Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Essential Reading For True Conservatives


The following link to an assay of early Conservative conspiracy-lit appears in Andrew Sullivan's blog.

As you read it, note the date (which is have emphasized for effect):
Essential Reading For Rightwingers

MAY 28 2014 @ 10:32AM

Nicole Hemmer looks back at three political paperbacks released in the spring of 1964 that sold an astonishing 16 million copies between them in just six months – a publishing phenomenon she calls the “leading edge of conservative media’s first presidential campaign”:
Appearing in rapid succession, the books startled observers with their dark and conspiratorial interpretation of American history. In None Dare Call It Treason, John Stormer spun a tale of internal subversion and weak-willed foreign policy that marked “America’s retreat from victory” in the Cold War. “Every communist country in the world literally has a ‘Made in the USA’ stamp on it,” he wrote. Phyllis Schlafly, author of A Choice Not an Echo, accused “a few secret kingmakers” in the Republican Party of conspiring to keep conservatives out of power. J. Evetts Haley’s A Texan Looks at Lyndon served up 200 pages of greased palms, stolen elections, and suspicious deaths to argue that President Johnson was better suited to the penitentiary than the presidency...
In the Spring of 1964, the pillars of our wingnut freak-show -- xenophobia, paranoia, fear-mongering -- were in full, public view for anyone who cared enough to look.

By 1968, the mass importation of bitter, rage-drunk unreconstructed Confederate bigots into the Party of Lincoln was in full swing, and by the 1980s -- with the Fundies, the gun nuts, the homophobes and and the radical, anti-government oligarchs all in place -- the complete wingnut genome of the modern GOP was active and running wild.

Mr. Sullivan was born in 1963 and has received some of the best education and traveled in some of the most elite circles in the world.

Mr. Sullivan also "describes himself as a conservative and is the author of The Conservative Soul" and has not only spent most of his adult life failing spectacularly to notice every single important aspect of American Conservatism as it has been practiced in the real world since he was in diapers, but still can't quite wrap his head around the fact that racism has a lot to do with why American Conservatism is the way it is:
Another disadvantage I have in grasping all this is that I wasn’t born in America and didn’t grow up here – and so the contours of America’s long and hideous conversation about race are not in my bones. All I can say is: I’m trying to fit all the new data points in my worldview, and haven’t reached a conclusion.
But as the years pass, I get more used to the fact that such opinions are just so many snowflakes on a hot plate.  To the great bulk of our media, bothering to look over yesterday's battlefields and note who was right and who was wrong is just one big bucket of embarrassing pain in the ass.  Like Don Draper, for our media the past is littered with poorly buried landmines and rusty, jagged facts that hold nothing for them but the promise of humiliation and professional catastrophe.

And so, like Don Draper, our media only moves in one direction.


Which is why what nattering nabobs of negativeness like me say or do rarely matters at all.

And so Andrew Sullivan will remain "the future of journalism", now and forever:
Can Andrew Sullivan Re-Conquer Washington?

After 18 miserable months in New York, the pioneering blogger is back in DC with plans to transform journalism all over again.

By Sophie Gilbert

For almost a quarter of a century, or most of his career, one pundit or another called Andrew Sullivan the future of journalism. Twenty-three years ago, when he was appointed editor of the New Republic at age 28—a Brit, no less—the Washington Post noted that “there’s a heap of future in Sullivan’s life, and not much past.” In 2009, after more than a week in which his blog curated the best global coverage of the Iranian “green revolution” pretty much nonstop, the Week magazine declared, “The future belongs to Andrew Sullivan.”

Two years later, Tina Brown acquired Sullivan’s blog for the Daily Beast and extolled his “trailblazing journalism,” writing: “Andrew almost single-handedly defined the political blog and has been refining it as a form of journalism in real time nearly every day for the past decade.”

On a recent afternoon, the subject of all this praise—a writer-slash-thinker who has sojourned at virtually every major publication on the East Coast—is sitting in the window of the Duplex Diner in DC’s Adams Morgan, alternating sips of J├Ągermeister and Coke, hacking phlegm into a napkin (he has terrible asthma—sorry), and ogling a good-looking chef in a blue-and-white striped apron.

For the first six years, the Dish was just Sullivan, and in the early days he juggled it with his job writing for the New York Times Magazine. But eventually the two didn’t mix. He often used the Dish—the space where he raved about Ronald Reagan, argued initially for the Iraq War, and defended then attorney general John Ashcroft—to take swipes at the liberal Times, and in 2002 the paper fired him. After that, Sullivan threw himself into his own site, an obsession that led to its being adopted by Time in 2006, by the Atlantic in 2007, and then by the Beast.

That ability to provoke—to draw eyeballs—was what had prompted media mogul David Bradley to lure Sullivan away from Time to the Atlantic in 2007 with an irresistible offer pegging the writer’s salary to his page views. It was an arrangement that proved very productive, until it became untenable. By the end of 2010, Sullivan was bringing in a quarter of the magazine’s web traffic—and had to go. As he explained it later, “I got too expensive.”

Tina Brown promised him a share of the ad revenue at the Daily Beast, he says, along with a budget of about $800,000 a year, which was enough to expand his team (and give them health insurance). He went for it. But by the middle of 2012, the flaw revealed itself...

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