Wednesday, June 14, 2006

$20 Whorowitz, O'Lielly, and the con-apparatchiki

On CNN Larry King, $20 Whorowitz defended comrade Ann Coulter, who has been assailed for her toxic waste dumping (funny what passes for talent at publishing houses), and he executed a precision strike as tight as a Rumsfeldian post-war plan for Iraq. Whorowitz demonstrated how it's done (with emphasis):

Appearing on the June 12 edition of CNN's Larry King Live, right-wing activist and author David Horowitz again defended right-wing pundit Ann Coulter's recent attacks against widows of victims from the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, declaring that "Ann has done us a service," adding: "It wasn't Ann who crossed the line. It was these widows who crossed the line." Characterizing Coulter's personal attacks on the 9-11 widows as "satire," Horowitz echoed others in the media in suggesting that the underlying point Coulter was making in going after the widows -- that Democrats and liberals use victims as advocates for particular causes because they are insulated from criticism -- was "perfectly legitimate." In fact, far from being immune from challenge, the individuals Coulter cited as examples of "infallible" advocates promoted by Democrats have faced strong Republican opposition and, quite often, ad hominem attacks from conservatives, as Media Matters for America has demonstrated. Indeed, Horowitz himself smeared one such person -- anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan -- during the CNN broadcast, stating that Sheehan is "a disgrace" who "defamed her own child" who died in the Iraq war.

So "satire" is what the right-wing punditry calls ad hominem attacks? I must remember that explanation. Why, I must be writing satire even as I type! Ha!

You've got to smile (as if you've discovered the owner of a silent fart) at the alleged use of victims as liberal "advocates," a creative invention for a member of the con-apparatchiki. Could it be these protesting "victims" were already of a liberal bent so other liberals came to their aid? Nah, that's too simple and logical for a $20 Whorowitz who fancies underlying nastiness. But perhaps the comrades of the con-apparatchiki, having seen a Bush WH exploit 9/11! 9/11! 9/11! ...think that everybody does it, so they--the opposition--must too. I also recall that a certain NFL star, the dearly departed Pat Tillman, was promoted as a heroic poster child for the war by the Bush Administration, that was... until the news came out that Tillman supported Kerry over Bush and opposed the Iraq War. I suppose IOKIYAR (it's OK if you're a Republican) to use fallen soldiers to bolster one's glorious adventure even if it is without the family's permission. But isn't that using a victim, a dead soldier, as an advocate for the war? Didn't Bush cross the line exploiting Pat's death? Isn't that disgraceful? Don't tell me that $20 Whorowitz might criticize the Bush WH as a "disgrace" having "defamed" one of our soldiers!? Banish the thought. Zip it. A double standard liberates the comrades of the con-apparatchiki.

Whorowitz hurled a lot more ga-jizzle so click on over to Media Matters. No one takes the pulse of media better than MM in exposing discrepancies, disinformation, blatant propagandizing, lies, and plain ol' kookiness... like the latest installment from O'Lielly.
Another comrade of the con-apparatchiki, Bill O'Lielly, appeared with Matt Lauer on the Today show this morning to add his two cents to the Coulter the Impaler controversy by saying that she preaches to an angry choir through her use of personal attacks, which he stated was "terrible" and "wrong." Odd... could Bill suffer from early senility? Because he has forgotten his own expert personal attack technique:

As an example of his opposition to personal attacks, O'Reilly cited his appearance on the January 3 edition of CBS' Late Show with David Letterman, in which host David Letterman challenged O'Reilly's criticism of Sheehan.

Regarding his exchange with Letterman, O'Reilly told Lauer:

O'REILLY: I never attacked Cindy Sheehan personally. I said her politics are far-left, she's being run by far-left elements. Period. Letterman said I have no right to say that. I said, 'Baloney.' OK? I can criticize her politics, but if I had criticized her personally, that would have been wrong.

O'Reilly further stated that "If I start to personally attack, people walk away" and accuse him of being "a right wing nut."

Despite the fact that O'Reilly has made this false claim before, regarding his treatment of Sheehan -- a claim that Media Matters has debunked -- Lauer did not challenge him on the assertion or point out prior instances in which O'Reilly did in fact engage in personal attacks on Sheehan. These include:

Claiming that Sheehan was "dumb enough to allow" herself to be "run by far-left elements who are using her."

Claiming that Sheehan "has thrown in with the most radical elements in this country" and "other American families who have lost sons and daughters in Iraq ... feel that this kind of behavior borders on treasonous."

• Including Sheehan on a list of "coward[s]."

Additionally, Lauer failed to challenge O'Reilly's false suggestion that he does not engage in personal attacks, a striking failure given O'Reilly's comparison, on the November 30, 2005, broadcast of Today, of those who advocate a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq to Hitler appeasers. Media Matters has also documented numerous other instances of O'Reilly attacking those with whom he disagrees.

Media Matters offers quite a file on flippity-floppity media punditry and politicians who say they despise personal attacks, accuse others of making them, and then, amazingly, do it themselves. Confusing morality!

So, I'm puzzled. Is lying and viciousness the brand of morality that the Right thrusts onto the public stage these days? What about the Oval Office? Is Karl Rove the kind of guy our kids should emulate? If the preznit still coddles Rove, doesn't that say it's OK to lie, smear, play dirty, and cheat... just don't get caught?

Conservatives talk about how America has succumbed to moral decay. The con-apparatchiki attempt to offer us answers, blaming liberals for too much permissiveness and opportunism, but I think the Right ought to just... Look. In. The. Mirror.