Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Alan Grayson delivers wrestling-style promo on house floor -GOP Health Plan = Don't get sick!

Previously I spoke of a wrestling style-promo delivered by Republican Congressman Thadeus McCotter using a chart to caricature the opposite side.

Democratic Congressman Alan Grayson delivers a speech in a similar hyperbolic vein with his own charts.

VIDEO: Alan Grayson on the GOP Health Care Plan -
"Don't Get Sick! And if You Do Get Sick, Die Quickly!"
ALAN GRAYSON: (1m 04s) Here it is the Republican Healthcare plan for America - Don't Get Sick! That's right, Don't Get Sick. If you have insurance, don't get sick. If you don't have insurance, don't get sick. If you're sick, don't get sick. Just don't get sick! That's what the Republicans have in mind for you America. That's the Republican's Healthcare plan.

But I think the Republicans understand that that plan isn't always going to work. Its not a foolproof plan so the Republicans have a backup plan in case you do get sick... If you get sick America the Republican Healthcare plan is this - Die Quickly. That's right, the Republicans want you to die quickly if you get sick.
It'll be interesting to see if someone from the GOP will attempt to create his own caricature with charts in response to Rep. Grayson. In any case these over the top theatrics show that partisan and showmanship show no signs of disappearing despite the promise of comity under the Obama era.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Reverend Al Sharpton to be guest GM of 'WWE Raw', Conservative talker Dennis Miller announced to host also

A new PunditFight Wrestler may have to be unveiled to commemorate this latest news. Comedian and Conservative talker Dennis Miller announced on his radio program that he will be a future Guest GM of Raw.
LAW Sept 24 Update - Mysterio Returns Oct 4
Dennis Miller has stated on his radio show that he will likely be hosting ‘Raw' in December but no date was announced.
WWE has been welcoming celebrities in a storyline involving the trial of several high profile General Managers for their Monday 'Raw' program. The list of celebrities that have appeared so far include Shaquille O'neal, ZZ top, Bob Barker, Floyd Mayweather and former wrestling superstars Trish Stratus and Dusty Rhodes. The scheduled Celebrity GM for the September 28 show is Civil Rights leader, talk show host and former Democratic Presidential contender, Reverend Al Sharpton.
Read the full list of GMs here - Raw: Special Guest Hosts
Raw: Rev it up!
Can Raw get an Amen!? Shouldn’t be a problem next week when the Rev. Al Sharpton joins the prestigious list of Raw celebrity guest hosts, including Olympic gold medalist Shaquille O’Neal, Emmy-winning actor Jeremy Piven and television legend Bob Barker.

The outspoken activist, and frequent center of controversy, brings his headline-grabbing candor to the Sept. 28 edition of Monday Night Raw.
VIDEO: WWE Al Sharpton Guest Hosts RAW!!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

"Glenn Beck fans are just like Wrestling fans" - Glenn Beck is an actor.

Glenn Beck's Cover story for Time Magazine was a topic of much debate from many on the left and right. Some argued that it was a puff piece "enabling Glenn Beck's lies". Whilst others conceded the piece was "remarkably balanced... that even Glenn's followers might find surprisingly informative".

Joel Achenbach on his blog for the Washington Post offers his take on the article and Glenn Beck using a frame I often use for this blog.
Glenn Beck, Time and Media Matters
Here's what I came away with: Glenn Beck is a demagogue. He's also something of an actor. Some would choose the more pointed word of "fraud." He's a Top-40 radio DJ who saw an opportunity for reinvention. Had there been more money in being a Left-wing shouter, he'd have become that person instead.

Another word for Beck that comes to mind is "charlatan."

That's how I read this piece. I don't know Beck, of course. But the article suggests that Beck isn't quite the crackpot, paranoid person he pretends to be, but, sensing the riches that can come from ranting, is brilliantly playing a role.
glenn beck, doink, stone cold, edge, wwe
Wrestlers: 'Doink' the Clown, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Edge
Rather than likening Beck to an actor, I obviously would use wrestler. The 'gimmick' or 'persona' is one of the most important components in getting a wrestler "over" with the fans. It is the constructed identity that people connect with whether it be the blue-collar everyman, a deranged psychopath or something as cartoony as a 'Rodeo Clown'. Wrestlers craft personalities that they hope will captivate audiences into loving or hating them. Constantly tweaking them for maximum effect or replacing them wholesale when they don't work. Often it is a construct of their authentic personality and life history which makes it an easier sell, not only to the audience but also the wrestler who must embody it. I spoke of this extensively in my post on the remaking of Mike Huckabee - The Rise and Rise of Mike Huckabee (part 3 of 3)

To prove that the wrestling analogy is definitely floating in the ether, some commenters likened Glenn Beck fans to Wrestling fans.
Glenn Beck, Time and Media Matters (comments)
... Whether people "believe" Beck is just as irrelevant as whether people "believe" WWF wrestling is "real." "Truth" has nothing to do with it, and both Beck and WWF make millions of dollars in a way I would regard as basically false. WWF probably does no great harm to the culture, but Beck *does* do it harm.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 18, 2009 12:54 PM

The pro-wrestling metaphor is particularly apt. The true-believers are unbendable. No amount of scoffing over the conveniently clueless referees or the pre-staged props is going to convince a genuine fan that it's all staged. You have to go after the broad middle that can be still swayed by gentle ridicule and/or dispassionate analysis...
Posted by: yellojkt | September 18, 2009 1:14 PM

I know, yello. But here's the thing: deluded pro wrestling fans do no harm. They wander around and love their heroes and hate their villains and go home a drink a beer, and all's right with the world. Deluded Glenn Beck fans, and all their ilk, are *not* harmless: they vote, they hold marches...

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | September 18, 2009 1:26 PM

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Michelle Malkin interviewed for the 'Daily Beast'

Lloyd Grove interviews Michelle Malkin for the Daily Beast. In setting up his conversation, Lloyd acknowledges Michelle Malkin's often humorless "concede-nothing" aesthetic in contrast to the likes of Ann Coulter. I've always wondered the same.

Ann Coulter's style of needling opponents always left room for people to think she might have been putting on an act. Like a wrestler or a performance artist? That is not to say that Ann Coulter is no less sincere than Malkin. Simply that Coulter, like Rush Limbaugh delivers her politics valuing that good humor and playful opponent-baiting makes for more digestible and entertaining theatre.
Michelle Malkin Has Feelings, Too
The last thing you’d expect Michelle Malkin to be is charming, funny, or vulnerable.

As an agent provocateur of the hard right—blogger, newspaper columnist, Fox News contributor and, for the past six weeks, queen of the New York Times nonfiction bestseller list—she can project a certain grim, off-putting intensity. In recent appearances on The View and the Today show to hype her latest anti-liberal screed—Culture of Corruption: Obama and His Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks, and Cronies—she was, by turns, shrill and smug, occasionally disciplining an unruly interrogator with a schoolmarmish "Read the book!" And unlike Ann Coulter, whose more outrageous remarks are usually mitigated by a sly grin, nobody ever wonders if Michelle Malkin is for real.

She is, unmistakably, dead serious.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Mark Levin calls Glenn Beck "pandering, pathetic, mindless and incoherent". The art of criticizing Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck

I've spoken in the past about how Glenn's Beck meteoric rise has also brought several critics from his side of the aisle. Whilst Rush Limbaugh's pioneering dominance has given him uniform support from fellow conservative pundits (except Michael Savage), Glenn Beck's recent dominance hasn't shielded him from criticism from the likes of Mark Levin and Savage.

Surely some jealousy might be in play but also some sincere ideological disagreements but as Rush pioneered the Talk Radio format into the lucrative and influential platform it is today it has afforded him some immunity from criticism. Some fear might also be at play, Rush has shown that it's not wise to cross him as several pundits and Politicians have found. With his million-strong audience, Rush has the ability to cripple support or elevate political figures with his endorsement or criticism. He also has the ability of achieving this in a delivery style that is often playful and not malicious. Rush also has the added benefit of having friends like Levin who can do the dirty work of eviscerating people in his defense, as was shown when conservative writer Mark Frum dared to criticize Rush.

With that said Glenn Beck is beginning to amass his own Million-strong contingent if the 9/12 protests are anything to go by. Soon Beck may have a loyal and formidable supporter base that rivals Rush which would be equally troublesome to cross. Its worth noting that whilst Glenn is quite skillful in taking people down when he puts his efforts into to it, as evidenced by the Van Jones resignation, Beck has not yet shown that he is one to attack his fellow pundits. The two reigning pundits have been gracious towards each other, as Beck wrote Rush' 'Most Influential' blurb for Time Magazine as well as welcoming him as a guest on his TV show.

Read Mark Levin's rant against Glenn Beck, a follow-up from his backhanded compliment for the Politico article comparing Rush to Beck. Mark snidely refers to Beck as as the "5PMer", referring to Beck's show timeslot on FoxNews.
Mark Levin: Beck saying ‘McCain would have been worse’ is ‘pandering’ and ‘pathetic’
I don’t know who people are playing to[.] [I don't know] why they’re playing to certain people...

"Ron Paul is another one, his (Beck’s) fascination with Ron Paul, Ron Paul who blames "American imperialism" for the attacks on 9/11. How can any conservative embrace that? While his (Paul’s) domestic arguments, eighty percent of them are sound in my humble opinion, he goes way off the cliff when it comes to foreign policy and blaming America and American armed forces and American good will, in my humble opinion, for instigating the Islamo-Nazi attacks on us. How can anybody embrace that? Yet the 5PM’er does."
Go to MarkLevinFan to read the conservative feedback and backlash from the internecine fighting between Mark Levin and Glenn Beck.

It's worth noting that a lot of the recent criticism against Beck is because of his sympathizing with Republican Presidential contender Ron Paul. Its somewhat surprising as the original interest and popularity of Beck was in part because people had begun to warm to Paul after the 2008 election. It seems not the case. I've stated in the past that both Ron Paul and Glenn Beck are considered the spiritual leaders of the 9/12 and Tea Party movements.

Update: Mark Levin VS Glenn Beck - Tale of the Tape

Mark Levin

Glenn Beck

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Marc Maron and Patton Oswalt talk about Right Wing pundits and bad comedians

marc maron, wtf, comedy, podcastAfter the abrupt cancellation of 'Break Room Live' on Air America, Marc Maron has resurfaced alongside his long-time Producer Brendan McDonald on their project 'WTF with Marc Maron'. It is a podcast dedicated to Maron's brand of comedy.

Whilst I would encourage people to enjoy the show starting from the pilot episode. For those unfamiliar with Marc, Episode 3 featuring an interview with comedian and friend Patton Oswalt is a perfect distillation of Maron's unique voice.

In a wide ranging interview discussing Maron's favored themes of success, obsession and acceptance. Patton Oswalt makes an interesting observation of Right Wing pundits likening them to comedians.
'WTF with Marc Maron' - Episode 3 with Patton Oswalt and Lawton Smalls
PATTON OSWALT: ... Have you noticed that a lot of right-wing pundits especially on AM radio are former failed comedians? I think that a bad comedian just wants the audience cheering for the 8 things that they say... the good comedians and the same with the good pundits, good broadcasters are that they're always out there asking questions. Of themselves. Of the audience. Whereas the bad comedians are like "I want to know that there are 11 to 12 things that I can say and get surefire applause and get my cheque and that's as far as I'm willing to go...

- Go to 'WTF with Marc Maron Podcast'
- Go to 'Break Room Live', Maron's previous project with friend Sam Seder on Air America
- Find my interview with Marc Maron in 2008 here

Friday, September 18, 2009

Glenn Beck vs. Rush Limbaugh: Politico wonders what the rise of Glenn means to Rush's influence

An illuminating article from titled Glenn Beck VS Rush Limbaugh addresses and resolves many of the topics speculated on this blog.

Below is an excerpt of said Politico piece with footnotes referencing to previous posts from the blog

1) Is Beck the new Number One Pundit?
Glenn Beck vs. Rush Limbaugh
Beck is on a huge roll...

"Beck is the man of the moment," says the Weekly Standard's Michael Goldfarb. "Everybody in town is watching him, waiting to see what he'll do next, who he'll take down next."

But if Beck is the man of the moment, where does that leave Rush?
We can only speculate how Rush feels about competitors breathing down his neck. We do know he's a good sport about it, making himself available to his closest challengers Sean Hannity and the skyrocketing Glenn beck - Glenn Beck interviews Rush Limbaugh over the phone

2) Whilst Beck threatens to take the No. 1 slot he still defers to Limbaugh - The Time 100 - The World's Most Influential People: Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin
Back in April - when Time put Limbaugh on its annual list of the 100 most influential people of the world - Beck was called on to write the tribute. He wrote that Limbaugh was "on another level" and "attracts more listeners with his voice than the rest of us could ever imagine."

That may still be the case, but Beck's power has grown exponentially since then.
3) Glenn Beck's influence is measured by the amount of people he has been able to mobilise... - Glenn Beck and Michelle Malkin instrumental in 9/12 Protest marches
In the days before last weekend's conservative march on Washington, Beck flogged it repeatedly. He became such a part of the story that, as CNN correspondent Lisa Desjardins tried to report live from the event, protesters drowned her out with chants of "Glenn Beck! Glenn Beck!"

Limbaugh's role in promoting the protest? He said it's not his thing.
3a) ... and the ensuing chaos created - Rush the Vote: The Operation Chaos movement
"I don't rally people and haven't since the first year of my radio show,"... the reaction to it from the media was that the response was not genuine... because 'Limbaugh told them to.'"

Limbaugh hasn’t abandoned the call to action entirely; last year, he launched "Operation Chaos," urging his listeners to register as Democrats and vote for Hillary Clinton in Democratic presidential primaries to prolong the nominating process and weaken Obama.
4) Close Limbaugh ally Mark Levin has been openly hostile towards Glenn Beck but sensing Beck's ascendancy concedes a few compliments - Maher, Olbermann, Levin, Maron, Shep Smith: Public Enemy Number one Glenn Beck
Radio host Mark Levin, whose book "Liberty & Tyranny" just surpassed 1 million sales this week, laughed off the suggestion that Beck may be eclipsing Limbaugh as the voice of the right.

"Are you kidding?" Levin said in an e-mail. "Comparing Rush Limbaugh to Glenn Beck is like comparing George Washington to George Jefferson. Beck can be very entertaining and even informative, but he is neither the face nor the voice of the conservative movement. He is one of many."
Update: September 18
New Glenn Beck "9:12" Wallpaper (1280 x 1024), inspired by this 'RattleSnake' like display - Glenn Beck: President Obama why don't you just set us on fire?

glenn beck, 9/12, wallpaper, republican, stone cold
"Beck 9:12" wallpaper

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Daily Show: "ACORN - The Audacity of Hos". Jon Stewart softly zings Michelle Malkin haters

Conservatives are cautiously lauding Jon Stewart for his latest segment admonishing the Media for their poor coverage of ACORN's malfeasances. Stewart also gets conservative points for his zing of Michelle Malkin haters. This is not the first time Stewart has received praise for his fair-mindedness from conservatives. You will remember New York Magazine featured an article with testimonies from prominent conservatives commending Stewart for his intellectual curiosity and fairness, succinctly titled 'Why Neoconservative Pundits Love Jon Stewart'.

Read the comments like these on to find kudos given to Jon Stewart mixed with plenty of trepidation - Jon Stewart to media on ACORN: "Where the hell were you?"
... Wtf is going on that Jon Liebowitz is calling out the mainstream elite media on acorn? Enjoy the video, conservatives, but remain cautious. I smell a rat.

long_cat on September 17, 2009 at 12:43 AM

VIDEO: The Daily Show - The Audacity of Hos
The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealthcare Protests

JON STEWART: Where were the real reporters on this story? You know what investigative media, Where the hell were you? You know who broke this story? These two! You mean to tell me the two kids from High School Musical 3 could break this story with a video camera... and you got nothin'... I'm a fake journalist and I'm embarrassed these guys scooped me.

(clapping) Let's get to work people!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Glenn Beck and Jon Stewart to get keys to the city in neighboring Washington State cities

Mirroring similar events in Utah depicted in the documentary 'This Divided State', another town is divided by ideology and celebrity spokespersons. As captured in 'This Divided State', in 2004 the Utah Valley State College student council extended a speaking invitation to political activist Michael Moore. The ensuing campus controversy led to a a counter invitation to equally divisive Fox News pundit Sean Hannity.

The spectacle of a community dueling over the arrival and "representation" of a political celebrity figure is being repeated in neighboring cities in Seattle, Mount Vernon and Bellingham.
Washington state towns battle over Glenn Beck, Jon Stewart
Two Washington state cities are taking the battle of the news pundits personally.

Responding to a plan by the city of Mount Vernon, Washington, to declare September 26 "Glenn Beck Day," in honor of the Fox News host and radio personality, the mayor of nearby Bellingham has decided to retaliate by offering the key to his city to Daily Show host Jon Stewart.

While it may seem odd for there to be a political battle over two national TV figures in small cities along the Interstate-5 corridor north of Seattle, both Stewart and Beck have connections to the places. Beck is a native son of Mount Vernon, and attended middle school and high school in Bellingham. Jon Stewart attended the same New Jersey high school as the current mayor of Bellingham, Dan Pike.
- Read CNN's article on the controversy surrounding Glenn Beck's invitation to receive Mt Vernon's Keys to the city - Hometown's honor for Glenn Beck spurs controversy
- Watch clips of Sean Hannity and Michael Moore in 'This Divided State' (2005)

Watch how contentious invitations are handled in the world of pro-wrestling as King Booker receives the Keys to the City

VIDEO: WWE - King Booker Receives the Keys to the City of Houston

WWE's Linda McMahon prepares Connecticut Senate run

Following in the footsteps of Wrestler-turned-Governor Jesse Ventura and on the heels of wrestling commentator Jerry Lawler's Mayoral campaign, WWE CEO Linda McMahon is the latest to throw her hat in the political ring.
WWE's Linda McMahon prepares Senate run
World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) CEO Linda McMahon appears primed to run for Senate in Connecticut and should make an announcement very soon, according to sources with knowledge of her deliberations.

McMahon, the wife of WWE Chairman Vince McMahon, would throw a big wrench into the race against Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) simply by virtue of her ability to spend potentially tens of millions of dollars of her own money on the race.
Watch Linda McMahon in action, promoting democracy to young voters for WWE's 'Smackdown Your Vote' initiative

VIDEO: WWE SmackDown Your Vote - Linda McMahon

Watch WWE CEO Linda McMahon speaking at the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia, August 2000

VIDEO: Linda McMahon at Republican National Convention 2000

- Read Linda E. McMahon bio from WWE's official corporate site
- Go to Linda McMahon's official Campaign website -
- Go to Linda McMahon's official Campaign Blog

Monday, September 14, 2009

Time Wise on CNN's 'What Matters' talks Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Bill Maher

VIDEO: Time Wise on the "Racial Undertones" of the health care debate
Writer Tim Wise speaks to CNN 'What Matters' host Don Lemon about the "racial undertones" in the current debate on Healthcare. The discussion name-checks pundits Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Bill Maher. Accompanying the video of the discussion are the quotes referenced by Mr Wise.

1) Glenn Beck sees Healthcare as indirectly addressing "reparations"

GLENN BECK: Everything that is getting pushed through Congress including this Health Care bill are transforming America and they are all driven by President Obama's thinking on one idea - Reparations.
(puts on voice and holds up sign) "Crazy Right Wing extremists!" Before you say anything... His goal is creating a new America, a new model. A model that will settle old racial scores through new social justice
2) Rush Limbaugh is skeptical of "community service" as used by President Obama
Obama Hijacks 9/11, Twists it Into National Day of Service to the State
RUSH: We had a caller, a nice guy, Rob from Manhattan earlier in the day who said, "You know, I think you're misunderstanding Obama. He's kind of right. Manhattan after 9/11 came together like Manhattan never has. It's right to call out for community service."... He's hijacking this for what sounds like a wonderful thing. "Well, community service. We all gotta get together." You gotta understand "community service" is nothing more than community organizing. It is a tactic. Community service is one of the baby steps toward fascism.

So many things that Obama does appear to be isolated, but they are interconnected to organizing the private sector to serve the state -- and that's not the way this country was founded.
3) Bill Maher touches on the fears white people have of President Obama

NEW RULES - Real Time With Bill Maher - 9/11/2009
BILL MAHER: Crazy morons make things up for Obama to do and he does it. Same thing happened with the speech to schools this week where the President merely attempted to tell children to work hard and wash their hands and "Cracker Nation" reacted as if he was trying to hire the Black Panthers to hand out grenades in homeroom...

You know tomorrow Glenn Beck's army of zombie retirees are descending on Washington, It's the Million Moron March...

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Glenn Beck and Michelle Malkin instrumental in 9/12 Protest marches

September 12th was marked by thousands of people protesting around America most prominently Washington DC in what was dubbed the "9/12 protests", an extension of the Tea Party protests earlier in the year. Whilst I've remarked many times that 08' Presidential candidate Ron Paul has been the uncredited spiritual leader of the Tea Party movement. I haven't properly highlighted the important role pundits Michelle Malkin and Glenn Beck have played in mobilising the masses.

Michelle Malkin with popular websites and has a particularly grassroots and citizen-journalist aesthetic on her namesake blog despite a national profile from frequent appearances as Fox News contributor and NY Times bestselling book. Her blog frequently features photos and personal stories submitted by her readers which makes her site a good resource for such grassroots movements.

michelle malkin, book, protest, washington
Michelle Malkin: Culture of Corruption
Glenn Beck also has a similar populist aesthetic, but in his case using the Television format. Using rhetoric like "we surround them", muckraking and a show format with frequent references to "upcoming major events and announcements" Beck has positioned himself as a crusader for the people.
Capitalizing on this movement, Glenn founded the '9/12 Project' with its 9 Principles and 12 Values. Jonah Goldberg writes:
Beck the Muckraker
Yes, I know some of my friends on the Right wring their hands about Glenn Beck. I don't so much. Not only am I grateful for his support of my book, I like the guy personally. Moreover, while he can be bombastic and over the top rhetorically (and we don't always see eye-to-eye), what makes his populism palatable to me (I'm not a big fan of populism) is that he's fundamentally a libertarian populist. He's not clamoring for the government to do more, he's clamoring for the government to do less. And that's the safest kind of populism there is...
VIDEO: Fox News' Glenn Beck Show: 9/12 Tea Party Protest in Washington, DC
Glenn Beck's 9/12 Coverage
GRIF JENKINS: Is this Anti-Obama, Anti-Government... Anti-Joe Wilson?
MAN IN CROWD: It's Anti Spending
WOMAN IN CROWD: We are actually saying pro-government but in the right way - where the people rule
MAN WITH CHILD: This is about freedom. This is about freedom for me, this is about freedom for my son. This is about doing the right thing. This government is not doing the right thing.
Watch protesters chant "Glenn Beck" and "Go home, CNN" during a live report to CNN Capitol Hill correspondent Lisa Desjardins. It's interesting to note that Glenn Beck started his TV career on CNN's headline News before migrating to Fox at the start of the year.

VIDEO: Tea Partyers Drown Out CNN Reporter During Live Report

Friday, September 11, 2009

Hugh Hewitt's 'Hughniverse' - TownHall's podcast service no longer free

I've often remarked on the Hugh Hewitt show's comprehensive and convenient archived podcasts. Alas your opportunities to listen to Hugh's shows for free are dwindling. Like Rush Limbaugh years before him, Hugh's online media content has moved to a subscription format.
H3: 09/10/09 Mark Steyn, Mary Katharine Ham, Guy Benson, Joe Wilson with Hugh Hewitt
GENERALISSIMO DUANE: The free podcast for the Hugh Hewitt Show will end on September 30th 2009. After that the podcast will only be available to subscribers at the Hughniverse. You can sign up right now at a discounted introductory rate by going to ...
HUGH HEWITT: At you can join the Hugh-niverse... if you have not yet subscribed you're gonna miss the Lileks columns, you're gonna miss the conversations. You're gonna miss the podcasts when they go behind the veil. You definitely want to be a part of an organization of a community that I'm putting together to make sure that there is a place where like-minded serious but happy conservatives can go and talk amongst themselves about what is said and what isn't said by the mainstream media. What is done and what isn't done by the people who need to set this country back on the centrist, center/right course it needs to be on, with conservative principles, constitutional guarantees and free speech
Hugh Hewitt's premium content media can be found at his new 'Hughniverse' site

- Listen to Hugh Hewitt endorsing PunditFight here

Thursday, September 10, 2009

South Carolina Republican shouts "You Lie" to President Obama

South Carolina Congressman Joe Wilson has made headlines by yelling "You Lie" during President Obama's HealthCare speech addressing a joint session of Congress.

Joe Wilson would later apologize for his "lack of civility" after prominent Republicans like John McCain urged Wilson to apologize. Joe Wilson's actions has already mobilized progressives into supporting his opponent as Bloggasm reports.

VIDEO: Republican Joe Wilson heckles "You Lie" to President Obama
PRESIDENT OBAMA: So tonight I want to address the key controversies that are still out there. Some of people's concerns have grown out bogus claims spread by those whose only agenda is to kill any reform at any cost. The best example is the claim - I made not just by radio and cable talks show hosts but by prominent politicians, that we plan to set up panels of bureaucrats with the power to kill off senior citizens. Now such a charge would laughable if it wasn't so cynical and irresponsible. It is a lie plain and simple. (wild applause from the Democrats).

There are also those who claim that our reform effort will insure illegal immigrants. This, too, is false - the reforms I'm proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally

(scattered boos)
PRESIDENT OBAMA: That's not true
Politico reports
A voice from the floor on illegal immigrants: 'You lie'
The bill is designed to exclude those immigrants, though some Republicans have called for more explicit bans on funding for illegal immigrants and have claimed the bill will funnel money to illegal immigrants. described those claims as "false" and noted that one version of the legislation already includes an explicit bar on federal funding for illegal immigrants' health care.
Speaking of "lack of civility", watch how heckling an opponent as a liar is executed in the world of pro-wrestling.

VIDEO: Wrestler Jeff Hardy calls his opponent Edge a "liar"

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Fran Drescher and Sean Hannity debate Healthcare

VIDEO: Fran Drescher debates healthcare with Sean Hannity
SEAN HANNITY: You want to put your faith hope and trust in a government that has been unsuccessful in every single major endeavor they've ever had. Why?
FRAN DRESCHER: Because we have to stop thinking that big business is going to do right by us. They do what they have a right to do, not what's the right thing to do. They're making money on us being sick longer...
Sean Hannity has had Fran Drescher a few times on his show, always spirited and cordial. Fran has credentials as a Health care spokesperson but its speaks to Sean Hannity's style that he would choose a celebrity (though a committed advocate) to debate this issue.

Read about Fran Drescher's history as a healthcare activist:
Fran Drescher -- Actress, Healthcare Activist and 'Hometown Girl' -- to Keynote North Shore-LIJ's Cancer Survivors' Day on June 2
Born in Flushing, NY, Ms. Drescher is best known for her role in the CBS TV show The Nanny (1993-99), but in recent years she has become an outspoken advocate for women's health after being diagnosed with cancer in 2000. In Cancer Schmancer, Ms. Drescher wrote about her experiences with the healthcare system during her ultimately triumphant battle against uterine cancer, which earned her a writer's award from the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Al Franken speaks to protesters at Minnesota State Fair

Junior Senator Al Franken was confront by his constituents at the recent Minnesota State Fair, he addressed their concerns in a civil manner. A nice departure from the posturing and spectacle that often marred interactions between voters and their leaders. Ironic as Franken has quite the reputation for being wrestler-like and confrontational, well suited to the "cage match" format of recent Town Halls. has the video,
Franken Talks Down Angry Mob!!!
I got to witness something really special the other day. About a dozen tea party activists had staked out Sen. Al Franken’s booth at the Minnesota State Fair and confronted him loudly when he arrived. But within minutes, he’d turned an unruly crowd into a productive conversation on health care. The discussion went from insurance reform, to the public option, to veterans benefits, to cap and trade. He made a few laugh and even told a touching story that moved a few to tears. A whole lot of common ground was found.
VIDEO: Al Franken "talks down angry mob"
AL FRANKEN: I'm going to vote the way I want to vote, now let me tell you how I decide I vote. I use my independent judgment and I don't always go by the polls... The point is people have different opinions but I thank you for your passion...

Let's look at other countries, let's not look at Canada, not England. Let's look at Switzerland...

Friday, September 4, 2009

Bill Maher: Michael Jackson IS America (Fragile, overindulgent, childish, in debt, on drugs and over the hill)

Almost 2 months after his passing, the 'King of Pop' Michael Jackson still remains a constant in the international news cycle. In light of this I'd like to relive Bill Maher's memorable monologue deconstructing America's fascination with the tragic music icon.

VIDEO: Michael Jackson is America (July 17, 2009)
BILL MAHER: Why? Why did America lose its collective sh*t over Michael Jackson? And then like Michael’s father Joe, it hit me - Michael Jackson is America! We love him so much because he reflects our nation perfectly: Fragile, Overindulgent, Childish, In debt, on drugs, and Over the Hill. Now let me state clearly I don’t wish my country was all of these bad things. I just don’t want to be one of those people Michael Jackson had around him that just tell you you’re great and that your destructive behavior is totally normal and that just give you whatever you want — like doctors...

And finally, is America over the hill? I don’t know. I hope not. But Monday is the 40th anniversary of Neil Armstrong setting foot on the moon. I can’t think of any ambitious goal we’ve reached since then. It’s sad when your peak is a moonwalk that occurred decades ago. So America faces a choice. We can go the Michael route and keep living on debt and the world’s affection for our early work or we can get our sh*t together like Britney Spears, put on our circus costume, and go out and show the world that we’ve still got it!
Read conservative support for Bill Maher's clever Michael Jackson analogy to critique America - HBO: Bill Maher’s redemptive moments

Thursday, September 3, 2009 Ledger Live - Health Care Reform Town Hall: no room for a centrist

Brian Donohue of's 'Ledger Live' reported from a town hall meeting on federal health care reform with Rep. Frank Pallone. Like similar times Town Hall meeting across America, it degenerated into a "wrestling cage match".

Brian had come to the meeting aware of the animosity that had tended to derail some of these Town hall meetings, he also came with some skepticism of the bill being passed through congress but he soon started changing his tune once he witnessed the Town Hall experience for himself:
Health Care Reform Town Hall: no room for a centrist
BRIAN DONOHUE: ... I returned today a changed man. You see, until last night I was opposed to HR3200 - that's the House Bill on Federal Health Care reform - but after seeing things like this (cut to video), I'm thinking "Anything those people are against, I should be for".

Until last night I thought the description that these Town halls as unruly, angry mob shouting matches was probably just "TV news being TV news" pointing their cameras at some yahoos and making everybody look like part of some angry mob. What I saw last night was far worse...

There was no debate going on. No discussion and no listening and there was no room for a person like me. A centrist like me who agrees with valid points on both sides of the debate but hates the fearmongering and paranoia... but there's no room for nuance or reason for this debate... no one is listening to anyone else. There is no room for facts...
Can there be any room for a centrist at a health care reform town hall meeting

Read written summary by Brian on that night's events on the 'Ledger Live' site - Health Care Reform Town Hall: no room for a centrist

At the risk of trivialising matters, speaking of resemblances the only other time you would not be surprised to see a mob of people booing a handicapped woman would be at a wrestling match. Presenting heel GM Vicki Guererro...

VIDEO: The Return of Vickie Guerrero