As Victor Davis Hanson wrote at National Review regarding the now disgraced General Stanley McChrystal, “If an officer cannot figure out Rolling Stone, how can he understand the Taliban?”
But then, these days, a commander always has to secure both the real and the media battlefield if he hopes to win. Or as Gerard Van der Luen of American Digest wrote in May of 2009:
The Media is how America fights its civil wars. In this war at least half the country is both under-served and is painfully aware it is being under-served and lied to.
In 2007, author William Gibson wrote the phrase the “Cold Civil War” for one of his science fiction novels. That led blogger April Gavaza, also known as the “Hyacinth Girl,” as well as Mark Steyn to pick up on the concept a year later. Back in 2008, one could argue that the Cold Civil War was indeed cold, but things began to heat up a bit the following year. In early 2009, President Obama took office, and quickly ramped up spending and government regulation to unsustainable levels, prompting Rick Santelli of CNBC’s famous cri de coeur in February of 2009, thus helping to launch the Tea Party revolution as we know it. And while the Tea Parties are the first exposure for many to what Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit.com likes to call “out of doors political activity,” their ultimate battlefield is inside the TV screen and inside the Web browser.
But of course, as General McChrystal’s blunder illustrates, the media isn’t just where wars are fought domestically, as we discuss in the latest edition of our Silicon Graffiti video blog, where we’ll explore:
- MSNBC, a division of once stately NBC, itself co-owned by General Electric, another venerable and respected brand name, speciously attacking half of its potential audience as racist.
- Richard Landes’ 2005 look at the Palestinian propaganda factory known as Pallywood.
- The Gaza flotilla, a Pallywood-style production that sailed into primetime American MSM coverage almost as smoothly as ABC’s old Love Boat series.
- The flip video camera and its impact last month on Bob Etheridge (D-SC), Alexi Giannoulias (D-IL) and Helen Thomas (D-Hezbollah).
- Meet Toronto’s Badge #3478.
Incidentally, this video is scheduled to be posted at Hot Air later on Tuesday (and a big thanks to Ed and Allah for asking me to be part of the team sitting in during the Big A’s vacation this week) which helps bring things full circle: the “Vent” videos which ran from about 2006 through 2008, featuring Hot Air’s “Boss Emeritus” and produced by the site’s early video producer, Bryan Preston, were my inspiration for launching the Silicon Graffiti video blog series here at Ed Driscoll.com. Michelle and Bryan were definitely early adopters to the fusion of blogging and video, and I learned much from their pioneering work.
Or at least, I think I did! Decide for yourself by clicking here to scroll through 60 or so previous editions of Silicon Graffiti from January of 2008 to the present.
Update: In the comments at Ed Driscoll.com, where this video was originally posted, B.L. Smith traces the “Cold Civil War” phrase back to a 1962 Ayn Rand column in the L.A. Times, and quotes from it at length; click here to read.
But then, it usually begins with Ayn Rand, to coin a phrase.