Democratic Underground

The Top Ten Conservative Idiots (Week 45)
November 19, 2001
Thanks For Nothing Edition

Top 10 Conservative Idiots

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It's turkey time! No, not Thanksgiving - I'm talking about this week's entries on the Top Ten list. Topping the chart this week is good old CNN, who are really plumbing the depths with their hot new on-air personality. Katherine Harris (2) returns (please let this be the last time) and Lynne Cheney (3), clearly suffering from an absence of Dick, has decided to start blackballing liberal college professors. Meanwhile, George W. Bush (5) reappears on the list after suddenly realizing that New York voted for Gore, the Christian fundamentalists (6) are about to suffer a nasty shock, and while Lynne Cheney may be having trouble getting hold of Dick, we know where he is - hiding out at numbers 7 and 8 this week. Bringing up the rear are our fine "intelligence" agencies (9), and we've got two tied for number 10 this week. Enjoy!

We've been chronicling CNN's transformation from serious news network to third-rate infotainment channel/government propaganda machine for some time now, but last week marked a new low for the once-proud station. If you're still in any doubt that the name "Bush" is synonymous with "success through under-achievement," witness CNN's latest hiring - failed radio DJ and first cousin of Dubya, Billy Bush. Billy was fired from his morning show on Washington's banal Z104 for continuously low ratings, and you can't argue with a resume like that. No wonder CNN snapped him up so quickly. What, you think they hired him because he's related to the President? You think that pairing him with Fox News defector Paula Zahn will help boost the all-important right-wingnut demographic that CNN has been gagging for lately? Don't be silly. When you're looking for a new morning anchor, you look for quality, substance and experience - and that can be summed up in just two words - Billy Bush. He's got so much depth and gravitas, he doesn't even have to comb his hair. For a great example of Billy's journalistic skills, click here. And here.

2Katherine Harris
What is wrong with Katherine Harris? It's just that every time more information comes out about what a dreadful job she did in Florida, she seems to think it means the complete opposite (see Idiots passim.) After last week's NORC ballot study conclusively proved that Al Gore would have won if all the votes had been counted, Katherine Harris said she felt "vindicated." But... but... I don't understand. What the study showed was that if Harris had done her job and made sure all the votes were counted then their boy would have lost. So how does this put Ms. Harris in the clear? Well, it doesn't. Unless by "I feel vindicated, I followed the law," she actually meant, "It really doesn't matter what I say because nobody's going to report that I'm lying anyway. Frankly I could tell you that I shot JFK and invaded Poland and no one would bat an eyelid. Hey everybody, I did it! I fixed the election so George W. Bush would win! Tell you what, why don't you get Billy Bush to check into it? I hear he's a top-class investigative reporter HA HA HA."

3Lynne Cheney
While hubby Dick continues to hang out in his hidey-hole, wife Lynne has been spending her free time knitting, playing bridge, and engaging in a spot of patriotic McCarthyism. Last week, the conservative group "American Council of Trustees and Alumni" (founder: Lynne Cheney) named 40 college professors whom they considered to be unpatriotic. These professors have been labeled as part of the "blame America first crowd" for, as an example, daring to suggest that there may be a similarity between the suffering of American citizens after September 11 and the suffering of Afghan citizens who are living in a war zone. Apparently this is evidence that campuses are "hostile to the US government" and should presumably be, what, shut down? Cordoned off? Yes, I suppose it would be too much to expect university professors to actually teach students to think for themselves instead of just parroting whatever spin spews forth from the government's propaganda machine. Come on, Lynne, be fair. They can't be forced to watch CNN all the time you know.

4Ari Fleischer
As a public service to readers, we will now translate Ari Fleischer's statement on the NORC report from Ari-speak to The Truth. Here we go: "This is one more inconclusive study that doesn't change anything [we still got away with it]. The election was settled [fixed] a year ago, President Bush won [cheated] and the voters have long since moved on [please don't bother them in the middle of Temptation Island]. ... I think, frankly, the media [which we own] is free [unless we say so] to spend its money [lovely, lovely money] on exercises that don't lead to any conclusions that the public was interested in [that we can't cover up]. The voters have moved on [can I interest you in an American flag?]. The country is way beyond this [in fact we're already dismantling the Bill of Rights]. ... There's no news here. It's over [boy, are you guys ever screwed].

5George W. Bush
We pointed out a couple of weeks ago (see Idiots 43) that President Bush was reconsidering his bold pledge to help New York - and now it's official. Last week a House committee was pressured by the White House to vote down a measure which would have provided billions of dollars to help New York rebuild. So while big business is suddenly reaping the reward of massive government handouts, New Yorkers will have to find another way to recover from the September 11 attacks. Funny really, I could have sworn Bush took his bullhorn up to the top of that pile of rubble at Ground Zero and told emergency workers, "I hear you." But it appears what he actually meant was, "Sorry, you're all going to have to pull yourselves up by the bootstraps. Good luck. If you need me, I'll be in Crawford." Still that's our George - always a man of integrity. Who you can really trust.

6Christian Fundamentalists
It's common knowledge that Christian Fundamentalists have a big problem with Disney - you know, the whole "treat gays with respect" thing, not to mention complaints of violent movie-making from some of Disney's subsidiaries - but the proverbial shit is about to hit the proverbial fan down in Crisco-land. Disney has just acquired the Fox Family Network from Robert Murdoch's Newscorp, and - surprise! - packaged along with the deal comes the Christian Broadcasting Network and Pat Robertson's "The 700 Club." Hilariously, the Christian right have been boycotting Disney for several years now, so they may be faced with a bit of a conundrum: either stop persecuting their fellow human beings, or miss out on their daily dose of Pat. It makes one wonder - just what would Jesus do? And just out of interest, does the Christian Broadcasting Network have to give benefits to same-sex partners now?

7John Ashcroft and Dick Cheney
Has anyone seen the Constitution? I swear I just turned my back on it for five seconds and when I came back it had disappeared. Last week John Ashcroft and Dick Cheney ham-fistedly defended George W. Bush's new plan to try suspected terrorists before military tribunals, bypassing their constitutional right to a fair trial. Don't worry though, it doesn't apply to US citizens, so it should at least put them fur'ners in their place. Anyway, here's Cheney's take on the concept of trying suspected terrorists: "They don't deserve the same guarantees and safeguards that would be used for an American citizen going through the normal judicial process," Cheney said. Isn't that peachy? Now that I think of it, nobody accused of a crime deserves these protections - after all, they're suspected criminals! They should be locked up, post haste! Perhaps we should start a pool on how long it'll be before the Bush administration starts narrowing that definition of "American citizen" down to "patriotic American citizen," eh? Interestingly, groups like the NRA (who are so concerned about this kind of "slippery slope") don't seem to think that there's a problem with this. Sheesh, there was me thinking that they were all about Constitutional rights, and now I find out that all they care about is guns! How foolish of me...

8Dick Cheney (again)
Dick Cheney has been spotted! And he really has been in a hidey-hole. Except he wasn't hiding from terrorists - he was hiding from, um, ducks. Yes, our bold Veep recently pissed off the locals in Union Vale, NY, after deciding that the middle of a high-alert situation would be a good time to splatter some wildlife. Two days before Halloween, Cheney decided to go for a romp in the backwoods of New York state armed only with his rifle, a team of snipers, some fighter jets, and a convoy of government vehicles. Must be some damn tough ducks up there in New York. Anyway, the locals were naturally annoyed that they couldn't get their cars through town because the vice-president had blocked off all the traffic so he could sit in a duck blind for a couple of hours. And yes, in case you were wondering, this did all happen during a period of "high alert," as ordained by Tom Ridge. Good job Dick can still get his jollies while the rest of us sit around wondering what the hell's going to happen next.

9US Intelligence Agencies
The U.K.'s Sunday Times reported last week that the FBI and the CIA have been told to "think outside the box" to solve the problems of terrorism, so that's exactly what they're doing. Since 1970, the US government has apparently been employing teams of psychics to help combat, um, communism. The program ended in 1995, coincidentally around the same time that Miss Cleo started appearing on my television screen to announce that my aura was poopy. But Miss Cleo could soon be back on the government payroll, because the program is being reintroduced to help fight the war against terrorism. According to the Sunday Times, "Prudence Calabrese, whose Transdimensional Systems employs 14 remote viewers, confirmed that the FBI had asked the company to predict likely targets of future terrorist attacks. 'Our reports suggest a sports stadium could be a likely target,' she said." Whoo.. that's some pretty impressive ESP skills there, bucko. Oh, and one other thing... does anyone know what the Harry Potter book-burners have to say about their government agencies employing psychics? Just wondering.

10Sheriff Gerald K. Hege and Rep. Jane Baker (tie)
We're going to take a break for Thanksgiving next week, so here's a special twofer to keep you going till we get back. First up is Sheriff Gerald K. Hege of North Carolina, who apparently has a penchant for dressing his deputies up in berets and jackboots, but that's another story. He's on the list because the Las Vegas Sun reported last week that the good sheriff has been sending a very special holiday card this year. The card apparently shows Hege holding the severed head of Osama bin Laden, above the words "Happy Ramadan!" It's all very funny until you realize that many American Muslims don't find it particularly amusing to juxtapose a murderous religious maniac's head with their holy month. Hege laughed this off, but presumably he wouldn't be too happy if he got a card this year featuring the severed head of Pat Robertson above the words "Happy Christmas!"

And finally, here's a ridiculous story spotted in the Las Vegas Review-Journal: "A Pennsylvania legislator has announced she will seek a second term next year even though she claims in a $7.5 million lawsuit that she "needs help with reading and understanding material and carrying on conversations" due to brain and other injuries she suffered in a car wreck. Rep. Jane Baker, a 56-year-old Republican, says in her lawsuit that the injuries make her "virtually unemployable" outside the Legislature."

Happy Thanksgiving everyone, and we'll see you in two weeks!

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