Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

On Being Outraged!

If one can read the tea leaves dished out by the media, one is supposed to conclude that everybody in this country is outraged. Unfortunately the military industrial complex now extends to media-politicians-pollsters-campaign personnel-lobbyists complex. Our election cycle is hijacked by 24 hour cable news channels, media talking heads, radio and TV info-tainment merchants, political pundits and pollsters, campaign managers and personnel et al. Today our election industry actually generates billions of dollars and tons of jobs for full time political cadres.

Here comes the business of being outraged!

If you look at FoxNews, MSNBC, CNN, or the radio talk shows of Limbaugh and his ilk, blogs, newspaper editorials and oped pages, almost every form of news outlets today earn their revenue from making folks outraged. Even in the depth of ever diminishing print journalism, the successful ones are either peddling in celebrity gossip mongering or instigating already outraged newsreaders. At every election cycle, every one running for the election are raising money through their campaign committees. We also witness fly-by or established non-profit organizations doing the same. These are mere front organizations of various interest groups generating tens or hundreds of millions to spend over the election cycle. Now the more outraged you are, the more likely you’re to shell out cash to fund these organizations, their operations and their various agendas.

Today’s Teabaggers’ outrage is very similar to the rants I used to hear during the 1994 election cycle. The same cast of characters like Limbaugh are again screaming at the top of their lungs. Of course, now we have Beck leading the charge. The average teabagger fits the same angry white male profile from the Contract with America days, excepting they are sixteen years older.

I added the blogosphere intentionally because I have come to the conclusion that the most successful blogs thrive on making us outraged. Looking at the revolving window between frontline bloggers and paid campaign jobs, I find it grossly similar to military generals or elected representatives moving into DC lobbying positions for the industry. Look at what Jane Hamsher did to move her blog from a little known blog to one of the frontline left blogs.

This brings us to Jerome’s MyDD. Why is a racist drug deranged rightwing nut masquerading as a frontpager? Well the more outrageous he is, the more comments he attracts…

Next time when somebody is trying to make you outraged, ask yourself, who benefits if you’re outraged..


  1. jsfox

    “Old age is an excellent time for outrage. My goal is to say or do at least one outrageous thing every week.”

    Louis Kronenberger

  2. spacemanspiff

    Jerome has been an asshat for years now.

    “Chocolate Carter” is the final nail in the coffin. Still can’t understand how he lets an anonymous blogger troll his blog.  Now he loses Charles Lemos by standing with Jack.

    I can’t stand Keith-O.

    Rachel. Stewart. Colbert. The Moose. They keep me sane.

  3. Hit the wrong button, it go bye-bye. :~P

    In (much) shorter:

    No, I’m not outraged. I don’t think most people are, and it is a media artifact.

    I will go so far as to forecast the death of Cable News (at least as we recognize it) by ten years from now, its relegation to purely those who have no shame in five.

    The blogosphere will follow an inverse path in that timeframe. The ‘allowed to have an unjustifiably loud voice” phenomenon will go away, and only those current bloggers who find a niche between now and then will move to that bigger game.

    My neighbor lost his job when selling private aircraft became anathema at the beginning of the recession and took months to get one interview for a terrible job that he just got fired from last week. This week he had four interviews, one of them is sending an offer over today and it is a great job.

    He’s not outraged.

    My brother is a building contractor in Key West (worst place to have the wrong job in this recession). He’s pretty fiscal conservative and is whingeing at gov’t spending and is likely to go back to voting GOP in 2012. This week he landed two good jobs and last week while he was here he got two shops to carry his wildly expensive skateboards (gratuitous Me and my Blaskboard shot below ;~).

    Outraged?  Not particularly, but he wouldn’t be happy with the current fiscal direction even if he hadn’t voted for Obama.

    Outrage in this context is directly tied to your personal finances. If you are unemployed you are always somewhere on the fringes of your personal emotional range. That’s still a pretty large pool, but it is slowly shrinking. For everyone with work or prospects there is more to think about than being outraged.

    Television and print news is struggling to stay financially solvent, these days. I think the outrage is mostly about their own career prospects.

  4. HappyinVT

    Honestly though, I understand a lot of people are angry, tired, frustration, resigned, etc over many things.  It’s certainly their right; I was so any/all of the above earlier tonight I was almost to tears.  At work. Never a good thing.  The question is, though, how do you express that emotion and whether you understand what’s driving it.

    The focus now is the Democrats because either they’re the ones who are supposed to be in power or it’s the Republicans because they are obstructing everything or, most likely, it’s a bit of both.  The easy way out it seems is to vote against the current power despite them having a short period of time to fix things and a media hellbent on giving half-truths and outright lies.

    The President may also have either slightly oversold, or grossly underestimated, what could be done with the current Congress.  Anyone had to think that Kennedy and Byrd weren’t long for this world so that’s no excuse.  Others, and I include myself, simply thought that Obama’s election would usher in some sort of Democratic, if not progressive, era that would yield significant change already.  But, while I am peeved at the president for a few things, I cannot completely blame him for my own too-high expectations.

  5. Steve M

    So it has been since the dawn of time.

    “My opponent’s policies would destroy America” will always motivate more people than “My opponent’s policies are somewhat misguided, and my own ideas would be moderately preferable.”

    For every person you alienate with a blatantly over-the-top message, you inspire five more to action.

    There are exceptions, of course, but they mostly involve people who would be in a losing situation anyway.

    There is a reason people continue to employ these outrage-based strategies, after centuries of politics that should have been sufficient to cull out the ineffective approaches.  They work.


    under Bush until we found out we were torturing people.  Torturing people!  That truly signalled the end of America as we knew it, when we were the good guys (or so I thought).

    Anyway, outrage/anger are debilitating emotions.  They make you feel sick.  Better to spring into action, and I don’t count marching or protesting as the most effective action.  It’s like venting en masse.  Better to organize, talk to those who can do something about the problem, help elect better legislators, talk to the existing legistators.

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