Monday, November 30, 2009

Gerson: Turd in Wingtips

Of course you would expect the moronic and mendacious Michael Gerson (he who gave the world the self-disclosing slogan "axis of evil") to spew nonsense in the editorial pages of the Washington Post. And given that he is another one of these sad, dangerous cases of arrested development who feels entirely free to judge others while pathologically resisiting any self-awareness, it's not surprising that the very article he pens could be Exhibit A for his thesis; that we are witnessing "Journalism's slow sad death." It cannot occur to him that, insfoar as he is demonstrably a criminal, partisan hack, apologist and for and enabler of the most corrupt adminsitration in America's history, his "contributing" to one of the nation's leading papers might be smoking-gun evidence that indeed, the news is dead.

Predictably enough Gerson squeezes out some favorite fascist talking points in his lament for the late great estate of journalism. He finds in the hideous and distinctly right-wing Newseum a shrine to journalism past glories -- which is telling enough in itself. And he notes that for many "conservatives" (more properly fascists) "'main-stream media' is an epithet" because it's not right-wing enough. Besides the misnomer, this assertion ignores the fact that the main-stream media has been very, very right-wing since about 1941, and daily grows more so. Still, this absurdity he immediately tops with a flat out falsehood (carefully couched as rehtorical question): "Didn't the Internet expose the lies of Dan Rather?" The answer to this question is, not surprisingly: no.

Contrary to the impression given by the mainstream media, it has never been clearly established that the documents he relied on were fake; nor that if they were, Rather knew it; nor that any of the claims he made in the report on Bush' sourn with the Champagne Squadron were in any particular false. Rather's report was accurate, but because he attacked a right-winger he had to be penalized for it, and convicted in the press of heinous misdeeds against journalism. This of course is completely fine with Gerson.

It goes without saying that Gerson, Evil Axis Professor of False Equivalencies, should seize upon Paul Starr's rather foolish lapse into LCDspeak, "As Walter Cronkite prospered in the old environment, Bill O'Reilly and Keith Olbermann thrive in the new one." This of course promotes the Right Winger's most cherished and useful falsehoods, that Olbermann is as partisan, mendacious and malicious as O'Reilly (Hannity, Beck, Limbaugh, Savage, Fox and Friends, et alia, ad nauseam) and that his the very existence of his show counterbalances any slight rigthtward tilt in cable news.

Gerson says, "I dislike media bias as much as the next conservative," as if self-described conservatives had a legitimate case to make, even as the war crimimals they elected go scot-free, unindicted even by the press.

And he closes with one more multivalent falsehood: "This profession [journalism] has a social value that is currently not reflected in its market value. What is to be done? A lot of good people are working on it. " Hr seesm to be implying that he himself is some sort of journalist and that his excretion constitutes here an instance of same. And he doesn't provide any evidence that the many millionaires of the corporate media are somehow undervalued. Nor does he support his equally dubious claim that "good people are working on it."

In any event, none of this is surprising. What is surprising is the comments his article drew. A truly amazing number of brownshirts wrote in to vituperate agaisn t the mainstream media because it wasn't Nazi enough! Here's a mild example:

Yes, you journalists are doing a bang up job of informing the public of the news of the day. To mention just a few recent stories... The ACORN scandal, the expose on the communists in the Obama administration, & the most recent reports on the faking of global warming data by the "scientific"experts. Oh wait, how silly of me, that was the blogosphere that did the work there. Oh but you guys are still doing a great job worshipping the ONE. Keep up the good work & good luck in your next profession.

My fellow Americans -- we are well and truly fucked.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Accessories after the Factoid

With Fox News spewing hate 24/7, and all the corporate media pretending that they aren't, I don't see how American democracy can persist. When the fascists get billion$ in free PR from the very people who are supposed to bebunk them, Enlightened discourse doesn't stand a chance, nor does enlightened (long term) self interest. Millions of right-wing Americans now passionately believe that fascism is historically left-wing, that white people are the victims of discrimination, and that "balanced" means respectful of any nonsense a bigot or nincompoop can spew. Fox and Friends sees to it that they believe ten impossible things before breakfast.

Meanwhile their opposition goes: "Tut tut. Dreadful stuff."
The only chance we have is to bankrupt these shitheads by boycotting their sponsors, and I don't see any public figure with guts enough to get that snowball rolling.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Epic Fail

Tim Geithner. Dithering on the public option. Aiding and abetting the cover-up of Bush Administration crimes and war crimes. Failure to prioritize balancing the federal juidiciary. But above all this, the number one reason I think Obama is a miserable fuck-up as President: his failure to address the cesspool that is the Siegelman case, to insist that Holder investigate, fire and prosecute the criminals responsible for it.

Every day, B.O. is looking more and more like a go-along-to-get-along stooge. He won't get the steam off my shit next go 'round. The best election we can hope for is that he elects not to run again, and soon.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

GOP: Party of Aggrieved Privilege

Leftist She-Devil Amanda Marcotte has it right: In theory, the Republicans are the party of Big Business, but for their base, they are really the party of aggrieved privilege, of straight white men trying desperately to resist equality between all citizens that would deprive them of their unearned superior station in society.

At the Capitol Tea Party the other day, I saw a buch of smug, expensively dressed old-dudes, usually with their somewhat younger (but still leathery in a smoked-sausage way) trade-up wives, and I had to wonder, each time who the hell did this Bozo swindle, screw, shove aside or exploit, so that he could hang out on a weekeday afternoon in Italain shoes, designer shades and expensive tweed, trying to see to it nobody else got any fat off the land? You can be sure that no asshole out there got wealthy on his merits.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Teabaggers 2

From the Ministry I could see the Teabaggers gathering by the Capitol, this time summoned by Michele Bachmann and so I had to walk out and see what they were all about. Just as in 9/12 they were virtually all white, often fat, a surprisingly high number of them smoking. (I suppose smokers might have some extra issues with goverment and health.) The speakers seemed to be primarily Southerners, and they were firing up the lynch mob with a lot of rhetoric about "killing the bill." The idea that government health care might fund abortions was key. The mob itself: rich bigots, cracker assholes and sociopaths out to hustle them both. I especially loved the way each speaker applauded the crowd's love of freedom.

It's clear that none of these people cares one bit about all we're squandering in our quagmire military campaigns, but the thought that a nickel might get spent to assuage the suffering of the poor or the black, well, that's unacceptable.

The banality of evil consists largely in its self-blind criminal negligence, the failure to question its own motives.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Banality is Evil: e.g. Pat Boone

Interesting provocation in Newsmax Halloween edition: Pat Boone talking about how all the questionable types at the White House need to be "tented" -- to wit: exterminated, like the "vermin" they are!

If these right-wing assholes had read any history whatsoever they might realize that this "vermin" talk both harks back and leads on to Final Solution, e.g. Farben's repurposed roach powder, Xyklon B. But these morons don't understand history and can't get their heads around metaphor, and so like cargo cultists, when they reify or enact their own hyperbole they think they've revealed and realized Truth. They erect an idol and worship it; confabulate a devil and scapegoat it. Thus it is that when Pat Boone says, "I believe – figuratively, but in a very real way – we need to tent the White House!" -- his figuartrive language is just as dangerous as that of the Nazis. The "very real way" will eventually and fatally equate human beings with cockroaches.

Some years ago, the pop-culture maven Cintra Wilson observed, “I find it to be generally true that the people with the most hateful, inhumane, intolerant politics are suckers for the most obscene forms of guileless sentimental exploitation….” And Pat Boone is the incarnation of this principle literally.

Cintra was talking about Las Vegas, which Hunter Thompson famously described as 'what all America would be doing if the Third Reich had won' but I think HST was a bit wrong there, Branson is what all American would be (or will be) doing under a 4th Reich, and Pat Boone will be a Prophet there.