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"Big Myth's of Republican Politics & John Wayne"... An interview with Glenn Greenwald!

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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-14-08 06:41 PM
Original message
"Big Myth's of Republican Politics & John Wayne"... An interview with Glenn Greenwald!
Edited on Mon Apr-14-08 06:42 PM by KoKo01
Mything In Action
An Interview with Glenn Greenwald About His Forthcoming Book,
Great American Hypocrites: Toppling The Big Myths of Republican Politics
By Paul Rosenberg, Senior Editor


Paul Rosenberg : Mything In Action--An Interview With Glenn Greenwald RLN:You begin your analysis with the example of John Wayne as a prototype of the hypocritical would-be hero of the right. What, specifically drew you to him, and why does he stand out?

Glenn Greenwald: To this day, John Wayne is the prototype of the uber-patriotic, uber-masculine, uber-courageous Moral Republican Warrior. His imagery is the template that pioneered the brand and that the Right uses to this day to build up their political leaders.

In 1995 -- 18 years after his death -- he remained the most admired film actor in America. The Los Angeles Times said that, even years after his death, his image "exmplified the ideal American fighting man." After 9/11 Peggy Noonan wrote a column hailing the return of "the Duke" -- of real men who bellow: "Yer in a whole lotta trouble now, Osama-boy."

Yet John Wayne was one of America's biggest and most repugnant frauds -- in exactly the way that modern Right-wing leaders are. At a time when virtually nobody avoided combat, Wayne did exactly that, using the most dishonorable means imaginable, throughout all of World War II. Because the most successful male actors, including older ones, went to fight, he was able to stay in Hollywood and become extremely rich playing war heroes. He spent the rest of his life glorifying every American war and accusing war opponents of being cowards, Communists and traitors. He crusaded for traditional American morality, attacking others whom he perceived to deviate, while he engaged in compulsive womanizing and adultery, repeatedly breaking up his own family, and wallowing in pill addictions.

Before there was Rush Limbaugh, Dick Cheney, Newt Gingrich, George Bush, Bill Kristol, David Vitter and even John McCain -- there was John Wayne. One finds key parts of Wayne in each of them. To this day, he's the role model for how the Right conducts itself and the methods they use to swindle the American public.


RLN: You point to Rush Limbaugh and Matt Drudge as prominent examples of depraved moral scolds who started out as fringe figures but have become dominant fixtures at the center of Republican politics. You later talk about Ann Coulter and how the conservative movement cannot live without her. She, too, followed a similar trajectory. She got her start as a bit player in the Clinton dramas. How did this happen?

Glen Greenwald:What Limbaugh, Drudge and Coulter do is easy, shallow and cheap. The methods they use are those of the low-life gossip -- wallowing in the most depraved and twisted controversies as a means of attracting attention. People like them, and other figures on the Right -- such as Laura Ingraham and Jonah Goldberg -- were spawned by a filthy, titillating sex scandal involving public discussions of cigar sex and distinctive spots on Bill Clinton's penis. That's when they entered the public arena, and that's who they are to this day - bottom-feeding sleaze merchants.

What happened is that the establishment press saw that there was great benefit in replicating their methods and joining them in the sewer. The establishment press did more than anyone to elevate the Clinton sex witch hunts to a matter of grave national importance, and formed enduring alliances with the Right's prime movers of those scandals. They joined forces with the lowest elements on the Right. And they haven't stopped since, so that now, Drudge Rules their World.

RLN: One way you talked about this dynamic was in terms of high-school social pecking orders. Indeed, you even offer some quotes in which media figures explicitly use such language themselves. What does this tell us about how the media are functioning?

GG:The establishment media, and particularly the traveling press corps which covers the presidential candidates, are adolescent from start to finish. They travel around in incestuous packs, chattering with nobody other than themselves and they create their own mores and social codes designed to reinforce orthodoxies. All sorts of people have written about that dynamic for quite some time, from Hunter Thompson to Matt Taibbi. Most importantly of all, most of these journalists admit this, continuously writing about our national politics using the most stunted junior high archetypes.

Like all adolescent cliques, personality and popularity dominates everything they do, how they think, what their goals are. They worshipped George Bush, the towel-snapping Frat Boy and the rest of his faux-high-school-star-quarterback comrades, while detesting and mercilessly ridiculing a whole string of nerdy, overly earnest Democratic nominees, from Mike Dukakis to Al Gore to John Kerry.

And John McCain, the Bad Boy Fighter Pilot, is the ultimate icon who generates this sort of love and reverence among adolescents looking to re-live and improve upon their high school standing. Hence, the coverage of McCain is more blindly reverent than anything we've seen since George Bush pranced around in his fighter pilot costume on Mission Accomplished Day.


MUCH MORE...a GOOD READ at.........

http://www.openleft.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=5100
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htuttle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-14-08 06:54 PM
Response to Original message
1. Miller: "John Wayne was a..."
All: "The hell he was."
Miller: "He was, too, you boys. I installed two-way mirrors in his pad in Brentwood, and he come to the door in a dress."

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OnyxCollie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-14-08 07:17 PM
Response to Reply #1
6. Otto: "You do a lot of acid, Miller? Back in the hippie days?" nt
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Sequoia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-14-08 06:57 PM
Response to Original message
2. Thanks so much. Wow!
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Thothmes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-14-08 07:05 PM
Response to Original message
3. So what, he was just and actor, nothing more nothing less.
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bbinacan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-14-08 07:07 PM
Response to Original message
4. I think it's more
the iconic image of the characters he played rather than the man himself. Some interesting reading here. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_wayne

And in all fairness, he was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal on 05/06/79. On 06/09/80 he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-14-08 07:15 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Ayyyyyyy,..... I didn't know about those medals......n/t
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pscot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-14-08 07:34 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. He had the goods on Reagan
The medal was to keep him quiet.
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bbinacan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-14-08 07:37 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. The medal was awarded by Carter.
And what "goods" did Wayne have on Reagan?
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Bigmack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-14-08 07:46 PM
Response to Original message
9. John Wayne... classic chickenhawk! nt
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