Wednesday, August 26, 2020

A Word on Kansas Politics: Narratives and KS-37


Somehow, even though I'm from Kansas, I hadn't heard about this until about an hour ago.

To recap the story for those of you who, like me, are unfamiliar: 19-year old Aaron Coleman is running for Kansas state legislature in the 37th district. He won a low-turnout primary and was expected to win, given that there was no opposition candidate. Then, a series of accusations surfaced. The most serious charge came from an 18-year old woman who says that five years ago, Coleman blackmailed her with revenge porn. There have been plenty more accusations since, all of them involving abusive behavior toward women. Initially, Coleman withdrew from the race, but he has since re-entered.

I'm not going to comment too much on Coleman or his victims. Other people have done that in much more detail. Suffice it to say that he should have dropped out, and his subsequent behavior has only demonstrated that he is far too immature and unstable to hold any kind of office. I can only hope that one of the writing campaigns against him succeeds.

Rather, I'd like to focus on the reaction from the political press, both before and after the accusations came to light. I've talked a bit about narratives and narrative control here, and this is a great demonstration of how this works in our modern media environment. Specifically, I'd like to look at Glenn Greenwald's response, as he (along with the rest of the gang at the Intercept) seems to have taken on Coleman as some kind of cause.

Read the rest here.

1 comment:

  1. I really like your point about how pervasive fiction is on the perception of reality. I came to that conclusion myself some time ago. "Liberal" Hollywood has poured energy beyond measure into valorizing war and the police. And little counter programming for balance. Liberals are often taken in by it. Conservatives prefer fantasy, but are so perverse they will earnestly say they embrace the horror if you make them look at it. The attitudes about police are especially interesting because if you remind white people of means of the one instance where they might have dealt with police as they actually are, traffic enforcement, the story you hear is quite likely, "Oh, that fuckin' guy. Let me tell you..."