Friday, June 18, 2004

Pretty Hate Machines

Conservative pundit and bow-tied boy wonder Tucker Carlson was recently a party to an online chat hosted by The Washington Post, during which he leant his modern opinions and old-timey charm to a number of topics.

The discussion eventually turned to an incident involving the Fox news channel and Carlson. Apparently Carlson, as a joke, gave the phone number of the Fox news channel's Washington bureau claiming that it was his own, and in retaliation Fox news posted Carlson's actual home number. Apparently, some of Fox news's viewers made threatening and obscene phone calls to Carlson and his wife and kids.

This anecdote prompted a discussion on the lack of civility, especially in the midst of a highly polarizing political season. While Carlson acknowledged that both sides are guilty to some degree, he states, "I must say, though, that most of the hate I run across these days seems to be coming from the left. Check out some time if you don't believe me."

Journalist, author and blogger David Neiwert does a top rate job of investigating and examining the nature of the term "hate" as well as Tucker Carlson's claim that most of the "hate" is emanating from the left, in specific from Not only does Neiwart give an objective item by item appraisal of the contents of the website, but he also chronicles how pundits on the right, from Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage to Linda Chavez and Grover Norquist, regularly disseminate violence laced, accusatory, hate-filled rants against Democrats and others.

Here are some notable quotes:

Michael Savage, May 12, 2004 broadcast:

"Right now, even people sitting on the fence would like George Bush to drop a nuclear weapon on an Arab country. They don't even care which one it would be. I can guarantee you -- I don't need to go to Mr. Schmuck [pollster John] Zogby and ask him his opinion. I don't need anyone's opinion. I'll give you my opinion, because I got a better stethoscope than those fools. It's one man's opinion based upon my own analysis. The most -- I tell you right now -- the largest percentage of Americans would like to see a nuclear weapon dropped on a major Arab capital. They don't even care which one. They'd like an indiscriminate use of a nuclear weapon.

In fact, Christianity has been one of the great salvations on planet Earth. It's what's necessary in the Middle East. Others have written about it, I think these people need to be forcibly converted to Christianity but I'll get here a little later, I'll move up to that. It's the only thing that can probably turn them into human beings. ... Because these primitives can only be treated in one way, and I don't think smallpox and a blanket is good enough incidentally. Just before -- I'm going to give you a little precursor to where I'm going. Smallpox in a blanket, which the U.S. Army gave to the Cherokee Indians on their long march to the West, was nothing compared to what I'd like to see done to these people, just so you understand that I'm not going to be too intellectual about my analysis here in terms of what I would recommend, what Doc Savage recommends as an antidote to this kind of poison coming out of the Middle East from these non-humans."

Rush Limbaugh:

"I'm going to tell you is what's good for Al Qaeda is good for the Democratic Party in this country today. That's how you boil this down. And it doesn't have to be Al Qaeda. What's good for terrorists is good for John Kerry. All you got to do is check the way they react. [3/15/04]

So the only real question is, if Al Qaeda's active and capable, what are they going to do? Because we know what they want: they want Kerry, they want the Democrats in power. They'd love that -- I mean, based simply on what they're saying and how they're reacting to what happened in Spain. I'm not guessing. [3/15/04]

They [Democrats] celebrate privately this attack in Spain. [3/16/04]

I mean, if you wonder -- if you want the terrorists running the show, then you will elect John Kerry, who is a bed brother with this guy who just won election in Spain. [3/18/04]

I'm telling you, we're in the midst of a huge liberal crackup. They are so motivated by the quest for power. They are so motivated by rage and hatred, that they are not in power. And they focus that on Bush. That they have aligned themselves unwittingly -- I'm going to grant them that -- with those who intend harm on this country. [3/24/04]

You don't hear the Democrats being critical of terrorists. In fact, you hear the Democrats saying, "We've got to find a way to get along with them." [4/5/04]

[Speaking about Democrats] I don't know who they are, I don't know what they believe, but I can't relate. I can't possibly understand somebody who hates this country, who was born and raised here. I don't understand how you hate this Constitution. I don't understand how you hate freedom. I don't understand how you hate free markets, but that's who elites are, because freedom and free markets challenge their power. It's the only thing I can come up with. I know it's much more insidious and hideous than that, but I still can't relate to it." [3/16/04]

Linda Chavez:

"The young Kerry seems to have fallen in the latter category, communist apologist. ... John Kerry deserves to make atonement to the Vietnamese people -- not for what he did as a young soldier but for what he has done ever since to justify communist tyranny in Vietnam and elsewhere."

Grover Norquist:

"If the Democrats win the Presidency, they can veto Republican advances. If they lose, they don't eat. The very sinews of their political power will decay with increasing speed. The Democratic coalition will be weaker, shorter, and poorer in 2008 than 2004. This sense of desperation explains the "hatred" and vicious attacks on Bush.

This should not surprise us. Expect the crescendo to grow through 2004. The other team isn't being unreasonable. It is reacting rationally to a real threat to its ability to function. Anything short of placing snipers on the rooftops of D.C. would be an underreaction by the Left.

Cornered rats fight. Hard."

And conservative bloggers too:

Amber Pawlik

"I don't really consider the Democrat party a party of the people anymore, nor do I consider the socialist Democrats (they are not "liberal", that's just a euphemism for socialist anymore [sic]) "nice people who are misguided." I consider them to be pure, raw evil, who want to destroy everything rational or beautiful in sight: success, prosperity, even the very security of the country."

Emperor Misha:

"Not saying anything in specific, mind you, but we'd be damn careful about showing our face in public if we were you. You just never know who that perfect stranger behind you in that alleyway might be. Could be a sibling or other relative of one of the fallen soldiers that you just took a dump on the grave of, and G-d only knows what might happen then.

Eric may not be famous enough to be a pick for the 2004 Dead Pool, but there's another signed Imperial Mug for the first LC to inform me that Eric Blumrich has died in a "tragic" accident.

Accidents DO happen, you know, and that's the kind of news that would definitely make my entire day."

The rest of the piece can be found here.

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