I’ve certainly been puzzled for some weeks about all the hubbub over healthcare reform – not that it’s controversial, but that the debate and tactics have strayed so far afield. This opinion piece gives some historical perspective that helps understand, and also highlights how are much-changed media pour gasoline on the fire of the crazies rather than bring discussion back to reality.
… the crazy tree blooms in every moment of liberal ascendancy, and … elites exploit the crazy for their own narrow interests.
The promise of the article is that the strategy is old but the media’s handling has changed completely. Formerly, these emotional tantrums were labeled as “extremist” and dismissed out of hand. Now in the age of “fair and balanced” reporting the most outrageous characters get the coverage. Well informed and reasoned discussion is boring and hardly sells. Given all the media exposure to baseless claims about “death panels” for example, today what does it take to be labeled as extreme?