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Pay no attention to the people behind the curtain

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Fraley's Daily Forwards, Redux

by folkbum

When last (well, first) we played this game, Brian Fraley, who has had his fingers in all kinds of Wisconsin GOP pies and currently hosts a bunch if WILFs, had mindlessly applied a right-wing forwarded email as a "daily take" of his, seemingly passing it off as his own research.

Today, I was alerted by an astute but pseudonymous tipster that Fraley seems once again to be playing the post-an-email-forward game*. Fraley writes,
Attention Obamaniacs: Please, read this latest Obama missive and tell me that I’m wrong. Because, when I read this I see, not only a socialist, but a Communist.
Laying down the gauntlet, he is, demanding that we pro-Obama forces read and then defend the "latest Obama missive" from charges of Communism.

Now, I'm on the Obama email list, and, while I don't read every single one of those emails all the way through, I have a pretty good sense of both how Obama writes and what kinds of policies Obama supports. And Obama is certainly no Communist. Yet here, in part, is what Fraley attributes to Obama--without a link of any kind, of course:
In the longer term, what is required is a new model of economic governance at the state and corporate level. By that I mean a reconfiguring of the role and functions of government and corporations so that they favor working people, the racially and nationally oppressed, women, youth and other social groupings. [. . .]

In my view, such a model should draw from the New Deal experience, but in the end it has to be shaped in the first place by today’s conditions and requirements for political and economic advance for our nation’s working people and oppressed people, broadly defined. It won’t be socialist, but it would challenge the power and practices of the agents of capitalism, insist on peace and equality, consider public takeover of our energy and financial complex, and de-militarize and green our economy and society.
I have never heard Obama call for a takeover of any "complex" of any kind. Obama does not use rhetoric like "oppressed people" or "agents of capitalism." This smells bad for Fraley.

So I grabbed a sentence from the bit that he posted, and googled it. The first hit? Communist Party USA. Right after the title of the article, "OPINION: Finances and the current crisis: How did we get here and what is the way out? Part 2," there's a byline--"Author: Sam Webb, National Chair."

That's right: Fraley has attributed an opinion piece written by the national chair of the American Communist Party. No wonder Fraley says he sees a Communist as the author of the piece--the author is a Communist! But the author is not Barack Obama.

No doubt--because I do not believe Brian Fraley is so malicious that he would concoct this lie himself--he got one of those ubiquitous email forwards claiming "OMG! Look what Obama's campaign just mailed to supporters! Obama's a Communist!" And, rather than do the simple work of googling the piece and seeing that, indeed, Obama was not the author, Brian just plows right into the smear on his blog. He demands that someone come in and defend Obama for writing something that Obama did not and would not write.

The best part, of course, is that Fraley ends his post with "Why is my take wrong? [. . .] Your forum. Go for it." It's the best part because, if you leave a comment to tell him why his take is wrong, it goes off into the ether somewhere to await moderation without so much as a notice that moderation is even enabled. "Our forum" seems nothing of the sort.

* NOTE: The post-somebody-else's-work game is not unique to Brian, and it is normally not worth commenting upon, as everyone does it all the time. My complaint here is not that this is what he's done, but rather the laziness or willful ignorance that led him to post the specific content that he did.

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