Ed Driscoll

The Newspeak Dictionary on Domestic and Overseas Warfare

As Roger Kimball notes, “Future historians, looking back on this era, will marvel at its capacity for linguistic evasion:”

Never speak about a “global war on terror” when you can talk instead about “overseas contingency operations.” Don’t mention “Islamic terrorism” when “anti-Islamic activity” sounds so much nicer. And just the other day, struggling to find the right, i.e., the politically acceptable, i.e., the patently mendacious, words to describe the President’s Excellent Adventure in Libya, Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes proffered this gem: “I think what we are doing is enforcing a resolution that has a very clear set of goals, which is protecting the Libyan people, averting a humanitarian crisis, and setting up a no-fly zone. Obviously that involves kinetic military action, particularly on the front end.” Orwell, or at least the guardians of Newspeak about whom Orwell wrote, would have been proud.

Contrast that to that remarkably blunt (not to mention desperate) language that Media Matters has taken to, in their efforts to aide the president’s reelection and agenda. The JournoList-affiliated Politico reports:

The liberal group Media Matters has quietly transformed itself in preparation for what its founder, David Brock, described in an interview as an all-out campaign of “guerrilla warfare and sabotage” aimed at the Fox News Channel.

At the Right Sphere, Brandon Kiser is happy that “Media Matters Finally Fesses Up,” but notes how this new tone (to coin a phrase) could impact their non-profit tax status:

It is not about correcting misinformation to MMFA anymore. Their goal now is a “War on Fox News,” not as they see it as a media organization. Instead, they are treating it as a wing of the Republican Party. The cutesy-sounding mission of Media Matters to “correct conservative misinformation” is no longer even remotely appropriate. No, MMFA is a political group with $10 million-plus in annual funding designed to wage war against Fox News, and in their eyes the GOP and conservatives as a whole.Because of this, Media Matters should reconsider their 501(c)(3) status which is designated for religious, charitable, scientific, literary, or educational purposes. MMFA no longer meets any of these qualifiers (it’s arguable they never did) and under the banner of waging a war against Fox News and the GOP puts them in an entirely different zip code.

UPDATE: Ed Morrissey at Hot Air (who kindly links back here) finds the use of the word “sabotage” worrisome, but notes they’re finally giving up their fauz-credibility.

At the Tatler, Bryan Preston adds:

Take a look at just how low David Brock & co. intend to go to destroy the Fox News Channel. Like online ninjas!

Media Matters, Brock said, is assembling opposition research files not only on Fox’s top executives but on a series of midlevel officials. It has hired an activist who has led a successful campaign to press advertisers to avoid Glenn Beck’s show. The group is assembling a legal team to help people who have clashed with Fox to file lawsuits for defamation, invasion of privacy or other causes. And it has hired two experienced reporters, Joe Strupp and Alexander Zaitchik, to dig into Fox’s operation to help assemble a book on the network, due out in 2012 from Vintage/Anchor.

Let’s call this what it is: The politics of personal destruction. Only, it’s not even aimed at politicians, but at media executives (many of whom aren’t all that conservative, by the way — like any large corporation, Fox employs people of all political persuasions, and no political persuasion at all). Media Matters has shifted from its useless role as a “media monitor” to a probably equally useless role as Dumpster Diving for Democrats.

And then what happens? Where do they go after that, Kamikaze missions? Oh sorry — I suppose the correct Orwell meets Dr. Strangelove language would be kinetic man-caused incidents of collateral mutual impairments.

Related: Troglopundit: “This isn’t a blog: it’s a tactile opinion targeter.”

Targeter? Don’t let Paul Krugman hear you using that sort of language!