Zombie Notions Want to Eat Your Brains

Zombie Notions Want to Eat Your Brains

On our recent radio segments, we’ve been talking about Toxic Town Halls, the right-wing media misinformation bubble, and how the crack pots who spew vitriol at these venues are not only not challenged by Tea Party members of Congress but are affirmed and encouraged in their insanity.

Last August, Representative Martha Roby of Montgomery Alabama held an event for Tea Partiers to sound off in what was really a conspiracy theory echo chamber that she endorsed and participated in.

It was the usual recitation of hoax scandals that have been destroyed by the light of real-world scrutiny but inside the RWM bubble they are shielded from this light and live on as zombie notionsThank God for Fox News

Zombies of legend are dead bodies brought back to a shambling shell of life by dark magic. The zombie notions still circulating in these town halls are reanimated by the dark magic of media, money and propaganda. Both kinds of zombies want to eat your brains.

What is sold as “grassroots” citizens’ uprising is in reality “Astro Turfing,” funded by big money corporate shadow groups and heavily promoted by media like Fox and round the clock right-wing talk radio.

As organizers and advocates on health care reform, we have witnessed this phenomena first hand.

Last August, The Heritage Foundation, an extreme right organization headed by former Tea Party Senator Jim DeMint, staged a national “Defund Obamacare” tour in a doomed effort to press Congress to refuse funding to the Affordable Care Act by shutting down the government.

In that it was nothing but a replay of debunked smear and misinformation the tour could have been called “Gullible’s Travels.” Even Politifact, which tends to contort itself to give rightward misinformation the benefit of the doubt, went out of its way to call out the blatant dishonesty of the tour. 

And yet when we attended the event staged in Pittsburgh the room was packed with people raring to hear yet another round of such nonsense.

Like the recent town hall in Oklahoma, those in attendance weren’t there just to talk about health care policy, they were itching to express their irrational hatred. This woman caught on tape casually bemoans the lost era of “assassins” in America.

Once the program began a small group of us infiltrators were ready with small signs, the word “LIE “ written on sheets of paper, which we silently held up each time a bright line falsity was spoken from the stage. We felt it was our responsibility to provide real time fact-checking as a public service, given the unlikelihood that Jim DeMint’s pants would actually burst into flames as they certainly should have.

It only took a few minutes and much mendacity for the private security guards to escort us toward the doors as attendees booed at us and a few hissed, “Communists” as we exited.

The Heritage Foundation received $500,000 in 2012 from a Koch Brothers funded front group, Freedom Partners. Koch funding is a many tendriled beast which animates a host of organizations which join in with RWM to amplify misinformation, distortion and inflammatory false narratives on health care, energy, education and many other issues.

This onslaught of fantasy has a very real impact on real world policy as we saw when the Tea Party in Congress did manage to force a government shut down to try and extort its demands. 

When you talk about “Astro-turf” and the manufacturing of outrage, many folks caught up in this furor will push back saying: “My outrage is REAL, its not manufactured!” But it isn’t that they’re faking or not really feeling what they feel, it’s that they are victims of a strategy to deceive and mobilize through emotional manipulation. The whole point is to whip-up raw emotions that will cause people to react outside of reason.

In an ABC report describing a 2009 Congressional event that was disrupted by angry Tea Partiers, one woman in attendance summed it up by saying what she heard was an echo of what is preached everyday on Fox and talk radio…” If it’s not manufactured, they’re brainwashed.”

In truth, it’s both.

Charlene Bursts Heritage Foundation’s Bubble in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Recently, the Heritage Foundation held a “town hall meeting” in Pittsburgh. I was one of eight there with a small sign that simply said “LIE” because if I heard a lie, I intended to hold it up. My intention was not to disrupt or make any kind of scene. I simply wanted to let the group know that they were being given misinformation (“Obamacare Battle Scenes,” Early Returns, Aug. 29). We all need to make decisions about health care in the future and we should make those decisions based on accurate information.

…Groups like Heritage have a lot of money to spread lies, but the truth always prevails. Obamacare works; it’s already saving lives and it will save many more when it’s fully in place. 

[read the full letter over at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

Stop the Lies on Obamacare (PG LTE 9-8-13)

What’s Really Happening Inside the Heritage Foundation’s #DefundTour

HearYourselfThink Project was there to help call out the lies of Jim DeMint and the Heritage Foundation at their healthcare smear-and-fear event in Pittsburgh.

Calling Out Heritage Lies

Right-wing groups like Heritage are completely comfortable misleading, twisting facts and whipping up the darkest aspects of their base supporters. When their tactics repeatedly appear in stories as more or less equal but opposite from supporters of reform, their extreme and dangerous messages and practices become normalized. Case in point:

Listen here as a woman in line crazily waxes nostalgic about the lost age of assassins in America and calls for the death of President Obama. This was on the same day as the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech.