The Top Ten Conservative
Idiots (No. 134)
November 10, 2003
Censor One For The Gipper Edition
Boy, those conservatives sure do get freaked out when you bring up the subject of Ronald Reagan. Ed Gillespie (1) is top of this week's list for leading the ridiculous charge to get CBS's "The Reagans" pulled off the air. Meanwhile, Our Great Leader George W. Bush (2,3) is back as usual, and his Administration (4) is trying even harder to screw the troops. Elsewhere D. Nick Rerras (6) is demonstrating the Republican party's forward thinking, and Arnold Schwarzenegger (8) has started breaking campaign promises already. Finally, David Horowitz (9) gets caught out, and Steve LaTourette (10) is doing the family values thing. As usual, don't forget the key!
These days it's hard to believe just how far conservatives have shoved their noses up St. Ronnie of Reagan's ass. Take RNC chief Ed Gillespie for example, who, upon learning that the CBS miniseries "The Reagans" may - gasp - take some dramatic liberties (I mean, it's not like it's a, uh, drama or anything) that he fired off an angry letter to CBS execs. According to CNN, Gillespie insisted that CBS "allow a team of historians and friends of former President Ronald Reagan and his wife" to check out the drama and approve it before airing it. And if CBS refused, Gillespie would - get this - "ask the network to run a note across the bottom of the screen every 10 minutes during the program's presentation informing viewers that the miniseries is not accurate." I mean, fer crissakes, what next? If viewers now need to be told that what they're watching on TV may not be 100% accurate, there are plenty of other shows I can think of that could do with a clarifying message. How about a crawl along the bottom of the screen during "The Bachelor" informing viewers that "while Bachelor Bob insists that he is in love with all of the remaining contestants, in fact he may have already decided who he is going to pick." Or how about during "Threat Matrix" - now there's a show that needs a clarifiying message every ten minutes - "while this program depicts the Office of Homeland Security as a team of hip twenty-somethings who talk cool-sounding cyberbabble and watch live satellite feeds in dimly-lit bunkers before heading off to some exotic location and busting terrorist ass, the real Office of Homeland Security is actually comprised of a lot of fat old white men sitting around conference tables discussing their golf swings." Not that any of this really matters any more since chickenshit CBS bowed to the right-wing pressure and shuffled "The Reagans" over to Showtime where it will be seen by approximately nobody. Cowards.
No weapons of mass destruction - check. No connection to al-Qaeda or 9/11 - check. Looks like Our Great Leader is seriously starting to run out of excuses for invading Iraq and getting us into this ridiculous quagmire. But at least he can still bask in the glory of having removed Saddam Hussein from power and liberated the Iraqi people from his tyrannical regime. The remnants still persist, of course - Bush was heard last week suggesting that "Saddam loyalists, those are the people, the torturers and murderers and thugs that used to benefit from Saddam Husseins regime" being behind the recent attack on an American Chinook which killed 16 of our soldiers. Funnily enough, on the same day Our Great Leader was making this statement, it was announced that "The U.S. administrator of Iraq has decided to conditionally support the creation of an Iraqi-led paramilitary force composed of former employees of the country's security services and members of political party militias." Uh, okay - so that's no weapons of mass destruction, no connection to al-Qaeda or 9/11, and now we're re-hiring "the torturers and murderers and thugs that used to benefit from Saddam Husseins regime" to help run the country. Right... so I guess all we need to do now is withdraw from Iraq, allow Saddam return to power, and we'll be right back where we started. Minus the lives of hundreds of American soldiers and billions of taxpayer dollars of course. Good job, George. (note: kudos to Democrats.com for spotting this connection).
W. Bush (again)
Did you know that last March, Gray Davis declared a state of emergency in California because of the threat of wildfires? And did you know that in April, he asked George W. Bush for $430 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to try to prevent a major fire disaster in Southern California? He sure did. And do you know what Our Great Leader told Gray Davis? Yup - screw you, dude. See, apparently FEMA's job is to clean up after emergencies, not do anything to prevent them. Although funnily enough, $500 million for the rebuilding of fire-ravaged areas was tacked on to the recent $87 billion Iraq request - which I'm sure will make George look good when he tours all the rebuilt areas next year with Governor Groping Austrian Beefcake. Look at all the money I've given California to recover from this disaster! Sure, sure, I could have given it to you earlier when Gray Davis asked for it - but that might have made him look good. Oh, and, yeah, sorry if you lost your house and all your belongings and stuff, but I've got an election campaign coming up, so, uh, America thanks you for your sacrifice.
How to not support the troops, episode #1837: it turns out that while the Bush administration has managed to appropriate $87 billion for, among other things, building new schools in Iraq, they're cutting costs at home by closing schools for the children of American servicepeople. According to the Army Times, "Defense officials notified the services in mid-October that they intend to close 19 commissaries and may close 19 more, mostly in remote areas. At the same time, the Pentagon is finishing a study to determine whether to close or transfer control of the 58 schools it operates on 14 military installations in the continental United States." Why? Well apparently "The two initiatives are the latest in a string of actions by the Bush administration to cut or hold down growth in pay and benefits, including basic pay, combat pay, health-care benefits and the death gratuity paid to survivors of troops who die on active duty." For the administration to make these cuts in the first place is awful (so much for Republicans supporting the military) but to make them during a time of war, while American soldiers are fighting and dying on a daily basis, is simply disgraceful.
Fox News has always tried to maintain that it merely appears conservative and Republican, simply because all the rest of the media is - gosh - so damn liberal. But a former Fox News employee - a "veteran producer" no less - recently summed that claim up in a single word: bull. Charles Reina, who recently left the Fox News network after six years, published a letter on the Internet last week in which he explains exactly how the Fox newsroom works. According to Reina, "Not once in the 20+ years I had worked in broadcast journalism prior to Fox - including lengthy stays at The Associated Press, CBS Radio and ABC/Good Morning America - did I feel any pressure to toe a management line. But at Fox, if my boss wasn't warning me to 'be careful' how I handled the writing of a special about Ronald Reagan ('You know how Roger [Fox News Chairman Ailes] feels about him.'), he was telling me how the environmental special I was to produce should lean ('You can give both sides, but make sure the pro-environmentalists don't get the last word.')" Hmm... that doesn't sound very Fair and Balanced does it? But Reina goes on: "Editorially, the FNC newsroom is under the constant control and vigilance of management... the roots of FNC's day-to-day on-air bias are actual and direct. They come in the form of an executive memo distributed electronically each morning, addressing what stories will be covered and, often, suggesting how they should be covered." What? You mean management gives daily instructions on how to spin the news? But I thought Fox was a no-spin zone? Wrong! According to Reina, "The Memo was born with the Bush administration, early in 2001, and, intentionally or not, has ensured that the administration's point of view consistently comes across on [Fox]." So there you have it, folks - only this time it's official: Fox News is merely a lying, spinning tool of the Bush propaganda machine.
Here's another conservative Republican who wants to take us back to the Fifties. No, not the Nineteen Fifties - the Thirteen Fifties! D. Nick Rerras, who won re-election as a Virginia state senator last week, came under fire recently for suggesting that mental illnesses are caused by, um, demons. According to the Virginian-Pilot, a member of the Norfolk Community Services Board was present during a conversation with Rerras which turned to the topic of mental illness, during which Rerras said "he believed mental illness was caused by demons," and, "God may be punishing families by giving children mental illnesses." Our sources tell us that Rerras went on to inform his rapt audience that "thunder and lightning mean God is mad at you," and, "for those of you who think the Medicare crisis cannot be solved, I have one word: leeches."
Let's see, according to Republicans these days we didn't go over to Iraq because of weapons of mass destruction; we went to liberate the Iraqis from their tyrannical dictator. Which we did! And now we're spending billions of dollars of American taxpayers' money to rebuild the place and, um, send them gasoline. It's just odd how so many conservatives seem to be of the opinion that rescuing the Iraqis from Saddam Hussein was the right thing to do (because that's what Dubya told them), except when it comes to the crunch, they still hate the damn brown people. Take this incident in Jacksonville, Florida, last week - an unidentified bus driver allegedly told 10-20 children to get off the school bus, forcing them to walk five miles home. Why? Because the children were Muslim, and many of them were wearing traditional Muslim dress. Nice, huh? You know, it kinda makes me wonder whether the real reason conservatives are so keen to liberate the oppressed Muslim populations of the Middle East is because they're jealous. Hey, if anyone's gonna be oppressing these people, it's gonna be ME!
After saturating California with campaign ads claiming that when it comes to taking money from special interests, "I don't play that game," Governor Groping Austrian Beefcake has started mailing out invitations for his first fundraiser. The fundraiser will be held a mere two weeks after his swearing in, and is "aimed at tapping contributions from Capitol insiders," according to the L.A. Times. See, despite being a multi-millionaire, Arnold got a sweet deal on a loan from City National Bank of Beverly Hills to pay for his campaign, and now he needs to pay it back. And what better way to pay it back than to ask for up to $21,000 a pop from "Capitol insiders?" But according to Schwarzenegger spokesman Rob Stutzman, this isn't politics as usual. "What's different is that our fund-raising policy is different than other elected [officials] in Sacramento. What's different is that this governor will not play the special interest game…. Voters know they have sent a man to Sacramento who cannot be bought." Uh, right - so I guess all those "Capitol insiders" just really liked "Jingle All The Way" or something.
Hey, there's nothing wrong with a spot of shoddy journalism. I'm one of the shoddiest journalists around! But then, I'm not all high-profile and respected like, say, David Horowitz. Surprising then that Horowitz published this on his blog recently: "The email below is making the rounds and is something that defenders of the President and this country ought to know to be better able to deal with them... a.. Enron's chairman did meet with the president and the vice President in the Oval Office. b.. Enron gave $420,000 to the president's party over three years. c.. It donated $100,000 to the president's inauguration festivities. d.. The Enron chairman stayed at the White House 11 times. e. The corporation had access to the administration at its highest levels and even enlisted the Commerce and State Departments to grease deals for it. f.. The taxpayer-supported Export-Import Bank subsidized Enron for more than $600 million in just one transaction. Scandalous!! g.. BUT...the president under whom all this happened WASN'T George W. Bush. h.. SURPRISE ........ It was Bill Clinton!" Sadly, anyone who is even vaguely familiar with the Internet knows that this is nothing but a well-worn email hoax that's been doing the rounds for a long time. Shame the high-profile and respected David Horowitz didn't bother to check before he published it. Even more of a shame that he had to publish an embarrassing retraction. Chortle.
And finally: during the Clinton impeachment, Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-Ohio) was clearly torn about his vote, although he finally decided that America's moral values were at stake and decided to vote "yes." Perhaps one of the reasons that LaTourette had a hard time making up his mind was because he was busy boinking a Washington lobbyist behind his wife's back. But it's okay, because according to LaTourette, this is "a private matter" so there's no need for everyone to make a big brouhaha over it. Hmm. I guess his wife doesn't think it's a private matter since she's now blabbing to anyone and everyone about what an asshole he is. "He was a wonderful husband and father, the best I ever saw, until he went there [Washington]. I told him I was trying to get him out of the dark side, all that power and greed and people kissing up to them all time. Now he’s one of them. All they care about is getting reelected. I hate them all." Ah, chalk up another one for the party of morals and family values. See you next week!