Kayla Moore: “I Don’t Hate Jews—My Lawyer’s One!”

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I guess you could say that Roy Moore is taking the charges against him (pedophilia, bigotry in general) as qualities most people don’t like, or else we wouldn’t get gems like these.

Here’s Bill Staehle, a man who claims to have served with Moore in Vietnam, about how they once accidentally went to a brothel full of child prostitutes:

And here’s his wife saying it’s ridiculous to call them racist and anti-Semitic because they know black people and one of their lawyers is a Jew:

Real life, folks. Real life.

 

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Republicans Have Always Been Roypublicans

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Charles Blow thinks the Republican party’s acceptance and endorsement of Roy Moore for the Alabama senate seat means they’ve finally gone over the edge (“Rise of the Roypublicans,” New York Times, 12/10/2017):

The pre-Trump Republican Party is dead; The zombie Trump party now lives in its stead, devoid of principle, feasting on fear and rage, foreign to moral framing.

Trump was the gateway to the Roypublicans.

Now, unmoored from any fundamental morality, Republicans have a situation where a professed horndog is boosting an accused pied piper.

Republicans have surrendered the moral high ground they thought they held, and have dived face-first into the sewer.

There are many of us who would argue Republicans have never had that moral high ground, at least not recently enough for it to mean anything.

How I’ve felt about it, and what I’ve been saying on this blog, is that Trump is not changing the Republican party’s values or ideas; he is merely showing them exactly how much they can get away with without serious political risk regarding elections. Nothing traditional—like releasing tax returns or a proper doctor’s examination—matters that much to voters, at least not when you can convince the audience that your opponent is a literal demon hell-bent on destroying the country because they’re a liberal.

In this sense, Trump isn’t changing Republican values. He’s demonstrating that Republicans don’t have to do anything remotely close to enacting those values so long as they constantly repeat that those are their values and that their enemies (Democrats) do not believe in those values. Do that, and you can do whatever you want. Which is why Roy Moore will probably win tomorrow’s election.

This isn’t a new kind of Republican, Charles. Don’t you remember the story of Dennis Hastert and the 40+ Republicans who wrote him letters of support?:

More than 40 letters in support of former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert — including one from his former congressional colleague Tom DeLay — were made public Friday evening in advance of his sentencing next week on hush money charges.

“We all have our flaws, but Dennis Hastert has very few,” wrote DeLay, the Texas Republican who served as majority leader under Hastert in the early 2000s. “He doesn’t deserve what he is going through. I ask that you consider the man that is before you and give him leniency where you can.”

And what was it, exactly, that Hastert had done?:

In a bombshell sentencing memorandum filed earlier this month, prosecutors alleged Hastert had sexually abused at least four wrestlers as well as a former team equipment manager when he was coach at Yorkville. The abuse allegedly occurred in hotel rooms during team trips and in almost-empty locker rooms, often after Hastert coaxed the teens into a compromising position by offering to massage them, prosecutors said.

The filing also alleged that Hastert set up a recliner chair outside the locker room showers in order to sit and watch the boys.

These letters were made public in April 2016, well before the Republican party felt like it needed to abide by Trump’s orders in lockstep. They’ve always been this disgusting. The only difference is now they’ll never acknowledge being wrong and will never, ever apologize. And I don’t see a reason why that will upset voters.

President Big Mac: The Commander-In-Beef

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In excerpts from a new book by Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie (Trump’s fired campaign manager and aide, respectively), there are some rather nauseating details about the president’s dietary habits (“Trump’s campaign: Big Macs, screaming fits and constant rivalries,” Washington Post, 12/2/2017):

Trump’s appetite seems to know no bounds when it comes to McDonald’s, with a dinner order consisting of “two Big Macs, two Fillet-O-Fish, and a chocolate malted.”

And:

Trump’s fast-food diet is a theme. “On Trump Force One there were four major food groups: McDonald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken, pizza and Diet Coke,” the authors write.

The plane’s cupboards were stacked with Vienna Fingers, potato chips, pretzels and many packages of Oreos because Trump, a renowned germaphobe, would not eat from a previously opened package.

The book notes that “the orchestrating and timing of Mr. Trump’s meals was as important as any other aspect of his march to the presidency,” and it describes the elaborate efforts that Lewandowski and other top aides went through to carefully time their delivery of hot fast food to Trump’s plane as he was departing his rallies.

We know that Trump has an affinity for fast food. Newt Gingrich wrote about it in his book Understanding Trump. From The Hill:

“Any time a meal was served when I flew with candidate Trump aboard his nicely outfitted 757, it was invariably McDonald’s, Wendy’s, or a similar fast food,” he said.

We’ve been treated to images of Trump eating:

trump ff 1

trump ff 2

And who could forget this classic:

trump ff 3

The Atlantic‘s James Hamblin commented on the Washington Post story, noting about the double Big Mac meal:

A dinner of that size would offer caloric energy for a full day. The 3,400 milligrams of sodium more than doubles the American Heart Association’s recommendation of 1,500 milligrams per day. The meal provides almost no fiber—and also offers more white bread than anyone would do well to eat in a week. This is all ominous for the president’s cardiovascular system.

So Trump has an affinity for garbage food. No surprises there given he enjoys his steaks well done with ketchup. But Hamblin thinks Trump ought to know better:

All of this could be taken as simple evidence of Trump’s cultural vacuousness. He should know other speeds; he has dined with other people. He should enjoy a wide array of foods; he has been afforded the opportunity to have anything he wants.

But we know from those who have been brave enough to venture into one of Trump’s dining establishments that he doesn’t know other speeds. Tina Nguyen’s review of Trump Grill (sometimes spelled ‘Grille’) in Vanity Fair displays the various ways in which Trump tries to mimic high society but ultimately fails. Here are the various ways in which she describes the food:

  • “[F]laccid, gray Szechuan dumplings with their flaccid, gray innards.”
  • “The dumplings, for instance, come with soy sauce topped with truffle oil, and the crostini is served with both hummus and ricotta, two exotic ingredients that should still never be combined.”
  • “[T]he Ivanka’s Salad, a chopped approximation of a Greek salad, smothered in melting goat cheese and dressing and missing the promised olives.”
  • “The steak came out overcooked and mealy, with an ugly strain of pure fat running through it, crying out for A.1. sauce (it was missing the promised demi-glace, too).”
  • “Trump Grill’s (Grille’s) Gold Label Burger, a Pat LaFrieda–branded short-rib burger blend molded into a sad little meat thing, sitting in the center of a massive, rapidly staling brioche bun, hiding its shame under a slice of melted orange cheese. It came with overcooked woody batons called ‘fries.'”

And here’s what a $15 martini looks like at Trump Grill, as tweeted by Daily Beast reporter Olivia Nuzzi:

trump martini

Classy.

It’s interesting that a man who has lived nothing but a life of privilege, who wants to be seen as someone of high society, has never been able to figure out how to even appear that way halfway credibly. It’s fine if he like McDonald’s—in the sense that it shouldn’t matter whether a billionaire like fancy food or not—but his constant consumption of it when added to his bizarre sleeping hours, constant temper tantrums, and lack of exercise spells a health disaster for the most powerful man in the world.

“Yeah, I’ll have one presidency and uh, can I get fries with that?”

The Dangers of Normalizing Impeachment

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Ezra Klein has a lengthy piece about impeachment and why he thinks it’s something we ought to be employing a bit more. (“The Case for Normalizing Impeachment,” Vox, 11/30/2017) In it, he describes how the language surrounding the process of impeachment is gray enough that it can be interpreted in many different ways. He also discusses how impeachment has been used so rarely as to have taken on the political firepower of a nuclear bomb and that politicians are frightened, rightly or wrongly, to deploy it. But as Klein makes clear, the situation we are in is dire enough that impeachment really should be a no-brainer:

Sometimes I imagine this era going catastrophically wrong — a nuclear exchange with North Korea, perhaps, or a genuine crisis in American democracy — and historians writing about it in the future. They will go back and read Trump’s tweets and his words and read what we were saying, and they will wonder what the hell was wrong with us. You knew, they’ll say. You knew everything you needed to know to stop this. And what will we say in response?

He also refers to a Ross Douthat column in which Douthat made the case for using the 25th amendment:

Douthat’s preference was to bypass impeachment entirely and invoke the 25th Amendment to the Constitution. That amendment, which permits the president’s removal if the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet certify him “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office,” was ratified in 1967 as a response to President Dwight Eisenhower’s health problems and President John F. Kennedy’s assassination. It is designed for a president who has fallen comatose or been shot — a president who has become physically incapable of carrying out his duties.

I wrote a response to the column in question, not looking at the grounds on which Douthat made his argument but rather focusing on what the potential fallout of executing the 25th amendment or impeachment would be, particularly among rabid Trump supporters:

[Trump] has an extremely loyal base who will view everyone involved in removing Trump as a traitor to the republic executing a coup. Pence, assuming he doesn’t get caught up in the string of scandals, would have only the support of relatively mild conservatives—people like Ross Douthat, for example.

All of this is my roundabout way of saying that even if Trump winds up meriting being removed from office, we shouldn’t disillusion ourselves to the belief that enough Americans will understand that it was the right thing to do, the best thing for the country, our allies, and the world. I can see armed right-wing militias pulling Bundy-like stunts in pockets across the heartland, and I can see a few of those incidents turning violent.

It must be understood that these people have been trained by right-wing media and politicians for several decades that there is a grand, liberal conspiracy out to get them, that they and their friends and family and country are under siege. And now they believe they have overcome the nefarious forces that have kept them down for so long, and in a blink of an eye those same forces removed the man they legitimately elected.

And Klein says something similar and has a follow-up:

To many of Trump’s supporters — and perhaps many of his opponents — this would look like nothing less than a coup; the swamp swallowing the man who sought to drain it. Imagine the Breitbart headlines, the Fox News chyrons. And would they truly be wrong? Whatever Trump is today, he was that man when he was elected too. The same speech patterns were in evidence; the same distractibility was present. The tweets, the conspiracy theories, the chaos: It was all there. The American people, mediated by the Electoral College, delivered their verdict; mustn’t it now be respected?

Here is the counterargument: Our political system was designed by men who believed the mass public could make mistakes, and so they set up failsafes, emergency processes by which political elites could act. The Electoral College, which was ironically the key to Trump’s victory, was one of those failsafes — a collection of political actors who would be informed by the popular vote, but not bound by it. Today, however, the ideology of democracy has taken fiercer hold, elites are held in low regard, and those failsafes are themselves failing.

The “objection,” if you want to call it that, that I have to a more liberal use of impeachment (or, really, the cynical way I think Republicans will use it in the future) is anticipated by Klein:

An objection to this is that it might lead to more common impeachment proceedings in the future. And indeed it might. Other developed countries operate on roughly that basis, with occasional no-confidence votes and snap elections being used to impose midterm accountability, and they get along just fine.

Impeachment under the American political system requires a majority in the House of Representatives and a two-thirds majority in the Senate; it is not easy to use and, as Republicans learned in the aftermath of their attempt to impeach Clinton, can backfire on those who use attempt it frivolously. It seems unlikely that America is at risk of regular or trivial impeachments even as it seems quite likely that the holders of an office as powerful as the American presidency might be well served to believe that impeachment is a real possibility if they perform their duties unacceptably poorly.

I think Klein is right that, should Trump be impeached, frivolous impeachments in the future would be difficult to accomplish, particularly because of the barrier in the senate. However, I think his other arguments don’t hold up.

As for other developed countries, their ability to recover from unsustainable coalitions, no-confidence votes, and snap elections is in part because they have a history of it. These countries also don’t wield the same kind of financial and military power that the United States does—there is a lot riding on what happens here, and moneyed interests have a lot more at stake, hence why they interfere so much in government, and as a result they are partly why we find ourselves where we are today.

Regarding the Republicans’ attempted impeachment of Bill Clinton that “backfired”—it backfired how, exactly? Sure, Clinton wasn’t removed from office. But how were Republicans in any way punished for this? In the very next election in 2000, they won the presidency, retained a house majority though lost 2 seats, and lost a few seats in the senate but kept it an even 50-50.

But more than that, the environment we are in is far more partisan. The right has a large and growing media apparatus, soon to be aided by the pro-Trump Sinclair Broadcasting infiltrating its way into the local news programs of millions and millions of Americans. The Koch brothers and other billionaire donors continue to pour money into the coffers of elected officials. A Republican senator like Marco Rubio can say that Obama was intentionally trying to destroy America, and he still has a career. I don’t think that Republicans, unless they somehow managed a two-thirds majority in the senate, would be successful in frivolous attempts to impeach a Democratic president for being a Democrat. But I believe they would try. I mean, the Republican-controlled house voted to repeal the AHCA over fifty times. Even though it led to ultimately nothing, Republicans investigated Benghazi for over two years. And let’s not forget that Republicans, even if they never took the first real step, constantly talked about how Obama should be impeached.

Although I firmly stand in the camp that Trump should be removed from office for any number of reasons, I think there is a real reason to fear that impeachment would lead to future Republican forays into attempts at impeachment for merely being a Democratic president. They’ll never say it that way, but they’ll come up with all sorts of bullshit reasons to impeach a sitting Democratic president—they’ll draw any comparison to Trump if they have to, saying “Well, Democrats were upset when Trump did x, and now this Democratic president did x, so impeachment!” Honestly, I believe they’ll do that even if Trump isn’t impeached and finishes out his term—there’s been too much impeachment talk for them to not talk about it constantly the next time a Democrat is elected president.

None of this is to say that these are reasons against impeaching Trump. It’s that we have to realize that doing so means the Republicans will use it as a weapon from here on out, whether they can actually pull it off successfully or not. And we can’t count on the public to be informed enough to know the difference.

Rule 1: Never Acknowledge Reality

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The president just tweeted this out:

As you can imagine, there’s been a bit of a, how you say, reaction:

The biggest mistake Republicans make is acknowledging objective reality. (That’s not quite the case here with Trump, but he has at least acknowledged that Flynn pleaded guilty; he could have just as easily denied that it ever happened.) When Republicans acknowledge reality, they make themselves vulnerable to attack. One reason Trump has gotten this far, and why Moore has a good shot at winning the senate seat in Alabama, is that they never, ever back down or acknowledge reality. And it works pretty well, especially if you’re unwilling to venture beyond the conservative media apparatus.

I don’t like Bill Maher or his show, but the reason so many of his conservative guests look like buffoons is because they’re forced to at least partially recognize some elements of reality, and that means the right-wing version of the world they’ve created among themselves falls apart when put under even the tiniest bit of scrutiny.

Tweets like this are damaging to Trump—not because it alienates his base, but because acknowledging objective reality is inherently harmful to the alternate universe he and others like him have created.

After the Flynn Plea, the Right Starts Its Delegitimization Process

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Regarding Michael Flynn pleading guilty to lying to the FBI, Andrew McCarthy has quite the lede over at National Review: “There’s less to the news than meets the eye.” You see, the plead is like a Transformer; it appears to be one thing, but it’s actually something else! And as McCarthy explains, it’s “small potatoes.” (“What the Flynn Plea Means,” National Review, 12/1/2017)

[W]hen a prosecutor has a cooperator who was an accomplice in a major criminal scheme, the cooperator is made to plead guilty to the scheme. This is critical because it proves the existence of the scheme […] That is not happening in Flynn’s situation. Instead, like Papadopoulos, he is being permitted to plead guilty to a mere process crime.

Forget whether McCarthy’s argument is any good (I think it’s kind of dumb, but that’s not the point I want to make); instead, look at that last sentence, that wonderful little phrase: “a mere process crime.”

Now, by McCarthy’s own admission, that “mere process crime” that Flynn plead guilty to can come with up to five years in jail. But I bet anything that a lot of people in conservative and right-wing circles who want to downplay the significance of the plea will start using the phrase “process crime” like they’ve known about it for longer than ten minutes.

Ross Douthat Has Some Things to Say

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New York Times columnist Ross Douthat had some things to say on Twitter yesterday:

In short, he rails against what he calls “populist conservatives” for supposedly claiming declining birth rates, specifically among whites, is a reason for their supposed anti-corporate and anti-immigration stances. However, this clashes with the tax bill currently sitting in congress, which is aimed at taking money away from the middle and lower classes and redistributing it to the wealthy. His point being that these people—in the administration, in the media, and Trump supporters in general who support the tax bill—are hypocrites. Well, yeah. We could have told you that Ross.

And, funnily enough, Ross addresses that reaction here:

What I find interesting about this reaction, and the comment in that thread by Charles C.W. Cooke, is that there isn’t much to suggest that Douthat has known about the situation on the right for some time.

The point being that Douthat is part of a relatively small circle of relatively high-profile conservative writers (your David Brooks, your David Frenches, your Jonah Goldbergs, and so on) who have been fairly consistent in opposing and criticizing Trump (not always, though—most take at least a few minutes to do their obligatory whataboutism, anti-anti-Trumpism, or general lambasting of Democrats and liberals) and who also want to take no responsibility for the current state of the Republican party.

Well, fuck that. Douthat and others, if that’s the position they insist on taking, need to have a reckoning. If what they’ve been writing has not contributed in any significant way to the current state of the Republican party, then what or who are they writing for? The Republican party didn’t suddenly lose its mind; this has been a long, slow disintegration. And so if Douthat is well aware of the situation and has been for some time, why haven’t he and others been sounding the alarm for years about the trajectory of their party?

These guys need to be honest with themselves. First, they have contempt for the “populist conservatives” who put Trump in office—the same conservatives who were voting for their candidates-of-choice in 2012, 2008, 2004, and way on back. If they were aware of the situation on the right, they would have noticed that the average Republican voter only cared about something like deficits when they were told to care about it, and they would have noticed the increasing animosity towards anyone who could be hinted at or explicitly pointed at as an “other.” And they need to recognize that their influence is minimal to none—the halcyon days of neoconservatism as a ruling ideology are over—and if that’s the case, they should really ask themselves why they have any business taking up space in publications reserved for serious thinkers.

The Federalist: “If Roy Moore Molested My Daughter, I’d Still Vote for Him”

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Tully Borland has quite the take regarding Roy Moore (“Why Alabamians Should Vote For Roy Moore,” The Federalist, 11/30/2017):

I have a 14-year-old daughter. If I caught him doing what was alleged, for starters I would kick him where it counts. Hard. That being said, I don’t think it’s wrong to vote for Moore.

Sometimes there is such an overflow of Principled Conservatism© that I just don’t know what we’re going to do with all of it!

Borland offers the kind of stock rebuttals to arguments against voting for Moore. He points out a David French article from National Review in which French argues that Moore is not just corrupt, but evil. Borland thinks all voting is a choice between the lesser of two evils, and so turns to his second point, which is that Doug Jones is more reprehensible because of his views on abortion. And then he goes on to say that politics isn’t pure, so people should get over it because voting for Jones or not voting for Moore is the more evil thing than voting for the accused child molester (which, by the way, Borland goes out of his way to repeatedly state that hey, we don’t know that he did these things, so, you know, there’s that).

But Borland also has some more… unconventional arguments:

in his early thirties, Moore had a penchant for dating teenagers. Apparently, this was not an uncommon occurrence during this time. In fact, this practice has a long history and is not without some merit if one wants to raise a large family.

Wait, so Borland argues that grown men diddling kids is completely normal because it happened a lot in the past and was a means to starting a large family, but wouldn’t want Moore doing that to his 14-year-old daughter. Then why would he kick Moore in the nuts if he walked in on Moore molesting her? Why wouldn’t he just assume that Moore was testing out whether his daughter would be a good baby-making machine for a well-established man such as himself?

And that study he links to? The data that the researchers collected were from parish registries in Scandinavia—from the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries. Not from Alabama 40 years ago. Besides, the researchers also found that the optimal age difference for reproducing for men was six years, not fifteen. So Moore’s just a pervert and a pedophile, not a centuries-old Scandinavian trying to optimize his child output.

But I want to get back to his point about why no moral conservative can entertain the thought of a vote for Doug Jones:

Jones has gone on record that not only does he support abortion, but he supports unrestricted abortion, even opposing a ban on abortion after 20 weeks. This is morally equivalent to supporting infanticide. So either Jones knows exactly what he’s doing in supporting killing babies in utero but doesn’t care, in which case he’s a moral monster, or his moral compass is in such need of calibration that one should never trust his judgment in moral matters. Politics, of course, is inextricably bound with such matters.

In my mind, Jones’ position is so extreme that a vote for him is a vote for the greater of two evils by a wide margin. It’s hard to imagine much worse than the mass murder of innocents.

Because a certain brand of conservatives will fall back on this argument no matter what—“They support abortion! That’s like the Holocaust!”—I want to know just how far Borland is willing to take this argument. If he believe that Jones’s support for a woman having agency over her own body is morally equivalent to the endorsement of infanticide, would he still urge Alabamans to vote for Moore if Moore were guilty, or at least under real suspicion, of murder? If we had good reason to believe Moore had committed murder, or two murders, or three murders, would Borland still argue the point? Would he say that Moore is the morally superior choice given that Jones’s pro-choice stance now makes him automatically responsible for every abortion that happens in America?

It’s an absurd comparison. And if Borland really thinks Jones supports infanticide, would he support a Moore-ish or Trump-ish candidate if they proposed the mass murder of a minority group in America whose population is less than the total number of abortions per year?

For conservatives like Borland, this is no longer about ideology. It’s no longer about morality. It’s no longer about a competition between equally compelling if radically different ideas. It’s about making sure people who are on your side win no matter what.

Your Liberal Media at Work, Part 2

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People are rightfully upset about Richard Fausset’s profile of a no-name American Nazi, Tony Hovater, from Huber Heights, Ohio (“In America’s Heartland, the Nazi Sympathizer Next Door,” The New York Times, 11/25/2017):

Most Americans would be disgusted and baffled by [Hovater’s] casually approving remarks about Hitler, disdain for democracy and belief that the races are better off separate. But his tattoos are innocuous pop-culture references: a slice of cherry pie adorns one arm, a homage to the TV show “Twin Peaks.” He says he prefers to spread the gospel of white nationalism with satire. He is a big “Seinfeld” fan.

The problem with Fausset’s piece is that the profile about how Hovater and other like-minded neo-Nazis are attempting to normalize their ideas helps to normalize their ideas by painting him exactly the way he wants to be painted: as someone with radical beliefs, sure, but a “normie” in any other respect. He had a wedding registry at Target. He goes to Applebee’s. He plays Xbox. Or, as the snippet above shows, he likes Twin Peaks.

Even beyond this problem, the number of these kinds of profiles—whether they’re about the “dapper” the young alt-righters dress or the seemingly endless probes of Trump supporters—is not serving the kind of function pieces like these should serve if they’re going to be written at all: they do not help us get a better grasp as to why these people believe what they believe, at least not beyond the chorus of “fake news.” I mean, if you’re going to profile Richard Spencer, at least try to figure out what his endgame is. Yes, he’s a racist piece of shit, but unlike Hovater-esque rubes, Spencer knows what he’s peddling is bullshit and a lie. He seeks personal gain from this catastrophe. There’s no way he thinks Donald Trump is an intelligent man.

But I think the reason why profiles like this always seem to fail is that few, if any, ever make the obvious connection that the reason seemingly “normal” people like Hovater gravitate towards white supremacy is because the modern Republican party has been shepherding them and dog whistling to them for decades, and because the actions of the party’s representatives against minorities aren’t explicit enough for people like Hovater, it’s only a matter of time before there’s some kind of revolt.

More importantly, though, is that the people Hovater despises are real people, too, yet no news outlet seems at all interested in profiling them to see how they feel about all this Nazi crap—or about anything in general. That so many media outlets continue to profile Nazis with a kind of morbid fascination as to how they came to exist suggests they have severely misunderstood the nature of the Republican party for a long, long time.

Your Liberal Media at Work

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After an extended and much-needed break from searching out media inanities in order to fulfill a masochistic goal, I’ve decided to come back—for now.

Satirist Vic Berger has been in a back-and-forth with certified right-wing nutjob Mike Cernovich for a while now. In a profile at NPR, Steve Inskeep’s guest for the segment, Andrew Marantz of The New Yorker, incorrectly states that Cernovich never mentioned the name of the pizza parlor associated with the conspiracy theory dubbed “pizzagate.” Berger, being a victim of Cernovich’s threats, asked Inskeep for a correction:

Later on, Berger makes this comment:

To which Inskeep had a rather snarky reply:

And there’s your liberal media at work. Berger and others don’t donate to NPR in order to influence what it says—does Inskeep think Berger attaches a note to his donation spelling out how he’d like the news reported?—they donate because they believe the outlet has in the past provided consistent and quality journalism. In this instance, Inskeep and his guest obviously failed, and Inskeep decides its best to take a swipe at someone offering the correct information about a very dangerous person. Great work, Steve.

More importantly, though, this is yet another piece in legitimate mainstream media that is helping to normalize the ideas of the alt right/white supremacists/neo-Nazis. The morbid fascination with them is quickly turning into affording these people more space in the national conversation than they deserve.