Culture Wars: Hidden Cameras, Prank Calls and Surreptitious Media

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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.

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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.