Private Vice Versus Public Vice Whenever I hear or read Michelle Malkin, it reminds me of what Josh Marshal said about George Will: "I've often thought George Will must be a great inspiration to those who want to believe that even if you lack insight, honesty, or wit you might still succeed as long as you dress like you have all three." "Last week, Michelle Malkin weighed in on the mini-scandal revolving around the revelations about Jessica Cutler, who while an employee of Senator Mike DeWine (R-Ohio), had sex for money with some Washington bigwigs and announced it on her weblog. The title of Malkin’s critical piece for WorldNetDaily (more on this later) is “The Skanks on Capitol Hill.” In this piece, Malkin goes to great length to point out her own virtue compared to Cutler’s lack of it. Here’s one example:
Cutler, who aspired to be a journalist, spouted: "I'm sure I am not the only one who makes money on the side this way: How can anybody live on $25K/year??" When I was 24 and making less than that, I did it by eating Spaghetti-O's, Ramen noodles and Swanson pot pies for dinner; driving a Toyota Tercel with no air conditioning; and sleeping on a $30 futon. I did it the way most parents teach their daughters to succeed: through hard work, thrift, faith and perseverance.
It’s a comforting thought that Malkin didn’t put herself in a compromising position when she was younger (I’m still trying to get over seeing the Dr. Laura nude photos; they still keep me awake at night). Malkin goes on to decry this episode’s negative effect on culture and on young women who want to get ahead by their smarts.
I have one message for Malkin: put a sock in it, media whore!
The Cutler flap and Malkin’s self-righteous response give me an opportunity to discuss the difference between private vice and public vice.
First, private vice. When a young woman wants to earn a little extra cash by providing companionship to an older man, this is private vice. As far as I’m concerned it is a private matter between the commercial sex worker (not whore or skank--as Malkin puts it), her client, his family, and the God(s) of their choice. If each party agrees to the arrangement, then pork away--it’s none of my business (I also discuss similar matters in my post that details my on-air conversation with Sean Hannity).
Let’s now discuss public vice. In the case of Malkin and her colleagues, the vice in question is media whoredom. Media whoredom is the prostituting of one’s journalistic integrity for filthy lucre. Media whoredom, unlike commercial sex work, has devastating consequences for society. Innocent people are libelled, reputations are destroyed, and paranoid conspiratorial thinking is encouraged.
Two Big Posts Forthcoming Sorry I haven't been posting as much as I used to but I haven't had a free day in two weeks. I am writing the rough drafts of two bigger posts. I will post at least one over the weekend.
Al Gore Punches Back I finally read the transcript. Gore rocks! My favorite part:
The president episodically poses as a healer and "uniter". If he president really has any desire to play that role, then I call upon him to condemn Rush Limbaugh - perhaps his strongest political supporter - who said that the torture in Abu Ghraib was a "brilliant maneuver" and that the photos were "good old American pornography," and that the actions portrayed were simply those of "people having a good time and needing to blow off steam."
We're importing Hinduism into America. The whole thought of your karma, of meditation, of the fact that there's no end of life and there's this endless wheel of life, this is all Hinduism. Chanting too. Many of those chants are to Hindu Gods-Vishnu, Hare Krishna. The origin of it is all demonic. We can't let that stuff come into America. We've got the best defense, if you will-a good offense.
"A day later, every pathologist who viewed Brown's body concluded that his head wound, at the very least, looked like a bullet hole. In a decision that reached the White House, there would be no autopsy."
REALITY: Air Force pathologist Colonel William T. Gormley who examined Brown's body: "[T]here is no doubt in anybody's mind who evaluated his case that this was a blunt-force injury and not a gunshot wound."
Read more about it on pages 137-138 of Al Franken's Lies and the Lying Liars Who tell Them.
Hef Slams Hef appeared at the Barnes & Noble at the Grove in the Fairfax District tonight to sign copies of Playboy 50 Years: The Cartoons and Hef's Little Black Book. Hef was very friendly. When I got to Hef's desk (he signed my three copies of Hef's Little Black Book), I suggested a pictorial featuring the women of the Mid-American Conference (I'm a Miami of Ohio grad). I think Hef said maybe.
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.
Taking Up The Slack If you're reading this and like it, you're probably the type of person who is irritated when you hear right-wing blowhard dissemblers like Hannity, Limbaugh, and O'Reilly. That is a healthy response (even a hardened right-wing talk radio listener like me can't listen to Dr. Laura for more than a few minutes--she creeps me out too much). So you had to depend on me and a few other internet people to listen to these wretched shows and point out the flawed arguments, sophistry, and outright fabrications of right-wing talk radio.
According to the book's inside flap, it "meticulously tracks the rise of the Bush-haters, a disturbing political phenomenon that colors everything from the war on terrorism to the presidential campaign." This from a guy who works for Moon and Roger Ailes--I just don't know where to start.
In other Googlebomb news, I discovered that my hilarious conversation with Sean Hannity is listed as number 35 for a Google search of "Sean Hannity." Attention bloggers and people who frequent newsgroups, please link the phrase Sean Hannity to the the following web address: http://scoobiedavis.blogspot.com/2002_10_01_scoobiedavis_archive.html#83680324
Thanks but No Thanks, Pillhead Rush Limbaugh's morning update 5/11/04:
Ladies and Gentlemen, let me ask you a question: Have you noticed, since these prisoners [pictures?] of torture and abuse and misery and whatever you want to say--since these pictures came out, have you noticed that there are fewer attacks against Americans by Iraqi insurgents? Have you noticed that the death toll and the injury count is [sic] severely down--drastically down--since these pictures were made public? Now, the question is this: Do we dare a draw a connection? Do we say that these pictures have so shocked the insurgents and the other members of the enemy in Iraq that they don't want to get anywhere near this prison--anywhere near these female American prison guards and so they have reduced their activity and instances of violence against us? Well, let's say it's true: can anyone get away with saying this? I mean, right now the mentality is: this is so horrible; this is bad: this is disgusting; this is mean: this the worse America has ever been. Can there be any good derived from the release of these pictures? Can anybody make this connection and survive? Who would do it? I don't think it can be done, folks. But' I'll try. I'll do it.
Is Ann Coulter Completely Whacked? I'm Transcribing; You Decide I don't know where to start. Read it for yourself and decide. The following is part of Ann Coulter's interview with KABC radio's Al Rantel May 5, 2004. No, this is not a hoax:
RANTEL: . . .What is your general take on all of this [Abu Ghraib]?
COULTER: Well, the point I just made on Hannity & Colmes--which no one has been making--is that this is yet another lesson in why women shouldn't be in the military.
RANTEL: Oh, really? You're bringing this up? It's funny because somebody mentioned that and I kind of pooh-poohed it. So tell me more.
COULTER: Well, you can't avoid the fact that there are a disproportionate number of women involved, for one thing, in the abuse photos. It was a girl general who was in charge of running our Iraqi prison. And, you know, for one thing, I'm a little disappointed in Rumsfeld--he allows the greatest fighting force on the face of the globe to have girl generals--what are we doing with girl generals? But I think as a general matter, besides the fact that women don't have the physical abilities to do the training exercises while carrying even a medium-size backpack, women are more vicious than men.
COULTER: These are a few, you know, I mean, in general, these abuse photos are manifestly a few bad apples in an overwhelmingly honorable military. I don't know if you remember, but back during the Afghanistan war--and that was even the war that liberals pretended to support--our military was trained how to bury the dead so that their heads were facing Mecca. That's an incredibly honorable thing to do--and, by the way, it's something that doesn't occur to a woman because we are vicious. You don't want us in the military.
RANTEL: Uh, uh, you're not being tongue-in-cheek here, Ann, at all?
COULTER: No, I am not. I'm being a little tongue-in-cheek about how vicious women are, but I do think it is a serious problem having women in the military. Men are used to this sort of thing. I mean, C. S. Lewis himself said, remarking on the differences between men and women, if your dog bit a neighbor's child, who would you like to go deal with: the woman of the house or the man of the house? Men are much more capable of engaging in combat and still being honorable about it. I'll give you another example that seems completely off-point and perhaps you'll think I'm insane but I was watching the White House Correspondents' Dinner on Saturday night and, you know, Jay Leno was telling a lot of jokes, cutting both ways, and you see people, even somewhat slimy people like Richard Ben-Veniste in the audience, but he was laughing uproariously at the jokes--even the ones that were to the detriment of John Kerry or the Democrats. But the women journalists, ohhhh, they're very dour, they're angry, they don't laugh if the joke doesn't go their way. This is what women are like. Men are better at engaging in combat while behaving in an honorable way. And it is--now I will swing back to the abuse photos.
COULTER: It is simply a fact--I have only seen five of the abuse photos--there are females in two of them. We don't have a military that's 40 percent female.
RANTEL: Now there's the one picture with the girl--that woman with the cigarette hanging out of her mouth--the woman soldier with the cigarette--and she's holding the gun at the guy's genitals. Is that the one you're referring to?
COULTER: There's that one and there's also a female in a pile-of-bodies photo.
RANTEL: Right. Well, you know, this is an angle I hadn't thought of. What--
COULTER: And [unintelligible] a woman general--a girl general.
RANTEL: The brigadier general, [Janis] Karpinski.
COULTER: Yeah, and, of course, we have affirmative action to get more women generals--girl generals--running the--Come on! Come on! That's silly. No civilized society allows women in the military--this is separate and apart from the fact that you should not be allowing women to fight.
RANTEL: I'm a little speechless only because I can imagine some our listeners saying, "Ann is a woman. Ann is an amazingly successful woman, you know, three times New York [Times] best-selling author and great political commentator and successful at everything she's ever done. Why do you think that women can't do these jobs in the military?"
COULTER: Well you definitely wouldn't want me fighting in this war--all 99 pounds of me--if you want to win. [Coulter cackles]
RANTEL: But wait. Wait a minute. I recognize that there are physical differences between the average man and the average woman with the possible exception of Janet Reno, but I'm talking about--
RANTEL: But you seem to be making a blanket statement that putting women in general, as females, in the military is a bad idea.
COULTER: Yes, and in addition to our manifest physical limitations, I think women are more vicious than men.
RANTEL: That would explain Hillary Clinton.
COULTER: It would explain the White House Correspondents' Dinner with these dour feminists sitting, frowning at jokes that cut against them. You know, I will admit that there are many men who are women [Coulter chuckles] and there are some women who can behave like men, but as a general matter, women are overwhelmingly unable physically to be in the military and I think also psychologically.
RANTEL: Yeah, that's the part I'm getting to. So you think there's a psychological difference between them. We know the physical is obvious.
COULTER: It's in our genes to protect the hearth and home. to respond viciously to the enemies, to intruders, whereas, just think of immediately after the 9/11 attack, I was huffing and puffing and fuming the very night of it that we weren't already dropping bombs in Afghanistan?--
RANTEL: But I think a lot of guys--men and women were, don't you think?
COULTER: I suspect that actually is how the Democrats would have responded because they are women. . .
This is no different than what happens at the Skull and Bones initiation and we're going to ruin people's lives over it, and we're going to hamper our military
effort, and then we're going to really hammer 'em because they had a good time.
You know, these people are being fired at everyday - I'm talking about the people having a good time.
You ever hear of emotional release?
You ever hear of need to blow some steam off?
These people are the enemy!
Yes, I know Limbaugh was hooked on hillbilly heroin but what about the people who listen to this and take this shit seriously? I don't know where to start.
Also, I heard Ann Coulter tonight on KABC radio. She was so loony that even the host Al Rantel (a right-winger) thought Coulter was being tongue-in-cheek.
That's the teaser: I will have a transcript tomorrow.
I am slowly becoming convinced that one of these days, Coulter will come forth and admit that she's jerking everyone's chain.
UPDATE: on today's (5/6/04) morning update, Limbaugh did not mention his comments on the treatment of Iraqi prisoners.
Googlebombing John O'Neill One of the reasons I believe that the right is no longer looking to conman Ted Sampley as a Vietnam vet spokesman against Kerry (notice that Sean Hannity has't brought up Sampley's name lately) is not so much that he is a conman (and a complete nut job)--rather it has been that he has been exposed as a conman. One way this has been achieved is by so many bloggers and writers whose articles are near the top of a Google search of Sampley's name.
UPDATE: Also, please googlebomb the words "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" to this link: http://www.salon.com/opinion/conason/2004/05/04/swift/index_np.html
The result will look like this: Swift Boat Veterans for Truth