by Scoobie Davis
Clinton-Haters Versus Bush-Haters
Last week, I mentioned Moonie Times reporter Bill Sammon's new book, Misunderestimated, with deep skepticism. I finally got a chance to check it out tonight at Barnes & Noble. The chapter about the rise of the "Bush-haters" is even weaker than I thought it would be (and I had no great expectations for a hack like Sammon). Sammon spends a chapter discussing protesters at a 2002 Republican fundraiser in Portland. Sammon reported on citizen-activists--many of whom used the f-word liberally; some who had extreme views; and a few were violent (even if this is true, they were no worse than typical Freeper types).
Gee, I wonder how Sammon would report on violent demonstrators if the shoe were on the other foot. Well, I know how: dishonestly as hell. In his book on the 2000 (s)election, Sammon--against all evidence--referred to the choreographed riot at the Miami-Dade vote-counting center by GOP political operatives (many were on the staffs of Republican members of Congress such as Tom DeLay) as "spontaneous." Also, Sammon--against all evidence--claimed that the riot was nonviolent. Eyewitnesses such as journalist Jake Tapper witnessed brutal violence by the thugs (Also remember that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney regaled these punks on a speakerphone when they had their GOP-paid Thanksgiving Day feast).
Let's compare Sammon's weak and anecdotal account of Bush-haters with Clinton-haters. Unlike the Bush-haters, these people have real power--and their viciousness knows no limits. David Brock's new book, The Republican Noise Machine: Right-Wing Media and How It Corrupts Democracy(buy it;I didn't buy it at Barnes & Noble only because I have some important projects in the next few days and I knew I wouldn't be able to put it down if I bought it). It is a primer about how a loose network of operatives on the right subverts democracy. I'm glad Brock addressed the members of the Scaife Internet Network. Also, unlike the citizen-activists Sammon describes (plenty of whom were obviously anarchists, not progressives), these Clinton-haters (who are now Bush defenders) are subsidized in the tens of millions of dollars by unhinged billionaires such as Richard Mellon Scaife, Rupert Murdoch, and Sun Myung Moon. I can't do justice to The Republican Noise Machine because I skimmed it but I am glad that Brock addressed the right's powerful echo chamber; on pages 180-181, Brock illustrated the dynamics of this pernicious phenomenon with his discussion of the spread of the Clinton Georgetown Speech Smear (which started by a colleague of Sammon's at the Moonie Times). I discussed this shameful episode on this blog. I give Brock's book a thumbs way up. Again, buy the book.