I made a prediction yesterday that didn’t pan out so let me acknowledge my error. I thought this guy would turn up on Fox News today, most likely on Tucker Carlson’s show, to kick off his “Folk Hero of the Week” tour in righty populist media.
My mistake. He launched the tour on Steve Bannon’s “War Room” podcast instead, festooned in a red MAGA hat. Which is weird because he allegedly told The Oregonian in an interview that he wasn’t a “Trumper.” Did he belatedly discover in the past 24 hours that he’s a Trump fan after all, now that Trump-loving outlets want to throw him a ticker-tape parade for pranking Biden? Did he get the hat for Christmas as a gag gift, maybe?
Nah. Of course he was a Trumper all along. No one would choose Bannon’s podcast, i.e. “stop the steal” HQ, over Fox to begin their “Let’s go, Brandon” victory lap unless they were hardcore MAGA. Maybe Jared Schmeck lied and told The Oregonian he wasn’t a Trump fan in the hope that liberals would read it and leave him alone, and then when they didn’t he decided to come clean about his allegiances.
Either way, the right-wing counterreaction to the left-wing overreaction to this guy being a jackhole to Biden was inevitable.
Jared Schmeck tells Steve Bannon: “Donald Trump is my president and he should still be president right now. The election was 100% stolen. So, I just want to make that clear.” pic.twitter.com/YbyysPAIbH
— David Edwards (@DavidEdwards) December 27, 2021
If Schmeck plays his cards right, he might get the same sort of pyrotechnic rock star introduction at CPAC that Kyle Rittenhouse just got at a Turning Point rally. Well, not exactly the same. Schmeck hasn’t killed any liberals, he merely owned a very famous one.
It’s clear why righty media has an interest in this story. It’s not clear why the “nonpartisan” mainstream media does, notes Tiana Lowe. What’s the “news” angle to a random guy pranking the president that requires the public to know everything about him?
The past decade has seen effigies of Barack Obama publicly incinerated and lynched on a noose, Kathy Griffin boasting a decapitated dummy head of Donald Trump, and “F*** Donald Trump” and “pussy” hats lionized by the corporate media and the Democratic Party as not just acceptable, but empowering and dignified forms of political protest. Next to all of the actual racism, sexism, and vulgarity charging contemporary political discourse, “Let’s go Brandon” is almost quaint in its civility for expressing opposition to the most powerful person on the planet.
And yet, the press spent the holidays clutching their pearls. The Oregonian got to the bottom of the mystery, identifying the caller as a 35-year-old father of four. Within hours, the man’s name trended on Twitter, with countless news outlets such as the Daily Beast and the Guardian aggregating the story. Already, the Sun has doxxed the man’s wife…
This is not a press that hold power to account. It’s a pack of court hagiographers and propagandists who will silence the legitimate reporting of Hunter Biden profiting off his proximity to the White House while doxxing a forklift operator from the Bronx for posting Facebook videos mocking Nancy Pelosi or Reddit users posting pro-Trump GIFs. The purpose is clear: Terrorize the plebeians into silence, lest they have the nerve to criticize the people in power.
“CNN has now officially spent more time digging into the background of a guy who said ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ to Joe Biden than a guy with openly racist views who mowed down a Christmas parade,” one of our colleagues at Red State tweeted. I haven’t seen numbers to affirm that but no one would be surprised if it’s true. If you remember how quickly James Hodgkinson’s attempted mass murder of Republican congressmen came and went as a matter of media interest a few years ago, you know that ideological motives are interesting to them only to the extent they can be weaponized for partisan gain.
Ironically, the biggest casualty of the “Let’s go, Brandon” saga isn’t the president or Jared Schmeck. It’s Brandon himself — NASCAR driver Brandon Brown, who’s having trouble getting endorsement deals because corporate America doesn’t want to associate with a guy whose claim to fame is inadvertently inspiring a euphemism for “f*** Joe Biden.”
“It got extremely difficult for us,” Brown told Sports Business Journal. “If you’re a national corporation, that means you sell to all consumers … and unfortunately, when you get dragged into the political arena, people want you to take a side. I’ve never been put in a position where it’s, ‘OK, what side are you on? Left or right?’ So it’s hard for a brand to want to attach to somebody who might be kind of divisive in their consumer base.
“If I’m going to divide Coca-Cola, why would they want to talk to me? So the short answer is it’s been tough to connect with partnerships just because it’s kind of viewed as a ticking time bomb: ‘What is he [g]oing to choose or say and how would that effect our consumer base?’ It’s too much of a risk. I understand it on their side but it’s made it really hard to tie everything down.”
NASCAR’s fan base must be 95 percent Republican, and the left — hopefully — wouldn’t try to punish Brown for a joke he had nothing to do with by organizing boycotts of his advertisers. So what’s the downside to a corporation in sponsoring him? If anything, they’d earn goodwill from MAGA fans by doing so.
Here’s Trump’s heir apparent branding Schmeck an honest to goodness “hero” for his dumb prank, the distillation of populists’ approach to politics. Don Jr has a knack for that sort of distillation. According to Peter Wehner, he said this to an audience at a Turning Point event on December 19: “I’d love not to have to participate in cancel culture. I’d love that it didn’t exist. But as long as it does, folks, we better be playing the same game. Okay? We’ve been playing T-ball for half a century while they’re playing hardball and cheating. Right? We’ve turned the other cheek, and I understand, sort of, the biblical reference—I understand the mentality—but it’s gotten us nothing. Okay? It’s gotten us nothing while we’ve ceded ground in every major institution in our country.” Dismissing one of Christianity’s core principles a week before Christmas on grounds that it’s “gotten us nothing” is a little on the nose even for a Trump, but Don knows who his audience is and what they want to hear. Give him that.
Junior says that the prank call to Biden “gave guys like me the greatest Christmas present ever,” and called the guy that made the call “a hero.” pic.twitter.com/Fo87Ez9EIO
— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) December 26, 2021
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