It's not your father's fear-mongering campaign

By now you’ve probably heard about the National Organization for Marriage’s youtube video that has folks talking. I think it’s a great example of how things for oppressed minorities might get better in a read/write web world.

These “Christian” “defenders of marriage” (who claim to be a “rainbow coalition of people who come together in love”) are truly just venal profiteers, making money off the fear they hope to inspire in uninformed people with videos like this.

It’s a video version of the threatening mass mailings my mother’s parents would get from the “Moral Majority” in the Reagan years, from people like the (sic) Honorable Jesse Helms of North Carolina, or the reputable Reverend Pat Robertson of the 700 Club. Mimi and Papa were often moved to help, too, unless someone like me were around to offer the more complete version (less scary) of reality.

There’s nothing new or terribly interesting about such a scam–it’s been going on all our lives, after all. What I hope to bring you this Easter-tide, folks, is good news–pointing out that we are definitely not in the same media landscape we’ve known, the one where the many are at the mercy of the few who controlled communications media. This whole NOM video issue–just breaking this week–demonstrates that the day when PR campaigns like this would dominate the public opinion are over. Remember ten years ago? if they made major ad buys then, they could spread their foreboding across the country, and expect many to be donate.

But today, the internet makes such old-school fear-mongering harder to pull off. It’s the wider availability of information through the internet that has made misrepresentation somewhat harder. While it is true, newspapers are dying, investigative reporting and shrewd observation by people like Rachel Maddow is happening all over the place, and this story proves it.

What this NOM video shows is how we can now use the two-way web to catch hypocrites in the act, and then to talk back to those who would distort reality for their personal gain.

Have you looked at the actual audition videos (another set), and then look at one of the rebuttal videos (such as this one here: )? You’ll see that there’s nothing real about any of this moral posturing, and that the antidote to bad messaging is more messaging, counter-messaging. We as a society can see more clearly now, and perhaps won’t be so easily deceived by apprehension dealers. That’s what I hoped you’d find interesting.

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