Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Origin of the "Obama is a socialist" meme

An American blogger, Kelly of the VSJ, recently explored the origin of a persistent, widely accepted myth about Obama shared by many Americans on the right.  Namely, the assertion that Obama is a "socialist".

Kelly went in search of an actual tipping point, a moment in American life when the 'opinion' that Obama was a socialist became an accepted 'fact' among  right-wingers:
... I found an interesting ‘beginning’. Yes, the seeds were already there.. one only had to follow the 2008 campaign trail to see it, but something about this struck me like an “AHA! Here is where it really started to become true!” Because I think that up until that point, even with those at the town-meetings believing the rhetoric, it was still mainly a rumor. Until this broadcast sealed the rumor as truth forever. I found it on a blog called JOTMAN.COMOn this, his site ‘Jotman’ has 3 videos shot the night of President Obama’s election win. 
One video is actually from Fox News the following morning showing a crowd of people at the gates of the White House, the broadcaster comments that they are probably drunk, her opinion of course, and then she draws your attention to the flag someone in the crowd raises, it is the Russian  Communist flag. The Broadcaster is of course curious and wants this watched because ‘what does it mean?”, is it a sign?, do we need to fear this newly elected President or something just as ridiculous.
The second video is reportedly shot from inside the White House that same night, it’s the same crowd cheering at the gates, the man in the video sees the cheering and the flag and he is scared. As he says these  are  people coming out for Obama and cheering the fact that this country is going to change.. he just can’t believe what he is seeing. There is pushing and shoving, look there is the communist flag again, and torches! they’re all over the place it’s so ominous … it’s chaos!

Until you watch the video from the street. The third video shows the crowd laughing,cheering,smiling and yes.. Chanting. For the land of the free….. and the home of the… Braaaaavvveeee!!!  Not to mention USA!USA!USA!USA!USA! The horror!

Yes, there is the commie flag.. but instead of asking what the flag meant Fox News decided it meant communism was here and they must fight it every step of the way. Fox news knew that morning, like the mornings after every election there was bound to be some pretty pissed off people and they were going to stir up that emotion and bank it. That story was the perfect one to drop the ‘Hearst’ seed and watch it grow. It was  visual proof and with just the right question put to, maybe another mention of it later until it’s finally reported on as a fact.   There was no need for anyone to hear the crowd, the silent view of it, with the added speculation would serve quit nicely. Those watching Fox that segment wouldn’t hear the glee and love of their country coming from that crowd instead they would see a possibly drunken presence cheering the fact that communism has now come to America when she elected an Communist, Marxist, Socialist the night before. Before long Glen Beck would confirm their other fear...
Again, here's the Jotman post that Kelly refers to.

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