Culture Wars: Hidden Cameras, Prank Calls and Surreptitious Media


Should we really be surprised?

Last month’s brutal phone punking of radical-right Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, by a daring, enterprising blogger, gave the politically moral a gift. It revealed Walker to be a tool of the GOP’s extremist elements, a man who’d even unleash violence on his people.

Story continues below.

In response, GOP legislators in Madison were apparently not so consumed with fixing Wisconsin’s balance-sheet Armageddon that they couldn’t propose legislation to outlaw prank calling. And in response to that, Democratic legislators filed a complaint with the state’s Government Accountability Board, arguing that Gov. Walker, by dint of what his comments during that phone punking, gave evidence of illegal activity.

The point is: Why are we surprised by a prank call? It’s a tactic in a culture war.

Indeed, now the radical right has responded in kind: Today, National Public Radio president Vivian Schiller resigned after a video came to light, shot by shills for conservative patsy James O’Keefe, in which a VP of NPR calls the Tea Party “racist.” Of course, we know the Tea Party is racist. That’s beside the point.

Again, these surreptitious-media explosions aren’t isolated incidents. They’re skirmishes in a larger culture war. There were be more of these, especially next year as the presidential race heats up.

Mark my words.

  • Mark Cabus

    Right on point as always, Leonard. Thanks for the insight.

  • Weird. Vivian Schiller resigned when it was Ron Schiller (who had already resigned) whose foot was firmly in mouth?

    Just to point out, Ron Schiller was correct to ascribe racism, xenophobia, and anti-intellectualism to the Tea-Party movement. It was his seeming agreement with the to certain anti-Semitic conspiracy canards that warranted the criticism (much of which came from his former colleagues.)

  • You’ll want to see this:

    It’s a comparison of the edited footage with the raw footage. It’s a real hack job.

  • Ironically, the website I just mentioned is actually affiliated with Glenn Beck.