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The Narrative

March 3, 2009

You can always rely on David Kahane to speak the liberal mind as it is:

To the untrained eye, what we lefty American media types and our ink-stained comrades everywhere do may look like storytelling, and in a manner of speaking it is. Our stories have characters, events, incidents, action; after all, every screenwriter’s spiritual antecedents are the hack newspapermen from New York and Chicago who headed west in search of nice weather, pretty girls, and a fast buck. […]

Even more important, our stories, like fables and fairy tales, have narrative. A framework of good guys and bad guys, archetypes and stereotypes. A shorthand for our audiences, so that instead of wasting time on establishing characters we can get right to the morality play/propaganda point, all the while disguising it as “news” or “entertainment.” The narrative is like a continuing serial or soap opera, which our audiences can drop in and out of, secure in the knowledge that they know what’s going on. Thus urban minorities = good, white ethnics = bad. Corporate chieftains = bad, union leaders = good. Brave Hollywood screenwriters speaking truth to %$#BUSH@#$!!! = good, Limbaugh/Hannity/O’Reilly = bad. It really is that simple, and, as the election returns showed, the American people bought it hook, line, and BO2.

And now, just as you have absorbed and internalized these stereotypes, here comes our boldest one of them all: capitalism = bad, socialism = good. “We Are All Socialists Now” proclaimed Newsweek recently, in a cover story co-written by Evan Thomas, who totally coincidentally is the grandson of the six-time Socialist candidate for president, Norman Thomas. (From the article: “Remember Joe the Plumber? Sadly, so do we.” Now that’s snark you can believe in!)

Read Kahane’s whole story. Always.

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