by Scoobie Davis
The Ugly Truth about Fox News Democrat Tammy Bruce
I'm posting the transcript of a brief but revealing on-air conversation with Fox News Democrat Tammy Bruce who was guest-hosting for Larry Elder’s talk radio show last Friday. I’ll use that conversation to discuss a broader and more important issue: People posing as progressives and Democrats whom we need to turn our backs to (My short list of pseudo-Democrats includes Bruce, Alan Colmes, Zell Miller, and Susan Estrich).
Here’s the back story on Bruce: I first heard of Bruce when she was promoting her first book, The New Thought Police on Dennis Prager’s radio show. She portrayed herself as a lesbian Democrat who was upset about the intolerance on the left (no disagreement there—much of the left that professes to be tolerant is tolerant only on its own terms). She then defended Dr. Laura against the supposed lynch mob on the left which opposed her homophobic views. I thought this was strange and I thought it was even more odd when I found out that Bruce’s column was carried by two members of the Scaife Internet Network (more on this later). I wrote an open letter to Bruce because I wanted to know what her deal was (the open letter elaborates on the preceding points).
Later, I found out that Bruce was a news analyst for the Roger Ailes’ Fox Propaganda Network. Then I read the recent series on Bruce in the Daily Howler (click here and read between 12/16 to 12/19). I concluded that it’s time for someone to tell Bruce to get her raggedy ass out of the Democratic Party. I felt it was up to me to step up and be the one to tell her where she can go—but I wanted to do it in a polite way and give salient reasons for my wish. I’ll discuss these reasons more after the transcript.
Before I go any further, let me answer potential objections about telling someone to leave a political party. I believe that the Democratic Party should be a big tent full of divergent views on issues. However, when a person purporting to be a Democrat, 1) devotes her energies largely to slamming the Democratic Party in unconstructive ways; and 2) gives credibility to people who want to destroy the Democratic Party through any means necessary, then it’s appropriate to tell that person to get bent.
First things first: here’s the transcript of the on-air conversation (I posed as Joseph from LA):
BRUCE: Let’s got to Joseph. Joseph, welcome to the Larry Elder Show. You’re on with Tammy Bruce.
SCOOBIE: Hello, Ms. Bruce.
BRUCE: Hi there.
SCOOBIE: Let me just say: the GOP needs people like you. And I say that as a Democrat because the difference between me and you is that I believe that people like Roger Ailes and Chris Ruddy should be exposed and discredited, whereas you take money from them to give these hatchet men-
BRUCE: Before Joseph, before we go on the ad hominem attacks here, and without getting--because you won't be able to give me details about exposed for what it is—-exposed what?
SCOOBIE: I can back up everything I say about your friends Chris Ruddy and--
BRUCE: Exposed what?
SCOOBIE: These are hatchet men who were involved in a giant dirty tricks operation--
[BRUCE MUTES SCOOBIE; MUTING IS A COMMON TACTIC OF TALK RADIO JOCKS]
BRUCE: Oh please. And there’re going to be black helicopters over your house in one second. I try to provide some kind of reasonable forum in which people with who--you can disagree [and] you can talk and you can discuss things. And there’s nothing I say that you don’t where it’s coming from or where I'm coming from. And, you know, if I'm going to talk about Howard Dean, I’m going to read my own words about him to you—that's what I'm going to do. [Note: I got past the screener by telling him that I wanted to respond to some of Bruce’s comments on Howard Dean’s foreign policy statements] Chris Ruddy, by the way, is a friend of mine. I like him a great deal. He runs NewsMax.com which is where my column runs—and I’m proud of that. NewsMax.com is a site you should go and enjoy and learn things—whether you agree with it or not. It’s just disappointing. It's disappointing when there’s so much we could in having a decent conversation. Part of why I took this call was that Mike had—I’m sure at some point this fellow had said that I was misrepresenting Howard Dean’s views. Well, I've just given you quotes from Howard Dean. So, is Howard Dean misrepresenting Howard Dean’s views? It's bizarre, is what they are. That's all. It's not even like I disagree. They're bizarre. They're as bizarre as claiming that there is this worldwide conspiracy and I just can't-- Save that for the overnight programs about spaceships and black helicopters. Save them and the rest of us will get on with the business of saving this nation.
When the caller after me complained that Dean supporters were "like a cult" and cited my call to support this (Note: I’m a Wesley Clark supporter). Here is how Bruce’s responded:
BRUCE: ...There's the individual like the person we heard from before who--and this is what I challenge in both of my books--are generic statements that are meant to not be dealt with in detail--that are supposed to--and this is what the left does--is name-calling and generic ad hominem statements about attacking individuals instead of dealing with details.
REALITY: Let's discuss my request and the reasoning behind it as well as Bruce's nonresponse. Bruce spends most of her time in print and on TV posing as a Democrat but is receiving money from and aiding those whose agenda is to destroy the Democratic party. In my call, I cited Roger Ailes and Christopher Ruddy. Bruce's column also appears in FrontPage Magazine run by David Horowitz. Ruddy and Horowitz are key components of the Scaife Internet Network. Ruddy was an important part of the ghoulish attempt by the right to pin the death of Vince Foster on the Clintons. So was Ailes (click here) and G. Gordon Liddy (Bruce is a regular on Liddy’s hate radio show). Also, Bruce is supportive of Sean Hannity whose hatred of Bill Clinton is so great that he spread both Sudanese and Moonie propaganda in lame attempts to discredit the former president.
If Bruce wants to give credibility to this rogue’s gallery of wing nuts, it's a free country. I also have a right to point out that she’s a media whore and ask her what her problem is. I thought it was a little ironic when she suggested I was deluded for pointing out Ruddy’s and Ailes’ misdeeds; the fact are obvious to anyone who bothers to look at their words and actions.
UPDATE: A reader reminded me that Bruce's "good friend" Christopher Ruddy was also involved in a Scaife-subsidized attempt to implicate the Clintons in the Ron Brown's death. What a dick. Also, on my short list of people who should leave the Democratic Party, I forgot to include Ed Koch, washed-up nobody and contributer to Ruddy's NewsMax who is endorsing George W. Bush in 2004. No surprise there, right after President Carter bailed out New York City under Koch's incompetent rule, Koch was cozy with candidate Ronald Reagan during the 1980 election campaign. Carter's press secretary Jody Powell later called Koch one of the biggest political ingrates in history. If you want a good primer on Tammy Bruce, check out the articles in the Daily Howler December 16 through 20.
10/04 ADDITIONAL UPDATE: True to form, Bruce supported the Swift Boat Liars and Carlton Sherwood during the presidential campaign. I confronted Bruce about Sherwood's journalistic misconduct on her show. Click here for a transcript and more details.
11/04 UPDATE: C-SPAN viewers who saw Tammy Bruce at Florida State, click here for an amusing post.
Tammy Bruce Links: Jeff Koopersmith has a good article in American Politics Journal. Also, in mid-December 2003, The Daily Howler did a series of posts on Bruce: scroll down to December 16-19. Here's more about Fox News Democrats.
12/04 UPDATE: here's an article by me on Bruce as self-loathing lesbian.