It's not easy being green . . . it is, however, slightly easier being a total douche.
I was kind of hoping I'd be able to make my Wednesday post on the Don Imus affair the last thing I'd have to say on this subject, but so-called libertarian radio host Neal Boortz wrote a screed on the topic so ridiculous and ill-thought-out that I couldn't let it go.
I enjoy ripping Boortz because Josh likes him, and I like fucking with Josh every bit as much as he likes fucking with me. But I also enjoy ripping Boortz because I believe him to be about as phony a "libertarian" as there is, for reasons I've probably delved deeply into on this site or at my old blog. And Boortz's piece on Imus was so head-slappingly dumb, I think, that it deserves a dismantling every bit as comprehensive as I always used to give Ann Coulter on that blog. So in the spirit of Ann Coulter is a Lousy Writer and She Isn't Even That Hot, here's what may be just the first of many installments of Neal Boortz, So-Called Libertarian, Doesn't Know What the Hell He's Talking About. Or NBSCLDKWHHTA, if you'd rather.
Well, another Boortz prediction down the tubes. Yesterday I said that CBS would fire Don Imus after his show today. Well, they didn't wait. Couldn't stand up to the pressure. The [sic] fired him yesterday afternoon.
When the history of this whole affair is written we'll see that the biggest mistake Imus made, other than uttering his ridiculous comment in the first place, was to add to Al Sharpton's aura of legitimacy by groveling before him on his radio show. Sharpton is a race hustler. That's it. One issue ... race .. and exploiting the sense of black victimization for his personal aggrandizement.
Well, I'm curious as to Boortz's stance on just exactly how victimized African-Americans in this country are permitted to feel. But because I'm a nice guy, I'll even give him a pass and stipulate to every criticism Boortz makes of Sharpton.
I absolutely believe that Al Sharpton is a man with blood on his hands. His role in instigating racial violence in the Freddie's Fashion Mart incident and the Crown Heights riots has been largely ignored by the media. So here we have the spectacle of the management of CBS falling to their knees to lick the boots of a man who's [sic] words very well may have helped to send innocent men to their graves. You're really looking good, CBS.
OK, now's where I have to stop Boortz in his faux-libertarian tracks. Has anyone gotten a hold of the letters of dismissal issued to Imus by MSNBC or CBS? I haven't seen them myself, but I'll make you a bet: Al Sharpton's signature does not appear anywhere on them. In the end, I would also be willing to bet that the size of the shit either one of those networks give about Al Sharpton's opinion is relatively tiny. Here's whom they do care about: advertisers. Advertisers like American Express, Staples, and Procter & Gamble, just to name a few. These companies yanked their advertising because they didn't want the public to perceive any association between them and what Imus said.
If you don't think these advertisers, not Sharpton, were the ones really driving Imus's firing, consider that MSNBC's initial punishment for Imus was merely a two-week suspension. It was only after the advertisers started dropping out that they pulled his show. CBS's internal deliberations aren't quite as clear, but they didn't fire Imus until the advertisers started bolting, either.
So I'm curious: What exactly is Neal's prescribed remedy for this? Force MSNBC and CBS to put Imus back on the air? Force all those corporations to reinstate their sponsorship? My goodness, Neal, that doesn't sound very libertarian to me. Blame Reverend Al all you want, but in the end this was a market decision: The market, for whatever reason, decided they didn't have any use for Imus anymore, and now he's gone. Even Fred Barnes and Mort Kondracke, those noted left-wing pinkos on Fox News, have managed to grasp this.
That makes a nice little segue into this next bit of nonsense:
This is only the beginning. Sure, Imus is a liberal.
Mmm-hmm, and what's Boortz's proof of this?
You can measure the depth of his vapidity through his endorsement of John Kerry for president.
Yes, Imus did endorse Kerry in 2004. So did noted far-left commie sympathizers such as Andrew Sullivan, Lee Iacocca, former New Hampshire Sen. Bob Smith, Dwight D. Eisenhower's son John, and former chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. John Shalikashvili. It should not escape your attention that Imus also endorsed far-left Texas Gov. George W. Bush for president in 2000, and has vocally backed the equally liberal John McCain for 2008.
Some of you have asked how in the world I can say that this is the beginning of an all-out push to damage or destroy conservative talk radio when it was a liberal who bit the dust. Simple. Imus was sacrificed. A "proof of concept" exercise, if you will. Now the left knows that race hustler Al Sharpton can move large corporate mountains with his racially charged dialogue ... so it's time to use him to go after the real nemesis -- talk radio.
. . . Aaaand that's the part where Boortz snatches up Occam's Razor, dashes it to the ground, and breaks it into a million tiny pieces. Seriously, can any of y'all explain this theory to me? Boortz portrays Imus, who isn't actually a liberal, as a liberal because then it will fit better into his theory about liberal interest groups targeting . . . conservatives?
Sharpton is feeling very impressed with himself, I'm sure. Yesterday he told an anxiously awaiting media that; "It is our feeling that this is only the beginning. We must have a broad discussion on what is permitted and not permitted in terms of the airwaves."
Yup .. you heard him. "What is permitted in terms of the airwaves." Big Al is just the man to decide. Somewhere soon Sharpton will sit down with some cronies to review the talk radio landscape to figure out who needs to be the next to go. In the meantime he'll give some lip service to the cause of cleaning up rap lyrics, but know this ... talk radio is the target. Conservative talk radio. Liberals can't succeed at the medium ... so it must be destroyed.
Whoo! Close your eyes and feel the melodrama!
The thing is, I actually agree with Boortz that Sharpton's statement was a dumb one, and that nobody should be appointing themselves high arbiter of "what is permitted" and what isn't in terms of free speech. But Boortz is so busy wetting his drawers over fanciful conspiracy theories that he has once again forgotten (or conveniently ignored) one thing: Sharpton, by his race-baiting lonesome, doesn't have the power to fire anybody. All he has the power to do is pressure advertisers -- the money men -- and then hope that they cave. Which is not even remotely different from what guys like, say, Bill Donohue do every time one of those secular Hollywood Jews comes up with something he doesn't like. (Yet, strangely, you hardly ever hear Boortz talking about what a pernicious danger Donohue is to our precious freedoms. Wonder why that is?)
The far left has its own ways of trying to squeeze out people they don't agree with; the far right has plenty of theirs. And maybe that sucks, but as long as the government isn't getting involved, it ain't censorship. As I've said before, it's actually quite a bit closer to that capitalism thing I thought Boortz was such a big fan of.
Silver lining? I think there well might be. Perhaps hundreds of thousands of people -- maybe much more -- are going to be tuning in to their local talk stations to see if the situation is really as hideous as Sharpton and his sycophants allege. Leftist websites are going to drive even more people our way. What will these people hear? They'll hear logical and fact-based arguments against the anti-individual, anti-liberty cult of liberalism. They'll hear ideas and concepts presented that they haven't previously been exposed. They'll hear information about Democrat schemes and dreams in Washington that will make their blood curdle.
OK, I kind of started to doze off here, sorry.
Here's just one example: Read the mainstream newspapers and listen to liberal talking heads on television and you'll soon generate a burning hatred of those evil people who constitute the mysterious "richest Americans." Listen to talk radio and you'll soon learn that a huge percentage of these people vilified for their income levels are actually the small businessmen and women of America .. and that they are considered to be rich because all of their business as well as personal income is reported on their personal income tax returns. You'll learn that these people -- the people targeted for huge tax increases by the left -- actually provide between 70% and 80% of all jobs in America ... perhaps your job. And then you're going to start wondering what a tax increase might do to them ... and to the people who work for them.
When one of those mean nasty liberals actually proposes an income-tax increase, one of y'all be sure to let me know. (I'm really touched, by the way, for Boortz's concern for "the people who work for them.")
This, of course, is not healthy for liberals. There [sic] recourse is to shut down these channels of dangerous information. Sharpton is showing them the way.
Just a few more thoughts .... I want to make sure to give Sharpton and his goons as much to go over as possible.
You would have thought that "Rev." Sharpton and Imus would have gotten along famously! After all, they have the same hairdresser. (Ohhhhh. That's not a racist statement, is it? I mean ... after all ... one of them is black and one of them is white.)
I see that Obama had to chime in and call for Imus to be fired. A little late to the party, weren't you Barack? I guess he just couldn't sit back and watch that fool Sharpton suck all of the oxygen out Barackobamamania.
Why is Boortz suddenly dragging Obama into this? As much effort as conservatives have undertaken to make it look like Obama and Sharpton hate each other, didn't you think Neal would be sitting back there shouting "Go, Barack, go"?
Rutgers Coach Vivian Stringer says it's time to "go forward and let the healing process begin." Healing process? What healing process? I'm not buying any of this nonsense that the Rutgers woman's basketball team was egregiously hurt by Imus' comments.
I hope none of you have missed the industrial-strength irony here: Neal Boortz, self-proclaimed champion of the individual, the guy who doesn't want anyone in the government telling you what to do, is now presuming to tell the Rutgers basketball players how they should feel about being called "nappy-headed hos."
Tennessee wins the championship and Rutgers gets all the publicity. It wasn't the Tennessee girl [sic] that were allowed to sit before the national TV cameras a few days ago. And how many of you can name the Tennessee coach?
"That were allowed to sit." Christ. Yes, Neal, I'm sure that the Tennessee players are all sitting around thinking, "Man, those lucky Rutgers players got to be insulted and degraded on national radio, and all we got was this stupid-ass national-championship trophy." (By the way, Tennessee's coach's name is Pat Summitt. And I didn't even have to Google that!)
Let's face it .. the only people really, genuinely hurt in this episode are those connected with the Imus show who are now going to lose their jobs. Maybe those were the people Stringer was talking about with here [sic] silly "let the healing begin" comment. (Uh oh. Stringer is black ... I think ... and I just called her comment "silly." Do you think I should resign?)
Well, you managed to stop short of calling her a "ho," Neal, so I guess not. But may I officially call for a voluntary moratorium on this practice of people calling attention to how controversial or scandalous they are in their own writing? This is almost as bad as laughing at your own jokes in print. Here's a rule of thumb, Neal and whoever else might be listening: If you have to set aside a snarky parenthetical to drive home how funny/scandalous something you just said was, it probably wasn't that funny/scandalous.
So anyway to recap, Boortz's three main points are: 1) Corporations should be left to do whatever they want, unless it's withdrawing advertising from prominent broadcasters who are proven to be complete assholes, in which case they should be FORCED to continue publicly supporting complete assholes nobody likes; 2) Taking down a "liberal" was the first part of Al Sharpton's fiendish plan to take down . . . uh, conservatives (and steal your precious bodily fluids, or something); and 3) The Rutgers basketball team should just shut up and stop being offended, because I said so. Neal Boortz, ladies and gentlemen. Book him for your child's birthday party today!
Seriously, if this guy's a libertarian, I'm a fucking Rutgers women's basketball player. But Boortz did accomplish something very clever with this little rant, as rambling and flimsy as it was: Did you notice how he took a situation where a group of unassuming college girls were debased on national radio and managed to turn right-wing talk-radio hosts into the victims? Kinda hypocritical from someone who slags off the "victimization" complex of blacks and nearly every other minority group, but then again, hypocrisy is hardly virgin territory for our man Boortz. Again, I think a much bigger deal is being made out of this Imus thing than it probably merits, but it's funny how Boortz starts in on a rant that outwardly shares that view -- but then proceeds to make an even bigger deal of it just so that he can push his Can't sleep, liberals will eat me conspiracy theories.
So much irony I can hardly stand it! But hey, it's the weekend.
(Hat tip: Andrew Sullivan.)