WHO ARE THE PEOPLE! A conservative writer described the way his moms brains got eaten by Fox: // link // print // previous // next //
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2011
Coming tomorrow: This lengthy report, from todays New York Times, about state graduation requirements.
Fawning Matilda: Juan Williams was in extremely rare form on the Factor last night.
Mr. O had played tape from his interview with President Obama, including segments which didnt air during Sundays live session. He had read a letter from a listener who wondered, Why on earth would Fox give this loser air time on Super Bowl Sunday?
(Well, there are many reasons, OReilly replied, starting with he is the most powerful man in the world.)
Throughout the program, OReilly ridiculed viewers who sent him letters saying hed been too soft on Obama. But now, he wanted the views of a certified expert! And so the threw to Fawning Matilda, who showed us what money can buy:
I thought that was pretty good, Juan said, clownishly understating. The analysts sat in sheer stupefaction, stunned by the long uber-fawn.
Williams was recently canned by NPR; Fox stepped up and paid him big bucks. Never has it been more clear what less than a million can do.
PART 1EVERYBODYS HAVING THEM DREAMS (permalink): What would it be like to see progressives spread their ideas, their viewpoints and frameworks? To see progressives spread their outlooks to people who dont share them now?
Youre asking some very good questions! For starters, progressives would need to understand the many people who dont instinctively share their outlooks. Polling suggests there are many such people, and so the task is large.
At some point, progressives will have to persuade a lot of people who may not agree with them now. That in mind, we were struck by a recent Digby post about people in the Tea Party.
Tea Makers Marks, her headline read. As she started, Digby displayed a familiar trait. Its one of humankinds oldest traitsthe tendency to lump Those People all together:
Is everyone in the Tea Party nasty most of the time? Digby tends to write in such sweeping ways, which helps explains why this post struck us as a pleasant surprise. As she continued, Digby described a somewhat kooky New York City councilman who had campaigned for office with support of Tea Party organizers. He's obviously some sort of political nut/con man, she wrote. But after that, she said this:
We found those sentiments quite surprising. We too would assume that there are plenty of sincere Tea Partiers out there who are getting fleeced, or at least misled, by a wide array of types. (How many Tea Party people are sincere? We couldnt possibly tell you.) Indeed, a few days later, a semi-youngish conservative writer offered an intriguing account of one such persona person who was getting fleeced and conned by conservative hustlers.
That person was his own mother!
The conservative writer was Richmond Ramsey, posting at FrumForum, David Frums conservative site. His headline was colorful: Fox Geezer Syndrome. Early on, he described the way Glenn Beck has been eating the brains of many conservatives parents:
Fox News has been eating the brains of their parents! As he continued, Ramsey described his mothers emergence as a Beck pod-person:
As he continued, Ramsey described the process by which his father became a pod-person too. (A few months later, she roped him into watching Beck, which had the same effect, he wrote. Even though were all conservatives, I found myself having to steer our phone conversations away from politics and current events.)
As we continued with Ramseys post, we recalled the wisdom of the early Bob Dylan: Time passed and now it seems/everybodys having them dreams. So the bard wrote, in the early 1960s, presaging what came next in Ramseys narration. According to Ramsey, many of his conservative friends are seeing their parents affected this way. We strongly recommend the rest of his piece, along with a fascinating set of readers comments.
Lets be clear. Most people dont watch Fox News; most people dont watch Glenn Beck. Most people dont describe themselves as supporters of the Tea Party. Everyone isnt having them dreams, despite what Dylan said.
But there are millions of citizens in this country; they get their ideas from many sources. Many people might be said to have been fleeced and conned by various types. People have heard all sorts of ideas, often in repetitive fashion. As in the case of Ramseys parents, they may not be fully equipped to separate wheat from chaff.
To tell the truth, none of us are.
People believe a wide range of things. This includes a range of things which dont comport with progressive outlooks, understandings and viewpoints. If progressive viewpoints are going to spread, these people must be persuaded.
How might progressives accomplish that task? Well ponder the question all this week, starting with something else Digby said in that post.
Tomorrow: A little more empathy and common sense