This is a video of SEO marketer Fox & Friends getting "punked." Other headlines read "Gloriously Punked", "Pranked", "Owned", and "Pwned."
Right wing marionette Gretchen Carlson thought she was interviewing a former Obama supporter turned Romnomaniac, but no:
the man who pranked Fox News said he's always believed "Fox News is a fake news organization," and explained that he wanted to shame the conservative television channel for being "stupid" and looking for interview subjects as if they were "casting a part in a show.
The thing is, your brain has to be full of prions to think that this "Punked By Obama Supporter" video shows Fox being punked, either that or you're in first grade where the following exchange is considered an awesome practical joke: "I told you my name's Bill, but it's not, it's Will! All this time you thought it was Bill! BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!" I'd warn that kid he's going to get himself beat up at recess if I wasn't helping collect the dirt bombs.
Imagine you are in the target demo for Fox & Friends (i.e. your ex-husband drives an F150 and your daughter's Nokia is bedazzled), would you feel punked? What would you see in the video? You'd see a wise ass, a self-aggrandizing cynic, a douchebag. So if he's pro-Obama, then the point is obvious: pro-Obama people are idiots. Thanks, Max, you helped the cause.
Imagine Gretchen Carlson doing what she should have done if she was smart: kept the interview going longer. "Oh, I'm sorry, Max, we must all be dummies here at Fox because when you told us you were pro-Romney we... just believed it. We do that with the Bible and pre-war intelligence, too, gosh golly. Well, you have a Columbia education and I'm giving you a national platform, why don't you tell us why we're all stupid here for supporting Romney? Why should we want Obama for a second term? Please, no soundbites you got from twitter." As the kid's head melts like he was staring into the Ark of the Covenant we'd see clearly that he isn't an Obama supporter at all. He may be voting for Obama, I have no idea, but he wasn't there for Obama, he was there for himself under the pretense antagonizing Fox, which is why his main argument was "s'up." Advice for aspiring comics like Max: if you get to go on TV, you should probably prepare some material.
Note, however, that the key antagonism here isn't between Romney's ideas and Obama's ideas, or even Romney and Obama, but Romney supporters and Obama supporters. This is textbook contemporary political debate: attack people you hate. The college kid doesn't like Obama, he just hates Romney supporters. And Gretchen Carlson doesn't like Romney, she hates Obama supporters. The debate isn't the point-- indeed, you are not supposed to see how similar they are-- the hate is the point. The candidates themselves are interchangeable.
We typically think of, say, Fox and MSNBC as opposites, as enemies, but everything else about them, from their paychecks to their zip code to their terrible, terrible, just plain awful hairstyles are identical. It's expedient to say Obama and Romney are opposites and color code them red and blue or black and white depending on whether you drink sugar water or rice beer, but those distinctions make it really hard to make sense of the world, here are 3 simple questions you will be unable to answer:
1. Who is more likely to oversee the end of war in Afghanistan?
2. Who is more likely to raise taxes on the rich?
3. Who is less likely to send covert paramilitary troops into Iran, and more likely to sell them weapons?
The answer to all of those is Reagan. History is confusing, and colors aren't going to help.
It's easy to guess that the target demo for Fox & Friends is white women over 55 who have to get their teenage kids off to the methadone clinic and are perfectly content with a flip phone. "I don't need a touchscreen to fellowship with the Lord." Fair point. Gretchen Carlson is a standard example of what that demo calls a "well put together woman"-- heavy foundation, dresses that fit easily over Spanx and the hypercoiffed hairdo preferred by men who first ejaculated in the 1970s. I just got the shivers. Fun fact: Michele Bachmann was her babysitter back in the day. "Michele who?" Exactly. Remember how you were told she mattered, and you believed it? Kept you out of the game for 2 years 11 months, well done. Assange was right, the internet does make it easier for us to think for ourselves.
What's not easy to guess, yet importantly true, is that the other target demo for Fox & Friends is everyone who viscerally hates that first demo. Do you think it upsets Fox that their footage is making The Huffington Post a lot of money? All part of the plan. The battle isn't Red v. Blue, but Purple v. You. You lose.
She is thoroughly hated, not for legitimate reasons like having hair in the shape of a Death Squad Commander but for silly reasons like her regressive politics. I know, I know, she's a conservative ideologue wingnut that covertly serves the 1% by.... serving as an easy target for the left? Hmm.
As #50ShadesOnKindle as she appears to be, as sure as you are she is irredeemable, here's a thought experiment to show you how much you are being fooled: what would it take to get her to convert to Obamanism? Say Fox closed and MSNBC offered her a $500k/yr gig going pro-B.O. Could she do it?
Of course you could say, "everyone has a price, and $500k seems close," which is true but misses a very important nuance. In theory, she could put on a happy face and banter pleasantly with Rachel Maddow every morning ("we both went to Oxford and like lesbian haircuts!") then use her large paycheck to Gattaca scrub away the icky feeling under 45 minutes of scalding water. But that doesn't happen, that can't happen, not anymore-- there are no hypocrites, there are no shills; and cynicism only works looking out a window, never through a looking glass. No, she was born in 1966, which puts her firmly in the Dumbest Generation Of Narcissists In The History Of The World, the one that values authenticity over anything else, so she couldn't just lie for the money, she'd have to make herself believe it. And it would be easy for her to do. She'd start out with some "I'm a fiscal conservative, but socially liberal" stances, "gay marriage seems fine, I guess, of course civil and women's rights" an hour or so later she's figured out that social security may be a mess but she's not against the idea of a government backed social safety net..." Nine seconds after that she'd understand that taxing the super-rich is demonstrably ethical and, in retrospect, maybe we should not have gone into Iraq... After a month of reprogramming, all of her hate will be for the 22nd Amendment because it single handedly prevents Bill Clinton from being President a third time. "God," she'd lament, "if we could just have gotten that wonderful man a live-in concubine, we'd be in much better shape today."
The point isn't that she doesn't have political beliefs, but that they are founded on an artificial premise supplied to you by the media, of which ironically she is both supplier and victim. If you look at Presidents without the filter of an LCD screen, they don't really play by the Red/Blue color scheme. (Congressmen do, which is why they are useless.) In fact if you really follow their actions, Presidents all appear to be.... doing the same things. Quoting Homer Simpson, as he presses the button for Romney: "I'm voting for the guy who invented Obamacare."
Their supporters, however, will stab you in the throat for driving the wrong bumper sticker. How do you generate that kind of rage without filming his wife blowing the neighbor? ("Woah!" Sorry, it's the porn book again.) In the age of authenticity and identity an easy way is for the media to "expose" people, e.g. show that what the candidate believes and what he says are different, i.e. that at best they "just say stuff to get elected" and at worst they are hypocritical ideologues, but this way of thinking is a media template, this is not how individual psychology works, not today. Do you think that when everyone in Congress voted to invade Iraq, they were saying to themselves, "I really think this is a bad idea, but the stupid rednecks in my zipcode all want it, and I want to get re-elected, but I feel a little guilty for doing it"? WRONG. Each of them created an explanation for why voting for war was right. NO GUILT. Some truly wanted it, sure; others... figured out how to want it. The important thing is to stay true to yourself.
Ours is a narcissistic society, i.e. each of us has never experienced hypocrisy because we are constantly amending our moral code so that we don't ever do something against our conscience, "this situation is different"; but since each of us has never committed the sin of hypocrisy, it must, therefore, be the worst of all sins. So on a societal scale, who will find and "punish" hypocrisy? The answer is the media. If you consider the media is, for all intents and purposes, society's "maternal superego"-- the one that makes you feel b/m/sad for not being as fulfilled as you're supposed to be-- then the media's job is to pretend to have uncovered the REAL motivations for things. Now you feel better.
This explains the furor over the "leaked" Romney speech in which he was cleverly but dangerously, secretly, recorded saying... what? Talking on his flip phone to the chairman of the Illuminati, telling them to open the moongate and let commence the demon invasion?
No, he was recorded saying the exact same thing he has always said, in the exact same words, not to a clandestine polycephalic conspirator but a room full of Viagra addicts. "I'm just going to say a few spontaneous, off the cuff remarks I've prepared on colored index cards, Ann, can you pass me my bifocals?" I'm not endorsing his message, only observing that he was stupendously on message. I want to meet the one person in America who was surprised by this speech so I can harvest his liver for a transplant. It's laughable for the Huffington Post to be appalled at Romney for saying that 47% of the population is dependent on the government and will vote for Obama no matter what. First of all, the correct dependency figure is 95%, and second, duh, that's why they're called swing states. Don't you have a map of this on your site?
So what made this video so astonishing and newsworthy isn't what he said but the very fact of its existence-- that it was a "leak". If he had said those exact same words to Gretchen Carlson at 7am standing on his mark it wouldn't have even made her own show: too boring, Mitt is droning again. But the video conveys the impression of the "real" feelings of Mitt Romney as opposed to "what he says just to get elected" even though those are the same thing.
If your personal politics are making it difficult to understand this, let's try it the other way. The Right's main criticism of Obama is that he is... secretly more liberal than he appears to be. Hence their obsession with his former weatherman or imam or whatever he was and alleged recordings of him saying he hates whitey. I'm no Obamaton, but so what? I've observed him daily for four years pretending to be George Bush. What is he waiting for? The last day of his last term so he can call Russia on his flip phone and tell them we surrender? "I use a Blackberry." Very progressive. So we learn today that what a person does is less important than what he says, and what he says is less important than what he truly believes, and this rule holds even if they're the same thing. I'm not one to throw stones, but I blame the parents.
Remember Wikileaks? The hot video back in 2010 was the recording of the helicopter attack that killed civilians and/or Iraqis.
This is the kind of stuff Wikileaks thought would affect change in policy. Well, they did help get us a new President, but a change in policy? What was the debate this video inspired? The discussion went very quickly from being about what was in the video-- and forcing us to decide what we want to do with our helicopters-- to being about the video itself-- its existence, the leak. In this way, the exact same video was used to fuel your hate for the other side. Meanwhile... anyone else find it interesting/duh that if you whistleblow for the U.S. government you get $104M, but if you whistleblow against the government you get two years solitary confinement without trial, in both cases under Obama? "Suicide risk." You don't say.
Back to Fox & Friends, hey, what do you know, none of us watch Fox & Friends, yet here we are.
The standard media constructed bipolar political conflict is a cash cow for sure but it's not real, please stop yelling at each other, it is madness. The real battle is depicted perfectly in the above video, you just can't see it because the Lefty-Loosey title is, "Punked By Obama Supporter." If the Righty-Tighty title was used, it would say: "See This Unemployed Jerk? Why Does He Deserve Free Healthcare?" But the true, Bilderberg/Area 51 title cannot be spoken aloud: "Pick Whatever Side You Want, As Long As You Vote To Reduce Corporate Labor Costs."