Thursday, April 17, 2014

Why We Cannot Coexist


The redoubtable Digby looks upon a vast Wingnut Welfare radio kickback scheme and sees a system that is rotting, broken and in complete moral free-fall:
The Wingnut Welfare Monarchy

by digby

Can you believe this?  It's not as if Limbaugh and company wouldn't do this for free. Or that they aren't already millionaires hundreds of times over. They're just giving them money because ... well, because:
A POLITICO review of filings with the Internal Revenue Service and Federal Election Commission, as well as interviews and reviews of radio shows, found that conservative groups spent nearly $22 million to broker and pay for involved advertising relationships known as sponsorships with a handful of influential talkers including Beck, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Mark Levin and Rush Limbaugh between the first talk radio deals in 2008 and the end of 2012. Since then, the sponsorship deals have grown more lucrative and tea party-oriented, with legacy groups like The Heritage Foundation ending their sponsorships and groups like the Tea Party Patriots placing big ad buys.
It's the sheer amount of money they have that always astounds me.
But a true-believing Randite Libertarian will look upon this same run amok payola scheme and see nothing but the fulfillment of holy capitalist prophecy:
"If you want to gauge collectivist's theory's distance from reality, ask yourself: by what inconceivable standard can it be claimed that the broadcast airwaves are the property of some illiterate sharecropper who will never be able to grasp the concept of electronics, or some hillbilly whose engineering capacity is not quite sufficient to cope with a corn liquor still -- and that broadcasting, the product of an incalculable amount of scientific genius, is to be ruled by such owners?
"There is only one solution to this problem and it has to start at its base: nothing less will do. The airways should be turned over to private ownership. The only way to do it now is to sell radio and television frequencies over to the highest bidders...-- and thus put an end to the gruesome fiction of 'public property'."

-- Ayn Rand, "The Objectivist Newsletter", April 1964
As one disreputable old crank once said, we as a nation simply cannot endure permanently half-Fox and half-free.


JerryB said...

They've just more cranky billionaires than we do.

To paraphrase Strangelove: "Mr. President, there can not be a cranky billionaire gap!"

Anonymous said...

Rand is incoherent. She misses one key reality. Public does not exist, never has and never will. Public ownership can exist, but nothing is ever publically run or administrated.

Public technology is run by elites, not sky god worshiping morons from flyover. It's run and administered by the most educated, high powered, elites from the most elite coastal cities. Not Christ worshiping sister fuckers.

This is why things should be kept public. It prevents some hick who randomly gets rich from gaining control of things. Public is a method or protection to keep things in the hands of the best minds and most deserving rather than the riff raff.

For someone who believed in genius, real power, and keeping things out of the hands of the moronic riff raff Rand was on the wrong fucking side. Make it public, thus make it for the powered elite, and protect it from the hands of the salt of the land, you know, morons.

Anonymous said...

Who can sell the radio spectrum? By admitting by inference, it is the collective, the government, who has the rights and/or the ownership of the spectrum to sell the whole thing is gibberish.

Who would enforce exclusive use of use of 'privately owned' spectrum. The government and its collection of ignorant sharecroppers obviously. If not them perhaps Clear Channel would hire thugs to shut down the pirate broadcaster who might insist upon broadcasting Coltrane's A Love Supreme over Rush channel every day. (An old fond daydream of mine)

OBS said...

Oh just fuck off nony, this faux elitist shtick is stale as hell!

Anonymous said...


Rights are only rights if you have the force to back them up. A private entity can enforce this, it's happened in the past and it was nasty and lethal as all hell.

Part of the point of "public" is avoiding the lethality and viciousness of a private system, and also placing things with the best and the brightest.

Dave said...

The only way to fix this is to get corporate influence from campaigning.

The logic of the right is no difference than the KKK, where most people can see it if someone with a political microphone bother to point it out. But because the people who help sponsor our government favor the right wing, the dems are scare to death that someone rich enough will bury them. It's never about who has the best message, it's who has the most money to spew out the most mediocre and vague message.

Even though Obamacare is generally good, someone managed to spend a LOT of money to demonize it and for a good 5 years it worked and people didn't know what it was.

Propaganda can easily warp the mind. The people with the money wants to keep this propaganda running. Even though it's very slowly dying, they're going to keep it even if it pointless. At some point, it was easy to sue over a clear case of political slander, it's not anymore because the politician of the day wanted a better chance to keep their seat for a little longer.

If you take out the money influence, the right will finally be subjected to natural selection and that brand will die. If we don't, they will continue and try to run their error prone ideology into every section of government, no matter how irrational it is. All our problems have very simple solutions, normally a solution that was already used in the past.

At least in IL they're trying to vote on a bill to intact the wolf-pac amendment. Right Wingers and Lefties both agree money shouldn't influence our politics and inching closer to that end.

Fiddlin Bill said...

The Rand quote is remarkable, particularly as she was of some personal acquaintance with the problem, in its apparent ignorance of the power of propaganda. Goebbels had already made a science of it.

Anonymous said...


-"If you take out the money influence, the right will finally be subjected to natural selection and that brand will die."

Just like ACORN was defunded and died? Or the notion that water fluoridation causes Communism has died?

Don't underestimate the superstitious paranoia of the movement conservative base. Regular perusal of the "What's New?" section of has regular entries of political "sekrit! libhrul! plot!"

I think it will take more than just removing money. It will also take progressives with backbones *and positions of authority* who will point at people and say, "What he just said is complete and utter bullshit."


Anonymous said...

as noted rand quote makes no real sense - do you have to understand the physics of electomagnetic waves to understand what radio can do?
and speaking of Hillbillys' the Carter Family mangaged to figure out how to use it rather well.
Rand really did hate everybody yes?

Dave said...

Mike K.

I would like to show my appreciation for replying to my comment. Oddly this blog allows me to sort out my thoughts and project them into something productive.

My statement does not exist in a vacuums, the entire post works as one body. The reason why progressive lack backbone is the influence of money. We don't have weak dems because they're naturally weak, it's because that's how they get into power. If they don't accept the centrist version of politics, they'll have a hard time getting into power.

The people who give money to the crazy right wingers are the same people who give money to the dems. If a progressive comes along screaming and shouting, they will get weeded out. It would look crazy for dems not to fight for Acorn ( considering everyone helped by Acorn would vote democratic ), unless you consider the fact if anyone dare fight for that group, any right wing donor would cut them off or spend tons of money building up a lie that acorn is evil

It doesn't matter if the message is sensible or crazy, the end result is determined by who has the most money.

We have a dysfunctional media system and both sides encourage it (republicans politicians by misinformation, democratic politicians by not fighting the misinfo)

There will always be crazy people in this country.. but they make up a minority... we currently crazy people in politics, but with a little money and time, they'll become useful to the people that sponsor them.

If the influence of corporate money doesn't leave our politics, we'll never get people to fight against the crazy.. the Obama Presidency is proof... He was given 'everything' at the start, and just wasted it to the point that his BIGGEST selling point became a negative. It doesn't take a genius to see someone who's calmly throwing half the game and giving every advantage to his enemies

steeve said...

Dear god what an idiot. Rand literally thought it was impossible to be dumb and rich at the same time.

stickler said...

What took people so long to figure out Limbaugh's scam?

Back when he was just starting out, when he was given a national forum to make fun of Michael Dukakis, before Citizens United was a glint in John Roberts' eye, right-wing corporate types quickly learned that they could sponsor Limbaugh when they were prohibited from making corporate political contributions.

Cirze said...

I've always hoped that whenever anyone studied Ayn Rand's inanity closely (or even from a distance) that they would remember how her protege Alan Greenspan had bragged for years about his desire to climb into her lap and lick her all over.

Because if this doesn't explain most of what we've suffered since the early Reagan years, I don't know what else can in so few words.

jim said...

I am shocked to discover that there is rampant prostitution happening in this whorehouse! SHOCKED, I tell you!