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True conspiracies?

It’s healthy to be skeptical of conspiracy theories; especially ones whose truth would require bad science, illogical motives, the implausible silence of thousands of people, etc. For example, the Rosie O’Donnell form of 9-11 Trooferism, in which absurd claims are made that fire somehow can’t melt nor weaken structural steel, that employees spanning vast security agencies of multiple nations conspired in vast deceptions, etc.

But occasionally, a conspiracy might be real, or partly so. I recently web-surfed to this interesting video from the folks at list25.com. They claim to list 25 true conspiracies.

Note: I DO NOT AGREE with, or vouch for, their entire list. For example, their item 18 (the Nayirah al-Sabah war propaganda case) specifically asserts a CIA connection that Wikipedia does not mention at all. Or their item 15 (about polio vaccine containing a cancer-inducing agent) appears to be weakly sourced.

Still, here are three of their items which were new to me – and which did seem to be supported, when I did quick Google searches for them. If true, they would be historically interesting. If untrue, please feel free to say so in the comments (hopefully with links).

25. Did the NSA in the early 1960s propose to foment war with Cuba, by means of false terrorist incidents that would kill Americans? Search for Operation Northwoods. Again, if this story is false, please let us know in the comments. ABC News reported it as true. If it was a real proposal, then President Kennedy deserves kudos for rejecting it.

24. Did technology exist, as early as the 1970s, to assassinate people ‘trace-free’? A senate.gov page says that:

At the first televised hearing [of the 1975 Church Committee]…Chairman Church dramatically displayed a CIA poison dart gun to highlight the committee’s discovery that the CIA directly violated a presidential order by maintaining stocks of shellfish toxin sufficient to kill thousands.

Some say the point was to deliver a tiny dart, and a toxin, that would decay on impact and become undetectable, after having induced a massive heart attack. I (Jeff) would add that, if the CIA had it in the 1970s, then surely others must have it in the 2000s; which must be why some people wonder about the sudden heart attack of Andrew Breitbart. (more…)

Anthony Weiner: Poster Boy for narcissism

I know this clip is everywhere today, but it’s everywhere for a reason: Weiner’s angry cluelessness is almost too appalling for words.

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It shows one of life’s classic moral confrontations.

  • The normal person (“normal” just meaning, “takes for granted that there are norms of personal behavior”) expresses a viewpoint like: There are norms; you are aware that you violated them when you repeatedly betrayed and humiliated your wife with your deviance, right? I’m not judging you, you can go home and have a good life, but you really don’t belong in the public eye. Have a nice life, but please stop bothering us here in the public square.
  • While the malignant narcissist expresses a viewpoint like: How DARE you tell me that I don’t belong in the public eye, being adored (e.g., voted for – and given power)?! You small person, you coward, you ignoramus, you self-appointed judge, you [insert names of choice]!

Hat tip, Michelle Malkin.

Today’s Appalling Facebook Meme

Wow, just wow, is about all I can say in response to this piece of leftist rationalization which I saw today on Facebook.  It goes without saying that we’d be hearing something VERY DIFFERENT from this fellow if there was a Republican president.

The message here boils down to: freedom doesn’t matter, liberty doesn’t matter, rights don’t matter, and the most important role for government is to stand for “social justice.”  Here’s the link, but I’ve quoted the whole thing in its appalling entirety below:

Things I’m more worried about than my phone being tapped:
Global warming. The richest 1% controlling more wealth than the bottom 50%. Homelessness. Gutting the food stamp program. The rich hiding several Trillion untaxed dollars. Secretaries paying more in taxes than billionaires. Politicians being bought and sold. Malaria and starvation. More people per capita in prison than any other country. The “war” on drugs. More black men in prison than in college. Rising cost of education and health care. The rise of extremism. The continued oppression of women. The general lack of compassion in the world. The degree to which we all blame our problems on others and close our eyes to our own irrationality.
That more people are outraged by a small loss of privacy than any of these other issues.

Should I add “People who write in sentence fragments” to his list of outrages more “worrisome” than a government which spends all its time monitoring its people, or is that just my pet peeve?

Not surprisingly, the best responses to this kind of thing date to the founding of the Republic.  We’ve always got the classic from Benjamin Franklin: “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

But in this context, where the message is to sacrifice liberty for “social justice,” I think Sam Adams might be better, though trying to choose just one passage that is appropriate is rather like an embarrassment of riches.  I have long admired this one:

If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.

Perhaps this one is better: “If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.”

And just in case the Obamalaise is getting to you, here’s one worth repeating regularly: “Nil desperandum, — Never Despair. That is a motto for you and me. All are not dead; and where there is a spark of patriotic fire, we will rekindle it.”

Social Liberalism: Simple-minded and Pernicious Memes

When I wrote my first post on liberalism as more of a social phenomenon than an intellectual one, I imagined a series of posts dealing with many different implications of that idea.  So far I’ve written three other posts in the series on topics ranging from slogans to leftist intolerance and political changers to the so-called “wealth gap.”

One big topic that I haven’t explored yet–even though I’ve meant to do so since the start of the series–is the way in which liberal ideas are perpetuated on social media and elsewhere through the use of simple-minded memes.  As I considered the idea of social liberalism, one point which came to mind is that so many liberal memes might seem catchy at first glance,  but they are either responses to outlandish straw men, or they make no sense whatsoever when subjected to even the slightest bit of scrutiny.

At Legal Insurrection, Professor Jacobson has written a few posts about the role of the leftist site Upworthy in promulgating memes of both sorts, including a post this past Tuesday on the high cost of low-information voters.  And he’s not the only one to recognize the importance of simple-minded memes for the left.  For example, this post at Breitbart.com takes the idea one step further to reflect on the significance of LOLcats in politics.

What interests me at the moment, though, is that there is a whole class of liberal memes which go beyond the simple-minded to the downright pernicious: they promulgate leftist thinking in a way that seems ironic or clever or humorous, even as they blatantly acknowledge the darker goals of leftist ideology.   I stumbled across a prime example of one such meme on Facebook about two months ago when an acquaintance “shared” a meme which had been promoted by the Facebook group “Being Liberal” back in December 2011.  I’ve pasted the image below.

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We’re all familiar with the common liberal tropes about “beating swords into plowshares” and the frequent lament heard on the left that “if we spent on education or social programs what we spent on the military” somehow all of society’s ills would disappear.   This meme takes that same tack, but uses “irony” to take it one step further by suggesting that the government can use the military to “win the hearts and minds of the population” and put the “locals to work” working on infrastructure politics.

By supposedly employing “irony” to make its point, therefore, it moves from the simple-minded lament about spending more on education and social programs into the territory of the pernicious by endorsing the use of the military as a means of social control.  The person who posts or re-posts the idea can feign ignorance of the pernicious implications by saying that the meme isn’t “serious” or that it is “just making a point through irony,” but it’s a point which betrays the left’s ignorance of the way free people and free markets operate.  The point of the meme is unmistakable:  all good comes through government, and we ought to use the force of government to establish a planned economy.

The Facebook page for “Being Liberal” attributes this meme to one of its readers named Terry Sebolt who wrote in and said (with the disingenuousness common on the left): “”Those were my words, but not my pic. Feel free to put it anywhere you want. I meant every word of it, and hope people enjoy the irony, regardless of credit. It was a throw away line…”

The claim may be spurious, though, as I did some internet searching and the earliest example I could find for the meme online was this appearance on Twitter from August 9, 2011.  I’ve posted a screenshot of the image below.

Screen shot 2013-03-01 at 11.22.28 PM

Regardless of the authorship, though, the claim is intended to make a point by shocking, even though those who quote the statement will try to distance themselves from its actual implications.  Those implications, though, tell us a great amount about the worldview of the left.

What’s even more amazing in the case of the person I know who re-posted this meme is that she is an immigrant from eastern Europe with a PhD in a scientific field from an American university.   She often refers to the bad days growing up in her country under a brutal dictator when everyone was suffering.  And so she moves to the U.S. and spends time in universities and decides that she’s a “liberal” and approvingly re-posts that “ironic” image.  If that’s not an example of a socially-promulgated disorder, then I’m not sure what would be.

Social Liberalism: The Wealth Gap

When I put up my first post on social liberalism several weeks ago, I envisioned a series of posts that would discuss many of the implications of the fact that modern liberalism is more a social phenomenon than an intellectual one.  I’ve done that in part, but have until now neglected to mention one of the largest implications of all, namely that most modern liberals make easy targets for propagandists of all stripes because their political identity is driven more by their feelings than by the facts, and so they rarely exert critical judgement over the memes and narratives of the moment.

Quite to the contrary:  to exert critical judgement is automatically to invite suspicion, because it means asking difficult questions, seeking facts, pointing out fallacies, noting inconsistencies, all of which make modern liberals profoundly uncomfortable because those sorts of activities advertise the questioner’s willingness to dissent from the orthodoxy.

Neo-Neocon wrote a great post many years ago where she quoted Milan Kundera’s Book of Laughter and Forgetting on the power of “Circle Dancing”:

Circle dancing is magic. It speaks to us through the millennia from the depths of human memory. Madame Raphael had cut the picture out of the magazine and would stare at it and dream. She too longed to dance in a ring. All her life she had looked for a group of people she could hold hands with and dance with in a ring. First she looked for them in the Methodist Church (her father was a religious fanatic), then in the Communist Party, then among the Trotskyites, then in the anti-abortion movement (A child has a right to life!), then in the pro-abortion movement (A woman has a right to her body!); she looked for them among the Marxists, the psychoanalysts, and the structuralists; she looked for them in Lenin, Zen Buddhism, Mao Tse-tung, yogis, the nouveau roman, Brechtian theater, the theater of panic; and finally she hoped she could at least become one with her students, which meant she always forced them to think and say exactly what she thought and said, and together they formed a single body and a single soul, a single ring and a single dance.

To question is to step outside the  circle, to resist the lure of the dance.  And so the memes and narratives proliferate, pushed on by those who “feel moved” by them and are too afraid to question them.

Among the many liberals I know, this week’s meme is a viral video about “the wealth gap.”  I first noticed a college acquaintance (and an enthusiastic Elizabeth Warren supporter) mention it on Facebook on Sunday, and have noticed at least three other references to it by others since then.  The video is only 6 minutes and 24 seconds long, but if you’re like me, after about three minutes, it will seem like it is going on forever.

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I’ve recorded some of my thoughts below the fold.

(more…)

Meme of the Week: Crazy Cat Lady Liberals

My last post generated a lot of great discussion, which is still continuing.  I hope to highlight or focus on some of the strands of that discussion in future posts, but for now I thought I’d emphasize one passage with the hope of turning it into the conservative meme of the week.

Our commenter Crosspatch wrote a number of very detailed and thoughtful responses, but one paragraph of this comment is worth highlighting for expressing a cogent critique of modern liberals which everyone can understand:

Many Democrats are to people what cat ladies are to cats. The cat lady can not stand the thought of those poor kitties out there all on their own in the dead of winter so she takes them in to “take care of” them. The cats end up being packed into slums as she micromanages them but the task becomes too much, requires too much overhead, and living conditions begin to deteriorate as they are in Detroit. The cat lady isn’t really doing it to help the cat because the cat would probably have a much better quality of life if she had left it alone. She is doing it to help HERSELF not feel bad. Liberals often don’t do things to actually help people so much as they do it to make themselves feel better, like they are doing something about a problem. If you try to explain to them that they are actually doing a disservice to those they are trying to help, you are treated just like any other person who points out a flaw in a “fundamentalist’s” logic. You are attacked and ostracized.

When I was quickly skimming through the many comments, I originally glossed over that paragraph, but subsequent comments by Chris H. and Bastiat Fan made me take a closer look at it.

One of the themes of Crosspatch’s comments has to do with the ways in which the leftist media and the educational establishment both set the ground rules and expectations for debate and discussion of issues to make it difficult for conservatives to respond.

One way conservatives can fight against this, it seems to me, is to generate as many powerful and accessible counter-narratives as we can to begin to change the way people view both conservative and liberal ideas.

The Crazy Cat Lady Liberal meme has that power.  Although I found a reference to a similar idea from a column by John Hawkins that appeared last march the idea hasn’t caught on widely yet, and it’s time we see to it that it does.  (As an aside, it should surprise no one that there really are crazy cat lady liberals who are proud of being both of those things.)

Social Liberalism: Going Too Far

A few weeks ago, a reader at Instapundit found an interesting passage in the archives which Glenn Reynolds had first quoted in February 2002.  I made note of the passage because it seemed to fit so well with both the social liberalism theme and also with the distinction (increasingly hard to recognize in the age of Obama, I admit) between liberals and leftists to which I made reference in my last post.

The passage is from an article by Judith Lewis entitled “Why I’m Not a Protestor” that appeared in the LA Weekly on Jan. 30, 2002:

And whatever these perfect strangers from Kentucky stood for, however distant they were from the causes of global minimum wage, clean energy and sustainable peace, they were still able to treat people who shared almost none of their values without contempt. We were able to do the same, and to us, that was a hugely political act.

But it is the kind of political act for which the current crop of activist groups — from the Voters Rights March to Ramsey Clark’s International Action Center — have increasingly little patience. Faced with dissenting views or even devil’s advocacy from newspaper reporters, they grow hostile and deny access. When I’ve collaborated with activists on the left, as I did recently on a Web site, I’ve found them willing to censor discussions or use ridicule when certain words make them uncomfortable. When I’ve written about them, they’ve been unhappy that I’ve focused on their personal struggles and not exclusively on the issues, and as a member of the media, I’ve endured their suspicion and scorn. Were these people ever to actually run the country, I complained loudly in the summer of 2000, while I was up in Malibu covering the Ruckus Society’s direct-action training camp, it would be a bona fide fascist dictatorship.

Although the LA Weekly article ends by reiterating the writer’s allegiance to leftist goals and ideals, she intends it as a warning to her fellow liberals and leftists that they need to learn to work and play well with others.  Despite her moment of clarity, she is unable to recognize that the leftist activist class is extreme and intolerant because leftist philosophies inevitably end up there.

The passage came to mind again when I saw this recent interview with Juan Williams at the Daily Caller.  In the interview, Williams talks about what he learned from his firing by NPR:  the liberal media will “shut you down, stab you, kill you, fire you” if you disagree, he tells Ginni Thomas.

Both examples remind me of the many political change stories that Neoneocon has collected and written about over the years.  Although neither Judith Lewis (in the LA Weekly article) nor Juan Williams have abandoned their belief in leftist ideas, both have experienced a key element of leftism that has inspired many others to look more closely at conservative ideas and conservative thinkers.

In other words, the ingrained tendency of the left to go too far often unsettles the willingness of individuals to continue to believe in the narrative of a beneficent and well-intentioned politics–a belief which, however unfounded, is one of the hallmarks of social liberalism.   At least that has been my experience.

What have our readers observed?  Were any of you political changers?  Was there something about the anger, intolerance, and extremism of the leftist activist class that inspired you to question your views or, alternately, that made you more resolute in your conservative beliefs?

Social Liberalism: The Power of Slogans

The first post in my ongoing, periodical series about “social liberalism” generated a lively discussion (which was still continuing last time I checked).  I had originally planned a second post about the implications of the socially-perpetuated nature of liberalism on both the arguments (or lack thereof) and pundits that seem to dominate on the left side of the political spectrum.  I still think that’s a fascinating topic, and I plan to write more about that in the future.

For the time being, though, I’d rather call attention to this noteworthy post by Bookworm which I learned of as a result of this post by Neo-neocon.  Bookworm’s post is about the need for conservatives to focus largely on messaging which captures something that Malcolm Gladwell refers to as “the stickiness factor.”  Bookworm explains:

The Stickiness Factor?  That’s what it sounds like:  it’s a message that doesn’t just amuse or intrigue people for a mere minute.  Instead, it sticks with them and, even more importantly, makes them act.  During the Bush years, the Dems came up with a great one:  No War for Oil.  The fact that this slogan had little relationship to the facts, or that a ginormous number of people stuck it on the back of their gas-guzzling SUVs was irrelevant.  Those four words convinced too many Americans that the Republicans were fighting wars on behalf of Standard Oil.

She goes on to reflect on examples similar to the kinds of things I was reflecting on as I imagined some of my future posts on the socially-coercive power of contemporary liberalism:

The Progressive penchant for ignoring facts undoubtedly makes it easier for them to come up with the pithy slogans and posters that sweep through Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and email chains before ending up on tens of thousands of bumper stickers that subliminally drill into every driver’s head. People could laugh when reading “Somewhere in Texas, a village is missing its idiot,” never mind that George Bush was a highly educated, accomplished man with an academic record better than or equal to his opponents’.

Conservatives used to have pithy sayings (“Live free or die,” “I regret that I have but one life to give for my country,” “That government is best that governs least”), but we don’t seem to have come up with any clever ones lately.  As you may recall, during John McCain’s failed candidacy, his slogan — “Country First” — managed to leave supporters cold, while allowing opponents to mumble about racism.  I doubt that we’ll ever get another “I like Ike,” but we can certainly do better than Romney’s “Believe in America,” which sounds more like the beginning of a fairy tale than it does a rousing call to the ballot box.

And finally, there’s the Power of Context, which at its simplest level means that a message has to capture the zeitgeist.  People have to be primed and ready to receive the message.  In 2012, Americans, fed on decades of anti-capitalist education and entertainment, were more than ready to believe that Romney was a dog-abusing, woman-hating, religious nut who wanted to enslave poor people and blacks.  Thirty years ago, people would have laughed at this message.  Last year, there were too many people who thought it made a good deal of sense.

(Read the whole thing.)

Conservative thinkers may have some level of disdain for the demagogic nature of most political slogans, but one can’t deny their force or their effectiveness.   People on the left, for instance, love to make assertions about “social justice,” “sustainability,” and lately “gun violence” which rarely stand up to close scrutiny, but the mere application and repetition of the terms is usually enough to persuade a certain sector of the population that these must be serious ideas deserving of merit.

Bookworm argues that conservatives need to focus more on generating catchy and timely messages  and that doing so will help advance our ideas more effectively.  I think it’s a great point.  Conservatives are certainly capable of it:  the early Tea Party rallies were filled with all kinds of clever signs and slogans, but the creative force of that movement seems to have dispersed lately.   How can we reignite it?

A Social Disease?

I work in a very liberal environment, and over the past few years, I have come to wonder at the fact that the vast majority of the folks I have kept in touch with from high school, college, and graduate school are overwhelming left-leaning.  Until recently, I even found logging on to Facebook depressing, simply because the vast majority of my Facebook “friends” are Obama voters.

Although I can understand how and why I ended up with such a large collection of liberal friends, acquaintances and colleagues–from about the age of 16 through my late twenties I fancied myself a “moderate,” and I have spent most of  my adult life in or on the margins of the academic world–I can’t help but feel dismayed that so many of the folks I know have clung to the leftism of their youth with the zeal of the true believer.

Blogger Assistant Village Idiot has written many excellent posts over the years on the nature of what he considers “tribal” thinking when it comes to political, social and cultural identity.  He wrote a great one two weeks ago where he reflected on the nature of contemporary liberalism as primarily a social phenomenon:

I have declared many times that liberalism is more of a social than an intellectual set of beliefs.  Certainly, liberalism is enforced socially rather than intellectually (though the claim of intellectual superiority remains, and is in fact part of the pressure).

He goes on to cite examples from the current TV show Portlandia which illustrate the techniques of liberal social “enforcement” at work through the application of “self-righteousness,” the use of “public shaming,” and the threat of being “cut off from the group.”   Read the whole thing, and be sure to watch some of the clips, too, if you’re not familiar with the show already.

Most readers of GayPatriot are more than familiar with the shock, disbelief and horror (along with much more mean-spirited and vitriolic reactions) voiced by “liberals” when we express conservative views or even when we question standard liberal talking points and “conventional wisdom.”   Likewise, I’m sure most of us have had the experience of referring the seemingly more open-minded among them to an article, website, book or movie which they never even look into.  One reason for their reactions is that, because of the social conditioning perpetuated by aggressive liberals and the propagandizing of the educational establishment, most contemporary liberals aren’t prepared to engage intellectually with ideas outside of a narrow range of approved opinions, and so they quickly turn to insults, name-calling, ad hominem attacks, and other forms of invective. (more…)

There Are Two Paths

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 6:17 pm - October 9, 2012.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election,Breitbart Lives!

I’ve been wanting to blog something today…. but everything seems to have been said.  Until I saw this video.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Andrew Breitbart, Gay Hero?

Over at Drawnlines Politics, reminds us that Andrew Breitbart “was a man of inclusion“, using “his larger than life personality to rally unlikely groups around the conservative brotherhood”:

He served on the advisory council of gay republican group GOProud and was known to have many gay, liberal and minority friends. While this fact rarely caused any right wing outrage, it did however spark left wing meltdown. . . .

He served on the advisory council of gay republican group GOProud and was known to have many gay, liberal and minority friends. While this fact rarely caused any right wing outrage, it did however spark left wing meltdown. . . .

Breitbart knew how to remind us that what united us was more important than what divided us.

Indeed.  Andrew welcomed all those willing to challenge the liberal hegemony on our public discourse into his coalition.  He may not be a hero, but he did define a standard for the modern conservative moment.  It’s not the nature of your difference which matters, but the degree of your commitment to conservative ideals.

Joining Breitbart in the bunker

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:14 pm - April 5, 2012.
Filed under: Breitbart Lives!,Tea Party

Holding Democrats to their own standards*

Seems John Hinderaker has a point when he blogs:

The Democrats’ attack on Rush Limbaugh hasn’t turned out the way they had hoped. The blowback, in the form of conservatives pointing out the outrageous conduct of liberals like Bill Maher and Keith Olbermann, has dwarfed the original reaction against Rush. Worse, the blowback continues. So Democrats are now in the position of trying to shut down the conversation about civility and misogyny that they opportunistically started.

Yesterday, Sister Toldjah linked an RNC video which, in her words, “focuses attention on the double standardsof this administration and its supporters on the manufactured ‘War On Women’ non-issue”:

The good sister notes that this video  focuses not just on Bill Maher’s juvenile language, but also “the reports that came out in September last year about the Ron Suskind book on the administration that included tantalizing tidbits on information from WH insiders (both former and current) on how the WH has supposedly been ‘hostile to women’ – especially in the early days.”

* (more…)

Obama speechwriters don’t know much about history

When George W. Bush got a fact wrong, our friends in the legacy media highlighted it as a sign of his stupidity.  If Barack Obama makes a mistake, well, if they get around to covering it, they’ll just see it as a sign of human imperfection.

Last night, before bed, I read that, in his speech yesterday offering up anecdotes from American history for “examples of ignorant incredulousness“, the Democrat, well, got his facts wrong about one of his Republican predecessors, claiming that “Rutherford B. Hayes couldn’t understand why anyone would want a telephone”. But, Nan Card Nan Card, curator of manuscripts at the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center in Ohio, corrected Mr. Hayes’s successor:

“He really was the opposite,” she said. “He had the first telephone in the White House. He also had the first typewriter in the White House. Thomas Edison came to the White House as well and displayed the phonograph. Photographing people who came to the White House and visited at dinners and receptions was also very important to him.”

While often cited, Card said Obama’s cited quote had never been confirmed by contemporary sources and is likely apocryphal. A contemporary newspaper account of his first experience with telephone in 1877 from the Providence Journal records a smiling Hayes repeatedly responding to the voice on the other line with the phrase, “That is wonderful.” You can read the full story here.

By the time I woke up this morning, conservative bloggers were all over the story. Steven Hayward offered an image of the former president and linked the page where I found the above images.

Glenn linked a Washington Post fact-checker scolding the president, “It’s bad enough for one president to knock another one for not being on Mt. Rushmore, but it’s particularly egregious to do so based on incorrect information.

Mr. President, in the age of all this new technology, when it’s easy for your critics to check your facts and publicize your errors, don’t you think your speechwriters could do a little fact-checking?

Andrew Breitbart, from grave, puts Bill Maher on defense

In his interview with Bill Maher posted this morning, ABC News’ senior White House correspondent Jake Tapper offering a bit of commentary in posing his first question to the former funny man:

So with all the criticism of Rush Limbaugh for his comments about the Georgetown Law student, conservatives claim that there’s a double standard, with President Obama, Democrats and the media far more tolerant of offensive language when wielded by liberal or progressive media figures against conservative women. Is that a fair comparison? You have certainly used offensive words to describe some politicians you don’t like.

A leading journalist (and a good one) in the legacy media addresses an issue long reserved to right-of-center editorial pages and conservative blogs.  Bill Maher, perhaps for the first time, has been been forced to defend his mean-spirited anti-Republican rhetoric — for more than just one news cycle.  Instead of acknowledging that he may have overstepped the line or apologized (as Rush did) for an error of judgment, he whines that he’s just a comedian, trying to score a few laughs

Hugh Hewitt finds that Maher’s conclusion where the HBO host claims he had defended Rush’s “right to stay on the air” reeks of “self-importance” and “smashes Maher’s ‘comedian’ defense if it had any substance for anyone to begin with.  Simple comedians don’t take to the ramparts to defend anything.  They tell jokes.

In playing defense, however, Maher reveals the hypocrisy of his position.   (more…)

No, Rush didn’t set a trap, but his haters did witness the firepower of a fully armed and operational right-wing blogosphere

In the wake of slut-gate, David Axelrod has has to put off an appearance on Bill Maher’s HBO show and “comedian Louis CK recently pulled out as entertainer at the Radio-TV Correspondents Dinner.”  In short, the standard some of the left set up to destroy Rush has backfired.

Some might say that Rush himself laid the trap, but Ann Althouse disagrees:

Rush Limbaugh is a media genius, but I don’t think he’s enough of a genius to have laid this trap. It has worked as a trap. By going too far, on one well-chosen occasion — picking on a young woman about sex — he got an immense reaction from Rush haters, who smelled blood and imagined that they could use this incident to drive Rush off the air. In making their strong argument, Rush’s opponents articulated a rule demonizing those who use offensive language to describe a woman.

Pretty much sums it up.  Read the whole thing.

Those who sought to drive Rush off the air were not yet accustomed to the power of a fully armed and operational right-wing blogosphere, able to track down and publicize. left-wing name-calling with just a few keystrokes and compare it to Rush’s language (for which the talker has since apologized) that had caused fainting fits in news rooms and Democratic offices.

We Have Lost A Patriot.
Andrew Breitbart, RIP

Shocking news this morning from the Big Journalism site

Andrew [Breitbart] passed away unexpectedly from natural causes shortly after midnight this morning in Los Angeles.

We have lost a husband, a father, a son, a brother, a dear friend, a patriot and a happy warrior.

Andrew lived boldly, so that we more timid souls would dare to live freely and fully, and fight for the fragile liberty he showed us how to love.

Andrew Breitbart was a force of nature.  He took names, announced them, left the tattered lies of the Left he exposed behind… and moved on to the next castle of liberalism to storm.

I had the pleasure to meet and know Andrew.  As many of you know, he was on the GOPROUD Advisory Council for most of the last two years.  It goes without saying that without Andrew, GOPROUD would not have been as successful as it has become.  Andrew was a fighter and he was at his best when he was fighting for the little guy — he saw gay conservatives as the little guy and we are better because of it.

Many in the conservative blogosphere knew Andrew better than I.  But I am saddened greatly this morning because I know what an important figure has been lost in our movement.  He was someone that always fought against the tidal waves of doubt and conventional wisdom.

A life taken way too soon.

Andrew, I’ll miss your force in the world greatly.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)