The Top 10 Conservative Idiots
May 23, 2005
Hip, Hip... Hypocrisy! Edition
stench of dishonesty was wafting through the streets of Washington
D.C. last week after The Bush Administration accused Newsweek
of being responsible for anti-American sentiment in the Middle East.
Uh, guys - what about that whole "war" thing? But the
administration weren't the only ones peddling rank hypocrisy - Rick
Santorum (3) made the classic "Hitler Comparison," St.
Jude Educational Institute (8) apparently thinks that women get
pregnant all by themselves, and Ted Stevens (9) isn't exactly battling
government waste. Enjoy, and as usual don't forget the key!
What does it take to inflame the entire Muslim world? Would
it be George W. Bush referring
to his Iraq adventure as a "crusade?" Could it be Ann
that we should "invade their countries, kill their leaders
and convert them to Christianity?" Might it be the photos
of American soldiers abusing detainees at Abu Ghraib prison? Or
is it perhaps the appalling
mishandling of the Iraq occupation itself?
Don't be silly! Sure, all those things are a bit of a problem,
but they pale in comparison to the evil machinations of Newsweek
magazine. Last week Newsweek reported
that guards at Guantanamo Bay prison had flushed a Koran down the
toilet in order to intimidate detainees. The story came from an
anonymous senior government official who told journalist Michael
Isikoff that he had seen investigative reports on the matter. Newsweek
ran the story past the Pentagon - twice - who corrected part of
the article but didn't say anything about the Koran flushing.
The next thing you know, riots are breaking out all over the Muslim
world and the White House is putting the blame squarely on... Newsweek.
"There has been some lasting damage that has been done to our
image... and it's going to take some work to repair that damage,"
Scott McClellan, apparently with a straight face. "The report has
had serious consequences. People have lost their lives. The image
of the United States abroad has been damaged." (But you know, covering
prisoners in shit, piling them in naked pyramids, attacking them
with dogs, and beating them to death - well, that's just a bit of
Scottie went on: "They can also talk about policies and practices
of the United States military. Our United States military goes out
of its way to treat the holy Koran with great care and respect."
"An Iraqi holds a copy of the holy
Koran allegedly desecrated
by US forces in Ramadi. Several Britons who had been held
at US military prisons in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay
alleged that they had seen their US guards desecrate
the Koran ... AFP/Ahmad al-Rubaye" - Yahoo
(Thanks to ReBelleNation
for that catch.) Of course, once the White House had moved into
full-bore-blame-someone-else mode, conservative organizations geefully
pounced on Newsweek. According
to Reuters, "A conservative media watchdog group, Accuracy
in Media, said in a news release that 'blood is on the hands of
Newsweek magazine' for the story. AIM editor Cliff Kincaid expressed
incredulity that 'nobody at Newsweek has been fired or even reprimanded.'"
Four words for you, AIM: weapons of mass destruction.
Mind you, while the White House and friends were hyperventilating
over the evildoers at Newsweek, people who ought to know
the real situation on the ground were being ignored. According to
the State Department's own
website, "The chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff
says a report from Afghanistan suggests that rioting in Jalalabad
on May 11 was not necessarily connected to press reports that the
Quran might have been desecrated in the presence of Muslim prisoners
held in U.S. custody at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Air Force General
Richard Myers told reporters at the Pentagon May 12 that he has
been told that the Jalalabad, Afghanistan, rioting was related more
to the ongoing political reconciliation process in Afghanistan than
But there's an important element to this story which the Bush Administration,
in its rush to scapegoat Newsweek, has overlooked - this
isn't the first time that this story has been reported. In fact,
you can go all the way back to March 2003 to find reports
of the Koran being vandalized - and, yes, flushed. In fact, the
Red Cross sent confidential reports to the Bush administration in
2002 and 2003 documenting "credible information about U.S.
personnel disrespecting or mishandling Korans at the Guantanamo
Bay detention facility," according
to the Chicago Tribune.
At the end of the day, what the White House is really furious
about is not that Korans were being vandalized, but that Newsweek
reported it. And one thing's for damn sure - if Bush and Co. wants
to pretend that everyone would be holding hands and singing kumbayah
in the Middle East right now if only Newsweek hadn't come
along and ruined everything, they really are cuckoo-bananas.
Hey Newsweek! Don't think you're getting off easy! Yes,
you're on the list too this week, for acting like a bunch of weak-assed
Bush appeasers. As soon as Scott McClellan snapped his fingers,
Newsweek retracted their story and began bowing and scraping
for forgiveness from the White House. Despite Newsweek's
peers in the news business begging them to resist,
they bent over and took the administration's punishment with a smile
on their faces.
Not only that, but Scott McClellan insisted last week that simply
apologizing wasn't enough: "It's a good first step," he simpered,
but then announced that Newsweek "now has a responsibility
to spread the word to the Muslim world that U.S. interrogators 'treat
the Quran with great care and respect,'" according
to CNN. How d'you like them apples Newsweek? Welcome
to Bush's America, where replacing the ugly truth with useful lies
is now the definition of "responsible journalism." Game,
set, and match.
Oddly enough, Bush took a different tack when a British newspaper
published photos of Saddam Hussein in his skivvies last week. Perhaps
it was because the newspaper in question is owned by Rupert Murdoch,
but apparently Bush thinks that Newsweek is the only publication
to blame for violence in the Middle East. Oh, Our Great Leader was
all right - so angry in fact that he is going to probe Saddam in
his underpants. Easy there. You know what I mean.
See, the White House is apparently very concerned, because
the pictures of Saddam might violate the Geneva Conventions. Ha
ha! Good one! But, like the photos from Abu Ghraib, Bush doesn't
think that this rises to the level of Newsweek's crime of,
uh, reporting what a bunch of other people had already reported.
In fact, taking a clear dig at Newsweek, Bush announced
Friday that "I don't think a photo inspires murderers."
Oh really... well, what about this one?
Or this one?
Or this one?
Okay, the last one's not a photograph, but I think you get the
point. You can find these photos and more on the White House website's
Denial and Deception" page.
Now let's get away from the Bush administration's giant hypocrisy
and move on to the giant hypocrisy of Republicans in general. Sen.
Rick Santorum (R-Fecal Matter) insisted last week that if the Democrats
won't let Republicans change
Senate rules so they can ram through their radical right-wing
judges, then the Democrats are no better than Adolf Hitler. Whaaa?
It's true. Perhaps over-reaching just a tad, Santorum
said, "The audacity of some members to stand up and say,
how dare you break this rule. It's the equivalent of Adolf Hitler
in 1942, 'I'm in Paris. How dare you invade me. How dare you bomb
my city? It's mine.'"
Yes, yes, I know it doesn't make any sense, but the comparison
to the Nazis is most certainly there. So let's rewind for a moment.
when MoveOn.org held a competition to make an anti-Bush ad,
and one of the 1,500-plus entries happened to compare Bush to Hitler,
and conservatives across the country shat their pants because they
thought the comparison was so offensive that it must be the End
Times and they'd missed the Rapture? Let's ask a prominent
Republican what he thinks about the "Hitler Comparison":
"This is the worst and most vile form of political hate
speech." - RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie
Fair enough. Now, what about when Sen. Robert Byrd made the "Hitler
Comparison" in reverse, suggesting in March that the Republican
plan to end the filibuster was reminiscent of the Nazis? Let's ask
"Senator Byrd's inappropriate remarks comparing his Republican
colleagues with Nazis are inexcusable. These comments lessen the
credibility of the senator and the decorum of the Senate. He should
retract his statement and ask for pardon." - Sen. Rick Santorum
Sen. Rick... Santorum? Whoops.
Picture an SUV rolling over an ice cream sandwich, and you'll
have a good idea of what happened to Norm Coleman (R-Cheeseball)
last week at a Senate hearing on the so-called "oil-for-food"
scandal. The freshman senator has been doing his best to become
this century's Joe McCarthy by creating long lists of people whom
he is convinced were in cahoots with Saddam Hussein (including,
apparently, the former secretary to Pope John Paul II and the former
head of the African National Congress Presidential office). Unfortunately,
one of those people called his bluff last week and Coleman learned
the hard way that British politicians are quite a bit tougher than
the home-grown variety. Scotsman George Galloway, famous anti-war
member of the British Parliament, came to Washington D.C. to confront
Coleman... and handed
him his ass on a platter. From:
I have met Saddam Hussein exactly the same number of times as
Donald Rumsfeld met him. The difference is Donald Rumsfeld met
him to sell him guns and to give him maps the better to target
those guns. I met him to try and bring about an end to sanctions,
suffering and war, and on the second of the two occasions, I met
him to try and persuade him to let Dr Hans Blix and the United
Nations weapons inspectors back into the country...
I told the world that Iraq, contrary to your claims did not have
weapons of mass destruction. I told the world, contrary to your
claims, that Iraq had no connection to al-Qaeda. I told the world,
contrary to your claims, that Iraq had no connection to the atrocity
on 9/11 2001. I told the world, contrary to your claims, that
the Iraqi people would resist a British and American invasion
of their country and that the fall of Baghdad would not be the
beginning of the end, but merely the end of the beginning. Senator,
in everything I said about Iraq, I turned out to be right and
you turned out to be wrong and 100,000 people paid with their
lives; 1600 of them American soldiers sent to their deaths on
a pack of lies; 15,000 of them wounded, many of them disabled
forever on a pack of lies...
...it was quite a sight to behold.
Radical right-wingnut radio show host Glenn Beck made this interesting
statement live on air last week: "Hang on, let me just
tell you what I'm thinking. I'm thinking about killing Michael Moore,
and I'm wondering if I could kill him myself, or if I would need
to hire somebody to do it. No, I think I could. I think he could
be looking me in the eye, you know, and I could just be choking
the life out - is this wrong? I stopped wearing my What Would Jesus
- band - Do, and I've lost all sense of right and wrong now. I used
to be able to say, 'Yeah, I'd kill Michael Moore,' and then I'd
see the little band: What Would Jesus Do? And then I'd realize,
'Oh, you wouldn't kill Michael Moore. Or at least you wouldn't choke
him to death.' And you know, well, I'm not sure."
But don't worry - you see, according to a reply one of our readers
received from OTB
Games, a Beck advertiser: "We remain firmly behind Glenn
Beck ... [his] comments were meant to be funny."
Looks like brand new senator John Thune (R-Out Of His Depth)
is going to feel the pain from Our Great Leader's Great Military
Base Closure. Bush persuaded Thune to run against Tom Daschle, and
you'd think he'd want to reward Thune for defeating the Senate Minority
Leader last year. Sorry - that's not the way Dubya runs things.
During his campaign Thune consistently promised to defend Ellsworth
Airforce Base from closure, but a mere six months later Ellsworth
is on the chopping block and Thune is looking like a bit of a fool.
In fact, he's now so desperate to save his political ass that he
might have to ask Daschle to step in and help him rescue the base.
American News reported
last week that "Thune said he's open to any help Daschle can
offer. Daschle has experience, knows how the system works and has
been through the process before." In fact, South Dakota would
probably be a lot better off if he was still their senator, eh?
Jude Educational Institute
Here's a conundrum for conservatives - what do you do with a
teenage girl who becomes pregnant, but rather than having an abortion
decides to keep the baby, and not only that but goes on to complete
high school? Last week, St. Jude Educational Institute answered
the question by barring
student Alysha Cosby from taking part in her own graduation ceremony
because she was pregnant.
So let me get this straight - if she'd gotten an abortion, she
could have participated (or perhaps if she'd gotten comprehensive
sex education, but that's another story). But the shame of a pregnant
high school graduate was just too much for St. Jude's to bear? Fortunately
Cosby decided to take matters into her own hands, attended the graduation
ceremony, waited until the last student had been called, and then
called her own name and walked across the stage. Props.
Oh, and by the way - in case you were wondering, the male student
who got Alysha pregnant was not barred from participating
in the ceremony. What a surprise.
Thank God for conservatives and their small-government ways!
Praise the Lord for Republicans and their valiant efforts to slash
wasteful spending! And three cheers for Ted Stevens of Alaska and
his... million dollar bus stop? Yes, it turns out that Sen. Ted
Stevens (R-Santa Claus) has appropriated a whopping $1.5 million
of taxpayer money - that's your money, remember! - to improve
a bus stop outside the Anchorage Museum of History and Art.
Expressing some uncertainty about the idea of spending so much
money on a bus stop, Anchorage's director of public transportation
Tom Wilson said, "We have a senator that gave us that money and
I certainly won't want to appear ungrateful ... [But] if it only
takes us $500,000 to do it, that's what we will spend." Well that's
good to know I guess - I mean, considering that $500,000 is fifty
times the usual cost of bus stop renovations in Anchorage and all.
And finally, let's end on a ray of hope: it was revealed
last week that the apparently-oh-so-popular Fox News Channel is
currently suffering a bit of a ratings drop. Actually "drop"
might not be the right word - "death spiral" is probably
more appropriate. Yes, it turns out that April marked the sixth
consecutive month in which Fox News suffered a ratings decline during
Monday-to-Friday prime-time hours. Here's how it pans out:
Oct. 2004: 1,074,000
Nov. 2004: 891,000
Dec. 2004: 568,000
Jan. 2005: 564,000
Feb. 2005: 520,000
Mar. 2005: 498,000
Apr. 2005: 445,000
Eeww. So what's the cause? Is the nation sick of being lied to
24 hours a day? Or are fans of America's Worst News Channel finally
leaving their persistent vegetative states and departing for the
next life? Mind you, we probably shouldn't get too excited. After
all, this information did come from CNN, and we all know how awesomely
reliable they are.
Special note: next week is Memorial Day Weekend, so we'll be
taking a break. But we'll be back in two weeks time with an extra-special
200th edition of the Top Ten Conservative Idiots. See you then!
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