Wednesday, 4 January 2012

White Wing Media

Rush Limbaugh, a well known talk radio host, made this slip early in 2011.
tl;dl: Commenting on an article in the NYT, Limbaugh says 'white right wing media' instead of 'right wing media'.

Limbaugh already correctly uttered the phrase 'right wing media' once, which could account for the sheer speed with which Limbaugh corrects himself - it's like the error and the correction merge into one word : 'whiteright'.

Blogging this, Jason Easly does assume the slip reveals something of Limbaugh's unconscious. There is a debate as to whether slips do reveal the unconscious, as psychoanalysis after Freud theorises, or whether, as some cognitive psychologists contend, they are simple processing errors. I am agnostic on this issue, and I'll be blogging about it. For now though, it doesn't really matter if you believe the theory or not - I certainly believe such slips open the space to tell our truths, the truths we know. Who cares if Rush Limbaugh has repressed awareness of white bias in right-wing media, and that awareness has found a way out, through parapraxis? We're not here to psychoanalyse Rush Limbaugh. We're here to see if his slip can inform us about what's hidden behind the veil he represents. Easly's response continues:

Rush Limbaugh’s slip of the tongue was actually the truth. People like him and Glenn Beck aren’t the right wing media. They are the white wing media. They are preaching to an overwhelmingly older, white audience. The white wing media serves as the information network for the angry vastly majority white faces who scream that they want their country back. Limbaugh appeals to this audience by using Obama’s skin color to delegitimize him often. Everything from his frequent references to the President as a man child to his featuring the song Barack The Magic Negro on his show is an attempt to divide by race.

The purpose of the white wing media is to divide. Republicans learned from the previous two decades that they can’t win or maintain power if the nation is united, so since the election of Obama they have worked day and night to once again fracture our nation 50/50. They view a return to the last two decades as politically beneficial, and if they have to divide the country along racial lines to achieve their goals, that is exactly what they will do.
Limbaugh preaches conservative versus liberal, but the subtext is also white versus black. That’s what the white wing media does. They help those white conservatives who can’t handle their loss of political power and standing in a society that is becoming more diverse, feel powerful again by attacking change, progress, and diversity.

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