Used to be circuses were fun. A place to go to get away from the cares of the world.
And it used to be that the existence of white supremacists and their fellow-traveling useful bigot idiots (Useful Bigiots?) was something we could acknowledge. Hell, we could even mock their racism and idiocy on national teevee:
But now the cares and terrors of the world have been turned into a circus.
A circus that masquerades as "news".
And for the last year, hat "news" has done its damnedest to promote the presidential candidacy of a white supremacist who stands at the head of the mob of bigots and imbeciles that make up the bulk of the Republican party.
Because at this particular moment in history, promoting the presidential candidacy of a white supremacist is great for the ratings of that circus masquerading as "news". And to the corporations who run the Sunday Morning circus on behalf of their advertisers, the devastation of our democracy runs a distant second to importance of selling dick pills and reverse mortgages to those bigots and imbeciles.
Which is why, on any given Sunday, you will find someone as indefensibly vile and shameless as Alex Castellanos being given a prominent place in the circus' Center Ring:
Mr. Castellanos, you might remember, made his bones in the Party of Jefferson Davis by shivving then-RNC Chair Michael Steele in the back. From CNN, April, 2010:
CASTELLANOS: I hope we can, but you know, Chairman Steele, I think has lost the support of two important constituencies in the Republican Party, one is our most successful candidates, our leaders on the hill, in the House and senate, the people who have won elections and who have responsibility of carrying our party into the next election. But more importantly, he's lost the support of a lot of our major donors. The donors who provide the money, the lifeblood, the oxygen that the Republican party needs to succeed on its mission to take back control of the House.
And this is not about any one man. This is nothing personal. This is about a party that has a cause, and that is, rescuing this country from bankruptcy. We have a responsibility as Republicans, I think, to provide the support that our candidates need to do that. And right now, I don't think that you're seeing a lot of that money that is frozen, it's not coming into the party, and perhaps a change in leadership here would thaw that and allow that support to flow.
BLITZER: So, what do you want Michael Steele to do?
CASTELLANOS: I think what you're going to see is you're going to see some of the members of the Republican executive committee, three from each state, the two national committee people and the party chairman, are going to need to have a little come to Obama meeting or come to Jesus (ph) meeting, and a lot of people think it's the same thing in this town, and either come to terms with Chairman Steele on what he's going to do and conduct himself through the next election or else take a different direction. And I think sometimes a change in leadership would be a good thing.
BLITZER: You want him to resign?
CASTELLANOS: I think that's up to them. I think a change in direction now at this point would do the party good. BLITZER: So, you want Steele to resign.
CASTELLANOS: I think a change in direction --
BLITZER: For the good of the party?
CASTELLANOS: For the good of the party would be good...
And just as Mr. Steele was on the verge of eliminating every last vestige of Southern Strategy racism from the GOP.
Talk about your damn poor timing!
Alert reader lm23 also reminds us that Mr. Castellanos has always been willing to play with Birther fire to advance his agenda:
How about a deal? Mitt can release 10 years of tax returns if Obama releases 10 years of birth certificates.
— Alex Castellanos (@alexcast) July 20, 2012
Meanwhile, back in the present-day over on ABC, well, it was the funniest damn thing. The person after whom the inimitable Digby named her infamous Cokie's Law --
One of the earliest was a criticism of the media called "Cokie's Law." It's named after Cokie Roberts who famously said during the Lewinsky affair about whether or not Hillary Clinton really blamed Bill's rough childhood for his misbehavior
"At this point it doesn't much matter whether she said it or not because it's become part of the culture. I was at the beauty parlor yesterday and this was all anyone was talking about."
This is a common rationale among the high priests of the Village to excuse their propensity to gleefully traffic in gossip, rumors and smears. It's "out there" you see --- they have no choice.
-- could be seen on ABC's "This Week..." lighting into "the media" for trafficking in gossip, rumors and smears.
ROBERTS: But this media question is very real. Because you saw in your interview with Vice Presidential Candidate Pence, he kept going back and back and back to the media, the media, when in fact the blame is on the other side. The media has been very complicit in Donald Trump's ascendancy.
Martha Raddatz (who appears to have has traded off her last few ergs of "journalism" for a more comfortable chair and a better benefits package) would have loved to talk about the monumentally sh*tty job her profession has been doing for the last 20 years, but sadly, she had no time!
RADDATZ: OK. I want to switch -- I'll agree with you there on some of that, Cokie. But I want to talk about the tightening race and enthusiasm...
Yes, Martha! Tell us more about Trump and his followers and their enthusiasms...
One reason why Martha was all outta time was that Mike "Pence Dispencer" Pence decreased what little shade he was already to be apportioned in the afterlife by obediently and robotically running out the clock and answering the Big, Glaring, Obvious Question about Donald Trump's racism with Deny, Deny, Deny (emphasis added):
GOV. MIKE PENCE (R-IN), VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: ... But I have to be honest with you, other than many in the national media, and certainly in Hillary Clinton's campaign, as I campaign all across this country with Donald Trump and for Donald Trump, the American people aren't focused on the debates of the past, they're focused on their future
RADDATZ: Governor Pence, I know you say you want to talk about issues, but Mr. Trump could have put this issue to bed a long time ago. Just last Wednesday he was asked by the Washington Post a very simple question: do you believe the president was born in the United States? He said he wouldn't answer it then. Then he had a major announcement he talked about on Friday. He kept this issue going. Why did it take him so long to say that the president was born in the United States, which is a fact?
PENCE: Martha, it's a fact. And Donald Trump and I both acknowledge that without hesitation. But, I have to really tell you, that I understand why many in the national media and Hillary Clinton...
RADDATZ: But Governor Pence, it's not just the national media. Let me read you -- we counted since April of 2011, and that's the year that Barack Obama gave his long formed birth certificate from Hawaii. We counted 67 times where Donald Trump tweeted or retweeted messages questioning his birthplace. He has kept this going. He has been a leader in this birther movement.
PENCE: Well, and I know there's news reports that trace this birther movement all the way back to Hillary Clinton's campaign back in 2008.
RADDATZ: You believe that Hillary Clinton started the birther movement.
PENCE: Look, I'll let the facts speak for themselves.
RADDATZ: Well, no, I want to talk about the facts. What's the proof of that?
PENCE: What I will tell you, Martha -- look, as I travel across this country, I say this very sincerely and very respectfully to you, this is not what the American people are talking about. Donald Trump put this issue to an end yesterday in Washington, D.C. He essentially said...
RADDTAZ: Why did it take him so long to put it an end? It's not over.
PENCE: Throughout this campaign, he hasn't been talking about it. He's been talking about the need to have a stronger America at home and abroad. I understand why Hillary Clinton and many of her defenders in the national media want to distract attention from her dishonesty and her disastrous record...
RADDATZ: Governor Pence, you said yourself Hillary Clinton is at fault. That's going forward, that's not just the past. He said Friday that Hillary Clinton and her campaign were at fault for this birther movement as well. And you just said it yourself, What is the proof because we can't find any. And fact-checkers have checked into that, that Hillary Clinton started the birther movement.
PENCE: Well, I just would refer you to news reports with the McClatchy News Service and reports of people in your industry, Martha, that...
RADDATZ: The reports of people in my industry say there's no proof they can find that Hillary Clinton had anything to do with it.
PENCE: I understand your perspective on it. I understand the desire of many in the national media to change the subject from Hillary Clinton's disastrous record and her dishonesty...
Once more for the can't-get-it-through-their-f*ck ing-skulls impaired, there is no way to wheedle, negotiate, head-fake or otherwise prestidigitate Conservatives like Mike Pence into telling you any part of the truth. Conservatives are programmed not to see reason. Conservatives are programmed to refuse to acknowledge observable reality. Arguing facts with a Conservative is like arguing pod bar doors with HAL 9000 from 2001. Pointless.
But what the GOP cannot survive is the press actually focusing on the base of the party and finally noticing how many millions of unhinged children and bigots make up the base of the Party of Lincoln. The Right has worked really, really hard to keep Crazy Uncle Liberty in the basement, but Crazy Uncle Liberty has been promised all kinds of crazy things to keep him voting GOP and he's tired of waiting in the basement.
And the great thing about Crazy Uncle Liberty is that since he gobbles up right-wing conspiracies all day and thinks they're "news", he has absolutely no f*ck ing idea how crazy he sounds. Which is why the only proper riposte to something like --
"I understand your perspective on it. I understand the desire of many in the national media to change the subject from Hillary Clinton's blah blah blah..."
"I understand, Governor Pence, why Donald Trump and his many of followers in the white supremacist movement are desperate to change the subject away from Mr. Trumps obvious racism, however..."
for every question of the Trump campaign and every follow-up question needs to be Trump's racism and pathological lying and the smirking complicity of his followers -- "Since Donald Trump is a liar..." , "Given Donald Trump's obvious appeals to the racism of his followers...", and so forth.
It's really not that hard, and has the additional virtue of being honest.
All we lack are actual journalists within question-range of the Trump campaign willing to do it.