Those racist protest signs at the Wisconsin rally? No big deal. But the fact that conservatives are filming them in order to expose the racism of union workers? Major scandal.
At least that’s the angle of a Politico story by Kenneth Vogel out this morning. After practically ignoring the story for weeks, the website finally gave it some coverage — though it’s definitely not the kind that conservatives expected:
Stung by allegations of incendiary, racist and homophobic rhetoric at tea party rallies last year, conservative activists with flipcams and camera phones have circulated at the union protests sprouting up across the country in hopes of catching violent or abusive behavior by their liberal adversaries. …
The aggressive attempt by conservatives to use video to support their own story line about the union protests is their latest attempt to counter what they regard as a deep-seated media bias against the right, generally, and specifically against the grassroots populist tea party movement, In their view, media coverage all too often highlighted extremist sentiments on the periphery of the movement and liberal allegations that the movement’s rhetoric was violent or racist.
In other words, the problem isn’t that the protesters held up signs comparing Gov. Scott Walker to Hitler — it’s that conservatives had the gall to film it.
Vogel writes that the “mainstream media might be reluctant to give wider coverage to the videos and photos being circulated by the right because the extreme rhetoric of some union supporters isn’t being echoed by high-profile liberals, suggested Mark Crispin Miller, a media studies professor at New York University.”