Ed Driscoll

Jerry Brown, Pining for the Seventies

Jennifer Rubin spots “Jerry Brown Shocked to Discover 24/7 News Environment.”

We already mentioned Gov. Moonbeam’s Godwin’s Law violation last week; Jennifer notes that Jerry is only just now figuring out how life in the Internet-age works:

Jerry Brown made waves last week playing the Nazi card against Meg Whitman. (”It’s like Goebbels. … Goebbels invented this kind of propaganda. He took control of the whole world. She wants to be president. That’s her ambition, the first woman president. That’s what this is all about.”) It took a while, but he’s come up with his excuse:

You don’t think you’re at a press conference or that you’re publishing an official record. I got the message. I can’t really ever say anything just musing in my mind. But it really does mean that politicians are always very controlled and not very spontaneous in their communications.

OK, he was governor in the 1970s, but since then he’s been mayor and state attorney general. You’d think he’d be a bit more “with it” and not sound as put out as Obama did, who sounded Luddite-like when he groused, “With iPods and iPads; Xboxes and PlayStations — none of which I know how to work — information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment, rather than the means of emancipation.”

Like so many politicians, Brown seems not at all sorry for what he said, only that he was caught by the 24/7 news environment. He can share his woes with Helen Thomas and Bob Etheridge.

But then, there are a number of Democrats bitter at the GOP using video tactics that the left pioneered:

Lawmakers are increasingly frustrated with guerrilla-style reporters, bloggers and campaign operatives who ambush them on video to provoke an aggressive or outraged response.

Members of both parties want to see the unedited video of the latest high-profile incident, in which Rep. Bob Etheridge (D-N.C.) grabbed a pair of young men with video recorders who asked him if he supports “the Obama agenda.” The lawmakers wonder if he was provoked or a victim of selective editing.

No member who spoke to The Hill condoned Etheridge’s reaction, which was to grab and then clasp the questioner.
The face of the questioner, who called himself a student, was deliberately blurred in the video; he refused to say who he was and remains unidentified.

Curious, isn’t it that the Democrats are just dying to Joe the Plumber or James O’Keefe the student whom Etheridge “hugged”, as the Washington Post euphemistically put it, so they shift the narrative to attack the reporter, instead of his subject. In that sense, it’s almost identical to last year, when the left searched for someone to assign as the “leader” of the Tea Parties to personalize their attacks, and in the absense of such a figure, burned themselves out trashing half the country as racists.

Mohawka In the fall of 2006, when George Allen (R-VA) stupidly called the mohawk-coiffed man assigned to videotape his every waking moment “Macaca,” the pick the target, freeze it, and polarize it, as part of the Kos and Alinsky-approved narrative (estimated by PJM’s Richard Pollock at over 130 articles in the Washington Post alone) was never about the James Webb-employed operative or the tactics he employed, but the results of the story. Funny how when the shoe is on the other foot, the narrative changes 180 degrees to who is doing the taping, instead of the politician who just shot himself in the Macacca.

Or as Pat Moynihan once told an interviewer, “Hannah Arendt had it right. She said one of the great advantages of the totalitarian elites of the twenties and thirties was to turn any statement of fact into a question of motive.”