There's a Reason Why the Victim Is InvisibleWriting about the Fast and Furious hearings, right-wing columnist Michael Graham tries to claim that the "Victim [is] becoming a footnote"...and Obama/Holder are to blame:
The two most important words in the current Obama administration scandal aren’t “Fast” or “Furious.” They are “Brian Terry.”And he's half right: the numbers show that Brian Terry really is getting lost in the shuffle. Google "fast and furious"+"brian terry" and you get 297,000 hits. Do the same with "fast and furious"+"eric holder" and it's 66 million.
For Team Obama, this story is all about politics.
But for the family of Brian Terry, it’s the story of their son — murdered with guns given to killers by his own government. Yet many mainstream news consumers never heard of it until this week. According to Media Research Center, the first time NBC mentioned the story was last week.
But as Graham himself observes, the wingnuts have been pretty much the only ones talking about this--so if the victim is being neglected, it's because wingnuts are neglecting him. Sure, that not-Joe the not-plumber campaign video opens with Brian Terry...and within 30 seconds it launches into the insane anti-Holder tirade. Graham's column itself, ostensibly about Terry "becoming a footnote", uses him only as setup for cheap shots at the Democrats on the committee.
Despite having a victim's family that's more than happy to disseminate their talking points, the wingnuts haven't put him front and center. Given that this is all about Holder (and Obama) for them, and that Terry is just a pretext, you'd still think they'd do much more to highlight the grieving (and pliant) family.
Except that this is where agendas collide. In their version of the tale, Brian Terry died because the DOJ let weapons get into the wrong hands. Thus we have to stop the DOJ's nefarious attempts...to keep weapons from falling into the wrong hands.
That's the problem. There has to be just enough focus on Brian Terry to whet the wingnuts' appetite for rage, but not so much that it highlights the internal incoherence of the whole thing. To make him a full-blown martyr would be to admit a fundamental premise of gun control.
Brian Terry isn't becoming a footnote. Brian Terry started out as a footnote, and he'll be a footnote as long as the Gun-thers* are controlling the message.
*Nice coinage, Steve.