by Scoobie Davis
I was going to title this post, “Postmortem of Two Squandered Opportunities” but after writing this post, I have decided to make an important announcement (see the postscript). First things first, here are the postmortems:
Postmortem of Two Squandered Opportunities
THE FIRST SQUANDERED OPPORTUNITY: Last Tuesday, I was listening to Sean Hannity’s radio show. Hannity mentioned that the next night (Wednesday) would be his Salt Lake City speaking engagement for his “Hannitization of America 2004 Tour” in which Hannity is promoting his book, Deliver Us from Evil: Defeating Terrorism, Despotism, and Liberalism. Hannity mentioned that in a recent article in the Salt Lake Tribune, the head of the Utah Democratic Party, Donald Dunn, had referred to Hannity as “divisive” and “a pimp for the GOP.” Hannity then informed his listeners that he had Dunn on the line and the two began to debate. The results were not pretty. Dunn was completely unprepared for the debate and he fared abysmally. He didn’t have anything concrete to support his allegations (which were truthful).
ANALYSIS: Dunn probably had at least a couple hours to prepare for his radio debate with Hannity. Common sense dictates that one of the first things that Hannity would have done was to ask Dunn to back up his allegations (which Hannity did). A quick Google search prior to the debate would have yielded a lot of ammo for Dunn. For instance, there’s a really good article from Spinsanity that takes Hannity to task. Also, a quick Google search would have informed Dunn about how Al Franken took Hannity apart in his latest book, Lies and the Lying Liars who Tell Them. My recent post on Hannity could have also been used. This isn’t brain surgery; this is debating a right-wing goon who has said and written many indefensible things. It’s like shooting fish in a barrel. Dunn failed to take these simple measures. Instead, he winged it and he took a one-way trip to palookaville. Dunn’s comments to the paper were correct; he just didn’t take the time to do the research to back them up.
THE SECOND SQUANDERED OPPORTUNITY: Dunn’s performance was so lackluster that after Hannity got off the phone with Dunn, he said that the offer was still good for a half hour debate with Dunn at his "Hannitization Tour" speaking appearance the next day. When I heard this, I immediately realized what a golden opportunity this would be to pummel this noxious butterball in front of his fans—-it would be a forum in which Hannity didn’t have his mute button (Note to readers: Hannity is not a good debater; Click here and here). I immediately e-mailed Dunn and told him to accept the debate with Hannity. I even emailed a couple of other people in the Utah Democratic Party in case Dunn’s mailbox was full.
Keep in mind: At the time Hannity made the offer, there were thirty hours until the speaking appearance. I was willing to spend the all of that time preparing Dunn for the debate. I was even willing to take a same-day flight to Salt Lake City (with money I didn’t have) and be Dunn’s stand-in in case Dunn didn’t want to debate Hannity. This would have been a perfect forum to mop the floor with Hannity. However, there was only one problem: neither Dunn nor anyone else called me (I left my phone number) or emailed me back. The debate never happened
ANALYSIS: What makes this a crying shame is that it would have been so easy to make a big impact. Because of these two squandered opportunities, Hannity was able to crow on his radio show about how he made mincemeat out of a Democratic Party official. I'm certain that when Hannity took the stage at his Salt Lake City Hannitization Tour appearance, he told the crowd about Dunn and I'm sure they all laughed about it. And why shouldn't they have laughed? It was a great day for the forces of ignorance and reaction.
POSTSCRIPT: THE CONSEQUENCES FOR THIS BLOG
If the sad episodes I just described were isolated incidences, it would be one thing. It’s not. Much of the Democratic Party establishment is out-of-touch and has no clue about politics. These people don’t know the score. What is worse is that they are getting paid to be incompetent.
Politics 101: It’s about winning. It’s about stepping up to the plate and doing what needs to be done.
I started this blog because there were too few people who were doing what needed to be done. Let me give some background: When Bill Clinton was took office in 1993, there was an unprecedented defamation campaign by right-wing operatives: 1) Some were motivated by Richard Mellon Scaife’s money: Chris Ruddy, Joseph Farah, the guys at the American Spectator; 2) Some, like Rush Limbaugh and Roger Ailes, could depend on TV viewers and radio listeners who believed in the magic of Triple Gold Bond powder; 3) Others like Jerry Falwell and Pat Matrisciana, depended on swindling churchgoing people. What resulted were paranoid accusations and an outrageous smear campaign against the Clintons. The smear campaign against Democrats and progressives has been continuous since then.
When these people were smearing the Clintons, I had no voice. Those who had a voice, liberal pundits and Democratic officials, had very little to say. This has enabled these same operatives to be mainstreamed (e.g., sure it’s silly but Ailes can claim to be the head of an objective news organization but he doesn’t face massive ridicule for it by the mainstream media).
In 2001, I had enough. I was in a good-paying administrative position and I threw it away because I held to the novel idea that these people should pay a price. Since then, I’ve been writing this blog and doing flunky jobs to just get by. I did things on this blog—not because I wanted to--but because no one else was doing them. Anyone out there who thinks I don’t have anything better to do than to listen to right-wing talk radio and transcribe the hate speech is mistaken. I do it because--in many cases--if I don’t do it, it doesn’t get done.
It sticks in my craw how I’m scrapping by on nickels and dimes and there are so many in politics are benefiting from treachery (e.g., click here and here) or hackdom (most Democratic officials and most mainstream liberal pundits). Screw that. I thank all of those who have supported this site over the past two years.
I’ve got bills to pay and debts to reconcile. I have decided to look for a real job and no longer devote any more time or energy to politics for the foreseeable future. Adios