The Top 10 Conservative Idiots
January 23, 2006
Media Morons Edition
week was not exactly a banner week for the media - Washington
Post ombudsman Deborah Howell (2), CNN (4), Chris Matthews and
Friends (5) and Bill O'Reilly (6) all make it onto this week's list.
But members of the media aren't the only ones offending our sensibilities
- we got a letter from Phil Parlock (7), the Bush Administration
(8) is playing the propaganda card again, and Plain Ol' Homophobes
(9) react to Brokeback Mountain's Golden Globe victory. Enjoy,
and don't forget the key!
Hey George, remember this guy? It's the guy from that tape
last week. Remember him?
I know you remember this.
But do you remember saying this?
Because I'm curious as to why you got this guy...
...but forgot about this guy.
Come on George. "Wanted Dead or Alive" isn't just the
title of a Bon Jovi song. Get your act together.
Last week, things went from bad to worse for the Washington
Post's new ombudsman Deborah Howell. The problems began when
Ms. Howell attempted to defend a Post story which said that
Democrats and Republicans were equally implicated in the Jack Abramoff
scandal. Howell wrote:
Schmidt quickly found that Abramoff was getting 10 to 20 times
as much from Indian tribes as they had paid other lobbyists. And
he had made substantial campaign contributions to both major parties.
Unfortunately, that's just plain false. Abramoff made substantial
campaign contributions to members of just one party - the Republican
party. He never made a single campaign contribution to any Democrat.
But rather than acknowledging and retracting the error (and hey,
an apology would have been nice), Howell tried to cover her ass.
Four days later she wrote this
on the Post's blog:
I've heard from lots of angry readers about the remark in my
column Sunday that lobbyist Jack Abramoff gave money to both parties.
A better way to have said it would be that Abramoff "directed"
contributions to both parties.
I'm sorry, that's not a "better way to have said it."
That's saying something completely different. Not only that,
but there isn't even any evidence that Abramoff "directed"
money to Democrats - if anything, the opposite happened. For
example, Indian tribes who traditionally donated to Democrats
dramatically reduced their donations after getting involved with
Abramoff, and instead donated more to the Republican party. Can
Ms. Howell explain exactly how Democrats are tainted by tribes which
gave them less money after getting involved with Abramoff?
But that's not the end of the story. Post readers, incensed
at the alleged ombudsman's utter disregard for the facts, posted
hundreds of angry comments in response to Howell's "clarification."
The Post subsequently deleted the comments from the blog
after claiming that too many of them contained "hate speech."
Certainly the Post was doing nothing wrong by deleting rude
or offensive messages, but was it necessary to also delete the inoffensive
comments? Judge for yourselves - we were able to save the comments
for your viewing
The next day, Post reporter Jim Vandehei jumped on the bandwagon,
Deborah Howell, our ombudsman, wrote that Democrats got Abramoff
money, too. It was a somewhat inartful way of making the point
that Abramoff's clients, at his direction, gave money to members
of both parties, but more to Republicans than Democrats.
Let's review Howell's comments one more time:
...he had made substantial campaign contributions to both major
That's not "somewhat inartful" - it's flat out wrong.
But I guess now it's the job of Post reporters to put words
in their ombudsman's mouth.
Next, the executive editor of washingtonpost.com, Jim Brady, addressed
further complaints about the comments being deleted. Well, actually
he repeated the excuse that too many posts were offensive - but
he still didn't explain why hundreds of legitimate comments were
deleted as well.
Clearly realizing that they'd been caught with their pants down,
the Post subsequently reposted many of the comments which
had been deleted from the blog. And Deborah Howell acknowledged
her error in Sunday's column, writing, "I wrote that he
gave campaign money to both parties and their members of Congress.
He didn't. ... It's not a bipartisan scandal; it's a Republican
scandal, and that's why the Republicans are scurrying around trying
to enact lobbying reforms."
She also noted that "it is profoundly distressing if political
discourse has sunk to a level where abusive name-calling and the
crudest of sexual language are the norm, where facts have no place
in an argument." Gee, you only just noticed? You didn't get
a clue when Bush surrogates suggested that John McCain had an illegitimate
black baby, or that Max Cleland, John Kerry and John Murtha are
anti-American cowards? And if the vice president of the United States
can tell a senator to "go fuck yourself" on the Senate
floor, perhaps you shouldn't expect higher standards from the American
When it takes this much effort to get the Washington Post's
ombudsman to even acknowledge an obvious error, let alone correct
it, one has to wonder how conservatives are still getting away with
this "liberal media" rubbish.
(Oh, and by the way, Post - Sydney isn't
the capital of Australia.)
Is there any doubt that Scott McClellan is the worst White
House press secretary of all time? His daily briefings have been
a joke for some time now, although since Scott hit his stride during
the whole Valerie Plame "ongoing investigation" fiasco,
things have quieted down a bit. That changed last week when Scott
off questions about Jack Abramoff (and guess what - the "ongoing
investigation" excuse is back!)
On January 5, Scott committed to providing details of Jack Abramoff's
visits to the White House, telling reporters that "I'm making
sure that I have a thorough report back to you on that, and I'll
get that to you, hopefully very soon." But last week he changed
Q: ...do you have an update for us on any records of phone
calls or emails between staff members and Mr. Abramoff, or photos
of the President with him?
SNOTTY: No, as I indicated yesterday, we're not going
to engage in some sort of fishing expedition. I know there are
some that want to play partisan politics, and do so. This is a
gentleman who is being held to account for the wrongdoing he was
involved in. He is someone who, through himself and his clients,
contributed to both Democrats and Republicans. And it was outrageous
what he was involved in doing and he needs to be held to account,
and he is being held to account by the Department of Justice.
Q: Scott, you said a few minutes ago you weren't going
to do a fishing expedition on any contacts Abramoff might have
had with White House people. But some of his lobbying firm billing
records and emails and other things that are emerging in this
case suggest some specific meetings with White House officials,
including an aid to the Vice President. Have you had any opportunity,
or will you take the opportunity to sort of compare those records
with anything --
SNOTTY: No, I mean, the gentleman you bring up, Mr. Abramoff,
is someone that is being held to account by the Department of
Justice. The Department of Justice has an ongoing investigation
and they're the ones who are overseeing that investigation.
It's no surprise that Scott doesn't want to go on a fishing expedition,
since the Washingtonian magazine reported
last week that Our Great Leader might be up to his neck in the Abramoff
At a press conference, McClellan said if there were pictures,
which officials hadn't found, they might have been taken at a
Christmas-party line, where the President poses with hundreds
of people. "The President does not know him, nor does the
President recall ever meeting him," McClellan said.
The comment about searching raised images in the press room of
a "White House plumbers" operation looking for incriminating
If the White House can't find the photos, prosecutors already
know where to look. The Washingtonian has seen five photos of
the President with Abramoff or his family. One photo shows the
President and Abramoff shaking hands at a meeting in the Old Executive
Office Building, where a bearded-Abramoff introduced Bush to several
of the lobbyistís native-American clients.
Sources say the photographs are being kept safe. Abramoff would
tell prosecutors, if asked, that not only did he know the President,
but the President knew the names of Abramoffís children and asked
about them during their meetings. At one such photo session, Bush
discussed the fact that both he and Abramoff were fathers of twins.
Anyway, this all probably goes a long way to explaining why Scott
almost forgot that the President wasn't
inaugurated on September 11, 2001 (video courtesy of CanOFun.com).
CNN have been pushing ever-rightwards for many years now -
perhaps the final straw came back in 2001 when "CNN chairman
Walter Isaacson met with top Republican lawmakers in Washington,
D.C. to discuss how to improve relations between the cable news
network and conservative Republicans," according
Here's the deal - cable news networks aren't really in the business
of covering news, they're in the business of making money. And since
most intelligent people have turned their backs on CNN's constant
drumbeat of missing white girls, shark attacks, and celebrity gossip,
they appear to have given up broadcasting programs for smart people
That means they're going after the idiots - and unfortunately the
idiots are all watching Fox News already. But CNN apparently has
a cunning plan to steal those viewers away. The plan? They're going
to make CNN even more of a right-wing cesspool than Fox.
That's why CNN revealed last week that they will be hiring not
one, not two, but three right-wing blowhards of varying loathsomeness.
The first two hires, former Congressman J.C. Watts and former Sunset
Strip roustabout William Bennett are really only notable for the
fact that CNN didn't hire any progressives to counter their right-wing
But the third hire is a little different. In an effort to out-Fox
Fox, CNN Headline News has picked
up right-wing talk radio host Glenn Beck. Let's take a look
at some of Beck's greatest hits:
BECK: Honestly, who's a bigger prostitute? Heidi Fleiss
or Terrell Owens? Who's the person out there - who's the bigger
prostitute: Heidi Fleiss or Howard Dean? No, not even Howard Dean.
John Kerry. Who's the bigger prostitute? Who'll do anything for
power or money? I mean, at least Heidi Fleiss - this is saying
something - at least Heidi Fleiss will admit to being a prostitute.
You know what I mean? At least she'll say, "Hey, I'm doing it
for cash." ... Cindy Sheehan. That's a pretty big prostitute there,
you know what I mean? (link)
BECK: You know it took me about a year to start hating
the 9-11 victims' families? Took me about a year. ... And that's
all we're hearing about, are the people in New Orleans. Those
are the only ones we're seeing on television are the scumbags
- and again, it's not all the people in New Orleans. Most of the
people in New Orleans got out! It's just a small percentage of
those who were left in New Orleans, or who decided to stay in
New Orleans, and they're getting all the attention. (link)
BECK: I'm beginning to question, you know, "Can you let
your son's body become the same temperature as your son's head
before you turn this into a political campaign against the president
- could you do that?" ... I find this guy [Michael Berg] despicable.
Everything in me says that. The want to be a better person today
than I was yesterday says he's a dad, he's grieving, but I don't
buy that. I'm sorry, I don't buy it. I think he is grieving, but
I think he's a scumbag as well. I don't like this guy at all.
BECK: 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. (Link)
Great job, CNN. I can't imagine that this will backfire on you
Matthews and Friends
Speaking of killing Michael Moore, perhaps Glenn Beck ought
to give Chris Matthews a call. MSNBC's very own dumb blonde had
a great time last week echoing Newsmax's comparison of the latest
Osama bin Laden audio tape to Democratic talking points. During
a conversation with Sen. Joe Biden, Matthews said
of bin Laden, "I mean he sounds like an over the top Michael
Moore here, if not a Michael Moore." (By the way Senator, thanks
for GIGGLING. Jeez...)
Joe Scarborough also had a go, saying,
"When you look at what Osama Bin Laden said it sounds an awful
lot like what we hear the President's political enemies domestically
- not only like what a lot of democratic senators have been saying,
but also what one or two movie makers have been saying over the
past several years."
The following night MSNBC unveiled their special Hardball "Hot
Shots" panel which featured two politically unbalanced pundits,
Joe Scarborough (Scarborough Country) and Tucker Carlson (The Situation),
and two mentally unbalanced pundits, Chris Matthews (Hardball) and
Rita Cosby (Rita Cosby's Bordello Of News). The topic? Liberals
love Osama bin Laden.
Of course, they weren't the only ones. But John Kerry pretty much
hit the nail on the head with a response to Matthews and Co. which
You'd think the only focus tonight would be on destroying Osama
Bin Laden, not comparing him to an American who opposes the war
whether you like him or not. You want a real debate that America
needs? Here goes: If the administration had done the job right
in Tora Bora we might not be having discussions on Hardball about
a new Bin Laden tape. How dare Scott McClellan tell America that
this Administration puts terrorists out of business when had they
put Osama Bin Laden out of business in Afghanistan when our troops
wanted to, we wouldn't have to hear this barbarian's voice on
tape. That's what we should be talking about in America.
Yes, that's what we should be talking about in America.
But with chumps like Chris Matthews monopolizing the airwaves, the
chances that that's what we will be talking about in America
are slimmer than a very slim Slim Jim.
Are you a sucker? If so, then has Fox News got a competition
for you! Last week the "Bloviate with Bill" contest was
unveiled (slight hiccup - they had to change the name from "The
Great Factor Debate Contest" after being threatened
with a lawsuit). The contest promises six lucky winners the
chance to fly to New York or Los Angeles and take on Bill O'Reilly
in a televised debate. According
to Fox News, "All you have to do is convince us by e-mail
(and later by telephone) that you are a good debater and that you
can hold your own with O'Reilly on a topic of your choosing."
A topic of my choosing? Why, how generous. Let's make it... sexual
harassment in the workplace. Not up your alley? Well then, how about
Peabody Award winners, 1941-2005. Not that either? Okay... er, unorthodox
uses of falafel. Yes? No?
I guess I'm not going to be bloviating with Bill any time soon.
But if anyone thinks that they really have a fair shot at
the Falafel Master, they've gotta be kidding themselves. Here's
what O'Reilly said
on his show last week:
You want a piece of me? Would you like to sit on this set right
here and let me have it? Of course you would. Well, now that can
happen ... [but] be careful what you wish for.
Be careful what you wish for indeed. From the contest rules:
Sponsor reserves full editorial rights to edit the segment and
determine whether or not to air it.
So in the highly unlikely event that O'Reilly's producers actually
pick someone who's any good at debating, bear in mind that they
can (and most likely will) edit the content any way they want. Hey,
if you do a really good job, they might not air it at all.
Which - considering Bill O'Reilly's favorite debate tactic involves
yelling "Shut up! Shut up!" and "Cut his mike!"
- is a distinct possibility.
Now here's a name I thought we'd seen the last of! For those
of you who've forgotten (and I can't blame you if you have) Phil
Parlock was featured in Idiots 171
for his apparent uncanny ability to have children burst into tears
in front of reporters at Democratic campaign rallies.
It seems the poor guy can't go anywhere without being attacked
by liberals. But if you thought that Mr. Parlock's bad luck was
restricted to presidential election years, think again. Apparently
he's a magnet for angry leftists all year round.
Here's an email we got from Phil just last week. Some time ago
he made a small donation to DU, and, recognizing his name, we deliberately
didn't send him a bumper sticker. Big mistake. Now it appears that
we are reaping the whirlwind:
Phil Parlock [mailto:redacted]
Sent: Wednesday, January 18, 2006 2:27 PM
To: [email protected]
Subject: YOU OWE ME a Bumper Sticker
I donated $6.66 to your organization (for luck). I NEVER got my
bumper sticker as was promised. I guess your word is just as good
as your patheticly lame, LOSER site.
BTW, my car
has been vandalized twice in the last month with anti-Bush grafitti.
I figure that perhaps if I had your bumper sticker on my auto,
it might confuse the simpleton cowards that slither and sneak
in the shadows at night spray painting my car. These vandals are
spinless and cowardly wimps, like most of your simple-minded readers,
commentors, moderators, administrators, editors, and other so-called
If you thought
that you only lost the last election, just wait till Billery Lewinski
Streisand Clinton runs (I figure that they are all virally related,
therefore can be treated as one person.
Best of the
Perhaps we should send him a bumper sticker after all. He could
use it to hold the two halves of his brain together.
Bush's new Medicare drug prescription plan is causing growing
unease among seniors - according to Reuters, "tens of thousands
of people were unable to get medicines promised by Medicare,"
since the new program began, and not only that, but, "several
states declared public health emergencies, and many states announced
that they would step in to pay for prescriptions that should have
So how is the Bush administration going to fix its dreadful Medicare
plan? Why, it's nothing a good strong dose of propaganda can't fix!
It turns out that the administration is spending taxpayer cash
to send its health advisers on a nationwide tour to prop up flagging
support for the plan. After all the good work George W. Bush did
promoting his plans to reform Social Security last year, I'm sure
this latest tour will be a smashing success.
Oh, and by the way - those states which paid for prescriptions
that should have been covered by Medicare? The federal government
going to reimburse them. Apparently they've got plenty of money
to spend on pumping up the new Medicare plan, but no money to actually
fund it. Sounds about par for the course.
Bigots on the religious right just about crapped themselves
last week when Brokeback Mountain won best drama at the Golden
Globes. Apparently the concept of a gay cowboy is one that the fundies
simply can't get their heads around. After all, there's nothing
gay about wearing leather chaps, spending months at a time riding
the range with nobody but your fellow men to keep you company, and
serenading one another around the camp fire. Take Hollywood's most
famous cowboy, the late great John Wayne, for example:
See what I mean? Straight as an arrow.
But of course, the fundies' hatred does not just stem from the
fact that some of the most critically acclaimed movies of the year
happen to feature gay characters. No, no - there are darker forces
at work here. It turns out that Brokeback Mountain is apparently
the latest plot by those attempting to deliver America into the
clutches of - gasp - the Gay Agenda.
Stephen Bennett of Straight Talk Radio last week, "When Hollywood
is pumping out anti-family movies with sexually explicit, twisted
and perverse themes that glorify homosexuality, transsexuality and
every other kind of sexual immorality - then awarding itself for
doing so - Middle America better take note. Last night Hollywood
exposed its own corrupt agenda. [It] is no doubt out on a mission
to homosexualize America."
And that's not the worst of it - according
to Renew America, "It is cognitively and nationally dissonant
to propose on one hand the advancement of the homosexualization
of your most identified national folk icon and simultaneously bluster
with the impending force of a war to defend that same civilization.
The homosexualization of your most revered masculinity is the cheapest
and stupidest shot you can take at the survival of your own culture
and it is really inappropriately timed when you are facing, from
threats abroad, the most substantial existential peril the nation
has ever known. You can't fight Islamism with gay cowboys."
Oh my god! Before you know it, we'll all be wearing leather
chaps. And then the terrorists will have won.
And finally, I've reserved the last slot this week for a special
call to action. This week, Senate Democrats will decide whether
or not they have the votes to filibuster Samuel Alito's nomination
to the Supreme Court. Here's what Dick Durbin had to say about it
A week ago, I would have told you it's not likely to happen.
As of [Wednesday], I just can't rule it out. I was surprised by
the intensity of feeling of some of my colleagues. It's a matter
of counting. We have 45 Democrats, counting [Vermont independent]
Jim Jeffords, on our side. We could sustain a filibuster if 41
senators ... are willing to stand and fight..
We're asking senators where they stand. When it reaches a critical
moment when five senators have said they oppose a filibuster,
it's off the table. It's not going to happen. But if it doesn't
reach that moment, then we'll sit down and have that conversation.
So this is it, folks - one last chance to call your Senators and
tell them to oppose the dangerous nomination of Samuel Alito. The
grassroots have been keeping up serious pressure for weeks, and
now it's crunch time.
Here's everything you need - get on the phone, call and fax your
senators, and spread the word.
Activist Corps thread
numbers for Senate Democrats
numbers for Senate Republicans
See you next week!
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