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The Top 10 Conservative Idiots
(No. 184)

January 31, 2005
Payola Pie Edition

Welcome once again to the Top Ten Conservative Idiots! What's on the menu this week? The Bush Administration's (1) payola scandal may be growing legs; in related news, Jeff Gannon (2) has been asking loaded questions. Meanwhile, Racist Republicans (3) are spinning like tops, and Dick Cheney (4) dresses to impress at Auschwitz. Elsewhere, the homophobes were out in force - Margaret Spelling (5) jumped on the SpongeBob bandwagon, the Family Research Council (6) has got a "homosexuality detection expert," and UCO College Republicans (7) are speaking out on behalf of oppressed heterosexuals. Enjoy, and don't forget the key!

1The Bush Administration quid pro quo quid pro quo quid pro quo excessive spin
Armstrong Williams, eat your heart out! It was revealed last week that two more journalists have been caught with their sticky fingers in the Bush administration's payola pie. According to the Washington Post, "In 2002, syndicated columnist Maggie Gallagher repeatedly defended President Bush's push for a $300 million initiative encouraging marriage as a way of strengthening families" - all part of the Bushies' anti-gay-marriage propaganda, of course. But what Gallagher's readers didn't know was that she had a $21,500 contract with the Department of Health and Human Services to help promote the proposal. Tsk tsk. Next up was Michael McManus, author of the nationally syndicated "Ethics & Religion" column. Ethics, eh? How amusing. According to Salon, McManus "was hired as a subcontractor by the Department of Health and Human Services to foster a Bush-approved marriage initiative. McManus championed the plan in his columns without disclosing to readers he was being paid to help it succeed." For his part, Our Great Leader was out and about last week insisting in that horribly bland way of his that, hey, this is really wrong, and we'll put a stop to it, even though we've spent 128 percent more on public relations this year than Clinton did in the last year of his administration, and these payola scandals are starting to pop up like wack-a-moles, don't y'all worry your heads about it. Because come on everybody, let's not forget that neither Bush nor anyone in the White House knew anything about any of this. Obviously. So how many more conservative "journalists" are going to get caught sucking at the taxpayer's teat before all this is over? Rush Limbaugh? Sean Hannity? Do you have anything you want to tell us?

2Jeff Gannon partisanship excessive spin
Apparently the Bush administration isn't just paying journalists to spout White House propaganda - they're also planting journalists in press conferences to ask helpful questions. At a press conference last week, George W. Bush was happy to take a question from Jeff Gannon of "Talon News." Gannon asked, "Senate Democratic leaders have painted a very bleak picture of the U.S. economy. Harry Reid was talking about soup lines. And Hillary Clinton was talking about the economy being on the verge of collapse. Yet in the same breath they say that Social Security is rock solid and there's no crisis there. How are you going to work - you've said you are going to reach out to these people - how are you going to work with people who seem to have divorced themselves from reality?" Gee.. that sounds... fair and balanced. Rush Limbaugh was delighted to hear the question, saying on his radio show, "I said earlier today in the program, shortly after we began, that somebody in the White House press corps listens to this program. It is Jeff Gannon from Talon News." No doubt Jeff Gannon does listen to Rush Limbaugh, since Gannon is a poster at Free Republic. As for "Talon News," well, it consists of approximately two people - Gannon and Bobby Eberle, who is also the CEO of GOPUSA, a "conservative news, information, and design company dedicated to promoting conservative ideals." Nice to know they have such easy access to White House press conferences, isn't it?

3Racist Republicans racism hypocrisy
Condoleezza Rice was confirmed by the Senate last week, but not without some controversy. In fact, 13 Democrats voted against Rice's nomination, making her the least-popular Secretary of State nominee since Henry Clay in 1825. Of course, Republicans were more than happy to play the race card. Suddenly white conservatives - from Rush "Donovan McNabb is overrated because he's black" Limbaugh to Condi's husb... I mean, President Bush - were shocked, shocked I tell ya, that the Democrats would even consider saying all those nasty things about a black - gasp! - woman - gasp! Which just goes to show how sick those fools on the right really are. They believe that Democrats should bend over and vote quietly for someone who helped Our Great Leader lie America into this dreadful and unnecessary Iraq quagmire - simply because she's an African-American female. To not vote for Condi simply must be the act of a bunch of racists. I mean, there hasn't been a black secretary of state since - well, the last secretary of state (who happened to be confirmed unanimously by the Senate). Meanwhile, Republicans were gleefully tossing the race card around to prop up their new plan for devastating - um, I mean, saving - Social Security. Apparently Social Security is itself inherently racist because black people die earlier than white people, and therefore can't make the most of their Social Security benefits. Of course, Bush's answer to this is to get rid of Social Security rather than, say, investigate why black people die earlier than white people (gee, and it only seems like last week that he was saying we should "abandon all the habits of racism, because we cannot carry the message of freedom and the baggage of bigotry at the same time.") Still I'm sure this new line of attack is being strongly supported by all the black Republicans in the House and Senate. At least, it would be if there were any black Republicans in the House or Senate. Which there aren't.

4Dick Cheney photo-opping
Since George W. Bush entered the White House in 2001, he has enforced a strict dress code. Gone are the carefree Clinton days of blue jeans and sweaters - once Bush came to power he made it abundantly clear that if you're working in the halls of power, you need to dress the part. Unfortunately what's good for White House staffers apparently isn't good for vice presidents attending extremely somber memorial services.


Photo: Associated Press

Yes, Dick Cheney showed up at the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz looking as if he's just taken his dog for a walk in the woods. In contrast to the respectful garb of the other attendees, his wife included, Dick sported a green parka with his name embroidered on it, a ski hat which said "Staff 2001" (staff for what, the Winter X-Games?) and a pair of brown hiking boots. Classy...

5Margaret Spelling homophobia homophobia
When is a cute educational TV show featuring a bunny who visits different families all over the United States actually an insidious plot to burn American morality to the ground? In the wake of the SpongeBob debacle (see Idiots 183) education secretary Margaret Spelling pressured PBS to pull an episode of the popular show "Postcards from Buster" last week, not because Buster was committing the heinous crime of learning how maple syrup is harvested, but because the people teaching Buster about maple syrup were a lesbian couple and their children. Gasp. Spelling wrote, "Many parents would not want their young children exposed to the lifestyles portrayed in the episode." Um, what about lesbian parents? I'm pretty sure they pay taxes too. Still, I guess Margaret Spelling knows best - she can obviously tell what "many parents" think, and therefore can dictate what everyone else can and can't see based on that. Score one for... um... big government.

6The Family Research Council homophobia homophobia
So last week we noted James Dobson's beef with SpongeBob SquarePants, and this week Margaret Spelling has joined the crusade against cartoon characters with loose morals. But Spelling and Dobson aren't the only ones kicking up a stink - they've been joined by perennial conservative idiots the Family Research Council. And a tidbit in New Zealand's National Business Review last week revealed just how far the FRC are willing to go to root out the gay agenda wherever it may be hiding. According to the Review, the FRC employs a "homosexuality detection expert." That's right - a homosexuality detection expert. And apparently this homosexuality detection expert told the New York Times that words such as "tolerance" and "diversity" are part of a "coded language that is regularly used by the homosexual community." Wow. It appears that the FRC's homosexuality detection expert is set to ultra-high sensitivity. Just out of interest, how does one get a job as a homosexuality detection expert? I mean, obviously you're going to need two years experience and a degree from homosexuality detection college, but it's not the kind of thing you see advertised every week in the jobs section.

7UCO College Republicans homophobia homophobia
Here's one more from the "Dumbass Gestures of the Silent Majority" files... the College Republicans of the University of Central Oklahoma have announced that they intend to hold "Straight Pride Week" on campus, which should be reassuring to all those poor, oppressed straight folks out there in Central Oklahoma who are feeling threatened by the heartland's rising tide of gayness. "The general gist is that if you are a straight student on campus be proud, be loud, this is your time to shine," said college Republican Kyle Houts. Uh, right. I think straight students probably do that every day of the week at UCO, don't they? Or are they all hiding in their dorms, fearful of getting the shit kicked out of them by roving bands of hard-partying drunk-assed homosexuals?

8Jeffrey Patti just plain evil
Move over Republican Marty! (See Idiots 15.) Stand aside Phillip Giordano! (see Idiots passim.) There's a new swinger in the cell block - Jeffrey Patti. Mr. Patti was one of 39 people caught in a recent child porn sweep of Morristown, NJ. And he's on the list because he's a member of the Sussex County Republican Committee. Yup, respectable Republican by day, alleged downloader of video of "a Georgia man raping a 5-year old girl" by night, Mr. Patti is the very epitome of a family values conservative. Of course, he's innocent until proven guilty in a court of law... I'm just kidding! We don't do that any more in Bush's America.

9 Kory Holdaway hypocrisy
Granite School District (Utah) Superintendent Stephen F. Ronnenkamp said recently that extra police presence by the Granite School District Police Department has cut vandalism and theft so much that it "has almost paid for the police department." And, according to the Deseret News, he said that "having police work closely with schools has also thwarted several school shootings." So why has State Rep. Kory Holdaway (R-Taylorsville), introduced a bill to abolish the department? Holdaway claims that it is too costly, and anyway, his bill only affects the Granite district, so nobody should get too upset. It seems, however, that Rep. Holdaway might have other reasons for wanting to abolish the department - it was revealed last week that his son was arrested in 2004 by Granite police after a fight. Whoops! Despite claiming that he had no ulterior motive, Holdaway immediately backed away from his bill, grumbling that, "In retrospect, I should have had someone else run it." Alternatively, he could have kept his petty revenge fantasies out of the public arena.

10The Unknown Patriot dumb dumb dumb
And finally we come to this splendid photograph which was spotted at Bartcop.com last week:

Note how the gentleman has literally wrapped himself in the flag. Is there a better way to express your love for your country? Can't you just picture the sweat from his asscrack patriotically seeping into the fabric of Old Glory? Note the Stars and Stripes codpiece, and the way that this poor fellow - who you can just tell gets an erection whenever someone mentions the flag-burning amendment - is violating pretty much all of Section 176 of the United States Code. These colors don't run, provided that you wash them cold and tumble dry low. See you next week!

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