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March 10, 2005

Oh, Danny Boy, the blogs, the blogs are calling....

To show the proof, the proof that you have lied.
The trust is gone, your ratings have been falling.
'Tis you, 'tis you must go, and FOX must bide.

Missing Dan already? Thought not. Still, check out these two collections of Dan's Greatest Naked-Liberal-Bias Hits!*

Remember this one? I do, because I saw it live.

“Nineteen days after the presidential election, Florida’s Republican Secretary of State is about to announce the winner — as she sees it and she decrees it — of the state’s potentially decisive 25 electoral votes. Katherine Harris will officially certify the state’s election returns....The believed certification — as the Republican Secretary of State sees it — is coming just hours after a court ordered deadline.... The certification — as the Florida Secretary of State sees it and decrees it — is being signed.”
- During CBS News live coverage, November 26, 2000

And I watched this gem, too.

“Good evening. Texas Governor George Bush tonight will assume the mantle and the honor of President-elect. This comes 24 hours after a sharply split and, some say, politically and ideologically motivated U.S. Supreme Court ended Vice President Gore’s contest of the Florida election and, in effect, handed the presidency to Bush.”
- Beginning the December 13, 2000, CBS Evening News

Assume the "mantle" and the honor... oh, man, I'm telling you, that takes me back... *snif* ...that's just classic Rather...

{warbling} Mem'ries... light the cor-ners of my mind...

Oh, Dan, we hardly knew ye!


* The bias is naked, not Dan. Come on, I wouldn't do that to my readers.

Posted by EtherPundit at 09:21 AM | Comments (4)

March 09, 2005

His prices are INNN-SAAAAAAAANE!

If you grew up anywhere near New York and you have any memory of the 70s and early 80s, the title of this post surely lit some long-disused neurons.

Crazy Eddie was a legendary audio/video/electronics retailer famous for his "INN-SAAAAAANE!" TV and radio commericals, always done on the cheap and featuring the same manic spokesman. Recently I was reading one of my regular Internet bulletin boards, the New York Radio Message Board, when I happened on this fascinating thread where an insider discusses the rise and precipitous, felonious fall of "Crazy" Eddie Antal and his brain-searing commercials.

I highly recommend the NY Radio Message Board, by the way, for anyone with an interest in New York radio. It's mostly populated by pros, and it's chock full of inside dope about the business, art, technicalities, ratings and regulatory issues of radio programming. Air America is frequently discussed. (Success or failure? Basically, liberals say it's raking in the dough, conservatives say it's on fiscal life support. Liberals say its ratings are strong, conservatives say they're in the dumper. Much Talmudic dissection of dayparts and demographics is involved).

One of the interesting topics discussed a while back was: Since there are really no broad-based "Top 40" stations playing a wide variety of music any more, and there is no real "top 40" that everyone knows and shares, will there be any "oldies" stations in the future? Since everyone's listening to a different kind of music, how can there be? And, I would argue: Since radio has made itself irrelevant with a combination of cookie-cutter non-local programming, canned playlists dictated by conglomerates, and intolerable commercial loads, where will its future loyal listeners come from, the ones who stick around long enough for their favorite songs to become oldies?

The site, incidentally, began as a tribute to Musicradio77 WABC, which needs no introduction for those who remember it, and for which any introduction would be insufficient for those who never heard it. There are enough airchecks (recordings of shows) on the site to send anyone who remembers AM pop radio into a nostalgic reverie.

Posted by EtherPundit at 08:20 AM | Comments (3)

March 08, 2005

As I predicted: Hannity/Colmes slash. Avert your eyes, children!

Well, I saw it coming. Cable talking-head slashfic — wrote about it here. Hannity/Colmes slashfic, predicted here.

Now Jeff at Protein Wisdom is doing an Alan Colmes fantasy series that's veered into the very disturbing. The comments show that the sick bastard has struck some kind of nerve.

Look, people, I'd set up the Cable Talking-Head Slashfic/Fanfic site myself, except I know my anonymity would be blown once the writs start to fly.

Come to think of it, though... I remember reading that slash involving fictional characters is of dubious legality because the rights to the characters are owned by someone. But what if the "characters" are public figures? They're not protected, are they?



* "Heh" is a trademark of the Instapundit International Sinister Rightwing Consortium.


Update: And I'd forgotten about the other Protein Wisdom post where Jeff says he wouldn't mind seeing someone give O'Reilly a good spanking. Hey, I warned you to avert your eyes!

Posted by EtherPundit at 12:47 AM | Comments (1)

March 06, 2005

Instapundit: Now DENIES being InstaPropagandist! Update!

Apparently lots of people have been noticing Insty's suspicious selection of only hot babes to represent the demonstrators in Lebanon. I just blogged on it yesterday, myself.

Insty denies that he's going out of his way to select hotties, and cites evidence that the "Beautiful Pro-Democracy Demonstrators" theme is spreading. Who the hell are these photographers, and where have they been for the last three years? Oh, well — they're here now, and it's never too late to make positive developments look good, instead of focusing on angry faces, tearful babies, and smoking ruins, as they've been doing for as long as I can remember.

To atone for his chick-centric posts, Insty throws the gals a bone at last. Hell-ooo, handsome! Have I told you how much I hate Basho whatzisface? That Syria guy? Yeah, he's awful. Hate 'im! Listen, after the demo, let's go to your place and discuss further uprisings...


Posted by EtherPundit at 10:24 PM | Comments (2)

How to carry a man-purse without looking gay.

Spoons reports on a trend retailers are trying to push: The Man-Purse. He cites a Chicago Tribune article that includes this quote:

"It's not like you're carrying a teacup poodle," says "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" fashion guru Carson Kressley. "Get over it."

I trust my dude-gendered readers are savvy enough not to take advice on how not to look gay from Queer Eye's Carson.

So step aside, Queer Eye dudes. Make way for:

Breeder Eye for the Hopelessly Hetero Guy.

Breeder-Girl EtherPundit here, HH Guys. The first thing you need to know is that inability to understand or care about what you wear comes with the Y chromosome. Most gay men can't muster any interest either. (Shhh! Let's keep their little secret!)

As you know, all fashion trends are designed to make you feel foolish if you don't buy into them, and make you look like a pathetic, insecure poseur if you do buy into them. So you're safe continuing to ignore all articles about what other guys are allegedly wearing.

"But Breeder-Girl," you say, "I read that article about the purse, the man-purse, and even though it looks, well, y'know, gay — not that there's anything wrong with that — it seems so handy! I'm confused! I wish I could carry a purse and not look gay!"

Well, there IS a way to pull it off. First, ignore the man-purse, boy-satchel, dude-sack peddlers. And definitely ignore Carson Kressley.

Next, get a woman's purse. The more feminine, the better. Clutch it in your big burly hands. Look awkward. Hey presto! you're there.

Because, for some reason, nothing in the world makes a man look more manly than uncomfortably holding his woman's dainty purse. Even if there's no female within a 10-mile radius, I guarantee that any straight man who sees you will assume you've been separated from your woman and stuck with custody of her bag.

And no one will ever know that you're carrying a man-purse.

Update: Right Wing News is on the case — er, purse — too.

Posted by EtherPundit at 02:20 PM | Comments (10)

March 02, 2005

Another Rathergate mystery solved! All hail the Queen!

You may recall that, during Rathergate, Dan Rather acquired the evocative nickname "Queen of the Space Unicorns."

At last, he has acknowledged his position as a crowned head of Fantasyland. In an upcoming New Yorker interview, Dan finally confesses his love for his storied kingdom.

In the end, he adds, "I believe in the dream, the magical mystical kingdom of CBS News. It may exist only in our minds, but that makes it no less real."

Just so, your Royal Highness! Just because Killian's magical mystical memos, "Lucy Ramirez," and the AWOL scandal also existed only in the minds of CBS employees doesn't make them any less real, either! I'm tired of these naysayers claiming to be upholding the distinction between "objective truth" and "fevered hallucination."

Your Highness, I implore you to issue a decree banning the insidious emotion of skepticism. For only with their logical minds stilled can your subjects at last learn to cavort merrily through the poppy-strewn Fields of Credulity, heedless of the burdens placed on them by so-called "reality." Free us from the oppression of thought, O Queen! Help us to frolic forever in the magical mystical Kingdom of CBS News!

Update: As you might expect, there's more at Rathergate.com.

Posted by EtherPundit at 06:48 AM | Comments (5)

February 28, 2005

So you like the Oscars -- quit apologizing and own up.

The people who strive most vigorously not to be bourgeois are doomed to be the most nakedly bourgeois of all. This universal maxim is never more obvious than when Oscar time rolls around.

Most people are unashamed about their celebrity-worship. But there's always a certain contingent that wouldn't be caught dead with a copy of the Enquirer — oh, no, they're more the New York Times type, thanks. Yet mention a celebrity's name, and they'll blurt out a piece of disapproving, up-to-the-minute dish.

These are the very people who chatter about the Oscars weeks before the show and avidly enter Oscar pools, but insist they're not really going to watch it. Well, maybe they might dip in and out. Because, you know — (this is my favorite) — they "only watch to see how bad they are."

Really? I could save you a few hours: They're really bad. I mean fall-into-a-nihilistic-depression bad. I never watch them, personally, for just this reason: because they're bad. Even the "shocks" are mind-numbingly predictable. And this is why you like them?

I'd like to make a plea to all watchers of televised dreck: Stop being so defensive. No one cares about your low-prole viewing habits. You're only revealing how afraid you are that someone will mistake you for an ordinary American, who watches the show for ordinary reasons, like seeing celebrities in their designer gowns, or watching the entertainment, or some other frightfully middle-class, Jesusland reason. Quelle horreur!

Now, of course, if you watch the exact same thing as those Jesuslanders, and for the exact same length of time, but watch it ironically... well, then you're engaging in a critique of our celeb-centered, consumerist hegemon. (So edgy! And you laughed at Chris Rock's Bush-bashing — you really get it.) And if you spend the next Monday snarking about some actress' gown, or ragging on some singer, hey, that's not trashy middlebrow gossip. No sir. You're doing it ironically, and that makes it cultural critique.

Personally, I'm not ashamed of my own dreck-viewing habits. I watch "World's Wildest Police Chases" about once a week. I've also been known to take in "The Planet's Funniest Animals." Oh, and "Unwrapped" on the Food Network. And I don't watch them "ironically." I watch them because they're stupid, diverting, and distracting, and they don't pretend to be any higher-brow than they are. They don't lecture me, and they certainly don't edify me. All they do is help me relax by whiling away half an hour in a pleasantly brain-dead way. You got a problem with my viewing habits? You think you're gonna judge me? Okay. You pay my mortgage, food, and cable bills, and then we'll talk about how you should be the judge of what I watch on TV. Till then, deal with it. My house, my TV, my eyeballs. Capeesh?

There, see? That's not so hard. Self-conscious Oscar watchers, stand up for yourself. Watch your worthless dreck without apology, and quit bending my ear with hypocritical bombast about how you don't take it seriously, oh, it's so silly — please! who do these stars think they are, they're so vapid and shallow (and did you see that dress on her?), who watches these things, anyway?, etc.

Get over it. Only the bourgeoisie care about being thought bourgeois.

Posted by EtherPundit at 10:40 PM | Comments (5)

February 27, 2005

Gannon-fodder for the gay-hating Left.

I've refrained from commenting on Gannongate because, honestly, I haven't been able to figure out exactly what it's about. I've read thousands of words about it, yet if you asked me to write a one-sentence summary of the issues at stake, I really couldn't.

I figured maybe I just wasn't paying enough attention. That's common enough. Or maybe I wasn't smart enough, or versed enough in the context of the case, to make any sense of it. Also not unheard of. Or maybe I was just missing that one key piece of information that would make everything fall into place with a satisfied, "Aha!"

But I'm coming to believe that the reason I can't understand Gannongate is that there's really no "there" there. Gannongate is a fierce dust storm whipping around all kinds of garbage and detritus, but every time I look past the pelting filth and into the vortex, there's nothing in there.

The strongest impression I'm left with after brushing off all the flying dreck is this.

The left is furious because the Bush administration:

Basically, the Bush administration is being pilloried for not being bigoted enough.

I'm stunned by the gleeful openness of the Left's jihad against this guy for having allegedly been a gay escort.

More than that, I continue to be incredibly discouraged by the free pass the Left gets from gays.

This is one of the many reasons why, though I care a great deal about civil rights for gays, I can never, ever support the Democratic party in its current form ever again. Forced to choose, I settle for the Republican stance on homosexuality. I don't agree with it, and I wish it were progressive, instead of just seeking to solidify the current status quo, but at least the Republican Party says what it means on gay rights.

By contrast, I am disgusted by the pathetic, pandering lip service the Democrats offer gays, and the tragic eagerness with which the "gay community" laps up the half-assed, wishy-washy sorta-promises year after year. No wonder the Republicans write gays off; they can afford to. Nothing they can do or say will win them those votes anyway. Gays have asked for nothing from the Dems, and have eagerly accepted the nothing they receive, while always finding a way to blame "the Right" for the scarcity of gay-rights goodies. I don't know whether homosexuality is hard-wired from the womb, but apparently the need to vote Democrat is hard-wired in homosexuals.

But maybe Gannongate explains the need for gays to vote Democrat: Because a gay Republican unleashes the inner Fred Phelps in every Lefty. Gay Democrats, you see, are a put-upon, protected, victimized minority, and anyone who has a critical thing to say about them is a bigot indulging in hate speech. But gay Republicans — why, they're unclean, immoral faggots who'd hump any filthy pervert with a few dollars in his Vaseline-smeared paws, and how dare they even hope for a place in the public discourse, let alone in the White House press room!

There are some things I'll just never understand. One of them is why most gays think the Democratic Party is on their side, or has any use for them beyond their ability to pull a lever in a voting booth.

Update: More on this at Right Wing News and Brainster.

Update: Just One Minute reports great news from the White House Correspondents Association: They're not accepting the Gay Hustler Trojan Horse that comes bearing a press credentialing crackdown. Pressure to crack down on who has access to the White House -- isn't it delicious that this should come from the same moonbats who screamed about the loss of free speech in AshKKKroft's AmeriKKKa?

Posted by EtherPundit at 08:10 AM | Comments (9)

February 21, 2005

EXTRY! EXTRY! Left doesn't even try for plausibility anymore! Read all about it!

Michelle Malkin and A Confederate Yankee blog about Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), who believes Karl Rove was the source of the Rathergate memos. Hell, I remember conservative blogs saying that at the time. Of course, they were joking, and Hinchey is serious. But Hinchey is actually funnier! Go figure!

Heeeeeeeeeeeere's Hinchey! (from LGF)

They’ve had a very very direct, aggressive attack on the, on the media, and the way it’s handled. Probably the most flagrant example of that is the way they set up Dan Rather. Now, I mean, I have my own beliefs about how that happened: it originated with Karl Rove, in my belief, in the White House. They set that up with those false papers. Why did they do it? They knew that Bush was a draft dodger. They knew that he had run away from his responsibilties in the Air National Guard in Texas, gone out of the state intentionally for a long period of time. They knew that he had no defense for that period in his life. And so what they did was, expecting that that was going to come up, they accentuated it: they produced papers that made it look even worse. And they — and they distributed those out to elements of the media. And it was only — what, like was it CBS? Or whatever, whatever which one Rather works for. They — the people there — they finally bought into it, and they, and they aired it. And when they did, they had ’em. They didn’t care who did it! All they had to do is to get some element of the media to advance that issue. Based upon the false papers that they produced.

Honestly, even reading such drivel fills me with ennui; it's not even worth Fisking.

What is worth noting, though, is the new wave of defensive memes from the Left, and particular from the defenders of the MSM. These new narratives are notable because they no longer bother to even aim for plausibility. I take back what I said earlier about Hinchey being funny; it's not funny that an elected official not only makes up stories, but presumes his audience doesn't even expect the stories to make sense, even in their own internal logic.

Forget for a moment whether this story is true, and just consider its own internal logical conundrums.

  1. Karl Rove is capable of duping the mainstream media into running stories, even with the flimsiest of slapped-together "evidence." Yet of all the stories he could have planted with fabricated evidence — say, proof of WMD in Iraq, or proof that Bush didn't know of 9/11 in advance — he chose to plant one about Bush being AWOL in 1973. Even though time had already shown that the AWOL story had no legs, because voters don't much care about what happened 30 years ago when they already have 4 years of Bush's presidency to draw their own conclusions from.
  2. In order to draw attention away from Bush's actions in 1973, Rove planted a story about Bush's actions in 1973. How was this supposed to work again?
  3. For some reason, CBS and Dan Rather have refrained from reporting that Rove was feeding them bogus memos. Even though this story would be bigger than Watergate. Even though Dan Rather announced that if the memos were fake, "I'd like to be the one to break that story." Even though revealing Rove as the architect of the memos would restore the luster to CBS, replace Rather on his throne, and probably translate to millions in recovered ad revenue for the network.
  4. What about Mary Mapes? She could restore her reputation and bring down the corrupt BusHitler administration with proof of Rove's involvement. Why is she silent? It couldn't be because she's afraid of repercussions from Bush's thugs; she had no fear of publicizing what she believed were real, incriminating memos.
  5. Why not cut CBS in for a large share of the blame? After all, they were the ones who flogged Rove's exceedingly poorly forged memos. Shouldn't they have done their due diligence as a free press requires, instead of being mindless patsies?
  6. Considering that Bill Burkett was disgraced and wronged by Rove, why won't he talk either? And we never found out who "Lucy Ramirez" is. Is she Karl Rove?
  7. These papers, according to Hinchey, were shopped to "elements of the media," but only CBS bit. Who else was shown the memos, and why won't they talk? This is a chance to kick a rival network while it's down and break a history-making story.

(And just out of curiosity, does anyone know whether Hinchey realized immediately that this was the work of Rove? He wasn't by chance one of those who defended the memos until the very last page of the last copy of the Thornburgh report was printed, was he?)

Another sad example of an internally self-contradictory story is the defense of Eason Jordan by many in the MSM. Take Jeremy Scahill's comments in The Nation about Jordan:

But the real controversy here should not be over Jordan's comments. The controversy ought to be over the unconscionable silence in the United States about the military's repeated killing of journalists in Iraq.

The article goes on to very strongly suggest that Jordan was right, and the US is deliberately assassinating journalists in Iraq.

Look, here's the problem. If the US military is indeed deliberately killing journalists, again, this is a scandal that makes Abu Ghraib look like pretzelgate. I would be outraged to find this is true, and so would countless other Bush supporters. But I promised you I wouldn't focus on objective truth, but just show you the internal contradictions, didn't I? Okay.

The internal problems with this defense of Jordan:

  1. Why didn't Eason Jordan withdraw CNN's personnel, knowing that they were being targeted for murder? (See this entry.)
  2. Why would the MSM avoid reporting that their own colleagues were being deliberately murdered? They've covered plenty of bad news from Iraq; why not this?
  3. Eason Jordan was the MSM! Why the hell didn't he see to it that these journalist assassinations were reported on CNN? Wow, what a story to break! And when he did point out these murders, why did he backtrack, knowing that his return to silence was dooming other journalists to die? Does Scahill not find this appallingly dishonorable?
  4. Why doesn't the article provide any proof of the allegations of intentional murder of journalists? Is Scahill holding back? If so, how can he criticize others for not covering the story adequately?
  5. How can there be "unconscionable silence" about these murders when the Jordan case was all over the media, and now Scahill's own article complaining about silence is being published in a major magazine?

And this brings me to one of the Left's greatest self-contradictions. It's one I hear more and more often — as if the volume at which it's repeated makes it truer, instead of less true:


And yet... and yet... the very fact that you're complaining that STORY X IS BEING CENSORED, and I'm hearing your complaint without having sought it out, is proof that STORY X IS NOT BEING CENSORED.

My poor dear Left, once so vital and proud, and now deafened by your own echo chamber. It's not that no one hears you; it's that no one cares.

Posted by EtherPundit at 07:44 PM | Comments (3)

February 11, 2005

The REAL reason Eason Jordan was drummed out

Powerline reports that Eason Jordan has called it quits, only a day late and a dollar short. Michelle Malkin and Wizbang have good roundups.

Oh, the blogosphere is doing a victory lap, sure. Back-slapping and high-fives all around. But has anyone considered precisely why this guy was forced out?

Ask yourself how the CNN staff stationed in Iraq must have felt when they learned Jordan knew all along they were being targeted for assassination by American troops, yet he never made a move to recall them. Depraved, really. Sending CNN's own unarmed, unsuspecting journalists out to get shot down by US soldiers — can't have a guy like that running the organization. I'm surprised he was willing to openly admit his own indifference to CNN employees' safety to the entire World Economic Summit at Davos. No wonder he was forced out.

(I mean, he was telling the truth about the US targeting journalists, wasn't he? He had to have been. The Eason Jordan we know would never pull a sleazy stunt like lying. Never happen.)

Anyway, I'm sure whoever replaces him will immediately recall all CNN personnel from anywhere US troops are stationed. No sense taking crazy risks.

Wait a minute... there are US troops stationed right here in America! That means all of CNN's journalists are in constant danger, right, Eason? Perhaps the best course of action would be to shut down the whole operation, just to be on the safe side.

Posted by EtherPundit at 11:12 PM | Comments (1)

Olbermann goes Olber the top.

Poor Keith Olbermann. I think he's finally lost it.

It's been a long, sad road to this unhappy destination. I began to feel his sanity was slipping when I was flipping around the channels on New Year's Eve. It seemed he was devoting about half of his year-end review to O'Reilly's sex-harrassment scandal. I kept flipping away, then flipping past again, and Olby seemed really stuck on the topic. I guess there's not much archival footage relating to the scandal; at one point, he was showing footage of O'Reilly getting into a car. Truly one of the most significant events of 2004, one that must have an honored place in any year-end video rundown: O'Reilly gets into a car. This was interspersed with months-old footage of Olbermann's "Save the Tapes!" campaign. (Guess it was just a slow news year, huh, Keith?)

I turned to the EtherHub and said, "Is it just me, or is there something borderline homoerotic about this guy's obsession with O'Reilly and the tapes?"

Well, I guess it wasn't just me, and it wasn't really borderline either. Olby's cracked up. He's lettin' it all hang out. Olbermannwatch has posted the video here. (Warning: He screams like a little girl, over and over again, pretending O'Reilly is attacking him with a loofah. It'll take more than a loofah to scrub that mental image out of my brain, that's for damn sure.)

It's a paradoxical thing, Olby's O'Reilly obsession. As his ratings have slipped to about one-tenth of O'Reilly's, he fixates more and more on his rival. But consider the messages this sends:

  1. Everything O'Reilly does is newsworthy, even things he did (or didn't do) in 1970. Gee, he must be one of the most important people in the world. He's so gosh-darn important, you should probably be watching him right now!
  2. If you're watching MSNBC at 8pm, it's probably because you don't want to watch O'Reilly. So here he is! Here are some films and photos of him to set the stage for today's rundown of news about the guy you didn't want to hear about to begin with, or else you'd be watching his show in the first place! Hey, why are you changing the channel to CNN?
  3. I, Keith Olbermann, can no longer disguise my quasi-homoerotic obsession with the cruel ratings-master who dominates me. The thought of hearing him discuss his purported tawdry and frankly unimaginative sexual fantasies titillates me to the point of madness. I will now proceed to fixate on my image of him as a college jock, obsessively dissecting minutiae until he notices me. (Oh, why won't he notice me, dammit? Why won't he say my name? It's as if I don't exist! ~sob!~.)

Disturbing update: As I scanned Technorati looking for references to this story, I noticed that I'm not the only one who's picked up on Olbermann's barely-veiled tendencies. Keith Olbermann / Anderson Cooper slashfic,* anyone?

And it's not just Olby, either, update: Al Franken is still fixated on the guy, too. I can't imagine publicly obsessing so unabashedly over anyone, personally. I'd feel like a 13-year-old fan club member. I especially can't imagine giving my rivals so much free publicity. But then, I don't have the sizzling media savvy of the unbeatable Franken/Olbermann Big O-bashing teamup. Perhaps after the show O'lby and O'Franken put their heads on each other's shoulders for a good, manly cry about how mean Fox and O'Reilly are. Poor li'l dudes.

Update: Johnny Dollar has more.

Posted by EtherPundit at 08:42 PM | Comments (4)

January 23, 2005

Rathergate story, told in anagrams of "Powerlineblog."

Well, I’ve got the Powerlineblog Rathergate anagram* narrative done. Hardest anagramming I’ve ever done. Would it have killed them to put an “a” or an “s” in the name of their site?

The Instapundit anagram narrative and the Little Green Footballs anagram narrative held together without much annotation, but this one needed chapter summaries to make sense. Like "Little Green Footballs," "Powerlineblog" contained the word “goner,” so I was able to use that term to describe Dan Rather again.

(Because this narrative isn't quite as self-explanatory as the others, I've written explanations after some of the lines in white type. Highlight to make them visible if you need them.)

"W" NG Lie = Blooper!

A story in anagrams

Chapter 1:
Bill Burkett nurses a grudge and seeks to destroy Bush
by spreading lies through the mass media.

Elbowing prole
(That'd be Burkett.)
on prowl: Beg, lie,

libel GOP. “W = Nero!”

Begin Orwell op.
(Using supposedly nonpartisan “news” media as a partisan bludgeon = Orwellian.)

Chapter 2:
Bill Burkett forges the memos;
Dan Rather broadcasts them on his program.

Bile on pol grew.
(Burkett could no longer contain his resentment of his least favorite pol.)
Goober will pen

libel. Pow! Goner:
(Goner = Dan Rather.)
“We libel on prog.
(Prog. = abbreviation for “Program.”)
I leer — GOP blown!”

Opine well, Borg.
(Borg=“person who has been absorbed into the collective mind”--the anti-Bush media hive mind.)

Chapter 3:
Powerline and the blogosphere step in.

Now, re: GOP libel:

We blog on peril.

W, lie? Long probe...
(Did W lie about his Texas Air NG service? Blogs began to probe diligently…)

Chapter 4:
It becomes clear that Burkett is a liar.
The story falls apart.

Bingo! “W peer”? LOL!
(Per Dan, Burkett was in the "TX Air Guard," like Bush. Wrong; he was in the Army National Guard.)
Loner, below pig!
(A bit harsh, but some would feel it's a reasonable depiction of Burkett)
Pro-Lib glee now

blip. Longer woe

ere long. Pow, Lib!
(The momentary joy of having tarnished Bush was just a blip. A long woe — 4 years long — awaited the Libs.)

Chapter 5:
Dan Rather stonewalls to save his job.
Public opinion shifts in favor of Bush.

GOP libeler now:

“GOP boner? Well, I...

... I ... We probe NG!” (LOL.)
(Dan claimed he would continue to probe the National Guard [NG] story.)
No, W/GOP libeler.
(Nope, Dan. Can’t get away with it.)
Web poll: “I” gone “R.”
(The NG story swayed some independents toward Bush [“R”].)

Chapter 6:
Bad news for Burkett: Bush is re-elected.

Bill, GOP e’er won!


*Anagram: A word or phrase created using all the letters, and only the letters, of another word or phrase. Every line in black uses all the letters, and only the letters, in "Powerlineblog."

Update: Welcome, Powerline readers! Look around, check out some of the other posts listed above on the right, make yourselves at home. Read my comment on Powerline's take on the Harvard/Summers/women and math controversy. Or take a look at some recent spooky photos of NYC's bridges in a freak fog — my fogblog.

Update: I just realized I've left out the blogs on the left. These fine citizen journalists deserve anagrams that reveal their dynamic, proactive role in exposing this egregious abuse of the public trust. Here they are:

Atrios:     Or... I sat.

Kos:      's OK.

Posted by EtherPundit at 06:32 PM | Comments (5)

January 19, 2005

More fun with Rathergate

What the hell, right? Pretty soon we won't have Dan Rather to kick around any more, so we might as well enjoy it while we can.

To that end, Korla Pundit has a Rather shocking video of Dan in the halls of CBS, seeking counsel from the ghost of Edward R. Murrow:

Smuggled security video of Rather communing with Murrow's Ghost!

(Warning: Not for the easily frightened!)

Posted by EtherPundit at 12:19 AM | Comments (1)

January 18, 2005

Rathergate story, told in anagrams of "Little Green Footballs"

As promised, here's a crack at telling the Rathergate story using only anagrams* of "Little Green Footballs." Instapundit's Rathergate anagram had the letters D-A-N to work with, which was very convenient. But I find calling Dan "goner" seems to fit. Anyway, here goes:


TANG Bile Left Sore Toll

A story in anagrams
"Little Green Footballs."

Chapter 1.

TANG libeler: Left's tool.
"Let's fool lettering lab!"
TANG letters libel, fool!

Chapter 2.

Lo, lib net flogs a letter!
Goner abets left's ill lot,
flogs a letter. "Not libel!"
(Goner oft tells lib tales.)

Chapter 3.

Allies blog letter, font.

Chapter 4.

So. Lettering fable toll:
Flog letter, lie lots? = Ban!
Toll fell: To resign beat.
(Goner slot till late Feb.)


I'm working on anagrams of "Powerlineblog," and finding it really challenging. I'll post what I have when I'm done.

Update: Done! Powerlineblog anagram narrative is here.

Update: Thanks to Charles at LGF for the link! Glad to have you, lizardoids; poke around a bit, make yourselves at home.

*Update: It's come to my attention that not everyone knows what an anagram actually is. Basically, it's a word or phrase rearranged to make another word or phrase. All letters must be used. You'll see that every line above uses all the letters, and only the letters, in "Little Green Footballs." For more on anagrams, click on "Anagrams" under "Categories," to your right.

Posted by EtherPundit at 08:40 PM | Comments (13)

Box Locks FOX, Blocks Shocks (EtherPundit Mocks)

Charles at LGF points us in the direction of a helpful multi-purpose device: A combination Fox News Channel blocker and 'tard detector.

Apparently there are people who are unable to operate a remote control and need to have FNC blocked, lest a nanosecond of news without a smug anti-American gloss accidentally flash on their retinas. Why, it could totally shatter their paradigm! Implode their worldview! Discombobulate their Weltanschauung! Even the slightest passing subliminal screen flicker of Sean Hannity's face in a liberal household could destroy all they hold dear!

Of course, my cable company will block any channel on request. But my guess is that if you haven't even mastered your remote control, you certainly won't be capable of calling your cable company. A shame, that.

(Incidentally, despite the site's claims, advertisers are not looking at the number of Fox-Blockers sold and shaking their heads; they are looking at the channel's actual ratings, and drooling. I think the real motive here is to prevent everyone else in the house from daring to watch a station that one person doesn't like.)

No sir, no sir, Mr. FOX, sir!
You are owned by the Murdochs, sir!
I must buy these channel-blocks, sir,
To protect my brain from shocks, sir!

(apologies to Dr. Seuss' "Fox in Socks")

Perhaps what these people really need is not a Fox News Channel blocker, but a calcium channel blocker. You know, to prevent the inevitable heart attack when one day they walk into a bar and the wall-mounted TV is tuned to FNC.

Oh, the Hume-Hannity!

Posted by EtherPundit at 07:10 AM | Comments (2)

January 17, 2005

Rathergate story, told in anagrams of "Instapundit."

Regular readers will have noticed my fondness for anagrams. I recently started anagramming the names of some of my favorite blogs, and made an interesting discovery: I could tell the entire Rathergate story using only anagrams for Instapundit. Here it is.

Disputant in
Unpaid Stint

A story in anagrams

Titan du Spin.

Dan tip is nut.
Dan puts it in.
“Tut, Dan!” I snip.
“Dan? Nut!” I spit.
I stand, input.
I sit, punt Dan.
Stint up, Dani!
Dan in tits-up.*

*Tits-up = British slang for dead, kaput, hopelessly messed up.

I'm going to attempt the same feat with anagrams of Little Green Footballs and Powerlineblog. I'll post what I have as soon as I've completed it.

Update: Glenn says I have too much time on my hands. Guilty as charged, m'lud!

Update: Check out the new set: Rathergate story, as told in anagrams of "Little Green Footballs."

Update: Now the Powerlineblog anagram story is up.

Posted by EtherPundit at 04:26 PM | Comments (12)

January 14, 2005

Hey! I'm part of a "defamation pipeline"! Who knew?

O'Reilly obligingly spent part of his show tonight perfectly demonstrating the point I made in my last post about media narcissism vs the blogosphere. The invaluable Johnny Dollar has posted a transcript of tonight's O'Reilly interview with Hugh Hewitt.

I get the impression that O'Reilly doesn't read blogs, doesn't really understand how the blogosphere works, and has a hard time comprehending and putting into words precisely what it is about the blogosphere that threatens him so. Jeez, it reminds me of my tone-deaf ol' dad ranting about rock music. He's entitled to his opinion, but every time he tries to defend it logically, he's just cringe-inducingly clueless — too clueless to even know how obvious his cluelessness is.

The odd thing is that I can't recall any harm the blogosphere has done to this guy. The Smoking Gun published the various legal filings relating to his little sex scandal, but that's not a blog, and those were publicly available papers. Has any blog defamed him? Dug up scandal? I know there are some sites devoted wholly or in part to a slavering hatred of him, but has anyone actually published any scurrilous lies? Or even scurrilous truths?

I noted that he repeatedly used the term "print" instead of "post":

[Bloggers will] fabricate stuff, they'll make stuff up, they print it.

I think it's telling that he'd use an old-media term, applicable to newspapers, and apply it incorrectly to blogs. Apparently, the concept of a vast, distributed, self-regulating network of information and opinion is not easy for an old-media person to grasp. The "networks" O'Reilly has known all his life are top-down, hierarchical affairs where information is distributed in a one-way pipeline from the top down through the talking head and on to the viewers. There is no comment thread; there are no trackbacks. Accountability, like the flow of information, comes only from above, based on hierarchy and not meritocracy. I think that's why O'Reilly seems to feel there's no accountability on the internet; bloggers don't answer to a a boss or a corporation like he does. But bloggers are subject to corrections and un-silenceable voices equally as loud as theirs from all sides. Old media is actually far less accountable in some ways, because instead of the self-correction of cross-blog commentary, there's an endless echo chamber of back-patting (like O'Reilly's sad defense of Dan Rather).

It never really occurred to me before, but to someone whose concept of news and commentary encompasses only top-down media like TV, newspapers, and radio, the self-regulating, self-healing chaos of the internet must be very difficult to conceptualize. And I suspect that this is true for a lot of the older old-media people.

Update: Wizbang thinks O'Reilly wants Dan Rather's chair. That would explain why he's twisted himself into a pretzel trying to defend Rather, while suggesting that, even if it turns out the bloggers were right after all, they're somehow illegitimate, because there's "no control." But why would anyone want to take the helm of a ship someone else has already scuttled? Never mind — if it results in "The [Hugh] Hewitt Factor," as Wizbang suggests, I'm all for it!

Posted by EtherPundit at 11:05 PM | Comments (15)

January 10, 2005

This Machine Kills Narcissists

I've been following the Nick Coleman/Powerline saga with interest. By now, all of us bloggers know what a dangerous threat we are to the powers that be — at least according to some of the powers that be. I’ve blogged about Brian Williams and Bill O’Reilly, but they’re just two prancing drum majorettes in the endless parade of MSM blog-haters.

The other day, I happened upon a sprawling, fascinating site about Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Some of the author’s writings on narcissists and the Internet really struck me. Check out the passages below, but for “narcissist” read “mainstream media,” or just insert the name of your favorite blog-hating personality. (Boldface mine.)

The Internet is an egalitarian medium where people are judged by the consistency and quality of their contributions rather than by the content or bombast of their claims. But the narcissist is driven to distracting discomfiture by a lack of clear and commonly accepted hierarchy (with himself at the pinnacle). He fervently and aggressively tries to impose the "natural order" — either by monopolizing the interaction or, if that fails, by becoming a major disruptive influence.

Sound familiar? Nick Coleman, does this resemble anyone you’ve seen in the mirror lately?

But the Internet may also be the closest many narcissists get to psychodynamic therapy. Because it is still largely text-based, the Web is populated by disembodied entities. By interacting with these intermittent, unpredictable, ultimately unknowable, ephemeral, and ethereal voices — the narcissist is compelled to project unto them his own experiences, fears, hopes, and prejudices.

The therapeutic process is set in motion by the — unbridled, uncensored, and brutally honest — reactions to the narcissist's repertory of antics, pretensions, delusions, and fantasies.

The narcissist — ever the intimidating bully — is not accustomed to such resistance. Initially, it may heighten and sharpen his paranoia and lead him to compensate by extending and deepening his grandiosity. Some narcissists withdraw altogether, reverting to the schizoid posture. Others become openly antisocial and seek to subvert, sabotage, and destroy the online sources of their frustration. A few retreat and confine themselves to the company of adoring sycophants and unquestioning groupies.

But take heart, pajamahadeen. The author says there is hope:

But a long exposure to the culture of the Net - irreverent, skeptical, and populist — usually exerts a beneficial effect even on the staunchest and most rigid narcissist. Far less convinced of his own superiority and infallibility, the online narcissist mellows and begins — hesitantly — to listen to others and to collaborate with them.

I think he’s only talking here about narcissists who actually participate in online culture, but who knows? As more and more MSM fixtures find themselves unable to ignore the internet, perhaps they will “begin — hesitantly — to listen to others.”

So I eagerly await the day when a mainstream media fixture says publicly, "Hey, I messed up. Everyone makes mistakes. I'd hate to think I was disseminating flat-out lies. Thanks, bloggers, for setting me straight!"

I have every hope I'll live to see that day. Or at least my grandchildren will. Maybe.

Posted by EtherPundit at 07:12 AM | Comments (4)

November 30, 2004

Oops -- I spilled body wash on the SCSI port!

Patterico snarks amusingly at Brian Williams for saying bloggers "are on an equal footing with someone in a bathroom with a modem." Well, look, Brian -- you big-time media muckety-mucks talk about about having a story "in the can," why can't we? Come on -- 'in' the can, 'on' the can, what's the difference?

Don't knock bathroom-blogging. I personally think of all of my best posts in the shower. 'Course it plays hell on the keyboard, and the noise of the modem is ear-splitting when it echoes on the tiles, but that's how we bloggers do things. You know: In the bathroom. With a modem. A 1200 baud modem, as a matter of fact. 'Cause we're all unemployed and we spent our last grudging largesse from mom on pajamas, and anyway 1200 baud is fast enough when you're enjoying a nice hot shower. With the keyboard clutched in one hand. And a soapy loofah in the other.

Oh, and a note to the author of the article: Don't you dare call me a "self-styled journalist." It's "soi-disant journalist" to you, pal.

Update: Hindrocket at PowerLine relates an odd encounter with Williams and asks:

What's next, nude blogging from our hot tubs?

Two predictions: First, I will get a pathetically large number of Google hits just for repeating the strings "nude blogging" and "hot tubs."

Second, it won't be long before some enterprising soul combines the nude webcam concept with the blogging concept, and starts blogging in real time on a webcam while nude in a hot tub.

Please, don't let it be Oliver Willis.

Update: INDC Journal has a photo of Brian Williams' vision.

Posted by EtherPundit at 11:53 PM | Comments (3)

November 29, 2004

O'Reilly aims for new shark-jumping record

Wizbang rightly rags on O'Reilly for defending Dan Rather. Kevin suggests O'Reilly is afraid to throw stones because of his own sex-scandal glass house. I don't think so; I seem to recall he was already defending Rather before his own situation blew up in his face. And I don't see the situations as analogous at all. O'Reilly's scandal was based on a personal peccadillo, and a fairly tame one at that, even if you believe his accuser was an innocent victim (which I don't). Rather brazenly used fraudulent evidence to peddle lies about a sitting President, with the aim of taking down his presidency. And he continues to stonewall unrepentantly. If he had a single atom of self-respect, he would have fallen on his sword in September, crying out a mea culpa to the President and the entire country.

I've always been a desultory watcher of O'Reilly, if I watched at all. But he's developed a kind of weirdness-charisma for me. It's as if there's some kind of slow, interminable trainwreck going on in the man's mind. He's started to behave so strangely — recommending Bill Clinton for Secretary of State? — and yet, I believe he thinks there's some method to his madness. He seems to be angling for something; what is it? After helping to pioneer one of the most influential arms of "new media," why regress to aligning himself with extinction-bound dinosaurs like CBS and Rather? Who knows? Maybe now that he's clawed his way to the top, he doesn't know where to go from here. At this rate, he's going to claw himself to the bottom again.

This new "I'll say one loony-left thing, and one rabble-rousing right-wing thing, and this way both sides will love me" schtick seems transparent and ultimately self-destructive to me. And it's not the first self-destructive bender O'Reilly's been on lately, as we know. But then they say each man hurts the one he loves most.


You always hurt the one you love...
the one you shouldn't hurt at all...


Update: Ace agrees with Wizbang that O'Reilly defends the indefensible because he's got some indefensible baggage of his own:

I would suggest that he began this campaign against "smear merchants" in order to insulate himself against his own coming scandal, one he knew about but which his audience did not.

I don't know; I suppose it's plausible, but I seem to recall that things went from hunky-dory to legal death struggle very quickly with his producer. I don't think the situation was brewing long enough for him to have concocted a left turn as self-defense.

My suspicion is that, along with whatever grand scheme he has in mind, there are a few specific reasons he started attacking the "smear merchants," especially during the campaign. First, I suspect he was hedging his bets in case Kerry won. Second, he appears to have believed, delusionally, that he had a shot at interviewing Kerry. (Though that may have been a publicity stunt so he could claim Kerry feared his tough, take-no-prisoners style. Predictably, after the election, he claimed one of the reasons Kerry lost was because he'd refused to appear on the Factor.)

Third — and I'm just guessing here — he had a special reason to attack the Swift Boat Vets and defend Kerry. Vietnam has got to be a sore spot for any male of a certain age who didn't serve. Especially for a very high-profile hawk like O'Reilly. Anything short of "how dare these liars attack a Vietnam hero" would have opened him up to accusations of draft-dodging. That's no excuse; I can't admire someone for tailoring their commentary so it best covers their own ass, as if news has value only in how much it can aggrandize or undermine them personally. But I believe that was the rationale behind O'Reilly's attacks on the Swifties.

Now he can claim that he doesn't have to discuss his scandal, because he won't give the "smear merchants" time on his show, and that's a principled position he's strongly believed in for, oh, three or four months or so.

No need to make this claim; the terms of his legal settlement with his ex-producer appear to forbid either one from ever speaking publicly of the matter. That's a pretty airtight excuse for avoiding the topic.

O'Reilly occasionally he does ask tough questions of those who need asking, and he's pretty good about animating America about important issues. I don't get his "Guards on the border" fetish, but I'm thankful for his promotion of the boycott-France movement.

I do agree with Ace on this. The big O certainly isn't all bad, and I don't wish any ill on him. What I wish, in fact, is that he'd snap the hell out of whatever bizarro midlife crisis he's going through, and rejoin the rest of us on planet Earth, where he can do some good.

Update: Democracy Project has proposed a new name for incidents like O'Reilly's defense of Rather.

Posted by EtherPundit at 08:28 PM | Comments (3)

November 26, 2004

Barnes and Noble cooking the books?

Power Line, of course, beats me to the punch on this news flash: Wow, bookstores sure are different since the election!

I had the exact same experience described in the above link; the difference in Brooklyn was startling and radical. For years, literally years, the encroachment of anti-Bush books had been progressing. Eventually, I stopped going to bookstores altogether. I used to love browsing the neighborhood Barnes & Noble, but I had to give it up; it started to feel like crawling through no-man's land, blasted from all sides. Instead, I gave a couple thousand dollars' worth of business to Amazon.

It's hard to describe the hostile, oppressive feeling of entering a bookstore where all the stacks, displays, and promotions blare at you: Bush lied! — America sucks! — 'Terrorist' attack? We deserved it! — You're a bigot unless you believe as we do! — The election was stolen! — Where are the wings? — Bush won't rest until everyone is dead and the earth is a barren wasteland!, etc. But try finding, say, a Hugh Hewitt book, and you'll need spelunking equipment and a headlamp to chip through the layers of "Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them" and "Dude, Where's My Country?"

All along, I've had a lot of questions about this phenomenon.

The easy way to get an honest answer to this question would be to see what's on display in red cities in red states. I'd like to believe that the jamming of liberal books down customers' throats is purely a matter of demographics; after all, you wouldn't have a huge display of Yankees books in Boston, would you?

But I have that little muttering, paranoid voice in my head that tells me there may be more than strictly commercial considerations here. Anyone out there know the real score?

Anyway, it's all different now. The anti-Bush books have vanished, and not a trace of the looming displays remains. I can shop in a real-live bookstore again without feeling I'm on enemy turf. And I can walk back home swinging my bag of new books jauntily to the melodious sound of the forlorn flapping of "We The People SAY NO To The Bush Agenda" rainbow banners against the facades of million-dollar houses.


What you mean "we," kemo sabe?

Posted by EtherPundit at 06:35 PM | Comments (3)

November 25, 2004

Ave Atque Vale, Dan Rather/Giving thanks for a blissful November

Oh, wait a minute. "Ave atque vale" means "hail and farewell." What's the Latin expression for "goodbye and good riddance"?

Lexington's column in the Economist is a charmingly snarky send-off for the live-action Kent Brockman. Here's the opening paragraph:

FOR conservative America, it just keeps on getting better. A mere 20 days after the Republicans' clean sweep of the White House and Congress, the American right celebrated the retirement of one of the hated grandees of liberal journalism, Dan Rather. “It's as if the voters just keep on voting,” says one conservative. “And our side just keeps on winning.”

Oh, God, yes. I've been brushing fluffy bits of Cloud Nine off my shoes since about 2:30 AM on November 3rd. I've actually had to fight off anxious feelings that everything's going so well it's only a matter of time until disaster strikes. Seriously; having been so vigilant and tense for so long has made anxiety a hard habit to shake.

Perhaps some of you are dealing with the same "so when's the brutal payback?" anxieties. I'll tell you how I decided to look at it: This November is the payback. The payback for September 11. The payback for having to listen to "selected, not elected" for four years. The payback for enduring the "anybody but Bush" crowd; the payback for Hillary being my senator; the payback for a liberal-dominated sort of media Tammany Hall that already existed long before I was born; the payback for everything the placard-carriers of the 60s went on to do as "grownups" to screw up our country and our lives.


Lexington concludes on this note:

Mr Rather's passing does not mean that the liberal orthodoxy is about to give way to a new conservative one. It means that all orthodoxies are being chewed up by a voraciously unpredictable news media, which is surely all to the good.

Yep, nothing but good news. The last thing any conservative should want is a conservative orthodoxy in the media. Liberals still haven't realized that their control of the MSM made conservative samizdat a burning necessity and instilled a sense of urgency in those who managed to find it on AM radio, on cable, or on the internet. Forbidden thoughts are always the most compelling, no?

And the MSM, bless 'em, did something even more potent to destroy the left: they became a giant echo chamber that reflected the political and social echo chamber liberals already tend to live in. So the chattering classes turned on their TVs, heard echoes of echoes, and believed they were listening to the voice of America. And the MSM helped them by piling on any non-left voice that dared to make itself heard. Fox News? Ranting lunatics, controlled by Bush. Talk radio? You mean hate radio. Bloggers? Pajama-clad losers.

So as I give abundant thanks today for this November, my fondest wish for the future is that the media continues to descend into a cacophony. May we never again be held in thrall to a single voice. May we never again be able to completely ignore opposition views. And if there should ever be a monolithic media voice again, let it once more be a liberal one, and make it loud. We don't want them to hear us coming.

"Heh" is a trademark of the Instapundit International Sinister Rightwing Consortium.


Posted by EtherPundit at 06:12 PM | Comments (1)

November 13, 2004

"Pretending" to be a 3-year-old? The whining sounds real enough.

WSJ's Best of the Web Today reports on the sad decline that has befallen many a Democrat since the election (highlights mine):

More female caretakers said Wednesday that a Charleston financial adviser pretended to be a 3-year-old, made them change his diaper and tried to grope them.

Charleston police Detective S.A. Dempsey said that several more home health-care workers alleged that William Warren Mucklow victimized them.

Some alleged victims--all women--told police they responded to classified ads that sought a caretaker for a mentally ill man who acts like a toddler, Dempsey said. . . .

No confirmation yet that "William Mucklow" is actually a pseudonym for "Lawrence O'Donnell," whose crybaby crankiness of late reveals that he desperately needs his diaper changed. He could probably use a time-out too.

Hell, I'm old-fashioned. Forget the time-out. I say give the whiny brat a spanking.

Posted by EtherPundit at 06:53 PM | Comments (1)

November 08, 2004

Perhaps the disgruntled left should focus more on succession and less on secession

Oh, those laughable, lamentable, looney, lugubrious lefties at the NY Times. What will they think of next?

Hey, here's something fresh! Dean's World, Power Line and Slant Point point us to a heaping platter of seditious sour grapes from the NY Times.

Just kidding, of course. Oh, not about the Times apparently wishing for an assassination. I mean I was kidding when I said this was fresh. It's old hat. I've been reading calls for assassination ever since the first chad began to dangle in 2000. There was even a lame "play," at a "secret location" in NYC, called "I'm Gonna Kill the President."

But here's the part I don't understand. Folks, I'm kinda slow sometimes. (I am a Bush voter, after all, and we all know Republican voters are dumber than Dems — not surprising when Bush has been proven dumber than any modern president.) That's why I need some help understanding the supposed benefits of this "assassination" thing.

Has anyone broken the news about succession to the Loony Left? No, not secession. (We'll break the news about that later; let the poor dears dream for now.) I mean succession — the protocol of who becomes president if Bush is out of the picture.

Bush dies? Who lies? Why, it's President Dick Cheney! (R)

Cheney's gone? Let's move on! Play "Hail to the Chief" for former House Speaker, President Dennis Hastert! (R)

Hastert's dead? Let's get Ted! Ted Stevens (R), that is. Formerly President Pro Tem of the Senate; now he's President Stevens to you.

And so on.

In practical terms, of course, one of President Cheney's first acts would be to appoint a new Vice President. If there wasn't enough time for that to be accomplished before President Cheney bought the farm, the presidency would move on down a very long line of successors, Bush appointees all. I fail to see any way a non-Republican could become president in the next four years, no matter how many "acts of God" the Times hopes for.

Can anyone find a flaw? Is there something those smart, intel-ek-shul Times folk understand that I'm just not getting? 'Cause I've heard this "hope Bush dies in office" drumbeat so often, and from people I wouldn't expect to be rooting for a President Cheney, that it's starting to cause cognitive dissonance.

And "dissonance" is a mighty big word for a dummy like me. It's giving me a headache. Some compassionate assassination advocate out there, please tell me where I'm miscalculating the order of succession, so I can write the Times and tell them how much I admire their perspicacity.


Posted by EtherPundit at 11:27 PM | Comments (1)