Cokie's Law In Action

Cokie's Law In Action

by digby

Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while know what Cokie's Law is. But for new readers, here's what it refers to:

"At this point," said Roberts, "it doesn't much matter whether she said it or not because it's become part of the culture. I was at the beauty parlor yesterday and this was all anyone was talking about."

We are watching Cokie's Law in action with respect tothe James O'Keefe video. Here's CNN responding to the question of how the House decided on the question of whether NPR should be funded by the federal government:

Brianna Keeler: [They decided] that NPR should not be subsidized by taxpayer dollars. That they shouldn't be directly funded through the Corporation for federal broadcasting that gets federal funding, but also that local stations shouldn't be able to use their federal funds to purchase NPR programming, which you know if you listen to the radio they fill up their line-up with a lot of that.

So this was an almost total party line vote Republicans for, Democrats against here.

NPR, when you cut it down here it's just not beloved by conservatives. A lot of them think it smacks of liberal elitism and that was especially the case after a conservative activist put out a secretly taped video with an NPR fundraiser saying the NPR would ultimately better off without federal funding.

Liberals have eviscerated this video saying that it had been overly edited and that things were taken out of context but it's really the fuel to the fire here as Republicans are looking for spending cuts.

Now it's certainly true that "liberals" have not been the only ones eviscerating those videos -- unless Beck's site is now considered liberal, which I doubt. But that's just a normal he said/she said formulation. Cokie's Law refers to the idea that it doesn't matter that the tapes are total bullshit because it's adding fuel to the fire (a corollary of "where there's smoke there's fire").

This is why O'Keefe is able to keep going. The Village really believes that it doesn't matter if it's true or not once it's "out there". O'Keefe and the Brietbartians know this and since they get oxygen from the fact that liberals flail around trying to prove them wrong, they can keep going on for a long time before they make a bad decision and attack someone the Village really cares about(someone like Scooter Libby.) At that point he will be ostracized.

Until then they will continue to get traction and the liberal political establishment will fear them because it quite literally doesn't matter if it's true or not.