from the newspapers. Nobody ever followed up to see whether Sharpton personally paid out, which of course he never did. He had all of his supporters pay the Tawana Brawley settlement.
So it was the same thing with Duke lacrosse. Duke lacrosse was another case where Sharpton got himself involved, and really pilloried a bunch of innocent people, and people who were idiots, but people who were innocent. And you know, the fallout was never blamed on Sharpton. He did the same thing in the Zimmerman case as well.
Al Sharpton’s been able to get away with it, because in this country, the narrative that the left has bought into, what makes people feel good on the left, really, at the roots, what makes people feel great on the left, is a sense of unearned moral superiority. It’s all they care about.