(T)oday’s anti-health care reform rally has been much more sparsely attended (than the 9/12 protests, but) that hasn’t stopped conservatives from inflating the numbers again. On G. Gordon Liddy’s radio show (Thursday), producer Franklin Raff, who was on the ground at the rally, told guest host Joseph Farah that the crowd is “just as big or bigger than” the 9/12 rally, which Raff estimated “at about a million.”
(S)hortly after addressing the crowd, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) actually blamed Democrats for the hateful images on display. In an interview with MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell, Cantor suggested that the signs were the mere result of "frustration" over the democratically elected majority's "extreme policies." Mitchell pushed him to say whether he's "comfortable with those attacks against the President of the United States," but Cantor quickly changed the subject:
CANTOR: Listen, I don't think we should engage in personal attacks. But I think, and what I take the message from the gathering of tens of thousands of people on the steps of the Capitol today, and the elections on Tuesday, is the fact that, you know what, we need some balance here in Washington.
The Politico, treading gracelessly between their GOP advocacy position and whatever journalistic integrity they still imagine themselves to have put the number at 10,000. Actually, according to reality-based sources, the number was around 3,000 - 4,000.
There's a joke I could make on how sad it must be for their wives when they must continually overinflate numbers, but I think their massive overcompensation speaks for itself.
I have to say this Birther movement is starting to get on my last nerve. Seriously, what more has to be done to get through their thick, dense skulls that Obama was born in the U.S.? And now, to add "credibility", they trot out G. (apparently for Geezer) Gordon Liddy--a convicted criminal, mind you--to express all the same ridiculous doubts ("That's not a birth certificate--it's a certificate of live birth!") and to assert that the "preponderance" of evidence (which is limited to his grandmother saying he was born in Kenya and the screaming mimis of some very unhinged people) suggests that he is, in fact, an illegal alien, and all the other evidence (the certificate of live birth, the birth announcement in the Honolulu papers, etc., the verification by state officials, the fact that courts have already thrown this ridiculous charge out, the fact that he was certified as a legitimate candidate for POTUS, etc.) entirely dismissable.
Chris Matthews ever-so-gently (perhaps in deference to the feeble appearance of Liddy?) smacks down the insane hate and logic spiraling out of control.
I wish Dave Neiwert wasn't on vacation from C&L this week, because I'm sure he'd have a lot to say about the mainstreaming of the ginned-up Birther controversy, particularly by one of his favorite whipping boys, Lou Dobbs. In the interim we'll have to settle for Eric Boehlert:
If James von Brunn weren't in a locked security ward at Southeast General Hospital in Washington, D.C., and awaiting trial for the murder of a security guard at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, the 88-year-old racist and neo-Nazi might have taken comfort from listening to Lou Dobbs' syndicated radio show or watching Dobbs on CNN in recent days. Von Brunn would have likely felt some sense of affirmation from Dobbs, as the host began belatedly championing the cause of so-called "birthers," the angry band of right-wing conspiracy theorists who claim President Obama has not released a valid birth certificate and, in some cases, flat-out assert that he was not born in America and therefore is ineligible to be president of the United States. (Here's a good birther primer; here's the official right-wing defense of birthers.)
Had von Brunn been listening, Dobbs would likely have "spoken" to him. Just a few months before opening fire at the museum, von Brunn, apparently a proud birther himself, had done his best to spread the word online about Obama's illegitimate rule: "What is going on??? WHERE ARE THE GOOD PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTRY - ARE YOU OUT THERE???" [...]
Dobbs has certainly taken some heat for his recent birther turn. (He's "effectively destroying his career with this stuff," birther expert David Weigel wrote at The Washington Independent.) But there's more to this story than Dobbs. And the phenomenon in play isn't just about a birth certificate. And it's also not isolated or accidental.
Because, yes, viewed in a vacuum, the movement seems like the nutty fringe. But viewed in a larger historical context, birthers share obvious ties to traditional right-wing assaults on previous Democrats, and birthers have all the marks of a GOP Noise Machine creation. The movement is about a larger, more sinister attempt to paint Obama as illegitimate, foreign, and suspect (i.e. not like you and me). To portray him as "a gratuitous interloper," as radio host G. Gordon Liddy put it. As someone who isn't who he says he is. As -- let's face it -- the Manchurian Candidate, with all the evil connotations that come with it. ("WHO SENT YOU???" von Brunn demanded to know of Obama.)
And it's about the disturbing role media figures like Dobbs play when they act as the bridge -- as the transmitter -- between the radical and the mainstream. When they legitimize the craziness, if only in the eyes of the crazies themselves. As MSNBC's Rachel Maddow noted this week, "The home run for conspiracists of any stripe is when their ideas can leave the lunatic fringe and enter the mainstream."
There's really only one degree of separation between Dobbs mainstreaming the Birther movement and pictures of Obama as an African witch doctor. The media, in large part, has condemned this nonsense - Chris Matthews shaming that old fool Gordon Liddy today was painful to watch - but those who give it succor it sustain an extremist fringe who want to alienate the President as "the other," as illegitimate, as illegal. It plays to the beliefs of anti-government types and militia members and a dangerous element in American society.
As for Dobbs, who James Rainey picks apart here, CNN has a choice to make. Its own hosts have debunked this myth over and over. The network purports to call itself "the most trusted name in news." They can prove it.
For all the network's efforts to characterize itself as the real, unbiased cable news outlet, it continues to give Lou Dobbs a high-profile platform for obvious, unsupported madness. It makes Dobbs look like a loon, but more important, it's a painful embarrassment to CNN.
A network spokesperson distanced CNN from Dobbs' crazed radio show, and told Rainey, "On CNN, Lou is an independent reporter who covers stories that people are talking about, and often showcases issues that aren't being covered by the mainstream media."
For a network that keeps giving very large paychecks to a television personality who is misleading its audience with transparent craziness, this explanation needs some work.
A new Quinnipiac poll finds that a majority of Americans approve of President Obama's pick for the Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor.
With Obama's Supreme Court Justice pick still pending approval by the Senate, the national survey found that 54 percent support the pick and 24 percent disapprove, with 22 percent undecided. The poll surveyed 1, 438 registered voters nationwide.
Back in 1995, Newt Gingrich famously concluded menstruation rendered women unfit for combat roles in the military. Now just two days after Gingrich branded Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor "racist," convicted Watergate felon and right-wing radio host G. Gordon Liddy agreed that both of Newt's arguments disqualify Sotomayor. Period.
After echoing Tom Tancredo's slander that the National Council of La Raza to which Sotomayor belongs is a "Latino KKK," Liddy Thursday recycled Gingrich's theory of menstrual disqualification:
"Let's hope that the key conferences aren't when she's menstruating or something, or just before she's going to menstruate. That would really be bad. Lord knows what we would get then."
If that pathetic formula sounds familiar, it should. As the New York Times recounted 14 years ago, Newt suggested menstruation should keep women out of essential roles in the American military, if not off the bench:...read on
With Republicans like Liddy,Tancredo, Rush and Newt---conservatives are right where they should be. In the tank...
McCain may have come back with mea culpas to David Letterman after blowing him off a few weeks ago, but Letterman wasn't going to make things easy on McCain. After pointed questions on taking responsibility for hate speech incited by his campaign, as well as whether he really thinks Sarah Palin was the best choice for her Vice President, Letterman started to question McCain on his own ties to a famous "domestic terrorist" G. Gordon Liddy...or maybe we should call him Gordon the Plumber.
Dave: I know, but you will also admit that we cannot really control who we interact with in our lives 100 percent. I mean -- you have --
McCain: How long we interact with them and how we interact with them -- but the point, the point in this campaign is the economy and the economy --
Dave: Did you not have a relationship with Gordon Liddy?
Liddy has donated $5,000 to McCain's campaigns since 1998, including $1,000 in February 2008. In addition, McCain has appeared on Liddy's radio show during the presidential campaign, including as recently as May. An online video labeled "John McCain On The G. Gordon Liddy Show 11/8/07" includes a discussion between Liddy and McCain, whom Liddy described as an "old friend." During the segment, McCain praised Liddy's "adherence to the principles and philosophies that keep our nation great," said he was "proud" of Liddy, and said that "it's always a pleasure for me to come on your program."
Additionally, in 1998, Liddy reportedly held a fundraiser at his home for McCain. Liddy was reportedly scheduled to speak at another fundraiser for McCain in 2000. The Charlotte Observer reported on January 23, 2000, that McCain's campaign vouched for Liddy's "character".
via Tapped ...Nothing quite captures the storied revolving-door problem in American political punditry like seeing old Watergate players themselves (or, in the case of Pat Buchanan, not a Watergate participant but certainly a loyal Richard Nixon soldier) playing disinterested pundit-analysts on one talking-head show after another discussing Mark Felt. At this point maybe it shouldnt seem so bizarre to me to see Chris Matthews chatting with G. Gordon Liddy about this story as if they were David Brinkley and Chet Huntley chewing over the days headlines.
That these characters have carte blanche on the cable chat shows to serve as credible Felt naysayers is just one more illustration of the wonderful cloak of immunity enjoyed by all right-wingers in the clubby, insular D.C. punditry world. Lying, stealing, prison time -- literally nothing can discredit a conservative gabber enough to cancel their membership card to the commentariat. And today we have Peggy Noonan to thank for granting some establishment pundit legitimacy to Ben Steins thoughtful Deep Throat-as-genocidaire thesis. Cant wait to hear Liddys thoughts on it tonight on Hardball.
via The Poorman: Republicans today criticized Paul Revere for his famous ride, saying that he had violated professional colonial ethics by divulging military secrets in violation of his duty to his lord, the King of England. These were sensitive informations about military troop movements with which he had been entrusted, said G. Gordon Liddy, an expert on ethics in government and a professor at several unaccredited law schools...read on
via Fair: Earlier in the week, MSNBC produced a segment that was to discuss a skit from Air America's Randi Rhodes Show (4/25/05) Joe Scarborough turned to Liddy for his response to this incident, asking: "G. Gordon Liddy, are conservatives guilty of similar hate speech on their shows?"
Liddy's response: "Well, if they are, I certainly haven't heard of it."
That would mean that Liddy has not listened to his own program. On August 26, 1994, Liddy told his radio listeners: "Now if the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms comes to disarm you and they are bearing arms, resist them with arms. Go for a head shot; they're going to be wearing bulletproof vests." Liddy's advice that day was explicit: "They've got a big target on there, ATF. Don't shoot at that, because they've got a vest on underneath that. Head shots, head shots.... Kill the sons of bitches."
Just saw your site's write up on my show with G. Gordon Liddy.
I admit that I am shocked that I did not have personal knowledge of Liddy's statement. I remembered Bill Clinton blaming Liddy for Oklahoma City but obviously did not know the back story. As one who has stayed on top of pop culture and media since my teenage years, I am embarrassed I did not recall that shocking statement. Secondly, I am surprised our team did not have this information at hand when we did the segment. It was an embarrassing oversight and one that I will mention on an upcoming show.
Ironically, the point of the segment was to focus on how inflammatory talk radio has become and what is required to get good ratings. Having the Liddy comments on air was a great opportunity that we lost.
Thanks for your work to hold reporters and journalists accountable. Such a service is invaluable for those of us who want to be fair.
All the best,
At least he did apologize, but I am not shocked at all by this laziness that is prevalent in the 24/7 cable news industry today. We are faced with a media that is supposed to inform the public instead of misleading them at every step of the way; and is generally guided now by ideology instead of facts. This is just further evidence that demonstrates this serious point, and it is the consumer that suffers the most from this malaise that has infected our broadcast media.
The purpose of the MSNBC segment was to discuss a skit from Air America's Randi Rhodes Show (4/25/05).
On MSNBC, host Joe Scarborough turned to Liddy for his response to this incident, asking: "G. Gordon Liddy, are conservatives guilty of similarhate speech on their shows?"
Liddy's response: "Well, if they are, I certainly haven't heard of it."
That would mean that Liddy has not listened to his own program. On August 26, 1994, Liddy told his radio listeners: "Now if the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms comes to disarm you and they are bearing arms, resist them with arms. Go for a head shot; they're going to be wearing bulletproof vests." Liddy's advice that day was explicit: "They've got a big target on there, ATF. Don't shoot at that, because they've got a vest on underneath that. Head shots, head shots.... Kill the sons of bitches." ...read on
I called Scarborough Country the following day to complain that he didn't have a liberal or anyone representing Air America on, but of course I couldn't reach someone. I'll try on Monday.