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Steve Gilliard, 1964-2007

It is with tremendous sadness that we must convey the news that Steve Gilliard, editor and publisher of The News Blog, passed away June 2, 2007. He was 42.

To those who have come to trust The News Blog and its insightful, brash and unapologetic editorial tone, we have Steve to thank from the bottom of our hearts. Steve helped lead many discussions that mattered to all of us, and he tackled subjects and interest categories where others feared to tread.

Please keep Steve's friends and family in your thoughts and prayers.

Steve meant so much to us.

We will miss him terribly.

photo by lindsay beyerstein


Driftglass: "Jokeline - Proving Fake Journalism Has No Peer"

JokeLine continues to prove

that when it comes godawful fake journalism he has no peer

Thanks to driftglass for this great joe klein takedown - THANKS DRIFTY!

(h/t to Atrios)

As we all know, the Wingnut Waltz is a two-step:

Step One is to simply declare that all liberals are hate-crazed, America-loathing traitors who sooner-or-later will have to be eliminated. This is their Final Solution to the Dirty Hippy problem, and on the Right there is now a virtual arms race to the bottom to see who can come the closest to calling for mass murder without actually saying it.

Or, sometimes, just shouting it right out loud.

Here, Jeffrey Feldman calls them by their True Name: The "Violent Right":

In his newest book, The Enemy at Home, Republican ideologue Dinesh D'Souza calmly explains that liberals in America caused 9/11, whereupon he recommends that we do to liberals what we are doing to terrorists: fight a war against them.

While he never comes right out and says that Americans should kill liberals, D'Souza's book shuttles his reader swiftly to that conclusion. By defining liberals as a "hidden" second front of terrorism, D'Souza's book invokes a very simple, widely held idea in America: that "War on Terror" means first and foremost, "kill terrorists." Thus, The Enemy at Home gives intellectual legitimacy to a widely accepted, rapidly growing Republican tendency to frame national security in terms of killing Democrats.

The Right says these things, means them, are applauded for them, and then shrugs it off with a Tucker Carlson giggle as "just kidding" when caught and called on it.

And let‚s be clear; the planning committee of the Hippycaust is a "Who's Who?" of Right Wing machers, who - no matter how rabidly insane their ravings - keep getting treated like serious people with serious opinions by the Main Stream Media.

Keep getting invited back in front of the camera over and over and over and over again, regardless of how openly deranged they are.

A rising tide of eliminationist-laced, rage-rhetoric from the Right shot through with the ideas that any compromise with the Left is Pure Evil (because the Left is Pure Evil), and that because this Force of Pure Evil that has worked since the dark days of FDR to destroy American, any means of annihilating them are ultimately justifiable.

This has been going on now for decades, and the intentions and directions of the Violent Right are as clear as Mein Kampf.

That‚s Step One.

Step Two is equally simple.

As long as the Radical Right is pounding away on the Left no-holds-barred and the Left continues to try to play nice and practice compromise (and be mocked and scorned for the effort) the MSM stays completely silent.

They might occasionally crawl waaaay out on a limb and call Fred Phelps "controversial," but the rarified atmosphere of Telling The Fucking Truth is simply too much for them to stand for very long and they quickly scamper back into safety of the Land of the Cocktail Wienie and Nary a Discouraging Word.

Only when the Radical Right is finally called out for their vile tactics and despicable ideology - in blunt, often-salty language - do the likes of JokeLine suddenly become intensely interested in breaking up the fight.

Only when counterfire starts coming from the Left to finally challenge twenty years of saturation hatebombing from the Right do clowns like JokeLine decide to waddle their fat asses into the fray and wag a reproving finger - the Evil Left.

A left-wing extremist exhibits many, but not necessarily all, of the following attributes:

--believes the United States is a fundamentally negative force in the world.

--believes that American imperialism is the primary cause of Islamic radicalism.

--believes that the decision to go to war in Iraq was not an individual case of
monumental stupidity, but a consequence of America‚s fundamental imperialistic nature.

--tends to blame America for the failures of others - i.e. the failure of our NATO allies to fulfill their responsibilities in Afghanistan.

--doesn‚t believe that capitalism, carefully regulated and progressively taxed, is the best liberal idea in human history.

--believes American society is fundamentally unfair (as opposed to having unfair aspects that need improvement).

--believes that eternal problems like crime and poverty are the primarily the fault of society.

--believes that America isn‚t really a democracy.

He calls us fucking pottymouths too, which stung so deeply I had to put down my bong, leave my communist cell meeting just as we were dreaming up some outstanding new schemes to cause more abortions, help terrorists and further ruin America, go find a fat man with a monocle and a top hat carrying a bag of money marked with a Giant Dollar $ign and run him over with my Prius.

Only then did I feel whole and smug and elite and Lefty again

Go and read the whole thing if you want, but why is any serious news organization still paying this talentless, strawman-peddling, neocon to whore his delusions in print is beyond me.

Well not entirely beyond me.

I mean, JokeLine is basically writing for the 21st Century Archie Bunkers. Yahoos, hunkered down in their mental bungalows, living in terror of Those People. We‚re never quite sure who Those People are in specific detail (like names, locations, citations, etcetera) but like the survivors of a nuclear war, JokeLine's readers are holed-up in their psychic fallout shelters, listening to staticky radio transmissions from Bill O'Reilly and Rush Limbaugh warning them Not To Come Outside!

That the blighted land is acrawl with Dirty Zombie Hippies who:
A) Caused the nuclear war in the first place by being stupid, dope-smoking, bin Laden-appeasing peaceniks.

B) Did not have the foresight to build and stock a spider-hole, because they,

C) Didn‚t listen to JokeLine and the rest of the Wise Men, and,

D) Will let the terrorists into your cellar fortress to rape your children and kill your dog if you so much as crack the door open to sniff the air outside.

Of course there was no nuclear war and air is fine out here.

The sun is shining.

There are happy people walking around doing all kinds of normal things, but who are finally fed up with loud, ranting cranks locked in their basements taking potshots at them from the window because Rush or Sean or Ann told them the people out there were really all Dirty Zombie Elitist Hippies.

And to sell his tripe to these rubes, JokeLine has to continue pretend to be objective.

To continue to pretend to live in the mythical town of Centerville.

And to live in Centerville, JokeLine and the rest of his ilk must continue to posit the boldfaced lie that the Left and the Right are equally and equipoisedly bad.

That the 3% of crackpots and leftover communists on the Left are somehow equal to the armies of Coulters, Hannities, Dobsons, Falwells, O'Reillys, DeLays, Limbaughs, etc ad infinitum on the Right.

That anger over the unconstrained spewings of powerful religious bigots on the Right in the name of their perversion of genuine Christianity is equal to being anti-religious.

That anger over being called a traitor for 30 years by the Right while the media JokeLine shills for just sat back and let the bile roll over America unimpeded like Katrina consuming New Orleans is somehow inappropriate.

That using the f-word is just as bad as lying us into a war and then f-ing it up beyond redemption.

Which, in the end -- like JokeLine himself -- is just fucking ridiculous.

- posted by driftglass

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