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Saturday, January 2, 2010

ACORN, Wade Rathke, and the Media Culture

Everywhere you look in the conservative media, you'll find that a story missed by the MSM is the ACORN story. Specifically, conservatives mean the "pimp" and "prostitute" videos first published on Andrew Breitbart's Big Government. In general, conservatives mean all of the embarrassing things that have happened to ACORN in the last half of the year.

Let's face it. When the conservatives say that the MSM media is ignoring the ACORN story, they have a point, and you also have to read between the lines. The MSM has ignored the story. Charlie Gibson famously didn't know about the videos when asked on talk radio about it and then proclaimed that such a story was better left to "cable news". The MSM has needed to be dragged to this story kicking, scratching, and screaming. Even then, they've still done everything to ignore it.

It's been driven, carried, and broken entirely by the conservative media. Of course, the only reason that conservatives are fixated on the ACORN story is because of the symbolism it has toward President Obama and the Democrats in general. That's why only certain things about ACORN are fixated by the conservative media. For instance, ACORN's relationship with Bruce Ratner, owner of the Nets, is virtually ignored. ACORN Housing's relationship with the city of St. Louis is virtually ignored. Yet, their relationship with the SEIU is given primary coverage. The first two have virtually no relationship to Obama and the Democrats, while the third is intertwined with Obama and the Democrats.

That brings me to Wade Rathke. If ACORN is the story, then where is Wade Rathke? After all, he founded ACORN. He grew it from an organization of one to an organization of several hundred thousand. If ACORN is the scourge of the right, then what does the right make of Wade Rathke? Virtually nothing that's what.

That's because Wade Rathke is extricated from ACORN now. He's got his own organization going. That organization is trying to organize in the world. If Wade Rathke grew ACORN into a power domestically, what do you think he can do in the rest of the world? Yet, you're unlikely to see virtually anyone do a story on what Wade Rathke is up to now. If media asks anything of Rathke, it will be in relation to ACORN's current troubles.

The key here is that Rathke is organizing in the WORLD and not so much internally. His current story has nothing to do with President Obama or the Democrats. One would think that if ACORN is the scourge and a symbol of everything that's wrong in America, then the story of what its founder is doing now would be news. It isn't and that's because the ACORN story is all about symbolism. What Wade Rathke is doing now doesn't fit into that symbolism.

1 comment:

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