Obama & the Embeds (Mirror-Mirror edition)

This is a both drive-by and a heads-up. (How’s that for a mash-up of south-central LA and corporate metaphors?) Rachel had an excellent long piece yesterday about the use of scary-black images to manipulate easily frightened whites.

Who’s the manipulator? Shirley Sherrod said on the tape, “That’s when it was revealed to me that y’all, it’s about poor versus those who have.” (h/t The Nest)

That girl is really in trouble now. Rachel didn’t mention it, but pre-Civil Rights days, the way the rich Southern elites manipulated the poor white sharecropper, was always to shout . . . Well, fill in your favorite n-word here (mine is “Nutella”).

But I wanted to point out this, from one of the (ahem) embedded Fox News bits in Rachel’s later segment about the Fox reaction:


Notice the use of “burrowed.” Apparently criticism along these lines — “Right-thinking burrowed embeds perverting the Obama administration” — has some force, since the Right-thinking are now doing their usual Mirror-Mirror trick to turn it around: “Radical Left-thinking burrowers perverting the Obama administration; oh my!”

The sign that Movement Conservatives are afraid of a given criticism — the sign that they think the crit is strong and might stick — is the use of Mirror-Mirror to kill it. (Mirror-mirror; it’s not me, it’s you. Mirror-Mirror; I’m not the racist, you are.)

By the way, the whole Rachel Fox-reacts segment is here, and it’s a nice one. Watch and enjoy.


P.S. For more on “Mirror-Mirror” (or as I sometimes call it, the “180-Tell” since what they say is exactly 180-degrees wrong), see this great piece by Billmon, now writing at Daily Kos. (He calls it “mirror image,” but that’s just because he’s a better writer and I don’t want to steal.)

The specific disinformation technique in play is one I call “mirror image” (or, when I’m in a Star Trek mood, “Spock with a beard”). It consists of charging the opposing side (i.e. the enemies of the people) with doing exactly what you yourself have been accused of doing, typically with a hell of a lot more justification.

“Mirror image” was Rove’s standard response on those relatively rare occasions when the Bush White House seemed to be losing control of the media narrative.

Thus, when Richard Clarke blew the whistle on the Bush White House sleepwalking past the CIA’s warnings about Al Qaeda in the summer of 2001, the White House quickly constructed a competing story line in which Clarke himself was the official responsible for flubbing the response.

Likewise, when the Democrats began making noises in early 2004 about using Bush’s somewhat, er, questionable, accounts of his National Guard service against him, the Republicans quickly rolled out counterclaims that John Kerry had lied about his war record. [my emphasis]

You get the idea; child’s play, as only children can do it.

Gaius Publius is a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States. Click here for more. Follow him on Twitter @Gaius_Publius and Facebook.

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