Monday, June 19, 2017

Guardians of the Fallacy

About one hot minute ago a man named Charlie Sykes went from being Wisconsin's own, home-grown Limbaugh clone...

..,to a Respected MSNBC Constributor, a guest on "Meet the Press" and ubiquitous regular on every show in MSNBC's lineup except Lock Up.

This happened because, in the twilight of his career as a Limbaugh-clone, the prevailing winds suddenly shifted. And like many of America's Conservative human wind-socks, overnight Charlie Sykes went from a man who made a living slandering Liberals to a man who makes a living by expropriating the opinions of those he once slandered without ever acknowledging that the Left was right about the Right all along.

Ripping off the disquisition of those you spent your life shitting on has become a very good Beltway dollar, and in Mr. Sykes case it has snagged him a semi-regular gig at The New York Times.
The Danger of Ignoring Alex Jones
Indeed, when Mr. Jones was merely a marginal figure on the paranoid right, the case could plausibly be made that he was better left in obscurity. But now that, at least according to Mr. Jones, the president of the United States has praised him and thanked him for the role he played in his election victory, it’s too late to make that argument. We can’t keep ignoring the fringe. We have to expose it.
"Expose" is a big, magic word with people who wipe their asses in The New York Times and call it a good day's work.  Here, for example, is the Mustache of Understanding explaining to Barack Obama back in  that the best way to "expose" the madness of the GOP would be to enact Tom Friedman's favorite Crackpot Idea:
I’ve argued that the only way for Obama to expose just how radical the G.O.P. has become would be for the president to put out in detail his version of a credible “Grand Bargain” and then go sell it to the country...
And five years later, my response to Mr. Sykes's brilliant plan to "expose" the lunacy of the Right he worked tirelessly to create is the same as my response to Mr. Friedman back in the Good Old Days:
Which leaves only this question: "Expose" to whom, you fucking shmegegge?

At the ass-end of 30 years of escalating Republican psychosis, who is there left to convince? Who remains unaware of what the GOP is up to? Who is there in the whole wide world of sports who has not noticed that the Right is hell-fucking-bent on smashing this country to bits, selling the scrap the China and selling its people into indentured servitude?

Offhand, I can think of only five distinct groups who possess that kind of fortified, adamantine cluelessness -- the dead, the long-term comatose, the criminally insane, very small children and Tom Friedman.

(Well, those five and the +50% of the American electorate who have no idea where they are or who is running their country, so fuck 'em.)

So why does this awful, awful hack have a job at the New York Times?

Because he is rich.

Because he is connected.

And because his fatuous Centrist naughtytalk -- 
My fear is that both parties have just started their 2012 campaigns. In which case, the rest of us will just sit here, hostages to fortune, orphans of a political system gone mad, hunkering down for a bad century.
-- gives people like fellow billionaire Mike Bloomberg and the "No Labels" grifters big happy boners.
For the record, while Mr. Sykes is now a fully ordained deacon of the High and Holy Church of Both Siderism and completely on-board with it's Big Lie -- 
Mr. Jones, of course, didn’t create that culture, which has lain dormant on the political fringes of both the left and the right for years, but he has given it greater power.
-- he grudgingly admits that he cannot quite go full Both Siderist with Alex Jones (yet!), but does think that the Left is worthy of suspicion and needs to be monitored:
While Alex Jones has no exact analogue on the left, we have to watch him, and also watch out to make sure that something similar is not emerging on the left.
One might ask, "Who the fuck is 'we'?" if one had not already moved on to note how this little bit of "If only we had know!" counterfeit hand-wringing is what truly makes it art.  
For years, we imagined that we could simply ignore the crackpots because they were postcards from the fringe. But I’m haunted by this question: Had we done more to expose the viciously dishonest hoaxes, might things have turned out differently?
I know that  that Conservative hustlebucks like Charlie Sykes are not particularly brave or smart, and it would have clearly been too much to ask that they actually join us dirty hippies on the ramparts as we labored every day for decades to do everything we could to stop the Right from going completely mad.  

But what these professional Conservative moralizers could have done at any time over the last 25 years is decide that it was simply immoral to make a living by siding with Conservative madmen and vandals and against those who were trying to prevent or at least contain the damage.

But they didn't.  And here we are.  And there are not enough Meet the Press guest appearances and New York Times column inches in the world to wipe away that permanent stain on their mingy, little souls.  


Dave McCarthy said...

THANK you Driftglass! I've always wondered how to spell shmegegge!

I wonder no more.

VonWenk said...

If this op-ed appeared before this morning, one might suspect Charlie Sykes was carrying the NBC networks' water by providing a rationale for watching Megan Kelly's Alex Jones interview Sunday night; i.e., "It's dangerous to ignore people like Alex Jones, so tune in." One established news operation washes the hand of the other. And lest we forget, remember how quick MSNBC has been to let someone from the Times come on air to "explain" the paper's position without anyone to challenge it to their face?

Robt said...

As in the epic Sci Fi novel, "Frankenstein".

Is what you describe in Charlie Sykes. He complained on The Last Word that his hate radio fed listeners he fed hate to. Their hungered appetite was to great for him to feed. That the listeners of his hate no longer was the appetite for hate fulfilled by him. Sure, Charlie was aware of the insatiable hunger that demanded more feeding. Increasing the daily allowances sufficed for a while. With the known risk. The risk that the hate content was not satisfying the hunger. Sykes admitted how he tried and they turned on him. Him!
As Frankenstein began to act on his own and refused to follow directions. Realizing his own power. Turned on the Good doctor in the end and took him to his ill gotten fate. In the book, many a pitchfork it took to rein in the Doctors creation. One with a life of its own and unregulated in the free market of stitched together corpses body parts acting together as a school of Piranha.
But Sykes was well read of the book of Frankenstein. He read it to the end and knew the conclusion. So he used this as a resume to escapes humility forced on him by the beast he created.

Dr Sykes must now survive without his team of Igors.
Of course sykes used his foolish ghoulish following as long as he could. They were his resume to move up into the Conservative funded world of Morning Joes.
With all the accusing of every voter and every liberal getting a paid monthly check for their soul.
It is in fact the right. FOX, hate Radio who are paid by the wealth of this country to shun the left from working in the media industry. They cannot compete El Rushbo claims.
It has been reported that big right wing wealth has been propping the net sites of right wing hate. Mr Mercer who owns Breitbart? Do the Koch prop up InforWars? There is reports that these sites were involved with Russians during election. Believable, sure scorch burn your own child for profit.

I have heard Sykes serving up his hate on his radio show. A very polite progressive calls in. Sykes who takes his call on air, only to be the unwelcoming host that trashes the guy. So when I watch Sykes the first couple of times on the last Word. It actually bothered me that Lawrence as the Host was very gracious to Sykes as his guest.

Which bring to mind

is there a difference Between Dharma and Karma. That applies.

Kevin Hayden said...

TA perfect ten in points. And pom-pom girls. Go get 'im Drifty!

Kevin Hayden said...

Also, did he expropriate that 'postcards from the fringe' from Carrie Fisher's book, Postcards From The Edge' ?

Lit3Bolt said...

Shorter Charlie Sykes: "I willingly made myself a slave to power and money, and I'm hurt that it treated me like a ni-"*CLANG!*

Also, might want to take a long walk after today's Brooks column. It's the Family Guy ipecac drinking scene bad.

Life's so hard for the Republican apologist these days...

Zach Feiner said...

Robt - you're totally right. The image that always pops into my head when I see or hear Charlie Sykes is that of Dr. Frankenstein desperately chasing his monster across the ice floes of the Arctic. It's too late, Charlie, the monster you've worked on for so long is alive and marauding across the countryside, and no amount of rhetorical running is going to let you escape the fact that you helped create it.

trgahan said...

Soooo...the man who owes his entire career to the last time Republicans lost the White House in November of 1992 and the Federal government switched from being a stalwart, benevolent big brother that should be unquestioningly followed to an evil, plotting, untrustworthy, stooge of unwashed brown masses and internationalist intellectuals out to get God fearing wholesome White People!!!! demands we watch out for the guy who owes his entire career to most recent Republican stance switch on government that started in November of 2008?

To sports metaphor it, is Mr. Sykes just being the rapidly aging veteran who just watched his team draft his replacement?

Robt said...

You see why GOP needs to cut $800 billion from health care for tax cuts to the wealthy.

They have been funding this for a very long time. Cut wages to spend more on lobbying. Send jobs to Foreign lands of cheap labor to save money to spend on Rush and the propaganda control machine.

And you thought cutting $800 billion from health care is to make it better.

It gets expensive to promote and sustain Morning Joe, Rush Limp-Paw, Sykes, Brooks, the entire republican party. They finally succeeded (post Citizens United) to cut out the middle man. As Trump is the first of much worse crazy wealthy individuals with lives disconnected from reality (Betsy Devos) to take their rightful royal places at the throne and rule over the slob masses.

As fiscal conservative accountants suggest to their wealthy customers. It is very much more fiscally responsible to "their" bottom line. To provide tax cuts, which frees money (not theirs) to use for their endeavors to promote and propagandize a base they can point to and rely to further their ideology of protecting "their wealth and way of life" not anyone else

It is why GOP candidates always have more cash flow for their candidates to get into what they call the lying media, and use that lying media to (guess what) Lie.!. hard to compete in election campaign cash flows with these billionaires.

Election coming, give them a tax cuts. Five them American government money to fund their elections.