Reina: There's just an atmosphere of -- I don't want to say "fear," but for some of the young people there that's what it is. You know, I'd rail against this. I never made any bones about it. Right in the middle of the newsroom, I'd say, "Did you see what we did?" The typical thing would be for people to say to me, "So we're not fair and balanced? Like you didn't know that? What are you getting all upset about?"
One E-Mail Is All I Ask Traitor turned self-appointed treason-hunter David Horowitz is surprisingly silent on the actions by Bush administration officials in the outing of undercover CIA operative Valerie Plame. If Horowitz were sincerely concerned about anti-American treachery, he would have been on this like Roger Ailes on a platter of freedom fries smothered in gravy. Yet, there is not one mention of Plame either on Horowitz's blog or on FrontPage Magazine. Meanwhile, Horowitz is circulating hoary urban legends in an attempt to smear Bill Clinton (click here for a good laugh).
Why nothing from Horowitz? It reminds me of something Michael Tomasky wrote: "When W. and Rove hear the word 'traitor,' they think not of their country. They think of their agenda. And anyone who doesn't go along with it is guilty of treason."
I have addressed Horowitz's omission numerous times on HorowitzWatch. Still nothing. E-mail Horowitz and ask him why he hasn't addressed the Plame issue: email@example.com It's important and it will annoy the hell out of Horowitz.
UPDATE: Some unfamiliar with my tongue-in-cheek attitude thought I was serious. I have no plans to sue Coulter (though it would be fitting: writing right-wing bullshit is lucrative; refuting right-wing bullshit isn't).
I have no idea if it works or if it's a big hoax. However, I can say that the track record for advertisers on right-wing talk radio isn't particularly good. Last year, a questionable weight-loss product Body Solutions was heavily advertised on talk radio. Avacor, a supposed baldness cure, is also a talk radio ad staple; Arnold Diaz of 20/20 investigated it and other baldness cures and found these expensive products to be either unproven or just minoxidil with some herbs added. When Clinton was elected in 1992, advertisers for gold as an investment claimed that Clinton's presidency would cause a massive economic catastrophe and that gold was the best investment for the 1990's (I wonder if the talk radio jocks took this advice; I doubt it).
Let me spell it out for you: right-wing talk radio is intended for people who obey and who don't ask questions (e.g., when Sean Hannity tells his listeners that the Plame scandal is "a nonstory," he doesn't have to give reasons--he's Sean Hannity). Advertisers of questionable products know this and view the talk radio audience as a key demographic for what they're selling.
More Wing Nuts Deceived For those of you who were referred to this site from Buzzflash and are looking for the Bill O'Reilly phony quote, scroll down to the 10/25 post. Also, tonight I discovered that right-winger David Horowitz was fooled by a notorious (and transparent) urban legend (click here for the full details).
Also, check out the whole site including my prank phone calls to talk radio (on the sidebar). Check out my links, too.
Line of the Day Joe Conason on George W. Bush's willingness to falsely blame the crew of the USS Lincoln for the "Mission Accomplished" banner during Bush's photo-op back in May: "The entitled always blame the enlisted. It's the American aristocratic way."
Why Bill O’Reilly Creeps Me Out Bill O’Reilly creeps me out. It’s not so much his political message because his rhetoric isn’t half as poisonous as that of Limbaugh, Coulter, David Horowitz, Joseph Farah, or fellow Faux News twerp Sean Hannity. However, there’s something about him that really gives me the heebie-jeebies in ways the other wing nuts don’t. For the longest time, I couldn’t put my finger on the reason for the creepy feeling I get when I hear his voice.
Over the weekend, I figured it out. My aversion to O’Reilly is primal. Growing up, most of us had an old man on the block who was mean to the neighborhood kids. When we retrieved our Frisbees from his yard, he was the one who came out and yelled, “You kids, get off of my lawn!” Bill O’Reilly is that man. Worse than that, he is the archetype of the grumpy old man on the block. I’m certain when grumpy old men around this great nation get into their Ford Crown Victorias to drive 45 in the passing lane of the highway, they tune into O’Reilly’s Radio Factor. So when I do things like refute passages in his book (scroll down to Saturday) or prank-call his show, it’s the equivalent of the burning sack of dog poop on the front porch. It makes me feel good.
Bill O’Reilly Reports; We Laugh Out Loud. In recent months, Bill O’Reilly has been railing against those whom he pejoratively calls “secularists.” Secularists, according to O’Reilly, are people who are opposed to God and morality. In reality, secularists are people who are opposed to the right’s attempt to merge church and state. Under O’Reilly’s definition, I am a secularist even though I engage in regular religious practices that include yoga, metaphysical surfing, and vegetarianism. As much as these practices have benefited me (e.g., yoga classes are great places to meet women) I don’t believe that these or anyone else’s religious views or practices should be imposed by the state.
On the other hand, O’Reilly and other sectarian thinkers believe that the state should base its laws and foundation on sectarian values—their values. We alleged secularists are not only wrong, but we are opposed to the intentions of the founding fathers. In the infamous NPR interview with Terry Gross, O’Reilly said, "We are founded on a Judeo-Christian philosophy. There’s no question about that. And I have a degree in history, I have all of Jefferson's and Madison's letters and I know what I am talking about." Here’s O’Reilly in his brand new bestseller Who’s Looking Out for You?:
Let’s take a look at those Ten Commandments. Boy, the federal courts don’t want you to see those on American Government property, no way. But wait, there’s a signpost up ahead. It was written by James Madison, the guiding force behind the language of the Constitution. Said Madison: "We have staked the whole future of American civilization not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government, upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to THE TEN COMMANDMENTS" (pp. 116-117; caps and emphasis in original).
Why Clark Can Win ...Nicomodos Sy Herrera, a 31-year-old Republican lawyer in a well-tailored suit, seemed almost surprised to find himself at a Democratic event. A pro-life hawk who'd been "a big Bush supporter" in 2000, he'd grown alarmed by Bush's inability to "balance the hard and soft power of the U.S." Now, he was considering changing his party affiliation in order to vote for Clark in the primary. "Bush was seduced too much by the hard right's insistence that it had to go alone," he says. "He made that bed, he has to sleep in it." Still, while he says he doesn't think Bush could win him back, he also says Clark is the only Democrat he would support.
Busted: Millions Heard Me Mock Bill O'Reilly Whenever I call talk radio programs, I do so to engage in substantive debate (e.g., scroll down to yesterday's post). I had this intention when I called into Bill O'Reilly's radio show today. The topic was the supposed bias of the media. This time, I posed as Henry from Los Angeles (I used the name Henry as a tribute to wing nut blogger Henry Hanks). Anyhow, temptation got the best of me because when I got on the show, I couldn't help slipping in a variation of O'Reilly's name that is popular with me and sites like Media Whores Online. Unfortunately, O'Reilly caught what I said before I had a chance to discuss the issue. Here is the short conversation:
However, the article is flawed by the conclusion: "Limbaugh may be a Chicken Hawk in the war on drugs," Hertzberg writes, "but that doesn’t mean he deserves to be cannon fodder." Why the hell not? If anyone should be fodder in the war on drugs, it shouldn't be some schlemiel caught with a bag of weed or a rock, it should be those who are involved in massive drug transactions. The fact that Limbaugh was a big voice for the war on drugs would make a prosecution all the more fitting.
On a practical level, few legal experts expect the hate radio jock will spend any time wearing an orange jumpsuit (Roy Black is Limbaugh's attorney). However, even though a conviction is unlikely, criminal charges against Limbaugh would be appropriate; it would support Alan Dershowitz's view that a civil libertarian is a conservative who is under investigation. Also, there is a preponderance of evidence that Limbaugh used his home and car in his drug transactions. Civil forfeiture laws should be used to seize both. Limbaugh could easily buy both back and it would pay for the investigation and more.
I Almost Confront Christopher Ruddy on Talk Radio Scaife-paid operative Christopher Ruddy was on Al Rantel's radio show in Los Angeles today. Ruddy and Rantel expressed dismay over the upcoming CBS mini-series on Ronald Reagan that gives Reagan the following dialogue regarding homosexuals who had AIDS: "They that live in sin shall die in sin." I found it a bit hypocritical considering Ruddy's own smears of the Clintons so I called up and was put on hold. Unfortunately, Ruddy left before I got on the air but I was able to address Ruddy's hypocrisy with Rantel.
RANTEL: Here is Troy on the Al Rantel Show on KABC. Hi.
SCOOBIE: Hi. It’s too bad Chris Ruddy is not there because I’d really like to talk to him. I think it is wrong that if dialogue in a CBS docudrama is given to Reagan that’s not characteristic of his views, but for Ruddy to say that the politics of personal destruction are the politics of the left, I really have to laugh. These criticisms are coming from a Scaife-paid hit man like Ruddy whose paranoid conspiracy theories surrounding the death of Vince Foster were so slipshod that even a wing nut like Ann Coulter called Ruddy’s book on the subject “a conservative hoax book.” [chuckling] I really have to laugh about that. I’d like to talk to Ruddy at the six o’clock—
[Note: I was about to say that I wanted to talk to Ruddy on the six O’clock portion of Rantel’s show. Tuesday is Newsmax day for Rantel’s show and he had a Newsmax writer on his show at both 11:00 and 6:00.]
RANTEL: Well, first of all, there were many people who raised a lot of questions about the death of Vince Foster, not just Christopher Ruddy and--
SCOOBIE: The wing nuts.
RANTEL: Well, you may want to describe them as wing nuts but the fact is that many people raised questions about these kinds of things. Just because you ask questions doesn’t make you a nut.
SCOOBIE: He raised questions and he concocted all of these ludicrous conspiracy theories and he dared 60 Minutes to cover the story and 60 Minutes looked into what Ruddy had said and they showed that he was a complete idiot, that his—
RANTEL: They didn’t show that he was an idiot. They showed that they didn’t believe that there was anything there. And, by the way, I didn’t really—I thought there were some questions that should be answered and once the authorities answered them, I was happy to agree with what the authorities concluded. And so what? What’s wrong with people answering questions?
RANTEL: That’s very funny. You refer to a guy who you don’t agree with politically as a sick paranoid old man and then you complain that somebody tried to smear the Clintons. When you call someone a sick paranoid old man, is that smearing them? [chuckling]
SCOOBIE: When it’s true—
RANTEL: When it’s true. [chuckling]
SCOOBIE: When it’s true, it’s not smearing him. Scaife believes in the Clinton Body Count, the belief that Bill Clinton is responsible for the murders of dozens of people.
RANTEL: Now, look, I don’t believe any of that stuff. Most mainstream conservatives don’t.
SCOOBIE: Why are you giving credibility to Ruddy?
After that, Rantel changed topics and went back to the Reagan miniseries. I reiterated my agreement that putting those kinds of words in Reagan’s mouth was wrong but I also criticized Reagan for befriending Jerry Falwell who said that AIDS was God’s way of “spanking” homosexuals (yes, Falwell said it).
Thank God for Gypsy Cabs With the transit strike in LA, gypsy cabs are the way to get around for those of us without cars. All you have to do is wait at a corner of a busy street like Wilshire and someone in a van or car will charge you a couple dollars to drive you to your destination. It ain't legal, but it gets you where you want to go.
Film I saw Wonderland over the weekend. The critics panned it but I thought it was a decent film. There were great performances by Val Kilmer, Lisa Kudrow, and Kate Bosworth. Unlike Boogie Nights, there wasn't a prosthesis. The theater where I saw it had a trailer for Shattered Glass which deals with the Stephen Glass scandal at the New Republic. It looks like a very good movie.
David Horowitz and the Plame Scandal On HorowitzWatch, I have been getting on Scaife monkey-boy David Horowitz for not addressing the Plame scandal on his web site FrontPage Magazine; this is a particularly glaring omission because Horowitz and the hacks who write for FrontPage don't hesitate to label anything done or said by the left as treason, and this is a case of real treason. If you could, send an email to the managing editor of FrontPage, Jamie Glazov and ask why hasn't anyone at FrontPage covered the issue. Glazov's email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Debunking The Myths About Wesley Clark Heard something about Wesley Clark? Go to the site Clark Myths to check about its accuracy. Rush is no longer around, but the various Rush clones on hate radio and the usual suspects aren't letting up on Clark.
LA Stuff I've been down on LA lately--of course, if I were working in the Industry right now, I would be pleased with it (I view San Diego as home). One nice thing about the City of Angels is going to the supermarket and seeing celebrities. One of the most unusual sightings by yours truly was Fabio a couple years ago. Yesterday, I was at the Whole Foods across from the Farmer's Market and saw Gurmukh, the yoga instructor popular with the stars (I have her kundalini yoga video; it's great).
Most people associate MacArthur Park as the area to find fake drivers licenses and green cards. I think of it as an area where there's some great food. The area is known for having Langer's Deli where there's plenty of good eatin'. However, there are some great restaurants that are popular with recently-arrived immigrants from Mexico and Central America. One I would recommend is Torito Axaqueno which is on the 2000 block of West 8th Street near Alvarado. They have huge burritos that are cheap and delicious. If you want a vegetarian burrito, tell them "sin carne."
Chickenhawks In the War on Drugs and Other Observations Rush is in rehab for his addiction to hillbilly heroin. A defender of the war on drugs and friend of former drug czar William Bennett, Limbaugh joins a long list of chicken hawks in the war on drugs. You’re probably familiar with ordinary chickenhawks; these are a pro-war hawks who talk a good game (and have no compunction about impugning the patriotism of those who disagree with their pro-war views) but back when they had a chance to prove their machismo, they stayed on the sidelines—often because of phony medical deferments or family influence (as was the case for George W. Bush whose pro-Vietnam War father allowed someone else to take W’s place in the jungles of Vietnam).
Drug war chickenhawks are just as contemptible. These are the staunch war on drugs hardasses who, when they or people close to them get in trouble with drugs, are the first ones to call for lenient treatment at the hands of law enforcement. Two of the more odious of the drug war chickenhawks are Representative Duke Cunningham and U.S. Attorney Leslie Ohta. Limbaugh isn’t in the same league as Cunningham and Ohta, but his callous attitude toward people with drug problems makes him deserving of our contempt.
Is Limbaugh finished? Not for a minute. Some people have been optimistic that Limbaugh’s poisonous disinformation campaign will come to an end because of this episode. No such luck. I’m afraid these people have vastly underestimated the collective gullibility and self-deception of the masses of suckers known as the Dittoheads (if you think I’m being harsh, check out the advertisers on talk radio—they know where to find the suckers). What I have found listening to the contradictory claims made by Limbaugh is that the Dittomonkeys want to be fooled and like to be fooled.
Does he deserve to be finished? Hell yes. The day Limbaugh admitted that he was hooked on painkillers, I briefly tuned into Larry Elder’s talk radio show; Elder emphasized that Limbaugh’s drug problem is irrelevant to the merits of Limbaugh’s political thought. I couldn’t agree with Elder any more: Limbaugh’s personal life doesn’t discredit his message—it’s Limbaugh’s bullshit that discredits his message. Limbaugh will make a comeback; however, it will be a marginalized Limbaugh that will be making a comeback. This is a good thing. Although Limbaugh’s drug abuse makes his phoniness obvious to millions, it is his dishonest and vicious message that is especially deserving of our censure. This episode helped to open the eyes of millions of people, some of whom were Limbaugh’s biggest fans. This disillusionment is a good thing.
On the issue of gloating. Expressing glee over another’s misfortune is unseemly. However, the right has gotten away with gloating over tragedies involving innocent people—click here for a noxious parody song that Limbaugh played on his show after Vince Foster’s death (scroll down to my 10/04 post). On the topic of Foster, Ted and Barbara Olson were big on exploiting Foster’s death to smear the Clintons and to mobilize the mouthbreather wing of the GOP; yet when I wrote about the late Mrs. Olson and admittedly added a tasteless comment about her whereabouts, I was pilloried for it (click here and here). I, unlike the drug warriors, have sympathy for people who become addicted to drugs and I prefer treatment to incarceration. However, Limbaugh has a big enough sympathy chorus of toady listeners and GOP bigwigs who have benefited from Limbaugh’s lies (such as George W. Bush); Limbaugh doesn’t need my sympathy. If you think this makes me a prick, then email Jonah Goldberg at GFilecorrections@aol.com. I heard he’s looking for examples of left-wing callousness toward Limbaugh.
Should Limbaugh be prosecuted? This is a legal question. However, there appears to be strong evidence that Limbaugh did what Wilma Cline accused him of doing (if the charges are true, then Limbaugh committed serious felonies). I’ll bet everything I own that Limbaugh’s attorney Roy Black doesn’t want his client to cooperate with the investigation. Limbaugh has a Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate himself; we have a First Amendment right to draw conclusions about any lack of cooperation.
Finally, the American right--which is supporting Limbaugh—is, in fact, Limbaugh’s own worse enemy. One of the pillars of recovery from addiction is the necessity to make amends for one’s transgressions(coming clean about the cause of one's addiction is another). The American right is enabling Limbaugh. George W. Bush is one of the worst culprits—calling the talk radio demagogue “a great American.” The truth is that Bush coined a phrase that aptly describes Limbaugh: “major league asshole.” I believe that it will only be after Limbaugh engages in some self-reflection about the damage his rhetoric has done to this country that he will be on the road to recovery. He needs to come clean about his transgressions against the truth, his transgressions against others, and his transgressions against human decency.
I'm a Wuss I didn't see Kill Bill over the weekend for two reasons: 1) I was short of cash (scroll down to 10/9 post, "Big Post Possibly Forthcoming"); and 2) I hate to see films in which innocent people are killed.
Could someone who has seen Kill Bill email me and tell me if it's safe to go into the theaters? No spoilers, please.
Rush Confesses to Drug Addiction on Show He will be undergoing drug treatment for the next 30 days. Transcript forthcoming UPDATE: HERE IS THE TRANSCRIPT. Just for a little irony, here's what he had to say in the first hour of the show:
And so it would serve you well to remember this story [about Siegfried and Roy] when some of these circumstances come up—like rehabilitation of criminals. It’s often been said that we rehab these people and find out what it is that makes them do what they do. But a criminal’s a criminal. There are bad people. There are bad people. There are good people too, but there are bad people.
Note: I have more posts on Limbaugh from the past month, scroll down.
Prediction Ohio State Buckeyes 21, Wisconsin Badgers 14. I would have agreed with Erick Smith of USA Today who predicted the Badgers would squeak by the Buckeyes, but I think the week off to prepare will give Ohio State the edge it needs.
UPDATE: D'oh! Wisconsin 17, Ohio State 10. The longest winning streak in Division 1-A college football is over at nineteen.
Exclusive--Source: "He did it." I have received confirmation from a source either inside or close to the Palm Beach County state attorney's office investigation that there is ample evidence that the allegations by Wilma Cline and others that radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh had bought massive amounts of prescription drugs illegally over a four-year period.
Notes: I was reluctant to post this information because I didn't want to hinder the investigation by reporting it. However, after some thought and research, I concluded that it would be appropriate; one thing that particularly motivated me was the realization that Limbaugh would probably not be prosecuted. Also, I did some further investigation to confirm the credibility of the source.
After initially being contacted indirectly, I had a correspondence with the source using a newly-created email address at various public internet providers. This led to a telephone interview in which I was not allowed to record the conversation (It was just as well because I was using a pay phone). The source told me the evidence Cline provided was credible and massive (one quote I jotted down during the conversation was: "He [Limbaugh] did it"). I asked the source why he/she came out and was giving me this information; his/her response was that there was an overwhelming feeling of disgust by the source and many people close to the investigation. I asked why the source chose to talk to me, the source said that he/she found me through a keyword search and liked the fact that I was taking Limbaugh to task. The source refused to give any information about possible criminal indictments. Limbaugh refused comment after I contacted him at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org (there is some question as to whether Limbaugh uses these email addresses anymore).
Am I the Only One to Find This Amusing? Just a few minutes ago on Rush Limbaugh's radio show; the topic was means testing for prescription drugs benefits: "What the Republicans want to do--and a number of other people--is means test this. There's no reason for people like me or Bill Gates, whoever, ought to get free prescription drugs; there's just no need for it..."
Big Post Possibly Forthcoming Last week, I was planning to announce this week that I was going to take off some time. The reason is that I was depending on some civil service jobs I applied for earlier in the year. I have an impressive resume, I scored high on the tests, and I did well in the interviews. I found out that I was being hosed because the agency in question was bypassing civil service rules in their hiring procedures. I’m working a flunky job that is winding down. So I have to look for work. If you’d like to help support this site, click here or buy something on Amazon by clicking here (I’m an Amazon Associate).
My decision to go on hiatus this week changed when I received some interesting news from an unnamed source sometime in the last week or so. It’s an exclusive but I needed to make confirmations and check a few things before I posted the info. I’ll make my decision before tomorrow as to whether I will publish the information.
Bush’s Concept of A Great American Versus Reality People want to know what I think about George W. Bush’s recent support for Rush Limbaugh in light of alleged problems with narcotics; they also want to know what I think of Bush calling Limbaugh “a great American.” Here’s The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page's take (keep in mind these are the same clowns who, like Limbaugh, flogged every paranoid anti-Clinton tale including the Mena drug-smuggling allegations; they also refer to the serious allegations that senior Bush officials outed an undercover CIA agent as a “kerfuffle.”):
As for the rest of us, there have always been two ways to read the parable about the woman caught in adultery and not casting the first stone. The first is to argue that standards simply don't matter. The other way--the way it has been read for 2,000 years--is to remind us that we are all human, fallen creatures.
We're fairly sure we know which reading President Bush was taking when he called Mr. Limbaugh a "great American" and said he hoped he would "overcome any obstacles." After all, this is a President who not too long ago fought a drinking problem. The accusations about abusing pain-relieving drugs are more serious because they point to breaking the law, and they hurt not only Mr. Limbaugh but the millions of those who looked to him for better. It does not excuse anything he may have done to say America will not know the full measure of the man until we see how he responds.
This is wrong is so many ways:
If the parable about the adulterous woman is supposed to be message that we ought to lay off Limbaugh, I have one thought about that: fuck that noise. When it comes to casting stones, throwing sucker punches, and kicking people when they’re down, Limbaugh is the grand master (the WSJ’s editorial page is close behind). Limbaugh is more similar to the hypocritical religious leaders with stones in their hands than he is to the adulterous woman. Just one example out of dozens, scroll down to read all the talk radio junkie’s vicious and untruthful attacks on Wesley Clark.
Limbaugh’s web site even had a headline: “Clark's Behavior Borders On Pathological.” This is hardly surprising. Raising questions about a political opponent’s mental health is de rigueur for Limbaugh. During the 2000 primaries, to supplement the Bush team’s whisper campaign that John McCain was mentally unbalanced, Limbaugh had a vicious parody of the Caine Mutiny which he called “The McCain Mutiny” in which the paranoid Captain Queeg was portrayed by a McCain sound-alike.
The Journal’s editors think “America will not know the full measure of the man until we see how he responds.” They should speak for themselves. Americans familiar with Limbaugh’s words and deeds know him for what he is: a blustering bullyboy. Taking on a bullyboy like Limbaugh is not casting the first stone, it’s self-defense.
George W. Bush spoke of wishing that Limbaugh would “overcome any obstacles.” The Journal editors view this as an embodiment of Christian redemption. My ass. As an article from Salon from 1999 points out, when Bush ran for governor, he shamelessly demagogued against Governor Richard’s programs to help nonviolent drug offenders with treatment instead of harsh sentences. Bush called it “Penal Code Lite.” For drug offenders who don’t do Bush’s political dirty work like Limbaugh, Bush has one terse thought: "Incarceration is rehabilitation." From the Salon article:
In one typical case recently, a 27-year-old mother of two pled guilty to an eight-month sentence for trace amounts of cocaine in an empty pipe that had to be lab-tested in order to uncover the evidence needed to convict her. She was a first-time offender.
The police claimed the car she shared with two companions was illegally parked, and that she had made a "furtive movement." Thus armed with probable cause, the police searched until they found the non-smoking gun in her purse.
If there’s anyone who closely resembles the adulterous woman about to be stoned, it’s someone like this woman. If someone like Limbaugh who bought his hillbilly heroin by the barrel is a great American, as Bush claims, then this woman deserves a ticker-tape parade.
Bush’s assertion that Limbaugh is “a great American.” Let’s examine Limbaugh’s response to some events in recent American history: 1. Right after the Oklahoma City bombing, President Clinton made some general statements (click here and scroll down) warning about hate speech on the airwaves that instigates people to commit violent acts (Clinton’s claims were, of course, true). Limbaugh exploded on his radio and television show, accusing Clinton of accusing him of causing the Oklahoma City bombing, even though Clinton made no mention of Limbaugh. 2. Right after 9/11, former President Clinton gave a speech at Georgetown that was supportive of the fight against terrorism. A Washington Times reporter/operative twisted Clinton’s words to suggest that Clinton blamed America for the terrorist acts. The next day, Limbaugh got on his show and said that Clinton’s speech was worse than what Jane Fonda did during the Vietnam War (Click here for a detailed discussion of this). 3. During the Iraqi War, Limbaugh was on the forefront of the right’s attempt to smear anyone who raised questions about Bush’s veracity or the case for war as unpatriotic and pro-Saddam. 4. When it was reported that senior Bush administration officials leaked the name of an undercover CIA agent responsible for stemming the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, Limbaugh’s response was to accuse those who were calling for a thorough investigation were “obsessed with hatred and blinded by rage.” Limbaugh then, without a shred of evidence, concluded that there was no wrongdoing by the Bush administration. In fact, Limbaugh concluded that “a dangerous atmosphere” was being created—not by those who blew Plame’s cover—but by those who wanted to determine who committed these criminal and traitorous acts.
These are the actions of a good American only if one's definition of being a good American entails being a hack for the Bush crowd. What a pity.
Note: Thanks to Leigh of Kentucky for technical assistance.
Pray For Rush I'm all for praying but I have some reservations about the Pray for Rush Limbaugh site that popped up to insure the talk radio jock has around-the-clock prayer teams. The person who runs the site also has sites to pray for Bush:"We believe God used this election, and will continue to use George W. Bush, as a catalyst for spiritual awakening in the Church, and thus, in the world..." Oh, really? Was the Almighty behind Katherine Harris's scrubbing of eligible minority voters from the rolls? If that's so, then maybe Jerry Falwell was right when he argued in the 1960's that the civil rights movement was making baby Jesus cry because Jim Crow was a God-ordained method of dealing with blacks who were stricken with "the curse of Ham" (I'm not making this up).
Anyhoo, back to Rush: not to throw a stink bomb in the midst of people bowing down to petition the Great One but don't you think there are people more deserving of 24/7 prayerful attention? I mean, shouldn't they be praying that police and prosecutors do the right thing in this case? Shouldn't they be thanking God for Wilma Cline who reported these crimes? Rush has the best legal team money can buy (someone once said that a civil libertarian is a conservative who is under investigation). When you have a top defense attorney like Roy Black on your team, you don't need God.
Gracias to Tom of the new blog PointZero for pointing this site out to me.
UPDATE: Apparently there were so many mockers like me who pointed out the site that the site owner shut it down.
Posting Soon MS Word won't let me use the file I wrote my essay on so I'll have to do it again. I just got back from the polling place. I voted "no" on the recall even though I wasn't particularly enthusiastic about voting to keep Davis in. In 1998, I supported Al Checchi against Davis in the primaries. I think it has been a terrible shame that primary voters chose Davis instead.
Sympathy, cont'd Limbaugh on Kurt Cobain's suicide: "...Kurt Cobain was, ladies and gentlemen, he was a worthless shred of human debris, who had been trying to kill himself for 12 years, and finally did it right, by using a shotgun, so he couldn't miss..." (thanks to Phillip)
Endorsements 1. Vote No on the recall of Governor Gray Davis (no relation)
2. Vote for candidate Cruz Bustamente for Governor.
3. Vote No on Proposition 53
4. Vote No on Proposition 54
5. If Arnold Schwarzenegger becomes governor, then I am in favor of the recall of Governor Schwarzenegger (I wish for this to occur with all deliberate speed).
Was He Really That Bad? Regarding Rush Limbaugh's really, really bad week, I noted the other day that gloating about someone else's private troubles is bad karma. I've also received some emails inquiring as to how bad Limbaugh has been regarding other people's personal troubles. These are just two small examples (I can give many more) of Limbaugh's attitude regarding the personal suffering of others as well as the presumption of innocence of political opponents.
1) When David Brock's phony Troopergate story came out in the American Spectator, Rush was on vacation. Bob Dornan was guest host and treated the allegations as established fact. When Limbaugh came back to host the show after his vacation, his first words on the matter were , "ha ha ha ha ha." There were no retractions when the troopers stories fell apart.
2) During the 1990's, Limbaugh had a song parody. It was to the tune of the Doobie Brothers song Black Water:
Well, we bought us some land, but we didn't make money.
Got us some cash from our pal's S&L.
That bank is defunct and the feds are a'calling.
Cause we cost the taxpayers a cool 60 mil.
Oh, Whitewater, keep stonewalling,
Bill and Hillary just keep on lying to me.
Oh, Whitewater, keep stonewalling,
Democratic Congress keeps denying.
Oh, Whitewater, keep stonewalling,
We did nothing wrong, won't you just stop picking on me?
We'll keep telling our lies, going to shred every thing, pretty momma,
Going to shred everything in sight.
But we ain't got no worries, `cause we won't face a jury, no
If they indict, we don't care, don't make no difference to us.
Still got those sweet cattle futures back home.
Yeah, we can make another hundred grand with just a few bucks down.
And we'll be helping Tyson Chicken get around.
Poor Vince Foster, seems we lost ya,
Cleaned out your office on the double.
Webster Hubble, made us stumble,
Another Rose partner is in trouble.
Oh, Whitewater, keep stonewalling, we did nothing wrong,
Won't you just stop picking on me?
We'll keep telling our lies,
Gonna shred every thing, everything, gonna shred everything in sight.
And there's no moral problem with Hillary Rodham, no
Going to buy some funky lake-front land,
Pretty bank going to take me by the hand,
By the hand, take me by the hand, Jimmy Dougal,
Don't you fret, momma, `bout no RTC.
Want to buy some funky lake-front land,
Now the feds want to cuff me by the hand.
I want some land, take me by the hand, Jimmy Dougal,
Gonna lie to your momma all night long.
What they want to know across the land
Well, was the gun in poor Vince Foster's hand?
Oh, by the hand, take me by the hand, Jimmy Dougal,
Don't you fret, momma, `bout no RTC.
And if you don't like us as President,
Momma, wait `til Al and Tipper get in.
Oh, by the hand, man, take me by the hand, Slicky Willy,
Gonna to lie your momma all night long.
What they want to know across the land,
Well, was the gun in poor Vince Foster's hand?
Note: Perhaps there's a songwriter out there who would like to do a song about Limbaugh's current troubles to the tune of Mother's Little Helper.
Wish I Said It Michael Tomasky: "When W. and Rove hear the word 'traitor,' they think not of their country. They think of their agenda. And anyone who doesn't go along with it is guilty of treason." Read the entire article.
Hmmmm Rush's radio show just started and he is began by glibly discussing his experiences in Philly yesterday. About three minutes into the show, he started to tell his listeners about the bond he had with them. He's beginning to discuss the drug allegations. I will update.
9:15 AM PST UPDATE: Limbaugh said about the drug investigation that he doesn't know what he's dealing with and he doesn't want to comment on it right now. Transcript forthcoming.
UPDATE: Here's the transcript of Limbaugh's comments on the drug allegations. After effusively thanking his radio listeners, Limbaugh briefly addressed the drug allegations:
I’m a little frustrated that I haven’t yet gotten to the bottom of what all this is about and I’m very much desirous of telling you about this. But until I know exactly what this is--and I don’t yet—it just makes no sense to start delving into it. I don’t want to deal with hypotheticals and I don’t want to respond to what the press—I’m very tempted—I’m not going to even go there. But, I want to say: trust me. Look, it makes no sense for me to go there. I’m not even going to tell you how to look at that stuff that’s in the press. It’s just—I’m not even going to characterize it yet. Just trust me on this: when I find out all that this is, that, aside from those that are closest to me in my personal and business orb, you all are very close to the personal orb, you are going to be among the first to know—from me. Now the ESPN thing...
Post forthcoming I will post on the Limbaugh drug controversy soon. Yes, gloating is bad, and if it is bad karma, then I am guilty as charged. What can I say? Note to those referred by Atrios: scroll down for the past couple weeks, I have plenty of posts on Limbaugh's words and deeds. Also, check out the sidebar for my calls to his show.
UPDATE: I'll post later. Schaudenfreude is a bad-karmic emotion, especially when it comes to a person's personal troubles. If any right-wingers want to gloat, then here's some ammo: the reason I'm postponing the post is that I got passed over for a civil service position due to employer misconduct by the County of Los Angeles and I'm consulting with people to see if I have any recourse. Also, on Bill O'Reilly's radio show, O'Reilly said that Fox News is reporting that other sources are coming forward to confirm that Limbaugh attempted to obtain drugs from them.
I have been listening to the guy for the past twelve years. Aside from being a paranoid (and hateful) conspiracy theorist (e.g., scroll down to yesterday’s post on Vince Foster), Limbaugh is a racist. Let’s look at the record. I’ll report and you decide. I remember on Limbaugh’s television show (which was produced by Roger Ailes of the Fair and Balanced network) how Limbaugh tried to convince his audience, against all evidence, that the cops who beat Rodney King were innocent. Guess who said this: "He's [Strom Thurmond] not encumbered by being politically correct.... If you want to know what America used to be--and a lot of people wish it still were--then you listen to Strom Thurmond." If you guessed Trent Lott, you’re wrong; it was El Rushbo. On the subject of Lott: when there was speculation that Lott would resign from the Senate last December, here’s how Limbaugh weighed in on the issue (Sadly, I was the only one to report this):
The Democrats in Mississippi look to be ready to nominate Mike Espy, the former agriculture secretary, to be the new senator from Mississippi that would replace Lott. That'd be a double whammy, to get a Democrat plus an African-American in there to take Trent Lott's seat. That takes the Senate back to 50-50, with Dick Cheney breaking tie votes.
Jeff Cohen and Steve Rendell reported on Limbaugh’s comments on race when Limbaugh was being considered for a commentator position on ABC’s Monday Night Football. Here are some choice quotes by Limbaugh:
To a black caller: "Take that bone out of your nose and call me back."
"Have you ever noticed how all composite pictures of wanted criminals resemble Jesse Jackson?"
"The NAACP should have riot rehearsal. They should get a liquor store and practice robberies."
Limbaugh obviously hasn’t learned anything from these episodes. Last week, I reported that Limbaugh had a parody of Gone With The Wind that also parodied the Democratic presidential candidates. When the announcer in the parody said Carol Moseley-Braun's name, a sound-alike of Butterfly McQueen screams, "I don't know nothin' about runnin' for no president!"
If Limbaugh isn't a racist, then I'm the Lord Mayor of London.
Limbaugh’s Pill-gate: Everyone Is On Drugs I’ve said it before: as someone who monitors the hard right (and the members of the mainstream media who give the hard right a free pass), I feel like the hapless teacher in Fast Times At Ridgemont High, Mr. Hand (played by the late great Ray Walston) who by the end of the movie was convinced that everyone was on drugs. That’s how I feel when I see how hatchet men and women like Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, and Sean Hannity have gained tens of millions of devotees and have received acceptance from much of the mainstream media, despite their extensive histories of transparent dishonesty, slander, and political dirty tricks that have not only harmed politicians but often people who have no dog in the fight.
I think that if the revelations about Limbaugh’s alleged drug use turn out to be true (and I’m willing to bet Limbaugh’s pal William Bennett that they are true; see Addendum), then it’s a good thing for America. I don’t think it’s good because I want Limbaugh to suffer (as I told Drudge on his radio show, I didn’t want him to suffer; I just wanted him to tell the truth), but because a scandal like this (and a possible prison term) would remove Limbaugh’s voice from the public debate. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not afraid of taking on Limbaugh and his lies on his own turf, but the mainstream media has been derelict in addressing Limbaugh’s hate-filled propaganda and millions of Americans are swayed by Limbaugh’s poisonous memes. I’m echoing Michael Kinsley’s thoughts about William Bennett’s compulsive gambling when I make the following observation about Limbaugh: hillbilly heroin is not my first-choice vice if I were designing this fantasy-come-true from scratch. But it will do. It will definitely do.
My first choice vice that I wish had led to Limbaugh’s downfall is his destructive and intellectually dishonest rhetoric. It would have been great if members of the mainstream media had addressed Limbaugh’s hateful words and paranoid conspiracy theories years ago, and it led to a situation similar to that faced by Limbaugh’s spiritual ancestor, Joe McCarthy (for a far from exhaustive list of Limbaugh’s hatemongering, see my post from the past two weeks—especially the 9/30 post that indicates that Limbaugh is still adhering to the Scaife-inspired Clinton Body Count; also click here and here). Unfortunately, there are no latter-day Edward R. Murrows in the mainstream media who have stepped up to the plate; today’s breed of journalists have been apologists for Limbaugh; included in those ranks are Ted Koppel, Howard Kurtz, Tom Brokaw, and, until recently, the people at ESPN. If we lived in a just world, Limbaugh’s career would have been destroyed by the exposure of his hatemongering and calumny.
In fact, the drug allegations allow me to see Limbaugh as a human being. Although I wouldn’t touch any of the drugs Limbaugh is accused of using with a ten-foot pole (see the disclosure at the end of this post), I can understand someone who has a drug problem. Drug abuse is a common response to problems that people face in life. I can sympathize with people who have substance abuse problems. On the other hand, I can’t understand someone who, day-after-day and year-after-year, spews Limbaugh’s brand of hate speech. As is the case with Karl Rove, Limbaugh sees political enemies’s families as “fair game.” A case in point, right after Vince Foster’s suicide, Limbaugh suggested to his radio listeners that the reason there were no public statements by Foster’s widow was because of fear because she knew what the Clintons had done to her husband. To Freepers lurking on this site, let me diagram this for you: Limbaugh pretends to express concern for a bereaved widow while fostering an atmosphere in which Foster’s widow’s pain was extended. What is ironic is that what might lead to Limbaugh’s downfall is his human weakness, not his inhuman and soulless behavior on his radio and television shows.
Perhaps something good can come out of this sordid affair. People who successfully deal with substance abuse problems are told to make amends and come clean about past misdeeds. Sincere apologies to Vince Foster’s family and the Clinton family would be a good start.
[Disclosure: I have never used or even heard of OxyContin, Lorcet and hydrocodone. The only illegal substance I have any significant experience with was the drug of choice in Fast Times At Ridgemont High; however, I never used it to the point of being in a state in which I hit myself on the head with one of my Vans (if you don’t know what I mean by this, rent the Fast Times DVD).]
Addendum: Even though one of the writers at National Review is raising doubts about Limbaugh’s innocence, I believe that Limbaugh, like any American, should have a presumption of innocence—even though it was never something he wished for the Clintons. I believe that any investigation should be handled with professionalism and should be done by impartial investigators who have no ax to grind; I write this even though Limbaugh had no misgivings about serious questions about the impartiality of Kenneth Starr and his investigation.
Shut The Hell Up Scaife hatchet man Joseph Farah has a message in yesterday’s column in WorldNetDaily: “The Democrats are playing a deceitful dangerous game bordering on treason.” What chutzpah. This paid lackey of Scaife who attempted to give respectability to Scaife’s crackpot conspiracy theories about President Clinton is suggesting that Democrats are close to being traitors for doing such things as criticizing the Bush regime’s actions.
On the other hand, the Bush crew’s intimidation of critics, which included blowing the cover of a CIA operative, is not treason in Farah's mind; in Farah’s view, it’s a “non-story.” Farah thinks it’s okay for Karl Rove to treat the families of critics like Joseph Wilson as “fair game.” What a douchebag. Write Farah at email@example.com and tell him he’s wrong.