Well, well, well. It looks like Barack Obama and I aren't the only people who feel like Fox News is particularly deserving of a vicious and well-aimed kick to the face. Even that old fossil Don Imus is getting in on the act.
I know a lot of of C&L'ers have very mixed feeling about Imus, but I couldn't pass this one up. On Today's show, Imus railed on O'Reilly because the falafel man will send our troops a copy of his book if you buy one.
Imus: Here's what a disgrace O'Reilly is. Olbermann can't kill him enough. Here's what O'Reilly's doing. You are not going to believe this. This sonofabitch actually went on that falafel thing of his and he said—–if you'll buy a copy of his book—for every copy of his stupid book, he'll send a copy to a soldier in Iraq or Afghanistan. I mean I don't know where to start. That's his contribution to the men and women who are fighting and dying in this idiotic war for this country.
Glad to see you're finally getting hep to what us in the Reality-based community have been saying for years now, Mr. Imus. Although I think your message would be much more effective if you weren't obviously completely wasted while delivering it. Have you been going through Paula Abdul's purse? Seriously, in the video clip, it's clear that you're even kind of freaking out Bernard McGuirk, and he's one of your enablers from way back, isn't he?
"Just let it go, Don," he croons like a good Al-Anon dragging her drunk husband out of a party before he takes a swing at his boss, "That's all you can do. Just let it go."
"Naw, ssherioushly! Ppppull OVER! LISHTEN!" Imus slurs, waving his arms.
Clearly, things are getting a little weird among the Opinionati these days. What's next? Chris Matthews drunk on "The View"?
Elsewhere, we find Fox News trying to pick a fight with Anderson Cooper.
(From Salon.com's The Fix)
Fox News vs. CNN, another round: The media tiff between Fox News and CNN (mainly in the form and likeness of Anderson Cooper) is getting nastier. In this week's Television Week, Fox News ran a two-page ad mocking Anderson Cooper — though it doesn't name the anchor, his signature gray hair is an obvious sign — by saying, "Meet the Paris Hilton of television news." (You can watch the anchors of "Fox & Friends" mock Cooper in the video below, from Video Dog.) In today's Page Six (also a part of Rupert Murdoch's media empire), a CNN source says Fox is just mad because Anderson has been slowly eroding the bigger audience of his time-slot competitor show on Fox, "On the Record With Greta Van Susteren," and adds that CNN is planning to fire back: "They are preparing their answer to the Fox ad and you can expect something next week … It's war." (Page Six, TMZ)
Uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh, I sure like the sound of that. It's about time somebody stood up to Pox News, that mendacious monolith of Right Wing Noise. And between you and me, my money's on Anderson Cooper. Greta Van Suffering may have cornered the market on Missing Blonde White Lady of the Week News, but I don't think her PR team's attempt to gay-bash Cooper is going to work out like they think it will. Cooper's never struck me as the type to shrink from a fight. Don't let the pretty face fool you, gang. These days, Teh Gays bash back. You got a problem with that?
But hey, if Fox News wants a fight, I think that I may speak for many of us when I say that they're more than welcome to bring it. We'll even be nice enough to help them pick up their teeth off the floor when it's over.
For you see, my friends, Right Wing media bullies are really no different than any other playground ogres. They shrink from any kind of fair fight or honest conflict. Now that their ratings are slipping, there's blood in the water. Let the feeding frenzy begin! This shall be our battle plan:
And my unrequited true-love Mad Matt Taibbi has what may be exactly the right idea to get us started:
For some reason, however, we never see full-blown libel suits in high-level political journalism. Moreover, there appears to be a completely different standard for talk-radio and TV talk-show hosts, who are somehow allowed to lie and fuck up with impunity, and still remain employed. I get the feeling that as a society we have decided to give a collective pass to serial media swindlers like Sean Hannity simply because we never expect them to actually document the "facts" that come spewing in mass volumes out of their zoster-covered mouths every day. We actually expect them to pull most of their material out of their asses, and are mostly content to address the problem by pompously correcting their errata post-factum in whiny media-crit outlets like…well, like this one. Actual real punishment never seems to be forthcoming. (h/t to Salon's newly revamped Blog Report)
That's the freakin' truth. There are no consequences if you're a bombastic Right-Wing blowhard. But what if we as a movement started to change that?
If the press is serious about saving itself as a social institution, it has to start policing its own business. We all have to encourage the likes of Barack Obama to hire the meanest lawyers on the planet and to file the hairiest lawsuits imaginable against the Hannitys, Gibsons, and Savages of the world. We have to impress upon the victims of these broadsides that choosing to ignore that style of libel is a betrayal of the public trust and an act of political cowardice that the rest of us end up paying for in spades. That's the ugly truth: Until one of those monsters goes down in a fireball of punitive litigation, we are all fucked. And it's not going to happen anytime soon.
Oh, but it may. "A fireball of punitive litigation" sounds like my kind of party. Any of you attorneys in the house feel like getting your hands dirty with this kind of work? I am guessing it could end up being very rewarding, in every sense of the word. You could start by advocating on behalf of Lara Logan, who in spite of being one of the hardest working western journalists in Iraq is currently under attack by Michelle Malkin, who accuses Logan of being in league with Al Q'aeda. Sounds like grounds for a libel suit to me! Who's in?
It's time to push back, Democrats! You can't fight yellow journalism in a blue helmet!
ATTACK!! ATTACK!! ATTAAAAAAAAAAAAAACK!!
P.S. I am going to be bitterly disappointed if none of you nominate me for the Nobel Peace Prize.