The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

‘Through a Plate Glass Window’: How Liberal Media De-Legitimize Dissent

Posted on | December 13, 2012 | 27 Comments

Patterico did a post yesterday about the “Accuse the Accusers” strategy that I meant to link and discuss at length, but I didn’t get around to it because new outrages were piling up quicker than I could keep track. In just the past couple of days:

  1. Stephen Crowder got sucker-punched in the head by Michigan union goon Tony Camargo;
  2. Hot dog vendor Clint Tarver was called the “n-word” when the Americans for Prosperity tent in Lansing was attacked by allies of the same goons who punched Crowder; and
  3. The son of Virginia Democrat Rep. Jim Moran pleaded guilty to an assault charge after police say Patrick Moran broke his girlfriend’s nose and fractured her skull during an argument outside a D.C. bar.

Perhaps you see a pattern here: Democrats and their political allies engaging in thuggish violence which no one could possibly defend or endorse. And in each case, liberals used a variation of the same distracting “Accuse the Accusers” defense: Whatever wrong was done by Democrats was minimized or dismissed as irrelevant in comparison to some greater wrong that liberals alleged had been done by the conservatives involved in calling attention to these incidents.

Call it “Wheelerization,” in tribute to the way Marcy Wheeler deliberately smeared Crowder as having somehow faked his own beating, simply because . . . well, James O’Keefe! Breitbart!

This magic incantation automatically de-legitimizes any story. Also, “selective editing,” as if there is such a thing as non-selective editing.

Today, the Left decided that Patrick Moran’s brutality toward his girlfriend was not a legitimate story because . . . Ace of Spades!

Leftwing Blogs Discover The Real Culprit
Behind Pat Moran’s Woman-Beating: Me

This Wheelerization of the Moran story was expertly performed by the ridiculous Tommy Christopher:

It’s a horrible story that highlights an important, serious issue, but shortly after the news was reported, Michelle Malkin‘s Twitter repository,, had decided that the real villains were Rachel Maddow, Sandra Fluke, the media, Rep. Moran, and, somehow, me, while using Ms. Hoffman’s injuries as inspiration for pop-culture riffs. . . .
Finally, the folks at Twitchy chose to highlight a series of tweets that featured domestic violence-related riffs on Meadowlark Lemon, Star Wars, and even the headline from one of my columns.

Seriously, notice how this works: The story is not about the heinous brutality of Patrick Moran or the preposterously lenient sentence handed down to the son of a Democrat congressman (who, of course, has his own lengthy history of brutality). Nor is the story about the hypocrisy of liberals who routinely ignore or excuse such misconduct by Democrats while simultaneously accusing Republicans of being anti-woman.

Mary Jo Kopechne could not be reached for comment.

Because the story can never be about the wrong done by Democrats, when Democrats do wrong, the media need some excuse to ignore it, or some pretext to make Republicans the bad guys: “Ken Starr is on a witch hunt! Everybody lies about sex! McCarthyism!”

And, unfortunately, Fox News functions as a foil for this tactic: As soon as Media Matters, Crooks & Liars, Firedoglake, DailyKos and others in the merry band of disinformation blogs find some connection between a story and Fox News — “Crowder and Malkin are both hired stooges of the Murdoch empire!” — then no journalist at CBS, NBC, ABC or the New York Times can possibly treat the story as serious and important, or else his inbox/Twitter feed will blow up with angry messages accusing him of betraying the cause by repeating right-wing lies.

Did I ever mention that studies have shown journalists vote Democrat by margins of at least 7-to-1? And that most reporters, editors and producers are therefore emotionally predisposed to tell stories that favor Democrats and avoid stories that favor Republicans?

This is why, in the Patrick Moran case as in so many other cases, the Left endeavors to distract from the facts of the story by focusing on the political orientation of those telling the story: “Twitchy is run by Malkin and Malkin works for Fox — not a legitimate story!”

Also, Twitchy quoted Tweets by Ace of Spades in which he made sarcastic reference to Tommy Christopher, and therefore Tommy’s a victim, because conservatives hate Legtimate Journalists.

Logic so sharp it could split atoms.

We are watching the Spencer Ackerman idea of smashing conservatives “through a plate glass window” — never mind the truth, just win.

This brute-force approach to Narrative Management is astonishingly successful. Allahpundit is in such a fugue of despair about it that he has resorted to linking me to prove his case:

If you’re a reporter and you’re taking conservatives seriously, you’re doing it wrong. [Chris] Matthews goes so far as to identify Romney’s utterly benign aside in the second debate about “binders full of women” as one of the reasons the media should move, en masse, even further to the left. That’s not a serious critique; it’s a fig leaf of outrage designed to apply pressure towards the desired political outcome. And it works.

You should read the whole thing because, after all, it’s not every day year I get linked by Allahpundit. Meanwhile, returning to the original model of Wheelerization, Patterico recounts this colloquy:

Wheeler: You said Crowder shouldn’t report the assault!
Me: Except I didn’t say that. Prove I did!
Wheeler: Incredible that an ADA doesn’t think crimes should be reported!
Me: Except I didn’t say that. Prove I did!
Wheeler: Wow. I think I’ll tell your boss that you don’t believe in reporting crimes.
Me: Except I didn’t say that. Prove I did.
Wheeler: Sheesh. A law enforcement officer saying crimes shouldn’t be reported. Can you believe it?
Me: Except I didn’t say that. Prove I did.
Wheeler: Looks like it’s time to ask your boss why their ADA thinks crimes should not be reported.
Me: Except I didn’t say that. Prove I did.
Wheeler: [more of the same, ad infinitum]

Marcy Wheeler’s narrative involved the argument that Crowder should have filed an assault charge against his attacker before reporting it as news, and she got it in her mind — an idée fixe — that Patterico had somehow discouraged Crowder from filing charges. Because he is by trade a prosecuting attorney, it might somehow be construed as wrongful for him to be “saying crimes shouldn’t be reported,” and so Wheeler began repeating this allegation as if the repetition proved it was true, and as if Patterico had an obligation to prove himself innocent.

“Accuse the accusers,” see?

As for Marcy Wheeler’s absurd claim, let me offer this example: Hunter S. Thompson was once brutally stomped by the Hell’s Angels, and never reported it to the police. Thompson was a journalist writing a book about the Hell’s Angels, and it might not have been altogether ethical for him to be trying to put several of them in jail for assault as a complainant while he was also being paid to tell their story.

And let’s face it, Thompson was on shaky ground from a legal standpoint, because he witnessed a good deal of other criminal behavior by the Angels that he never bothered reporting to police.

The story you’re covering is more important than whatever hassles you suffer as a consequence, and if those hassles involve getting your head bashed in — well, hey, that’s part of the coverage, too. In that sense, Crowder’s big day in Lansing was totally gonzo.

Speaking of hassles and important gonzo stories, I was intrigued yesterday by that Pastebin file in which Ron Brynaert mentioned Marcy Wheeler in connection with Neal Rauhauser and Patterico and SWATting and the Anthony Weiner scandal. Just happened to find that when, on a crazy hunch, I Googled “Marcy + Wheeler + Rauhauser.”

Maybe just a coincidence. Maybe not.



27 Responses to “‘Through a Plate Glass Window’: How Liberal Media De-Legitimize Dissent”

  1. instapundit
    December 13th, 2012 @ 8:51 pm

    RT @smitty_one_each: TOM ‘Through a Plate Glass Window’: How Liberal Media De-Legitimize Dissent #TCOT

  2. rjacobse
    December 13th, 2012 @ 9:14 pm

    Liberals own the media, academia, Hollywood, and the bureaucracy. We won’t get anywhere until all of that is addressed.

  3. tahDeetz
    December 13th, 2012 @ 9:19 pm

    RT @smitty_one_each: TOM ‘Through a Plate Glass Window’: How Liberal Media De-Legitimize Dissent #TCOT

  4. Finrod Felagund
    December 13th, 2012 @ 9:21 pm

    I went to her wikipedia page and gave it the lowest possible ratings for Trustworthy, Objective, and Complete, simply because there’s nothing in there at all about her being an untrustworthy lying bastard.

  5. Finrod Felagund
    December 13th, 2012 @ 9:24 pm

    Since I’m apparently only the second person to review her wiki page, we wouldn’t need many more people to drive her ratings down down down.

  6. AngelaTC
    December 13th, 2012 @ 9:25 pm

    Didn’t you engage in similar behavior when Herman Cain’s accusers started stepping forward?

  7. Finrod Felagund
    December 13th, 2012 @ 9:26 pm

    What, reveal them for the lying smearing untrustworthy bastards that they are?

  8. robertstacymccain
    December 13th, 2012 @ 9:29 pm

    And I own … well, a blog. But don’t worry, Sheldon Adelson unloaded tens of millions of dollars on Republican consultants who will fix these problems with the same ruthless efficiency by which they won the election.

  9. Finrod Felagund
    December 13th, 2012 @ 9:54 pm

    I’m a big believer in iterative improvement. As the Chinese proverb states, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

  10. FatBaldBearded
    December 13th, 2012 @ 10:04 pm

    RT @smitty_one_each: TOM ‘Through a Plate Glass Window’: How Liberal Media De-Legitimize Dissent #TCOT

  11. K-Bob
    December 13th, 2012 @ 10:09 pm

    Hey somebody has to pay for all those Romney commercials they never bothered to run on most cable channels or locations. That stuff ain’t cheap, especially when our negotiators get the “republican discount.”

  12. K-Bob
    December 13th, 2012 @ 10:38 pm

    This is vaguely on topic, by which I mean probably not, but could be if you cut me some slack…

    You can count on Rusty Shackleford to play their game in ways they didn’t exactly plan.

  13. CatherineFitzpatrick
    December 14th, 2012 @ 1:07 am

    Yes, I was wondering why, if the union thugs knocked the tents down on people’s heads, why they would blame anybody who then got mad and maybe fought them after that.

  14. scarymatt
    December 14th, 2012 @ 6:14 am

    A good question, but the proof of the accusation wasn’t posted to Youtube. So there’s at least the possibility that the accusers were the wrong doers. I don’t know the truth in Cain’s case, but there’s plenty of room for doubt on both sides.

    Liberals like to create the doubt simply by denying the truth loudly and repeatedly. Which means, of course, that anyone not really paying attention to the story is likely to get the wrong idea about it.

    “I have seen the future, and it works^W lies.”

  15. Mary Jo Kopechne Was Unavailable for Comment | hogewash
    December 14th, 2012 @ 6:35 am

    […] Kopechne Was Unavailable for Comment Posted on 14 December, 2012 by wjjhoge Stacy McCain writes about the intersection of some of the Left’s various campaigns including the opposition […]

  16. Bob Belvedere
    December 14th, 2012 @ 7:50 am

    I’m just very skeptical these days that American Society can be saved. It may be so corrupted, so compromised, that, as presently constituted, it cannot be. Salvaging is not enough, it has to be restored with vigor for it to be worthwhile.

    The idea of America will live on – as long as one man believes in it’s worth, it will survive – but it’s present physical structure, I think, is beyond repair.

  17. Bob Belvedere
    December 14th, 2012 @ 7:51 am

    This is one way to fight back – damn good idea.

    Hit the bastards from every direction possible. Blitzkrieg.

  18. Bob Belvedere
    December 14th, 2012 @ 8:01 am

    RS writes: Now if we can just get a right to work bill through the Imperial Senate, we might just get this thing built before the Rebel Alliance gets out of hand.

    Indeed, we should bring this before that body. After all: The Jedi = Leftists.

  19. Bob Belvedere
    December 14th, 2012 @ 8:22 am

    So as through a plate glass window darkly
    The raaaaacist strife I see
    Where we fought in many guises,
    Many names, – but always Left.

  20. Jackie Wellfonder - Raging Against the Rhetoric – TGIF–Weekly Wrap Up
    December 14th, 2012 @ 9:30 am

    […] to brighter topics, well, not really. Stacy McCain posted a fantastic article yesterday, ‘Through a Plate Glass Window’: How the Liberal Media De-Legitimize Dissent. […]

  21. Left’s ‘Tent Truthers’ Claim Union Attack on AFP in Lansing Was ‘Inside Job’ : The Other McCain
    December 14th, 2012 @ 10:19 am

    […] Steven Crowder’s face?”Expect further developments in this story today.PREVIOUSLY:Dec. 13: ‘Through a Plate Glass Window’: How Liberal Media De-Legitimize DissentDec. 12: AFL-CIO OMG WTF?Dec. 12: Accuse the Accusers: @scrowder Gets the Left’s ‘Plate Glass […]

  22. Bullying Redux | Animus Turbare
    December 14th, 2012 @ 11:28 am

    […] too. R.S. McCain describes how the media de-legitimatizes wrong-doing on the part of the left by accusing the victim of the wrong doing: Perhaps you see a pattern here: Democrats and their political allies engaging in thuggish violence […]

  23. If All You See… » Pirate's Cove
    December 14th, 2012 @ 1:00 pm

    […] blog of the day is The Other McCain, with a post on how the liberal media de-legitimizes […]

  24. K-Bob
    December 14th, 2012 @ 1:16 pm


  25. K-Bob
    December 14th, 2012 @ 1:35 pm

    I used to think some states would form a sort of redoubt, where we could all move or something.

    But I took a look at these maps. See anything odd about Texas?

  26. AngelaTC
    December 14th, 2012 @ 2:52 pm

    You certainly made a good point with the Youtube evidence.

    As to liberals lying, yes, I get that. I don’t expect much from them, because they’re stupid, greedy and mean. But I get frustrated when I see people who aren’t stupid and mean using the same techniques.

    Maybe I’m naive, but I need to believe that we’re genuinely better than them.

  27. scarymatt
    December 14th, 2012 @ 3:51 pm

    Yes…I’m too lazy or whatever to go back and audit what RSM said about Cain’s accusers, but you’re right that we need to be vigilant in walking the walk.

    We all have moments of weakness, but fortunately for us, there seem to be plenty of people around here who call BS on our hosts or other conservative allies when we see it (like you did).