A reminder that this isn't about "hypocrisy." As @fdwilkinson put it, "The habitual response is to mislabel GOP authoritarianism as hypocrisy. Calling out hypocrisy is a pointless shaming mechanism for a party that has broken free of shame." https://t.co/TyoHu6kpoa https://t.co/zArG5RWBcN
— David Nir (@DavidNir) June 3, 2020
(Banner gif credit: The Age Australia via Twitter)
In May 2019 I proudly and loudly (and correctly; so I thought) called out glaring GOP hypocrisy.
Turns out ‘hypocrisy’ is a symptom of an even greater danger to our republic, so I’m officially correcting the record here.
— David Nir (@DavidNir) May 26, 2020
Fanned by right-wing lunatic media types like Fixed Noise—along with normalizing engines in newsrooms across the country, like New York Times, CBS News and others—GOP has completed its transformation from grumpy grandpa who mutters about limited government to full-on Apartheid-level white supremacy.
Those who seek unfettered (in some cases, criminal) domination have no faculty for shame. This was laid bare by David Nir on Twitter (signal-boosting Bloomberg writer Francis Wilkinson), which caused me to rethink the entire premise of my post.
Instead of rewriting or updating that piece, I’m laying a new marker down here.
One hallmark of authoritarian politics, in addition to an adversarial relationship with the truth, is ignoring the law as it applies to party interests while deploying it as a weapon against political opponents. For example, party politicians might ignore lawful subpoenas intended to expose their corruption while subsequently using subpoenas of their own to construct a phony case of wrongdoing by opponents
Because neither the news media nor the nation’s larger political culture has reckoned with the GOP’s authoritarian evolution, the habitual response is to mislabel GOP authoritarianism as hypocrisy. Calling out hypocrisy is a pointless shaming mechanism for a party that has broken free of shame. Worse, it camouflages a war on democracy as democratic politics as usual.
Will Pollock is a perpetually crabby New York City escapee based in Midtown Atlanta. He’s a freelance multimedia journalist, media analyst and author of two books (award-wining Pizza for Good & Leaving Triscuit), with more on the way.
In 2001, Will earned his Masters from The Medill School of Journalism, graduating with highest honors from the magazine sequence. As permanent member of Journalism’s National Honors Society, he’s been active in monitoring, writing and blogging about media and journalism ever since he graduated.
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