Alinsky Rule #12: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.
Nina Easton just became the left’s latest target. Why? So that SEIU can hide from the truth about its financial liabilities to Bank of America (more on that after the jump).
Easton, a Washington Editor for Fortune Magazine, wrote a column early morning Wednesday, addressing the outrageous protest organized by SEIU and National People’s Action, where 700 protesters stormed the front lawn of the private residence of Greg Baer, deputy general counsel for corporate law at Bank of America.
As I wrote in my post yesterday, “SEIU Storms Private Residence, Terrorizes Teenage Son of Bank of America Exec,” Easton is actually a neighbor of Baer. When she was startled by the loud, screaming, bullhorn-rattling protesters, she called Baer’s teenage son to check on him. Home alone, the frightened teenager had locked himself in the bathroom. After witnessing the entire incident as it unfolded on her neighbor’s private property, Easton criticized the SEIU and left wing groups in her article for crossing the line this time.
Alinsky’s Rule # 12 states,
“Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.)”
In almost coordinated lock-step fashion, the 12th Rule was promptly and firmly applied. As Larry O’Connor posted on Big Journalism yesterday, a series of several posts soon followed the publication of Nina Easton’s article:
- Late Wednesday evening, John Vandeventer of SEIU posted “Nina Easton & the Bank Lobbyists: Too Close for Comfort” in response. Conveniently, Vandeventer distracts readers by recounting the sob stories of foreclosure “victims”, then quickly focuses the attention on Easton and polarizes his target. He proceeds to play a guilt by association game to tie her husband to Bank of America through Business Roundtable. You can read my post from yesterday about that here.
- Then came Arthur Delaney’s piece from the Huffington Post, with the headline: “Nina Easton, Fortune Columnist, Compares Bank Protesters To ‘God Hates Fags’ Group.” He ends his piece with a link to an open letter to Easton penned by Al Marshall, SEIU Local 1021 shop steward in Oakland, CA. Marshall begins his letter by mentioning that he flew out to DC for the protest from CA because “Wall Street caused” his wife to lose her job, and then him and his wife to lose their house. (I’d like to know how he could possibly afford those plane tickets, in that case). The whole tenor of the post is undoubtedly less jovial than his prior day’s, when he gleefully bragged about the whole event.
- And then, the much anticipated and expected Media Matters post: “Attacking SEIU, Nina Easton fails to disclose husband’s ties to Bank of America“.
Of all of the responses, not a single one of the posts actually addresses any of the issues. None will account for the fact that the protesters were on the private property of a private citizen, though Vandeventer tries to rationalize their actions as acceptable because the police supposedly followed the crowd to the location. Then, he paints the picture that Baer is lurking in the crowd trying to blend in; rather, the man was trying to get to his front door without creating a scene so that he could get to his frightened son inside as quickly as possible.