Democratic Underground

The Top 10 Conservative Idiots
(No. 201)

June 13, 2005
Fox Three Edition

Welcome once again to the Top 10 Conservative Idiots. This week Fox News have hit the trifecta with three entries going to Brian Wilson (3), Neil Cavuto (4), and Bill O'Reilly (10). George W. Bush (2) and The Bush Administration (1) also make appearances this week.

Last week was our 200th edition and to celebrate we held a contest asking readers to send in their own personal conservative idiots stories. The response was great, the results are in, and you can find the winning entries in slots 5, 7 and 9. Attention winners - we'll be contacting you very soon. Enjoy, and as usual don't forget the key!

1The Bush Administration anti-environment anti-environment hypocrisy
Last week documents obtained by Greenpeace under the Freedom of Information Act revealed that the Bush administration was "heavily pressured" by energy company Exxon Mobil to reject the Kyoto Treaty on global warming - despite Exxon and the administration's claims to the contrary. During his joint press conference with British prime minister Tony Blair (more on that in a minute), Bush insisted that climate change is "a serious long-term issue that needs to be dealt with. And my administration isn't waiting around to deal with the issue, we're acting. ... We want to know more about it. It's easier to solve a problem when you know a lot about it."

Oh really? Because it was also revealed last week that the Bush administration wasn't simply pressured by Exxon Mobil to reject Kyoto. Believe it or not, a White House official - who was once a lobbyist at the American Petroleum Institute - was discovered last week to have "repeatedly edited government climate reports in ways that play down links between such emissions and global warming, according to internal documents."

So there you have it - proof that not only are big oil companies writing the Bush administration's energy policy, they also have a guy inside the White House whose job it is to fix global warming reports to their advantage. Meanwhile Americans are still paying through the nose at the pump, while energy companies are raking in higher and higher profits. So much for government "of the people, by the people, for the people" - Bush and his oil cronies have made sure that "the people" are nothing but stooges in their grand scam.

2George W. Bush warmongering excessive spin
Now let's get back to Bush's press conference, and yes, Our Great Leader made a Great Big Ass of himself (nothing new there) when he teamed up with Tony Blair at the White House last week. Bush started off by congratulating the prime minister on his "great victory," which - considering the fact that the British people recently gave Blair a good hard spanking at the polls, handing him a massively reduced parlimentary majority - was a bit of a dumb thing to say. (Still, I suppose Bush can get away with calling it "great" if he compares it to his own fabulous election "victories" and "mandates.")

The question everyone was waiting to hear was, of course, about the Downing Street Minutes - and when it finally came, Blair jumped in to save Bush's neck. "The facts were not being fixed in any shape or form at all," said Tony. So, er, that clears that up. He went on:

BLAIR: And let me remind you that that memorandum was written before we then went to the United Nations. Now, no one knows more intimately the discussions that we were conducting as two countries at the time than me. And the fact is we decided to go to the United Nations and went through that process, which resulted in the November 2002 United Nations resolution, to give a final chance to Saddam Hussein to comply with international law. He didn't do so. And that was the reason why we had to take military action.

Total bullcrap, of course. If anyone cares to remember, the U.S. actually forced the weapons inspectors to leave Iraq in 2003 - without finding anything - because Bush just couldn't wait to get his war on. And what have we found since then? Ummmmmmm... nothing.

But at least you can understand the words that are coming out of Blair's mouth. George W. Bush, on the other hand, is a very different kettle of fish:

BUSH: Well, I - you know, I read kind of the characterizations of the memo, particularly when they dropped it out in the middle of his race. I'm not sure who "they dropped it out" is, but - I'm not suggesting that you all dropped it out there. (Laughter.) And somebody said, well, you know, we had made up our mind to go to use military force to deal with Saddam. There's nothing farther from the truth.

My conversation with the Prime Minister was, how could we do this peacefully, what could we do. And this meeting, evidently, that took place in London happened before we even went to the United Nations - or I went to the United Nations. And so it's - look, both us of didn't want to use our military. Nobody wants to commit military into combat. It's the last option. The consequences of committing the military are - are very difficult. The hardest things I do as the President is to try to comfort families who've lost a loved one in combat. It's the last option that the President must have - and it's the last option I know my friend had, as well.

And so we worked hard to see if we could figure out how to do this peacefully, take a - put a united front up to Saddam Hussein, and say, the world speaks, and he ignored the world. Remember, 1441 passed the Security Council unanimously. He made the decision. And the world is better off without Saddam Hussein in power.

Oh yeah... better off how? A couple thousand dead U.S. soldiers better? A few tens of thousands of dead Iraqi civilians better? A massive increase in anti-U.S. sentiment better? A crippled U.S. military better? An emboldened Islamic fundamentalist terrorist front better? AND we have to look at photos of the dude in his skivvies?

But anyway - back to the Downing Street Minutes. You'll notice that neither Blair nor Bush denied the existence of the minutes - in fact, both confirmed that the meeting took place. But somehow they seem to think that the fact that the meeting happened before they went to the U.N. somehow exonerates them. Uh... how? The minutes read, in part: "There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. The NSC had no patience with the UN route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime's record. There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action."

So how exactly does the fact that all that happened before they went to the U.N. make it any better? Oh that's right - it doesn't.

3Brian Wilson partisanship
Now that, alas, Jeff Gannon is gone from the White House press corps, who in Washington will dare to ask the questions that really matter? Step forward correspondent Brian Wilson of the ever-fair-and-balanced Fox News. Last week Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid allowed reporters into his office for a brief photo-op following his meeting with Minority Whip Dick Durbin and DNC Chairman Howard Dean. Some 60 reporters attempted to enter the office, which can hold about 20 people, so a crush ensued. But right in the middle of the melee stood Fox News' Brian Wilson - who apparently went "batshit crazy."

According to AmericaBlog, Wilson "spent the photo op angrily interrupting reporters and shouting questions out of turn." Meanwhile Mark Leibovich of the Washington Post reported that "Wilson was so insistent that at one point, Durbin asked, 'Does he run the press conference?'" Finally, when an aide announced that the event was over, Wilson yelled, "We'll decide when we're ready." Wow.

But that's not all. According to AmericaBlog, Post reporter Leibovich noted that Wilson was not wearing a credential of any kind. And, not recognizing, him, Leibovich asked who he was. Apparently Wilson "went nuts," and asked Leibovich "Who the fuck are you?" - despite the fact that Leibovich's press credentials were clearly visible. AmericaBlog reports that Leibovich "responded that he was from the Washington Post and didn't see credentials on Wilson and because of his incredibly pointed questions wondered whether or not he was a rogue Republican staffer." Which pretty much says it all about Fox News' "fair and balanced" approach to reporting.

Funny how you never see Fox reporters getting that belligerent when questioning George W. Bush (or, er, any other Republican) isn't it? But I guess Howard Dean's comments are far more deserving of such aggressive investigative journalism than, say, whether the president lied the country into an illegal war. Or why the president let an oil industry lobbyist edit climate change reports. Or... well, you know.

4Neil Cavuto partisanship
But this is fortunate - an actual chance to test our theory! Last week Our Great Leader was interviewed by Neil Cavuto, right there on Fox News. Now we can directly compare a Fox News reporter's questioning of George Bush with a Fox News reporter's questioning of Howard Dean. Let's go to the transcript to see what kind of pugnacious journalism Neil Cavuto has in store for us:

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Mr. President, welcome to FOX. It's great to have you.


CAVUTO: We were thinking of you, Mr. President, we knew you had won the election and now we have heard that you had better grades than your opponent too in college.

Hmm. Well, I suppose this is the start of the interview. Perhaps Cavuto needs some time to warm up.

CAVUTO: What did you think with the release of those transcripts?

BUSH: I didn't think much about it. You know, I've always tried to lower expectations, and I feel like if people say, well, you know, maybe, you know, I don't think you handle the tough job, and when you do, it impresses people even more. But my view is the campaign is over.

CAVUTO: Yes. He was billed as the intellectual, though, and you had better grades in college.

Right... well, perhaps Cavuto will move onto something more substantial. Let's see... what about the economy?

CAVUTO: Let me ask you about the economy, sir. Almost any objective read tells you that we're still doing very, very well. Productivity is very high. Had a strong GDP report. Retail sales are very, very strong. The unemployment rate, at 5.1 percent, used to be considered full employment when Hubert Humphrey was alive. Do you think you get a bum rap in the media on the economy?

Whoa - what the hell is THAT? Is that supposed to be a question? Uh, let's see, what else do we have here...

CAVUTO: Well, do you think wealthier folks like you, when you retire, and maybe TV anchors too, should not get Social Security, or should have their benefits pared?

BUSH: No, I think you ought to get Social Security, because you paid into the system. But I don't think your benefits ought to rise faster than the rate of inflation. And I do think poorer citizens ought to have their benefits rise at the rate of wages, which would enable us to say two things. One, no one should retire in poverty. In other words, if you worked all your life in a tough job and you contributed to the Social Security system, when you retire, you ought not to retire into poverty. And secondly, such a plan, called progressive indexing, will go a long way towards solving the Social Security problem permanently.

CAVUTO: You know, a lot of economists agree with that, Mr. President.

Jesus. Okay, one more - perhaps there's a tough question in here somewhere:

CAVUTO: I know this is a little outlandish, Mr. President...

BUSH: No, that's all right, Neil.

CAVUTO: Do you think that the focus on Michael Jackson has hurt you?

Okay, that's it. I'm done. Please excuse me for a moment while I attempt to beat my own brains out with my keyboard.

* I N T E R M I S S I O N *

That's better. Now, where were we? Ah yes. Last week was the 200th edition of the Top 10 Conservative Idiots, and in order to celebrate we held a contest. Every week we report on some of the most prominent conservative idiots in America (and occasionally elsewhere) but for the contest our goal was to discover the untold stories of conservative idiocy; the personal accounts of long-suffering liberals who have to put up with right-wing friends, relatives, co-workers and acquaintances. Contest winners published in the Top 10 today receive a free item of their choice from the DU store. And so without further ado, here's the first winning entry:

Some years ago, at the fringe of the militia movement, you might remember some literature that talked about rejecting all statutory law - including tax law - as illegitimate, and recognizing only common law. (Of course, "common law" meant only laws that these particular people agreed with.) Anyway, a certain county judge in our town became enamored of this idea and decided, along with several of his redneck compadres, that the revolution would begin with them.

At first, hizzoner's great experiment in local government consisted of dismissing traffic tickets for his buddies. Although this seemed to alarm the county attorney (an actual lawyer who went to law school and everything!), nobody paid too much attention because, let's face it, the judge had been dismissing traffic tickets for his buddies for years. The only difference seemed to be that now he was returning them to the issuing entities marked "Not Recognized Under Common Law."

For the most part, all this was sort of overlooked as a harmless eccentricity. Soon, however, various bizarre documents began issuing forth from the judge's office. Things like property taxes, liens, zoning regulations, gaming citations, building codes, etc. were declared, "Not Recognized Under Common Law."

As you might expect, various county entities started to get a little, shall we say, agitated about this. Well, somehow it came to light that these various edicts were now coming from someplace in a small town several miles away, and not even in the county that hizzoner was judge of!

Eventually, it was discovered that the "Common Law" court from whence these grand pronouncements were issuing was, in reality, a small, tin-roofed shack where the judge and his fellow "common lawyers" would gather, knock back a few cold ones, and "make some damn law." Alas the revolution of common law did not last long and the Judge was forced to resign in disgrace. He went on to fulfill his destiny as local conservative wingnut; penning vaguely threatening but mostly incomprehensible letters to the editor of our small town paper.

The honorable judge passed away a few months ago and, by all accounts, went to conservative heaven, pulling the ladder up behind him.

- Thomas

6 Michael McLane and Emanuel Papadakis dumb
Now back to our regular programming. Here's the curious case of two New Hampshire dumbasses who thought they saw Saddam Hussein and proceeded to beat the snot out of him. Michael McLane and Emanuel Papadakis were fined $33,070 last week for a particularly brutal assault on innocent bystander Michael Barbosa, whom they - yes - mistook for the former dictator of Iraq.

The attack took place at the Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut after McLane and Papadakis pointed their fingers at Barbosa and said, "We're kicking your (expletive) over there and we'll do it here." Now, to be clear, the New Hampshire Union Leader did point out that Barbosa "has a thick mustache, 'bears a remarkable resemblance to Saddam Hussein' and was wearing a beret in a style favored by the former Iraqi dictator."

But exactly how fucking stupid do you have to be to think that the Butcher of Baghdad might just happen to be visiting a casino in New England? Stupid enough to get you into the Top 10, at any rate.

It's time now for the second winning entry in our contest - a tawdry tale of sex, drugs, and conservative hypocrisy...

I once had a friend who was an upright, moral, Christian, God-loving, Conservative Republican. He was, of course, outraged in the 90's by Bill Clinton's "immorality," (you know - Clinton having an extramarital affair while in the White House).

As a heating and cooling contractor he always bragged, back when Clinton was President and the economy was booming, that he could make as much money as he wanted just by working more hours, but he felt that Clinton's economic policies were preventing him from making as good a living as he was able to. So, of course, in 2000, my former friend supported that paragon of morality and economic prosperity, George W. Bush. (He'd never voted before in his life.)

Since Bush and the Republicans have taken control of the financial future of America, this ex-friend's business has failed (he no longer brags that he can make as much as he wants just by working more hours, since now no one has any work for him), he's lost his house (and now he will not easily be able to file for bankruptcy due to his Republican masters changing the bankruptcy laws), and his wife is divorcing him.

But, to be fair, his divorce isn't Bush's or the Republican Party's fault: no, his divorce came about because his wife found out that her church-going, upright, moral Republican husband was a crackhead with a bad habit of paying hookers for sex. But, according to him, that wasn't why he lost his wife: no, it was someone else's fault that his wife threw him out, because someone else told his wife what he was doing. (And by "someone else," I mean me.)

I haven't seen him in quite a while - he got a $600.00 advance from my father to do a job and never did the work (that's why I ratted him out to his wife) and I haven't seen him since - but, I'm sure, being a Christian God-Loving Advocate of Republican Personal Responsibility and Virtue that he's probably in prison right now... blaming someone else for all his problems.

- Alex

8CNN dumb
The "news organization more Americans trust to ruin the news " came up with this great poll on their website last Friday:

Personally, I voted "Yes."

9Concise Conservative Idiots CONTEST WINNERS!
We had a lot of great but very short stories submitted to the Top 10 contest, so we've reserved this slot for the rest of the winners. Enjoy!

I work in the Information Technology field and a lot of our work has been outsourced so I often receive calls from programmers in different countries. I mentioned to my conservative co-worker Kevin that I sometimes find it difficult understanding the people calling from Egypt. He replied, "Just pass those calls to Biju (another co-worker)." I asked Kevin, "Why would Biju necessarily understand them? He's from India." Replied Kevin, "Oh, it's all in the same area."

- Anon

Back in 1991-92 I was a volunteer escort at an abortion clinic in Fargo, ND. This was when Operation Rescue came to town to whip the local Lambs of Christ into even more of a frenzy. The very Reverend Keith Tucci gave a free public address, which some of us attended in the spirit of "know thy enemy." Of all idiocy spewed that night, the real jaw dropper was when Reverend Tucci explained how he justifies denying an abortion to a woman who has been raped. He said, "You shouldn't punish a rapist by killing his child."

- Anon

My neighbor - a conservative Christian with a "W" sticker on his four-wheeler and a couple hunting dogs named after firearms that bark at all hours of the night - explained to me the reason we had been subjected to a couple days of rather nasty weather was "because of all those homosexuals and the abortions." He did this with a straight face and meant it. I replied to him that it would probably be better if we never spoke about politics seeing as we lived next to each other.

- Michael

In Michigan there was a gay marriage ban proposal on the ballot in the last election. One of my wife's co-workers said "If they allow gay marriage, then all the gays are just going to get in to bed together and give each other AIDS." As if somehow allowing two people to get married was going to encourage them to have sex with other people...

- Anon

I used to get on Undernet's #politics channel a lot when I was in college. My handle was FlushRush (clever, eh?). One night when I joined, I found the channel held hostage by the grandson of Fred Phelps (of "God Hates Fags" fame) talking about nothing but gays and how they're all going to burn in hell. This is not an exact transcript, but the conversation went something like this:

FlushRush: So, youíre Fred Phelps' grandson, eh? You think God hates fags?
Yes, I do
FlushRush: So does that include lesbians? Does God hate lesbians?
Phelps: Yes, He does
FlushRush: And you believe that AIDS is God's scourge on homosexuals, including lesbians?
Phelps: Yes
FlushRush: But lesbians have one of the lowest AIDS infection rates of any demographic. By your logic God must really love lesbians since He's punishing them the least. Heteros are being punished more than lesbians. In fact, lesbians might well be God's new chosen people since it's apparent He really, REALLY likes them.
What with His total love of lesbians, maybe God *IS* a man after all.
********** Phelps has left channel #politics

- "TlalocW"

That's it for the contest - congratulations to all the winners, and I'm sorry we couldn't give prizes to everyone, but a big thank you to all who entered!

10Bill O'Reilly hypocrisy hypocrisy hypocrisy helping the terrorists
And finally, rounding off the Fox News trifecta this week is everyone's favorite blowhard Bill O'Reilly. Bill has recently developed unhealthy feelings for Paris Hilton, and as usual he's trying to hide his obsession by pretending to be morally outraged. His latest excuse for getting all hot-under-the-collar is the Carl's Jr. ad which features Ms. Hilton simutaneously washing a car, eating a burger, and fondling herself. Bill is disturbed that "some families" have found the ad over-the-top, which is why he's helpfully aired it several times on his popular 8pm television show.

Last week Bill invited Carl's Jr. CEO Andrew Pudzer onto his show to defend the racy ad, and subsequently discovered that - surprise - the ad is aimed at 18-34 year old men. Apparently that particular demographic eats more burgers than any other - although Bill is convinced that the humble Spicy BBQ Six Dollar Burger is actually good family fare, which goes some way to explaining the obesity problem in this country.

But anyway, towards the end of the interview Bill became fixated with the idea of inviting Paris Hilton on the show - not, he made absolutely clear, to hose her down, but to have her eat a burger because he didn't believe she really ate one while they were shooting the ad. This is serious journalism, folks. Let's go to the transcript:

O'REILLY: All right. I'm going to be interested to see whether this works. But you would agree that this kind of a strategy, using a woman like this who is not well respected by many Americans, and using her in a salacious way is risky. Wouldn't you say that?

PUZDER: I don't know if it's risky. We've done this before with ads.

O'REILLY: With what?

PUZDER: Well, we had a woman on a mechanical bull. We had Hugh Hefner in an ad that really kind of raised the ire of a lot of people.

O'REILLY: Is he getting hosed down? I want to see that.


PUZDER: We've got - sales are coming out the 27th or 28th. I will be glad to come back once - once we announce and talk about it with you.

O'REILLY: All right. We'll see. You're going to be honest, right? I have to verify, you know? Trust but verify.

PUZDER: Absolutely. It's a public company. I'll be honest.

O'REILLY: And when you come back, bring Paris Hilton with you. Can you do that?

PUZDER: I have never met Paris, but I will ask her.

O'REILLY: Yes. I would love to see her eat a burger right here on "The Factor." OK? Not that I don't believe you.

PUZDER: She might - she might be up for it.

O'REILLY: Yeah, well, she might be up for a lot of things, Mr. Puzder.

PUZDER: You never know.

O'REILLY: We'll try to keep it a little - all I want to do is eat a burger, and we don't have to hose her down.

Damn, Bill, take a cold shower, man! There might be children watching!

Shame Carl's Jr. doesn't make these, eh?

That's all for this week, we'll be back to normal next week, I promise. See you then!

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