Alinsky Rule #12: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.
Nina Easton just became the left’s latest target. Why? So that SEIU can hide from the truth about its financial liabilities to Bank of America (more on that after the jump).
Easton, a Washington Editor for Fortune Magazine, wrote a column early morning Wednesday, addressing the outrageous protest organized by SEIU and National People’s Action, where 700 protesters stormed the front lawn of the private residence of Greg Baer, deputy general counsel for corporate law at Bank of America.
As I wrote in my post yesterday, “SEIU Storms Private Residence, Terrorizes Teenage Son of Bank of America Exec,” Easton is actually a neighbor of Baer. When she was startled by the loud, screaming, bullhorn-rattling protesters, she called Baer’s teenage son to check on him. Home alone, the frightened teenager had locked himself in the bathroom. After witnessing the entire incident as it unfolded on her neighbor’s private property, Easton criticized the SEIU and left wing groups in her article for crossing the line this time.
Alinsky’s Rule # 12 states,
“Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.)”
In almost coordinated lock-step fashion, the 12th Rule was promptly and firmly applied. As Larry O’Connor posted on Big Journalism yesterday, a series of several posts soon followed the publication of Nina Easton’s article:
- Late Wednesday evening, John Vandeventer of SEIU posted “Nina Easton & the Bank Lobbyists: Too Close for Comfort” in response. Conveniently, Vandeventer distracts readers by recounting the sob stories of foreclosure “victims”, then quickly focuses the attention on Easton and polarizes his target. He proceeds to play a guilt by association game to tie her husband to Bank of America through Business Roundtable. You can read my post from yesterday about that here.
- Then came Arthur Delaney’s piece from the Huffington Post, with the headline: “Nina Easton, Fortune Columnist, Compares Bank Protesters To ‘God Hates Fags’ Group.” He ends his piece with a link to an open letter to Easton penned by Al Marshall, SEIU Local 1021 shop steward in Oakland, CA. Marshall begins his letter by mentioning that he flew out to DC for the protest from CA because “Wall Street caused” his wife to lose her job, and then him and his wife to lose their house. (I’d like to know how he could possibly afford those plane tickets, in that case). The whole tenor of the post is undoubtedly less jovial than his prior day’s, when he gleefully bragged about the whole event.
- And then, the much anticipated and expected Media Matters post: “Attacking SEIU, Nina Easton fails to disclose husband’s ties to Bank of America“.
Of all of the responses, not a single one of the posts actually addresses any of the issues. None will account for the fact that the protesters were on the private property of a private citizen, though Vandeventer tries to rationalize their actions as acceptable because the police supposedly followed the crowd to the location. Then, he paints the picture that Baer is lurking in the crowd trying to blend in; rather, the man was trying to get to his front door without creating a scene so that he could get to his frightened son inside as quickly as possible.
Perhaps the most important piece of information of all that was left out of the posts from SEIU, the Huffington Post, and Media Matters is the fact that Bank of America is one of SEIU’s major creditors.
In 2007, the SEIU owed Bank of America nearly $95 Million.
By the end of 2008, SEIU owed more than $156 Million in total outstanding liabilities. Only six years prior, its liabilities were $8 Million. And we’re not even addressing their debts to other banks, like $15 Million with Amalgamated Bank.
Perhaps all that campaigning for President Obama has emboldened the union to think that they deserve a free pass on their debts to Bank of America, and encouraged them to employ their usual thuggish shakedown tactics. Typical Chicago political machine style. At the very least, Huffington Post and Media Matters should disclose that their beloved union is part of that machine. And it’s looking more and more every day like there could be validation for suspecting that there’s a bigger reason why SEIU paid Media Matters some nice cash last year.
More importantly though, who could possibly defend this sort of behavior? Let’s review the facts here and remember there’s a teenager home alone inside that house, frightened by all of the screaming crowds on his front lawn. As his father arrives home from his other son’s Little League game, with his younger son in tow, they arrive to this mob scene. The father is forced to park his car around the corner and leave his younger son behind, while he tries to wade through the crowd to reach his teenage son inside the house. He asks the protesters to make way for him to get to his frightened son, but the mob is more concerned about making a scene for their own selfish manufactured rage than they are for the safety of a child.
I lost my job in late 2007 at the start of the crisis, then became ill for over a year and unable to work. I did the responsible thing when I was facing foreclosure: first I called my bank every week. They gave me 8 months of reprieve and worked with me on a plan. And when it seemed I’d be in it for the long haul, I got rid of every luxury – cable, cell phone, car, I sold my furniture. And I even got a roommate. In the end, I made it out of the red. I had to make the effort and sacrifice, but I did it. I know I am not the only one with such a story.
So why do we only see SEIU’s side of the drama playing out in front of the cameras today? We see this intrusion on personal private property all too often nowadays. Have all our left wing “advocates” lost their souls entirely for a cause that is nothing more than a facade? When and where will this madness stop?