Yankee Doodling the Media: How ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ Became a Rallying Cry Against News Bias, by Jonathan Turley

It’s a close contest between the number of Americans who are giving Joe Biden the finger and the number who are giving the media the finger. There is, of course, substantial overlap between the two groups. From Jonathan Turley at jonathanturley.org:

Below is my column in The Hill on the growing “Let’s Go, Brandon” movement, which is a unique response to what many people view as a bias media. It is the modern equivalent of the adoption of “Yankee Doodle Dandy” by colonists in using what was a contemptuous expression as a rallying cry of defiance.

Here is the column:

Roughly 250 years ago, a political insult by British troops during the American Revolution was converted into a rallying cry by the colonials. “Yankee Doodle Dandy” was intended to mock the Continental Army as unsophisticated dandies, but the maligned militiamen turned it around to mock the British after defeats like Yorktown. The song is a lasting example of how symbols of contempt can become symbols of defiance.

In a curious way, “Let’s Go Brandon!” has become a similarly unintended political battle cry. It derives from an Oct. 2 interview with race-car driver Brandon Brown after he won his first NASCAR Xfinity Series race. During the interview, NBC reporter Kelli Stavast’s questions were drowned out by loud-and-clear chants of “F*** Joe Biden.” Stavast quickly and inexplicably declared, “You can hear the chants from the crowd, ‘Let’s go, Brandon!’”

Stavast’s denial or misinterpretation of the obvious instantly became a symbol of what many Americans perceive as media bias in favor of the Biden administration. Indeed, some in the media immediately praised Stavast for her “smooth save” and being a “quick-thinking reporter.” But the episode was reminiscent of a reporter standing in front of burning buildings during last year’s riots and calling them peaceful protests. Indeed, even the original profane chant seemed directed as much at the media as Biden — creating an undeniable backdrop to news coverage.

The three-word slogan is now emblazoned across tee-shirts, coffee mugs and even billboards. An anti-Biden “Let’s go, Brandon!” hip-hop song hit the top of the charts on iTunes; soon, there were four such songs with the same refrain. The top song was banned on sites like YouTube and Instagram as spreading “harmful false information.” Yet the effort to bar people from listening to the song only fueled the interest and the movement.

Continue reading→

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.