Thursday, April 19, 2007

The wingnut media meltdown

If you really desire to find out more proof that conservatives are thin-skinned hypocritical chickenshits, then by all means, read on.

In the aftermath of the whole Don Imus controversy, conservotalk radio goons have their undies in a bunch. They're scared their little party is going to come to a crashing halt. As playing the 'blame game' has always been their trademark, they're trotting out Hillary Clinton, George Soros, the mainstream media and all the other usual suspects. This time, though, the main target of their ire is media watchdog group Media Matters for America.

They claim MMfA has a hitlist. And they're frightened that MMfA won't stop until they take down every right-wing radio host with access to a microphone. In other words, they're scared shitless. They're also claiming that the group endlessly monitors right-wing radio and TV shows, scouring the broadcasts for even the slightest infraction, report on it, and then blitz the mainstream media with their findings. Well, no shit sherlock! They certainly don't hide that fact. And isn't that the same thing you guys do?

Several things are always evident during any wingnut smear campaign. The name of George Soros often pops up. He's their top bogeyman. In fact, they claim that he's funded virtually every anti-wingnut and anti-George W. Bush internet and media venture out there, from Air America to MMfA. Well, we all know he opted not to invest in Air America, and MMfA has claimed time and time again that they've never received funding from George Soros. The closest remote connection between the two is that a few groups that received donations from Soros in turn helped out MMfA, minus Soros' involvement. The only activist ventures Soros is known to have invested in are the Center for America Progress, MoveOn, America Coming Together and the Democracy Alliance, in addition to the usual political donations. Granted, Soros is an interesting character. I've always been somewhat suspicious of his involvement in Carlyle Group, perhaps the tightest of the tightest of private equity funds, one who's members consist of or have consisted of the Saudi Royal Family, James Baker III, former defense secretary Frank Carlucci, former Time Magazine editor-in-chief Norman Pearlstine, the bin Laden family (yes, THAT bin Laden family) and, of course, both George Bushes. But again, what's the big deal about Soros anyway? Well, the wingnuts will never tell you he did anything shady, because, apart from some insider trading accusations, he hasn't really done anything evil like blow up buildings, fund Hezbollah, slaughter kittens or eat babies.

Endorsed by yours trulyFats Lowbrow er, Rush Limbaugh was among the first to play the Soros card. And for equal measure, he threw out the name of Hillary Clinton, almost as if sending a subconscious message to the nimble-minded Manchurian Candidates who listen to his show. According to Drugbo the Hut, MMfA is a "Stalinist" organization (doesn't Godwin's Law cover that tired commie cliche as an instant argument killer?) and part of the "Clinton machine agenda." He claimed that Imus was taken down by MMfA because he was critical of Hillary Clinton. "This is an election year. Clinton Inc., you get on their case, they're going to take you out." Limbaugh continued, "When I say the Clinton team, I include Media Matters for America, this supposed tax-exempt media watchdog group," adding, falsely, "They are George Soros-funded. This is clearly part of the 'Democrat' (sic) Party machine." Oxymoron had absolutely no shame in his lashing, claiming that Democrats are anti-Semitic, racist, totalitarian and are engaged in smear tactics.

click here to see Rush's booking sheet!Oh, and he even had the balls to use phrases like 'draft dodger' and "philanderer," evidentially with no sense of personal irony whatsoever. Well, at least he didn't say "drug addict." Irony is always in abundant supply on Limbaugh's show. He claims to take the high road, and that he is "not demeaning people on this program in any way." Yeah, right.

Savage's happy hippy daysMichael Savage Weiner claims MMfA is "run by a homosexual activist who hates anybody in the media who does not kowtow to the homosexual agenda." He had previously referred to Media Matters as "a gay website that attacks me every day" and called Brock "a psychopath." All of this sounds pretty ironic for a guy who used to write overly friendly letters to and skinny-dipped with beatnik poet Allen Ginsberg. It really makes one wonder whether Weiner's, er Savage's reactionary radio shtick is all just an act.

Oh, the company one keeps...One radio loudmouth who really is putting on an act is Tammy Bruce. The wingnut blogs are absolutely drooling over her appearance on Bill O'Reilly's show a few days ago on FOX 'News' where she claimed that there is a left-wing 'hit list' on conservojocks, and they're coming to put them all out of work. But let's call it like it is - Bruce is a fraud. She's not really a conservative. In fact, she started out doing liberal radio, until her job prospects started to look somewhat grim. Then, this pro-choice, pro-gay rights lesbian feminist shifted abruptly to the right, metamorphosing into some sort of 'conservative-but-not-really-conservative'. Or, as she describes herself, an "openly gay, pro-choice, gun owning, pro-death penalty, voted-for-President Bush progressive feminist." Her political orientation shifts back and forth with the breeze, adapting her outlook to whatever suits her arguments, employment prospects or FOX 'News' facetime. In other words, she flip-flops more than Mitt Romney. Newsflash to all wingnuts - she's a phony.

Now, is there a problem with this? I accept this as fact in the radio industry. Let's be real here - it's all show business anyway. Talk radio at times seems no different than professional wrestling, ridiculous braggadocio and all. This is commonly referred to in the wrestling business by terms such as 'work' or 'kayfabe.' Where two menacing thugs go out and beat the living shit out of each other, steal each others' girlfriends and blow up each others' cars on TV every week, yet go out for beers and share steroid needles after the show is over. Talk radio is similar, except for the exploding cars and physical violence. Bruce is all kayfabe. When Limbaugh exploded on the national radio scene, I thought the same, like he's doing a parody of a conservative moron. And to be honest, I thought he was pretty good at it. Over time, I think he started believing his own bullshit, thanks to fame and all that money. At least the money his three ex-wives haven't taken. Same with Sean Hannity, who often sounds like he's reading straight from the RNC faxes. Most likely, these guys are probably putting on an act to some degree, call it 'whoring for dollars.' The sad reality is that, unlike wrestling which we all know is a put-on, radio listeners actually think all of what these folks say is legit.

Bozell, in a quieter momentAnd these types of conservative gasbags, in increasingly widespread delusions of paranoia, are once again playing the victim, claiming that Hillary, Soros, the media (which they are a part of anyway) and organizations like MMfA are out to squash them like the bugs they are. What they fail to mention is that MMfA wasn't even there first. Actually, they got the idea from the wingnuts themselves. James Dobson and his righteous ilk have been attacking the media and the entertainment industry for decades. Hotheaded wingnut Brent Bozell was next in 1987 with his Media Research Center (and later, sister blog NewsBusters). And there's more where that came from, in the form of 'Accuracy' in Media. Sure, they claim to be neutral, but they're always out front in claiming liberal media bias, while rarely attacking conservatives. And guess what? All of these groups do the exact same thing that they accuse MMfA of doing. Pot, say hello to kettle. But hey, it's all a 'work' anyway, right? Just like pro wrestling.

Scaife and Clinton (tail between Scaife's legs not shown)And as far as deep-pocketed political sugar daddies go, Soros is a Johnny-come-lately to the party. Conservatives and Republican'ts for years have been relying on eccentric moneymen to help squash anyone who stands in their way. Ever hear of Richard Mellon Scaife? This trust fund baby used some of his $1 billion inheritance to lash out at all things non-conservative. He made borderline illegal contributions to Richard Nixon's 1972 re-election campaign. He sent money to right-wing think tanks and political action committees. He bought a little newspaper in the Pittsburgh suburbs and turned it into an ultra-conservative attack rag. He threw money at magazines like the American Spectator, which in turn funded the Arkansas Project, a nefarious group whose sole purpose from the early 1990s onward was to dig up as much dirt on Bill Clinton as humanly possible. Scaife even funded this shady venture directly, and in many ways oversaw it. Ironically, one key journalist used in the smear campaign was none other than then-American Spectator writer David Brock, who later renounced his sordid muckraking past and flipped to the other side, founding MMfA. In essence, here was Scaife, a goofy billionaire who, with a right-wing group, was trying to overthrow the presidency. Hey, isn't that treason? Funny we don't hear Limbaugh, O'Reilly, Savage and Bruce talk about this crazy rich guy trying to silence the opposition. But I guess it would be a bit difficult to work that into a conversation on a daily three hour program, right? Oh, and Scaife himself directly sent money to the Media Research Center, further making this whole Soros thing moot.

The power of influenceWant more? Well, there's more where Scaife came from. Perhaps the grandaddy of them all is Sun Myung Moon, Korean leader of the Unification Church, an organization considered by many to be a high-powered cult. When authorities started to come down on his massive financial empire in the 1970s for fraud, conspiracy and tax evasion offenses, Moon sought to make some high-powered friends. He aligned himself with Republicans such as Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. In the ultimate suck-up gesture to the GOP, he gave them their own newspaper, the Washington Times, on which he has spent over a billion dollars on over the past two decades without ever seeing a profit. Not to worry, since he can always bilk more out of his followers anyway. Ironically, his efforts have been defended in the past by the ACLU, another frequent target of the conservative movement.

And, need I mention Australian media baron Rupert Murdoch, who went down the same media road as Moon, minus the cult and the lawbreaking? We're all too familiar with that story, and he's kind of a lightweight compared to some of these other characters.

But this is just the tip of the iceberg. I could mention that the conservative movement has always been propped up by generous sugardaddies like Richard DeVos, founder of the Amway pyramid scheme, and countless others including many, many oil companies, media owners and defense contractors. But this article is getting way too long and off-track, so it's best that it come to a close.

So, wingnuts can go ahead and attack MMfA, Soros, Hillary, the media and all their other usual punching bags. But before they do, perhaps it's best that they take a good, hard look in the mirror at themselves and the people they're talking to. Their ideals are propped up by the billions of dollars coming from a traitor, a felonious Korean cult leader and a pyramid scheme ripoff artist. They'll realize that they're not so high and mighty after all. It's just them whining and ranting like the conservative crybabies they are.


ltr said...

And Rushbo is at it again, this time claiming that Cho Seung-hui, the student who went on a shooting rampage at Virginia Tech this past Monday, "had to be a liberal." Gee, next thing you know, he'll claim Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols were liberals as well.

I'm thankful for Media Matters, since I really can't keep up with all this bullshit on my own. Nor do I really desire to. These clowns spout off such ridiculous nonsense so often, it's like playing whack-a-mole.

will_in_chicago said...

Rush's response is predictable, as that of Neal Boortz picking up the rhetoric from John Derbyshire of National Review online saying that the victims at the Virginia Tech shootings were cowards for not stopping the shooter. Indeed, Media Matters for America has an article on the [url=]chorus[/url] of those blaming the students and other victims.

Great article, ltr!!

raccoonradio said...

Speaking of meltdowns, heard Alec
Baldwin's conversation with his
daughter? He could probably just as easily wind up doing the same kind of ranting against the Republicans in a show on Air America. (Though I don't
know why he's still in this country;
wasn't Alec "Father Of The Year"
Baldwin one of those celebs who
was going to move to France
if Bush got re-elected?

Alec's audition tape to be a talk
host on Air America

ltr said...

Why do I give a shit about celebrity gossip?

Though I would like to know what Paris Hilton has to say about all this.

Got a real response to all of this? What are your freeper buddies saying, raccoon?

NYLefty said...

It's not quite accurate to say that George Soros hasn't invested in Air America. I remember Al Franken interviewing him and thanking him for investing. I'm not sure if he mentioned a number, but I've heard it was a million dollars -- not much in the overall scheme of things, but still....

ltr said...

Do you have proof that Soros invested in AAR? For all we know, Franken could have been joking, especially since the wingnuts had been claiming this as fact. I've read and heard from various sources that AAR approached Soros but he wasn't interested. He's more into grassroots groups like MoveOn and ACT, and think tanks like Center for America Progress.

Of course, if he did invest in AAR, I don't see a problem with it. But from what I've heard, this is not the case.

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