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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.

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DrBopperTHP: "Driftglass - Excerpted"

The original attitude

Thanks to DrBopperTHP for finding this important Driftglass post excerpt!

Finally, on Meet the Press, an extended meditation on what happens when the Bad Thing gets caught in the light reflecting off of Dom Imus’ colossal ego.

Allow me to explain.

Tolstoy said: “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”

Which is about half right.

Every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way, but the razory maw of the beast that bores its way though the bones of every malignantly dysfunctional family has the same name.

The Bad Thing.

The Bad Thing is the light-stealing singularity around which the malignantly dysfunctional family orbits. It is incest or serial abuse. It is violent alcoholism. Thing for your livelihood, you will do and say anything -- anything -- to keep from having to face the true villainy of what it is you have come to serve, and what it is you have allowed yourself to become to serve it.

So it was this Sunday on Meet the Press when Gwen Ifill – for whom I have not had a lot of love in the past – and Eugene Robinson (who I like a lot) delivered a truth-laden and withering lesson on the provenance and prevalence of hatespeech in the media. The casual viciousness of it, and the conspicuous fact that so many of the Media Elite have been so utterly complicit in letting things get so bad.

And Ms. Ifill did not deliver her measured and (for network teevee) harsh jeremiad in a vacuum. She delivered it sitting across from the whitest, pastiest, third-rate, soft-toned, media-bestriding apologist for Conservativism in America today: David Fucking Brooks.

Bobo: We have to remember that a lot of this is comedy? And other people like Howard Stern and Bill Mahr have to look out…

Ifill: Doesn’t comedy have to be funny?

John Harwood: What about Borat? Some people say he’s s stitch. But some people say…

Ifill: Oh fuck you. We know where the line is. We know where the offense is. But the best way to dilute this argument/discussion is to keep saying “What about this” and “What about that?”

Bobo: Borat is cruel too. He is cruel to people who are bad on teevee.

Bobo serves the Bad Thing and so Bobo is horribly uncomfortable with the dark corners into which the Imus tempest might blow his little pastel wingnut outrigger. He tried constantly and desperately to steer the conversation away from those scary rocks out into friendlier waters.

Out to a discussion of “the larger picture.”

“The public culture”.

To keep widening the lens until everything is as gray and flat and featureless as his prose.

Yes, kids, you are hearing right: the champions of lock-and-load, lock-em-up-forever, no-mealymouth-excuses-about-how-hard-your-life-has-been Personal Responsibility Conservativism (so long as we’re just talking about muggers and pickpocket and car thieves) and are now desperately and loudly trumpeting their new truth:

That…wait for it…waaaait for it…Society Is To Blame.

That the coarsening of the culture is to blame.

We have now lived long enough to see the Rich, Powerful White People’s Brigade sprint for shelter in the loving arms of “We Were Victims of Circumstances!”

And who is to blame for the plight of po’, po’, wealthy, Caucasian Elites who get caught using their positions of privilege and power to slam and slander the weak and powerless.

Why, those awful Negroes of course. And their Devil Jungle Music! And probably Bill Clinton too, although we’re not yet sure exactly how to string him up for this one just yet.

Ifill: Judge the man by his actions.

Ifill: There has been radio silence about this. Newsweek, who sends all of their reporters on that show, were completely silent over this. Until his show was cancelled. Then and only then did they announce that their people would no longer be treading the Imus boards.

Ifill: The reason it took so long for the media elite to speak up is that they were so deeply complicit.

Robinson: That’s what hurt so much. That these were the best and brightest. These were not the baggy pants kids.

It was, on the whole, a good discussion, but three huge points were mostly overlooked.

First, however lacerating language may be, there is a completely different tenor when using language to take on the powerful, the hateful, the bigoted and the enemies of civil society...and using that language to either premeditatedly or gratuitously beat on the weak, the powerless, the noble, the honorable, the poor, the sick, the lame, the halt, the sick.

It is a categorically different thing for the landed and the privileged to thug on “the least of these”, and they fucking well know it, which is why the Right has had to pour so much time and money over the decades remarketing their whole mythology of victimhood.

That symphony of lies lifted wholesale from the dregs of the Confederacy and the White Supremacist movement to explain to the faithful why their leadership caste of rich, tubby, white bigots and their orc legions are really The Oppressed.

That entire encyclopedia of mendacity devoted to explaining why Bible-pounding, Christ-defiling demagogues with their own satellite networks, teevee stations, coast-to-coast radio empires, publishing houses, marketing firms, think tanks, congressmen, senators, embedded journalists, President, political Party, newspapers, tax-free rivers of revenue, Constitutionally-protected citadels, and a dozen doggie-doors straight into the heart of the White House...are really a horribly put-upon minority. Are really being subjugated by the Sekrit Liberal Elite Media Cabals working to destroy America by aiding terrorists and working with atheist scientists to take away our freedom by faking up a “Global Warming” crisis. The entire operations is run by man-hating feminists, abortionists and obscure assistant professors, accessorized and sexualized by queers, with muscle provided by Dirty Commie Labor Unions, soundtrack provided by Welfare Queens and funding by George Soros.

Second, the panel almost entirely avoided noticing that for twenty years the Right has made its political bones openly trafficking in the Bad Thing.

That the entire Conservative movement owes its electoral successes entirely to its efficient cultivation of the rawest, ugliest and most virulent hatespeech imaginable, and it’s harvesting of its poison fruits at election time. That far from paying the kind of steep cultural price these weak children and neocon stalking horses of the MSM suddenly seem giddily anxious to charge to everyone’s account equally regardless of rank, privilege or context (in the name of Holy “Fairness”), the Right has been lavishly rewarded for adopting the language, habits and attitudes of racists, sexists, homophobes and theocrats.

Third, the embrace of White Supremacist ideological infrastructure dressed up in Biblical language was not an accident. This was done by the Right willingly, carefully and by design. For twenty years the Right has pioneered the use of 1,000 decibel demonization, slander and lies as a matter of tactical necessity. Their leaders and elite media apologist like David Brooks know it, but for twenty years they have stayed silent regarding the simple fact that the entire Ponsi Scheme of Conservativism is built on hateful words and despicable ideas.

Which means that without Limbaugh and Coulter…

Without Hannity and Hume…

Without Will and Gingrich…

Without DeLay and Drudge…

Without Coulter and Malkin…

Without O’Reilly and Savage…

Without Dobson and Cheney…

Without Goldberg and Lott…

Without Falwell and Roberson…

Without Schafly and Tancredo…

Without all the rest of that loud, vile, Democracy-loathing freak-show...

There. Is. No. Republican. Party.


There. Is. No. Conservative. Movement.


Without their legion of demagogues, all of those cozy think tanks and glorious corporate welfare giveaways and high value-added wars and plush teevee pundit gigs would vanish in a puff of stink and a flutter of Confederate flags.

They are The Bad Thing and so, for twenty years, The Bad Thing has remained frantically unacknowledged and deafeningly unheard by the David Brookses of the world.

But now the Bad Thing has crawled onto a national stage and take a huge shit under a big spotlight, which is why the Media Bobos are freaked out.

Because the god-fearing, Party of Personal Responsibility Conservatives are terrified that the general public will finally notice that they are the ones who bear the primary responsibility for premeditatedly eradicated civil discourse in our society.

Terrified of finally being forced to submit to that paternity test.

posted by driftglass @ 9:56 PM

- posted by DrBopperTHP

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