Thursday, April 30, 2009

Joe Scarborough to Norm Coleman: "You Lost, It's Over. Enough"

VIDEO: MSNBC's Scarborough To Norm Coleman: "You Lost, It Is Over"
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough made his point perfectly clear to Norm Coleman, who defiantly won't concede against colorful APF Pundit and would-be Senator Al Franken.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: OK I don't mean to keep interrupting your news but when are the Republicans gonna give up the ghost on this? Seriously, Norm - I like you, you lost. OK can we seat the Senators?... It is seriously not fair to the constituents in Minnesota to drag this out any longer. It's over. It's over Norm OK.
Joe hammering his point home continues incredulously
But seriously enough... Norm you lost. It's over. Quit!
Speaking of "seriously", a sign that Franken will forever be viewed through the prism that he began as a comedian. Co-hosts Mika and Joe share this exchange
JOE SCARBOROUGH: He [Franken] didn't make me laugh at all. Not one time.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Not once. You expect him to. That's gonna be pressure for him. When you're a comedian people expect you to always make them laugh
- Read the latest details on this saga from Norm Coleman's official news section or Al Franken's blog

Update:
With the news that Republican Arlen Specter has switched to being a Democrat, Jon Stewart highlighted the heightened implications of this hotly contested seat
April 28, 2009: How to Judge a Guy in 100 Days
JON STEWART: Specter's move puts the Democrats within a hair's breath of a un-filibusterable 60 seat majority. So now it appears that the Senate's balance of power -- in many respects the very future of our nation is in the hands of Al Franken. (Laughter and applause). What a country?!

President Obama channels Fox News and the Tea Party protesters

VIDEO: President Obama on Tea Party protesters
A mild promo from the President directed at Fox News and the Tea Party protest movement
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Those of you who are watching certain news channels on which I’m not very popular, and you see folks waving tea bags around, Obama said, "let me just remind them that I am happy to have a serious conversation about how we are going to cut our health care costs down over the long term, how we are going to stabilize Social Security."

"But," Obama continued, "let’s not play games and pretend that the reason [for the deficit] is because of the Recovery Act."
Read the discussion at HotAir - It’s on: Obama takes shot at tea parties

Update:
VIDEO: Dennis Miller with Bill O'Reilly discussing Obama's challenge to the Tea Partiers
DENNIS MILLER: I don't like the laughing at the tea-bag people... Let's let these 250 000 Americans... have their day. You don't have to make fun of them man...
BILL O'REILLY:... I think Barack Obama in his adult life has never been criticised ever... Now he is. Particularly on Fox News. Some of the commentators just don't like liberal politicians, there's no doubt. And he doesn't like it, he's not used to it. He's used to people saying "Yes Barack, Yes. You're the greatest guy".

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Swine Flu and how pigs are "more dangerous than Bin Laden"

With all the 'Swine flu' panic going on in the news. I thought I'd unearth this story that got quite a bit of play from conservative pundits at the time. Whilst it involves an alarming threat caused by pigs (specifically Hog farming), as far as I can tell it's unrelated to the 'Swine Flu' scare.

VIDEO: Glenn Beck on Robert F Kennedy and Hog Farming
Are Pig Farms More Dangerous Than Terrorists?
BECK: Holy cow. What the question was, "Did you say that pig farms are more dangerous than Usama bin Laden?" He's not sure that he said it, but he agrees with it and he supports it.
- Watch a fuller clip of Robert F Kennedy testifying to congress here.

Robert F Kennedy's claims are explained in this Washington Times article
RFK Jr.: Hog farms bigger threat than Osama
Mr. Kennedy, son of the the slain New York Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, is an environmental law attorney who was testifying before a House Judiciary subcomittee when Rep. Steve King, Iowa Republican, asked him if a quotation attributed to him in 2002 about hog farmers representing a greater threat than the leader of Al Qaeda was accurate.

"I don't know if that [quotation] is accurate, but I believe it and I support it," said Mr. Kennedy, who has been involved in a vigorous legal effort against the meat industry for some years, arguing that manure and other products associated with large livestock producers emit toxic wastes that threaten the environment...

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Arlen Specter switches parties, again. From Republican to Democrat.

Breaking news: Arlen Specter has defected to the Democratic Party

VIDEO: Sen. Arlen Specter defended his decision to leave the Republican Party
ARLEN SPECTER: I found myself increasingly at odds with the Republican philosophy and more in line with the philosophy of the Democratic Party... In the course of the last several months, I have travelled the State and surveyed the sentiment of Pennsylvania ... and have found the prospects for winning the Republican Primary are bleak. I'm not prepared to have my 29 year record in the United States Senate decided by the Pennsylvania Republican Primary electorate. Not prepared to have that record decided by that jury... But I'm prepared to take on all comers - all comers in the general election...
Read Rush Limbaugh's take on Arlen Specter's defection, via Politico
Limbaugh to Specter: Please take McCain with you
Conservative host Rush Limbaugh said Tuesday he isn't sorry to see Arlen Specter leave the GOP — and that many Republicans wish the Pennsylvania senator would take a few others with him when he goes.

"A lot of people say, 'Well, Specter, take [Sen. John] McCain with you. And his daughter [Meghan]. Take McCain and his daughter with you if you're gonna…" he told listeners, dissolving in laughter.

"…..It's ultimately good. You're weeding out people who aren't really Republicans," he said.
Read some reactions from noted Republicans and Conservatives,
- RNC chairman Michael Steele weighs in on Arlen Specter's defection

VIDEO: Michael Steele with CNN's Kyra Phillips talking about Specter's defection
MICHAEL STEELE: ... I seriously doubt that he's gonna to have a scott free ride to the nomination on the democratic side. No matter what kind of deal the trial lawyers or the Democratic party have made... This is an open primary seat for the Democrats. I love it. And we're gonna have a strong Republican candidate on our side and I love that even more. And if Senator Specter survives into the fall - Get ready to go to the mat baby! We're coming after ya & we're taking ya out!
- Read David Frum's (Author and Former special assistant to George W Bush) reaction via the New Majority site
Another Triumph for the Club for Growth
For years, many in the conservative world have wished for an ideologically purer GOP. Their wish has been granted. Happy?

Let’s take this moment to nail some colors to the mast. I submit it is better for conservatives to have 60% sway within a majority party than to have 100% control of a minority party. And until and unless there is an honored place made in the Republican party for people who think like Arlen Specter, we will remain a minority party.
- Watch Arlen Specter talking to C-SPAN in 2001 about his original switch from Democrat to Republican

McCain Calls Out "Extreme Talk Show Hosts"..."Shameful"

VIDEO: McCain on CBS' 'Face the Nation, labels "Extreme Talk Show Hosts" as "Shameful"

Face The Nation (April 26, 2009)
BOB SCHIEFFER: Vice President Cheney says he wants more of these documents made public, so the public will understand that these interrogation methods worked
JOHN McCAIN: Well as you know the [former] Vice President and I strongly disagree on the fundamentals of this issue... but the Vice President of the United States has the right to weigh in on this discussion if he wants to...

and when extreme talk show hosts say that he wants another attack on the United States, I think that's shameful.

John McCain referring to Dick Cheney's call for a release of memos to highlight the results of the Bush Administration's contentious interrogation methods
Cheney Calls for Release of Memos Showing Results of Interrogation Efforts
Cheney said he's asked that the documents be declassified because he has remained silent on the confidential information...

"I've now formally asked the CIA to take steps to declassify those memos so we can lay them out there and the American people have a chance to see what we obtained and what we learned and how good the intelligence was."

Cheney says he doesn't find it surprising that he's still asked for his views on administrative policies and thinks it's appropriate for those with a different point of view to be able to express it -- and give the American people the ability to evaluate.

Rush Limbaugh on Charlie Rose and David Brooks' conversation regarding President Obama first 100 days

Rush Limbaugh speaks to Barack Obama's first 100 days and his explanation as to why some in the media are enamored by the Obama White House.
president, barack obama, riddler, brainwash
Barack Obama as the Riddler
The Seduction of David Brooks
RUSH LIMBAUGH: ...Competent manager? He's running a marketing campaign rather than being president. He's running a PR campaign rather than being president. He's being president, don't misunderstand, but it's all perception. It's not reality... This is Charlie Rose and David Brooks just slobbering, literally slobbering over Barack Obama...

--audio snippet--
ROSE: This White House is very much an intellectual hothouse.
BROOKS: Intellectual power.
ROSE: The self-confidence and the intelligence.
BROOKS: There are certain intellects which are like fluorescent, and the president is one of them.
--end snippet--

RUSH LIMBAUGH: ...I think Barack Obama is very, very accomplished at bashing America. But that sickening sound bite we had of Charlie Rose and David Brooks practically choking on insulin it was so sweet and syrupy, proves the allure of the demagogue. It proves how easy it is for them to get people -- and you know who the easiest marks for demagogues are? Elites...
The Limbaugh site is always an amusing source for photoshopped pictures. Arguably one of the more obscurer references used in this latest picture. Barack Obama as Jim Carrey's "The Riddler" from 'Batman Forever' (1995), in the movie The Riddler invents "a device that manipulates human brainwaves and transfers them into his own head".

Watch the full video from the official 'Charlie Rose' site

VIDEO: A conversation with David Brooks - 'Charlie Rose' April 23, 2009

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Watch Christopher Hitchens volunteer to get waterboarded for Vanity Fair Magazine

After Hannity's bewildering boast, "volunteering to get waterboarded for charity and in support of families of the troops". I present video of another prominent pundit volunteering to get waterboarded, Christopher Hitchens. Perhaps the very fact that many middle-aged civilians have offered to undergo waterboarding for journalistic purposes leads people to question whether it qualifies as torture. Even the concept of "torture" has been trivialised by the mainstream acceptance and amusement gained from extreme self-harm on shows like 'MTV's Jackass' and 'The Dudesons'

VIDEO: Christopher Hitchens Get Waterboarded (VANITY FAIR)
Christopher Hitchens, an outspoken proponent for the Iraq War and noted critic of organised Religion volunteers to get waterboarded for Vanity Fair Magazine.
Prologue:
Last February, Vanity Fair Editor-in-chief Graydon Carter asked writer Christopher Hitchens if he would be willing to subject himself to the form of torture known as waterboarding.
Hitchens accepted.

CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: It would be bad enough if you did have something, suppose they wanted to know where a relative of yours was, or a lover say. You'd feel like "well I'm going to betray them now, cuz this has to come an end. I can't take this anymore". But what if you didn't have anything? What if they got the wrong guy? Then you'd be in danger of losing your mind very quickly I think.
waterboarding, torture, volunteer, christopher hitchens, vanity fair
Christopher Hitchens waterboarded for 'Vanity Fair' magazine
Read Christopher Hitchens' article based on this ordeal in 'Vanity Fair' magazine's August 2008 issue
Believe Me, It’s Torture
What more can be added to the debate over U.S. interrogation methods, and whether waterboarding is torture? Try firsthand experience. The author undergoes the controversial drowning technique, at the hands of men who once trained American soldiers to resist—not inflict—it.

Air America Talker Sam Seder gets involved in politics: Vote challenged in special election

Air America Talker Sam Seder was among several absentee voters being challenged for the Special Election contested between Republican Jim Tedisco and Democrat Scott Murphy.
Tedisco Tries To Make Roadkill Of Sam Seder's Ballot
We can now add another illustrious name to the list of absentee voters whose ballots in the NY-20 special election have been challenged by the campaign of GOP candidate Jim Tedisco: Sam Seder, the liberal talk-radio host with Air America!

Sam posted a message on Twitter yesterday: "NY20th race Tedisco challenged my absentee ballot. 4 days before the election I was jury foreman for a trial in NY20th. Challenge Fail."

The Tedisco camp had previously challenged U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's ballot -- the person that Tedisco is seeking to replace in Congress -- and now Sam is on the list, too.
Jim Tedisco's challenge would ultimately come short as he conceded the election to underdog Democrat Scott Murphy:
Democrat Scott Murphy wins Kirsten Gillibrand's Albany-area seat; Republican James Tedisco concedes
Republican James Tedisco conceded defeat Friday in the race to fill the seat vacated by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, handing a sweet victory to Democrat Scott Murphy in the conservative Albany-area district.

Tedisco and Murphy were separated by only a handful of votes following the March 31 special election, setting the stage for nearly a month of intense ballot counting. This week, Murphy's lead started to grow - he was more than 400 votes ahead Thursday.
Listen and download APF pundit Hugh Hewitt interviewing Jim Tedisco about that congressional race a week before it was decided

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Keith Olbermann offers Sean Hannity $1000 per second to be waterboarded

Keith Olbermann challenges Sean Hannity, offering money to put water where his mouth is. Keith Olbermann issued this challenge to Sean Hannity after defiant statements he made on his program, volunteering to be waterboarded in support of "charity and families of the troops". Keith welcomes Lawrence O'Donnell, political analyst and Writer/Producer of 'The West Wing' to talk about Hannity's perplexing boast.

VIDEO: Keith Olbermann talks to Lawrence O'Donnell about Sean Hannity and waterboarding



Hannity volunteers to be waterboarded
--snippet of Sean Hannity's show played--
CHARLES GRODIN (actor): So you're for torture right?
SEAN HANNITY: I am for enhanced interrogations, I don't believe waterboarding is torture.
GRODIN: So you don't believe its torture. Have you ever been waterboarded?
HANNITY: No. But Ollie North has and I talked to him about it.
GRODIN: Would you consent to be waterboarded so we can get the truth out of you?
HANNITY: Yeah. Sure. I'll do it for charity. I'll let you do it. I'll do it for the troops families
--end clip--

KEITH OLBERMANN: Ah yes another conservative talking big and living small. They're not taking this seriously and they are talking out of their backsides. What a breakthrough it would be if by having reality literally forced upon him, a buffoon like Hannity were to realise the deadly seriousness of this. The searing truth that moment of torture automatically makes the presumed bad guy recipient - the victim. And makes the torturer into the evil-doer. If Hannity could suddenly have this epiphany and involuntarily reveal it to those who somehow take him seriously. He'll do it for charity, for the troops families? I'll take you up on that Sean. For a every second you last, a $1000... A $1000 a second because this is no game...
Once again pro-wrestling has been there and done that. Watch "Million Dollar Man" Ted Dibiase naming his price to get some water action of his own. Even I can't believe I found this one:

VIDEO: "Million Dollar Man" Ted Dibiase Pool Promo

Stephen Colbert on torture and Shepard Smith swearing

Hot on the heels of Bill O'Reilly's cuss during a discussion on torture, comes his Fox News stablemate Shepard Smith. Stephen Colbert takes Shep Smith to task:
Shepard Smith Swears (April 23, 2009)
SHEP SMITH: We are America (banging table). I don't give a rat's ass if it helps. We are America. We do not f*cking torture! We don't do it.
STEPHEN COLBERT: Shepard Smith, we are America. We do not swear on camera. We don't do it (banging on table).

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Shepard Smith Swears
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Friday, April 24, 2009

Ellis Helican VS Bill O'Reilly debate on Waterboarding and Torture

Video: Ellis Helican VS Bill O'Reilly, April 22 2009

ELLIS HELICAN: ... Expediency don't justify doing something that's wrong
BILL O'REILLY: Expediency huh to save your life (pointing) I would have dunked that guy that guy into water
HELICAN: You're comin' out for water now?
O'REILLY: Torture my ass. Bleep that board
HELICAN: Torture!
O'REILLY: Alright Ellis, calm down. We'll waterboard Ellis in a moment

Steve Young of DailyKOs gleefully uses the "Pundit Fight" analogy to describe the shouting match between Bill O'Reilly and Ellis Helican on the definition and effectiveness of torture. It is a rematch of this battle, proving that even when the match is heavily weighted favouring O'Reilly the Independent Helican is a formidable opponent.
Bill O'Reilly Gets The Bleep Beat Out Of Him
If it were a boxing match, it would have been stopped. Bill O’Reilly kept trying to clinch, interrupting nearly every sentence Fox News contributor, Ellis Henican threw that wasn’t going the way Bill wanted - which was pretty much every one of them. Bill O’Reilly was bloodied to the point he had to be bleeped - "torture, my ass." The only thing that saved Bill was the commercial bell.

Read comments on this exchange at 'Crooks and Liars': - Why are you scared of the facts?' Bill O'Reilly finally meets his match in Ellis Henican

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Bill O'Reilly gives Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert a "reality check"

Video: The O'Reilly Factor 'Reality Check' - Stephen Colbert, Jon Stewart

Epic Fail: O'Reilly tries his hand at comedy
BILL O'REILLY: Our pal Jon Stewart who like his compadre Steve (sic) Colbert speaks to a largely liberal audience every night on the Comedy Channel thus Mr Stewart has to roam around trying to get gotcha items on people like me...

--plays Jon Stewart/ Daily Show clip--
JON STEWART: This Tea Party movement is like 'Freaky Friday', apparently the Right and the Left must have touched some magic skull at the same time and now everything is reversed.

Everything that the Right hated - (cue video snippet)
BILL O'REILLY: On the pinhead front - this is too easy - CodePink protested in front of CNN this weekend, nobody quite knows why or cares
They now embrace (cue video snippet)
BILL O'REILLY: Where ever you stand the protesters today are valid. I think they appreciate the fact that Fox News respects dissent

BILL O'REILLY: Of course what Mr Stewart did not tell his audience because it might have confused them is that 'Code Pink' has appeared on The Factor 11 times... Like Mr Stewart we poke a little fun but we're not hateful. Unlike Jon we give the entire story because our audience wants that.

Bill O'Reilly also featured these "two wild and crazy guys" Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart in a Reality Check segment last year, saying of their Emmy appearance "so much wit so little time".
Watch and Download the Video from Crooks and Liars

Video: Bill O'Reilly - Colbert & Stewart at the Emmy's 09/22/08

Monday, April 20, 2009

Hannity, Beck, O'Reilly: Pundits supporting Ron Paul and the Tax Day Tea Parties

In a previous post I alluded to the role the Ron Paul movement has played in the Tax Day Tea Parties. Whilst analysis of the Tea Parties has played up its spontaneous nature and how it represents a counterbalance to the social movement Obama mobilised to get him elected. What is rarely mentioned is the Texan Congressman Elephant in the room, Ron Paul.

Glenn Reynolds in his comprehensive article detailing the genesis of the Tax Day Tea Parties, mentions the road paved by Howard Dean and subsequently perfected by "community organiser" Obama. He even invokes Newt Gingrich but fails to acknowledge Ron Paul who mobilised an equally formidable and passionate online/offline base. Like these Tea Parties, that movement was largely marginalised and under reported during the 08' Presidential race serving the interests of Establishment politicians.

Conservative pundits have opportunistically jumped on the Tea Party bandwagon to undermine the Democratic administration, some were the same personalities who gleefully ridiculed Ron Paul and undermined his priorities. Dismissing the candidate's platform of smaller government, a fair/simpler tax code and rebuke of the two main parties. Glenn Beck is one of the few vocal Tea Party supporters who insists on admonishing the Democrats and GOP equally. Beck has been is seen as a target and a liability because of his empathy for Ron Paul.
Below I will outline where some of the major conservative pundits stood on Ron Paul.

Video: Glenn Beck/Ron Paul Preview
GLENN BECK: His views -- I mean if you watch my show or you know anything about me, you might not agree with all my policies. I'm pretty libertarian in many ways, his views need more than 30 second soundbites to answer
VIDEO: Ron Paul on Glenn Beck and Bill O'Reilly
RON PAUL: He [Glenn beck] hass on occasion been a demagogue (audible laughter). I will come on his show but he has been pretty discourteous... my guess in the next several weeks I will probably go on his show. But it's sorta -- how often should I go on Bill O'Reily's show? (audible laughter). I don't care what the questions are, what the challenges are. (audible clapping) Just let me give an answer... Last time I was on O'Reilly show I was mentioning something about history, "We don't wanna hear about any history"
Ron Paul debated with Sean Hannity multiple times on TV after the GOP debates and on his radio show. They strongly diverged in matters of foreign Policy and US adventurism. This was the pressing issue during the Bush years and in the early stages of the Presidential election.

They found points of agreement economically but this has emerged as the #1 issue only in recent months providing the catalyst for the Tea Party protests. Listen to Sean Hannity incredulous at the traction Ron Paul is getting, someone Sean clearly sees as a "fringe" candidate and a possible spoiler.

VIDEO: Ron Paul is driving Sean Hannity crazy
SEAN HANNITY: (upon hearing Paul is leading post-debate polling) Oh here we go again, it's driving me crazy. Wait, Wait, whoa, whoa -- You know what, they're redialing by the second. The same ten people. He's having all those 3% of people call in, he got 33%. Oh well it happens.
Rush Limbaugh on Ron Paul (May 2007)
Ron Paul Doesn't Have a Snowball's Chance
RUSH: And Ron Paul didn't do that. Here's what's happening out there, folks. Ron Paul has a lot of supporters. He's got supporters, and they are spamming polls on the Internet. They are spamming radio talk shows to try to defend Ron Paul against what happened. He's got a lot of energetic and passionate supporters. I've been getting them on e-mail. I got a threatening e-mail from a Ron Paul supporter, and it was very cleverly done, by the way...

I'm going to be honest with you out there, Cory. It's not my job to support these guys and give them a boost. Their job is to go out and get the support. Their job is to go out -- and they're the ones hunting for votes. I'm just going to be honest with you. I don't think Congressman Paul has a snowball's chance.
VIDEO: Ann Coulter endorses Ron Paul for 2012
GREG GUTFELD (host): Who's the leading candidate for the Republicans for 2012?
ANN COULTER: I think Ron Paul. (host laughs) The war will be over. And basically I agreed with Ron Paul on everything. There will be so much to clean up...

Saturday, April 18, 2009

John Ziegler arrested for disturbing Katie Couric's award for 'Excellence in Journalism' ceremony


VIDEO: John Ziegler on the record with Greta, 
explaining the USC arrest during the award ceremony honoring Katie Couric

JOHN ZIEGLER: It was very clear that I had a bullseye when I arrived at the event, they had a barricade set up thinking that we were going to protest which I had thought about doing but had decided against...

I was told that I was not allowed to go in the building, I never tried to go in the building. So I said OK, I'm just going to stand outside, I'm gonna give copies of my move Media Malpractice to anyone who enter because I want them to know the truth about how ridiculous this Katie Couric award for the Sarah Palin interview was...
Watch how wrestlers' stage their own gatecrashing stunt, albeit more antagonistic and juvenile. Watch how security haplessly handles the intruders...

VIDEO: Operation DX - Degeneration X Invades WCW

Glenn Beck calls out the Media, Republicans, Democrats and Stephen Colbert

VIDEO: Glenn Beck - What are the Tea Parties really all about? (April 15 2009)
Glenn Beck cut a mean promo in front of a raucous San Antonio Tea Party crowd. He equally admonished Democrats and Republicans, former President George W Bush and President Barack Obama. Note how Glenn Beck calls out the media and a certain blustery pundit parody.
GLENN BECK: But since the media and Stephen Colbert are watching I'm going to speak very, very slowly (applause line). As I understand it, at least the way I see it here these have nothing to do with the Democratic Party other than the Democrats suck! (applause line) however no more than the Republicans suck (applause line). This has nothing to do with how much Barack Obama is spending. It's about how much Barack Obama and George W Bush and both Congresses have been spending for years (applause line). It has nothing to do with parties. It has everything to do with politicians from those parties lying to the people they're suppose to serve.

America is sick and tired of being sick and tired, of lies and corruption, of flushing our country down the toilet for their power. For the Donkey or the Elephant. I could give a flying crap and I have a feeling nobody here cares about the Donkey or the Elephant either.
Watch the Colbert promo which set of Glenn Beck
VIDEO: Tax Atax (April 15, 2009)
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Tax Atax
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STEPHEN COLBERT: But no one is leaping of the patriotism cliff more enthusiastically than America's life partner, Glenn Beck. That's why he's holding his tea party in an historic location...

--Glenn Beck Video is played--
I can now announce that we're going to have our program live from the only place in America where I think it really, reaaally makes sense - The Alamo.

STEPHEN COLBERT: Yes! That does really, reaaally makes sense. So few remember that the Boston Tea Party began when George Washington and his rag tag troop of Union soldiers holed up in the Alamo surrounded by Nazis. Luckily before Napoleon could bring in his terminator reinforcements...

For what it's worth I would like to throw my support for this grassroots effort by Fox News corporation. I certainly hope that this occupation of the Alamo goes just as well as the last one

Friday, April 17, 2009

Janeane Garofalo and Keith Olbermann on "teabagging" and racism

VIDEO: Janeane Garofalo talking 'Tea Parties' on Keith Olbermann's Countdown


I featured Janeane Garofalo's last appearance on Olbermann's show, teaming up against Rush Limbaugh largely because I expected a rebuttal. The only rebuttal came via Fox News' Red Eye. Janeane returns as guest with Olbermann this time to eviscerate "teabaggers" who demonstrated during the Tax Day Tea Parties.

The combination of Garofalo with Olbermann is highly provocative and somewhat predictable. Janeane has her charms and is an able debater. She famously had a segment on her Air America show 'Majority Report' where she would debate with her conservative father, a retired Exxon executive. When "proud liberal" Janeane Garofalo partners with the highly partisan Keith Olbermann, the host acts as an accelerant creating goading television that serves only to alienate the other side.

What conservative Newsbusters' describes as
Garofalo: Tea Party Goers Are Racists Who Hate Black President
...for what Olbermann and Garofalo engaged in Thursday evening is amongst the most vile, hate-filled attacks on average American citizens ever conveyed on national television by so-called journalists.
Read the full conversation transcript from Newsbusters:
Garofalo: Tea Party Goers Are Racists Who Hate Black President
JANEANE GAROFALO: Thank you. You know, there's nothing more interesting than seeing a bunch of racists become confused and angry at a speech they're not quite certain what he's saying. It sounds right and then it doesn't make sense. Which, let's be very honest about what this is about. It's not about bashing Democrats, it's not about taxes, they have no idea what the Boston tea party was about, they don't know their history at all. This is about hating a black man in the White House. This is racism straight up. That is nothing but a bunch of teabagging rednecks. And there is no way around that. And you know, you can tell these type of right wingers anything and they'll believe it, except the truth. You tell them the truth and they become -- it's like showing Frankenstein's monster fire. They become confused, and angry and highly volatile.
Update: Race and Ron Paul
Seeing as Janeane brought up the issues of race and the corporate hijacking of the Tea Parties, I'd like to highlight a thoughtful discussion and spririted debate at popular White Nationalist forum, Stormfront.

As a sidenote, its worth noting that the 'Tax Day Tea Parties' partially stemmed from the movement that sprung during Ron Paul's Presidential Campaign. Paul ran on a platform that can superficially be described as being for:
1) Smaller Government
2) A fairer and simpler tax code
3) Equally taking to task Republicans and Democrats

Ironically many of the people and pundits who are on board with the Tea Parties are the same people who ridiculed the popular but marginalised movement spearheaded by Ron Paul. The pundits who were at least respectful towards Ron Paul include Bill Maher, Glenn Beck and Tucker Carlson with a recent about face from Ann Coulter. It's worth taking this into account as this informs the discussion being held at Stormfront
Were The Tea Parties Hijacked?
Because those people are all part of the problem. For over a decade now, these "conservative" commentators have helped frame the political debate in this country. They choose which stories are important, and conversely, they decide which stories aren't. By focusing the country's attention on petty issues, they distract us from the real problems in America. More than anything, these people are just in it for the money. They make sure to keep the debate shallow, so that there's no risk of it ever getting out of their control, and thereby slashing their profit margin. They build us up to be sheep, and themselves as our sheppards (sic). As I said, all they care about is profit, and their listeners and viewers are simply tools to get it. As long as these people control the debate on the right, it will never evolve beyond petty controllable issues.

posted by Winston Ingsoc Smith
Update II: The Backlash
I featured this Garofalo/Olbermann clip primarily because I anticipated a spirited counterattack. Whilst the first Garofalo-Olbermann connection only got a mild response, this one has found it's mark. Judging by these clips Janeane could take the honour for being the APF's current Top Heel (villain).

Fox News' Red Eye picks up the mantle once again


Video: Fox News' Red Eye on Olbermann and Garofalo - Round 2
GREG GUTFELD: She's as smart as she is hot. That's right, nobody's favourite artist Janeane Garofalo... was at it again on Countdown with Keith Olbermann... you may remember in February this sad little creature... compared women who listen to Rush Limbaugh to Eva Braun (Hitler's girlfriend). Well now she's focused her lizard-like brain on the half million or more people who attended Tea Parties
Mark Levin cuts a mean promo on Janeane Garofalo and Keith Olbermann
Video: Mark Levin says no conservative should work for MSNBC
MARK LEVIN: I want you to listen to this piece of crap. This piece of crap, this walking disorder - Janeane Garofalo. Now Janeane Garofalo tried radio, she's a failure. She tried acting, she's a failure. She's tried comedy, she's a failure. She's tried being a human being, she's a failure. She's a miscreant and a menace. And she's on a show with biggest pervert in the media - Keith Olbermann, Countdown to No Ratings. A pervert, a slob, a moron. Now how do I know this, because his ex-girlfriends write to me and tell me what a sleazeball he is. That's right Keithie, you punk. I know all about you, you are sick.

Now let's listen to these two morons. Let's listen to this one in particular, this Janeane Garofalo. This walking mental disorder...
Read the discussion on Olbermann Watch
- Mark Levin Rips Olbermann, Garofalo, Says No Conservative Should Work for MSNBC!
- Red Eye Rips Keith Olbermann and Janeane Garofalo!
- Lou Dobbs Rips Olbermann, Garofalo, and MSNBC!
LOU DOBBS: She's a one-woman hate event. She's just nasty, nasty piece of business. My lord, and to be on the Keith Olbermann show. You know a lot of meds running around there. His bile spewing everywhere. Listen to this exchange on that unwatchable broadcast. Here she is with her own sweet perspective, if this isn't enough to revolt anyone I don't know what would be required.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The 'Tax Day Tea Parties' are about the people. Not about Michelle Malkin, Rush Limbaugh or Michael Steele

With her popular blogs HotAir.com and Michellemalkin.com, Malkin is arguably the single most influential blogger and "Internet community organiser" in the world. This was evident in the successful turnout for the Tax Day Tea Parties. Michelle Malkin downplays her considerable role in shepherding the movement, focusing the limelight on the grassroots who should be Centrestage.
VIDEO: Neil Cavuto interviewing Michelle Malkin during the Tax Day Tea Parties
MICHELLE MALKIN: ... That's why I'm not onstage because it really is about the grassroots here and as you'll notice Neil, neither [RNC Chairman] Michael Steele nor ["Defacto Conservative leader"] Rush Limbaugh are speaking at a Tea Party today...
I think it's the most effective way of communicating to the White House which apparently isn't aware of what is going on today. Apparently the White House has said that it is unaware of what's happening. Listen, look. You can't deny the existence of the outrage and the anger at both parties in Washington
Read Rush Limbaugh on the "origins" of the movement:
Frightened Liberals Sling Mud at Grassroots Tea Party Movement
The truth is, these tea parties are a completely grassroots movement. There is no specific leader or origin. I mean, you might be able to say that Rick Santelli of CNBC on February 16th talking about a tea party led to this, and you might want to say that somebody in the media, or there are politicians trying to claim credit for it, which is standard operating procedure. Some media people are trying to claim credit for it, that's standard operating procedure as well.
- View the Rick Santelli rant which is seen as the main catalyst for the Tea Party demonstrations
- Read about Michael Steele being rebuffed from speaking at a Tea Party rally
- Read about the White House allegedly not being aware of the Tea Parties
- Read Glenn Reynolds' (PJTV, Instapundit) illuminating piece on the "smart mobbing" phenomena that fueled this movement.
Tax Day Becomes Protest Day
In the old days, organizing large groups of people required, well, an organization: a political party, a labor union, a church or some other sort of structure. Now people can coordinate themselves.

We saw a bit of this in the 2004 and 2008 presidential campaigns, with things like Howard Dean's use of Meetup, and Barack Obama's use of Facebook. But this was still social-networking in support of an existing organization or campaign. The tea-party protest movement is organizing itself, on its own behalf. Some existing organizations, like Newt Gingrich's American Solutions and FreedomWorks, have gotten involved. But they're involved as followers and facilitators, not leaders. The leaders are appearing on their own, and reaching out to others through blogs, Facebook, chat boards and alternative media.

CNN VS Fox News - Susan Roesgen VS Shepard Smith

A little back and forth between CNN correspondent Susan Roesgen and Fox Anchor Shepard Smith during the Tax Day Tea Parties

VIDEO: Susan Roesgen on Fox News' support of the Tax Day Tea Parties
Susan Roesgen speaks to a man at the Tax Day Tea Party with a hint of hostility
SUSAN ROESGEN: I think you get the general tenor of this. It's Anti-Government, Anti-CNN since this is highly promoted by the right-wing conservative network Fox. And since I can't really hear much more and I think this is not really family viewing we'll toss it back to you Keira
VIDEO: Shep Smith on Susan Roesgen and CNN
Shepard on FoxNews fires back at Susan during his cross to Neil Cavuto
SHEP SMITH: Just a minute ago, that Susan Roesgen from that CNN that people use to watch a long time ago, she says that this is Anti-CNN and Anti-Government and highly promoted by the conservative Fox network... Anti-CNN, who's Anti-CNN? Settle down Susan. C'mon girl...
(fast forward)
In Sacramento at what is an "Anti-tax/ I'm fed up rally" that has nothing to do with CNN. Poor Susan Roesgen. Nobody hates you, we love the CNN now (audible boos) relax everybody c'mon. Don't get your hate on. My producer says she doesn't love CNN but you know what I mean.
Update:
The Huffington Post references Washington Post Media critic Howard Kurtz and speaks to the partisan coverage of the Tea Parties
Howard Kurtz Shocked By Fox News Tea Party Promotion
On the other hand, this brief rant by Fox Business Network anchor Cody Willard, posted by a Daily Kos contributor, didn't meet my definition of fair and balanced. Speaking of a young girl, Willard says: "Now she has to pay for the $800-billion Republican-Democrat fascist stimulus package . . . Guys, when are we going to wake up and start fighting the fascism that seems to be permeating this country?"

Guys, what happened to we're-just-covering-the-events?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Glenn Beck's guest, David Buckner faints on air. Was it real or faked?

VIDEO: Glenn Beck's Guest Passes Out Live
University professor David Buckner passed out whilst on air with Glenn Beck. Considering Beck's reputation for dramatic theatre, this incident would have had people wondering whether this was real or staged.

If you thought Glenn Beck's show couldn't possibly get any more theatrical, this proves otherwise. Beck acknowledged the value of the unexpected incident
Columbia prof passes out on Beck's show
Beck said the EMS was treating Buckner, and he's "totally fine." Buckner apologized to Beck, who said he told the guest not to worry because "the ratings will be through the roof."
This fainting incident would have been fairly innocuous on another program but takes on a sensational air on Glenn Beck's. This is not too dissimilar to what happens in pro-wrestling. Due to the the regularly sensational content, the way it purposefully blurs reality and the lazy dismissal that "it's all fake". When real things do happen in the world of wrestling on and off stage - even unfortunately in the case of an on-air death - speculation is bound to occur.

Update April 15: Glenn Beck on Fox and Friends

Glenn Beck was a guest on Fox & Friends this morning, recounting with the team on how surreal the fainting incident was for his staff.
GLENN BECK: OK, that was the scariest part. When he said I'm gonna pass out, I just thought he was like "cuz this is so out of control" and then you could see it in my face. I'm processing "wait a minute, I think he might be passing out here. I don't know what to do"...
It was surreal. You know what's funny is? everybody on the set -- finally I had to say "Can I get some help here?" Nobody moved from their place because everybody thought...
STEVE DOOCY: It was part of the show (finishing Beck's sentence)
GRETCHEN CARLSON: This is another Glenn Beck antic
BECK: He's doing something crazy again

Bernie Goldberg and Sean Hannity disagree how much credit President Obama should get on the rescue from Somali Pirates

Video: Bernie Goldberg and Sean Hannity on how much credit to give President Obama

In politics there are advantages to taking stances that are principled and not simply partisan. Sometimes one has to pick their battles and give the other side credit where it's due. What's gained is credibility, not wasting capital on "petty" fights.

This was illustrated when Bernie Goldberg diverged from Sean Hannity on how much credit President Obama deserves for the handling of the Captain rescue from Somali Pirates. Bernie is a self styled expert on media Bias, having written 'Bias' and 'A Slobbering Love Affair'. Bernie Goldberg like Laura Ingraham previously demonstrates how one can compliment a political rival whilst still asserting their opposition. Bernie managed to get his digs in by saying "I'm just not gonna be like left was with George Bush".
Guest Bernie Goldberg with Sean Hannity, April 13 2009
BERNIE GOLDBERG: First of all I think it was smart for the President not to say anything while the hostage was being held, if God forbid something would have happened to the captain that would have lessened the stature of the President...

But there is another issue that troubles me Sean and it troubles me a lot. You remember liberals wouldn't give George Bush credit for anything. If he came up with the cure for cancer they wouldn't have given him credit on that. I'm sorry Sean but I see that on the right now. It's like I don't want to put Barack Obama on Mt Rushmore for simply being Commander-in-chief but we have to stop going out of our way to find fault in every single thing he does. I think I've got a little bit of credibility on this issue...

Bernie also takes a slight shot at Sean Hannity
BERNIE GOLDBERG: If you wanna use the word credit I'll use that word
SEAN HANNITY: They're grabbing credit
GOLDBERG: He gets the credit because he was the Commander-in-chief. It happened on his watch, that's the way it goes in the real world of politics. If something bad had happened here and thank God it didn't
HANNITY: Thank God
GOLDBERG: But if something bad happened here. I guarantee you-- I tell you who would have been leading the crusade against hi. You! and you may have been right... but it didn't.

The ever persistent Sean keeps trying until he finds a point of agreement with Bernie Goldberg. Even if a little strained. Judge for yourself:
SEAN HANNITY: Bernie you're entitled to your opinion, the only thing I'm saying here is way the captain handled the credit by saying "I'm a byline, the Navy SEALS saved my life". I think it was classier than racing to the cameras, you know and your PR people trying to convince the world you were responsible for something you may not have even had the option is a big difference.
BERNIE GOLDBERG: One was a captain the other was a politician
SEAN HANNITY: Good answer. So I won you over
Bernie Goldberg is momentarily silent -- then laughs.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Stand up comedian Glenn Beck - 2009 Common Sense Comedy Tour

In a previous post I extolled Glenn Beck's comedic chops. Beck is clearly a lover of (and nerd for) comedy founding and editing his own humor magazine titled 'Fusion'.

Glenn Beck will be hitting the road in June for his 'Common Sense Comedy Tour', having done similar Inspirational Speaking/Stand Up comedy events since 2004. These events provide some insight into Glenn Beck's ambitions as a showman and entrepreneur.

Find more details of this upcoming tour and previous tours here:
Glenn Beck's Common Sense Comedy Tour is coming to a movie theater near you!
The fall and winter have been crazy... So this summer, I think the best way for me to relax and regroup is to... hit the road with my live tour!

I've got a brand new stage show that's all comedy about common sense (seems it's not so common these days). Look, the headlines have you and me crying--we might as well laugh a little before Comrade Obama has us all wearing fur hats and waiting in line to buy toilet paper. My comedy tour will be traveling all over the country, and I want you and your family to come out and have some fun...
Glenn Beck's star has risen astronomically since migrating to Fox. This new exposure coupled with his increasingly alarmist theatrics has many detractors wondering about his sanity or otherwise questioning his sincerity. Allahpundit of conservative blog HotAir is one of those thinking aloud
Glenn Beck: The end of America is nigh, maybe
There’s something "off" about Beck in a way that’s not true of other chat-show hosts, although that’s not necessarily a criticism: O’Reilly and Hannity can be tiresome in more than small doses but this guy I find watchable even at a stretch. Partly it’s the sheer bravado of the performance, partly it’s the challenge of trying to figure out what’s going on in his head to make him the way he is.
Beck's show is interesting in that it bills itself as a comedy tour. I've previously mentioned how detractors mockingly refer to Rush Limbaugh as a comedian and Ann Coulter, the female Tony Clifton. Despite the serious influence Glenn Beck now holds, he is happy to distinguish himself as "comedian" and a "rodeo clown". For perspective, as previously recounted a large portion of the APF's liberal wing come from the ranks of comedy.

Watch a sample of Glenn Beck's stand up below

VIDEO: Glenn Beck Stand-up comedy - First date

Proving the natural nexus between comedy and punditry once again. Conservative pundit Andrew Wilkow shares his thoughts on comedians and his own nascent comedy career.
Andrew Wilkow on stand-up comedy
ANDREW WILKOW: That was the beginning of my dislike for many comedians. I thought that many of these people who were in these showcases were like jerky. But you can tell the good comedians from the bad comedians. Good comedians when they're off stage are like regular dudes. Bad comedians don't ever stop doing their act... That's what liberals are like. They're like bad comedians, they're always doing their act. Desperate for attention like bad radio DJs...
Listen and Download Andrew Wilkow talking stand-up comedy

Friday, April 10, 2009

Glenn Beck: President Obama why don't you just set us on fire?

VIDEO: Bill Schulz gets drenched in "Gasoline" by Glenn Beck
GLENN BECK: ...President Obama why don't you just set us on fire? For the love of Pete, what are you doing? Do you not hear the cries of people saying STOP!
Played out in the equally theatrical wrestling world; In Glenn Beck's mind President Obama would be 'Kane', the American people would be Jim Ross and Glenn Beck as fan favorite 'Stone Cold Steve Austin'.

Update:
Upon further review, maybe Jim Ross represents America ("The Republic") and the voices yelling "Stop/ What are you doing?" are the American people.

VIDEO: Kane sets Jim Ross on fire

Update 2:
Its unspoken but the APF pundits are based on analogous wrestler templates. I alluded in a previous post which wrestlers might have been references for the Glenn Beck pundit. With this video I'm starting to like Stone Cold as the analog, it certainly wasn't evident a year ago. Glenn Beck like 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin is a fan favorite best known for taking it to the man, tormenting 'the boss' with theatrical stunts. For Beck's detractors, he's "Stone Cold crazy" eh eh.

Here is the new Glenn Beck pundit animation, with updated details to reflect his new persona and popularity. Click on the toggle on the bottom left corner to switch between outfits.

Barack Obama is Teleprompter-dependent. Jon Stewart is dependent on his writers.

teleprompter, president obama, dependent, manchurian
Barack Obama and the Teleprompter
A popular meme against President Obama is that he is heavily reliant on the Teleprompter.

Read a selection of Teleprompter jibes from Newsbusters, Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh below:
1) Glenn Beck on Obama as the "Manchurian candidate"
Beck: Obama Is A ‘Manchurian Candidate’ Because He Uses A Teleprompter — But I Use One Too
So I mean, it really bothers me, this teleprompter. … It bothers me that this man doesn’t — this man is always on prompter. You want to talk about a Manchurian candidate — that’s it! Who’s writing every word for this man? […] Is it bothering anyone else but me? We have a fraud in office, at least that’s the way it feels to me.
2) Newsbusters' frustrated by media's whitewashing of Obama's Teleprompter dependency
Obama's 12-Teleprompter Entourage Is Not Newsworthy, or Humor-worthy
...the UK's Evening Standard... matter-of-factly noted the following in the final sentence of its report about President Obama's upcoming European trip:
Accompanying the party will be a total of 500 officials including kitchen staff, 35 vehicles in all, four speech writers and 12 teleprompters.
This more than vindicates yours truly's "President 'Prompter" appellation
3) Rush Limbaugh on Obama's value without a teleprompter or speechwriter
Off Prompter, Obama Can't Speak
RUSH LIMBAUGH: Nobody was saying a word. There was no cheering; there was no fainting. There was just disbelief. I have warned you people several times, you get this guy away from the teleprompter and the David Axelrod-written speeches. This guy doesn't even write his own speeches. Mario Cuomo and Malcolm X write these, but the bottom line is, you get this guy away from them, and I don't care, he blames it on lack of sleep.
You might be mistaken for thinking the meme was created to jujitsu against Obama's masterful stagecraft and memorable speech delivery; undercutting these strengths by creating the impression that Obama is empty, lacking any personal conviction or wisdom. An odd charge considering Obama partially built his reputation by penning Autobiographies which calculatingly demonstrated just that - not that it immunizes him.
Sorry, Dad, I'm Voting for Obama
I’ve read Obama’s books, and they are first-rate. He is that rara avis, the politician who writes his own books. Imagine.
But perhaps the Teleprompter meme is not so much an attempt to discredit Obama's ability to stage rousing set pieces but an ideological difference in how Conservatives value "from the gut" thinking. As conservative talker Andrew Wilkow points out in his critique of Jon Stewart, referencing Stewart's glowing profile in the New York Times:
Andrew Wilkow on Jon Stewart and his reliance on writers
ANDREW WILKOW: Well that's funny. It takes an entire staff of snarky, angry liberals to come up with this program [The Daily Show] then they rehearse it.
You know what it takes to come up with this program? Me!
You know who hosts it? Me!
You know how many times I rehearse it? None! It's live.

That's why I have absolutely no respect for the Daily Show. You get a bunch of snarky North Eastern liberals. You put them in a room, you hook them up with a couple of computers and that becomes the show. Well if Jon Stewart was so smart, he wouldn't need this huge staff of people to write his material. He wouldn't need people to create his thoughts. He wouldn't need to rehearse them, they would be natural because he's so smart.
Listen and Download audio of Andrew Wilkow diminishing Jon Stewart

Remember Rush Limbaugh's "First Televised Address to the Nation" was proudly spoken off the cuff:
Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Speech
RUSH LIMBAUGH: We don't have to make notes about what we believe. We don't have to write down, oh do I believe it do I believe that we can tell people what we believe off the top of our heads and we can do it with passion and we can do it with clarity, and we can do it persuasively
Despite Andrew Wilkow's assertions, it's also worth noting that Jon Stewart and stablemate Stephen Colbert have both attempted their shows without the aid of writers during the protracted Writer's strike in 2008. A rare feat for such television programming.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Worst Person in the World: Keith Olbermann cuts a promo on "Harold Hill" Glenn Beck calling him an "accessory" [to murder?]

VIDEO: Glenn "Accessory" Beck Worst Person

MSNBC's Keith Olbermann cut a promo on Glenn Beck in a recent 'Worst Person' segment of his show. In pro wrestling, "cutting a promo" is the act of getting on the mic and delivering an impassioned speech, usually to call out another wrestler.

Olbermann's charge was similar to Bill Maher's criticism that Glenn Beck's brand of populism incites militia style violence, misguided fanaticism where people begin taking the law in their own hands. Glenn Beck promptly responded to that charge masterfully affirming his "you are not alone/ we surround them" meme
Bill Maher and Keith Olbermann on Glenn Beck + Beck's response
GLENN BECK: But I guarantee you, anyone who grabs a gun, criminal, insane, whatever and starts shooting people. If they've even watched Fox News, look out! They're just waiting for some nutjob, that way they can take what you believe and twist it to -- well see "look at what these people believe. I mean they're doing horrible things with them." And they're gonna blame it on those beliefs. They're gonna blame it on the people who talk about those beliefs. The people who listen to those beliefs. That is me and that is you.
Olbermann awarded Glenn Beck his Worst Person in the World, referring to him as 'Harold Hill' based on the conman salesman from the 'Music Man' - think Lyle Lanley from the monorail episode of The Simpsons.
KEITH OLBERMANN: But our winner "Harold Hill" again, its about his continuing attempt to disassociate himself with his inflammatory paranoia...

So videogames can cause people to try to kill police and television caused the doubling of the homicide rate. But Glenn Beck reducing the complexities of the world to the level of a video game for his television viewers and telling them to "rise up and take back their country before the government takes their guns". That couldn't possibly have anything to do with one of those viewers rising up and taking back his country before the government takes his guns. Glenn Beck "accessory" - Today's worst Person in the World
Expect Beck to respond to Olbermann's charge with even more vigor than he did returning fire to Bill Maher's criticism.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Indian-American Actor Kal Penn accepts a job in Barack Obama's White House

Kumar Goes to Washington
We've had actors-turned-mayors, and actors-turned-governors... but actors-turned-White House staffers? That's a new one!

"House" star Kal Penn -- whose character was killed off on Monday's episode -- is taking a sabbatical from acting to work for President Obama.
Actors like Fred Thompson, Jesse Ventura, Al Franken and Arnold Schwarzenegger all come to mind. 31yr-old Indian-American actor Kal Penn is breaking some interesting ground by sacrificing a lucrative lifestyle in the spotlight for his political convictions. Celebrities are often ridiculed for their political activism as they are caricatured for being out of touch from mainstream society.

Kal Penn is best known as Kumar from the Harold and Kumar movies and serious turns in the TV series 'House' and drama 'The Namesake'

Conservative Ed Morrissey gives Kal Penn kudos for his principled transition
Kumar goes to the West Wing?
I give kudos to Penn for pursuing public service at a large personal cost, at least financially. Public service can be honorable, and Penn deserves credit for choosing to work in that arena, even if I don’t necessarily agree with Penn on politics. I felt the same way when Tony Snow gave up his financially lucrative talk-show career to bring order back to the Bush press office, giving service to his country.
- Sean Hannity is not so impressed, snarkily boxing Kal Penn as the "star from the stoner movies"

Caller criticizes Limbaugh, Hannity, [Hewitt], Levin on torture: "It's like you're all brainwashed"



Whilst pundits are largely autonomous they also travel in cliques, not unlike comedians and wrestlers. I'm always fascinated by how casual viewers perceive the personal affiliations of pundits. Whilst pundits might share the same ideology and even work on the same network, astute and engaged watchers will be aware that some relationships don't go beyond the professional and may even be discreetly icy.

In this example, a dissenting conservative caller rails at Rush Limbaugh and lumps Hugh Hewitt, Sean Hannity and Mark Levin into a collective. Generally speaking pundits don't like being lumped together by people other than themselves, largely because of ego and the proudly solitary nature of their work. It's a jarring assortment because Hugh Hewitt of the Salem family has little affiliation with Rush Limbaugh. Sean Hannity and Mark Levin on the other hand are more closely associated. To be fair, no right thinking Conservative Talker would want to disassociate themselves with the spectacularly successful Rush Limbaugh.

Having said that, I was surprised to hear Mark Levin appear on Hugh Hewitt's program to hawk his new book. It seems others were surprised by Levin's appearance also, which Hugh Hewitt quickly diminished and dispelled:
H1: Mark Levin, Jim Geraghty With Hugh Hewitt. Tuesday March 31, 2009
HUGH HEWITT: The Great One Mark Levin is here with me this hour and a lot of you have already sent emails and are wondering "why would I invite a competitor on?" and that's because Mark and I aren't competitors. We are cooperating hosts who try to do right by the country on the same timeslots on many markets and there's plenty of listeners to go around.

You know Mark Levin this is another indication that the left just doesn't get us. Doesn't get Rush. Doesn't get Hannity. Doesn't get any of us -- all the Salem hosts, Bennett through the rest of them. That we are all on the same team here. We might disagree and fight amongst each other occasionally. But boy we are united in making sure the country understands that we can't go down this road.
MARK LEVIN: Well you know, not only is that true but let me tell your audience something. You are universally adored by all of us
HEWITT: Now I'm blushing
LEVIN: Now hold on let me say it, all of us on the other hand are not. You are universally adored by my brother Rush and Sean and all the rest of us because you're so smart and kind and on the game and we do appreciate you Hugh.
Listen and Download Hugh Hewitt's interview with Mark Levin

With that said there is a curious ommision (probably innocuous) between the Media Matters and Rush Limbaugh transcripts for this same audio.
RushLimbaugh.com transcript
Who's Brainwashed and Ignorant?
CALLER: And it just -- it was crazy for you to keep going on and on like -- like Leveen (sic) and Hannity and you. It's like you're all brainwashed...

RUSH: Charles?
CALLER: You have and Hannity --
RUSH: Charles? Charles? Charles, you said --
CALLER: -- you with and Levin are all brainwashed, and you know it.
RUSH: You said at the beginning of your phone call --
MediaMatters.org transcript
Caller criticizes Limbaugh, Hannity, etal, on torture: "It's like you're all brainwashed"
CALLER: And it just -- it was crazy for you to keep going on and on like Levin and Hannity and Hewitt. It's like you're all brainwashed...

LIMBAUGH: Charles. Charles, Charles --
CALLER: You, Hannity, Hewitt, and Levin are all brainwashed and you know it.
LIMBAUGH: -- you said -- you said at the beginning of your phone call --