RIGHT WING TALKER'S TUMBLE
by Steve Young
Steve Young columns
I might borrow and mangle from a 70s pop song, you could sum up the Lords of Loud year as "Clowns to the Right of me, Jokers to the Right. Here I am America, stuck in the middle with YOU." Not them. You. Thank you, God.
Yet with the Lords of Loud running out of any semblance of credibility, the Liberal Mainstream Media still did all they could to Fox News themselves. Katie Couric brought on Limbaugh to "speak out." The Today Show booked O'Reilly regularly to comment on world doings. CNN Headline News embarrassed themselves by hiring Glenn Beck, who didn't disappoint by, among other things, asking a United States congressman to prove he wasn't with the enemy.
Still, it was a frustrating year for the right-wing Lords of Loud. They tried and tried to explain why an administration that was driving a bus off a cliff, repeatedly, should be given another chance behind the wheel.
They tried, oh Lordy how they tried, to demonize the candidates you ended up voting for. But the strongest weapon they had -- the catchphrase -- was working for them as well as it was working for President Bush. "San Francisco Values," and "Undermining Our Troops" didn't seem to scare America as much as the LOL-values that propped up bigots while dismissing corruption that undermined their listeners.
Any essence of fair and balanced -- or something within a mile of the smell of truth -- dissolved into an blatant bid to con the voter (how it didn't come across as obvious for years escapes me). President Bush invited the Lords of Loud over for a last-minute, pre-election, secret-super-special White House propaganda meeting to hear what they could do to help push the Iraq War and the Republican candidates down the throat of the American public.
Scapegoating Democrats for any and all lack of success in Iraq revealed a emphatic disregard for the lives of our troops and our soldiers' families. Concern for real options to stop the bloodshed was far outweighed by election of failed legislators and book sales.
Holding up a get-out-the-vote-for-Lieberman effort as an example of their interest in voting in the best man was a thinly-veiled attempt to "Stay the Bush Course."
But the sins of the LOL were many more than their bloodlust for far right power over sanity.
O'Reilly may have passed Ann Coulter as the LOL joke of the Republican Party as there wasn't a War he was adverse to self-promote. War on Christmas. War on Culture. War Against San Francisco Values. War Against Anyone Who Labeled Him A Right-Winger Because He's An Independent. War Against Newspapers Who Didn't Write Something Positive About Him. War Against Humility.
Hypocrisy's limits were eclipsed by this man who wouldn't pass up an opportunity to pat himself on the back, embellish his over-the-top machismo while paying out big time bucks to make a sexual harassment lawsuit go away, yet still tout himself to be a "Culture Warrior." As if his "Factor For Kids" wasn't enough to bring up last night's dinner. Really folks, a guy who decries personal attacks while personally attacking any and all he disdains can't be anything more than a bad joke, yet as bad as he's been, Bill's believability-Q hit clown level -- except that clowns have a sense of decency. Bill actually pitched his book to President Bush during a "serious" White House interview.
Though at the top (bottom) of the heap, Bill had plenty of company.
Rush Limbaugh made a fool of himself -- again -- this time blowing whatever chance his side had of debating the stem-cell issue intelligently by ridiculing Michael Fox's disability. In an amazing show of underestimating his capability to shoot himself in the foot, his demeaning impression beamed evidence of (admitted personal attack warning ahead) El Rushbo's inability to push away from the table. In a lapse of of his standard mendacity he admitted his mid-term election Machiavelliness by "carrying water for those who didn't deserve it." For good measure he acknowledged that he had learned all he needed to know about a woman from watching cats.
Sean Hannity continued his repititious litanizing lists of litany for the pure sake of litany, never seeming to realize that every Republican he backed, lost.
Laura Ingram thought that American journalists should try going past their hotel room balcony, while her views never saw past her idealogy.
Dennis Prager felt that Glen Beck's admonitions weren't sufficient demanding the same Muslim congressman to forsake his own bible for "America's."
Michael Savage just continued being Michael Savage. Nuff said.
2006 wasn't very pretty for the Blowhards of Broadcast, and 2007 should be even worse. The Catch 22 for O'Reilly, Hannity, Limbaugh and company is that they need to change. But that would take acceptance of who and what they are and that would only end up placing them into a delightful free fall. And with suckers born no more than every minute -- not enough to replace the ones who have wised up -- by 2008, these Lords of Loud will be one of the main driving forces to bring a Democrat into the White House.
Ain't what goes around, comes around wonderful?
Steve Young is author of the wacky new children's novel, "15-Minutes" (HarperCollins)
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Albion Monitor December
30, 2006 (http://www.albionmonitor.com)
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