In case you were wondering, yes, I was one of the originators of the "Deconstructing the Sunday Shows" genre too.
And like the David Brooks beat, covering the Mouse Circus back in those days -- especially before embeddable video, quickly accessible transcripts and fast-mass-reaction tools like Twitter -- meant tilling some hard and desolate real estate every week with hardly another soul in sight.
So now, with only a little more ado --
-- Sunday Morning Comin' Down circa, July of 2005:
Sunday Morning Comin’ Down…
Now with Extra Santorum!By popular demand (Ok, technically, “voices in my head”, but they are very persuasive) here is the phosphor-dot pointillistism of a completely inaccurate, biased and profoundly unjust blur that passes for what I saw during my coffee fueled rampage through commercial teevee’s Sunday Morning Mouse Circus......made longer, longer-lasting and more manly in every way by the late addition of special, herbal "Actual Santorum Transcript" supplements from “This Week...” via and courtesy of Steve Gilliard.Foxy Nude?WTF?Sorry. Sooo Sleepy.Fox News.Well fuck Fox New, because Al Green is on CBS. The good Reverend’s singing the dirty stuff again. I mean, “secular”. Yeah. Sec-ul-ar, baby. Gimme some more of that!Local ABC telling me that the Chicago River is clean again. Or cleanish. Or at least if you’re fishing you’re not 50/50 to hook into the corpses of cattle or horses or shoe salesmen who couldn’t make the vig three months running. And all kidding aside, it is cleaner. The number of fish species has jumped from 10 to 68 in the last decade.What they don’t tell you is that 20 of the new species are eleven feet long, pissed as hell, and they swarms ashore and feed on the big men who slink in shame in the pre-damn hours to walk their girlfriends itsy-bitsy teacup dogs.And the Elotes vendors.Last night the teevee tells me it was apparently Venetian Night in Chicago. A flotilla of boats on the Lakefront, tied up and dandied up. Lots of music. Dancing. Hella fireworks. Probably Al Green. Around 675,000 people.And I missed it.Damn! I thought they said “Phoenician” Night, and I don’t want any part of that madness.Fox talking to Shuttle Astronauts and Bill Nelson, former Astronaut and current Senator. I hate that. I hate it because I unreservedly love the space program. I think NASA has gotten way off track with it’s timid, short haul mentality...budgeting only the pfennigs to the right of the decimal place for long-range-thinking, long duration projects. With the discovery of a new fucking planet in our back yard, we can say with perfect, timely, literality that there really are new worlds to conquer.A whole Solar System to stretch our legs into, and here we still are, still fucking around in the cradle, letting superstitious dimwits scare us out of our birthright.So believe me, I am all about talking space exploration, anywhere, anytime, over a bottle until the wee small hours, or listening to JPL geek lecture on Orion – and this week was an especially good one for that conversation (Hell, even John Tierney over at the NYT go into the act) – but to hear it on Fox?That’s like finding out Phyllis Schlafly is your phone sex operator.Ew! Just....Ew!Chris Dodd squares off with Mitch McConnell.First up, Rove? Is it Rove? Gonna talk a little Rove maybe?Nah. Treason is such tiny news now that Frist has agreed to lay down suppressing fire for the White House on Stem Cells.Mitch sez, roughly, “When Fristina talks Health Care, we all need to listen. I especially admire his Amazing Remote Diagnostic Power. Why, just by rubbing the DVD of “The Right Stuff” on his genitals (known aptly and affectionately around the Frist home as “The Dead Zone”) he was able to ascertain the precise location of the foam debris that fell off the fully-ready-but-oopsie-not-so-much-I-guess external fuel tanks on the Space Shuttle.At Senate parties he does cold card readings that bring the House down, and has this trick where he slices up the Constitution, rolls it into a cone and pours James Dobson’s diseased jizz down it...and it just fucking vanishes.Now that’s some goddamned Majyks!”Dodd – I wish we’d brought this up in July.Amen.On to the UN – Dodd sez, “Bolton? Sheeeet. 115 former ambassadors coming out against that beyotch. Colin Powell saying he’d be terrible...”Chris Wallace’s cranial chip fires off and he interrupts the US Senator three seconds into his comment to tell him that “argument is over”, that it’s a done deal.Dodd sez, yes, but that would be bad, see? Baaaad. The simple fact that Bolton would be a fucking disaster seems to elude Ace Newspimp Wallace. Wallace interrupts again to ask, “Why would you say that he’d be a bad choice?”Dodd shows heroic restraint in not garroting Wallace with his own PNAC rhinestone “B.I.T.C.H.” dog-collar while whispering, “I was just explaining that when you interrupted me you wretched little trollop.”Then we are reminded of three Clinton recess appointments. Clinton apparently did not appointed a person as the Ambassador to Luxembourg, but “Gay Activist" James Hormel.Saturday? Sunday? Tuesday? Doesn’t matter, ‘cause baby, it’s always Fag-Sniping Day at Fox. And comparing the Ambassador to fucking Luxembourg to Our Man at the UN? Tsk Tsk.Wallace reserves a whole minute to talk Social Security, split 50/50. And McConnell natters on about the awful Democrats. Wallace hectors Dodd during his 30 seconds about, “Are the Democrats ever, EVER going to come up with a plan of their own.”Dodd did fine, but again completely failed to thumbfuck Wallace’s windpipe and terminate him like the rabid gerbil he is. He is a far better man than I.FACE THE NATION:Brownback vs. Specter. Yes! Ultra Right Wing Fucktard Conservative versus Waffling GOP “Moderate”. This is the debate we want.Brownback: “This is the first time we’ve ever used tax money for the intentional destruction of human life.”What a reprehensible doucebag. First, and most obviously, an embryosicle is NOT a human life. I am a human life, even as you are, and Specter and presumably Brownback and the millions of Americans who could potentially benefit from stem cell research.Second, um, Iraq? How many people there are dead on our dime? Or if you like your atrocities more retail, may I commend to your attention the George Bush Memorial Abattoir that is Texas Death Row. A Lone Star Dickensian slaughterhouse for the Poor, Retarded, Minorities and Children...all at taxpayer expense.Brownback likened stem cell research to Nazi medical experiments. Hmmm. I wonder if Fox News is prepping a nine-part, frontal-assault on Brownstripe for using the “"N” word?A lot of words come boiling out his mouth, none of which change the overall impression that he is an opportunistic little equivocator who wants to keep the Fundy Vote Tallywhacker buried firmly in his fundament while splitting hairs over where exactly he does and does not stand on any given thing.Are you at all concerned that the GOP will be seen as anti-science?Wow. Like five good questions in a row.Brownback looks baffled by the presence of queries that don’t end with asking him if he’d like a “happy ending.”ABC TALKIN’ NASA.Ahhh. Much better. Don Nelson( NASA Administrator), Buzz Aldrin and John Glenn. Cleaner, tops-shelf space-porn for the discriminating astrovert. Buzz talking about, fuck the shuttle. Fuck the Space Station. Let’s get our asses out of the kiddie pool and out where we belong.Mars, Bitches!Then around the dial and back to ABC for Santorum!Stephanopoulis sez Dobson calls Fristy’s stand, “The worst kind of betrayal.”From the Dark Age of Santorum and Dobson, I flip back to CBS and the Space Age. Wayne Hale is on. I am very happy, but I switch back to see......Stephanopoulis just beat Santorum’s fucking teeth down his throat.Oh. My. Lord. I sure hope the good folks at Crooks and Liars have the footage because this is one for the ages. (They do. They are indispensible. Click here.)It’s the evil feminists. The radical feminists.Stephanopoulis goes full Georege Patton on his simpering ass -- "Santorum! You magnificent bastard! I read your God Damn Book!"-- and asks the question that Joe McCarthy never answered.Name one, Senator. Name just one.Santorum. Er. Um. Er. Um. Crickets. Tumbleweed.Uhh. “Gloria Steinem.”That’s it?Name another.Er. Um. Doh. The sky blackens with a jillions Flying Crickets. Pages fly off the calendar. Continents rise and fall.Can’t name one. Not one fucking name. Nothing. And being a True Christopath Shitbag Republican, he doesn’t correct himself, he Just Lies Louder!Santorum drops back and punts, “Elite Culture. Hollywood. Hollywood Elites. Academia.” His pants are now fully on fire.Name one.Man, did Little Ricky ever learn his Five "D's": Dodge, dip, duck, dive, dodge!!Stephanopoulis doesn’t let up. “Jesus, Senator. You’re making all of these charges. Don’t you think naming specific people who are doing this terrible shit is rather important?”Tumbleweed fills up the Universe.Bwahahahahaha, I say to you!Geroge offers up Hillary Clinton, but with a backhanded twist. “Hillary,” he sez, “agrees with you on this issue, in her book. Is she a “radical feminist”?Yes. Yes. Yesyesyes! Hillary! Hillary! It’s all Hillary!Squealing like Winston Smith staring down the barrel of the Rat Cage. Take her! Do what you want with her! Rip her flesh off her bones. It’s all Hillary!This lying, slope-browed pinhead is a United States Senator. I just can't get past that.We all know it’s easy to caricature someone in 30-second, unrebutted slander-ads, but with Santorum, the more you see him and hear him talk, the more you are just jaw-droppingly stunned that he isn’t living over a garage somewhere, repairing lawnmowers, sipping Sterno and saving his pennies for a birthday bath and trip to the brothel.Holy Christmas Cookies, he really IS that stupid!And this book he’s being very lightly questioned about isn’t the pop-up version of “My Little Goat” that his staff reads to him before bednights. This is a book he allegedly wrote. Presumably, unlike, oh, perhaps (he speculated irresponsibly) his litter of mini-Santori, this is something he didn’t bang out over a drunk weekend.And he’s been on a book tour for weeks now, where he was been asked these questions many times. Also presumably his staff did not let him out on the road before they’d prepped him, even if the best they could do with The Man from the Isle of Dog, Senator Foamy Rectal Discharge, is use flash cards to help him remember what he believes and sound out the big words, and pack him extra Pampers.And yet a couple simple questions about what he himself wrote and he falls apart and starts yelling. This is how deep in the silty end of the gene pool the GOP now dredges for warm bodies to stuff into high office.Then George downshifts to Boston and Catholic Priest Perdophiles and, again, Santorum shows himself to be nothing but Jerry Falwell’s Snowflake Baby: As Falwell and Roberston leaped to blame 9/11 on gays and feminists and the ACLU, Santorum is an evil, vacant dope who has never had an original or complex thought in his entire life. Who knows nothing except his own hateful and pig-ignorant dogma, and reflexively tries to ram every problem in the world into its grubby framework.Here, courtesy of Mr. Gilliard, is the actual transcript.STEPHANOPOULOS: Let’s talk about something else in the book, radical feminists. A second quote from the book, you say, Respect for stay-at-home mothers has been poisoned by a toxic combination of the village elders’ war on the traditional family and radical feminism’s misogynistic crusade to make working outside the home the only marker of social value and self-respect.Let’s get specific here. Name one or two of these radical feminists who are on this crusade.SANTORUM: Well, I mean, you know, you have — you go back to, what’s her name, well, Gloria Steinem, but I’m trying to remember — I can’t remember the woman’s name. It’s terrible. Anyway…STEPHANOPOULOS: But it’s kind of an important point. Because you paint this broad brush: radical feminists, village elders. Name one.SANTORUM: There’s lots of — no, there’s lot’s of — well, Gloria Steinem. There’s one. I mean, there’s lots of writings out there…STEPHANOPOULOS: She’s been on a crusade against stay-at-home moms?SANTORUM: There’s lots of writings out there, and there is an opinion by the elite in this country across academia, across the media, that stay-at-home motherhood is not adequately affirmed and respected by our society.SANTORUM: And if you don’t believe that, get a panel of stay-at- home moms here on your show, and you ask them whether they feel affirmed by society, whether they feel affirmed by the culture.STEPHANOPOULOS: Listen, I can go home. My wife Wendy both works and stays at home at various times. And sometimes, when she’s not working, you know, she gets upset, but it’s not some message that’s being driven by…SANTORUM: Isn’t it?STEPHANOPOULOS: … specific people.SANTORUM: Isn’t it a message for us? I mean, where does this come from? Does this come from the ether?STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, I’m asking you. Where are these radical feminists?SANTORUM: It comes from an elite culture, dictated, again, from academia, dictated, again, from the Hollywood culture and the news media, that says, the only thing that’s affirming, the only thing that really counts is what you do at work.And that goes for men and women. And it’s wrong. It’s wrong to tell that to fathers. It’s wrong to tell that to mothers. And we need to value mothers and fathers spending time with their children much more than we do in America.STEPHANOPOULOS: Hillary Clinton wrote much the same in her book, It Takes a Village. Do you believe she’s a radical feminist?SANTORUM: Yes, I do. I mean, read her work and what she’s done on children’s rights. I mean, that’s radical. I mean, you’re talking about giving children the same — that children have rights equal to adults. I mean, that is not a nurturing atmosphere of mothers and fathers taking responsibility for shaping the moral vision of their children. She doesn’t agree with that, at least if you look at her earlier writings.STEPHANOPOULOS: Have you talked to her about your book?SANTORUM: We’ve had conversations in passing about it.STEPHANOPOULOS: Tell us about them.SANTORUM: Oh, just, you know, pass in the hallway, you know, she made a comment to me about that it takes a village, and I responded, no, it really does take a family.STEPHANOPOULOS: So no serious debate?SANTORUM: No serious debate. I’d love to have a serious debate.STEPHANOPOULOS: You may have drawn her out now, calling her a radical feminist.SANTORUM: I’d love to have a serious debate. If she’d like to have a serious debate about her view of how society should be ordered and structured — I believe her view is one that says government and top-down. I believe my view is the view that’s held by most Americans, which means we need strong families and strong communities, and we don’t need government really dissembling those institutions, which I think her view of the world does.STEPHANOPOULOS: Let’s move on to another controversy you stirred up, the question of the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic church. You made a statement in July 2002 which has drawn a lot of fire. You said, in a publication called Catholic On-Line, When the culture is sick, every element in it becomes infected. While there’s no excuse for this scandal, it is no surprise that Boston, a seat of academic, political and cultural liberalism in America, lies at the center of the storm.You’ve reaffirmed that just a couple of weeks ago. Ted Kennedy, John Kerry say you have to apologize. Mitt Romney, Republican governor, says basically you don’t know what you’re talking about. Do you still stand by that statement?SANTORUM: Look, the statement I made was that the culture influences people’s behavior. I don’t think anyone…STEPHANOPOULOS: Isn’t that what conservatives used to say about liberals, when they used to say they were trying to excuse criminals?SANTORUM: I think what I’m saying is that the culture of liberal sexual freedom and the sexual revolution of the 1960s and ’70s had a profound impact on everybody and their sexual mores. It had a profound impact on the church.STEPHANOPOULOS: But you singled out Boston in…SANTORUM: I singled out Boston in 2002. In July of 2002, that was the epicenter. We did not know…STEPHANOPOULOS: That is simply not true. I went back and looked at all of these clips. We had stories in 1994, going back all the way to 1984 in Louisiana, in just about every archdiocese in the country.I just don’t understand why you stick by this, because we now know it was widespread. It was in every city in the country.SANTORUM: Well, at the time, we did not know it was in every city of the country.STEPHANOPOULOS: We knew a lot of that.SANTORUM: It was — look at the press reports. It was the epicenter.STEPHANOPOULOS: I have them right here.SANTORUM: I think it’s taking it out of context…STEPHANOPOULOS: Los Angeles Times, January 29, 1994, it cites instances of abuse in Santa Fe and Chicago, as well as Lafayette, Louisiana, and Camden, New Jersey. 1994.SANTORUM: I understand that it was in other places. All I’m talking about, at the time, what everyone was focused on at the time was Boston.STEPHANOPOULOS: So you stand by it?SANTORUM: Look, I will admit that Boston is — that using Boston at the time was appropriate. Now, I would not say it would be appropriate. I would say that Boston right now would — we’d say a whole lot of other cities in the country and a whole lot of problems.But if you read the article, that was one of about four or five things that I said…STEPHANOPOULOS: I did read it.SANTORUM: … and I talked about the problems within the church. I wrote the article in 2002. Ted Kennedy and John Kennedy wrote no articles in 2002 criticizing this church. I went out and talked to bishops. I went out and talked to cardinals. I was very concerned. I was offended and hurt by a church that betrayed me by not doing what they should have done, and I was angered by that, and I spoke out about it, and I spoke loudly about it.The senators from Massachusetts did nothing. They spoke nothing. They sat by and let this happen.STEPHANOPOULOS: So you’re standing your ground.Bwahahahahaha, I say to you yet again!Modern Republicans are to tragedy as diarrhea is to famine; preventable, opportunistic diseases that barely exist in a healthy society, but come on with a vengeance when society is sick. And Santorum is the one of the most virulently transmissable of these human stool samples.He shambles smack into the middle of a true crisis in American families and writes a whole book for the sole purporse of hijacking genuine problems and press-ganging them into his ongoing Jihad against the hated Feminist Army (none of whom he can actually name.)And to this slab of offal -- I'm sorry, the Honorable Senator Slab of Offal -- the molestation of children by pedophile priests is just another chance to blame Evil Liberal Elites for everything bad that has ever happened. To rip open a fresh, deep wound and for wretched partisan gain, pee salt and rat poison into the genuine pain of real people and then pray for the infection spreads to the brain...rending the victim stupid enough to actually vote of a perambulating shit-heel like Ricky Santorum.This sentence sums it up: “STEPHANOPOULOS: I have them right here.”The problem, as always, is that scum like Santorum are simply, factually wrong and when they crawl out of the fart-rebreathing Republican Propaganda Bell Jar and have to deal with the Real World and Real Consequences and Real Evidence that they are Wrong Wrong Wrong, these humble, God Fearin’ Men absolutely fall apart.And not gently.Since they are literally nothing without their dogma, they thrash and foam like the devil getting a firehose Holy Water high colonic. And since their vile anti-Christian Cult prohibits them from admitting error, the more they public humiliate themselves, the louder they scream.Sadly, for many of our more sharply inbred citizens, braying like an ass that's stuck its snout in a wasp's nest actually constitutes clever rejoinder. It is the lasting legacy of Hate Radio.So if you voted for him, kindly find the nearest working mother or abused child and apologize to them immediately and profusely. And then swear before Almighty God that you will never, ever vote for a despicable, America-hating Christopath ever again.Paul Hackett’s Cinderella Candidacy is coming on ABC and I have an appointment to go a’brunching.Damn!Damn you Gloria Steinem!Damn you to Hell!