The Watch

The Watch is concerned about the increasing pressure towards feudalism in the United States from corporations, social regressives, warmongers, and the media. We also are concerned with future history concerning our current times, as non-truths which are “widely reported” become the basis for completely false narratives.

Friday, August 22, 2003

Fightin' the culture wars

Culture Wars Watch

My hypothesis is that the Nazis didn’t really lose WWII. They just moved their philosophy to this country. We have a country where dissent is beginning to be seriously curtailed, where hatred of the French is encouraged, where jingoism, xenophobia, propaganda, nationalism, and a warped version of Christianity is being coupled to a mighty war machine which invades other countries without provocation. Gott mit uns!

I don’t want to sound overwrought, but can people of good conscience at least agree that to the extent we are moving towards a society like that of Nazi Germany, it is a bad thing? And to the extent that we move away from a society that resembles the Nazis, that is a good thing?

Ann Coulter is a cultural commentator whom progressives love to hate. She has written several books which are full of massive untruths and which are screeds against the filthy liberals who inhabit this country. She also seems to pop up on many television shows to give her unique perspective. She is so over the top, that many find it hard to believe that she really believes what she is saying. Truly a Goebbels for our time - and that isn’t just hyperbole. Gene Lyons notes that

it’s no exaggeration to say that the "liberal" sins she caricaturesatheism, cosmopolitanism, sexual license, moral relativism, communism, physical and moral cowardice, disloyalty and lack of patriotismare identical to the crimes of the Jews as the Nazis depicted them.

She paints "liberals" with the same demonizing brush that the Jews were painted with. Isn’t that quaint? Now, I don’t mean to imply that detention camps are right around the corner (though of course we already have Guantanimo), but even if they were, who would speak up for progessives and dissenters in the national media? Even if the population knew it was wrong and spoke out against it, wouldn’t our national media cover those protests in the same way they covered the anti-war protests? As if the protesters were a bunch of fringe kooks whose views were hard to understand, who were objectively pro-(insert our current enemy here) by going against our littlest dictator? Seriously, in that event, who would speak up for us in a national forum? Even John Stewart’s The Daily Show is a moderate, not really progressive, viewpoint. And don’t give me Alan Colmes, either he’s just a punching bag for Sean Hannity. Phil Donahue had a show, the highest rated on MSNBC, but it was cancelled . . . because of ratings! (Or so they claimed).

The news isn’t all bad, though. Progressives and liberals can still get their views into print, and there are several excellent books out now, or coming out soon which have more to say on these matters. And there is always the web (for now). One of the best and brightest progressive journalists in the finest muckraking tradition is Joe Conason. His new book is called Big Lies, and it is apparently an incredibly detailed deconstruction of the propaganda which electronically bathes this country every day.

Several excerpts of it will be published in Salon in the next week or so.

So skilled is Conason as a debator, that Bill O’Reilly won’t even have him on his show. This week, Ann Coulter failed to appear opposite him in a televised roundtable discussion:

At the last minute, the conservative pundit canceled her appearance opposite best-selling "Big Lies" author Joe Conason on CNBC's "Kudlow & Cramer" - this after having programmers change the debate to fit her schedule.

One might think the roundtable, which featured Wall Streeter James Cramer and Reaganite Lawrence Kudlow, would be a breeze for Coulter. Could she have been afraid of facing Conason, whose book presents evidence that her arguments are ill-researched and calls her lifestyle hypocritical.

Another favorite is Molly Ivins, whose new book Bushwacked is not even out yet, but is already the #111 top selling book on Amazon.

Finally, Al Franken, whose new book Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them . . . A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right deserves to be purchased and read just for the title alone. He was at a booksellers conference a few months ago, at an authors discussion with Molly Ivins and Bill O’Reilly, and he made O’Reilly eat it in front of a live audience. It was awesome. O’Reilly ended up looking like a sputtering fool. (Franken looked like a whiny jerk, but at least he stuck it to O’Reilly). Bill, whose skin is apparently too thin to put up with that kind of treatment, is also apparently the driving force behind Fox’s decision to sue Franken concerning the title of his book. The case has to have no merit, when you consider what Larry Flint got away with in the name of satire. But it is pure comedy gold in exposing just how insecure our nation’s #1 propaganda source really is. Way to go, Bill. Way to go, Al!

Fighting the Nazis Watch

Meanwhile, while at least some writers are able to push back against our own homegrown version of the Reich, here is a chance to actually do something for those who are fighting the good fight on the ground. The Democratic legislators of Texas have been fighting against a power-hungry Tom Delay in his efforts to re-redistrict Texas and shove all of the minority voters into tighter and tighter districts, while creating new Republican districts. All of their parliamentary tricks have been exhausted, and they have finally had to flee the state to prevent it from happening. The Democratic state house members fled to Oklahoma a month or so ago, and the state senators are now in New Mexico. They sent out a plea for help in their fight yesterday. Now is your chance to get off your good intentions and help out people who are on the ground fighting the blatant Republican power grab.

Remember, as Gene Lyons pointed out,

"If you do not support our president’s decisions," according to probush.com, "you are a traitor."

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