Archive for the On Right Wing Pundits and Bloviators Category

The Obama Administration Must Chastise Dirty Dick!

Posted in On Right Wing Pundits and Bloviators, Playthell on politics with tags , , , , on January 5, 2010 by playthell

 

 

President Obama At War

 Anyone who understands the symbiotic relationship between mass media and their audience will recognize the danger in the reckless rhetoric that has become the Republican stock-in-trade. Media outlets like FOX television and WABC radio employ a rogue’s gallery of verbose charlatans, fools and soulless whores to harangue the listener 24/7, spouting slickly packaged disinformation that the untutored mob enthusiastically accepts as truth, they are generating a dangerous rage in an economically insecure and increasingly desperate segment of American society.  Since the GOP has become the party of the neo-Confederacy, that menacing mob is mostly white, Christian and racist.  Working in concert with the Republican Party leadership, The latest campaign of slander and hysteria by the far right verbal arsonists in the media was sparked by the nearly successful attempt by a 23 year old Nigerian student to blow an American airliner out of the sky on Christmas Day. 

If there are those who still hope that the Republicans will behave responsibly in a national crisis, i.e. put the interests of the nation above partisan politics, Dirty Dick Cheney – who along with Rush Limbaugh has emerged as the voice of the Republican Party – made it clear that that hope is misplaced.  Rather than rally round the flag and try and calm public anxiety by assuring them that the holes in our security net will be repaired, and all we need fear is fear itself, Dirty Dick has seized upon this near tragedy to launch more cheap shots at the President and cast himself in the role of an all knowing elder statesman.  Alas, Dirty Dick is not alone in this malicious and dangerous folly.

 Dirty Dick!

 

 Would you buy a used car from this creep?

 

I have not heard one constructive comment on this near tragedy from the Republican leadership; they have nothing useful to offer, and what is worse they don’t seem to give a damn!  Not really.   Their opposition to President Obama goes far beyond simple disagreements on political philosophy or policy issues. It is becoming a danger to the national security that borders on treason because it could well hamper the President’s ability to carry out his constitutionally mandated duties; thus giving aid and comfort to the enemy.  For instance, the reason that we have no Director of the TSA, which is tasked with airline security, is because Republican Senator Jim DeMint is holding up the president’s nominee for purely ideological reasons.  And still the Republicans have the unmitigated gall to howl about the Obama Administration not taking the terror threat seriously.  Only a person who is convinced that his audience is composed of morons would dare make such an argument.

The recklessness of the increasingly rancid Republican attacks could even lead to the assassination of the President.  If anyone thinks this is an overblown reaction to the incendiary rhetoric employed by Dirty Dick and other Republican leaders, they should check out what the experts on Presidential assassinations like Gerald Posner – author of “Killing The Dream” – have to say on the matter.  For instance, Posner was a law student in San Francisco when the Mayor Moscone and Harvey Milk  were murdered by the right-wing nut Dan White, and he says the hostile atmosphere the Republicans are creating around President Obama today reminds him of the atmosphere in San Francisco when that tragedy occurred.  This is the same thing that Speaker Of the House Nancy Pelosi, who was also in San Francisco at the time, also recalls.

Yet if all of those gun totin so called “Tea Party Patriots” believe the things that Dirty Dick and his co-conspirators on Fox and WABC are saying about the President, then it is not a big leap to believe that his murder would be construed as a patriotic act in defense of the nation.  After all, this is what happened to the last Illinois legislator who became President in troubled times: Abraham Lincoln.  Ironically, the problem is concentrated in the same region of the country and at bottom the issue is fundamentally the same: The proper status of black men in America!

For millions of racist whites the election of a black president with a Muslim name is an abominable blunder made possible by white race traitors in league with non-white minorities – whom many see as inferior mud men – and this catastrophe must be corrected by any means necessary, including murder. Some of these self-styled white Christian nationalists are unambiguous on this issue; showing up at presidential appearances brandishing guns while displaying signs that declare “The tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of tyrants and patriots.”  Word’s chillingly reminiscent of the words of John Wilkes Booth, Lincoln’s Assassin. No serious person can deny that if members of the Revolutionary communist Party had shown up at President Bush’s appearances with guns they would have been arrested if not shot!  And they same right wing charlatans who offer simple minded apologia for these pistol packin misfits – even trying to justify the murder of Dr. Tiller because he performed abortions.  These are very dangerous people.

Hence it is a serious mistake to believe that the scurrilous attacks upon the President by the racist untutored mob, egged on by Dirty Dick and his deranged Republican posse, can simply be ignored with no serious consequences. The manner in which these right wing propagandists have so confused the issue of health care that millions of Americans believe it contains death panels – Sarah Palin’s contribution to our political discourse – and are the equivalent of Nazi Concentration camps, should provide all of the evidence we need that big lies allowed to go unchallenged can become reality for “Boobus Americanus.”  Especially if the issue is wrapped up in the issue of race.  Hence the Obama Administration must began to respond to the volatile lies of Dirty Dick and his butt boys, or sit idly by and witness the erosion of the American people’s confidence in President Obama’s ability to lead  our nation in these increasingly troubled times.

 

The Right Man To Chastise Cheney!

 

 Joe Biden: Smart and Scrappy

 

I am not suggesting that the President himself answer Dirty Dick; the forked tongue paleface should not be granted that level of importance. This would be a great task for Vice President Biden – who is both a compelling orator and an expert on foreign affairs – in league with National Security Advisor General Jim Jones and especially Secretary Of Defense Bob Gates, who also held the same position in the Bush Administration after the myriad blunders of Reckless Rummy forced the old murderous fart out of office.  Since most Americans have the attention span of a five year old struggling with attention deficit problems, the administration’s response should carefully reiterate Dick Cheney’s actual record on national security matters.  And it ain’t pretty!

 Since I have written at length about Dirty Dick’s role in the deadly debacles of the bush era in a 108 page essay “The Emperor’s New Clothes” which will be published in a forthcoming collection of my essays and commentaries, and the passages relevant to this discussion will be posted here within the next few days – I will refrain from a detailed discussion of Cheney’s foibles, follies and crimes in this commentary. Suffice it to say that the Bushmen had many warnings of the impending attack on 9/11; the facts were so clear that it has spawned an international fraternity of doubters who believe that the Bush Administration planned the whole thing in order to create a climate of crisis where a panicked American electorate would allow them to vastly expand the police powers of the government. As far fetched as this is, they simply can’t believe that such incompetence is possible in a survellience society that expends upwards of thirty billion dollars a year on clandestine intelligence operations.   

While it is child’s play to expose such views as paranoid foolishness for anyone who is conversant on the relevant evidence, as is this writer, I very nearly came to blows in a television studio recently when a fellow panelist and I discussed this issue.  It’s a good thing we weren’t on the air at the time because we got to calling each other muthafuckas!   The situation became so volatile that I refused to go back on camera with him.  The very existence of  such passionate  9/11 doubters tells us that the level of incompetence in the Cheney/Bush administration was such that many otherwise reasonable and intelligent people refuse to accept the possibility that such a thing is possible on the part of officials entrusted with managing the most powerful nation in the history of the world! Hence it is shameless hypocrisy for Dirty Dick to be running all over the place accusing the President of not recognizing that we are at war; It was they, the Bushmen, who refused to believe that we were at war!

Not only had I stopped going through tunnels for a year before the 9/11 attack, I implored my children and everyone I cared about not to go through tunnels if they could avoid it.  I told them we were due for a terrorist attack and blowing up a tunnel was the most terrifying thing I could imagine. I had no crystal ball in which to gaze and predict the future; my conclusion was based upon my analysis of American policy in the Muslim world; especially our government’s support for the repressive policies of Ariel Sharon toward the Palestinians.   Although I thought first of the Palestinians when I wondered who flew the jumbo jet I saw crash into the second world Trade Tower, It came as no surprise that the attackers came from Egypt and Saudi-Arabia, for we had long been supporting murderous dictatorships in both countries. I knew radical Arabs were after us; they had already blown up the World Trade Center once.  The burning question is: Why didn’t Dirty Dick and the Bushmen know that we were at war with the Muslim Jihads? 

Furthermore, after the 9-11 attack Dirty Dick was also the major architect of the ill fated and criminal invasion of Iraq.  I, however, opposed this action from Jump Street and wrote a 3000 word commentary explaining the basis of my opposition and published it before the invasion.  Titled “The Iraq Attack, Bush’s March Of Folly,” it can be read on this blog.  This essay also provides a detailed analysis of the pro-war hyperbole that flowed from the purple pens of leading American print pundits.  I thought all of the saber rattling from chatty chicken hawks was dangerous nonsense then, and I think it dangerous non-sense now!  That’s the point the Obama administration must  make it unmasking and chastising that shameless charlatan and soulless scoundrel Dirty Dick Cheney!

 He Had A bird’s Eye View Of The Sins Of Dirty Dick

 Robert Gates:

Secretary Of Defense in the Bush and Obama Administration

 

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 Playthell Benjamin

Harlem New York

Janurary 5, 2010

 

Is President Obama Moving To The Center?

Posted in On Right Wing Pundits and Bloviators, Playthell on politics with tags , , , on December 12, 2009 by playthell

 

 A Centrist by Nature?

In a twelve hundred word column in her Saturday December 12, Wall street Journal titled “Obama Moves Toward Center Stage,” Peggy Noonan announces that our President has moved from the left to the center of the American political spectrum.  “The political headline this week is that President Obama appears to be attempting to move toward the center,” she tells us with more than a hint of sarcasm, “or what he believes is the center.”  Ms. Noonan bases what she evidently believes to be insightful political commentary on a few statements the President made during recent speeches: “We saw the big pivot in two major speeches, one on the economy and the other, in Oslo, on peace.”  Actually the President’s Nobel Lecture was on war and peace.

The speeches in question are his address on the economy at the Brookings Institution – which Ms. Noonan, true to her hard right soul, labels as “left leaning” – and his magnificent Nobel Lecture.  Predictably she finds the greatest revelations in his acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize.  What impressed her most was the President’s defense of the concept of “just War,” his assertion of his right and responsibility to defend America national security and vital interests by force of arms, and his celebration of America’s role as peacemaker since World War II.

However Ms. Noonan tells us much about her own vision of the world by the way she interprets the President’s message.  Rather than celebrate the amazing philosophical dexterity and dazzling eloquence of Mr. Obama’s oration at Oslo – in which he argued in defense of war while accepting the world’s most prestigious prize for peace and received a standing ovation – she reduces his message to crude jingoistic propaganda in defense of the bogus idea of American Exceptionalism.  “At his Nobel laureate speech in Oslo,” she tells us “the president used an audience of European leftists to place himself smack-dab in the American center. He said, essentially: ‘War is bad but sometimes justified, America is good, and I am an American.’” 

Like most die hard right wing ideologues Ms. Noonan has learned nothing from recent disasters resulting from this self-righteous ideology. It is this Barnum and Bailey view of the world that prompted the Republican’s to launch a war of choice of against an unoffending nation – a war that has lasted almost twice as long as World War II and Professor Joseph Stiegletz, a Nobel Laureate in Economics, calculates will cost three trillion dollars when the final bill comes due, while killing hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi citizens, who are 90% of the casualties.  It is especially instructive to recall that Ms. Noonan was a cheerleader for that criminal invasion, which has greatly expanded the ranks of the Islamic Jihadists by converting the preachments of Osama bin Laden into self-fulfilling prophecies, while giving new life to the Jihadists by torturing prisoners and diverting American forces from the global war on terror which was then centered in Afghanistan. 

And to argue – as all of the false press prophets who predicted that Sadam Huessein had “weapons of mass destruction” and was in league with Al Qaeda are now doing – that “everybody believed this at the time” holds no water with me.  I didn’t believe any of it, and if Ms. Noonan or her supporters doubt my claim they have but to read “The Prophetic Commentary On Iraq” – a 3000 word commentary which was published and aired on WBAI FM in New York  on the eve of the invasion – on this site.  Hence I fear that Ms. Noonan’s prominence – as well as the rest of the lily white punditariat who are provided platforms to pontificate on foreign affairs – has less to do with her competence than her race, class and gender.  This situation has led to much of the muddled thinking that characterizes American public opinion regarding the rest of the world.

Predictably, Ms. Noonan offered soaring praises for Mr. Obama’s references to the American role in defeating the NAZIS and rebuilding post war western Europe under the Marshall Plan, and she gave a ringing endorsement of the President’s assertion that this constitutes “”’a legacy for which my own country is rightfully proud. . . . Whatever mistakes we have made, the plain fact is this: The United States of America has helped underwrite global security for more than six decades with the blood of our citizens and the strength of our arms.’”   Alas, while Ms. Noonan’s receives this claim as sacred gospel, I regard it as American boosterism, half truths that obscure the deeper realities of America’s role in the world over the past sixty years and a measure of the extent to which Mr. Obama is held captive to the master narrative composed by the official mythmakers who control the apparatus of public opinion. 

Mr. Obama is more burdened with defending this mythological view of America as “the shining city on the hill,” the “light of the civilized world and “the last best hope for mankind” precisely because the Republican slime machine has been working overtime from day one to make him appear unpatriotic at best and treasonous at worse.  In fact, his skillful attempts at restoring America’s moral standing in the world through artful diplomacy has been recently labeled as “giving aid and comfort to the enemy” by Dirty Dick Cheney, the elder statesman of Ms. Noonan’s party who is both a war criminal  and the architect of the disastrous invasion of Iraq.  The language of Dirty Dick’s charge is identical to the language defining treason in the US Constitution. That Ms. Noonan has remained silent in the face of these outrageous charges divests her of any authority, moral or intellectual, to comment on the serious issues of our time. 

Hence her twisted conclusion as to the significance of Mr. Obama’s speech should come as no surprise to those who have been paying attention to Ms. Noonan’s views. “All of this,” she writes,  “as William Safire used to say, was good stuff. There were wiggy moments—his references to John Paul II in Poland and Richard Nixon in China were historically unknowing to the point of being utterly inapt—but they did no particular harm.”  Not only is Pugnacious Peggy wrong about the President’s references – which were entirely appropriate – but it is a classic case of the pot maligning the kettle for being black.  To better understand the point I am making here one should go to “The Hysteric as Pundit: Notes on a Weird, Wiggy, White Woman” and read my piece about Peg’s views on President Obama.

In her attempt to make the case that the President is “moving to center stage” Peg sites certain passages from his Brookings Institute speech on the economy.  “The president put unusual emphasis on—and showed unusual sympathy for—Americans in business…”  She Emphasized  the President’s  proposal to cut taxes on small business in order to stimulate growth in that sector and concluded: “ It was as if he were waving his arms and saying, ‘Hey taxpayer, I’m not your enemy!’ The only reason a president would find it necessary to deliver such a message is if he just found out taxpayers do think he’s the enemy.”

Well, if this is true it is because of the massive disinformation campaign Peg’s party has been waging to confuse a largely clueless public.  Finally she sums up the president’s proposals with this self-serving piffle: “This is how Republicans, moderates and centrists think, and talk.”  This statement is both  misleading and irrelevant, because everybody who knows anything about economics is recommending the policy the president is proposing, and Mr. Obama has always been a centrist.  He made that clear early on in his bid for the presidency when he declared that he saw no red or blue, black or white, left or right America; rather he saw only one America.  That’s dead in the center.  The only reason he seems to be a leftist is because Peg is so far to the right!  And it distorts her vision. 

Not content to be mistaken and irrelevant, Ms. Noonan makes herself ridiculous.  “There continues to be a particular challenge for the president,” she assures us.  “and it is an affection gap. It is not hard to respect this president, not hard to want to listen to his views and weigh his arguments. It is a challenge, however, to feel warmly toward him. This matters politically because Americans like to feel affection for their presidents, and are more likely to forgive them for policy differences when they do.”  Clearly most people who loved the President when they voted for him love him now.  I know I do.  And considering the horrendous problems he inherited from the corrupt and incompetent Bushmen – those murderous clowns who wrecked the economy, slept at the wheel while the Muslim Jihadists successfully carried out the most spectacular foreign attack on the US since the war of 1812, and plunged the nation into two wars and won neither – it is a miracle that his approval ratings are as high as they are.  And they compare very well to her idol Ronald Reagan at this juncture in his tenure in the Oval Office.” Furthermore her snide and silly comment that if President Obama was “going to bow to anything he should bow to reality” stretches  beyond ridiculous to the absurd for a woman who claims to have seen the face of the devil at ground zero!

Finally, on top of being wrong, irrelevant, ridiculous and absurd Old peg also reveals herself as petty.  “The White House lately seems very fancy. When you think of them now, it’s all tuxedoes, gowns and Hollywood. There’s a certain a metallic glamour. But metal is cold.”   Reading this comment I am reminded of a bit of advice  offered by my former colleague Mike Thelwell – essayist, novelist and distinguished Professor Literature, and political activist –  “If you do nothing but write…you will  eventually begin to tell lies.  Hence Ms. Noonan should recall that it was her hero, Ronald Reagan, that brought Hollywood chic to Washington – as I noted at the time in a commentary on his first inauguration titled: “Hollywood Goes to Washington: Notes on the Coronation Of Ronnie Reagan! “

Hollywood Fashion and Set Designers Ruled! 

 

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Playthell Benjamin

Harlem New York

December 12, 2009 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

David Brooks Missed The Point Again

Posted in On Right Wing Pundits and Bloviators, Playthell on politics with tags , , , , , , , on November 20, 2009 by playthell

 

  “Tis better to be thought a fool than open your mouth and remove all doubt”

Mark Twain

 

On Rushing To Therapy

 Reading David Brooks is a strange experience.  Although the writing is usually well crafted and his arguments crammed full of interesting information – erudite even – somehow he often manages to miss the point.  On such occasions he is far more glib than learned; his arguments have only the illusion of depth. The latest example of this curious phenomenon is his November 10, column in the New York Times “The Rush to Therapy.”   After thoroughly misreading the historical record regarding race and populism in a transparent apologia attempting to explain away the vulgar racism of the so-called “Tea Party Patriots” in his column, “No, It’s not about Race” – for which I was compelled to straighten his cap in my critique “David Brooks Is Clueless,” available on this site – he has now chimed in on the slaughter at Fort Hood. And once again his missive promotes confusion rather than provide clarity.

 For Mr. Brooks’ taste the nation has fretted far too much over the psychological problems of Major Nidal Hassan, who went “postal” and shot up a bunch of his fellow warriors at Fort Hood; men who were presumed to be his comrades-in-arms, men whose psychological problems he was commanded to heal.  “Major Hassan was portrayed as a disturbed individual who was under a lot of stress” he writes.  “We learned about pre-traumatic stress syndrome, and secondary stress disorder which one gets from hearing about other people’s stress.”  It is fair to say that Mr. Brooks gives short shrift to such arguments and snidely notes: “A shroud of political correctness settled over the conversation.  Hasan was portrayed as a victim of society, a poor soul who was pushed over the edge by prejudice and unhappiness.  There was a national rush to therapy.” 

 In his infinite wisdom Mr. Brooks ridicules our naiveté and calls a spade a spade: “This was understandable.  It is important to tamp down vengeful hatreds in moments of passion but it was also patronizing. Public commentators assumed the air of kindergarten teachers who had to protect their children from thinking impermissible and intolerant thoughts.”  While I have heard enough from the ubiquitous Times columnist to know that we probably have radically different ideas about what constitute “impermissible and intolerant thoughts,” in my view “protecting’ Americans from having such thoughts is as much the business of Mr. Brooks, who assumes the air of a college teacher, as those he denounces in his column. 

 For instance, I have read nothing penned by Mr. Brooks that explains to the American people the role US foreign policy played in making us the target of the Islamic Jihad.  Why not Sweden if it’s all because they hate our personal freedom, secular society, and licentious sexuality?  While I cannot claim to be an expert on Mr. Brook’s oeuvre, I suspect one would never learn the answers to these questions reading it.  Alas I can say with certainty that you will learn nothing useful in answering these fundamental questions in the column under discussion.

And if the commentators Mr. Brooks criticizes are guilty of being “patronizing” because they wish to factor in the mental stress Dr. Nidal was suffering, his attitude toward the ravages of mental depression can be justly labeled contemptuous as well as abysmally ignorant of the nature of acute depression.  Had Mr. Brooks bothered to tune in on one of the premiere tribunes of our times, Bill Moyers – a man of towering intellect, balanced judgment and sterling character – he might have written a more intelligent column; a quality Mr. Brooks apparently confuses with intellectual exhibitionism.

 In a moving and enlightening program examining a new documentary on the mental maladies resulting from the experience of combat – i.e. organized mass murder – we were provided an inside look at the profound stress military psychiatrists are subjected to.  Much of their work is trying to help soldiers suffering from Post-traumatic Stress Syndrome – which means they must listen attentively as these warriors attempt to exorcise their demons by reliving the horrors of combat through talk therapy, and then give them pills to keep them calm in an attempt control the suicidal impulses that accompany acute depression, even inducing a chemical euphoria disguised as happiness. 

 The tales told by men who had fought in war and its effects on the psychiatrist who are tasked with helping maintain their mental health, leave no doubt that Dr. Nidal may well have been motivated by some species of mental breakdown.   It is certainly a good place to start in any interrogation of the factors that might have compelled him to launch a murderous assault on the soldiers he was entrusted to guide and protect, both as an army officer and a Psychiatrist.  Yet Mr. Brooks argues that this approach “absolved Hasan – before the real evidence was in – of his Responsibility.”

 In Mr. Brook’s view it wasn’t about the mysterious workings of a mind that snapped under great stress – due to the extreme horror of the stories he was hearing; the fact that the horrors related by the soldiers were being perpetrated against his Muslim brethren, and the pressures he was under now that he had been ordered to deploy to the battlefields and assist in those atrocities – rather it was all a question of “the master narrative” Dr. Hasan chose to make sense of events in his world.    He tells us that “evidence is now mounting to suggest he chose the extremist War On Islam narrative that so often leads to murderous results.”  Mr. Brookes goes on to argue: “The conversation in the first days after the massacre was well intentioned, but it suggested a willful flight from reality.” 

 While I agree that there was a “flight from reality,” I am also certain that we have different conceptions of what reality means.  However I think Brooks got it right when he observed that the initial conversation among the nation’s opinion makers “ignored the fact that the war narrative of the struggle against Islam is the central feature of American foreign policy. It ignored the fact that this narrative can be embraced by a self-radicalizing individual in the US as much as by groups Tehran, Gaza or Kandahar.”  However for our thoughtful conservative pundit – whom many consider the smart set’s conservative thinker – failure to recognize these facts denies “the possibility of evil.”  

 That Mr. Brooks cannot conjure a scenario where a narrative presenting the unvarnished truth about the role of US policy in the Islamic World might drive a devout Muslim military psychiatrist to righteous anger, which metamorphoses into murderous madness, exposes his provincial ethnocentric view of the world.   The fact is that Dr. Hasan had delivered a lecture warning of the dangers of sending American Muslims to fight in the Middle East; he told his colleagues it was a dangerous practice and Muslims should be stationed elsewhere in the world.” Instead of taking the warning seriously his medical colleagues thought him a sad deluded guy who was becoming overly influenced by Islamic propaganda, and they didn’t even think it was serious enough to file a report on the matter.                                                                                                                                                                        

 But what is far worse are the revelations thar are surfacing as I write about the fact that Major Nidal – who is a member of the long suffering Palestinian people, a people whose grievances against the US go back 60 wears – had recommended that several soldiers he counseled should be Court Marshaled for committing “war crimes!”  Predictably, the response of the amoral wags on the right is that Major Hasan had violated Dr. patient confidentially rules by reporting their crimes, rather than outrage over the fact that they were war criminals.  But then the Republicans are quite comfortable with the known war criminals in the highest echelon of the GOP. 

 They enthusiastically celebrate the biggest war criminal of them all, Dirty Dick Cheney: The Butcher of Baghdad!  A man who was the principal architect of the Iraq invasion the unapologetic author of America’s torture policies.  Both crimes of war!  And I have yet to hear our Mr. Brooks say a mumbling word on this naked truth.  Instead we have been subjected to a web of transparent lies and pompous right-wing gibberish from Republicans that exposes an appalling poverty of ethics.  If I have unfairly maligned him; if I have misspoke on this subject; If I have overlooked some eloquent argument, or enraged diatribe, issuing from the pen of our smart conservative at the Times opposing his party’s love affair with Dirty Dick, and their obscene indifference to his crimes, then Mr. Brooks should call me out like I’m calling him out.   I anxiously await his response.

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Playthell Benjamin

Harlem New York

November 18, 2009

Oprah and Sarah: Sista/Girlfriends

Posted in Cultural Matters, On Right Wing Pundits and Bloviators, Playthell on politics with tags on November 17, 2009 by playthell

 

Two Self Important Airheads

  Is Oprah Wynfrey the Queen of Mindless Chatter?

 Although I have long considered Oprah Wynfrey a highly articulate airhead I have refrained from saying so in public.  I thought her omnipresence in the media as an elegant, eloquent, black woman who invented herself and rose from poverty and racist oppression in Mississippi to dominate the television talk show format was such a positive image for my daughter and other little black girls growing up in a culture that devalued their humanity was all good.  When others complained – which includes virtually all of the highly educated women I know, black and white – at how “light-weight” and “frivolous” her concerns are, I played past their complaints because I thought Oprah was serving the greater good  of racial uplift through setting an example of black female empowerment.

 While Oprah sycophants dismissed her female critics as “haters,” I knew they had a point.  I just remained mum on the matter.  But her decision to have a muddled headed verbal arsonist who whips up racial animus for political gain like Sarah Palin on the show, and never ask her a single serious question, was the straw that broke my silence.  Of course, any careful examination of Oprah’s public statements and programming choices would suggest that my concerns are at best a secondary consideration for her.   Oprah’s eyes are on a different prize: To be the undisputed Queen of Talk Television as reflected in the Neilson ratings.  No matter what!  

 To this end she has forgone marriage and children; the Oprah show appears to be her entire raison d’etre.   Hence if the price of being the “Queen Of Talk” is to avoid talking about anything truly controversial – like the raging health care debate or the epidemic of teenage homicides in her back yard – then she’ll talk about incest among privileged white folks and chat with Jenna Jamison about what it’s like to be a porn star.  In fact, anything that avoids having a real conversation about the pressing issues that are tearing our country apart will do if it garners ratings.  I think that the decision to have Jenna Jamison on to discuss making porn movies rather than Michael Moore discussing ‘Capitalism,” his seminal movie critiquing our economic system and the reasons so many people are winding up on the junk heap of life despite having been hard workers and law abiding citizens, is the height of obscenity!  I believe this in spite of the fact that I don’t necessarily find pornography obscene.  In fact I enjoy it a lot more than I did that burlesque of an interview in the Oprah /Sarah show.

I have been monitoring Oprah’s show ever since Barack Obama, the brilliant silver tongued Chicago pol whom she anointed “The One” in a kind of mystic revelation to the nation, in order to see if she makes any attempt to help the millions who watch her better understand the complex issues they must make decisions on.  Day after day I watched in vain hoping against hope for some contribution from Oprah to the grand controversies raging about us: but no dice. 

It seems that the dramatic fall in ratings for her show – 7% over the summer, putting her fourth in some markets where she had always been in first place – plus a double digit decline in her magazine’s circulation have made the Queen gun shy and terrified of the hatred displayed by the untutored white mob.  Many of whom are among her most loyal fans, people who are so stupid they believe Barack Obama is a socialist and a fascist. They don’t understand that these systems are at opposite ends of the ideological spectrum!! And for all I know neither does Oprah, especially since she would never learn that critical difference based on her reading list.

 A race for ratings appears to be the only reasonable explanation for the soft ball interview she gave to Sarah Palin.  Unless you believe that Oprah really is as stupid as she appeared to be. Although I have no evidence to support this speculation; I am convinced that Sarah Palin was invited on the Oprah show for two reasons: To repair her image in the eyes of her Republican fans – she seems to have adopted her fellow Chicagoan Mike Jordon’s amoral axiom “Republicans buy sneakers too” – and to seize the opportunity for a ratings spike from the mindless mob that will tune in to see her.  We’ll see if the gamble pays off.  In the meantime however, she is alienating people of principle who are fighting on life and death issues and feel she should use her powerful platform to have some substantive discussions on these critical questions.   Frankly, whatever her reason, if she cannot speak on the great issues of the day – abandoning the media discourse to ignorant unprincipled barbarians like Limbaugh and Hannity – then she is irrelevant!

 That irrelevance was never more obvious than during Oprah’s Sista Girlfriend gabfest with the Alaskan barbarian.  There are some questions that any self-respecting journalist, or media interviewer who desires to be taken seriously, must ask of this highly influential but divisive political actor and right-wing pop icon.  Oprah fell far short of this minimum essential standard.  And lest anyone think this is only the opinion of a far left democratic male, I suggest that they go to CNN’s archives and look at the 7: O clock hour on Tuesday morning where a panel of women evaluated the Oprah-Palin interview.  The women represented Republicans, Independents, Conservative and Libertarian but no Democratic women, because they are presumed to be biased.  

 All four of the women thought the interview was an embarrassment. The conservative called it “boring;” the Libertarian thought it devoid of any substantive political ideas; the Republican pointed out that in a book of four hundred pages only thirteen pages deal with policy issues, which she said was “telling,” as was Palin’s lack of substance in the interview.  The Libertarian woman said “She was well spoken and looked nice but it stops there.”  All of them made it clear that they wouldn’t be buying the book.  Lee Ann, the Independent, who is African American and accused her of “trivilizing the decision some women make to have abortions,” said: “I’m being fiscally conservative right now!”  The reaction of these women was dismissive to the point of condescension: and justly so.  

 How could Oprah not ask Palin about the incitement of racist hysteria and blood lust in that white mob in Strongsville Ohio?  The video is on You tube for all the world to see.  I keep it book marked among my favorites so that I can call it up and look at it whenever I hear people carrying on about what a nice misunderstood lady Sarah is.  Palin has described her self as a pit bull with lipstick, well that’s synonymous with a vicious bitch with painted lips!   And her behavior lives up to her self-description.  How could Oprah not ask Sarah about her claim that President Obama’s health care plan will put senior citizens to death – as well as myriad more slanders that demand interrogation from any interviewer with a modicum of journalistic skill and integrity? 

 Oprah loves to crow about her days as a news woman, so it is reasonable for the viewer to expect some attempt at journalistic probing, some attempt to ask the kinds of fundamental questions that would shed some light on why we should care about this moose hunting Alaskan shrew cum political opportunist and far right snake oil salesperson. Why didn’t Oprah ask her if she still believes that sex education in our public schools should be confined to “absence only” preachment?  Why didn’t she insist upon knowing whether Sarah agreed with her followers who question whether the President is a natural born American?   Why didn’t Oprah want to know if Sarah agreed with her Tea Party supporters that the President is a NAZI and that his healthcare reform program is the equivalent to the system of NAZI death camps?   And at the very least Oprah should have insisted that girlfriend tell the nation if she thought that it was a good idea for poor dumb rednecks to show up at public meetings wearing guns – even at appearances by the President.  

 Alas, not one of these questions emanated from the lips of “The Queen Of Talk!”  She didn’t even take the opportunity to tell Sarah that the questions Katie Couric asked her would have been asked by any legit journalist conducting the first interview with someone who had just been selected as the vice presidential candidate of a major political party and thus could one day perchance become president.  So any thoughtful person must ask: What was the purpose of this interview?  I can fathom no reason for this embarrassingly shallow Sista/girlfriend chat beyond mutual self-promotion;which is, I suppose, about all we can expect from two meglo-maniacal airheads.  At least now we know that Ophra’s big head is swollen with conciet not pregnant with knowledge.  Like Plato’s sophist, their virtue is for trade: Ain’t no shame in these dames game!

 I was once told by a top programming executive with a major media conglomerate that the most successful talk show hosts are not much smarter than their audience.  They speak the same language, share the same concerns and are amused by the same entertainments.  And while I cannot vouch for the veracity of this claim as a general proposition, in Oprah Winfrey’s case it is undoubtedly true.  Yet she is often passed off as a woman of substance by those who care not a whit about intellectual gravitas or cultural integrity.  Making money, commerce not culture, is the object of their project.  And by this measure Oprah, like the rotund Rushbo, is a very big success indeed.  But I have concluded that she is irrelevant to those of us struggling for equity and justice in this country.  As a girlfriend of mine aptly put it: Oprah is white America’s Mammy!

 

Mammy-o!

 

*******************

 Playthell Benjamin

Harlem New york

November 17, 2009

 

 

Another Open Letter To Rush Limbaugh

Posted in On Right Wing Pundits and Bloviators, Playthell on politics with tags , , , , , , on October 22, 2009 by playthell

 Rush_Limbaugh

 

The Philosopher king of the Untutored Mob

 

Yo Rushbo!

  I was sitting here at my table working on a book when I saw your rotund figure on television exclaiming that the President’s response to the unlawful arrest of Skip Gates – my friend and the most distinguished Academic in America – was “a black militant response!”  You also said that “agents of Barack Obama and Sonia Sotomayor” had attacked the poor white fireman in New Haven” and now white policeman are under attack from the “East Wing of the White House.”  Although I know you are a meglo-maniacal know nothing who will do most anything to boost your ratings and stay in the news, I was still shocked at this rancid incendiary rhetoric.

The more I hear from you the more several things become crystal clear: You are totally without any sense of decency or responsibility; you are not deeply committed to anything beyond gratification of your enormous appetites, which obviously dominate your life; You are embarrassingly ignorant and unread; you will say anything to keep your ratings up; you care nothing for the poor white saps who are so devoid of self esteem or real knowledge about the world that they self-identify as “Ditto Heads.”  Which means that they rubber stamp anything you say. 

You are their philosopher king Rush.  And if there were enough of them, I’d bet my bottom dollar they would put you in charge of the country.  Thank goodness they are a small fraction of the American population, and they are obviously the dumbest.  It is hard to tell if this is tragedy or farce.  After all, Senator Al Franken was right about you: You are a big fat idiot!  Hence in you we find the tragic-comic absurdity of the jabbering jester as philosopher king

Yet every time I attempt to dismiss you as an inconsequential fool, I remember what the great American film maker Frank Capra says about how Adolph Hitler and Benito Mussolini looked like cartoon characters to military film makers at the onset of World War II.  Tasked with making ant-Axis propaganda films for the US Army, Capra said their work was complicated by the fact that Hitler looked like the great silent movie comic actor Charlie Chaplin, and Benito looked like he was having a fit, with all of his over the top dramatic gestures.  And we know how dangerous these two jokers turned out to be.  The problem was how do you get people to recognize the danger of two guys who looked and behaved like cartoon characters.

So I recognize the fact that because you look like W.C.Fields on dope, and talk like a professional fool, does not mean you aren’t  dangerous. Talk radio is a powerful medium because it comes right into your ear and you can listen while you are doing something else.  So people who drive around all day can listen to you.  Although frankly, anyone who would rather listen to you everyday rather than the musical fare radio offers – from Bach to the blues – probably suffers from some sort of intellectual deficit and is emotionally disturbed. 

These lost benighted souls turn to you for what amounts to therapy or catharsis alas, and you repay them with the equivalent of intellectual junk food, the kind of stuff that’s devoid of spiritual nutrition, ingredients that can enrich their lives and lift them to a higher plane.  Everything you do is designed to bring out the worse in them and cannot possibly lead them to viable solutions to their problems. Another thing we can assume about your audience given the time of day you are on the air: They are not the people who are running this country, and in all probability they don’t hold a job that requires serious attention at all.  Hence they are far from the brightest bulbs in the box.  Not many Ivy League grads there.

In fact Rush, they are the same kinds of people that Hitler and Mussolini appealed to. But the Nazi experience is most instructive in your case, because interestingly enough the Italian fascist movement was not anti-semitic in the beginning. In fact there is evidence that Mussolini thought Hitler was a nut on the Jewish question, after all, as the Jewish Historian Lenni Brenner has shown, there were Jews among the founding members of the Italian fascist movement.  Hence the centrality of racism to the Nazi project makes it resemble the American experience more than the Italian.  And for good reason: Most of the Nazi ideas about race came from here, as David Blaine has shown.

It is well know by serious students of the rise of the Third Reich in Germany that the most important vehicle for transporting the German nation from a leader in science, philosophy and art music to a nation of barbarians capable of murdering six million of their countrymen was the way Dr. Goebbles employed talk radio to incite the untutored mob by convincing them that all of their problems were caused by the Jews. 

The fact is that Germany’s problems at the time were mostly caused by the Armistice conditions set in the Versailles Treaty of 1919, under which the Germans were punished for starting World War I.  Just like the present economic crisis is the result of misbegotten Republican military adventures and economic incompetence.  But to listen to you, and your Republican partners in crime like Patty Buchanan,  one would think the problems of the white working class are caused by black and Hispanic people!

I confess that I am at a lost to understand what your end game is Rush.  Do you want to start a race war in America?  Well in spite of many similarities, this is not Weimar Germany.  For one thing a black man sits in the White house and there is a black man sitting in the Attorney General’s office who controls the federal police forces.  Hence if any of your brown shirt ditto heads attempt a beer hall putch they will be crushed by the strong arm of the state, just as Hitler was.  But unlike in Germany they will get no second act in America Today.  You came along too late Rush; the best you are going to accomplish with your version of Operation Helter Skelter is to incite some poor dumb rednecks to murder ala Charles Mansion.  You appeal to the most backward and unstable elements in white society, the genuine failures who are looking for a scapegoat to explain away the fact that they are white men without wealth or power in a land set up for them to make it.

It’s not surprising that you understand this lunatic fringe of losers, because in your heart you must say: “There but for the grace of God go I.”  For no one knows better than you that without the gift of gab and talent for buffoonery you would be one of their number; your history in broadcasting attest to this possibility.  You were on your way to failure in the broadcast industry when you stumbled upon the angry white guy routine and things turned around.  And I am convinced that it is the desire for money and adulation that motivates you.  And the struggles of the poor dumb peckerwoods that you fleece of their emotional energy and affections matter little to you except as a body count for Arbitron ratings.  That’s how your bread is buttered, and from the look of things we can surmise that you consume a mighty share of it.

I fully understand that given the fact that you are a big fat idiot this conversation is way above your head – after all, your success with the untutored mob is a function of the fact that you are not much smarter than your listeners.  It is a classic case of the blind leading the blind.  Yet I feel compelled to pull your coat to a couple of things, and as with much of what I have said here this too is intended to enlighten a wider audience.   First off, even if skip Gates had shouted at the cops and told them to “get tha fuck outta here” after he showed them his Harvard I.D. and Drivers License they should have got tha fuck out! 

Cops are public servants not our masters.  The reason we have constitutional protections against “unreasonable search and seizure” is to protect American citizens against the arbitrary abuse of police powers exercised by the occupying British Redcoats during colonial times.  In fact all of our constitutional rights were created in response the tyrannical practices of the British crown!   But since you recently confused the Constitution with the Declaration of Independence I don’t expect you to understand any of this.  Still, ignorance of the constitution is no excuse.

 The second point I must make before ending this letter is: President Obama’s response to the Abuse of the police powers of the state in violating the soverign rights of a citizen was measuered and reasonable in the extreme.  A black militant would have said: “This is just another example of how racist peckerwood pigs behave when dealing with black people.  These pussies are being driven mad with penis envy – just like that fat dumb ass motherfucker Rush Limbaugh.  All of them racist crackers can kiss my ass!  As far as I’m concerned They are all a bunch of paleface blue eyed Devils just like the Honorable Elijah Muhammad taught us.  They are evil by nature so what can we expect.  But Allah is going to bring these evil  cracker mother fuckers to their knees soon, because we are living in the last days and time and Amerikka is going down just like Babylon!  In the mean time I urge my brothers and sister to buy guns just like the whiteys are doing… and if one of those pale ugly no-lip booty-less devils put their hands on you put their ass six feet under!!!”   that’s how black militants talk Rush. 

 In truth Barack Obama’s statement was measured and milquetoast; just like virtually all of the black commentators who are given prominence as spokesman on black issues on the tube.  If I didn’t have first hand knowledge of how black commentators are selected in white controlled media I would be scratching my head and wondering where they find these guys.  But let me be clear Rush, all though you are far too dumb to dig it: none of the people whom you and other right wing white hysterics call the far left of the Democratic party are what you say they are.  I am a life long Democrat – a Yellow Dog Democrat in fact – and I represent the far left of the Democratic party.  And I’m not nearly as nice as the people you continuously slander.  I hope you die the death of a polecat and stink your way to hell!  Now that’s how we roll.

 ****************

 

Playthell Benjamin

Fall 2009

Send In The Clowns!

Posted in On Right Wing Pundits and Bloviators, Playthell on politics on October 20, 2009 by playthell

Sarah Palin, Alaskan Barbarian 

The Alaskan Barbarian at Home 

 

 A First Look

 So finally we heard from Sarah Palin – a rootin tootin gun slinging fading beauty queen from the wild wild west who is a religious fanatic, bans books, loves moose stew and is married to a white man she claims is an Eskimo – and it was painfully obvious that she is a clueless air head with the gift of gab.  It didn’t take long to see why the Republicans have placed such a premium on “managerial skills,” because this woman knows as much about the realities of the world as a mule knows about playing a fiddle.  Unfortunately the job of President of the United States is not the same as managing a Wall Mart, or the remote and under-populated state of Alaska.  Much has also been made of her tenure as the mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, which has a smaller population than resides in a four block radius of my neighborhood in Manhattan!  And I for one don’t believe that this simple minded country bumpkin could manage the affairs of New York City, let alone be entrusted with the fate of the nation.  

I have been to Alaska, driven for long stretches across its icy bosom when I was in the military, and it is mostly barren plains covered with snow and frozen tundra, or snow capped mountains.  I even considered going up to work on the oil pipeline they were beginning to build on the North Slope because of the high pay they were offering.  But I soon thought the better of returning to Alaska.  It’s a picturesque place but once was enough.  I’d just as soon see it on a postcard, or CBS Sunday Morning.  To try and make this desolate wilderness, populated by gun totin barbarians like the Governor, a model for what America is, or ought to be, is ridiculous.  It is safe to assume that Sarah Palin is not only clueless about foreign policy; she is equally ignorant of urban policy.

Governor Palin’s most impressive moments came when she discussed the energy crisis and the politics of oil, but that was marred by her shameless special pleading for the oil industry’s right to drill anywhere they want – even in the Anwar wilderness.   A vast wildlife preserve with limited oil deposits which lay right in the breeding grounds of the Caribou herds, Anwar is a critical component in the preservation of wildlife in the great Northwest.  I know of whence I speak because I once co-wrote a story in the Guardian/Observer of London about the firing of the British born civil engineer and cartographer, Ian Thomas, from the Department of the Interior for making a map that showed the spot where Bush planned to drill was right in the middle of the Porcupine Caribou calving grounds. 

            Thomas was fired but the outcry in the press, which the Guardian article initiated, caused Bush to abandon his plan to drill there.  So Governor Palin is not the only one “who knows the North slope of Alaska.”   I interviewed the mapmaker at length and he told me in detail about the topography, flora and fauna, and wild life in the area.  This is protected land, and John McCain has pledged not to drill there if he is elected President.  Let’s see if he keeps this promise as well as he as kept his word on immigration, Veterans benefits, rejection of religious extremism, etc.

 As I watched that crowd of screaming glassy eyed rednecks who filled the auditorium in St. Paul they reminded me of the lynch mob in Ishmael Reed’s great satirical novel Reckless Eyeballing.   Justly called “the greatest American satirist since Mark Twain,” Reed’s fiction is both erudite and hilarious; it is also irreverent with a disdain for racism, sexism, and bigotry of any kind, as well as pomposity and puffery.  There is a scene where a Jewish guy from up north goes down south and attends what he thought was a sporting event, held in a big stadium.  But then the redneck MC gets on the mike and began to recount the rape and murder of young Mary Phelem, a Christian girl whose attacker was a Jew.  But we can never know for sure if the Jew was guilty because the Christian crackers lynched him.  Then the Jewish guy learned that the crowd intended to reenact the lynching and he was the Jew they intended to lynch.  In a tragic/comic farce the Jew began to run for his life with the whole stadium chasing him!  

 That’s how I felt watching those right-wing Yahoo’s at the Republican convention.  And I am not the only black person who feels that way.  And the fact that there were only 36 blacks at the GOP convention explains why.  As rich and popular as D.L. Hugely is, he told Larry King that he looked at that crowd and just didn’t feel like he would be welcome there.  The whole vibe of the Republican convention was pugnacious; the mediocre political functionaries who spoke in behalf of John McCain’s character and judgment sank repeatedly into the gutter with a style of bombastic oratory that was innocent of either artifice or erudition.

There were a lot of personal attacks on the character and integrity of their Democratic opponents; but as they had nearly nothing to say about economic policy, or health care, or the mortgage crisis, or the collapse of public education, or the inability of deserving students to go to college because their parents can’t afford to help them, all that was left to them was the politics of personal destruction.  Remember the ordeal of John Kerry?  Here is a real hero, during and after the Vietnam war, especially after the war, who fought down on the ground where the blood and guts are real, not flying around in a multi-million dollar death machine bombing innocent men, women and children from high in the sky – I was in the Strategic Air Command and I know that’s what happens when you carpet bomb a country.    Yet the Republican attack machine made Kerry look like a dishonorable sissy and elected a shameless slacker who hid out in the National Guard while the war was raging in the steamy jungles of Vietnam.

As I write I am listening to the chatter of the TV pundits – whom I have long thought of as considerably less intelligent than print media pundits, and tonight’s commentary proves my point – and I am amazed at the shallow analysis of these guys.  They were discussing Mitt Romney’s speech with what I thought was far too much respect, given the fact that most of it was standard Republican prattle: mean spirited and shallow as a dry creek bed.   That is also an apt description of the speeches of Huckabee, Rudi, and Sarah Palin.

           Rabid, Racist, Rudy!

APTOPIX Republican Convention

Freaking out at the Republican Convention

 

By far Rudy Giuliani was the worst of the lot.  A showoff and pompous Martinet at heart, Giuliani was in his element.  He had the eyes of the world on him, the grandson of Italian peasants who can remember when the blond blue eyed races didn’t consider him “white,” and he intended to make the most of it.  So in a crude and overemotional fashion, much in the way transvestites switch their butts more than real women, Giuliani launched an artless diatribe that exposed him as a shallow charlatan to all but the shrieking idiots in the arena.   He hit all of the traditional Republican talking points and he was especially vicious; which was easy for Rudy since he seems genetically prone to racist behavior.   I was a working journalist in New York City when Giuliani ran for the Mayor’s office against David Dinkins, the first Afro-American elected Mayor of New York in the 360 years that African Americans have lived in that city, and Rudy conducted a racist campaign against him. 

            And when Rudy became Mayor he enacted racist policies that will cripple the progress of black people in New York City for decades. But this is not surprising because during his tenure as the Federal Attorney for the Southern District of New York, he never once brought a racial discrimination case!   Thus as Mayor he knew exactly how to camouflage his racist policies so that they cannot be proven in court.  The main arena in which he did this was in the city’s economic policies.  For in order to bring a discrimination suit against the City for discriminatory practices in contracting, hiring or promotions the city must keep records of who got what according to race and gender so that the offended parties could prove their claim based on public records.  When Giuliani came to office during the reactionary Republican ascendancy he ordered New York City agencies not to keep such records, thereby destroying the evidence of his crimes with no fear that Washington would intervene to enforce the Civil Rights laws.   This is the same man who as a Federal Attorney during the Reagan Administration went down to Haiti under pro-American fascist dictator, ”Baby Doc” Duvalier and reported there were no human rights violations.

As I watched him strutting around the stage like a little Bantam rooster I wondered why he was there at all.  His whole speech was an assault on Senator Obama’s judgment; yet this is a man whose judgment is so bad he recommended a mobbed up thug named Bernard Kerik to his crony George Bush to direct Homeland Security.  And if the FBI had not exposed Kerik’s mob ties we could have this incompetent sociopath heading a vital national agency, just like the guy who headed FEMA, and the whole world witnessed the results of such cronyism in the Bush administration’s response to Katrina.  And where does Rudy get off lecturing Barack Obama about the treatment of women; Barack’s wife says he is a darling of a husband and his children adore him. 

On the other hand Giuliani’s children told the press that they learned their “family values” from their mother.  And his daughter publicly declared herself an Obama supporter when Giuliani was still in the race!  They despise Rudy because of the way he humiliated their mother, Donna, a working television journalist who gave up her career to become Mrs. Giuliani; Rudy repaid her by openly screwing around with that shameless hussy to whom he is now married.  The tawdry red dress she wore as she applauded her Italian stallion was appropriate, for had she come along at an earlier time in the history of this republic she would be wearing a scarlet letter branded on her forehead.  And if Sarah Palin gets her just desserts, she will end up sitting in the corner wearing a dunce cap!

Playthell Benjamin

Harlem 2008

Is There No Decency Left at ABC?

Posted in On Right Wing Pundits and Bloviators, Playthell on politics with tags , , , , , , on October 13, 2009 by playthell

Rush-limbaugh - traitor

 “I agree with the Taliban: Obama doesn’t deserve the Prize!”

Says Rush Limbaugh: dope Fiend and Verbal Arsonists

 

 Does ABC Value Dollars Over  Patriotism?

 Announcing that he was on the same side as the Taliban a few hours after the world received the good news that President Obama had won the Nobel Peace Prize, Rush Limbaugh asked if his listeners were surprised.  Well, if they were they didn’t take comedienne Wanda Sykes seriously; she pulled our coats to that back when she spoke at the White House Correspondents dinner.  With out pulling any punches Wanda called Rush out and accused him of treason, because his hopes for our President – i.e. the elected leader of the American nation – was the same as Al Qaeda’s.  The line received hearty applause from the audience of journalist because they were smart enough to appreciate the gravitas of the dead on critique masquerading as a joke.  Removing any ambiguity about the way she really feels about the radio clown, Wanda also said that she hoped Fatty Limbaugh’s kidneys failed!  A good possibility given the shape he’s in.

Some otherwise thoughtful people who are normally critics of the rotund Rushbo, such as  Keith Olberman, rushed to his defense,  evidently feeling the need to defend the fat fart who has mastered the art of character assassination and racial hate mongering.   I cheered her on in a long commentary about the Afro-American comedic tradition.  And besides, Rush Limbaugh deserved every bit of bile she dumped on him.  He is a sad, sick, man whose sense of morality – if you can discern any such thing in his hysterical rants – is twisted in bizarre ways.  President Obama stands for bringing the people of the world together, for feeding the hungry and healing the sick.   These are the same things that Jesus Christ stood for.  But what does Rush Limbaugh stand for?

This is the question that people must begin to ask of the management of ABC, Limbaugh’s boss, because it begs the question of what they stand for.  From his daily rants we can see that Limbaugh stands for racism, sexism, corporate greed, and the enthusiastic promotion of dangerous nonsense. But most of all Rush Limbaugh is an egomaniacal hustler who cares first and foremost about his ratings, and after signing a $400 million contract they had better be high.  Therefore truth and civic responsibility be damned!  All that matters is selling advertising time for top dollar.  This is not a speculation on my part, Rush Limbaugh has repeatedly made it plain that these are the things that motivate him.  Just last week he spelled it out on the Today Show!  And anyone who understands that the raison d’etre for commercial broadcasting is to sell  advertising time at the highest price – i.e. it is market driven – means that ethical considerations often get short shrift.  Alas in pursuit of the almighty dollar, the management of ABC is prepared to allow Limbaugh and a handful of jerks like Sean Hannity, Dan Savage, et al create an atmosphere of hatred and hysteria that has already resulted in assault and murder – see my commentaries on this blog that address this issue – just because it boosts ratings and therefore increases the value of their advertising. 

 In other words: Is the American Broadcast company placing their personal profit above the stability of the nation?  I can envision no other answer but yes!   The irrefutable proof of ABC management’s cavalier disregard for the national security of our country, is their decision to allow a cabal of racist charlatan’s to amp up the white lunatic fringe – who are armed to the teeth and are increasingly showing up at public meetings brandishing weapons – with outrageous lies that these retards believe are facts.  It is only a matter of time before they manufacture another Kevin McVey! We have already been warned of this imminent possibility by the Department Of Homeland Security, for which the Republican politicos who benefit from this white rage demanded Secretary Janet Nepolitano apologize!  The fundamental question posed by this is: what are the standards for talk show hosts on ABC?  Are they simply allowed to come on-air and engage in character assassination against the President and other Democratic leaders who are trying to govern, to guide the country out of the bloody mess the Bushmen left us in?   In my view this is tantamount to falsely crying fire in a crowded theater. 

 The kind of attacks that Limbaugh and company are engaging in goes far beyond mere criticism of the President’s policies; it is the most vitriolic hatred that I have ever seen against a public official whose life is marked by great achievement and is an honorable man in every way.  As a professor of media studies I taught a course on “Minorities in Mass Media” and the historical record is abundantly clear on how mass media has been used to incite violence.   It is interesting to note that the first newspapers founded by minority groups – Hispanics, Afro-Americans, Asians, Native Americans, were all formed after the white owned and edited newspapers incited mob violence against them through false reportage and incendiary rhetoric in their editorials. And these were only newspapers.

 Today the racial arsonists have much more powerful media weapons that mere newspapers, radio and television have a much greater capacity to arouse the emotions of an audience, and when they are as ignorant and paranoid as much of WABC’s audience undoubtedly is, the management of ABC is playing Russian Roulette with the American people.  This begs another question: When will Limbaugh and company be satisfied?  After some fanatic they have souped up with their harangues takes a shot at the President, convinced that he is rescuing the country from this “crazy nigger communist fascist Hitler!”  

 I have been asking for years now: Is the management of WABC willing to promote hatred and conflict in our society so long as they can show a rise in revenue?  Such a cynical position is unworthy of a corporation that makes its living from the use of public airways.  And I for one think it is time for a citizen challenge to their broadcast license. For aside from their totally irresponsible management of on-air personalities, they are a transparently apartheid operation: only white folks are allowed  to control the mike!  Hence I will be approaching several law professors to see what the possibilities of such a challenge are, and if the civil rights laws regarding discrimination in hiring mean anything even with a black Attorney General at the Justice Department.  I am also investigate the possibility of organizing a selective patronage campaign against Rush’s sponsors. 

 One thing however is beyond question: Rush Limbaugh is a menace to American society, and  there is evidence that he is inspiring domestic terrorism.   Alas, one other thing is certain, whatever evil Rushbo does the American Broadcasting company is his enabler.  There is no question of First Amendment rights here either.  This oft cited Amendment by those who argue that Rush has a right to free speech, an untutored mob who know as much about the  constitution as a polar bear knows about playing the violin, does not apply here.  It is designed to constrain the government from employing the power of the state to suppress dissent, and I’m all for that.  But it has nothing to do with the power of ABC management to muzzle or silence Rush completely by firing his fat ignorant ass!  And I’m all for that too. 

**************** 

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