Sunday, March 04, 2007

This week the media punditocracy has been quick and fulsome in its condemnation of distasteful (and quickly removed) comments, by anonymous posters of no power, position or influence, on the liberal blog, Huffington Post. But their coverage and criticism of the distasteful, hate-mongering and highly public language of an extremely influential and well establish conservative -- Ann Coulter -- at CPAC, an important conservative yearly event, has been much more muted.

The consistent disparity between the media's reaction to over-heated speech on the Left and that of the Right is extremely frustrating to Progressives. But it is a frustration that they may just have to learn to live with, and work around.

It's not fair, but it is inevitable that the most powerful and comfortable elements in any society (even those who do not necessarily strongly identify as "conservative") -- and the media institutions that support the interests of and provide a voice for the powerful -- will always be much more concerned about, frightened by and condemning of anger on the Left, as well as any signs of Progressive Populism no matter how "non-violent," than they are by Right Wing Populism, anger and even outright violence.

Why? Because the targets of Progressive anger and activism ARE the powers-that-be. The established. Those in control. Because it demands change, the Left's message is always disturbing -- whether that message is delivered vulgarly or violently or not.

The targets of Right Wing anger, activism and violence, on the other hand, are the weak, the powerless, the upstart, the outsider and the outcast -- and the few (such as John Edwards, Coulter's target) who choose to represent them. The Right's aim -- no matter how violent the speech or the action -- is to resist change and defend established power and privilege.

When the Right grabs its pitch forks (and dons its hoods), it marches into the neighborhoods of the poorest of the poor.

When the Left is on the march, it marches into the financial districts and the corridors of power -- and generates unease in the most privileged neighborhoods in the land.



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