Gotta Go (at Least for a While) I have to go on hiatus for real for a while. It’s kind of a pity because the one-year anniversary of Scoobie Davis Online is February 11. Let me just detail some of the best moments of the blog for the past year:
The film industry is great if it works out. I had a couple deals that fell through—and a couple associates who were not as reliable as they said they were. I thank all who have contributed to me through the Amazon Honor System. February is my last month at my apartment-I’m on hiatus because I’m job-hunting and scrambling for cash. Rent is almost due so if you like what you read here, then a couple bucks would be great. If a few people could donate a few bucks, it would help out—as Dick Cheney would say--big time. Over and out--for a while.
Success I spoke with O'Reilly's screener today and he told me that it wasn't a good idea to have people jamming the phone lines. He also told me that if I called and had a legitimate beef with anything O'Reilly was saying, he would put me in the front of the line. Thanks to all who called this morning.
I was listening to Bill O’Reilly’s radio program and he was railing against New Jersey's poet laureate, Amiri Baraka for his conspiracy theory that Israel knew about the 9/11 attacks before they occurred. I have no disagreement on this matter; Baraka is a loon and a hatemonger. However, I found it hypocritical that O’Reilly has given credibility to people whose hateful and vile conspiracy theories rival those of Baraka; in fact they are worse because O’Reilly’s conspiracy theorist colleagues, unlike Baraka, have not been marginalized. Their hateful views have been disseminated to tens of millions of Americans. No price has been paid for their hatemongering.
Who am I referring to? To those of you familiar with this blog, you probably know: O’Reilly receives paychecks from two of the leading figures of the Vince-Foster-was-murdered-by-the-Clintons school of conspiracy-mongering: alleged humans Roger Ailes and Joseph Farah--more on the noxious activities of these two later.
So I called the show and told the screener I thought it was hypocritical that O’Reilly was criticizing Baraka when he needed to clean up his own backyard. Surprisingly, the screener put me on hold and told me to wait to be on the show. However, when I got on the show and began to confront O’Reilly about the conspiracy theories in his closet, he muted me and slandered me without giving me a chance to complete my point. In essence, O’Reilly sealed off meaningful discussion before it even began. Mr. No-Spin was spinning like a top. Here’s the transcript:
O’REILLY: Let’s go to LA, Jesse [I used a pseudonym] is on the line. Jesse, you’re in the zone, go.
SCOOBIE: Hello, Mr. O’Reilly. I think it’s really gratuitous and hypocritical for you to be getting on Mr. Baraka’s case because, I mean, one thing about it is that you’ve been doing the criticism about his lunatic conspiracy theories. That’s hypocritical especially considering how you’ve received paychecks from two of the leading people who were behind the protracted smear campaign claiming that Vince Foster was murdered by the Clintons.
O’REILLY: See you, Jesse.
[O’Reilly mutes Scoobie]
SCOOBIE [MUTED TO THE RADIO AUDIENCE]: Excuse me, sir. I can back what I’m saying.
O’REILLY: But again, ladies and gentleman, there’s a reason we put these people on the air, like Jesse. Number one, we want to hear from all points of view. But all they have to combat my point of view and my analysis—which is based on fact and reason, I believe. All they have is that kind of insane stuff. Vince Foster. How did Vince Foster get into this at all? That’s it. That’s all they have. Now the encouraging part is it seems that The Radio Factor is now being received in crack dens all the country.
O’REILLY: We’re expanding our audience [crosstalk] We’re kind of getting into the people that don’t usually listen to talk radio pass the pipe [sic]. All right, we’ll take a quick break...
REALITY: Let’s look at the truth. I am actually someone who listens to talk radio (but who knows better than to take it seriously). For the past ten years of listening to talk radio, I have heard vicious rumors, conspiracy theories, and disinformation that defy belief; Amiri Baraka is a piker compared to Limbaugh or Michael Savage. I have also listened to commercials geared to people who take talk radio seriously--ads for baldness cures, shaky commodities investments, herbal impotence cures, Hooked on Phonics, and diet supplements later banned by the FDA. These advertisers of shaky products are not stupid; they know where to find gullible people.
O’Reilly asks: “How did Vince Foster get into this at all?” I suppose this is a rhetorical question because I was on mute, but here’s my answer: perhaps O’Reilly should ask Farah and Ailes. Those are the two men who had O’Reilly in their hire (Ailes is O’Reilly’s boss at Fox News and O’Reilly wrote a column for Farah’s WorldNetDaily). Foster’s family was in the process of mourning when moral lepers like Ailes, Farah, Ted Olson, and Limbaugh began spreading the reckless allegations that the Clintons murdered Foster. Richard Scaife funded Farah’s front group the Western Journalism Center to give credibility to the laughably erroneous “journalism” by Chris Ruddy (click here and here for articles on Farah and .WJC).
As executive producer of Limbaugh TV show, Ailes supported Limbaugh’s allegations that Foster was a victim of foul play by the Clintons. According to Ailes, "The guy who's been doing an excellent job for the New York Post [Chris Ruddy]...for the first time on the Rush Limbaugh show said that...he did not believe it was suicide.... Now, I don't have any evidence.... These people are very good at hiding or destroying evidence." Ailes also engaged in the following innuendo according to Howard Kurtz: referring to the lawyers that Hillary Rodham Clinton brought to Washington, including Vince Foster, Ailes said that one was under investigation, "one was forced to resign . . . and one's dead. I wouldn't stand too close to her."
The poisonous rhetoric and conspracies put forth by Farah and Ailes about Foster are a paranoiac’s wet dream (ironically, O'Reilly called Hillary Clinton "a liar" for pointing out that there was a concerted effort to smear her and her husband). I simply wanted to address how O’Reilly’s bosses had gotten away with engaging in the same type of conspiracy-mongering he was rightfully attacking Baraka for. For this, I am accused of using crack? Could someone explain this to me?
Here’s What I’m Asking people to do: Make Friday January 24, 2003 Jam-The-Phone-Lines-On-The-O’Reilly-Factor-Radio-Show. The show is from noon to 2:00 EST. The phone number is 1-877-966-7746. If you can, listen to the topics O’Reilly is discussing and try to get on the air. Not too many people call the show and it’s not hard to get through to the screener. If you get on the show with O’Reilly, confront him in whatever way you feel is appropriate. If just a few dozen people are able to get through to the show, his lines will be jammed. That’s all I’m asking.
Hiatus I’m going on hiatus for a while. That won’t mean that I won’t post to this site; I will just do it on a less frequent basis. I would have done this earlier in the month but a friend in the mainstream media sent me a copy of The Savage Nation and I had to respond to it. I simply can’t afford to devote as much time to this blog. I wasn’t kidding when I wrote that I wasn’t current on the rent—I had to borrow to pay January’s rent; I don’t want to do that for February so I am embarking on securing a more stable means of income (if you like what I’ve done on this blog and you’d like to contribute to my Amazon Honor System on the left sidebar, then it would be greatly appreciated).
In addition, I doing some film work that, while it isn’t paying now, should pay off in the future; I need to devote more time to it. I also have some political work that doesn’t need to be revealed right now. My suggestions for bloggers:
1.Jam talk radio. Get your message out. Take on Limbaugh, O’Reilly, and Hannity when they don’t tell the truth (which is often). Make sure you record it. If they have to respond to a caller who knows what he/she is talking about, they won’t know what hit them. (e.g., this recent call to Limbaugh as well as my call to Limbaugh a couple years ago).
2. Look for a subject in which you can be the first one to address the issue. For instance, back in June, my blog was averaging about 25 hits a day. I read about Ann Coulter’s new book, got an advance copy and was first out of the blocks to criticize it. My hits-per-day increased thirty-fold and have stayed high.
3. Read my post-election advice. Focus on what I wrote about Sun Myung Moon.
4. I’ll have other pointers over the next few days.
Important post on The Savage Nation On The Savage Nation blog, I have an article on the unholy alliance behind the publication of The Savage Nation. Read it and I strongly urge you to e-mail Louetta Sayne of Thomas Nelson Publishing at LSayne@ThomasNelson.com and ask her why her company is behind this alliance with con artists like Joseph Farah and Savage.
More Film Stuff I snuck into a press screening for The Guru. I enjoyed it (I'm a big fan of Bollywood, which was lampooned in the film). If I can scrap up enough cash, I'm going to see the Brazilian flick City of God; I have heard nothing but good things about this film. The Los Angeles Times gave a good review for National Security. I disagree with the review. If you see it over the weekend, let me know what you think. I have a Savage-related post that I will have up in the next two hours.
Weird Web Searches I love looking at my Sitemeter reports to see how people came across this web site. I noticed over the past two days, there have been at least five times that people have gotten to this site using a Google or Yahoo search with the words "Clarence Thomas Court TV gig in 2000" Anyone have an idea of what this is about?
Last night, the world premiere after-party for National Security was cool; however, I failed at my goal of successfully pitching my documentary film project there. Nevertheless, I met some interesting people there. I didn’t see the film itself last night (I saw it at an advance screening Tuesday). Essentially it is a buddy film starring Martin Lawrence and Steve Zahn; unfortunately, as a buddy film, it was closer to Black Sheep than Road to Morocco. There was a scene filmed at the car wash a block away from my apartment building—the filmgoer can see a lot of my ‘hood in that scene.
In other film news, synchronicity. The Volkswagen “Bubble” commercial for the Beetle convertible is one of my favorite commercials of all time (see it here). It shows a young “organization man” in training going to his office job repeatedly and then having an epiphany when he sees the VW convertible from his office window. When I first saw it, it reminded me of the late 1960’s feel of Roman Coppola’s film CQ. When I checked out the director of “Bubble” (Mike Mills), I found out that he and Coppola founded a production company together. CQ should be on video now; I highly recommend it.
My most recent post on the Savage Nation blog titled "Savage Racism" that looks at the racism in The Savage Nation. While I was listening to Savage’s radio show today, he discussed being on CNN's TalkBack Live with Arthel Neville today in which he had a heated debate with former pro basketball player Charles Barkley. On his radio show, Savage called TalkBack Live “hate television at its lowest level.”
On TalkBack Live, Savage said the following witty things to Barkley: You couldn’t shine my shoes, buster.” and “Learn your history, brother! Learn your history, brother!” On the radio show, Savage expressed his thoughts on Barkley being on CNN: “But this an example of the mentality that Walter Isaacson pays for on CNN and this is the white liberal hiring these kind of people—you know just what I’m saying—I’m not going to mince words—making their statements have merit when there’s virtually nothing there. There’s no there there.”
I think Barkley summed it up well on the TalkBack Live: “Michael is one of those guys who is really really smart but is a dumbass.”
Finally I was finally able to get a site working that I will use as a critique site for The Savage Nation. Click here. Right as I speak, Savage is talking with Scaife-shill Christopher Ruddy on his radio show. In other Savage news, Sir Charles Barkley took on Savage on CNN's TalkBack Live with Arthel Neville; it was amusing. Also, tonight I will have a post on Savage's racism.
In the book The Savage Nation, one of Michael Savage’s many whipping boys are trial lawyers (scroll down to my previous post and look at item 16 of what Savage in his fantasy world believes is Al Gore’s agenda). Savage also bashes trial lawyers on his radio show for being excessively litigious. It seems that Savage doesn’t practice what he preaches because he was part of one of the most frivolous lawsuits in California history. I posted an article on it on HorowitzWatch because Savage used one of David Horowitz’s front groups to waste taxpayer dollars on his silly lawsuit (it was against the University Of California at Berkeley). Also, when I was doing research, I discovered that Savage wrote some quack medicine books under his birth name Michael A. Weiner. This is surreal.
Someone once said that if 1000 monkeys are on typewriters long enough, eventually one will type a Shakespeare play. Perhaps this is true. I do know that a few thousand monkeys on keyboards were able to create the Free Republic web site. These are the kinds of thoughts that go through my mind when I read The Savage Nation by Michael Savage; the incoherence is staggering. It also staggers me that as I write this, The Savage Nation is number four on Amazon.com.
Here is Savage’s satirical (?) take on Al Gore’s supposed agenda:
Okay, we all know it’s not about Al Goreleone [sic], head of the Goreleone Crime Syndicate. Gore, we must remember, is “his own man.” No, our concern is about his agenda. In fact, I recently imagined a highly classified document from Al’s personal journal which spelled out what America might anticipate with Al Gore in the White House.
GORE’S CONTRACT AGAINST AMERICA
1. Homosexuals in the military and homosexual marriage.
2. Affirmative action, or The Fairness for Dummies Act
3. Reparations for non-slaves by non-slaveholders
4. Hate-crime laws aimed at straight, white males
5. Racial profiling laws, aimed at straight, white police
6. A United Nations tax or a world tax
7. Free prescription drugs not only for the elderly but also for AIDS patients
8. Delegitimizing the Boy Scouts, or The Fairness to Predators Act
9. Outlawing homeschooling, or The Freedom from Learning Act
10. Arrest [sic], ban, or rewrite the authentic Bible as a hate book
11. Mandatory application of Ritalin to any child with spunk, or The Security for Children Act
12. Complete elimination of borders with Mexico, or, The Fairness to Latinos Act
13. Partial-birth abortion or infanticide and the sale of baby body parts, or The Senior Citizen Life Extension Act
14. Increased license for Hollywood’s violence and pornography, or The Freedom of Arts Act
15. Socialized medicine and a national health plan, or The Freedom from Bad Behavior Act
16. The No Limits on Lawsuits Act
17. Mandatory suicide for sick seniors, or The Saving Social Security Act
18. The Fairness in Talk Radio Act, i.e., the end of talk radio
19. The end of the Electoral College and the congressional redistricting of America to ensure that never again will the Demoncats [sic] be threatened, or The One Dunce, One Vote Act
20. The complete seizing of all guns, or The Freedom from the Second Amendment Act
21. The abolition of our existing Constitution or The Freedom From Freedom Act
If this were intended to humorous, there’s one problem: there are no punch lines. In order to be good satire, something has to remotely reflect the target of ridicule. Except for perhaps affirmative action and gays in the military, there’s nothing in this agenda that Gore even remotely supports. It’s just invective word salad. I suspect item two was included just as an excuse for Savage to make a racist insult. Some of the alleged parts of Gore’s agenda don’t make any sense such as item 19; elimination of the Electoral College and congressional redistricting would do nothing to ensure that Democrats will never have their power threatened. Some agenda items contradict others—e.g., Savage seems to think that Gore is in favor of sacrificing babies to extend the lives of the sick elderly (item 13) but also that Gore is in favor getting rid of these same elderly sick people (item 17) AND giving them free prescription drugs (item 7). Which is it?
I realize this guy isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer, but I expect some internal consistency. Where were the book editors? Oops. I just realized that the publisher is WorldNetDaily.
Front n. a person or organization serving as a cover for subversive or illegal activities.
In Michael Savage’s book The Savage Nation, he makes some odd charges against various groups. For instance, Savage uses the term “radical front group” to describe The League of Women Voters and The Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (p. 187). When such a serious accusation is made against an organization, the burden rests with the accuser to let us know who or what is behind the alleged front. Savage leaves this out altogether—apparently Savage knows that his audience is comprised of people who aren’t concerned with such matters.
For the benefit of those not familiar with the concept of front groups and how they operate, let me give a textbook example of a front group that is close to Savage: The Western Journalism Center (WJC). WJC is headed by Joseph Farah who also runs WorldNetDaily (which published Savage Nation). In its heyday in the 1990’s, WJC was a Scaife-subsidized front group disguised as a journalistic organization. It engaged in a series of dirty tricks; the best known of WJC’s dirty tricks was its full-page newspaper ads that supported “reporter” Christopher Ruddy’s error-laden conspiracy theories regarding the “mysterious death” of Vince Foster, a favorite paranoid delusion that has obsessed Scaife (60 Minutes investigated Ruddy’s “reporting” on Foster’s death and exposed Ruddy as a fraud; even Ann Coulter referred to Ruddy’s book on the matter as a “conservative hoax book”). Trudy Lieberman wrote a great article about the incestuous echo chamber that Scaife and Farah created in order to give legs to Ruddy’s smears. Lieberman quotes Farah: “We can reach key legislators, key journalists, key radio talk show hosts...It's an easy, inexpensive way to make sure Chris Ruddy's work just doesn't appear in Pittsburgh and just die."
WJC also used similar tactics in an attempt to give credence to the discredited stories of the Arkansas troopers who had been Bill Clinton’s bodyguards. Here was what happened: The troopers were paid by Scaife to tell lies to a “reporter” (David Brock) from a Scaife-funded journal (The American Spectator); in order to give credibility to this dirty tricks operation, a Scaife-funded front group (the Western Journalism Center) disguised as a journalistic organization give a “journalism award” to Brock for his “reporting.” In addition, Scaife-beneficiary Ruddy sold tapes of one of the trooper’s allegations. Ironically, after Brock came clean and repudiated the Troopergate dirty tricks operation (years after the troopers admitted they were lying for pay), Farah’s reaction was to treat the discredited allegations by the troopers as established fact and accused Brock of mendacity. It is not only Farah who is citing the troopers years after their stories were shown to be false. Recently, in an attempt to provide cover for Trent Lott, Sean Hannity repeated charges by one of the discredited troopers that Bill Clinton used the “N” word. This answers Savage’s question about why left-wing audiences don’t support talk radio. Answer: we don’t like being lied to.
Note: I’m having problems posting to the sites devoted to assessing Savage Nation so I will post on SDO right now.
Whenever I listen to Savage’s show, it’s as if I am watching a film in which the words of the actors are incongruent with their objective circumstances because they lack information that the audience possesses—a situation called dramatic irony. I had given the previous example of when Savage referred to Trent Lott’s speech in which he longed for a Strom Thurmond presidency as being only “innocent comments” and then referred to the members of the Congressional Black Caucus who dared to criticize Lott as “a lynch mob.” It seems to be lost on Savage that the 1948 Thurmond campaign had the goal of preventing the passing of anti-lynching laws in the South.
I was fortunate enough to listen to Savage’s show yesterday (yesterday I had mentioned how I found Savage’s show too repulsive to listen to; I forced myself to listen—the sacrifices I make for my readers). After listening to his show yesterday (1/6/03), I reached a conclusion: Savage is a complete whackjob. Let me give one example: when Savage was discussing the most recent homicide bombings in Israel with a caller named Kurt and after explaining why “homicide bomber” is a more apt term that “suicide bomber,” he went on a progressively incoherent rant:
You know what’s disturbing, Kurt? It’s that the radical left-wing media—which is all of them—actually have the audacity to give the names of the human scum who blow themselves up. They’re not human. They’re lower than human clones...I’ll tell you the names of the humans. Here are the names of the humans who were blown up by the human scum yesterday...
Savage then read the list of the victims in the bombing. After Savage read the list, he screamed the following diatribe:
I may as well be reading you a death list from Hitler’s death camps. Have a nice day, moron. You’re the ones who did it. You liberals are the descendents of Adolf Hitler, only you don’t know it. You’re the most dangerous people on planet Earth. I am your enemy. I am your worst nightmare. I will expose you. I know who you are and I know you’re suicidal and I’m going to expose you until this government acts finally to stop you. I am not kidding you. I’m telling it as it is.
Don’t ask me what he’s talking about—I’m just the transcriber. More ironic were the comments right after this rant full of non-sequiturs: Savage went to another caller:
SAVAGE: San Francisco. Alex, you’re on the Savage Nation.
CALLER ALEX: I think the reason why you do so well on radio—as well as most conservatives—because you exude and encourage the traditional American values and that’s one of the reasons why you won me over...
A Call To Action I finally got a copy of Savage Nation by Michael Savage. It is a loathsome book. I have only done a cursory examination of the book; I don’t know where to start. Let’s just say that Slander is a model of integrity compared to this piece of bilge from the WorldNetDaily cesspool (click here for a recent article on WND). Since this book is currently on the New York Times bestseller list, its claims should be addressed—and we can’t depend on mainstream journalists to do this (Slander received good reviews from the NY Times, Washington Post, and LA Times). After the success that bloggers had doing the mainstream media’s job with Slander, I called for people to make Sean Hannity’s book the next target; that advice wasn’t taken. I won’t let this happen with Savage Nation
Over the next few days, I had planned to do some things so that I will be current on the rent. Fuck that noise; if I have to move into my mother’s basement, so be it: exposing this book is too important. I have set up a separate blog (and a mirror site) to address the claims in the book. This is important; this book is racking up some big sales. I will be working tonight to finish the first critique of this book.
I had a great time on vacation from blogging. I needed one. Around Christmas, I was not only listening to the main talk radio jocks, but when I heard that WorldNetDaily was publishing radio jock Michael Savage’s book, I started listening to him (I had heard of Savage before his book was published, but I didn’t listen to him much—he reminds me more of Wally George or the late Morton Downey, Jr. than he reminds me of Rush Limbaugh). Limbaugh is obnoxious but Savage takes the cake. In Savage’s ass-backward world, Trent’s Lott’s pining for the good old day in his notorious Strom Thurmond speech are “innocent comments” and the Congressional Black Caucus members who criticized Lott were “a lynch mob.” I burned out quickly after listening to a few hours and I have not listened to much talk radio since then. I needed a break from that; Also, I was trying to do some deals and make the rent.
Department of Duh: headline on Gallup's site: “Republicans More Likely Than Democrats to Use Talk Radio for News”...Do-it-yourself-surgery?: according to my Sitemeter report, this site received a hit because an internet surfer did a Google search with the words, “pilonidal cyst home cure” (I had used the words “pilonidal cyst” when I transcribed the hilarious caller to Rush’s show who took him to task for using a boil on his butt to get out of military duty)...lefty bloggers get hosed again. On the McLaughlin Group, Michael Barone mentioned how bloggers took up the slack when the mainstream media dropped the ball on Trent Lott’s racist comments and ties. However, in addition to mentioning Joshua Micah Marshall who was on top of things, the only other bloggers he mentioned were Andrew Sullivan and Not-So-Instapundit—who were late on the story.
Great Moments in Good Taste Those of you familiar with this blog know that I am a big fan of cartoonist Jack Chick's work. Make no mistake, Chick is a neanderthal and a bigot. Chick's lurid tracts mercilessly pummel and impugn the motives of Catholics, gays and lesbians, people who think the earth is older than 5000 years, and anyone who doesn't hold Chick's narrow views. I enjoy dissecting Chick's propaganda techniques. For instance, Chick believes non-fundamentalist Christians are not only wrong but mean-spirited; for instance, in his tract The Tycoon, he portrays Buddhist monks as heavies (e.g., one of them orders his henchmen to eject a fundamentalist from a ceremony, yelling, "Get this creep out of here!"). These gross caricatures are unintentionally funny. Recently, Chick reached a new low in bad taste with his latest tract Who Cares? which incorporates 9/11 into the story. UPDATE: on the issue of bad taste, there's a new episode of Hard Drinkin' Lincoln.
Ohio State's Win Is America's Win! I'm writing this post drunk because I was drinking beers at Yankee Doodle's Sports Bar on Santa Monica's Third Street Promenade. I don't drink much so when the Buckeyes won, I did cartwheels in the bar and went out on the promenade and shouted "Buckeyes" along the promenade. Even if you aren't a Buckeye fan, think of it as a win for America. Miami is in Florida--which is a curse on this great country. Floridians stood by when Katherine Harris and Jeb Crow purged the voter rolls of tens of thousands of eligible minority voters. Even that didn't stop Al Gore from winning the state; George W., Jeb, and Katherine H. had to prevent a fair and honest recount. Those foul actions against our country didn't prevent Jeb Crow from being reelected. So celebrate America's victory.
UPDATE: after reading this sober, I have two conclusions: 1) I shouldn't get drunk; and 2) If I get drunk, I shouldn't write.