Friday, June 15, 2012

Reprint Heaven: It's The Money, Honey; But You Knew That

(Today, a buffoon from Phuku Carlson's Fox Newsy/Truthy - backed website interrupted the President several times during a news conference at the White House -- effectively heckling him.

(But, hey; as Lard Boy, self-proclaimed 'intellectual engine' of the Right, tells us, "We are at war with our own President, we are at war with our own government". And as Mr. Trump suggests, the President is an illegitimate leader.

And any idiot in the mode of Carlson, Breitbart, O'Keefe or their surrogates, all yearning for the brass ring of "fame" and the chance to move up in line on the Gravy Train in that little town on the Potomac... well, they don't feel the need to justify their behaviors. They're Patriots; don't you know.

(And, at an event in Ohio yesterday (both Obama and Mitzy were speaking in the state), the Mitt Romney campaign bus circled the area of the Obama event, its driver honking the horn as the President spoke; another kind of interruption.

(It was an act, like that of the stupid clown -- whatever his name was; no one remembers -- who shouted "You Lie!" at Obama during a SOTU address, about aggression and disruption. It was a way of manufacturing news and creating a particular kind of controversy where none was needed.

(It was announced yesterday that -- thanks to the Citizens United decision by the Scalia Court -- a Romney PAC will receive a $10 million-dollar donation from yet another right-wing billionaire. And we can expect the Rethug campaign of 2012 will be not be a real, adult and public discussion about ideals that America has desperately needed for over a decade.

(Instead, the GOP campaign will be one long series of interruptions, of misdirection and invented news, and a constant barrage well-financed negative ads spun to keep the Obama campaign off-balance, forcing them to spend money and time swatting at flies. It will be a campaign of racist innuendo, of lies repeated over and over.

(The Rethugs won't treat America's adult voting population with anything but barely-disguised condescension and contempt -- much as Little Rupert treats his media 'consumers'. This presidential campaign, from the Right, will resemble Brownshirts shouting down leftist candidates attempting to speak in Weimar Germany: The Triumph Of The Strong. It will end with the majority of citizens dominated even further by The Oligarch Class.

(So, expect more "pranks", more hecklers, even Nixon-style 'dirty tricks'. A pudgy frat boy with temporary press White House credentials shouting at the President, or a campaign bus horn blown to draw attention away from Obama, is just the beginning.

(And the Thugs expect the Democrats to lie down and take it -- because they think the Left is composed of nothing but punks.

(With all this in mind, here's a reprint from April of 2010.)





Doesn't Know Much About History, Doesn't Care


Nasty, Greedy Little Man (Photo: I Spit On News Corp.)

When reasonable people have disagreement over issues, even passionate disagreement, it's possible both sides can make an attempt to retain a basic, innate respect for their humanity -- a recognition that "we all breathe the same air; we all cherish our children's futures; and we are all mortal".

I think about John Adams and Thomas Jefferson: Two men whose arguments and writings, more than any of the American Revolutionaries, shaped the creation of an entirely new order of representative government. They became the closest of friends, then the most bitter antagonists -- two men who could not have been more opposed to each other professionally or personally (You think politics during the Nixon, Reagan or Clinton years were crazy? Do some reading).



It took a long time, but they slowly picked up the threads of their old friendship. And when Adams, the crusty old Federalist, lay dying on July 4, 1826, his last words were, "Yet Thomas Jefferson survives"... not knowing that the author of most of the Declaration Of Independence had passed away hours before.

American politics has always involved some of our worst -- and best -- instincts. But the (probably intellectual) notion borrowed from our British roots about politeness and "Seemly public discourse... as an edification to all who observe" has all but disappeared.

Politics is now more theater than it has ever been -- and as a method of evoking raw passions to carry a debate, it looks more like the psychology of advertising than trying to find a national consensus over serious public issues... exactly the problem facing the American Revolutionaries in the late 18th Century.


24 Hours A Day: Alarm, Anxiety, Fantasy -- With Commercials

And, because getting more and more is the new religion, a media industry has evolved with essentially a 'Yellow Journalism' business model which thrives on creating conflict, division, sensation and 'controversy', so that they can sell things.

This means much of what they broadcast are untruths: They lie. Period.

Little Rupert Murdoch is the current Citizen Kane of Right-Wing media. He's a conservative, but a pragmatist, too: He just wants to make more, and if somehow being more Progressive would bring more profit, that might be News Corporation's intellectual position.

But Little Rupert's not personally disposed to be Liberal, and he likes spewing crap for his team. He thinks of people as stupid, gullible, and worse (if he didn't, Little Rupert wouldn't treat his 'consumers' that way). And, he likes media people who are like him -- Rightist, but "at the end of the day" don't give two hoots about telling people the truth, or the politics: Show Me The Fookin' Money, Mate.

It's why he's let The Simpsons run for ten-plus years; not because it was a groundbreaking animated program, or embodies generally decent values -- but because Viewers = Higher Ad Buy Rates.

Ben Frumin at Talking Points Memo reported that Fox News' Liar Rightist Shill News Commentator guy Glenn Beck doesn't say the things he says and cries because he cares deeply about politics, or about the United States of America; or about other human beings (if he did in a real way, his message would probably be very different).


As Frumin Reported, And As Beck Says, "He's an entertainer"

A new profile in Forbes states that Beck "insists that he is not political":

" 'I could give a flying crap about the political process'. Making money, on the other hand, is to be taken very seriously, and controversy is its own coinage. 'We [i.e., Fox] are an entertainment company,' Beck says. He has managed to monetize virtually everything that comes out of his mouth. "

Frumin goes on to note that, according to Forbes, Mercury Radio Arts, Beck's own company "(which Forbes dubs "Glenn Beck Inc."), reported $32 million" in revenue in the 12-month period ending March 1st, and which Forbes and Frumin list as

* $13 million a year from books and magazines;
* $10 million from radio syndication;
* $4 million from a newsletter, GlennBeck.com, and merchandise;
* $3 million from speaking engagement fees;
* $2 million income as a News Commentator at Fox 'News'

Beck and Fox, Hannity, Lard Boy, Loofah O'Reilly and Mikey Wiener; and Rightist 'commentators' and propaganda outlets, are coming under increasing scrutiny for regularly using escalating, violent rhetoric, which are considered contributing factors in a rising number of violent right-wing incidents.

You can't immerse right-wing nut jobs in a bath of Fox 'News' and battery acid for 24 hours a day, and not anticipate that one or more of them will just start killing people.

One example -- just today, an obese amazingly fat right-wing Texan named Larry Worth was arrested by the FBI for placing 36 pipe bombs in Post Office Boxes around the country. A friend of Worth's told local reporters that the man "sat around watching Fox all day, and getting angry".


Larry Worth, Who Looks Disturbingly Like Someone I Work With
(Photo: Smith Co., Texas; via TPMMuckraker, April 8, 2010)

People like Lard Boy and Beck enjoy being virtually untouchable. They can say, even do, almost anything. They enjoy being the people who create and channel the fear of their audiences into anger -- and they enjoy the power that gives them in Rightist circles. But it's not about serious political principles; it's an act. It's about ego, and about personal enrichment.

Limbaugh said in 2009, "First and foremost, I’m a businessman. My first goal is to attract the largest audience possible so I can charge confiscatory ad rates. I happen to have great entertainment skills, but that enables me to sell airtime.” Then he added -- as if he had to after a rare moment of honesty -- "But in my heart and soul, I know I have become the intellectual engine of the conservative movement."


Obligatory Cute Animal Photo In Middle Of Social Discourse

The 'intellectual engine' comment is part of the act; Limbaugh displays no intellect in his vaudeville. His career is about ego, and about money; the remark about "confiscatory ad[vertising] rates" says it all. People like Lard Boy want it (as Grace Slick once famously sang) "fat, and round", and they want it for themselves. Politics are just a means to that end. And Blimpy did get fat, and round.

This government is governing against its own citizens. This president and his party are governing against us. We are at war with our own President, we are at war with our own government. -- Rush Limbaugh, January 9, 2010

The real indicator of their lack of commitment to any ideas or principles appears when their listeners begin to act on the anger which the Becks and Lard Boys work day after day to manufacture. When a militia group is taken down, when nut cases call Progressive or Liberal elected officials to threaten them; when physicians and nurses at family planning clinics are harassed and their homes firebombed; when the number of credible threats to an African-American President rises substantially...

When these things happen, the Becks or Limbaughs don't stand proudly behind their work. They don't talk about being 'Culture Warriors', revolutionaries, and take responsibility for their role in creating and enciting violence against a government they keep shouting is illegitimate and evil.


All Part Of The Game; It's Even On Nintendo

Like every bully ever born, when it's possible they could be punished for their behavior -- or when it might affect their cash flow -- suddenly they become subdued, polite. Then, people like O'Reilly or Beck don't claim to be 'news commentators', or 'journalists'. They're not even savvy businesspersons.

Suddenly, they claim to be only simple entertainers -- and entertainers can't be held accountable if what they say is taken seriously, right? It's the fault of those crazy persons who do those violent things. It's really someone else's fault.

Always someone else's fault.