A lesson in Dallas
6/5/2002 12:00:00 AM - Brent Bozell
An anti-corporate lynch mob showed up in Dallas for the
ExxonMobil shareholders meeting. Their language was intemperate, their
historical comparisons absurd, and their demands on a major oil company
could be reduced to one word: surrender.
Ever since radical mobs with a violent and thoroughly
anti-capitalist agenda stormed Seattle, many in our media have treated the
parade of anti-corporate hooligans with kid gloves, awarding them instant
idealism on the front pages, giving their spokesmen precious airtime for
their soundbites, and presenting them without any notice of an ideological
bone in their bodies. At best they are dreamers; at worst, confused.
To see what these people are really like, see CNSNews.com
reporter Marc Morano's report from the scene of the leftists' "mock trial"
of ExxonMobil in Dallas. Prosecutor David Cobb, the local Green Party
candidate for Attorney General of Texas, compared the oil giant to Adolf
Hitler's dictatorship. "Just as the Nazi party had to take over the
government in Germany to achieve its goals, so, too, did ExxonMobil take
over aspects of our democratically elected government to achieve its ends."
Ask yourself this question: In all the news reports about the
Green Party you've watched on the networks, have you ever (END
ITAL) seen their political agenda described this way? You haven't, because
to report on the reality of the Green Party's agenda is to shatter the
illusion so painstakingly promoted by its sympathizers.
The ExxonMobil meeting wasn't just a magnet for anarchists
outside the meeting, but also for more mainstream liberal activists inside
the meeting, like established green groups and the gay left. On the Web site
of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, one small preview reported on their
efforts: "Social activists, ranging from environmental, alternative energy
and social policy proponents, will present shareholders with eight
Why can't reporters in America find the term "leftist" ... or
the more appropriate, "radical leftist" ... in their dictionaries? They're
not helping their readers understand politics with vague and meaningless
terms like "social policy proponents."
The leftists demanded that ExxonMobil divert its oil revenues
into alternative-fuel schemes like solar energy -- still uneconomical after
all these years -- and offer domestic-partner benefits for homosexual
employees, which presumably has something to do with environmental issues.
When these liberal proposals were rejected by almost 80 percent of the
shareholders, the Star-Telegram didn't report the liberals were routed.
Heavens, no. They told a warm story about high-fiving activists convinced
that doubling their vote from 10 to 20 percent meant that a
shareholder-endorsed socialist utopia was not far behind.
But there was another story unfolding in Dallas that week. When
the anarchists came to protest outside the meeting, this time conservatives
counter-protested, and the startled left-wing mob was routed.
Activists from Citizens for a Sound Economy and the Congress for
Racial Equality showed up for a little sidewalk debate, armed with signs
like "Capitalism Rocks," "Stop Global Whining," and "Greenpeace Hates
America." As Morano reported, "I think we rattled them. They're packing up
their bags and leaving,' stated Niger Innis of the Congress on Racial
Equality. 'Victory is sweet,' he added."
There's a lesson in Dallas for conservatives. Hitting the street
and answering that leftist rant is one way even a small group of
conservatives can force their message to stand next to the radicals in the
so-called mainstream press. Just don't expect much coverage from the press.
Liberal activists still dominated the Star-Telegram coverage, while the
conservatives only had their slogans quoted. (You could tell the reporters
were shocked when they described counter-protesters who were, gasp,
"questioning the validity of ecological concerns.") But any time a story
about an oil company protest includes the words "Oil Employs, Anarchy
Destroys," it's a good day in the newspaper for conservatives.
Too many reporters arrive at a business story with the
prospective idea that there are only two sides, the Marxist caricature of
Capital versus Labor -- the stuffed-shirt, bottom-line titans of Profit
opposed to the scruffy, lovable humanitarians of Not for Profit. But the
events in Dallas proved the presence of conservative protesters and
journalists can ensure that left-wing militants and liberals alike can be
refuted within (somewhat) and without the mainstream press.
When supposedly skeptical journalists go soft on the left, we
need reporters like Marc Morano who can question them on hypocrisy -- as in
Dallas, when he asked a group of "green" radicals why they showed up at an
oil-bashing rally in a big Ford Econoline van. And we need a little army of
conservative protesters in every big city when a business is targeted for
"idealism." Show them there's another side: everyday people who love
freedom, love America, and appreciate the bounty of goods and services that
free enterprise provides.