Saturday, January 31, 2009

Rod Blagojevich the perfect villain for TNA wrestling

Rod Blagojevich TNA villain Eric Bischoff Lex Luthor
I just wanted to supplement Pete Vere's news that former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich has been offered a role in TNA Wrestling. This blog was prescient in likening Blagojevich to a wrestling heel - Rod Blagojevich: Wrestling-style political villain.

Wrestling has been mining many of the players in Politics in recent years. WWE programming incorporated Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama wrestlers in a mock fight last year to capitalise on the tension and attention of the drawn-out Democratic Primary. Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John McCain would later appear in Video campaign spots directly addressing the WWE audience, giving the sport and it's supporters credibility as a target demographic.

With TNA's overtures to Rod Blagojevich, it would make it their second time in recent months to draw publicity by attaching themselves to a prominent political figure. The first was TNA's attempt to lure popular but polarising Republican VP nominee Sarah Palin. They got mileage out of the publicity but they ultimately never snagged Sarah Palin, an impersonator was brought in to portray her instead.

If Rod were to make his way into Wrestling, expect an Eric Bischoff-style personality. The same hair, smarminess, and smug delusion.

Video: Eric Bischoff on WWE television

TNA invites Blago to chair Main Event Mafia

I'm just getting back into writing/blogging again after taking some time off to help my wife with the birth of our fourth child. Anyway, the following TNA news release caught my eye, as it represents a real crossing of the lines between politics and wrestling. Also, it would be an excellent position for the recently impeached Illinois governor, given that the Illinois Senate has forbidden him from ever again holding elected office in the state.
Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich offered job as Chairman of TNA Wrestling’s Main Event Mafia

TNA Wrestling is offering the newly created position of Chairman for its Main Event Mafia faction - and the opportunity to openly sell chairs, steel chairs - to ousted Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich.

TNA officials confirmed today that Blagojevich, who was impeached by the Illinois House of Representatives on January 29, is being offered the “Chairman” job within its Main Event Mafia faction, an elite unit which includes U.S. Olympic Gold Medal winner Kurt Angle, former World Heavyweight Champions Kevin Nash, Booker T., and Scott Steiner, and reigning TNA Wrestling World Heavyweight Champion Sting.

Blagojevich was arrested on criminal charges on December 9, 2008, for conspiring to sell the senate seat vacated by then-President Elect Barack Obama to the highest bidder, but Angle truly believes in the U.S. justice system.

"He’s innocent until proven guilty," Angle said. "As the leader of the Main Event Mafia, I am a huge fan of the Illinois style of politics. As such, Governor Blagojevich is welcome to join me and the entire Main Event Mafia at any and all TNA events in the future, and certainly is welcome to sell his seat with us should he choose not to accept our generous offer."

Blagojevich is a former amateur boxer, so Angle is convinced Blagojevich, "easily will be able to handle the transition to pro wrestling," Angle said.

The Illinois House of Representatives voted in favor of impeachment by an astounding margin of 114-1. Only 60 votes were needed to push the impeachment forward. The single dissenting vote came from Democratic State Representative Milton Patterson, who represents the Southwest side of Chicago.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Introducing American Pundit Fighting's commisioner - Jim Stark


After 2 years behind the broadcasting table authoring the blog and conducting interviews. I, Jim Stark am stepping into the foreground to reveal my new persona.

Chris Matthews discusses Rush Limbaugh's influence with Dick Armey and Joan Walsh

Any questions about Rush's future as Conservatism's leader or his ability to remain on top have well and truly been answered by his dominance in this week's political headlines. There is no better illustration than the grovelling by Congressman Phil Gingrey (R) after having having the gall to cross Rush.

Chris Matthews held a discussion regarding Rush' influence and was visibly beside himself after witnessing the sight of a sitting congressman pleading for a "Radio Giant's" mercy.

Video: Chris Matthews hosting a discussion between Joan Walsh and Dick Armey

CHRIS MATTHEWS: ...the congressman, because he come (sic) back and grovelled at the altar of - GOD! (incredulous) Rush Limbaugh. What a sight!... (laughs) You can see who's got the power here
JOAN WALSH: Yes. He's licking his boots. Let's be honest. Have you ever seen anything more pathetic than this display?...

AllahPundit from HotAir speculates on why some leftist corners are elevating Rush
Norah O’Donnell to Mike Pence: Why are you so beholden to Rush Limbaugh?
A lefty friend e-mailed me this afternoon before this even aired asking why MSNBC was running so many segments today on Limbaugh being the new head of the GOP. Answer: For the same reason Obama name-checked him in that meeting with Republicans leaders last week, knowing full well that it’d leak. The more the left builds him up, the more they can tar the whole GOP with whatever controversial thing he’ll say tomorrow.

- Read Dick Armey's bio
- Read Joan Walsh's bio
As an aside expect to see some fallout from Dick Armey's seemingly sexist remark towards Joan Walsh - Dick Armey assaults Joan Walsh verbally

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Chris Rock and Jon Stewart on Making fun of President Obama

A lot has been made about the difficulty comedians may have in making fun of President Obama. For some the insinuation is that comedians will take it easy on him because he is America's first Black President. He is also a 'Democratic' politician and most comedians tend to be left-leaning, though Bill Clinton was and still remains a comedy staple. These assumptions show an ignorance to comedy's tradition of irreverence and exposing politically incorrect truths.

Comedian Chris Rock on CNN offers why President Obama may be a difficult target
Chris Rock on making fun of Barack Obama
CHRIS ROCK: He's just one of those guys, you know, like Will Smith. There's no Will Smith jokes. There's no Brad Pitt jokes. You know, what are you going to say? "Ooh, you used to have sex with Jennifer Aniston. Now you have sex with Angelina Jolie. You're such a loser." What do you say? "Ooh, your movies are big. You make $20 million." There's nothing to say about Brad Pitt.

CNN: Why is Obama like that?

ROCK: It's like "Ooh, you're young and virile and you've got a beautiful wife and kids. You're the first African-American president." You know, what do you say?

Before the Election, Jon Stewart told Rolling Stone Magazine why he thinks Obama wouldn't be any harder for comedians to target
Rolling Stone Magazine: America's Anchors
RS: But wouldn't, say, a President Obama be harder to make fun of than these guys?

STEWART: Are you kidding?

COLBERT and STEWART in unison: His dad was a goat-herder!

STEWART: I'd rather make fun of somebody who is wearing their humble beginnings on their sleeve than somebody who has created a situation where casualties are involved. So the idea that somehow it's easier now -- it's not. Because right now it is a comic box lined with sadness.

If you're wondering how comedy's track record has been in handling President Obama and were wishing that some sort of thinktank tabulated all the jokes that were directed towards politicians last year. Well you're in luck friend.

The Center for Media and Public affairs at George Mason University created a listing for all Late Night Comedy's targets in 2008.
Late Night Joke Target Counts by Month
Tonight Show, David Letterman, Conan O'Brien, Daily Show and Colbert Report
January 1st through September 30, 2008
John McCain - 897 [jokes in total]
George W Bush - 805
Hillary Clinton - 641
Barack Obama - 531
Sarah Palin - 300

Based on their research The CMPA found:
The Comedy Campaign: The Role of Late-Night TV Shows in Campaign '08
· Presidential candidates appeared over 100 times on late-night TV, four times as often as in the 2004 campaign
· John McCain and his family appeared on more than 20 shows
· Jay Leno edged out Jon Stewart as the host with the most candidates as guests
· John McCain attracted 658 jokes from late-night comedians during the general election
· Barack Obama finished fourth in the joke race behind McCain, Sarah Palin, and George W Bush
· The GOP ticket was joked about four times as often as the Democratic ticket
· Republicans have attracted more jokes than Democrats in four straight elections
· Leno’s jokes were the most balanced between the parties; Letterman’s were the least balanced

- Find CMPAs archive of findings for the Presidential race; Election Watch 2008
- Download the Media Monitor PDF; The Comedy Campaign
- Read Punchline Magazine's take on the finding; Obama targeted in 769 jokes last year

Hugh Hewitt asks John Boehner about Rush Limbaugh

Talk Radio has asserted it's influence once again. By taunting GOP leaders, conservative talkers led by Rush may have played a part in emboldening their political representatives.
Republicans find their voice
Congressional Republicans, who only weeks ago were sheepish about their own electoral failures and cowed by Obama's polish and popularity, are suddenly punching back -hard- on both sides of the Capitol.
Conservative Talker Hugh Hewitt sat with GOP House Leader John Boehner to discuss the chess match in Washington and the influence of Rush Limbaugh
House Republican Leader John Boehner on the non-stimulus bill and Rush.
HUGH HEWITT: Unbelievable. Now the President brought up Rush Limbaugh in your meeting. What did he say? And why did he come up?

JOHN BOEHNER: Well, I don't want to characterize what went on in the meeting at the White House. That's not really appropriate. But it was just, it was really just a casual remark as though some of us were taking instructions from Rush. Now I like Rush, but he’s a talk show host, and I'm in the policy-making business. And the President already heard what we had to say, and it didn't come from Rush Limbaugh. It came from us. And I'm the one that outlined the kind of wasteful spending in here that I don't think will achieve the objective.

HEWITT: Do you think the conservative base, that listens to Rush, listens to me, listens to the other talkers, are behind you?
BOEHNER: I do. I think a lot of Americans, probably more than half the American people, are looking up at some of this spending and wondering what in the world are they doing? Or they're saying "Oh. My. God. There they go again."
- Read the full transcript between Hugh Hewitt and John Boehner
- Listen and Download the audio between Hugh Hewitt and John Boehner

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

House GOP member fires back at Rush Limbaugh: "Its easy... to stand back and throw bricks"

I've speculated previously about Rush's future place in conservatism. With the Republican brand hurting and a popular Democratic President holding majorities in both houses, Rush Limbaugh as Conservatism's lead figurehead has all eyes on his next move.

In recent days Rush has distanced himself and undermined GOP leaders in the senate.
As Jonathan Martin of Politico reports:
House GOP member to Rush: Back off
Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Ga., did not take kindly to this assessment in an interview with Politico Tuesday.

"I think that our leadership, Mitch McConnell and John Boehner, are taking the right approach," Gingrey said. "I mean, it’s easy if you’re Sean Hannity or Rush Limbaugh or even sometimes Newt Gingrich to stand back and throw bricks. You don’t have to try to do what’s best for your people and your party. You know you’re just on these talk shows and you’re living well and plus you stir up a bit of controversy and gin the base and that sort of that thing. But when it comes to true leadership, not that these people couldn’t be or wouldn’t be good leaders, they’re not in that position of John Boehner or Mitch McConnell."
Though Talk Radio has played an integral role in the successes of the GOP, it hasn't always been greeted warmly by their politicians. During the heated immigration debate in 2007, Trent Lott famously said:
Republicans Hearing Static From Conservative Radio Hosts
"I'm sure senators on both sides of the aisle are being pounded by these talk-radio people who don't even know what's in the bill." To the New York Times, he had offered: "Talk radio is running America. We have to deal with that problem."
He was roundly smacked down by a band of prominent conservative pundits from Rush Limbaugh to Mark Levin, Laura Ingraham, Hugh Hewitt and Michael Savage. Read my original post here - The Pundits VS The Politicans

Michael Harrison, Editor of Talker's magazine offered this diagnosis at the time
Republicans Hearing Static From Conservative Radio Hosts
Republican politicians "assumed they owned conservative talk radio," Harrison said. "But support of conservatives by talk radio was only being borrowed as long as conservatives felt that Republicans served the conservative movement."
The Politicians are between a rock and a hard place. I've stated previously that Pundits are judged only on their rhetoric which allows for more idealism, emotion and ideologically purity. Politicians are ultimately judged on how their delivery matches their rhetoric. Whilst it may serve them at times to dismiss Talk Radio, because of its enormous influence Politicians cannot afford to anger or cut Talk Radio lose.

Update (Jan 28, 2009): Congressman Phil Gingrey rings apologises directly to Rush
Congressman Phil Gingrey to Rush: "I Regret Those Stupid Comments"
GINGREY: Rush, thank you so much. I thank you for the opportunity. Of course, it's not exactly the way I wanted to come on, but I appreciate you giving me the opportunity. Mainly, I want to express to you and all your listeners my very sincere regret for those comments I made yesterday to Politico. Basically the intent of my words to them was to discuss the unique position of congressional Republicans and our leadership, particularly John Boehner and Mitch McConnell. I clearly ended up putting my foot in my mouth on some of those comments (laughs) and I just wanted to tell you, Rush, and -- and all our conservative giants who help us so much to maintain our base and grow it and get back this majority that I regret those stupid comments.

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Daily Show: Jason Jones goes to Pundit School

The Daily Show featured a recent segment that echoes the sentiment of my wrestling analogy to Punditry:
A letter from the Commissioner
Success in wrestling is not measured by how much the audience loves you or hates you. Its how much they care. If the audience cheers for you then you are a crowd favorite, if they boo you it means you make a compelling villain. If the crowd are apathetic they’ll chant ‘booooring, boooring”, you won’t sell merchandise, you’ll be relegated to the bottom of the card and possibly out of a job.

In the world of punditry , its great if the audience agrees with you and they see a champion of their ideals. But often controversy can be just as compelling. The advantages of getting a reaction for or against you is negligible, any reaction at all is favorable to your career. It means people pay attention when you speak, it shows that you’re relevant, it guarantees that you’ll be discussed in the blogosphere, the nightly news and on the radio.



Jon Stewart introducing the Daily Show's look into the world of punditry
JON STEWART: Often we as viewers, news consumers rely on talking heads of Cable news networks. Not only to inform us but to entertain us as well. How do they get so darn good? Jason Jones reports
JASON JONES: Pundits - we rely on their expertise to turn complex issues into common wisdom, from former Generals to Party insiders and countless schmucks no one has ever heard of. Almost anyone can be a pundit...

The most interesting segment was when Jason Jones consulted Jess Todtfeld of Media Training Worldwide. Jess without a hint of irony expressed the things that make for an effective Pundit - confrontation, controversy and emotion.
JESS TODTFELD: One of the most important things to realise is that body language counts... he had energy, he had enthusiasm. He's got it.
JASON JONES: but he doesn't know anything
JESS TODTFELD: Right, but he is getting name recognition and he's a big YouTube star... emotion, extreme emotion that was very effective...
JASON JONES: When the cameras roll don't be afraid to be personally horrific
JESS TODTFELD: "Dangerously psychotic, most astonishingly" Great! Bold action words...
JASON JONES: and most important of all, act like a child.
JESS TODTFELD: Attacks! Attack the other guy. Attack a way of thought. This is good stuff for pundits.

If you would like to enlist the services of Media Training Worldwide go here
Media Training Worlwide appearance on Comedy Central's "The Daily Show"
All joking aside, looking better, sounding better, and having more control in front of the media is serious business. If you would like to know the real ways of leveraging media coverage, reach out to Media Training Worldwide. We are happy to chat with you, give you a quick quote, or put together a customized proposal.

Watch conservative talker, Kevin James' smackdown with Chris Matthews in full (May 15, 2008)

Rush Limbaugh offers his own "bipartisan" Stimulus plan but says Obama wants me to fail

president obama, rush limbaugh, stimulus plan
It's on! Rush Limbaugh fired back at Obama after he was called out as reported Friday afternoon.
The Great Unifier Attacks Rush
RUSH: ...Friday morning in a meeting with House and Senate Republican leaders, President Obama basically told them to stop listening to me, that's not how things get done in Washington. "We can't let Rush Limbaugh stall the stimulus plan." Now, this is the great unifier. This is the man that's going to unify everybody and usher in a new era of bipartisan and love. He's obviously more frightened of me than he is Mitch McConnell. He is more frightened of me than he is of, say, John Boehner, which doesn't say much about our party. I mean, to tell you the truth, folks, if the president is a little more worried about somebody on the radio than he is about somebody on Capitol Hill... I think Obama wants me to fail, there's no question, Obama didn't use the words, but President Obama, by telling you and elected Republicans in Washington not to listen to me because I am not how things get done in Washington, he has said that he wants me to fail...

Rush cheekily flipped the frame that he was "hoping for President Obama to fail" by suggesting the inverse. He also challenged President Obama's postpartisan credibility by sarcastically calling him the "Great Unifier". Rush remarked on his influence and the sorry state of the Republican minority who Obama is not intimidated by.

Interestingly the mischievous Rush Limbaugh offered a his own straight faced version of the Stimulus plan on Monday's episode. He assured his viewers that he was serious about offering a bipartisan alternative for Obama despite his repeated skepticism of compromise in Washington:
The Great Unifier Attacks Rush
He wants a bipartisan bill... what he really means is Republicans caving to liberal ideas. That's the definition of bipartisan. But I'm going to take him at his word... that is that he's willing to listen to any idea that works...

Rush Limbaugh laid out his Obama/Limbaugh plan thusly:
The Obama-Limbaugh Bipartisan Stimulus Plan of 2009
RUSH: I have a serious proposal to make: the Obama-Limbaugh Stimulus Plan 2009. There is a serious debate in this country as to how best to end the recession. Recessions will end on their own if they're left alone. The average recession will last five months to 11 months. The average recovery from each recession will last six years. What can make the recession worse is the wrong kind of government intervention. The wrong kind of government intervention is precisely what President Obama has proposed. I don't believe that his stimulus plan is a stimulus plan at all. I don't think it's designed to stimulate anything but the Democrat Party. It's designed to repair the power losses from the nineties forward of the Democrat Party and to entrench this party for, quote, unquote, eternal power like Franklin Delano Roosevelt did with his New Deal.

Rush Limbaugh's plan distilled in a sentence:
RUSH: ...Obama wins by a 54-46 majority, so he gets 54% of the trillion bucks. Spend it his way. We get 46% of the trillion bucks to spend our way, and then we compare. Then we see which stimulus actually works and works the fastest...

Follow American Pundit Fighting

The PunditFight blog has added a new button found on the Right Hand column that will allow readers to 'Follow the blog'. It's a handy little device that will allow readers to get updated on new posts as well as proclaiming their support for the APF blog. Also just like "Top Friends" in Myspace and "Following" on Twitter it's a handy way of promoting your own blog. Kindly help in growing the APF community by following the blog and telling your friends.

Learn more about what's involved in following a blog:
What is Following?
Do you have a favorite blog and want to let the author and readers know that you are a fan? Well now you can do that and more with the Blogger Following feature! You can even keep track of the blogs you follow via your Reading List on the Blogger dashboard.

How do I become a Follower of a blog?
There are several ways to become a follower of a blog. One of the easiest ways is to visit a blog that has added the Following widget and click on the "Follow this Blog" link under the "Followers" widget...

Leonard Pitts Jr: Rush Limbaugh is a "clown who perverts conservatism for attention"

Wrestling and punditry are common in their theatrical performance and use of personas. Pundit personas tend to fall into two categories, mischievous and provocative or populist and affirming. In wrestling, Villains are referred to as 'heels' and heroes are called 'faces'. Success in punditry is measured by ones ability to grab attention and not necessarily by their prescience or accuracy. Therefore being loved or hated is negligible to success, all that matters is one's ability to draw.

Whilst most people become outraged by the provocative things 'heel' pundits say, there are others who are less threatened because they see through the act.

Previously I've mentioned how some pundits view their peers. Liberal comedian Janeane Garofalo believes controversial conservative Ann Coulter is a "performance artist" channeling Andy Kaufman. Whilst Bill O'Reilly sees her as a satirist not unlike Jonathan Swift.

Keith Olbermann derisively refers to Rush Limbaugh as a "comedian". Similarly, columnist Leonard Pitts Jr of the Miami Herald refers to the prominent talker as a "clown" who's main agenda is to attract attention

Read Leonard Pitts Jr's taunting column in response to Rush' hope for a failed Obama Presidency

Far-right Obama critics get a reply
Not because what Limbaugh said on his radio program a few days before the inauguration was an outrage -- outrage is the point, remember? -- but rather, because of what the thing he said says about him and his fellow clowns.

"I hope he fails."

The irony is that Limbaugh and the other clowns would have you believe they are bedrock defenders of this country, that they love it more than the rest of us, more than anything.

That's a lie. Limbaugh just told us so, emphatically.

It's not the country they love. It's the attention. The ideology, their perversion of conservatism, is but a means toward that end.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Daily Show: Fox News Fear Imbalance

Video: The Daily Show on Fox News' early coverage of the Obama Administration

Jon Stewart commenting after showing a montage of Fox News' negativity and dread for the 2-day old Obama administration
JON STEWART: That's one day! Holy Sh*t, Fox News really scared about what might happen oblivious to what already has. And how about Hannity. My God I owe Colmes an apology. I thought that guy was doing anything. Apparently he was the sandbag holding down the hot air crazy balloon

The montage featured a host of APF Pundits on Fox Programming from Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity and guest Rush Limbaugh, and new addition Glenn Beck. The segment titled 'Fox News: Fear Imbalance' a play on the network's proud tagline "Fox News: Fair and Balanced".

- Download the Video of 'Fox News: Fear Imbalance' from CrooksandLiars.com

President Obama calls out Rush Limbaugh

rush limbaugh barack obama fight fail
In a recent post, I speculated that Hannity might supercede Rush during the Obama Years as he was directly singled out and began feuding with Candidate Obama. I had said that in wrestling terms, Hannity and Obama "were working a program"

Now President Obama seems to have turned his sights on Rush Limbaugh. As the New York Post reports:
PREZ ZINGS GOP FOE IN A $TIMULATING TALK
President Obama warned Republicans on Capitol Hill today that they need to quit listening to radio king Rush Limbaugh if they want to get along with Democrats and the new administration.

"You can't just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done," he told top GOP leaders, whom he had invited to the White House to discuss his nearly $1 trillion stimulus package...

The news was released on Friday so Rush Limbaugh has not been able to respond on his show. Expect Rush to make hay of this personal challenge when he returns to the airwaves, the same way Hannity did.

It'll be interesting to see how effective Barack's strategy of invoking and marginalising conservative talkers is. Not only in marshalling public opinion but also in gaming GOP leaders in Washington.

Rush Limbaugh on Hannity: On President Obama courting conservatives (Part 2 of 2)

>>Continued from part 1 of 2

Video and Full transcript of Rush Limbaugh with Sean Hannity

Below are selected excerpts:
Rush answering the charge that Conservative Talk has push the Republican party too far to the right
Rush on Fox News Channel with Sean Hannity
HANNITY: I keep reading that guys like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity and conservative Mark Levin -- The Great One, our friend -- that we're taking the party, pulling the party way far to the right, and that the real answer is to moderate.

RUSH: (laughing) You know, I read those things, and I listen to these Wizards of Smart on our side go on these cable networks and say, "Yeah, well, the problem is that Limbaugh and Hannity are moving the party too much to the right." And Colin Powell says, "Yeah, the Republican Party should stop listening to Limbaugh." Well, excuse me. We haven't pulled the party to the right at all. This party has gone to the left; it's gone to the center. We haven't done this. They got the candidate they wanted. I know Senator McCain's a friend of yours. But they got the candidate they wanted. They got the campaign they wanted, and they lost huge...

Rush challenging President Obama's openminded outreach to conservatives
RUSH: (addressing the camera) Does anybody, anybody, with even half a brain, really believe that Barack Obama went to dinner with a bunch of conservatives to have his mind changed?

HANNITY: Good point.

RUSH: If he did, there are some genuine conservatives he coulda talked to. He coulda invited us; he could have gone to Human Events; he could have gone to some people at the Heritage Foundation. He doesn't want his mind changed. He's co-opting these people. He's bringing them in. He wants the establishment media, inside the Beltway punditry and so-called journalism, to be afraid to criticize him. I mean, if he's broken bread with them and he's made them feel good about themselves and given them an inside view of exactly who he is, it's going to be very difficult for these people to criticize him. I don't think for a minute that he cared to have his mind changed...

- Download Video of Rush Limbaugh with Sean Hannity (Part one)
- Download Video of Rush Limbaugh with Sean Hannity (Part two)
- Read the full transcript of Sean Hannity's sitdown with Rush Limbaugh

Friday, January 23, 2009

The "postpartisan" Obama Years: Will Conservative Radio still be on offense and Liberal talk on defense?

One of Barack Obama's winning campaign messages was that he offered a break from the partisanship of the Bush/Clinton era. What he contemptuously referred to as "refighting the same fights we had in the 1990's". During Bill Clinton's reign, the opposition noise machine was dubbed the "Vast Right Wing Conspiracy". During Bush' 8 years, the opposition was diagnosed as having "Bush Derangement Syndrome".

Barack Obama has always projected the image of pragmatism and post-partisanship. Seen as a generational shift away from the tired battles of the past. He has aimed to solidify these credentials through his cabinet picks welcoming former rivals and those across the aisle.

Whilst this might be the conciliatory tone Obama hopes to set for Washington, the same may not extend to opinion media. As the power shifts from complete Republican control in 2000 to Democratic domination in 2008. Human nature would dictate that the inverse would also take place in Talk radio and partisan media, the apologists and gloaters shifting to become the naysayers and vice versa.

Whether it's human nature or not, it's now the business formula. The pundit equivalent of a change in possession in a football game.

Matt Taibbi identified this tit-for-tat media phenomenon when the political tide shifted when Republicans lost their majorities in the midterms of 06'.
Hate The Player, Not The Game
Some of the commentators took the tack, saying that what happened to Fox was a repudiation of their formula for securing an audience, that people were somehow tired of hate media, tired of that kind of invective.

Whereas, you know, I think actually the opposite is true. I mean, some of the people that they lost market share to were of the same kind of shouting and hating style, people like Glenn Beck from CNN Headline News – either that, or they were simply the opposite political orientation.

You know, Fox sort of became famous and became a major media power by having a lot of shows like The O'Reilly Factor that focused heavily on demonizing a liberal enemy. And I think you started to have some shows from the opposite end of the spectrum, like Keith Olbermann's show on MSNBC, which, to some degree, did the same thing in reverse for liberal audiences.

Matt Taibbi is quick to qualify that he may not be the most ideal spokesperson
The problem for me personally is that I have absolutely no credibility in this area, because that's exactly what I do for a living. I mean, I'm sort of an ad hominem expert for Rolling Stone

The new President's hope in post-partisanship in Politics will be difficult if the media find it in their best interest to maintain division to attract audiences. After all everyone loves a good fight.

- Read and Listen to Matt Taibbi's interview on tit-for-tat punditry - Hate The Player, Not The Game
- Read Matt Taibbi's article on this formula - THE LOW POST: Keep on Hatin'
- Read my previous posts discussing Taibbi's interview and article
- Go to Matt Taibbi's Wiki page
- Go to Matt Taibbi's official blog

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Daily Show: Barack Obama sounds just like George W Bush

VIDEO: Jon Stewart on Obama's Inaugural speech


The Daily Show notices Barack's Inaugural speech sounded like something George W Bush might say
Changefest ‘09 - Obama’s Inaugural Speech
JASON JONES: Why are you doing this? [being cynical]
JON STEWART: I don't know, what am I suppose to do? This is all I know.
JASON JONES: It's 'Hope' Day One.
JON STEWART: I know. I don't like it either...
JASON JONES: It's like, Why is cheese delicious on Italian food but when you melt it on Chinese food it's disgusting? I don't know. I guess when Obama says this stuff, I don't think he really means it. And that gives me hope...
Christopher Buckley, speechwriter for the Elder President Bush said this on the art of speeches
What Would Obama Say?
"The trick of speechwriting, if you will, is making the client say your brilliant words while somehow managing to make it sound as though they issued straight from their own soul," said the writer Christopher Buckley, who was a speechwriter for the first President Bush. "Imagine putting the words ‘Ask not what your country can do for you’ into the mouth of Ron Paul, and you can see the problem."
To quote the band 'Survivor' - "It's the singer, not the song".
Hugh Hewitt made a similar observation on the power (and transperancy) of Obama's cadence during the campaign season - Hugh Hewitt on how Obama talks: Cadence over content

Rush Limbaugh on Hannity: Does Rush Want Obama to Succeed? (Part 1 of 2)

Video: Rush Limbaugh appearing on 'Hannity', January 21st 2009

Part One of Sean Hannity's conversation with Rush Limbaugh aired yesterday, January 21st.
Rush is traditionally not one to do the interview circuit however this will be his second in a relatively short period of time after sitting down with Barbara Walters for her special.
Rush Limbaugh on "Obamamania"
RUSH LIMBAUGH: ...I'm suspicious. When I see the media and the entire establishment on the left lay down and become cult-like and not examine who he is. What he's done and not really examine what he says but just praise him for how he says it. My antennae goes up. A lot of people right now are absorbed in the historic nature of this, the first black president and so forth. That's great, that's wonderful. But I got over that months ago after he won the election...

The site being called PunditFight, my antennae was tuned to whether my speculation of tension between #2 Hannity and #1 Limbaugh was well-founded. Statements in a NY Times feature had given the impression that Rush was trepidatious and condescending towards Hannity, as he was dismissive of his closest ratings rival.

Interestingly a Hannity interview with Rush in 2005 may put any conjecture on this to bed:
Rush Limbaugh Gives Sean a Rare Interview (October 19, 2005)
RUSH LIMBAUGH: I have a practice of really not talking about the competition. I'm from the old school. In my mind they don't even exist.

Psychologically, when I sit down at noon, I'm it. I'm the only thing on. Nobody else does what I do. Nobody else has the opportunity. That's the psychological mindset. It's not an ego thing; it's just the way I've always approached it.

I started radio in 1967 and you never talked about the competition. You just never did. You didn't elevate them. You didn't promote them. You didn't give them credence. You didn't give them viability. You didn't even establish that they were alive...

continued in Part 2 of 2>>

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Rush Limbaugh to appear on Hannity

I've recently been pondering whether Sean Hannity has the chance to usurp Rush Limbaugh during the upcoming Obama years. Especially considering the speculation of gamesmanship between the first-place Rush and second-placed Hannity.

All these questions might be answered when Rush appears on Hannity's new program for Fox. Part One airs tonight, January 21st.
Stack of Stuff Quick Hits Page
Story #1: Part One of Rush Interview on Hannity Tonight
RUSH: A reminder, folks. Yesterday morning at ten o'clock here at the EIB Southern Command, I taped a 30-minute interview with Sean Hannity for his new show on Fox, and it's a two-part interview that will air starting tonight (the second part is tomorrow night). His show is at nine o'clock on the Fox News Channel. Everybody says it was good, typically good, but I thought I rambled and had diarrhea of the mouth a couple of times. I don't watch myself on TV, so you'll have to watch and tell me.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Barack Obama's Inauguration Address 2009: Full Video and transcript


Transcript: Obama's inaugural address
What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them -- that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works -- whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public's dollars will be held to account -- to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day -- because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.

Barack Obama's inauguration: Uniters, Critics and party poopers

rush limbaugh conservatives
Rush Limbaugh and the Punditocracy on Barack Obamas' Inauguration
Today is a historic occasion. The inauguration of Barack Obama, America's 44th and first African American President. It is also a transfer of power from an outgoing Republican President to a newly elected Democratic President. The theme of unity which was set by Barack Obama's campaign and his fabled 'pragmatism' has carried on to the politicians and candidates who have been critical of Obama.

Glenn Beck speaks to unsuccessful GOP Vice Presidential Nominee Sarah Palin via HotAir
Palin’s got a fee-vah and the only prescription is more Hopenchange
SARAH PALIN... he does have, I believe a strong desire. A since idea to bring this country together under an umbrella of of optimism and hope and I look forward to working with him on that.
American Morning's John Roberts speaks to former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney
MITT ROMNEY: This is not the Barack Obama we thought we knew
He's been already reaching out... he's very much following the speeches he's given on his campaign... he's showing a pragmatic bent... that's the direction we'd like to see.
While politicians have a pragmatic interest in commity, Pundits do not. Pundits are judged on their rhetoric alone so they have the luxury of being more idealistic and ideologically pure. Whilst the tone of unity might linger in the political class certain Conservative are setting their own tone in their opposition and skepticism of Obama.

Prominent conservative talkers Rush Limbaugh and Michelle Malkin expressed objection to the mood of fealty and conservatives "caving in"
Obama naysayers speak out
"Jan. 20 has turned into a schlock inauguration, (where) every last moocher has come to cash in on Obama," says the conservative blogger and pundit. "There are some of us who want to bang our heads against the wall."

While most Republicans now in office are saying all the right things about Tuesday's proceedings... some conservatives can't quite get themselves in the "We Are One" mood...
On his radio show last week, Rush Limbaugh railed against "people on our side of the aisle who have caved and who say, 'Well, I hope he succeeds. We have to give him a chance.'"

"Why?" Limbaugh demanded. "They didn't give Bush a chance in 2000. Before he was inaugurated, the search-and-destroy mission had begun...
Rush Limbaugh continued his theme as the conservative counterweight on his show
The Last Man Standing Refuses to Join the Cult of Barack Obama
The reason why this program's audience is going to skyrocket is because we're going to be the only ones doing this. We're going to be the only ones not in the tank. We're going to be the only ones that have not throw in the towel of responsibility and objectivity. We're the ones that have not joined the comet, the cult, the ones not heading to the Hale-Bopp comet!

Monday, January 19, 2009

January 21, Obama's Inauguration Viewing Party - Manning Bar, University of Sydney

manning bar us studies centre
Just a friendly reminder. For those in Sydney (Australia) who are interested watching the Inauguration of America's 44th President with fellow observers, I would recommend the Viewing Party hosted by the US Studies Centre:
Inauguration Watch
Election Watch winds up on January 21 with our final event - the Inauguration of President Obama. Join us on this historic day to watch Obama's speech on the big screen, followed by a Q&A session with our pundits and then watch the spectacle and colour of the inaugural parade. The event is free and bookings are not necessary...

Manning Bar, University of Sydney
21 January 2009, Free
12.00pm (screening starts at 1.00pm)

The US studies Centre website is a handy resource for observers who are interested in the American Electoral System and it's history. It has a handy listing for what's in store for the Presidential Inauguration Ceremony on Tuesday, January 20th (Wednesday 21st for Australians)
Inauguration Day Events
- The Morning Worship Service
- The Procession to the Capitol
- Swearing-in Ceremony
- The Inaugural Address
- The Inaugural Luncheon
- The Inaugural Parade
- The Inaugural Ball

Australian who are interested in watching the events unfold live will need to set their alarm clocks.
4 of the 5 Major Networks (not SBS) will be carrying the Inauguration live at 3am. Some running specials that begin earlier.
Channel 7:
3am - 5am Special News Presentation

Channel 9:
10:55pm - 5.30am. Nine News Special

Channel 10
1:30am - 6am. The Inauguration of Barack Obama

ABC Channel
3:25am - 5am. The Inauguration of President Obama
5am - 6am. Made in Chicago: The Making of Barack Obama (repeated)

The rise of Sean Hannity during an Obama Presidency

Liberals have often charged that Conservatives are more effective as the opposition party. Conservative Talk Radio and Fox News enjoyed an ascendancy during the Clinton Years, particularly with the Lewinsky scandal. The effective onslaught spearheaded by Talk Radio, Hillary Clinton dubbed "The Vast Right Wing conspiracy". A term, Rush Limbaugh would cheekily use to refer to his fan base

APF Heavyweight Rush Limbaugh has been the Number One talker throughout both Bush Presidencies, gaining special popularity during the Clinton years. His crowning achievement then was being credited as 'National Precinct Captain' for the 94' Republican Revolution.
In a previous post I asked - Will Rush Limbaugh remain conservatism's leader 2009 onwards?

Though there are no signs of Rush slowing down, Sean Hannity is well positioned to overtake Rush now that he is no longer encumbered by a liberal foil in Alan Colmes. Though Rush is quick to deny he has any "competitors".

Sean showed his designs to be Obama's Number #1 challenger with his sensational documentary, Obama and Friends: History of Radicalism. A late gambit by Sean to sway Election votes from Obama, among other things it charged that Obama's community organising past was rooted in "radicalism"
Obama’s Personal Ties Are Subject of Program on Fox News Channel
The program was the latest step in the evolution of opinion journalism on cable news. It comes as one of Fox News’s rivals, MSNBC, becomes increasingly liberal... But Mr. Hannity’s program on Sunday was notable in presenting partisan accusations against Mr. Obama in a journalistic, documentary format in prime time...
Mr. Hannity’s executive producer, John Finley, said that the program was clearly opinion and that the audience — on average 1.5 million to 2 million — knew to take it as such.

Video from Hannity's News Special: Obama and Friends: History of Radicalism


But the best argument that Hannity may supercede Rush is that Sean has personally sparred with Obama. The then-campaigning Barack Obama often singled out the popular Conservative talker in print interviews and on the campaign trail.

In wrestling parlance, this is know as "working a program". Where 2 combatants develop a feud usually beginning with distant verbal exchanges, escalating into something more. Whilst Obama hasn't directly mentioned Hannity since his election victory, Hannity is sure to continue the rivalry regardless.
Obama’s surrogates, his best friends have been out there. We even have tape. We’ve got Father Pfleger - his Farrakhan supporting friend has attacked me, Obama himself in print and he attacked me by name. He sent somebody out there to “tear me up”. Moss the new pastor attacked me. Revered Wright has attacked me multiple times by name… Here’s the attacks (cue audio montage of Obama supporters calling out Sean Hannity)

- Listen to an audio compilation of Barack Obama supporters taunting Sean Hannity

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Barack Obama and Sarah Palin: Basketball and Politics

This blog is devoted to the analogy that politics and punditry is not unlike Pro-wrestling. However in the recent President election, observers chose to use another sporting analogy to describe the candidates and the way they might govern - Basketball.

The election featured two former high school basketball players, Barack Obama and Sarah Palin. Whilst Sarah Palin's persona was dominated by the image of a self-styled 'Hockey Mom' and hunter. She originally made a name for herself as captain and point guard for her school's basketball team that won the Alaska state championship in 1982. Her basketball nickname "Sarah Barracuda".

The Weekly Standard featured an article describing how Palin's game on the basketball court might inform her leadership style:
Game Changer by Jessica Gavora (Writer and former Palin basketball opponent)
"Al I ever really needed to know I learned on the basketball court."

That's Sarah Palin, circa 2004, when she was merely, as the Obama campaign would say, "the former mayor of a town of 9,000 with zero foreign policy experience."...

Palin earned her now-famous nickname on the hardcourt--"Sarah Barracuda."...

"I know this sounds hokey," she told an interviewer in 2006, "but basketball was a life-changing experience for me." The problem for today's feminists is that the life lessons Palin learned from basketball have made her their biggest nightmare.

Video: Barack Obama playing basketball in Hawaii

Interestingly Barack's basketball nickname was 'Barry O’Bomber. Somewhat ironic considering the William Ayers connections detractors were trying to pin on him.

Below are a collection of articles using the basketball analogy to provide insight into the incoming Obama administration.:

1) Basketball is in. Bowling is out.
The Presidential Pickup Game
Sharp elbows are already flying in the Obama camp. With Barack Obama the first avid basketball player to be elected president, political appointees, college coaches and NBA officials are all angling to get in on the game...
Many presidents have found it politically expedient to bring along a favored sport to the White House...

2) Q & A with retired Basketball superstar Reggie Miller
Reggie Miller: Obama's hoops style and his presidency
CNN: Speaking of being commander in chief, what are the lessons that you take away from Obama's basketball that you think would be useful?

Miller: If you look at his demeanor, he's very cool; you have to be cool under pressure. You can't make hasty decisions. You've got to look at the full picture as a whole and then you assess it. And I think from a strategic and a political standpoint, I think that very much sums up Mr. Obama.

3) How basketball has informed Barack's Cabinet
Obama’s ‘Dream Team’ - Michael Falcone
Besides their impressive resumes and political star-power, a few of President-elect Barack Obama’s top cabinet choices have something else in common — hoop dreams.

Though these days Eric H. Holder Jr., Susan E. Rice and Gen. James L. Jones, may be more comfortable handling policy memos than shooting free throws, at one point they were very much at home on the court...

It's worth noting that Sarah Palin and Barack Obama were not standout Basketball players but as their stars have risen in Politics, their modest roles on the court have become the stuff of legend.
Palin was no pushover on basketball court
Unlike the publicity tied to her ascent in politics of late, she didn’t get a lot of ink in Alaska’s newspapers when she played hoops.

Like Barack Obama, who played in high school, Palin was not a star...
“I think it’s one of those things where the legend grows when a person’s stature increases,” said Anthony Jensen, the school’s last four-sport athlete. “Everybody’s role gets remembered bigger than it might have been.”

Friday, January 16, 2009

Spiderman to Pepsi: Barack Obama sells

spiderman barack obama
Barack Obama has well and truly cemented his place in the cultural zeitgeist. Jon Stewart remarked on this even before he was elected as President when the Obama likeness was used to sell cars.

Now Spiderman and Pepsi are in on the act. They do distance themselves slightly from Obama so as to not alienate consumers.
Pepsi defending it's new logo and branding
Yes, We Can (Try to Hop on the Obama Marketing Bandwagon)
Officials from Pepsi insist that their product’s new look and message in no way is intended to copy Obama’s message, but rather to align their product with the mood of the country right now.

“Pepsi has always stood for youthful exuberance and optimism, which is reflected in our new campaign like never before,” Pepsi spokeswoman Nicole Bradley told ABC News. “We can't speak to the president-elect's design sensibilities, but we're all over his prevailing spirit of optimism. That's as refreshingly bipartisan as it gets."

Marvel Comics justifies why they issued a SpiderMan/Obama Inauguration Comic
Spider-Man Comic Starring Obama Sells Out in Record Numbers Nationwide
Steve Wacker, an editor who worked on the issue, told FOXNews.com that Marvel Comics decided to write the story after learning that Obama collected Spider-Man comics as a child.

"It's less of a political statement than it is of a 'Spidey' fan made good," Wacker said.

Crassness in advertising is not new. Politicians crafting themselves on a message of "change" is also not new. However Obama has executed this so well and has created such a buzz that he has become an emblem ripe for appropriation. When it comes to politicians as with advertising, the 'promise' is often more appealing than the 'delivery'.

It is in this landscape before Obama takes office where you will see these ads at its most effective. It remains an astonishing feat that Obama has already become such a potent icon even before taking office.

As Jon Stewart facetiously said of Obama's marketing appeal prior to the election
Obama's Car Commercial
In this country you have to prove yourself before you're attached to big big savings.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Young Turks: Rush Limbaugh has cake with George W Bush

As previously mentioned Rush Limbaugh had a farewell dinner with outgoing President George W Bush. Rush recounted this final encounter with his audience, what was jarring was how gushing Rush was toward an outgoing President who was unpopular to the point of alienating his conservative supporters.

In a post years ago I wrote about how pundits usually distance themselves away from Washington and the President, even if they are controlled by ideological friendlies because they don't want to appear like lapdogs:
When pundits meet the President: Limbaugh, O'Reilly, Colbert
A standard measure that you've 'made it' in your chosen field is an invitation to meet the president. In punditry it has different implications. In punditry there is a cache placed in being a maverick, an outspoken no holds barred personality. There is an 'outsider' aesthetic that a pundit must project...

Meeting the President poses a bit of a quandary. On the one hand it is a personal milestone and the highest honor on a professional level. On the other hand it disturbs the illusion that the pundit is an everyman not seduced by power.

In that same post, Rush projected bravado when a Caller asked what Rush thought of his encounter with the President
CALLER: What a privilege for you, I'm sure.
RUSH: Well, it was a privilege for them.
CALLER: (Laughing.)
RUSH: You know, people have been asking me, "Well, what did the president tell you last night?" That's not it. "What did I tell the president?" is the correct question.
CALLER: (Laughing.) So he also recognizes that you're the man running the country?

So it's all the more unusual to see Rush so effusive, describing in great detail proud moments with the American President. Rush dropping his guard of machismo to show authentic pride, invoking the memory of his parents "I just wish my parents were alive... to tell them about this."

The Young Turks lampooned Rush Limbaugh's shameless gushing of his encounter with the President

(Young Turks host) CENK UYGUR: ...it's so easy to manipulate these folks, just call them by their name... (mocking impression) "I'm giddy, I'm pretending this happens all the time, that I get birthday cakes. But I don't. Nobody likes me. Everybody hates me. Nobody ever gets me birthday cakes. This is the first time it's ever happened. It's the President - I'm so happy. He called me Limbaugh" Easy big guy.

- Read Rush Limbaugh's full account of his final meeting with outgoing President Bush
- Go to the Young Turks Website

Rush Upstages Obama's Dinner with 'beltway' pundits

rush limbaugh barack obama dinner
I guess I was mistaken. Rush did not meet with President Elect Obama.

Rush was not absent from his show because of a "super secret meeting" with President Elect Obama. It was in fact a super secret meeting with outgoing President George W Bush.

Excerpted from an exhaustive recap by Rush on his January 14 show:
Rush Upstages Obama's Dinner with Washingtonian Republicans
RUSH: Yes, I know, ladies and gentlemen, even when I'm not present at an event, I hijack it, I upstage it...
Last week I received an invitation from President Bush to attend a farewell luncheon with just the two of us in his dining room off of the Oval Office... I intended to mention this to you on Monday just to let you know that I would not be here on Tuesday. I forgot to mention it to you... So I decided to have a little fun and play a typical little radio prank...

the prank was [Fill-in host] Jason Lewis was going to replay the audio clip of me offering to go anywhere at any time at a moment's notice to meet with Obama... he then announced that he had been informed late in the day that I was to be mysteriously absent, he had to come in and do the program, which of course created the impression, understandably in people's minds that I had been summoned by The Messiah to come up and present ideas when in fact nothing of the sort was true. It was just a gag, you know, a radio bit...

The APF blog is a big fan of the absurd. Rush Limbaugh expresses similar as he deconstruct his own unwitting prank:
RUSH: (laughing) But let me ask you a question, seriously. You know, one of the things we do on this program, the root of the gag, of course, was we illustrate absurdity by being absurd. I think it's patently absurd that Barack Obama would ever ask for a meeting with me. It is not absurd that he would ask for a meeting with the guys he asked for a meeting with.

Interestingly whilst Rush saw Barack's meeting as a PR ploy to appear post-partisan, as well as a preemptive move to selectively legitimize favourable "Establishment Conservatives". Rush did not rule out meeting Barack if personally asked:
He went with the people who are being critical of conservatives, being critical of conservative leaders these days -- like me. The last thing he'll want to do is legitimize me, and he'd run the risk of doing that, were he to have a meeting with me. Unless, of course, he asked for the meeting. If he asked, I'd go. I mean, there's no question I'd go. If, after the meeting the leak went out, "Ah, Obama told Limbaugh what-for and Obama did this and Obama said that."You know, unless they tried to do it that way, but I don't see that. I don't see it happening in any way, shape, manner, or form.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Barack Obama meeting and dining with Rush Limbaugh?

Barack Obama has been making news for meeting with prominent Conservative leaders
Obama And Conservatives Break Bread At George Will's House
The president-elect arrived at... the home of syndicated columnist George Will... according to a press pool report. Greeting him at the residence were other luminaries of the conservative commentariat, including the Weekly Standard's William Kristol, New York Times columnist David Brooks, and Charles Krauthammer of the Washington Post.

Some might see it as the continuation of Barack's "charm offensive" or "keeping your friends close but your enemies closer" but in any case it has set the tone for the new Barack administration.

Conservative heavyweight, Rush Limbaugh shrewdly used this news piece to tease he might be one of the conservative luminaries meeting with the new President.
Jason Lewis of KTLK-FM in Minneapolis
Minnesota's "Mr. Right" filled in while Rush mysteriously flew to Washington for a super-secret meeting. Could it have anything to do with what he said on Monday?

Rush on Monday: "Now, remember, Obama said, 'Show me what works and we'll do it.' It seems to me, folks, that the simplest, the fastest, and the most direct way to do this is to bail out the rich. If we are going to save our economy the bailout of the wealthy cannot wait. The rich need a bailout. The rich need further tax cuts. This is what's necessary and I would be willing to personally present this plan to President-elect Obama because it has worked. I'm just offering, a personal trip, nobody even has to know about this."

As the Huffington Post reports, Rush Limbaugh's absence from his show likely has nothing to do with an Obama tet-a-tet:
a source close to the transition confirms, Limbaugh was definitely not in attendance during the dinner affair -- likely disappointing some in the conservative blogosphere, knowing full well the fury that would have caused among progressives.


The likelihood of Limbaugh being at the reported 'Conservative dinner' is remote in my estimation. If a meeting were to occur between Limbaugh and Obama it would be a one on one, Limbaugh's influence and ego demand it. Rush has talked about "super secret meetings" in the past and has always projected his strength even in comparison to the "most powerful person in the world", the American President:
When pundits meet the President (Aug 2007)
RUSH: Because I went yesterday afternoon and last night.
CALLER: So that was your super-secret meeting?...
CALLER: What a privilege for you, I'm sure.
RUSH: Well, it was a privilege for them.
CALLER: (Laughing.)
RUSH: You know, people have been asking me, "Well, what did the president tell you last night?" That's not it. "What did I tell the president?" is the correct question.

Expect to see Rush declaring similar when he return to his top-rating show.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Ellis Henican VS Bill O'Reilly: Ann Coulter is a satirist

VIDEO: Ellis Henican and Bill O'Reilly discuss Ann Coulter and media bias

Ellis Henican, Newsday contributor and sometimes fill-in for Pete Dominick appeared on the O'Reilly Factor to discuss Ann Coulter's appearance on 'The View'.

It was an interesting discussion, O'Reilly in defense of Ann spoke of the media's general bias against polemics on the right. Citing the media's soft treatment towards new Minnesota Senator Al Franken, a proud O'Reilly nemesis.
If that weasel Al Franken goes out on 'The View', or anywhere else. He does the exact same thing. Or he did. And in even a worse tone than Ann Coulter. He gets a pass, what's that all about?
O'Reilly like in his face to face with Coulter, seemed to condescend to Ann by labeling her a 'satirist'
O'REILLY: She puts forth that she's a satirist like Jonathan Swift
HENICAN: That's an excuse when you say something you can't defend...
O'REILLY: How do you know she's not a satirist... what are you dismissing?
HENICAN: She makes personal and direct charges against often weak people, beating up on single moms. Most people - not Ann - think that's a little cruel. The more she says that the more people are gonna not like what she's saying and the more they'll be drawn to the opposite side of the political spectrum
The 'Ann Coulter as Jonathan Swift meme' was popularised by an Op-Ed written by Meghan Daum for the Los Angeles Times
Coulter's a satirist -- really?
Even a few common citizens got the joke. A letter to the editor of the Arizona Republic criticized columnist Leonard Pitts for showing "his own ignorance by failing to recognize Coulter as a satirist, in the mode of Jonathan Swift." Here at home, a reader responded to L.A. Times columnist Tim Rutten's suggestion that Coulter was essentially in the pornography business with: "Coulter isn't selling pornography, she's selling satire — and doing it with great success."
O'Reilly assessment of Coulter is reminiscent of Janeane Garofalo's theory on Ann. Whilst O'Reilly sees in Ann a Jonathan Swift-like 'satirist', Janeane sees a Kaufmanesque 'performance artist'.
Janeane, Seder, Maher and Coulter
Her (Ann) public persona is so intolerant as to be absurd... she says things that are bordering on performance art. In fact I do have a theory that she is Andy Kaufman, the female Tony Clifton.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Ann Coulter book tour: Fox News' Mike Huckabee and The View

VIDEO: Ann Coulter appears on 'The View'
WHOOPI GOLDBERG: I'm sorry, I know you want to do this left thing because that's what you do, that's your act.
Find a full transcript at Newsbusters.org - Coulter's Conservative 'View' Not Welcome

VIDEO: Ann Coulter appears on Fox News' Huckabee program
MIKE HUCKABEE: I want to clarify, because here's the deal If I ever do run a again ... when you write about me I want to make sure you get all this stuff straight....
'Mega heel' Ann Coulter is on her book tour doing the rounds and making waves as usual.

Did Jon Stewart suggest that Keith Olbermann is "Herman Munster"?

msnbc munster family Keith olbermann
In a pleasant conversation with MSNBC and Air America Radio's own Rachel Maddow, Jon Stewart used television show 'The Munsters' to describe the NBC Roster. Maddow was kindly referred to as 'Marilyn Munster', quickly adding "but everyone else on there is F*cking nuts".

Jon Stewart
expanded on his analogy describing MSNBC host Chris Matthews as "The Dragon that lives under the stairs". Describing MSNBC's conservative contributor Pat Buchanan as "Grandpa Munster - in the lab making things you wouldn't want to drink".

Jon notably didn't mention MSNBC's biggest name, Keith Olbermann, but one could infer who Jon regarded as his analog with the line "I'm not going to tell you who Herman Munster is". Incidentally the "Keith Olbermann as Herman Munster" meme has long been popular amongst Olbermann's internet detractors.

January 7, 2009: Rachel Maddow on Jon Stewart

In response to Jon Stewart's light ribbing of MSNBC, Rachel offered only this sheepish defense "I'm new there, so it's awkward [for me to]..."

For Aussie readers, watch the dig late in the clip. Come on, was that really necessary?