Editgate, Spittlegate, and the Left's 'Race-Gating' Tradition
The phrase "Editgate" established itself virtually overnight. It fit so well. This useful compound merges "edit," in reference to NBC's incendiary editing of George Zimmerman's 911 call, and "gate," the catch-all suffix used to describe a corrupt mess of deception and obfuscation. Already "Editgate" is being used more expansively to include other distortions in the Trayvon Martin case, including ABC's compression of the police videotape to obscure Zimmerman's head wound and CNN's absurdly imaginative translation of the Zimmerman word "cold" into the nearly archaic "coons."
Together, these three deceptions -- and there will be more -- have established Editgate as the most consequential high-level fraud in the left's long history of what might be called "race-gating." By this, I mean the purposeful media corruption of a racially oriented story.
The media's willingness to lie for the cause should shock no one to the right of Bill Ayers. What is particularly troubling about Editgate is that the major media, which once served as a firewall against fraud, now seem eager accomplices in its commission.
"Spittlegate" is a case in point. In March 2010, the media conspired with the Congressional Black Caucus to portray a group of well-behaved Tea Partiers protesting ObamaCare as a veritable lynch mob.
To be sure, the alternative media deconstructed the incident to show that no one had used a racial slur as charged, let alone spit on a congressman. No matter. The mainstream media let the original story -- "Tea Party Protestors Scream 'Nigger' at Congressman" -- stand as reported. As a result, the racial wound the media opened has continued to fester.
True to the "Gate" legacy, there has been little hint of apology in the "clarifications" the Editgate networks have offered. ABC, for instance, finally did produce an enhanced video to show Zimmerman's two head wounds, but, incredibly, it headlined that story, "George Zimmerman Video Shows Little Evidence of a Broken Nose, Doctor Claims."
After cleaning up the audio of the 911 call, CNN's Gary Tuchman now only concedes, "It does sound less like that racial slur." In fact, it sounds nothing like a racial slur, and it never did. One hears a long "o" sound as in "cold" -- it was raining and 63 degrees -- not an "oo" sound.
Although the level of media complicity is unprecedented, the style of attack is nearly a century old. The left's first major exploitation of a criminal case can be traced to about 1925, when the newly ascendant Josef Stalin directed his international propaganda arm, the Comintern, to discredit the idea of the American dream.
The Comintern found its poster boys in convicted murderers Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, both foreign-born Italians. The two had been arrested for robbery and murder in 1920 and tried before the jurors even knew that they were radicals. As the appeals process dragged on, the Comintern directed its various front groups to fabricate new facts and create a worldwide myth around the pair's presumed innocence. Almost immediately, "spontaneous" protests sprang up throughout Europe.
Rather than dictating media response, the Comintern preferred to create theater and allow the actors to find their way to the parts. The casting call for the Sacco and Vanzetti protests attracted a who's-who of literary leading lights. Prominent American authors Upton Sinclair, Katherine Ann Porter, John Dos Passos, and Edna St. Vincent Millay not only protested the seeming injustice, but also created literary works around it.
Each of the progressive authors who wrote about the Sacco and Vanzetti case began his or her work with the a priori assumption that the pair was innocent and, as today, ignored all evidence that contradicted that thesis.
As the August 1927 execution date approached, the Comintern whipped up rallies and riots. On the night of the execution, August 22, an outpouring of rage and grief swept the world and left common sense buried in its wake. The French Communist daily Humanité published an extra edition with one word on the front cover: Assassinés.
As the final hours ticked down, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Katherine Ann Porter stood vigil with other artists and writers in Boston. Ever the innocent liberal, Porter approached her group leader, a "fanatical little woman" and a dogmatic Communist, and expressed her hope that Sacco and Vanzetti could still be saved. The response of this female comrade is noteworthy for its candor:
"Saved," she said, ringing a change on her favorite answer to political illiteracy, "who wants them saved? What earthly good would they do us alive?"
Sacco and Vanzetti were the first in a long line of ethnics whose exploitability interested the left more than their innocence. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, Leonard Peltier, Geronimo Pratt, and Mumia Abu-Jamal, like Sacco and Vanzetti, were all convicted of their crimes, but the evidence mattered little to those who wanted to spank America before the world.
With the passing of the Comintern, America's homegrown radicals picked up the playbook and directed their own game plans. Thinking anti-racism a more viable strategy than revolution, they expanded the definition of racism to include more behaviors against more groups, requiring more and more invasive remedies. Among those remedies, as George Zimmerman has learned the hard way, is that old Stalinist standby, "ritual defamation."
To be sure, there is a curious selectivity about who gets defamed. On March 15, 2012, just a few days before the story of Trayvon Martin's killing in Florida became a national sensation, Jose Carranza, 32, was quietly sentenced to 155 years in prison for brutally executing three innocent black college students in a Newark, New Jersey playground.
Like George Zimmerman, Carranza is of Peruvian descent. Ironically, what protected Carranza was the fact that he was "undocumented." The headline "Illegal Alien Kills Black Innocents" appealed to no one in the Media-Democrat complex. In the leftist narrative, one that Stalin himself could have written, illegals are victims of America, not the villains.
Twenty years prior, the decision-makers in that complex had even less use for a headline that read, "Clinton Tank Attack on Religious Community Kills 26 Blacks, 13 Other Minorities." So they fully suppressed the race angle. I doubt if even Al Sharpton knows that most of those killed at Waco were minorities.
In 2007, Syracuse University commemorated the eightieth anniversary of the execution of Sacco and Vanzetti as a way of highlighting, in its own words, "not only the creative response to the perceived injustice of the prosecution and sentence, but also the decades of continuing protest over what Katherine Anne Porter described as 'the never-ending wrong.'"
No matter what the evidence says about George Zimmerman, in the minds of the faithful, his exoneration will remain a "never-ending wrong." And this time, the "wronged" will not satisfy themselves with attending exhibits at Syracuse University.