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The Top Ten Conservative Idiots (No. 113)
June 9, 2003
Franken Spanken Edition

You are about to enter a Thin-Skin Zone - because that pathetic crybaby Bill O'Reilly is in the top two spots of our list this week, after receiving a much-deserved verbal drubbing from Al Franken. Meanwhile, George W. Bush (3) is puttering around the Middle East in a golf cart, and we learned that Dick Cheney (4) was putting pressure on U.S. intelligence agencies to cook their reports. We've also got a couple of homophobes, the Catholic Action League of Massachusetts (6) and John Ashcroft (7). In Congress, we've got Bill Frist (8) still pushing his ridiculous filibuster-busting scheme, and Tom DeLay (9) helping cover up the fact that we still haven't found any WMDs in Iraq. Enjoy, and don't forget the key!

1Bill O'Reilly lying massive ego hypocrisy
Poor, downtrodden Bill O'Reilly was "ganged up on" by two liberals last week at a book expo in Los Angeles (after Tucker Carlson failed to show up, not that anyone noticed) and proved to the world that he really is a blustering wimp who simply can't take it. O'Reilly, Molly Ivins and Al Franken appeared at the expo to discuss their new books, but when Al Franken started to have a go at O'Reilly's uncorrected "mis-speakings" things started to heat up. See, some time ago O'Reilly lied repeatedly about getting a prestigious Peabody Award for "Inside Edition." (It turns out that the show did receive an award, but it was a Polk - and it was a year after O'Reilly left.) Yet for some reason, plain-speaking, "no-spin" Bill has never admitted that he tried to pass off this falsehood as the truth, and instead tries to blow it off like it was some kind of verbal gaffe. So when Franken decided to point this out to Bill, Mr. Fair And Balanced exploded. First, O'Reilly
hilariously contradicted a statement he'd made earlier in the afternoon claiming that he doesn't "call people names," by immediately referring to Franken as an "idiot," a "propagandist," and "vicious." He then resorted to the same tactics he used on Jeremy Glick, the son of a 9/11 victim (see Idiots 98) by screaming at Franken to "Shut up! Shut up!" Ah yes, that's our Bill - always trying to "elevate the discourse." (To see the video of Bill's mature and statesmanlike performance, click here.)

2Bill O'Reilly (continued) excessive spin crybaby crybaby
After the book expo, O'Reilly hammered the final nail into his credibility coffin when asked about the "idiot" comment by a reporter. His response: "If I said it, I misspoke." Wait a second. If I said it? Misspoke? Surely that's not... spin I'm hearing is it? Fortunately Bill quickly cleared up the matter, adding, "I stand by my description." Uh... so did you misspeak or not? I'm confused. Anyway, it wasn't long before oppressed Bill was back on his syndicated national radio show and top-rated cable news show, complaining about how he was at a "decided disadvantage" (oh, poor baby) and lying about Franken going over his time limit by twenty minutes - it was actually about five minutes, but hey. Bill then elevated the discourse to this level (and if you're interested, we also have a link to the audio): "In the Old West, and I would have loved to have been in the Old West, Al and I, we would have had a little shootout. We would have gone out on Willshire Avenue, six shooters. Now he's a much smaller target than I am, about 4'11, but he's wider and it would have been, you know, Clint Eastwood time, you know, I would have the sharout, shirapi (sp?) and I had my squint, and I would have put a bullet right between his head. Would have been wrong. Would have been wrong. But that was the Old West, and I would not have known any better, so I wouldn't have been held accountable, because I wouldn't have - but now I do. Now, in 2003, that would have been wrong." Aw, whassamatter Bill? Did the nasty man upset you? You can't even speak properly!

3George W. Bush dumb photo-opping warmongering
Bush toured the Middle East last week for some postwar fist-pumping and photo-opping, er... I mean, for an important round of sensitive diplomatic negotiations. During one such event, Bush gleefully chauffeured Mideast leaders around in a golf cart. As the rest of the world pointed and said "hey, look, it's a chimp driving a go-kart," the US media sycophantically reported that the event "served to reinforce the impression of a Bush White House extraordinarily skilled at stage-managing presidential events." (There goes that liberal media again!) Later, Bush toured the newly occupied - of course I mean "liberated" - country of Iraq from Air Force One as it flew six miles overhead. While Ari Fleisher insisted that the flyover was due to "safety concerns," there was another benefit: no need to explain the conspicuous lack of Iraqis dancing in the streets or cheering for the great liberator president. As for those elusive weapons of mass destruction, Bush told troops in Qatar, "We're on the look. We'll reveal the truth." Then again, maybe the truth about WMDs has been pretty well revealed already...

4Dick Cheney warmongering
Although there is of course still plenty of truth to uncover, oh yes. For example, did you know that Dick Cheney paid frequent visits to the CIA during Our Great Leader's Great Rush To War? The visits have been described as unusually hands-on, and now some intelligence officials are starting to spill the beans. Apparently Cheney "created an environment in which some analysts felt they were being pressured to make their assessments on Iraq fit with Bush Administration policy objectives," according to the Sydney Morning Herald. Surely not! The vice president, attempting to bend intelligence data to fit his political agenda? That can't be! Why, this is the most honest, transparent, and upstanding administration in the history of the United States! At least, that's what the TV told me. But anyway, it can't be true because Douglas Feith, the undersecretary for policy at the Pentagon, held a news conference last week to challenge the allegations. "I know of no pressure," he said. And rest assured that as Feith spoke he was certainly not gripping the podium, sweating profusely, and glancing furtively from side to side.

5The New York Daily News Clinton hating excessive spin
This is BIG NEWS! STOP THE PRESSES! According to the New York Daily News, in her new book Hillary Clinton LIES about the exact date that she found out about her husband's affair with Monica Lewinsky! Yes, in a shocking turn of events, the Daily News has uncovered some devastating "discrepancies" in the book, Living History. (Click here to buy.) For example, Hillary claims that staying married to Bill was one of the "most difficult decisions I have made in my life." Yet the Daily News has exclusively discovered that it actually took her only "a couple of days" to make the decision! And not only that but some other guy wrote something in a completely different book that turned out to be a mistake, and... oh for crying out loud, this is the most utterly ridiculous piece-of-shit non-story I've ever seen concocted in a newspaper. I mean, it looks like George W. Bush and Dick Cheney illegally cooked intelligence information as an excuse to go to war with Iraq - which resulted in thousands of deaths - and the Daily News is more concerned with alleged discrepancies in Hillary Clinton's memoir? GET SOME PERSPECTIVE, YOU IGNORANT, RIGHT-WING, BUSH-BROWN-NOSING MEDIA WHORES.

6The Catholic Action League of Massachusetts homophobia
Lobby group The Catholic Action League of Massachusetts wants to prosecute a dozen gays who protested at Boston's Cathedral of the Holy Cross last week. But this is no ordinary prosecution - the group wants the state attorney general to file hate crimes charges against the protesters. Wow, they must have done something really terrible, yes? Well, no, actually. C.J. Doyle, executive director of the Catholic Action League, can explain it best: "It was a premeditated assault on the First Amendment religious freedom rights of Catholics...a very crude intimidation tactic intended to silence Catholic opposition to same-sex marriage..." My goodness, it sounds awful. So what did they actually do? "A number of them embraced one another, held hands, and at least two male homosexuals kissed each other...A number of parishioners had to get up and actually move because either their view of the sanctuary was being blocked or because they felt somehow threatened or menaced by these protesters, who then - after a short time - walked out." So - twelve people got up in the middle of a church service, held hands, hugged, kissed, and then left. And now, in these crazy times, an expression of love is turned into a hate crime. I mean, I can totally understand Catholics being pissed off about having mass interrupted, but a hate crime? Some poor homophobes feel "threatened or menaced" by people kissing, and they want to put that on a level with, oh, I don't know, a guy being strung up on a barbed-wire fence and pistol-whipped to death - just because he's gay? Or a man being dragged behind a pickup truck until he's completely dismembered - just because he's black? Despicable.

7John Ashcroft homophobia unconstitutional
Speaking of crazy homophobes, say hello to John Ashcroft. Ashcroft decided last week to "to ban employees' annual gay pride events" at the Justice Department, according to Reuters. Why? Apparently because he was "lobbied by conservative groups." Yeah, I bet that was a lot of hard work. Lobbyist: "Hey, John, about these gay pride events..." Ashcroft: "GAY PRIDE EVENTS?!?! Not in my backdoor. Uh, I mean, backyard. Uh, I mean, IT AIN'T GONNA HAPPEN." Human Rights Campaign spokesman David Smith said of the ban, "It's shameful that the federal agency that is in charge of protecting civil rights in this country is singling out one group for disparate treatment." Well duh - just because every other group in the Justice Department can hold events, and just because, say, the attorney general of the United States can hold prayer meetings in his office, doesn't mean that he should give gays special favors. By the way: In case you missed it, Ashcroft was back on Capitol Hill last week, asking Congress to expand the intrusive government powers of the Patriot Act.

8Bill Frist partisanship dumb
We kinda thought that Bill Frist was joking when he proposed watering down the filibuster for judicial nominees. (See Idiots 108.) But it appears that the joke's on us. Last week, the Frist proposal reached the Rules committee, and inexplicably was not treated with the outright contempt that it deserved. Of course, Frist doesn't have the guts to propose simply ditching the practice entirely. Instead, he has come up with a ridiculous scheme where the number of votes to break a filibuster is gradually reduced from 60 to 51. Why not just propose changing the number to 51, you weasley bastard? Absolutely pathetic. (And speaking of pathetic... we typically don't criticize Democrats on this list, but we'd be huge hypocrites if we didn't point out that Zell Miller is basically sticking a knife into all of our backs on this one, and even called us "sore losers" in the process.) One more thing: Frist's underage son was arrested for DUI at 2:30 am last week. Score one for Republican family values.

9 Tom Delay dumb covering your ass partisanship
Tom Delay is an assclown, and we have proof. In one of the most partisan, brown-nosing, delusional statements we've seen this year, The Hammer was heard to claim that calls for congressional hearings into cooked intelligence and the apparent lack of weapons of mass destruction were simply made by "detractors who want to undermine the successful war." Um, - if there are no weapons of mass destruction - and congress wants to find out if there are or not - how exactly can the war be called successful? Just because Bush stood on an aircraft carrier and said "mission accomplished" doesn't make it so. Oh excuse me - Tom also apparently wants me to shut up, because people who question what the hell happened before we went into Iraq, "pick at every little thing they can to try to undermine this president and where he is taking us on this war on terror... They do it for their own political gain." Um, how about we just find out what the truth is, Tom? Remember that? No? I guess to you, people who want the truth are just "playing politics."

10Tom Ridge dumb
And finally, last week Tom Ridge announced that his ridiculous color-coded alert scheme has "drawbacks." Um, what, you mean like unnecessarily terrifying half the population and being laughed at by the other half? No, Ridge thinks that the alerts are "too general to provide targeted warnings," according to the Associated Press. Great - so does this mean we can look forward to Green, Light Green, Aqua, Blue, Yellow, Sepia, Burnt Sienna, Orange, Dark Orange, Red, Brown? I hope so! However, some people have noted that during the Orange Alerts we've been subjected to over the last few months, there haven't been any actual terrorism attempts, so perhaps either a) the intelligence isn't very good, in which case why bother with a stupid threat level, or b) they've got other reasons for elevating the level - for example, it's the kind of thing that comes in useful when you're trying to persuade America that we need to bomb other countries. I've got a better idea though. Whenever the threat level is elevated above yellow, we should raise Tom Ridge up on a large flagpole, with his pants round his ankles and wearing a dunce's cap, and then pelt him with tomatoes until the level is lowered to yellow again. See you next week!

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