By Brad Friedman on 8/3/2009 12:42PM
Wingnuts Receive Marching Orders On How to Disrupt Upcoming Town Halls With Phony Outrage
Corporate media stand ready to help as usual...
[Updated: Right on cue, the Teabaggers turn out to disrupt town hall meetings over the weekend. Video and details at end of article. ... UPDATED AGAIN: Lots more video now, the zombies come out all over the country.]
Are there simply no democratic (small "d") processes left that the Right isn't willing to corrupt to their own corporatized, nefarious purposes? It would seem not.
This from ThinkProgress, concerning the rightwing, corporate-sponsored (read: astroturf) "grassroots" FreedomWatch coalition, and their conveniently leaked talking points instruction memo [PDF] on how to create an appearance of dissension --- "Yell...Stand up and shout out...Rattle Him...Be Disruptive Early and Often" --- at upcoming town hall meetings back in Congressional districts over the August recess...
Rocking the Town Halls - Best Practices
A Political Action Memo
We here in Fairfield County Connecticut conducted an action at Congressman Jim Hime's Town Hall meeting in May 2009. We believe there are some best practices which emberged from the event and our experience, which could be useful to activists in just about any district where their Congressperson has supported the socialist agenda of the Democrat leadership in Washington.
-- Artificially Inflate Your Numbers: “Spread out in the hall and try to be in the front half. The objective is to put the Rep on the defensive with your questions and follow-up. The Rep should be made to feel that a majority, and if not, a significant portion of at least the audience, opposes the socialist agenda of Washington.”
-- Be Disruptive Early And Often: “You need to rock-the-boat early in the Rep's presentation, Watch for an opportunity to yell out and challenge the Rep's statements early.”
-- Try To “Rattle Him,” Not Have An Intelligent Debate: “The goal is to rattle him, get him off his prepared script and agenda. If he says something outrageous, stand up and shout out and sit right back down. Look for these opportunities before he even takes questions.”
As detailed in the full memo, the strategy "worked," and media took the bait in the Himes' Town Hall event mentioned.
Over the weekend, far-right kook Michelle Malkin, for some reason, was allowed a seat at the roundtable on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos as if she was a legitimate voice.
She predicted (video here) that where Democrats and the White House have "vastly underestimated just how grassroots this movement is," they would soon face "townhalls-gone-wild" in the weeks ahead...
"These YouTube videos are viral," she noted before mentioning a town hall event where Hillary Clinton "was booed" some time ago, and promised that "we're gonna see a replay of that" in meetings across the country in the weeks ahead. So that's the plan. A "counter-insurgency," as Malkin called it, hatched and funded by the corporate sponsors of the phony "grassroots," and publicized for all on ABC and, no doubt, soon to be covered by them, Fox, MSNBC, CNN and all the rest as soon as the video tapes are in.
All of that in contrast to the massive and real grassroots protests that occurred over the last eight years over disastrous and actually illegal Bush Administration policies that were carried out with nary a peep of corporate media coverage (other than to marginalize, lampoon, and otherwise disparage them as "unAmerican").
Anyway, that's the plan for the next month, and it will likely play out, as carefully stage-managed and pre-ordained as it all is, without a hitch over your public airwaves and government-subsidized cable outlets. It will then be reported and perceived as "Democrats and Obama under pressure from the public over their healthcare plans and massive government spending!"
Got it? Enjoy the phony show.