Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Another Cletus Safari Fails to Properly Identify Cletus

The journamalistic (sic) genre known as the Cletus Safari has become a regular punchline in the left-of-center online world. Serial fabulists such as Selena Zito have made a career out of fabricating quotes and many of the 'former Democratic voters' quoted in Cletus safaris are lifelong Republicans. Sure, the media can interview MAGAMan, but they never do their homework when they do so... they never seek out the real identity of Cletus.

The current case that has inspired this post is CBS' coverage of Trump's recent rally in Hershey, Pennsylvania, the land of chocolate. The news did a decent job of covering the violent Cleti, who hanker for a second civil war:

They failed to note that some of the attendees weren't run-of-the-mill Trump supporters, but are actually right-wing alternative media figures... this is a bit of sloppy work that wouldn't pass muster if, say, someone affiliated with The Young Turks were to be featured in B-roll at an Elizabeth Warren rally. The amateur journalists are doing a better job of sussing out these characters than the major media organizations are.

This sort of thing matters- what is portrayed as a grassroots movement is a well-funded astroturf effort, national in scope. The players are known to watchers of the right-wing, but mainstream media organizations take the bait every time, to the detriment of our political process.

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