Scoobie: Good afternoon, David. I love your book. I think it just shows a lot of integrity. I wanted to ask—I’m curious about the journalistic standards of the American Spectator editors. Back in 1994, I was heartened when I read Frank Rich’s New York Times column in which he reported the allegations that you blackmailed Kaye Savage in order to recant her witnessing of [Clarence] Thomas’s pornography habit. Now when he wrote that article, did the editors confront you with this and try to determine the veracity of this or not?
Brock: That’s a great question. No. Absolutely not. No one raised it at all, actually. Yeah, I mean the fact that Frank Rich called it exactly correctly. He reported what I did and no one at the Spectator was troubled by it at all as far as I know.
Let's R----! (word deleted to prevent lawsuit) There have been some amusing articles written about Lisa Beamer's efforts to protect the phrase, "Let's roll!" (for a funny article, click here). There is a little-known piece of good news on the controversy: alleged journalist Bill Sammon (click here, here, and here to see why I use the word "alleged") of the Moonie Times had originally planned to use "Let's Roll" as the title of his kiss-ass Regnery book on the Bush regime's response to terrorism (of course, Sammon won't mention anything such as Not-My-Attorney General Ashcroft's ineptitude prior to 9/11. Sammon and Regnery had to change the title to Fighting Back: The War on Terrorism from Inside the Bush White House. Thanks, Lisa.
Read This Book The Emerging Democratic Majority by John B. Judis and Ruy Teixeira. One of the things that I like is how the authors debunk the Triumphant Red Theories after the 2000 (s)election. For instance, Republicans argued that the counties that Bush won were growing at a much faster rate than those that voted for Gore. The problem is what social scientists call a basepoint problem. The Gore counties were, on average, much more populous than Bush counties to begin with. What Judis and Teixiera point out is that Democratic demographic groups are growing at a much faster pace than GOP core groups. Rejoice.
This leads me to a critique of an awful Red Triumphs Blue film: Sweet Home Alabama. I haven't seen the film but I was forced to see the trailer before I saw Signs. As well as being a chick flick, SHA--like previous films such as It's A Wonderful Life, Groundhog Day, and Doc Hollywood--idealizes small town life. A good article that sums up my views on these types of films is here.
Important Homework Assignment I turned on talk radio this morning and El Rushbo was not on (his replacement former San Diego mayor Roger Hedgecock was a snooze). I changed stations and listened to Dennis Prager. Prager is 100 times less partisan than Limbaugh (which isn't saying much) and his callers tend to be more intelligent than Limbaugh's (which also isn't saying much). Prager was discussing a column by anti-Gore hack Charles Krauthammer. Prager emphasized how he agreed with the last sentence of Krauthammer's piece of hackwork: "Had it not been for a few little old ladies baffled by the butterfly ballot in Palm Beach, Fla., American foreign policy today would be made by Gore-Reiner instead of the Bush brain trust. Who says God doesn't smile upon the United States of America?"
I got back the screener and pointed out to Dennis how such as statement is blasphemy to me because if God intended for a chucklehead like George W. Bush to be President, why was it necessary for Jeb Bush and Katherine Harris to disenfranchise tens of thousands of minority voters (even after that, as the media consortium study discovered, if the clearly discernible ballots had been counted, Gore would have been awarded Florida). . I then mentioned Greg Palast's groundbreaking work (I even spelled out Palast's name) that uncovered this outrageous blow to democracy. Prager would let me elaborate much more about it but another caller followed up on my concerns. Prager said that if people were systematically disenfranchised, then he would speak out against it on his radio program. Fair enough. Assignment: e-mail Dennis Prager and inform him about the documented disenfranchisement of Florida voters, most of them minorities by members of the Party of Lincoln. Prager's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org By talk radio standards, Prager is fair. If Prager can actually read about this miscarriage of justice, then it would be a giant step.
I'm Back I'm back. I was helping a friend with an indie flick and I went to Rosarito Beach for some R & R. When I got back, my inbox was full of messages telling me that the Neal Pollack editorial was a satire (my internet access in Mexico was limited). Well, bravo, Neal. You had me convinced that you were an aspiring writer for Newsmax or Front Page Magazine--this is what is especially funny/ironic. Sorry about any confusion.
While I was on the beach, I was doing a lot of writing; this writing will is all for a new web site. Details soon. I will have some posts this evening. I will be catching up on my reading so I will be posting over the weekend.
Still On Vacation I'm still on vacation but I must comment on the prolix screed by Neil Pollack against Al Gore(Thanks Atrios for the link). Apparently Pollack doesn't know the irony in his nasty words. For instance, Pollack tells Gore, "Why not just argue for freeing Danielle Van Dam's murderer while you're at it?" Oh, you mean Danielle Van Dam's murderer who is a Republican? Pollack also rants against Gore with the following question, "Do you invite a pedophile over to have a beer and watch the game?" No, Gore wouldn't. In fact, Gore opposed the GOP pedophile who ran against his running mate Joe Lieberman (and who questioned Lieberamn's morality) in 2000.
Vice-President-select Dick Cheney had planned to spend the first year anniversary of 9/11 on the Rush Limbaugh’s radio show (He didn’t appear because of security concerns). Some people such as DNC’s Terry McAuliffe vigorously objected to Cheney using this solemn occasion to appear on Limbaugh’s radio show, citing Limbaugh’s record of being “an irresponsible and divisive figure.”
I share McAuliffe’s view that someone occupying Cheney’s office--whether legitimately or not--should use the 9/11 anniversary to strive for unity. However, it is fitting that Cheney had planned to appear on Limbaugh’s show. The Bush regime has done what it can to exploit the 9/11 for political and financial gain. 9/11 changed things for a short time. President-select George W. Bush, at first, spoke about unifying America. When the horrific events of September 11 occurred, there were those like me who immediately stood behind Bush. We never got to the point of ever putting the word “President” in front of his name, but we supported him because, well, he was all we had. What makes the Bush regime’s --- particularly repugnant was that it was easy for his to have a tone of unity; the period after 9/11 one one in which the question of his illegitimacy became irrelevant to many Americans
That soon changed. Even though Democrats were solidly behind Bush’s anti-terrorist efforts, Karl Rove spoke of using the anti-terrorist efforts in the upcoming elections. Then there was the flap over using pictures of Bush on Air Force One in exchange for GOP cash—blood money. Let’s also not forget Bush’s tasteless trifecta joke/lie that Bush told at numerous GOP fundraisers. The Bush regime is illegitimate, not just because it came to power through a stolen election, but because of the outrageous manner in which it has attempted to capitalize on the tragic events of 9/11 for partisan advantage.
The Cheney appearance on Limbaugh show would have been just one event in a long line of efforts by the Bush regime to polarize people. I say it was perfectly fine for Cheney to go on Limbaugh’s show. Limbaugh, like Bush and Cheney, was a Vietnam Chickenhawk (I prefer the term “Chickenshit”). The meeting would have been a chance to exchange battle stories—on battling any attempts to get them to Nam.
On his 9/11 show yesterday, Limbaugh had some challenging observations about the flap. He read McAuliffe’s statement (and laughed while he read it). Limbaugh then made a challenge to McAuliffe:
I’ll tell you what, I’ll stack my so-called responsibility and unity characteristics up against Tom Daschle’s any day, Mr. McAuliffe--even yours. I’ll be glad to compare the record of my public statements and actions up against yours any day and we can decide who is divisive and who’s partisan—and there’s nothing wrong with partisan anyway, but we can decide who’s irresponsible and who’s divisive... If that A-B comparison is every made, that would be fine.
Limbaugh threw down the gauntlet. I’m picking it up. I’m taking Limbaugh up on his offer to determine who make more divisive and irresponsible statements. Let me list a few of Limbaugh’s more egregious whoppers/libels. This is by no means comprehensive. Many of these whoppers are one’s that went largely unnoticed by the mainstream media. For a more comprehensive examination of Limbaugh’s deception, I recommend posts on Spinsanity, FAIR (including the book The Way Things Aren’t) and Rush Versus Reality.
1. Limbaugh on Enron. In the midst of Limbaugh’s ridiculous attempt to portray Enron as a Clinton administration scandal, Limbaugh, to no surprise, repeated Matt Drudge journalistic hoax that Ken Lay slept over at the Clinton White House. He went on and pointed out that under George W. Bush, campaign contributors are not rewarded with overnight stays in the White House. Now that both claims are patently false, there have been, to the best of my knowledge, no retractions from Limbaugh. No surprise. Limbaugh has been able to lie with impunity—often with the willing compliance of the mainstream media. (see next example).
2. Limbaugh on Vince Foster. During Limbaugh’s heyday during the Clinton years, Limbaugh was one of the usual suspects regarding whacko theories concerning Vince Foster’s death. Limbaugh’s analysis of the matter contained more innuendo than facts. For instance, after Foster’s death, Limbaugh commented on the supposed silence of Foster’s widow; he suggested that she was staying silent because she knew what “they”—meaning the Clinton administration—had done to her husband.
Limbaugh’s most famous Foster atrocity was when he told listeners that he had a fax that said that “a Washington consulting firm that has scheduled the release of a report that will appear, it will be published, that claims that Vince Foster was murdered in an apartment owned by Hillary Clinton, and the body was then taken to Fort Marcy Park.” Limbaugh later lied and said that he never mentioned Hillary Clinton (Radio show 3/1/95). When Limbaugh lied about what he said another time, he was rewarded by the mainstream media--namely by having his butt licked by Ted Koppel and Jeff Greenfield (sorry about the vulgarity but this spectacle reminded me of words from the song “Narcissus” by Alanis Morissette). Note: be sure to check the comments regarding current FoxNews head Rogers Ailes.
3. Limbaugh is not above using the 9/11 tragedies as a bludgeon against fellow Americans he calls “the enemy.” On his radio show, Limbaugh accused Hillary of not attending a single funeral for one firefighter or rescue worker—when she did. When Tom Daschle (whom Limbaugh calls “Puff”) expressed measured concern about Bush’s phrase “axis of evil,” Limbaugh responded, "Daschle's allies in this situation include the barbarians who run North Korea, the Islamic extremists who run Iran and the mass murderer Saddam Hussein who controls Iraq.” Also, to no surprise, Limbaugh misinformed millions of his listeners when he spread the Moonie Times smear of former President Clinton’s Georgetown speech---Limbaugh compared it to something that Jane Fonda said during the Vietnam War.
4. Rush on personal attacks. See my 7/3/02 post.
5. This final Limbaugh anecdote shows how wildly Limbaugh spins when he is shown to be wrong. Back in 1999, Limbaugh was commenting on the criticism of a US Senator who had used the term “ragheads” to describe Arabs. Limbaugh mistaken thought the offending words were from Democratic Senator Kent Conrad whom he had mistaken for Republican Senator Conrad Burns. Limbaugh went in to a long diatribe pointing out an exchange that Conrad (actually Burns) had with a constituent a few years ago in which the constituent asked him about living with the “niggers” in Washington, DC. Limbaugh excoriated the media for not having had exposed this and said how the liberal media was covering for a liberal Democrat. Limbaugh had a commercial break in which he was informed that the offender was Conrad Burns, not Kent Conrad. When he came out of the break, he told listeners about his confusion and indicated that Burns being a Republican was the reason that we were hearing about his “raghead” comments now.
I’ve given my side. Anyone care to take Limbaugh’s side and find some statements by Daschle or McAuliffe that approach the irresponsibility and divisiveness of Limbaugh’s words? I’m waiting.
Big Article Today I'm having a great time writing a long article for today's blog. I should have it up in the next few hours. Sitemeter update: As I have pointed out, many people are getting to this site because of Google searches for nude pictures of Erika Christensen. However, someone did a Google search for "nude"+"futurama." I actually have a drawing of the Futurama characters by Matt Groening (it's not on this site though).
My Personal Preference is for Prostitutes from Tanzania According to Sitemeter, I have received a lot a traffic from people looking for nude pictures of Erika Christensen (see my 8/30, 9/2, and 9/6 posts for full details). I was particularly amused by the person who stumbled upon my site by doing a Google search of the following phrase: "Nigerian whores in action."
While we're on the topic of whores, as a contributing writer to HorowitzWatch, I write about Richard Mellon Scaife's favorite monkeyboy, David Horowitz. Another monkeyboy in Scaife's stable is Christopher Ruddy, author of the libelous hit piece, The Strange Death of Vince Foster (which even Ann Coulter called a "conservative hoax book"). Ruddy's Newsmax is the topic of an article by Terry Krepel of ConWebWatch. Krepel has been smokin' in recent months; check out the entire web site.
Stats I'm getting many hits this week despite a light writing schedule (I'll have more time next week). The lion's share of the credit goes to google searchs by horndogs looking for nude pictures of Erika Christensen (see my 8/30 and 9/2 posts). Not that I blame them, she is totally babelicious. A note on Christensen: the day of the Swimfan world premiere was Erika's twentieth birthday. After the end of the film, friends surprised her with a birthday cake (I got video footage of it--she wasn't naked though).
Another Eddie Murphy Bomb? According to Seeing Stars, the World Premiere for the upcoming Eddie Murphy/Owen Wilson film I Spywas cancelled. World Premiere cancellations are like the canary in the mine keeling over: it isn’t a sure sign that the movie is going to suck, but it is a red flag (recent premiere cancellations include The Master of Disguise and The Adventures of Pluto Nash). However, I saw the trailer and it looked good. Also, Wilson (my illegitimate brother) does know how to read a script.
I'm Back I got bad internet directions to the Jeopardy! tryout, so I have to do it another time. On the way back home, I picked up an LA Times and got the lowdown on the most recent flap regarding soon-to-be-not-elected-Governor Bill Simon; it's regarding his gay rights backpeddle. Campaigns & Elections, which I respect, still has Gray Davis as a 6 to 5 favorite--what a joke, Simon is dead meat. What makes this a particularly great case for schaudenfreude is that the Smuglicans could have beaten Davis had they had the foresight to pick former LA mayor Richard Riordan in the primary. Again, to quote the political sage, Nelson Muntz: "HA HA."
Sullivan’s Sophistry In his 9/3 post titled, SOUTHERN HYPER-LIBS, Sully excerpts a letter from a reader who agreed with Sully’s having put Howell Raines on the couch---attributing Raines’ political views to being “a guilt ridden southerner who wishes to expunge himself of the original sin of having been born in the South.” Sully is compiling a list of Southern-born pundits who fit into this facile pigeonhole. I have an alternative explanation: many of these scribes saw the demagogues of the South, first George Wallace, then Jesse Helms, and rightfully viewed them as the kind of trash they should repudiate. Sully’s view of the motivation behind these pundits is not the only thing that is reductionistic. The South is not what Sully thinks it is. Sure there are vestiges of the old South, such as when Trent Lott and soon-to-be-private-citizen Bob Barr hung out with the racist Council of Conservative Citizens as well as the purge of mostly minority voters in Florida. However, the South is progressing and the pundits Sully cites are an example of this.
Horny Dudes, Go Away! There has been a deluge of people who are linking to this site by doing a Google search looking for nekkid pictures of Erika Christensen (see my 8/30 post for the complete lowdown). The Swimfan commercial currently on TV seems to be working. The only celebrity nude stuff I have is a drawing by Matt Groening of the Futurama cast (the cartoon characters, not the actors whose voices are used) not wearing any pants (I'm not kidding).
Great News--sort of According to the McPaper, McDonalds will announce plans to reduce almost by half the amount of hydrogenated vegetable oils in its french fries. At least this gets it closer to the amount of hydrogenated vegetable oil that a human should consume: zero. If Mickey Dees were really concerned about the health of its patrons, it would go out of business.