Companion site:


Google search...


Daily Howler: Uh-oh! Maureen Dowd's zombie intellectual culture is now taking root on the web
Daily Howler logo
ZOMBIE LIBERALS! Uh-oh! Maureen Dowd’s zombie intellectual culture is now taking root on the web: // link // print // previous // next //

When mega-rich pundits attack: A certain mega-rich cable pundit began to voice his panic last night. Might we capture a small sense here of how quickly these giants can turn?

MATTHEWS (2/23/09): We have macabre terms like “zombie banks” floating around. We have problems already. I want to ask you when we get back, how does he [Obama] deal with the fact that he has a scorecard now? It’s called the Dow Jones. Every day now—first of all, they’re going to nationalize the banks, then they’re not going to nationalize the banks. No matter what they say, the Dow keeps going down. It’s down to almost 7000 now. I used to think 8000 was the floor.

It’s heading toward 6000! People are really getting angry! I’m getting angry! People have saved money, who are facing retirement, are rip right now. It is absolutely disturbing, to put it lightly, what this must be saying to people who are retired now. They have a nest egg, a 401K that’s now a 101K! They are rip! And I’m only saying it the nice way. They are really angry and they’re going to get mad at him [Obama] if we don’t get this market turned around.

We’ll be right back with Howard Fineman and see how the president does with his scorecard...

Matthews “earns” $5 million per year. He bought his summer home on Nantucket for $4.4 million. It let him summer near Jack Welch, the conservative GE CEO who had made him a big wealthy star.

In the 1990s, Matthews made his career—and his fortune—savaging Clinton and Gore. (No one on cable savaged Gore in anything like the way Matthews did. Career liberals never discuss this.) Recently, the gent has flipped, adopting his channel’s new pro-Dem alignment. But when you put the rich in charge, such “leaders” will be the first to panic. Regular people watch and pray. People like Matthews melt down.

Matthews was screaming and yelling last night about Obama’s failure to rescue his millions. No Democrat or liberal or progressive should be comfortable with the overpaid zombie stars of this particular network in charge.

“We’ll be right back with Howard Fineman?” Could that be the same Howard Fineman who created those psychiatric theories about Crazy Gore’s clothing all those years? Fineman’s been pimping the party-line too. How long till Fineman melts down?

ZOMBIE LIBERALS: Socks the Cat passed away this week; this helps us recall the degree of inanity found at the top of our discourse. You may have forgotten what happened in 2007, when troubled pundits learned that Socks had been living with former Clinton aide Betty Currie. Eventually, The Dumbest Among Us spoke, grabbing a bit of character analysis from pitiful Caitlin Flanagan:

DOWD (10/31/07): Hillary surely hopes there is a harbinger in Argentina, where voters just rewarded their former president for his economic prosperity by electing his wife to succeed him.

''And why not?,'' former first lady Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner said about Hillary yesterday. ''Another woman wouldn't be bad.''

Ms. Flanagan is not so sure. She was particularly bothered by Hillary's callousness in dumping Socks, the beloved White House cat and best-selling author, on Bill's former secretary Betty Currie.

But maybe the qualities that many find off-putting in Hillary—her opportunism, her triangulation, her ethical corner-cutting, her shifting convictions from pro-war to anti-war, her secrecy, her ruthlessness—are the same ones that make people willing to vote for a woman.

Of course! The fact that Socks was living with Currie was a sign of “Hilary’s callousness”—and Dowd moved quickly to ruminations about Clinton’s “ruthlessness” (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 10/31/07). As we asked yesterday: What on earth can explain the fact that this idiot remains where is?

Sadly, Dowd was enacting the brain-dead norms which have driven your discourse for decades. Within the “press corps,” it’s Hard Pundit Law: Once you’ve decided who you hate, every action, no matter how pointless, demonstrates her vile moral squalor. There’s nothing so stupid that you can’t say it—no idea so inane that you can’t drive it forward. In 1999 and 2000, this brain-dead culture sent Bush to the White House. You simply can’t run a railroad this way, let alone a large modern nation.

Look around if you want to see where this brain-dead culture has led.

And yet, this brain-dead culture is being adopted in major parts of the liberal web. Consider this embarrassingly unintelligent post about the deeply troubling motives of deeply vile Bobby Jindal. The item was posted on Sunday, just after noon. It was written by Josh Marshall, who’s very smart—and yet, it’s spectacularly stupid:


As you can see in our feature story about Louisiana Gov. Jindal refusing $98 million of the stimulus money headed for his state, that amounts to under 2% of the total money Louisiana will be receiving. So not exactly going out on a limb. We were all set to have that be our headline. But what's less clear is how much of the total $7.68 billion his state is getting he's in a position to turn down. A lot of it doesn't go through him in the first place. So we felt compelled to leave it implicitly clear that Jindal had apparently found the ideal number that would give him some shred of credibility with the neo-Hooverite right while also allowing him to get through his term as governor without getting impeached.

Quick housekeeping point: Marshall provides no link to the “feature story” he cites. We can’t find the story at TPM (a search on “Jindal” doesn’t produce it), though we think we did read it on Sunday. It seems that Marshall may be apologizing for some sort of imperfection in the story. Beyond that, we have no idea.

Before we review that post’s rube-running, let’s offer one quick thought about the facts it contained:

Shortly after noon on Sunday, Josh had apparently just discovered that Jindal had refused a rather small portion of his state’s stimulus money (“under 2%”). We don’t know why this was still a surprise; on Saturday, the New York Times had reported that the money in question came to 2.5 percent (click here). Beyond that, it had been clear all week that liberal screamers were overstating the size of this story. We’re working away from home today, but trust us: Through the use of truncated “quotes,” the liberal world had turned molehills to mountains all week long on this story. (On Monday’s Morning Joe, news reader Milissa Rehberger continued misstating the facts of this story quite impressively, making it sound like Jindal and others were rejecting all stimulus funds.)

Marshall seemed a bit slow on his facts. But what makes this post so deeply unintelligent is the way he runs the rubes with brainless assurances about Jindal’s state of mind and motives. This is how dimwits like Maureen Dowd “reason.” Increasingly, the liberal web has been adopting these zombie practices too.

Jindal was “grandstanding,” Marshall announced, forgetting to say how he knew this. After changing the headline on his feature story, he still “felt compelled” to let us know why Jindal had adopted his stance—on a matter Marshall seemed to know little about. Why had Jindal rejected that two percent? Marshall explained with Dowdian ease: Jindal had “apparently found the ideal number that would give him some shred of credibility with the neo-Hooverite right while also allowing him to get through his term as governor without getting impeached.” He tossed this off as Dowd would have done—just as if it had been written in stone, delivered directly by Moses.

How did Marshall know that his convoluted scenario “apparently” explained Jindal’s stance? Much like the hapless role-model Dowd, he felt no need to tell us.

Some of you may not really see why that post is so stupid. We’re at a bit of a disadvantage today; we’ll plan to offer more thoughts on this matter tomorrow, while linking to other examples of the zombie intellectual culture taking root on the liberal web. We’ll only say this: Marshall himself is very smart, and his post is very unintelligent. But then, so was this rube-running post from the day before, a post which seems to concern a paid radio ad. Can you hear the hidden message? Hey, you dumb f*cking rubes?

Nothing’s so stupid that Dowd won’t say it; no act of mind-reading is too inane once she’s chosen the shape of her novel. Look around! You can see where this zombie intellectual culture has taken your reeling nation. Now, this culture takes root on the liberal web. This is very bad news for your nation.