From the article:
It ain’t nothing, but it ain’t worth writing home about, either.
Roger Ailes’s corporeal body has died, though it’s safe to assume his soul (if he ever had one) died long, long ago. There are two types of right-wingers: the abject morons and the wannabe intellectual. Here’s the reaction from the abject morons:
And here’s the reaction from the wannabe intellectuals:
Ross wants “conservative journalism” to be more like the Buckley era. Not surprising. Our friends at National Review still have a page regarding the legacy of Buckley.
But Buckley was a right-wing asshole in an intellectual’s clothing. Buckley supported apartheid in South Africa:
Buckley was actively courted by Chiang Kai-Shek’s Taiwan, Franco’s Spain, South Africa, Rhodesia and Portugal’s African colonies, and went on expenses-paid trips trips to some of these countries.
When he returned from Mozambique in 1962, Buckley wrote a column describing the backwardness of the African population over which Portugal ruled, “The more serene element in Africa tends to believe that rampant African nationalism is self-discrediting, and that therefore the time is bound to come when America, and the West … will depart from our dogmatic anti-Colonialism and realize what is the nature of the beast.”
In the fall of 1962, during a visit to South Africa, arranged by the Information Ministry, Buckley wrote that South African apartheid “has evolved into a serious program designed to cope with a melodramatic dilemma on whose solution hangs, quite literally, the question of life or death for the white man in South Africa.”
President Botha of South Africa is incontestably right in saying in effect that he was not elected leader of his government in order to preside over the liquidation of the South Africa he was elected to govern. Critics are perfectly free to contend that his election does not suit our political criteria. But having admitted that his government does not do so, it hardly makes sense to criticize him for proceeding on the basis of his (misbegotten) criteria. If you criticize somebody for being mean to his mother, don’t be surprised if he goes on to be mean to his mother.
Buckley’s logic here, while circular, is also completely airtight. You can’t blame a white South African president for continuing a policy of white supremacy. He was elected by whites! If the whites-only electorate wanted to dismantle white supremacy, it would have chosen somebody else. So there.
He also had a rather Nazi-esque idea for dealing with those who had AIDS:
Everyone detected with AIDS should be tatooed in the upper forearm, to protect common-needle users, and on the buttocks, to prevent the victimization of other homosexuals.
He had this exchange with Gore Vidal on television during the 1968 Democratic convention:
In case the audio quality is bad enough that you couldn’t hear, Vidal calls Buckley a “crypto-Nazi,” and Buckley responds: “Now listen, you queer; stop calling me a crypto-Nazi, or I’ll sock you in your goddamn face, and you’ll stay plastered.”
Yeah. I’m not nostalgic for the Buckley era of conservative journalism.
This Washington Post/ABC poll about an election redo has been passed around as though it were significant:
While just 4 percent of Trump’s supporters say they would back someone else if there was a redo of the election, fully 15 percent of Clinton supporters say they would ditch her.
Meaning that hypothetically, Trump would beat Clinton in a match-up 43% to 40%.
But I can think of a few reasons why Clinton voters would defect in hindsight and Trump voters wouldn’t. The big one is that Clinton lost and Trump won, so unless any disaffected Trump supporter is willing to admit they were wrong, it’s going to be a small number. Clinton voters, on the other hand, now know they had a candidate that didn’t win, so why do again what didn’t work the first time?
The more significant poll is this one (from Fox News of all places) because it’s asking a better question:
The problem with asking anyone whether they’d vote for Clinton (again or for the first time) is that she’s Hillary Clinton; beyond her diehard supporters, she sits in the minds of voters as either a defeated candidate whom the party needs to move past, or the horrible anathema they’ve always believed her to be (courtesy of outlets like Fox News). Asking whether voters would vote for Trump or literally anyone else reveals truer feelings. Still, it’s a bit much to jump to pundit-ish conclusions like the insipid Matthew Dowd:
Right, that his base still approves of everything he does 100% and what’s left of the sane world despises him and what he stands for. That’s not new. Trump came into the White House with a 45% disapproval rating:
So things have only gotten marginally worse for Trump, numbers-wise. So no, a couple polls don’t really reveal anything we can’t learn elsewhere about Trump’s first 100 days or about the 2020 election. And I don’t want to talk about the 2020 election right now. It’s only been 100 days.
In a bizarre post on Politico, former Ted Cruz communications director Amanda Carpenter complains that the conservative media has gone all in for Trump (“How the Conservative Media Become Trump’s Lapdogs,” Politico, 3/15/2017):
For years, conservatives breathlessly accused the media of being too easy on President Barack Obama and for acting like a bunch of sycophantic bootlickers for his administration. Turns out, some only wanted the chance to try it out for themselves once a Republican was in office.
The chance to try it. Because nothing like that happened—even with the supposedly ‘liberal’ media—during the Bush administration directly after 9/11 and leading up to and including a good chunk of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Sean Hannity sycophantically licked George Bush’s boots for eight years.
Sadly these media personalities—easily found in places such as Breitbart and Fox News—have become exactly what they hated their mainstream media foes for being: biased cheerleaders all too willing to ignore any misdeeds by the president in the name of helping him enact his agenda.
Carpenter doesn’t understand the mindset of the conservative media she’s denouncing. They didn’t despise the mainstream media for being ‘biased cheerleaders’ for Obama; they despised the mainstream media for not being conservative like them. No one in conservative media has ever had any intention other than advancing a pro-Republican, anti-Democratic agenda.
Just look at the outlets she criticizes (Fox, Breitbart, Gateway Pundit), or even the ones she faintly praises (The Washington Examiner, the Federalist), and notice how since their inception they have run nothing but pro-Republican, anti-Democratic articles.
Like good conspiracy theorists, each of them follows the same formula—pick the conclusion you want to reach, construct a narrative, and work backwards until you get to the spurring event. It’s that simple.
Bill O’Reilly said something racist on his show the other night. Surprise, surprise:
Bill O’Reilly interrupted Donald Trump’s claims about how he would create jobs for African-Americans on Monday night to make a louder point: That many of them are “ill-educated and have tattoos on their foreheads.”
Normally when a right-wing nut says something like this, they first thing they do is say the quote was taken out-of-context. So let’s give Bill the benefit of the doubt and assume the totally-evil mainstream liberal media is purposefully demonizing him to brainwash the country, etc. etc.:
Grilling the Republican front-runner on Fox News’ the O’Reilly Factor, the conservative talk show host asked Trump how he would win over minorities like African Americans.
“I’m telling you, it’s an economic message,” Trump said. “If you look at President Obama, he’s been a president for almost 8 years, it will be 8 years, you have with black youth, with African American youth, you have a 59 percent unemployment.”
“But how are you going to get jobs for them?” O’Reilly interjected. “Many of them are ill-educated and have tattoos on their foreheads, and I hate to be generalized about it, but it’s true. If you look at all the educational statistics, how are you going to get jobs for people who aren’t qualified for jobs?”
Mmmm nope. Not taken out of context. So what happens, then, when a right-wing nut says something like this and they can’t legitimately claim it was taken out of context? Say it was taken out of context anyway:
Fox News host Bill O’Reilly says his review of famed Harlem restaurant Sylvia’s is being taken out of context and was not racist.
On his September 19 radio show, O’Reilly said he took civil rights leader Al Sharpton to the Lenox Avenue fixture and “couldn’t get over the fact that there was no difference between Sylvia’s Restaurant and any other restaurant in New York City.”
“I mean, it was exactly the same, even though it’s run by blacks, primarily black patronship,” he told listeners. “It was the same, and that’s really what this society’s all about now here in the U.S.A. There’s no difference.”
And later, speaking with National Public Radio correspondent and Fox analyst Juan Williams, O’Reilly said there “wasn’t any kind of craziness at all” during his dinner with Sharpton: “There wasn’t one person in Sylvia’s who was screaming, ‘M.F.-er, I want more iced tea.’ ”
“It was like going into an Italian restaurant in an all-white suburb in the sense that people were sitting there and they were ordering and just having fun,” he continued.
So O’Reilly expected to walk into a predominantly black restaurant to find the patrons embodying the racial stereotypes he associates with them, and instead was shocked to find they acted like normal human beings. But it’s not racist! We know because O’Reilly tells us:
“Anybody who listened to it … would, I think, have appreciated the discussion for being an exposition of why people are afraid not only of blacks but of everybody they don’t know,” he said.
Elsewhere in the September 19 program, O’Reilly said he was trying to reassure whites — such as his grandmother, whom he said had an “irrational fear” of blacks — that rap-star stereotypes of African-Americans “are not true.”
“This is what white America doesn’t know, particularly people who don’t have a lot of interaction with black Americans,” he said. “They think the culture is dominated by Twista, Ludacris and Snoop Dogg.”
Which means that O’Reilly also believes in those stereotypes, and is a media figure who perpetuates those stereotypes when he describes black youth as being “ill-educated” and having tattoos on their foreheads. It’s kind of a testament to how out-of-touch O’Reilly and like-minded members of the commentariat really are when they feel it a civic duty to tell other white people that, hey, blacks don’t jump up and down when they go to restaurants! Trust me; I went to one!
It’s easy to say racist stuff on television or radio and get away with it. So long as you say it in a way that can be walked back, where you can cry that what you said is being taken out of context. It’s how he can engage in doublespeak when he says the following:
It’s a bit complicated because the reason Trayvon Martin died was because he looked a certain way and it wasn’t based on skin color. If Trayvon Martin had been wearing a jacket like you are and a tie like you are, Mr. West, this evening, I don’t think George Zimmerman would have any problem. But he was wearing a hoodie and he looked a certain way. And that way is how “gangstas” look.
Trayvon Martin’s race had nothing to do with why he died, according to O’Reilly. It’s because of the hoodie, which is primarily worn by “gangstas,” which is O’Reilly’s way of referring to blacks without saying it, same as when he or anyone else uses the term “thugs.” It’s just vague enough that it can be easily walked back. But, you know, I’m probably just taking it out of context.
One of the predominant themes among the Republican contenders this election cycle is the specter of ‘political correctness.’ Donald Trump and Ted Cruz invoke it constantly, going so far as to say that one of the reasons ISIS is able to exist is because Barack Obama won’t say ‘radical Islam’ or ‘Islamic extremists’ or ‘butthole poophead.’ Additionally, there are plenty of people who are willing to blame political correctness for the rise of Trump, like Tom Nichols at The Daily Beast.
The American left created Donald Trump.
When I say “the left,” I do not mean the Democratic Party—or, solely the Democratic Party. Rather, the pestilence that is the Trump campaign is the result of a conglomeration of political, academic, media, and cultural elites who for decades have tried to act as the arbiters of acceptable public debate and shut down any political expression from Americans with whom they disagree. They, more than anyone else, created Donald Trump’s candidacy and the increasingly hideous movement he now leads.
Uh-huh. “Shut down any political expression from Americans with whom they disagree.” Which is why venues like Fox News exist where hosts tell their guests to shut up. Or how right-wing talk radio proliferated in the wake of the FCC doing away with the Fairness Doctrine. Or how there are more conservative op-eds than liberal ones. Oh, yes! The great leftist conspiracy of shutting down speech is disagrees with!
This happened more recently in North Carolina when Governor Pat McCrory dismissed criticisms of the state’s new anti-LGBT legislation as nothing more than ‘political correctness.’ It’s one of those phrases that doesn’t need to be followed by an argument—anyone who salivates at the desecration of ‘political correctness’ will already agree with it.
The right generally say something is ‘politically correct’ when they dislike something. Sticking up for the rights of LGBT people? You’re just being politically correct. Want to reinstate the Voting Rights Act because you think its repeal disenfranchises people? You’re just being politically correct.
Conversely, whenever anyone says something they disagree with, it’s because that person or group is pushing an agenda. Remember The Muppets Movie? It had a rich guy as the villain, so obviously it’s promoting communism as part of the liberal agenda:
The kids’ show Spongebob Squarepants apparently was giving a very one-sided viewpoint on environmental issues, so it’s clearly pushing a global warming agenda:
Remember when gay people couldn’t get married and so weren’t entitled to the same rights as straight married couples (which included things like hospital visitation rights)? Well, clearly they were all pushing a gay agenda! And hey, sometimes atheists have something to say, which is why they’re obviously part of the War on Christmas! But seriously, atheists don’t have to live here, and they say things Christians don’t like, so the solution is that they shouldn’t have rights:
Well, I guess the right has a point about liberal indoctrination in public education, right? Not exactly:
In a landmark vote that will shape the future education of millions of Texas schoolchildren, the State Board of Education on Friday approved new curriculum standards for U.S. history and other social studies courses that reflect a more conservative tone than in the past.
Texas standards often wind up being taught in other states because national publishers typically tailor their materials to Texas, one of the biggest textbook purchasers in the country.
Approval came after the GOP-dominated board approved a new curriculum standard that would encourage high school students to question the legal doctrine of church-state separation – a sore point for social conservative groups who disagree with court decisions that have affirmed the doctrine, including the ban on school-sponsored prayer.
Conservatives also approved to have a sociological focus on institutional racism and its presence in American society banned from the books, as well as removing important references of Latino and Hispanic figures throughout history.
So remind me, Mr. Nichols, what was it you said created Donald Trump? A political wing shutting down discussion of Americans with whom they disagree? And it’s the left that’s doing this by discouraging people from using, you know, racial slurs? You sure that’s what caused Trump?
It’s ludicrous to lambast the force that tries to get people to empathize and understand people who aren’t like them as being responsible for the political monsters on the right, especially when so many on the right tell their audience that they don’t need to empathize with people who are different from them; they’re different, which means they’re not like you, which means you don’t need to spare a thought about whether or not they deserve to be treated with respect.