Thursday, August 27, 2009

Developing Meme: Palin's Pallin' Around With a Terrorist

Mark Silva, in the aptly-named "The Swamp" blog of "The Chicago Tribune," appears to be developing the lefty meme on Palin's invitation to her friends to watch Beck's New Republic series this week. Palin's pallin' around with terrorists by associating with Beck. Three words can best describe this nonsense; whiskey, tango, foxtrot.

Beck's series looks at those who "surround" the President based on the candidate Obama's statement:
Now, the reason I think that it's important to just get these facts out is because the allegation that Senator McCain has continually made is that somehow my associations are troubling.

Let me tell you who I associate with. On economic policy, I associate with Warren Buffett and former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker. If I'm interested in figuring out my foreign policy, I associate myself with my running mate, Joe Biden or with Dick Lugar, the Republican ranking member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, or General Jim Jones, the former supreme allied commander of NATO.

Those are the people, Democrats and Republicans, who have shaped my ideas and who will be surrounding me in the White House. And I think the fact that this has become such an important part of your campaign, Senator McCain, says more about your campaign than it says about me.
These are the people who are surrounding the President in the White House who have been vetted and approved by Congress; the Czars are a different story. Beck is looking at those who have highly influential positions around the President and their background and the results are startling. Palin's suggestion her friends might want to educate themselves about who these influential people are, seems to be giving the left some heartburn. Nothing settles left wing heartburn like painting folks with the "crazy" brush.

Silva seems to suggest Beck is both a radical and terrorist himself and is hypocritical for questioning the backgrounds of some in the White House. Beck questioned Jones' association with the group Color of Change, a group that also happens to be leading a boycott protest of the Beck show. Silva notes:
Jones had co-founded the group, Color of Change, promoting an advertising boycott of Beck's show since he accused Obama of being "a racist'' and not generally favorably inclined toward white people. Color of Change says Jones is no longer involved with it.
Yet he fails to note Jones co-founded the group in 2005, this is long past Jones' college years and only one in a history of more radical associations.. Jones has described himself as a communist and was a leading member of STORM. This group instructed members on Marxist teachings and Maoism. Beck has asked the White House whether they were aware of Jones' radical past but he received what can only be described as a non-answer response: "Mr. Jones is entirely focused on one policy goal: building clean energy incentives which create 21st century jobs that improve energy efficiency and utilize renewable resources."

Beck's past is entirely irrelevant since he is not a public servant who influences the President. If he can be considered a terrorist for suggesting the President may be racist in his attitudes toward white people, then Color for Change must be a radical terrorist group as well. When Kanye West claimed George Bush hated black people in a rant during Hurricane Katrina, Color of Change sold "Kanye was right" t shirts. This was also 2005 when Jones was heavily involved in the group he co-founded. It is unlikely either President was racist in their attitudes but both Beck and Color for Change are free to question a President's potential for bias. It is truly hypocritical, however, to suggest Beck is a radical terrorist for doing what Color for Change has done themselves.

Silva goes on to make the ridiculous charge that Palin is helping Beck build his base as she builds hers. The protest organized by Color For Change has done nothing but shine a light on Beck and his ratings have been massive. Who is really helping build Beck's base? It looks like Color for Change to me.

Silva's then makes a logical leap across a canyon to conclude Palin is "pallin around with terrorists." Palin is hardly wearing or selling "Beck was Right" t-shirts. She is picking up on the question McCain left dangling about the President's troubling associations; Glenn Beck provides a medium. In an ironic reference to Palin's admonition to the media, Silva states early on "we are not making things up." Sure could have fooled me.

Note: I am sure Palin's request to her facebook friends increased Becks viewership as has Rush Limbaugh's support as well. I dispute the notion Palin had any intention of building a base for Beck. I believe she wanted those who follow her to question Obama's troublesome associations. I also think the protest is inadvertently calling attention to Beck's research, increasing his audience to a degree in the process.

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