Friday, February 01, 2019

Fox News is Not News: True Tales from the Real World

Fox News is not News.

And Liberal Megan McCardle is not Liberal.

Which puts me in mind of this actual exchange between me and a Bush-4EVER/Bush-who?/I'm-an-Independent/I'm-a-Tea-Partier/Impeach-The-Kenyan-Usurper/MAGA person of my acquaintance that went more or less like this.

Conservative Goof had asserted something idiotic that was, at that moment, a fleeting, canonical Truth among the Tea Baggers.

I very unfairly, I hauled out a quote by Peggy Noonan (because I'm like that) that negated whatever it was that he was blabbing about this time (sorry, but after awhile the ever-shifting string of lies these people tell themselves melt and merge into one, decades-long, shit-stain across the pages of history leading directly to Donald Trump.)

The immediate reply was the boilerplate Republican yadda yadda that dismisses all inconvenient reality -- "Just more Fake News from Liberal Lefty Liberal hack  _____ " -- with Noonan's name plugged in.

I was told quite authoritatively that Noonan was a "strong Democrat" who "hated Bush" and had conspired to "force Obama down our throats".  This was followed by the usual laundry list of horrors inflicted on white people by the Kenyan Usuper, starting with the way his "white Communist" parents had raised him.

At this point your humble scrivener paused for a full beat.

Because I didn't know what to write next?

God no.  After all these years together, have you ever known me to have that problem :-)

Because, knowing the full arc of Noonan's shabby Conservative career as I do, I knew that dropping it on this poor bastard would be tossing an anchor to a drowning man?


Because reminding this goof that he had, in the recent past, sent me columns by Peggy Noonan to make some idiotic point or another would be tossing a drowning man two anchors?

Nope.  Drown, baby, drown.

I paused because I knew exactly what would happen next.  Because with Republicans out here in the real world this is what always happens.

An electronic shrug while his wingnut firmware processed the fact that he had just shit the proverbial bed in front of a Liberal for the 100th time.


A scrambling, rambling defense of his own ignorance because Noonan sure sounded like a dirty Libtard.  Coulda fooled anyone.


And a fast-fast rear guard defense -- Doesn't matter because everyone knows Obama is a Kenyan commie sleeper cell anyway -- followed by a quick pivot to a neutral subject.  Weather.  Football.  Cars.  Whatever.

Rinse and repeat. Rinse and repeat.
Year after year.
Decade after decade.
Republican after Republican.

And as a result of running these drills with all kinds of Republicans for many, many years, I have been given a great and terrible gift.  The gift of certainty.  Of understanding that, like measuring the tides or the movement of the stars, the fact that the attitudes, actions and reactions of those on the Right have always been so directly and easily observable means that they are also nearly 100% predictable for anyone who cares to study them.

There are, of course, always outliers -- comets that briefly flare across the sky, defying the stately, clockwork movement of the rest of the Conservative political firmament.  But the reason they catch our attention is precisely because they are so unnaturally rare.  And one tragic side-effect of these one-in-a-million cases of genuine Republican confession and repentance is that far too many soft-hearted Liberals are willing to treat any hint of a wingnut flying even slightly out of formation as a "Look!  Look!" Easter morning moment of ideological validation.

Wake the kids, honey!  Steve Schmidt just called Donald Trump a poopy-poo head on the electronic teevee!  And Rick Wilson called Trump a fucking poopy-poo head!  The tomb is empty!  Christ is risen!

And then the Bad Thing happens and these same Liberals come crashing back to the Earth, brokenhearted because once again they had not bothered to check the warranty on their shiny new poet warrior.

Because the Right collectively is completely reprogrammable and has no long-term political memory. they really don't have this problem.  When one of their Fox News smirk-bots or human Fleshlights falls (or is pushed) from grace, and the imprimatur of the Fox News spotlight is withdrawn, for tens of millions of Republican meatbags, they simply cease to exist.  Unpersoned and replaced the next day by another Republican Truefact Pez Dispenser without breaking stride because they were never more than a delivery system for Republican lies. A cog in the great machine.

It works just as well the other way around too.

When his brand of smirking, Liberal-stomping bile became useful to Trump TV,  it took almost no time at all for Bolshi Freedom Troll Glenn Greenwald to go from being the darling of the Purity Angel Left to Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham's wacky, semi-regular sidekick on the Right.

And to anyone who has paid careful any attention to media and politics over the years, none of this is surprising. What is surprising and sad an dangerous is that so many of my Liberal brothers and sisters seem incapable of learning this important lesson no matter how many times it punches them in the mouth.

So the next time my Liberal brothers and sisters wake up in bathtub full of ice with their kidneys and wallets missing because some Never Trumper whose head they anointed with precious oils and whose pockets they filled with cash turned out to be exactly the same amoral mercenary they have always been, please find some other shoulder to cry on.  Because my shoulder is very sore from pushing this same stupid rock up this same stupid mountain year after year after year.

Behold, a Tip Jar!


RUKidding said...

Coupla years ago (2 to be exact) one of my D-voter pals actually went so far as to send a real snail mail letter to fucking Lindsey Graham, no less, to heap praise upon him for his "true patriotism" or some such horse shit. Why did my pal do this? Recall that back then, fucking Lindsey was heart all aflutter to diss Trump and call him out for being the worst of the worst.

I attempted to advise my pal to hold their fire/beer/whatever bc, sure as shootin', Lindsey would be down on his knees kissing Trump's fat flabby smelly heiney. My pal simply Could. Not. Believe. Such. Heresay!!1!

Eh? I am just so smart? Or like our blog host, Driftglass, have I just been around THAT long to know which way the wind blows? It's really not hard, if you've paid half a mind of attention even for the past 10 years or so. Sad to say, most US citizens don't pay attention, and even those on the "left," who avoid Fake Noise like the plague, still get bamboozled by all the bullshit in the M$M, which includes NPR (I have friends who SWEAR by NPR, sad to say).

The media, though, is eminently predictable, esp Fake Noise and all the rest of the reichwing propaganda outlets.

Why they're pushing Megan McArdle as a "liberal" is a bit of a puzzlement, and frankly, quite disgusting. I doan wanna be even remotely associated with that shrill shill for the corporate establishment. Go figure.

bill said...

It is possible to throw you hands in the air, back away from the machine and live a life; relatively unmolested. It only requires the resources to insulate yourself from the impacts when the bodies hit the ground. Peek from your bunker occasionally to confirm that crazy is still loose upon the land, then swirl your single malt, take a swig and smile knowingly.

If you choose to remain engaged, keep bitch-slapping and ass-handing the meat-puppets until they throw their hands in the air and back away, understanding that, for now anyway, MPs seem in endless supply.

Seeing and knowing the obvious is a horrible curse. At present, I'm hopeful that the incremental transition of power to women could right things before we've crossed the Rubicon.

San Francisco Values said...

Annnnd mic drop.

Joel Dent said...

I can't do that. 1 I don't have the money. 2 what with being a trans person in a gay marriage with another trans person the insanity of the right has potentially deadly consequences.

Randall Kidd said...

And why, again, do we dump on the wimmin to save our scurvy asses when it gets REALLY tough? Sorry, bill, I fall into that same safety net when this shit gins up. I am foursquare behind them ( the women, of course), and I'm as optimistic as can be, but if we don't put our shoulders to the wheel and get behind it/them, we'll lose it again. I've got a tough row to hoe here in texas ( I am not a texan, thanks), but I intend to turn to that sisyphian task.

Dammit DG, how do you get to all the delicious cultural metaphors before the rest of us? May I use the PEZ dispenser metaphor, with attribution, of course?

Meager contribution in the digital mail...

Potomacker said...

I wondered where McArdle ended up. While she peddled her brand of libertarianism at The Atlantic, I at least got a lesson in how vapid and selfserving libertarianism is. I think she failed ultimately because she never dared to doubledown on her refutable essays. During interviews or back when she was still invited to opine on panels, she would dissemble and backtrack as soon as the weaknesses of her arguments were pointed out. Simply put, she lacks Coulter's balls and cockiness to make it in the big leagues.

Neo Tuxedo said...

Simply put, she lacks Coulter's balls and cockiness to make it in the big leagues.

I see what you did there, and so does the artist formerly known as Jeremy Levinsohn (aka Pudenda Shenanigans).