"Cool Stuff" Alert I plan to do some cool stuff for this blog over the next couple weeks (trust me). Right now, I am doing a rent website-thon. If I had a few people who donated five to ten dollars on my Amazon Honor system, it would allow me to do more stuff for the next month or so. If you have already donated to this site, you can disregard this message because I don't need a lot to make rent. Thanks.
Hijacking the Hollywood Right Actor and former senator Fred Thompson was on Fox News the other day. He had a lot to say about the anti-war movement. It was pretty much a rehash of what you’d read in a Michael Kelly column (that the anti-war protesters are pro-Saddam). Thompson then questioned the motives of the anti-war groups. No problem there; many of the organizers have agendas that go beyond their publicly stated goals. Of course, the Fox News interviewer didn’t ask Thompson about any hidden agendas of the organization Thompson represents, Americans United (a right-wing group headed by David Bossie and Floyd Brown; click here to see what these two are all about and it ain’t pretty). If it is fair game to look at the hidden agendas of the anti-war movement, then the agendas and people behind the pro-war movement deserve our attention also.
I suspect that the American people are catching on to the writings of Greg Palast—particularly his work on the coup of 2000 involving the racist purge by Jeb and Katherine of tens of thousands of eligible voters who were labeled convicted felons but whose only crime was to be black and Democratic. When I checked my Sitemeter stats in the last few weeks, I noticed that many people came to this site from Google searches with the words “Greg Palast” and words like “lies” “liar” “debunked” “insane” “discredited” and other pejoratives. The people who came to this site to find dirt on Palast or his book left disappointed because Palast is the real deal (anyone who wants to read about discredited authors should click here). Palast, working for the BBC, did what the American media didn’t have the guts or the tenacity to do: he ignored the spin and committed journalism—such his as confronting Florida elections official Clay Roberts with the information he had on the purge—Roberts left the interview abruptly. The paperback edition of Palast’s book The Best Democracy Money Can Buy: The Truth About Corporate Cons, Globalization and High-Finance Fraudsters is doing well on Amazon.com. Buy it.
Finally The Columbia Journalism Review finally put its critique of Slander online. Click here. While not mentioning critics of Slander by name, it does mention "liberal columnists and bloggers" and cites the distortion of Frank Rich's column that I was the first to catch.
Who Is Against Trial Lawyers? When I was interviewed by Inside Edition for crashing the Oscars last year, I asked a couple staff people who were around when Bill O'Reilly was around what they thought of Mr. No-Spin. They said he was a major league dick. Question: What's worse than being Bill O'Reilly's employee? Answer: being Bill O'Reilly's neighbor. Why? Because you're likely to be the victim of a frivolous lawsuit.
Update: After reading the court papers, a smartass e-mailed me and gave a more accurate answer to my question: being O'Reilly's wife Maureen is a lot worse than being his neighbor. I stand corrected.
Exclusive: Virtue Czar Wannabe Caught in a Lie When Scaife Monkeyboy and conspiracy theorist Joseph Farah announced on WorldNetDaily that he would be answering questions about his new book Taking America Back on the Washington Post’s Live Online forum on March 12, I cursed my luck because I had scheduled to do some scouting for my documentary film that day. However, the night before Farah did the Q & A, I checked the Live Online site and discovered that one could submit questions beforehand, so I submitted the following question for Farah: “In your book, you call on Americans to embrace God and biblical morality. How can you do this when you also have borne false witness against President Clinton with absurd charges of murdering dozens of people?”
"Los Angeles, Calif.: In your book, you call on Americans to embrace God and biblical morality. How can you do this when you also have borne false witness against President Clinton with absurd charges of murdering dozens of people?"
"Note: Farah's embrace of the "Clinton Body Count" urban legend can be found here."
"Joseph Farah: Can you cite one place where I have ever accused President Clinton of murdering anyone?"
I don’t know why Farah answered my question with another question. Even if I had been present during the Q & A, the format wouldn’t have allowed me to answer his question. Fortunately, the answer to Farah’s question is included in my note. No wonder Farah hasn’t linked to the Live Online transcript. Truth 1, Farah 0.
I know some people are thinking: “What Farah did in the 1990's is ancient history.” I can’t be any more emphatic that this view is wrong. It is wrong for many reasons. Here are a couple big reasons. First, many of these lowlifes from the Clinton years are attempting to reinvent themselves as respectable human beings. Roger Ailes is currently presenting himself as an executive for what he alleges is an impartial news network. Limbaugh is trying to appear more mainstream (and being defended by Howard Kurtz). Farah is presenting himself as an arbiter of moral propriety--the subtitle of Farah’s book is “A Radical Plan to Revive Freedom Morality and Justice” (ironically, Farah has something in common with reigning Virtue Czar William Bennett; both Bennett and Farah are cozy with Sun Myung Moon; click here and here). These people deserve to be confronted.
Also, bringing up the dirty tricks operations against the Clintons serves an important reminder of the nature of the hard right and it provides a stark contrast to the present political atmosphere. In the current political climate, if George W. Bush were to take a dump on the White House lawn, anyone who doesn’t proclaim it the Immaculate Conception is not only accused of hating Bush but also of being anti-American—often by the same people who engaged in the wholesale slander campaign against the Clintons. A case in point, Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks gave her honest opinion about Not-My-President Bush and the same people who were engaged in wholesale character assassination during the last administration are now complaining about Maines’ lack of respect for the office of the presidency. This hypocrisy deserves our attention.
I love Hollywood and not just for the parties I crash. Sure, there are stupid things that are done and said by Hollywood people, but let’s look at how people in Hollywood have stepped up to the plate because Democrats in Congress and the mainstream media have been AWOL. Last night, Michael Moore told a primetime broadcast audience that Bush stole the election: "We like nonfiction and we live in fictitious times. We live in a time where we have fictitious election results that elect a fictitious president." Blogger Oliver Willis complained about this part of the speech but I argue that it was the best thing about Moore's speech.
Other stars deserve our applause. I love it that Julia Roberts said that George W. Bush was not her president. Alec Baldwin was on Politically Incorrect and mopped the floor with New York Times reporter and Bush kiss-ass Frank Bruni. I was taken aback when Baldwin cited the stellar work of journalist Greg Palast to illustrate how Bush is an illegitimate usurper. I’m waiting in vain for a member of Congress to follow suit.
Most important, the 1990’s was, to paraphrase Auden, a low dishonest decade on the right. First, you had Scaife and the people like Joseph Farah and Christopher Ruddy who fed off of his paranoia (and his money). Then there were people like Ailes and Limbaugh who spread Scaife’s paranoid worldview but who didn’t need Scaife’s money (the people at Hooked On Phonics paid big ad money to Limbaugh to promote their program to Limbaugh’s listeners; no big surprise there). With few exceptions, members of the media and Democrats in Congress did nothing (in fact, Ted Koppel provided cover for one of Limbaugh’s most pernicious lies). It took a damn comedy writer, Al Franken, to do the media’s job of exposing this demagogue. That’s what I love about Hollywood.
Oscars Report Not to brag, but if I wanted to get to the front of the Kodak Theater, I believe I could have done it. That’s not bluster; rather, it’s a sad commentary about the security. They must have bused in some Freepers from Bakersfield to picket outside the Kodak Theater. I heckled them. Best sign I saw: “Draft the Bush twins.” I missed Michael Moore saying what no member of Congress had the cajones to say, "We like nonfiction and we live in fictitious times. We live in a time where we have fictitious election results that elect a fictitious president. We live in a time where we have a man sending us to war for fictitious reasons." More on this tomorrow.
Clear Channel Views Me As Politically Incorrect—And I’m Proud! Does Clear Channel promote independent thought?(click here and here) I had the unpleasant experience of waking up Sunday morning at 3:30 to Clear Channel’s “America At War” radio program. The first thing I heard from the host--a Rush clone from Tampa named Tedd Webb—was that Bill Clinton was treasonous (later he backed up a caller who accused Clinton of giving secrets to the Chinese). Webb, of course, was deifying George W. Bush and slamming the young people at anti-war rallies as anti-American. So I got past the screener and threw him a curve: “Hello, I saw the anti-war rallies in the Westwood area of Los Angeles and I talked to a bunch of the kids and even though I don’t particularly care for their views on anything, I do have to say that at least you kind of know where they stand when it comes to their views on things—unlike George W. Bush who was in favor of the Vietnam War just as long as someone else did the fighting and once he got the position in the Air National Guard, he didn’t bother showing up for the last year and a half of his tour of duty.” I then went on to discuss how Tom Daschle, a man who served his country in uniform, is having his patriotism impugned by a bunch of GOP chickenhawks for speaking the truth about Bush’s failed diplomacy. Unfortunately, the Clear Channel listeners—the people who needed to hear this the most—didn’t hear the last part because Clear Channel cut to a commercial immediately after I slammed Bush (once again, the mute button came in handy). Silencing dissent is par for the course for Clear Channel.
Must Read Stonerwitch on the spiritual warfare meme and how George W. Bush contributed to the spread of this meme which views the world as a battle between God's people (born again Christians) and the devil (everyone else). Some people like me view Bush's Christian piety as a sham to play to the sectarian right. But in practical terms, this is irrelevant. The damage is being done. I had hoped that Bush would have retreated from his sectarian rhetoric when he put his foot in his mouth--referring to the fight against terrorists as a "crusade." No such luck; this meme has escalated--a particularly noxious example has been Rush Limbaugh's portrayal of Tom Daschle as the devil. Let us pray.
Talk Radio Scam Ad Alert "No Money Down" real estate guru Carlton Sheets is putting ads on Sean Hannity's radio program. Also, click here for a web page on questionable ads in the Moonie Times (Thanks to Barney Gumble).
New Links I added a few blogger links over the past few weeks. Although they are on my template, an error with Blogger won't allow them to show up on this web site. If anyone has any ideas about fixing this, please email me. The new links are Orcinus, The Hamster, and The Mad Prophet.
I had a chance to check out the anti-war protests in the Westwood area of Los Angeles yesterday. I was going to an advance screening of Gwyneth Paltrow’s new film View From the Top. When I got there at 6:30 in the evening, The crowd had blocked Wilshire Boulevard and the police were out in full force. Several police helicopters were in the area. I’m not a big protest person because whenever I’m at a protest, I see the kind of people I don’t care for—there were plenty there.
View From The Top was okay but I don't recommend it. It's a by-the-numbers romantic comedy in which Paltrow plays a flight attendent. I found it more amusing than funny. I liked it less than the Salon reviewer.
When I got out of the theater, the anti-war crowd had mostly left except for a doughty dozen or so people with signs at Wilshire and Westwood. I noticed nearby that a film crew was shooting in front of a theater; it was a scene of a movie premiere for a film. I asked one of the security people what film they were shooting. He told me it was for the forthcoming Calista Flockhart film Providence. It seemed like an elaborate scene. I walked by the craft services tent and was tempted to grab a bite but decided not to because it would have been tacky.
Sitemeter Stuff I am proud to announce that I just found out that this site is near the top of a Google web search for the words "Katherine Harris" and "bigot." I'm not up there for "Katherine Harris" and "racist." One thing I learned from the film Unprecedented was that right after Jeb Bush was elected governor he was asked what he would do for African American Floridians; Jeb Crow's response: "Probably nothing." (Not quite true, he and Harris disenfranchized tens of thousands of eligible black voters).
UPDATE: The person who just found this site using the search words "pilonidal cyst"+"traditional medicine" should see a doctor.
Talk Radio Can Be Hazardous To Your Liberty And Finances Those of you familiar with this site know my opinions about talk radio. I have nothing but contempt for the demagogues who are behind the microphones. Although I view many devoted listeners as sheep, I have sympathy for them. The advertisers who bankroll talk radio know who the audience is; accordingly, there are numerous ads for gold and other commodities as "investments," overpriced diet aids, get-rich-quick schemes, etc. (If the baldness cure sold on O'Reilly's radio show is so good, then why is the hair on the front part of Mr. No Spin's head thinning out like the Brazilian rainforests?) I was listening to O'Reilly call war opponents "anti-American" today and noticed that Irwin Schiff is one of O'Reilly's advertisers. Schiff is a libertarian tax protester who argues that Americans are not obligated to pay federal income taxes. Apparently the courts disagree because Schiff has been convicted twice on federal tax charges. O'Reilly is willing to take money from Schiff to peddle his worthless and irresponsible seminars to gullible radio listeners, but one thing is certain: O'Reilly is not willing to take Schiff's advice when it comes to his own taxes; O'Reilly has admitted on his show that he overpays his federal income tax in order to avoid any hassles.
Was it Saddam? Was the guy on Iraqi television Saddam? US intellegence agencies are trying to find out but if it turns out to be Saddam, then along with his other crimes against humanity, Saddam should be tried for unforgivable crimes against fashion because of those godawful eyeglasses.
Rigging the System in a “Fair and Balanced” Media World
Bill Hartung has a thought-provoking open letter to Bill O’Reilly (via Atrios). Hartung was a victim of a common practice of right-wing talk radio jocks: when the going gets tough, mute the caller. Let me elaborate on this practice—it occurs whenever I go on talk radio. When the caller either brings up a good point or starts mopping the floor with the host, then the host hits the mute button. The caller is talking but the audience can’t hear him/her. This allows the host to recover and save some face.
People familiar with my blog know about these events. One they don’t know about occurred before I was blogging (I hope I didn’t lose the tape). In December of 2001, Hannity was praising the gruesome twosome: Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson. I got on and pointed out how Falwell broke the commandments against stealing and bearing false witness against thy neighbor. I also pointed out what an intolerant bigot Robertson was (click here for the example I used). Hannity muted me several times in the “conversation” but I was able to get my points across nevertheless.
In a way, this is disheartening. The right not only has a bigger megaphone; it has an unfair advantage when we try to confront them on their turf. On the other hand, it shows that we’re right. They’re pussies. Not only do they try to avoid tough opponents (click here and scroll down to the last paragraph), but also when they find that they’re outmatched, they silence the person through technological means. It reminds me of how Stalin would edit out pictures from the revolution of Trotsky . That is their idea of “fair and balanced.”
Too Extreme for Jack Chick But Just Right For Congressional Republicans
As a fan of Chick Tracts--those bizarre, demented fundy comic tracts--I was familiar with Dr. Rebecca Brown. I’m not sure that I should put the “Dr.” in front of her name because she lost her license to practice medicine in Indiana in 1984 because of her bizarre claims and practices. Brown then left for California where she met up with Jack Chick and published two books for Chick Publications, He Came To Set The Captives Free and Prepare For War—both relate to Brown's claims regarding her friend “Elaine” whom Brown claimed had been rescued from involvement in satanic ritual abuse. Brown made incredible claims regarding her fight against Satan and satanists. Some of it was downright weird. In Prepare for War, Brown railed against the vegetarian diet because she claimed it would lower our resistance to Satanic influence. Eventually, Chick withdrew Brown’s books.
As I have previously written, I am glad to see that Eric Alterman's What Liberal Media? is selling briskly on Amazon.com. I am also impressed with the reviews of the book—such as the one in yesterday’s New York Times Book Review. I’m also impressed with What Liberal Media? because of the overall lameness of the negative reviews of it. Alterman mentioned some on his site, but probably the most egregious of these is by blogger Matthew Hoy, in his incomplete review (he only addressed chapter one but promises that there is “more to come”). I haven’t checked but I imagine that blogger Henry Hanks referred to Hoy’s review as a “takedown” of Alterman.
In chapter one of What Liberal Media?, Alterman addressed Ann Coulter’s Slander and Bernard Goldberg’s Bias. Hoy writes:
I must confess, I haven't read Coulter's work -- she doesn't really impress me and I've felt no desire to buy her book. Since I've not read "Slander," I won't attempt to defend it, but I will note that Alterman attacks it on two grounds: First, her footnotes don't support her claims; Second, she engages in mean-spirited and excessive name-calling.
I'll skip Coulter's sourcing issues -- frankly, I don't care. But I found it curious that Alterman would chide her for name-calling -- since Alterman practices it early and often. I won't point out every one of Alterman's zingers, but I will try to make note of some of the more colorful and original ones.
Hoy states on his web page that he was trained as a journalist and he works for the San Diego Union-Tribune. Yet he doesn’t care about Slander’s sourcing issues, only Alterman’s less important critiques of it. What’s wrong with that picture? First, Coulter’s sourcing issues were the main point of Alterman’s critique—that Coulter’s mendacity and bile refute the very premise of her book: that the decline in political discourse is “all liberals’ fault.” Also, Alterman goes beyond writing that “her footnotes don't support her claims.” Alterman illustrated that Coulter is a lying sack of shit (though he put it much more delicately). Yet in Hoy’s world, since he doesn’t care about the point, it is irrelevant and should be ignored. Shouldn’t that be a journalist’s primary concern?
Moreover, how the mainstream media received Slander is crucial to supporting Alterman’s premise. With Slander, we have a methodically dishonest book that trashed the left but received decent reviews in the Washington Post, The New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times. It took a small core of bloggers to take on the dishonesty of the author (since Hoy hasn’t taken the time to read Slander, in my Slander-blog, I have a variety of links that address the journalistic misconduct in Slander; but since he doesn’t care, I don’t know if it helps). If that’s the best they can do, Alterman is doing something right.
Journalistic Misconduct by Two Fox News Analysts—And What You Can Do About It For faithful readers of this site, I going to go over some territory that I have covered in the past, but with a new wrinkle. Those of you familiar with me know that I have railed against not only Sun Myung Moon but against his journalistic monstrosity, The Washington Times. Not only is the Times, in Paul Krugman’s words, a “house organ” for the Bush regime, but also it fosters an atmosphere of journalistic dishonesty.
One of the many instances of journalistic misconduct in the Times that has caught my attention was the one committed by reporter Bill Sammon. Sammon wrote the following in his best-selling book At Any Cost: How Al Gore Tried To Steal the Election (which was excerpted in the Times):
Gore was so upfront about putting his own skin above the national interest that, according to the Washington Post, he sat his senior aides down and drew them a picture. Literally. On an easel of butcher paper in the dining room of this residence at he Naval Observatory in Washington, Gore drew four concentric circles to represent his priorities. He and Lieberman occupied the innermost circle. The next circle was reserved for big supporters like CIO president John Sweeney, civil rights leader Jesse Jackson, and abortion advocate Kate Michelman. The Democratic Party was third in Gore’s circle of priorities. Finally, in the very last circle, Gore placed the country. The man who was seeking to lead the United States of America into the new millennium placed the national interest not first, not second, not even third. In Al Gore’s hierarchy of priorities, the nation came dead last.
Americans, alas, are a corny lot. They still like to think that their presidents place the national interest above their own. They would find it difficult to imagine men like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt or Ronald Reagan drawing four concentric circles and explaining that their own hides were more important than the national interest. But Al Gore wasn’t like those other leaders. He was looking out for Number One, plain and simple.
Gore sounds like a real villain here. The only problem is that Sammon is lying. Here is the part of the Washington Post article that Sammon used to base his accusation that Gore “was looking out for Number One, plain and simple”:
The meeting was in the dining room. Gore’s wife, Tipper, snapped pictures and offered food. Gore occupied a central chair, beside two easels that held giant pads of paper...At one point, [Gore] drew a series of concentric circles to remind everyone of his circles of responsibility. At his innermost circle, he had responsibilities to himself and to Lieberman, then he moved outward through his closest supporters, Democrats as a whole and, in the largest circle, the country. He could not make critical decisions, he explained, without considering the larger context.
This excerpt illustrates why Sammon didn’t use footnotes in At Any Cost. The reason: if anyone were to check the Washington Post article that Sammon cited, it would reveal that the Post story reported the exact opposite of what Sammon was conveying to his readers. If it were not for the efforts of Bob Somerby of the Daily Howler, this libel would not have come to light. Somerby took the effort to find the original Washington Post article that Sammon cited; what he found was that Sammon had methodically misrepresented the article to give the opposite meaning of the article. Somerby did a painstakingly analysis of how Sammon did this. Somerby’s findings clearly indicate that the systematic omissions and paraphrases of the article by Sammon are such that a reasonable person is forced to conclude that Sammon consciously and systematically twisted the Post article to convey the opposite of its original meaning. I defy anyone to read the original Post article, Sammon’s representation of it, and Somerby’s response, and not conclude that Sammon engaged in gross journalistic misconduct and libel.
That Sammon is not jobless now is due to two things: 1) Sammon works for the Moonie-owned Washington Times and Fox News (as a Fox News Analyst)—two organizations that don’t care much about journalistic ethics; and 2) The lack of an effective echo chamber for the left. If progressives had a web site that receives the number of hits as the Drudge Report or if Drudge had analyzed Sammon’s words instead of promoting his books--then presently Bill Sammon would be considered a latter-day Janet Cooke instead of having two best-selling books (At Any Cost and Fighting Back). In fact, Cooke should be considered a rank amateur compared to Sammon. Cooke fabricated a story to benefit herself—nobody was hurt. Sammon stained the reputation of another person with his journalistic fraud.
Here’s where it gets interesting. While there isn’t much we can do to Sammon other than to report on his misconduct, we can address Washington Post reporter Ceci Connolly’s journalistic misconduct in this case. Connolly, like Sammon, is also a Fox News analyst. She also was one of the co-authors of the Post story that Sammon cited. I had written Connolly to see if she wanted to publicly comment on it; I received no response.
For being publicly silent on the matter, Connolly is in gross dereliction of her duties as a journalist. According to the Code of Ethics of the Society of Professional Journalists, it is the obligation of journalists to “[e]xpose unethical practices of journalists and the news media.” This is especially the case when another journalist who is engaging in libel grossly misrepresents one’s own reporting. In addition, the fact that both Connolly and Sammon serve as Fox News analysts raises serious questions about issues addressed by the aforementioned code—namely that: 1) Journalists should avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived; 2) Journalists should remain free of associations and activities that may compromise integrity or damage credibility; and 3) Journalists should refuse gifts, favors, fees, free travel and special treatment, and shun secondary employment, political involvement, public office and service in community organizations if they compromise journalistic integrity.
While Connolly is clearly derelict regarding her not reporting Sammon’s journalistic misconduct, the other possible violations have not been established—this is clearly the job of an ombudsman. Connolly works for the Washington Post and it is an organization that at least tries to address journalistic misconduct (even though it employs someone like Connolly). Michael Getler, the ombudsman for Connolly’s primary employer, the Washington Post, should address these issues. Contact Michael Getler at firstname.lastname@example.org and inform him about Ceci Connolly’s misconduct. It’s important.
Fox News according to The Simpsons For those of you who missed last night’s episode of The Simpsons, Krusty the Clown, running for Congress as a Republican, debated his opponent on Fox News. When the Fox News cameras showed Krusty, the American flag was behind him; when it panned to his Democratic opponent, the old Soviet flag was in the background and devil’s horns were superimposed on him:
Fox News Announcer: Welcome to Fox News, your voice for evil. Tonight, we’ll be interviewing the top two candidates for Springfield’s 24th Congressional district. For the Republicans, beloved children’s entertainer, Krusty the Clown. And for the Democrats, this guy.
Democratic Candidate: I have a name.
Fox News Anchor: Yes, I’m sure you do, comrade. I do appreciate your being here. You’re usually so mired in sleaze, it must be an effort to come down to the studio.
Krusty: May I say something?
Fox News Anchor: Certainly, Congressman.
Democratic Candidate: He hasn’t won yet
Fox News Anchor: You make a very adulterous point. We’ll now conclude this debate with a Krusty campaign commercial.
Some might think this was an outrageous lampoon. Actually, Fox News is an outrageous lampoon of itself. On yesterday’s Fox News Sunday, Brit Hume blasted Helen Thomas for her lack of “neutrality.” This from a man who during the aftermath of the 2000 election was an apologist for the thugs/operatives who stormed the Miami-Dade vote-counting center. Jake Tapper put it well in Down and Dirty: The Plot to Steal the Presidency:
...[T]here’s an immediate attempt by the Republican Party, and their media allies, to pooh-pooh any acknowledgement whatsoever that the mob was hostile and tried to be intimidating and clearly played some role—if only as an obstacle, or as a last straw—in stopping the hand recount. “In my life I have never found anything more frightening than a mob of young Republicans,” joked Fox News Channel’s Brit Hume on Sunday, November 26 . “They had on light green corduroy pants, and they’ve got little green belts with little frogs on them, and little pink shirts and everything. And I don’t know about you, but those Republican preppies just scare the daylights out of me.”
Tapper reported extensively on the thuggish activity of these GOP operatives in Down and Dirty. Some people thought my recently expressed view of the right—“the hard right is not to be trusted; it is to be discredited and defeated”—was a bit too harsh. Perhaps it is. Progressives can benefit from allying with Fox News—that is, if they are willing to be mascots. David Talbot gave evidence of this: “Years earlier, when hunting for a liberal punching bag to pair with Sean Hannity, Ailes had tried out a tough Salon writer. He apparently punched back so effectively in his audition that Fox picked bespectacled milquetoast Alan Colmes instead. Fox likes its liberals soft and chewy, the better to eat them, my dear.” Soft and chewy liberals like Colmes, Juan Williams, and Lis Weihl go along to get along as “balance” on Fox News. Later today, the journalistic misconduct of two Fox News Analysts—and what you can do about it.
Answer to the Quiz I had some unusual answers to Monday’s quiz but no winners. The question: What do Al Sharpton, George Will, and Tom DeLay have in common? The answer: All have made reckless and false allegations of rape. Sharpton made false allegations against law enforcement officers in the Tawana Brawley hoax; Sharpton has rightly been criticized for this. In fact, George Will was one of Sharpton’s recent critics regarding this.
However, Will and DeLay has been just as reckless with allegations of rape as Sharpton but they, unlike Sharpton, have not paid a price. Will and DeLay fanned the flames against Bill Clinton regarding the absurd charges of rape by Juanita Broadrick. Will did it in a particularly scabrous article (in it he also accused Clinton of launching missile attacks for political purposes—this is also an attack on the Joint Chiefs). DeLay was behind the Star Chamber-like “evidence room” that contained the evidence room also housed allegations by Kathleen Wiley whom everyone except the Freepers and the Wall Street Journal editorial page knows is a liar.
The fact that Anita Hill followed Clarence Thomas to other jobs was enough “evidence” for Will to conclude that Hill was lying. This evidence regarding Broadrick’s actions after the alleged rape was, of course, no concern to Will. No big surprise; to people like Will, the goal is winning and if consistency and principles get in the way, then it’s too bad. If any President had credible charges of rape against him, it was Will’s favorite, Ronald Reagan (Selene Walters claimed Reagan forced himself on her when they were both in Hollywood). When these allegations first came out, the left didn’t make any political hay regarding it. Did Will appreciate this? Nope. The moral is the same as the one from my recent post, The Real Problem with the Democrats: the hard right is not to be trusted; it is to be discredited and defeated.
Nuclear Explosion In the Korean Pennisula? I listened to Coast To Coast AM with George Noory last night. The guest was Major Ed Dames. Dames, who used the controversial remote viewing technique, predicts that the first nuclear explosion since 1945 will occur on the Korean peninsula. Dames surmises that once the US invades Iraq, North Korea will invade South Korea. Dames believes that once US troops repel North Korean troops across the DMZ, the North Koreans will trigger a nuclear explosion in a tunnel just north of the DMZ. Let’s pray this doesn’t happen.
I don’t listen much to Rush Limbaugh’s radio show; I’m too busy trying to get the rent paid and he isn’t worth my time. However, I had the radio on this morning for Limbaugh’s morning update. Limbaugh once again hits below the belt. This time it was because prominent Democrats were taking Al Sharpton to task for numerous offenses. Limbaugh had the audacity to accuse the Dems of racism for their rightly criticizing this demagogue. Alluding to the song Old Man River, Limbaugh said that Democrats criticize any minority who doesn’t “lift that bale” the way they want.
What’s wrong with this picture? Here’s what:
1) Limbaugh is a racist (click here and here)
2) For the last decade, Limbaugh had unleashed a torrent of abuse against Sharpton. Some of it Sharpton deserved—such as Limbaugh’s criticisms of Sharpton that mirror the current criticisms of Sharpton by Democrats (whom Limbaugh accuses of racism). Some of it was not deserved, such as when Limbaugh blamed Sharpton for the murder of Yankel Rosenbaum.
Quiz I'm going to resume blogging on a more regular basis later in the week. Here's a quiz--the first person to email me with the correct answer (the answer I'm thinking of) wins a free movie pass to any Loew's Theatre. Here's the question: What do Al Sharpton, George "Take it somewhere, else, Buster" Will, and Tom DeLay have in common? Answer will be given on Friday.
I was waiting until later in the week to start posting regularly but Peggy Noonan’s essay on the Democrats was too much. It illustrates the problems with the Democrats—problems that are the opposite of the ones The Dolphin Queen presents in her essay.
The premise of Noonan’s essay is that Democrats will do anything to win. That is a load of crap. Congressional Democrats stood by while the GOP hijacked an election. Why is it that Alec Baldwin is the only person I have seen mention Greg Palast’s work on television?(more on this later in the week). No Congressional Democrat has had the guts to point out Bush’s illegitimacy.
The problem is that Democrats are too willing to work with people who are out to destroy them. They’re like the pledges in National Lampoon's Animal House who--while bent over and grimacing--said, “Thank you, Sir. May I have another?” Noonan’s very essay is a self-contradiction because her essay was the result of a request by Andrew Cuomo for a contribution to a book on essays about “the future of the Democratic Party.” What was Cuomo thinking? Asking someone like Noonan to contribute is like a boxer putting his hands behind his back and holding out his jaw to Lennox Lewis. Noonan’s ostensible constructive criticism is nothing but venom against Democrats and cover for the GOP.
Noonan’s “War is Peace” declaration that the Dems will do anything is her absurd apologia that “Republicans by and large don't suffer from blind loyalty or blind antagonism. They would think it irresponsible to the country.” Nooner then gives examples involving historical revisionism such as her false claim that it was congressional Republicans who were responsible for Nixon’s downfall. More importantly, Noonan writes: “it was Republicans who did in their own Senate majority leader because they would not accept a certain kind of nonsense. If George W. Bush begins to seriously compromise conservative political philosophy, or to behave in a manner grossly offensive in a leader, they will turn on him too.”
Let me address these one at a time. For Lott’s entire career, he had been saying racist things and hanging out with racists of the worst kind. His party stood behind him and Democrats did little or nothing about it—such as when Lott absurdly accused Democrats of being racist for opposing Miguel Estrada. In fact, if it weren’t for progressive bloggers (not-so-Instapundit doesn’t fit into this category), Lott’s repugnant comments wouldn’t have been addressed by the mainstream media--much less by congressional Republicans. As for Noonan’s reference to George W. Bush and “conservative political philosophy,” conservatism is based on respect for institutions and practices such as counting votes. Bush’s naked (and racist) power grab in the 2000 election was given the seal of approval by so-called American conservatives. Instead, Noonan gives the following description of Democrats:
"The mistake the Democrats made was to allow their antiwar movement to become infused with bitterness and hostility, with a spirit of destructiveness. By the end the animating spirit of the movement looked something like this: We do not love this place; we prefer leaders unsullied by the grubby demands of electoral politics; we are drawn to the ideological purity of Ho, Fidel, Mao. And by the way we're taking over: Oppose our vision and we'll take care of you by revolutionary means."
Noonan should tell that to the Democrats who had the mistake of being at the Miami-Dade vote-counting center when they were surrounded by GOP thugs whose idea of a fair fight is ten against one.
I could go on, but you get the picture. Democrats always get burned when they reach out to the hard right. Cuomo is just the latest example. Joe Lieberman once joined forces with William Bennett; Bennett used this alliance with Lieberman as a weapon against his former colleague during the 2000 election. The moral: the hard right is not to be trusted; it is to be discredited and defeated.