Have you noticed how effectively conservatives use talking points? There has been plenty of videos analyzing the use of talking points by Fox News including management memos telling the hosts which talking points to use on any given day. It’s enough to make a person cynical, but it’s hard to become much more cynical at this point.
I was noting recently how some talking points are code words. Palin’s use of “real Americans” and “hockey mom” are code words for white Americans. The hockey mom was particularly interesting. First, it’s sport that was originally popularized in Northern states which are predominantly white. Second, because of all the gear, it’s an expensive sport and so poor minority families couldn’t afford to pay for the gear.
There are tons of these talking points and code words. I’m sure people have written books analyzing them. I had one particular example in mind. I came across a discussion about health reform and a righwing commenter used the talking point about having the bill “shoved down our throat”. There are variations on it such as “rammed through”, but the phrasing doesn’t diverge much. It gets repeated by Republicans in Washington and it gets repeated on Fox News.
I was trying to find a specific video I had seen about it. Someone had put together a bunch of clips of this talking point. I can’t remember if the whole video was about Fox News, but at least part of it was. The video showed the Fox News reporters and hosts repeating the talking point over and over. Then the video showed a clip of Fox News version of a debate about health reform, but of course the debate only included conservatives. They invited some old people on to express their views and one old person repeated tha same talking point. Obviously, this old person had been watching a lot of Fox News and had picked up the phrase. That is how it works. Repeating a simple phrase enough times causes people to unconsciously take it in and start using it themselves. I’m sure that old person didn’t even know he was repeating a talking point. It’s the same principle as advertising. Repeat, repeat, repeat, and keep on repeating.
I think that particular video might have been from Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show, but for the life of me I couldn’t find the video. I was surprised that I couldn’t even find much discussion about that particular talking point. I just found some references to it in forum discussions and whatnot. I thought that strange. I felt like I was going mad and was glad to find even slight mentions about the talking point. I’d think it would get more media attention, but the media is in the business of spreading talking points and not in the business of analyzing them.
I did finally find one video that refers to it and it was actually another video I had previously watched. It’s Bill Maher and he is on a roll in this video. Maher can be a very funny guy. In this video, he is in top form. He only briefly talks about it around the halfway point (4:40), but it’s hilarious.