Democratic Underground

The Top 10 Conservative Idiots
(No. 205)

July 11, 2005
Idiotic Like a Fox Edition

People around the world were shocked and outraged by the terrorist bombings in London last week. But for the talking heads over at the Fox News Channel, this terrible human tragedy was an opportunity for some truly idiotic spin. Brit Hume (2) saw the bombings as a chance to make a little extra cash. Brian Kilmeade (3) thought they would somehow "work to our advantage." And to John Gibson (4) they were a chance to bash France. And while we're on the subject of morons in the media, don't miss what Paul Harvey (7) had to say.

1The Bush Administration
"Our strategy in the war on terror is based on a clear understanding of the enemy, and a clear assessment of our national interest." - Dick Cheney, July 2003

"Either we take the war to the terrorists and fight them where they are – at this moment in Iraq and Afghanistan and elsewhere – or at some point we will have to fight them here at home." - Donald Rumsfeld, August 2003

"America is more secure. The world is safer." - George W. Bush, January 2004

"...we are making ourselves more secure, because we cannot fight the terrorists in New York; we've got to fight them out there." - Condoleezza Rice, February 2004

"The question is do we fight them over there - or do we fight them here. I choose to fight them over there." - Gen. Tommy Franks, September 2004

"The number of serious international terrorist incidents more than tripled last year, according to U.S. government figures, a sharp upswing in deadly attacks that the State Department has decided not to make public in its annual report on terrorism due to Congress this week." - The Washington Post, April 2005

"I think they're in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency." - Dick Cheney, May 2005

"In total, for the year from the handover of sovereignty on June 28, 2004, until June 23, 2005, there were at least 479 car bombs, killing 2,174 people and wounding 5,520. ... Last month was the most violent for Iraqi civilians since the U.S.-led invasion to remove Saddam Hussein from power in March 2003." - Associated Press, June 2005

"There is only one course of action against them: to defeat them before they attack us at home." - George W. Bush, June 2005

"...the Iraq insurgency poses an international threat and may produce better-trained Islamic terrorists than the 1980s Afghanistan war that gave rise to Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda." - classified CIA report, June 2005

"This shows that president Bush is doing exactly the right thing, or they wouldn't be making these kinds of attacks." - CSPAN caller, July 2005

"There were nearly 3,200 terrorist attacks worldwide last year, the Bush Administration said yesterday, using a broader definition that increased fivefold the number of incidents that Washington had previously tallied for 2004." - The London Times, July 2005

Somebody wake me up when these people figure out what the hell they're doing.

2Brit Hume
On Fox News, coverage of last week's terrorist bombings in London was, as you would expect, deplorable. Fox News anchors could barely contain their glee as news of the destruction filtered in. To Brit Hume, the death of dozens of Londoners meant one thing - money in the bank.

"My first thought when I heard," said Brit, live on air, "just on a personal basis, when I heard there had been this attack and I saw the futures this morning, which were really in the tank, I thought, 'Hmmm, time to buy.'"

Really? Funnily enough, my first thought when I heard what Brit Hume had to say was, "Hmmm, what an enormous asshole."

3Brian Kilmeade
Then of course there was Fox News host Brian Kilmeade, who was simply delighted that stupid issues like global warming and African poverty would be pushed to the back burner at the G8 summit in Scotland.

"This is his [Tony Blair's] second address in the last hour," gushed Kilmeade. "First to the people of London, and now at the G8 summit, where their topic Number 1 - believe it or not - was global warming, the second was African aid. And that was the first time since 9-11 when they should know, and they do know now, that terrorism should be Number 1."

Well certainly, Brian, terrorism is a very important issue. But what's your personal opinion of the London attacks?

"I think that works to our advantage, in the Western world's advantage, for people to experience something like this together, just 500 miles from where the attacks have happened."

Excuse me: works to our advantage? Perhaps Brian and Brit should get together and form Enormous Assholes Anonymous.

4John Gibson
Or how about Fox News anchor John Gibson, who the day before the attacks said, according to News Hounds, that "he wished Paris would have gotten the 2012 Olympics because it would have been a treat to watch them deal with terrorist threats." How nice. It always warms my heart to see a news anchor wishing a terrorist attack on someone.

So did Gibson feel any remorse for his prescient remarks when London was attacked just one day later? Not a chance.

"If they had picked France instead of London to hold the Olympics," said he, "it would have been the one time we could look forward to where we didn't worry about terrorism. They'd blow up Paris, and who cares?"

Yeah, what a bummer. The terrorist attacks didn't happen in France. Oh well, better luck next time, eh. By the way John, there's a new organization you might be interested in called "Enormous Assholes Anonymous." I think you'd be a perfect fit.

5The Bush Administration
One last note on the current state of the war on terror, thanks to DailyKos who recovered an interesting story from August of last year. We noted the story in Idiots 166 but it is worth repeating here: last year security experts were "shocked" when administration officials outed Mohammad Naeem Noor Khan as an al Qaeda mole.

Jane's Defense security expert Tim Ripley said, "You have to ask: what are they doing compromising a deep mole within al Qaeda, when it's so difficult to get these guys in there in the first place? It goes against all the rules of counter-espionage, counter-terrorism, running agents and so forth. It's not exactly cloak and dagger undercover work if it's on the front pages every time there's a development, is it?"

At the time, Juan Cole noted that "The announcement of Khan's name forced the British to arrest 12 members of an al-Qaeda cell prematurely, before they had finished gathering the necessary evidence against them via Khan." At least one of those people was subsequently released due to lack of evidence.

So hats off once again to the Bush administration. Like I said, wake me up when they figure out what the hell they're doing.

6 George W. Bush
George W. Bush has consistently argued that despite his fabulous strategy, winning the war on international terrorism may not be as easy as falling off a bicycle. Fortunately Our Great Leader has at least got the falling off a bicycle part down pat.

After arriving at the G8 summit in Scotland last week Bush took a spin on a mountain bike and, according to Reuters, "promptly crashed at speed into a standing police officer, causing minor injuries to both." This marks the second occasion that George W. Bush has injured himself falling off a bicycle - a previous incident occurred in May of 2004.

Of course, Our Great Leader doesn't just limit himself to injuring himself on bicycles - he has also managed to topple off a Segway in 2003, and let's not forget his infamous wrestling match with a pretzel back in 2002.

Oh, I'm sorry - I forgot that if I even dare to suggest that George W. Bush is an inept buffoon, the terrorists have won.

7Paul Harvey
Perhaps the problem with the war on terror is that we're just not doing enough damage. What we need is good men like Paul Harvey in charge, then we'd see some results.

Last week the fabled radio personality pontificated on "the decline of American wartime aggression," according to FAIR.org. "We're standing there dying, daring to do nothing decisive because we've declared ourselves to be better than our terrorist enemies - more moral, more civilized," said he. So Paul has the perfect solution - be worse than our terrorist enemies.

"We sent men with rifles into Afghanistan and Iraq and kept our best weapons in their silos," he continued, presumably referring to nuclear missiles, before winding up with this wholesome rant:

"We didn't come this far because we're made of sugar candy. Once upon a time, we elbowed our way onto and across this continent by giving smallpox-infected blankets to Native Americans. That was biological warfare. And we used every other weapon we could get our hands on to grab this land from whomever.

"And we grew prosperous. And yes, we greased the skids with the sweat of slaves. So it goes with most great nation-states, which - feeling guilty about their savage pasts - eventually civilize themselves out of business and wind up invaded and ultimately dominated by the lean, hungry up-and-coming who are not made of sugar candy."

And that's the rrrrrrrrrrrrr....avings of a senile old lunatic.

8Robert Ehrlich
According to Maryland Governor Robert Ehrlich, racism is somebody else's problem. Last week Ehrlich was criticized for holding a Republican fundraiser at an all-white country club: his response? "I don't know what their membership is, and guess what? It's not my business."

Ehrlich also played the usual catch-all get-out-of-jail free card, complaining of a "double standard" because there was no outcry when Democrats held fundraisers there, although curiously he declined to name any actual Democrats because, he said, he didn't want to embarrass them. Yeah right.

One Democrat, Baltimore County Executive James T. Smith Jr., did acknowledge that a supporter had hosted a fundraiser for him at the club, but a spokesperson noted that "Jim Smith has never belonged to a country club in his life. He was not aware of the country club's membership composition, and as the leader of a diverse county, he appreciates that it has been brought to his attention. Clearly he will not have future campaign events hosted at this location."

That certainly seems like a more appropriate response than "it's not my business."

9Ted E. Schelenski
Last week Ted Schelenski, vice president for finance and operations at the right-wing Heritage Foundation, demonstrated how tough conservatives really are by assaulting a ballet dancer.

The incident occurred when Schelenski, in his car, blocked the path of a bicyclist and refused to move. A shouting match ensued between Schelenski and the bicyclist, Kristin Hall, before Schelenski got out of his car, "came at the 105-pound communications assistant at the Academy for Educational Development and shoved her to the ground while she was still straddled on her bicycle," according to the Washington Post.

Schelenski then got back in his car and drove off, but was arrested when he returned to the scene to apologize. Except it wasn't much of an apology - he told police that all he tried to do was shake Hall's bike and she was the one who fell over.

So let's see. Assaulting a woman half his size... failing to take personal responsibility... works for the Heritage Foundation... Congratulations Mr. Schelenski - you're a conservative idiot!

10Katherine Harris
And finally, sad news this week in Florida's fight against citrus canker - it turns out that the method for fighting canker advocated by world-renowned vote stealer Katherine Harris has turned out to be a flop. Last week it was revealed that when Harris was Florida's secretary of state, she spent six months advocating "Celestial Drops" as a solution to the canker problem.

What are Celestial Drops? Well apparently Harris had researchers working with a rabbi and a cardiologist to test the fluid which was, according to the Orlando Sentinel, "promoted as a canker inhibitor because of its 'improved fractal design,' 'infinite levels of order' and 'high energy and low entropy.'"

Ooo-kay.

Harris was "repeatedly sent copies of the letters and memos bouncing between Florida canker officials and [Rabbi] Hardoon. In August 2001, Harris herself jotted a note to Hardoon. 'I would love to see this work,' it says."

Well wouldn't we all. Unfortunately it turns out that even with an "improved fractal design" and "high energy and low entropy," the Celestial Drop solution didn't work because, well, it was just water. Although to be fair, the Sentinel does note that it was "possibly, mystically blessed water." See you next week!

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