This is a little off-topic, but my favorite part of this Politico article is the last line that reads, “Kenneth P. Vogel contributed to this report.” Talk about unnecessary. About half-way though the brutally-long 1600-worder, while my mind started to numb as the article crafted a Machiavellian web of names attached to GOP money, the apparition of Ken Vogel’s face appeared before me chanting, Koch Brothers. KOCH Brothers! KOCH BROTHERS!
What’s so funny about Vogel is that he used to work for George Soros, the Democrat’s chief puppet-master of money, but he’s still the guy Politico thinks has credibility when it comes to warning us off of outside money in politics. Well, I should say outside money in “Republican” politics. The hundreds of millions of undisclosed dollars the Obama campaign received didn’t interest Vogel or Politico in the least.
Where was I….
The actual author of this piece is Alexander Burns (remember him?), and what he’s crafted is one of those not-true true Politico pieces. Reading the first half (if you make it that far), the impression you’re given is that the backlash against Karl Rove and his super PAC, American Crossroads, is nothing more than the creation of wealthy, connected public relations firms every bit as establishment as Rove himself.
In other words: Rich Republicans duking it out, and they’re predominantly white!
If you were to map the geographic center of the conservative uprising against the national GOP establishment, you might settle on a point somewhere in Alexandria, Va. — just within the ring of the Capital Beltway — where a pair of decades-old public relations firms work overtime to stoke and channel the fires of activist outrage.
One peek at any Washington reporter’s email in-box would confirm the omnipresence of the two companies: CRC Public Relations and Shirley & Banister Public Affairs. During almost any given controversy, there’s a barrage of indignant subject lines from both firms cementing the backbone of what the national press calls the “anti-establishment” message of the day. Call them the anti-establishment establishment.
It’s only deep into the article’s second half — long after Vogel starts punishing us with a paranoid web of names, groups, and dollar amounts — that Burns suggest the grassroots backlash against Rove might be authentically grassrootsy. But by that time, you’ve either stopped reading due to boredom or Vogel’s already hypnotized you into wetting yourself at the sound of “Koch” and/or “brother.”
The lies of omission are aplenty. If you’re going to talk about the backlash against Rove in whatever context, how can you not use the words “Mark” or “Levin”? How about the left-wing Politico’s conservative online rival, such as Breitbart News?
But this, I think, is my favorite part:
The anti-Crossroads backlash kicked off in earnest on Monday, Feb. 4, the day after the Times story ran.
Yeah, uhm, no.
Anyone with Internet access knows the anti-Crossroads/anti-Rove/anti-consultariat backlash began with the grassroots on Twitter as soon as we learned Rove batted something close to zero with a hundred million dollars that might have been better spent elsewhere. I’m not sure if it was an hour or two after the polls closed, but it surely wasn’t Feb. 4. A lot of people felt they’d been hustled, and that anger still hasn’t dissipated.
What Feb. 4 did mark, though, was Rove throwing gasoline on a backlash already entering its third month. Call me crazy, but those who whiff out each and every time at bat in the World Series probably shouldn’t lecture others on hitting. Or worse, try to take better hitters out of the line-up.
Whether Politico is trying to help Rove out with a piece riddled with “a pox on both houses” subtext or merely using the Rove backlash as yet another excuse to attack outside influence in politics (except for media influence, of course), doesn’t really matter. What we have here is one more example of Politico being Politico being Politico:
1. Use any excuse to attack well-funded GOP groups attempting to influence politics that aren’t well-funded media groups (like Politico) attempting to influence politics.
2. Withhold information that might undermine the premise.
3. Remind readers that everything GOP is “establishment.”
5. Viola! Not true but true!
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC