Guilty


  While the mainstream media feigned outrage that anyone would suggest that Saint Obama was referring to Palin with his lipstick crack, apparently not every liberal got the memo. On Salon, which I wouldn't consider a serious publication except that the New York Times is constantly citing it so warmly, University of Michigan professor Juan Cole wrote a column titled “What's the Difference Between Palin and Muslim Fundamentalists? Lipstick.”78 The author of the Slate magazine article demanding that Obama hit Palin harder, which ran two days after Obama's “lipstick on a pig” line, titled his article: “Slaughter the Pig.”79

  George Allen apologized for “macaca,” but Obama wouldn't apologize for calling Palin a “pig.” Quite the opposite; Obama claimed to be a victim of Republican “lies and phony outrage.”

  I no longer care about Republicans’ policies, flip-flops, or personal lives. I just want a Republican who is not constantly apologizing to liberals. I promise, apologizing won't make them like you. Apologies have precisely the same effect on liberals as they do on Muslims: It just fuels their rage. The pope apologized to rioting Muslims for quoting Byzantine emperor Manuel II Palaeologus: “Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.” Muslims accepted the pope's apology by spelling out the words “apology accepted” in burning cars.

  President George W. Bush apologized for his statement in the 2003 State of the Union Address that “the British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.” Endless investigations, here and in Britain, proved that Bush's claim was irrefutably true. What was Bush apologizing for? Telling the truth? I don't even think Hallmark has a card for that. Incomprehensibly, Bush also apologized for firing his own political appointees.

  Despite this constant string of apologies, Bush was accused of dividing the country. After the 2004 election, columnist E. J. Dionne announced that he was “disgusted” by Bush's “effort consciously designed to divide the country.”80 In full anaphylactic shock, Dionne proclaimed, “We are aghast at the success of a campaign based on vicious personal attacks, the exploitation of strong religious feelings and an effort to create the appearance of strong leadership that would do Hollywood proud. We are alarmed that so many of our fellow citizens could look the other way and not hold Bush accountable for utter incompetence in Iraq and for untruths spoken in defense of the war.”

  Apparently the country could only be united if John Kerry had won just a tiny bit more of the vote in Ohio that year. Only then would the nation be able to come together in peace and harmony.

  Why do Republicans never learn? They will never get credit for apologizing to the endless stream of fake liberal victims. Instead, everyone sees that Republicans are milquetoast sops. Republicans have turned themselves into such doormats that a major Obama fundraiser felt free to sneak into the Republican National Convention to disrupt Sarah Palin's speech—and then portray herself as a victim of the Republicans for being asked to leave.

  The storm troopers at the Republican National Convention were Jodie Evans, a major Obama fundraiser, and her fellow outside agitator, Medea Benjamin.81 Evans is the founder of the “grassroots” anti-American group “Code Pink,” which is funded with the multiple millions of dollars she got in her divorce from billionaire Max Palevsky. Evans supports Fidel Castro, Hugo Chávez—and Barack Obama— having pledged to bundle more than $50,000 for the Obama campaign.82 This major Obama contributor once proclaimed, “Why is being a communist anti-American?”—which narrowly lost out to “Change We Can Believe In” as the Obama campaign motto.

  As Palin was giving her inaugural address to the nation, Evans and Benjamin stood up in their Code Pink outfits—dresses spray-painted with the words “Palin is not a woman's choice”—and began shrieking at Palin.

  However much Max Palevsky paid to divorce Evans, he got a bargain.

  What are the odds that if a major campaign donor to McCain disrupted Obama's convention speech, only two newspapers would report it? But the fact that an Obama contributor rushed the stage as Sarah Palin accepted the vice presidential nomination at the Republican convention was reported in only two newspapers: the Post Register (Idaho Falls) and the Pioneer Press (Twin Cities).

  Newspapers didn't even have to pull reporters off the Palin scandal watch to write the story themselves; they only had to run the Associated Press story about Evans's disruption of Palin's speech. But not one newspaper picked up the wire story. Newspaper editors must have been saving space in case any of Palin's enemies in Alaska started making more unsubstantiated claims about affairs, false pregnancies, or the juvenile delinquency of her children.

  The privileged protesters later admitted that they had been given illegal credentials to get into the convention by people in the media— which may explain why Palin's cracks about the media were such a hit with the convention delegates. No one will ever know who gave the disrupters access, because there was no investigation. There was no outcry. There was certainly no violent pummeling of these howling harridans. The protesters at Palin's speech weren't arrested or even issued a citation.

  Indeed, it was they who were indignant at their “harsh” treatment in not being allowed to prevent Palin from speaking. These poor put-upon billionaires were shocked that they were removed from the convention hall, rather being permitted to scream throughout Palin's speech and perhaps to storm the stage. Male chivalry is evidently the last refuge of female barbarians. “Hello?” Evans said. “Why do you have to drag two women out?”83—not the first time “drag” had been used in reference to Democratic activists.

  This wasn't a free-speech issue. Interrupting speeches at a private event is the equivalent of sneaking into the New York Times's typesetting room and inserting your own op-eds over theirs. A political party's national convention costs more than $100 million and takes nearly two years to plan.84 The people who pay for it don't owe space to people who want to shout down their speakers. Disrupting a convention is like disrupting someone's wedding. It is a feral attack on civilized society. If they can do it at a Republican convention, why not at a presidential debate? Why not during a live TV show or an NFL football game?

  Pro-lifers can't stand on a public sidewalk within 36 feet of an abortion clinic, but liberals think they have a divine right to disrupt speeches at the Republican National Convention.

  And Republicans fall for fake victims every time. Blake Hall, one of the Republican delegates who removed the screaming banshees, sent an e-mail to the Idaho Falls Post Register contritely explaining that the protesters had “violated convention rules by being in a place not permitted by their guest passes.” He continued defensively, “They were asked to cease and they refused.” And—as Palin continued to try to speak over the disrupters—they “continued their disorderly behavior at which point I was requested by the Sergeant at Arms and other deputies to assist in their removal.”85 Not exactly Ronald Reagan saying, “I'm paying for this microphone!” Republicans are apologetic about not supinely turning over their convention to satanic dervishes.

  How about a sock to their yaps? In numerous photos of the melee, the screaming shrews can be seen with arms flailing and mouths agape while able-bodied men stand right next to them doing nothing. So-called men stood slack-jawed while the Republican warrior in heels attempted to deliver her speech. And Republicans wonder why they needed a woman to be their vice presidential candidate.

  On MSNBC, host Rachel Maddow was appalled at the rude way hecklers were treated at the Republican National Convention. Describing a protester who sneaked into the Republican convention and started screaming and waving a sign that said, “McCain votes against vets” during McCain's speech, Maddow said, “To have one of the two [vets from Iraq or Afghanistan] getting to speak at the Republican National Convention, having to speak essentially from the rafters while getting dragged out of the room. That says something.”86 How dare t
he Republicans not let the heckler finish his heckle!

  THE MEDIA ARE INSTANTLY PANIC-STRICKEN ABOUT EVERY REpublican scandal, no matter how petty, while aggressively burying all Democrats’ scandals, from President Kennedy's pathological whoring to Edwards's affair with Rielle Hunter. Battered wife–syndrome Republicans are so obsessed with trying to prove to the media that they are not being mean that they immediately abandon even legitimate attacks on Democrats, such as Michelle Obama's “proud” comment or Obama's deranged associates and thuggish campaign tactics. And to prove they are not hypocrites, Republicans hold members of their own party to much higher standards than they ever would hold a Democrat. Consider that Republicans Jack Ryan, Larry Craig, and Mark Foley were all forced to withdraw from politics for sex scandals that did not involve anyone actually having sex. If any Democrat is ever hounded out of a race for propositioning his own wife—I don't care if it's in the middle of Madison Square Garden—I will stop writing about politics for a full year.

  But Republicans give the bum's rush to any colleagues who have made the slightest verbal gaffe, like Trent Lott, or been accused, however implausibly, of the most ridiculous malfeasance, like George Allen or Jack Ryan. They naively cling to the belief that their own unilateral surrender will so impress liberals that someday liberals will play fair. Republicans have been trying this strategy for fifty years and so far it hasn't worked. They never get credit for these ecumenical attacks on their fellow Republicans. What they got was Barack Obama, who won his Senate seat after knocking out his two opponents by poring through their sealed divorce records, and John McCain, who chastised any Republicans who mentioned Jeremiah Wright or Obama's middle name.

  Let's count. George Allen is gone (said “macaca”). Jack Ryan is gone (allegedly propositioned his wife). Mark Foley is gone (sent inappropriate e-mails to pages). Tom DeLay is gone (raised campaign money legally). Needless to say, any Republicans who broke actual laws are gone, gone, gone.

  Meanwhile, Democrats are utterly unabashed about Senator Teddy Kennedy (killed a girl), Bill Clinton (flashed an employee, molested an intern, and perjured himself about both incidents), William “Refrigerator” Jefferson (had $90,000 in bribe money hidden in his freezer), Sandy Berger (stole and then destroyed classified national security documents relevant to 9/11), Barney Frank (homosexual prostitute ran a call-boy ring from Frank's house), John Edwards (cheated on cancer-stricken wife), and Joe Biden (made comments about Indians one thousand times more offensive than Allen's nonsense word).

  At least the Edwards sex scandal proved him right about one thing: There really are two Americas. There's one for right-wingers, where every jaywalking offense will be covered like the O.J. murder trial, and one for left-wingers, where they can do anything and blithely count on a total media cover-up. In an article about the rich and famous arranging to have their divorce records sealed apropos of the Jack Ryan debacle, USA Today quoted Paul McMasters of the left-wing First Amendment Center indignantly asking, “Do we have one system of justice for one group of people and another system of justice for another group of people?”87 Yes, of course we do. There is one system of justice for liberals and another for conservatives.

  6

  WHEN 95 PERCENT

  WORLD DOMINATION

  JUST ISN't ENOUGH …

  Mainstream media journalists are so desperate to be victims that they've had to leap beyond their torment at the hands of Fox News to start claiming they're victims of … the mainstream media! After decades of patiently explaining to conservatives that before becoming journalists they had their opinions “surgically removed,” as CBS's 60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl told Fox News's Bill O'reilly back in 2000,1 suddenly liberals can't stop complaining about how biased the media are—against liberals. The media flagellate themselves for not being tough enough on Republican administrations. They complain about issues not being covered sufficiently by the media and issues that are being covered too much. They complain about what's front-page news and what isn't. The media are victims of the media!

  Whenever the establishment media is complaining about “the deluge of the media's coverage”2—as the New York Times did about coverage of 9/11 on the very first anniversary—you know they are chafing at having to pretend to care about something that plainly bores them. By the sixth anniversary of 9/11, the Times was running a front-page article proposing we shelve the 9/11 commemorations altogether. “Each year,” the Times reported, “murmuring about September 11 fatigue arises” and “many people feel that the collective commemorations, publicly staged, are excessive and vacant, even annoying.”3

  Who are those “many people”? Do any of them live outside of the Upper West Side? Liberals are not merely bored with 9/11, they fear that reminders of 9/11 will anger Americans and reawaken the fighting spirit.

  Admittedly, the terrorist attack of 9/11 might not be deserving of the wall-to-wall coverage devoted to the Augusta National Golf Club's discriminatory membership policies against women. But some continued recognition of the deadliest terrorist attack in U.S. history would be nice. In fact, I think it should be mentioned at the start of each school day, like the Pledge of Allegiance. Congress should show video of the towers coming down before each session. Everybody's screen saver should be a photo of the towers in flames. On every anniversary we should have wall-to-wall TV coverage of the savage attack lest anyone, ever, anywhere, forget what those animals did to us. Again, not as extensive as the New York Times coverage of the Augusta National Golf Club, but something.

  Or here's a proposal: Maybe we could cancel just one major motion picture, prime-time special, PBS documentary, play, dramatization, rally, parade, staged reading, Broadway musical, evening of interpretive dance, opera, feature film, or seminar about the Jim Crow era each week and replace it with one about 9/11. In 2007, the year the Times was complaining about having to commemorate a terrorist attack on U.S. soil that happened only six years earlier, the Times reminded its readers of the 1965 Civil Rights March in Selma more than a dozen times and Jim Crow five dozen times. Even the liberal Kausfiles blog noted a new feature at NPR in 2007: “Pointless Stories from the Civil Rights Era.”4 Mind you, we 9/11 hobbyists want only one substitution per week. Would that be a fair compromise? Or, even better, maybe they could keep all the Jim Crow remembrance specials and give us a substitution for one Hollywood blacklist movie per week.

  The only other subject the media were ever this irritated about having to cover was the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Two weeks after the Lewinsky story broke, before the evidence on the blue dress was even dry, Times columnist Frank Rich huffily reported that “75 percent of the public tells ABC pollsters that there's too much media coverage of the scandal.”5 That was the same public that produced record-breaking Nielsen ratings for TV shows covering the Monica Lewinsky scandal for the rest of the year.

  A decade later, Times columnists were still complaining that the Clinton scandals had gotten too much attention. Paul Krugman attributed the hype to “the right-wing noise machine.”6 Is that the “noise machine” that controls the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and indeed nearly every newspaper in America, every major news network, CNN, MSNBC, Saturday Night Live, Vanity Fair, Glamour, Time, Newsweek, Good Housekeeping, Rolling Stone, Vibe, the entire movie industry, the Oscars, and the Emmys? That right-wing noise machine? Or is it the right-wing noise machine that's limited to niche outlets on the radio, the Internet, and a few hours a day on Fox News, between Greta Van Susteren, Shep Smith, and Geraldo Rivera?

  Krugman dismissed the Clinton scandals as “pseudoscandal[s]” and bitterly remonstrated about the “headlines, air time and finger-wagging from the talking heads” over nothingness. And yet he claimed that the “eventual discovery in each case that there was no there there, if reported at all, received far less attention.” Fully determined to earn his presidential knee pads, Krugman said, “The effect was to make an administration that was, in fact, pretty honest and well run—
especially compared with its successor—seem mired in scandal.”7

  According to Krugman, the “fake scandals” from the Clinton years were “Whitewater, Troopergate, Travelgate, Filegate, Christmas-card-gate. At the end, there were false claims that Clinton staff members trashed the White House on their way out.” Each one of these was not only a far more serious scandal than anything the media ever managed to produce against the Bush administration, but none could be described as having received overwhelming media attention.

  The “pseudoscandal” of Whitewater, for example, produced more than a dozen felony convictions against—among others—the sitting governor of Arkansas, Jim Guy Tucker; former Arkansas municipal judge David Hale; Clinton's associate attorney general, Webster L. Hubbell; and Clinton's former business partners Susan McDougal and the late Jim McDougal.8 Not bad for a “pseudoscandal.”

  In eight years, with several thousand political employees circulating in and out of the executive branch, only five felonies came out of the entire Bush administration. That's a crime rate at least 1,000 percent less than in the population at large.9

  Lewis Libby was the only perpetrator Bush likely had ever met and is certainly the only one the public had ever heard of. The others were obscure employees in the far reaches of the executive branch, such as a homeland security deputy press secretary and a chief of staff of the General Services Administration. But just among Clinton's friends and associates from Arkansas, the Whitewater investigation produced more than a dozen felony convictions. Ken Starr had a more significant effect on reducing crime in the 1990s than Clinton's crime bill.

 
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