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This is What Democracy Looks Like

Today's Note From a Madman

Tuesday, December 5, 2006


Happy Birthday to my brother Perry, who still calls my house, waits for the "Hello", then states, "Hi, it's me... your brother Perry."

Have a great night.

Your brother, Noah

The Radio Station Where America Lives

When I look at successful radio stations around the dial, one thing comes to mind: Focus. The rally good ones - and I don't mean "good" as in informative or fair or even truthful, but "good" as in keeping your attention. WABC in New York does it by shocking you with lies and "maybes" they present as truths. Rush Limbaugh, whose home station is WABC does it by remembering who his audience is and telling them just what he wants to hear. Allow me to present you with an example:

A customer/ friend of mine who is politically aware and educated takes her cues from Limbaugh. She repeats Limbaugh's statements as facts, whether they show a mere ounce of truth or none at all. She explains away obvious lies as mere "exaggerations" made by Rush to prove a point, negating the fact that they are, indeed, lies.

The thing that Rush, Bill O'Reilly, Mike Savage, Ann Coulter and the whole slew of these preachers of hate do better than anything is to keep the hate moving. Hate is their motivating force and they remind their listeners and readers (they always write books) of the deep-seeded hate they have for the villain du jour. And they do it for free.

Think of this word coined by Right Wing hate radio: "Feminazis". That was the word to describe First Lady Hillary Clinton. They even accused her of killing Clinton friend and advisor Vincent Foster, found dead by an apparent suicide in a Washington, DC park.

Now imagine, if you will, had Mrs. Clinton been accused of covering up the death of a former boyfriend who, she though, had impregnated her. imagine if she was driving the car that brought that young man to his death at the age of 17. Now imagine that no investigation ever took place and that Mrs. Clinton, then a 17 year old Hillary Rodham, had never had to answer even one question about the "incident". What would the Right Wing Radio hat-Mongers have done to her then?

Of course the above situation did happen to a first lady: Laura Bush.

Not only did the Righties ignore that story, but they present Mrs. Bush as some sort of common man hero. And the really sad thing is that those of us on the left or in the middle would never attempt at calling Mrs. Bush out for her "actual accidental impairment" the way they accused Mrs. Clinton of having an affair with Mr. Foster, then killing him like some sort of female praying mantis beheading her mate, then eating him.

Much in the same way that the US government produces "news" to promote an agenda, and then let TV stations fill their half-hour with these propaganda-news items as real news, these radio "news-people" offered up their unique misrepresentations of the truth to radio stations nationwide for just a few ads. They produce the shows, are the "talent" for the shows and split the ad time for the shows with the local station that now has something to offer other than the mid-day local science professor explaining photosynthesis. Remembering that an hour radio program only airs for approximately 39 1/2 minutes of actual air-time, the local station gets all of these syndicated shows and gets to charge a premium for local advertisers to get their product on Hate-Radio.

These radio hate-mongers dressing themselves up as the voices of reason get to play on the deep-hidden prejudices that their listeners have. They use code words like "inner city welfare moms" to describe the urban poor, and in particular the African American community. They use the words "liberal" and "socialist" to remind their listeners how much they hate those who march for the rights of others.

They explain away atrocities like the police brutality and prison abuses such as Abu Ghraib as "necessary" sometimes even past when the pictures are shown. And even in their most contrite times, when they have to finally admit that the police might not have had to shoot Amadu Dialo 49 times, or that our military need not attach electrodes to the testicles of prisoners, they still do it with a wink and a nod and add the word "...but" after their apology.

They will explain away their own abuses as "mistakes" while approving of the most hideous punishments for anyone not of their economic class who commits the same affront. Rush will get caught with drugs, get convicted, then get caught again, then blame his maid for doctor shopping and not spend a day in jail while preaching that those kids in the streets of urban USA need to be taught a lesson and be put in jail for a very long time. Bill Bennett will preach his own brand of Christian values while laying a "C-note" on a hard eight in AV or LV. And leaders of the Religious right keep getting caught in bed with those they aren't married to, and sometimes those who share similar anatomical parts (See Reverend Haggard).

My brother, someone who supports the president, albeit less and less, describes himself as a "social liberal" and says that "I'm liberal on some issues and conservative on others." But he isn't one of those followers of the Right Wing hate radio mongers. he knows the difference between lies and "exaggerations" and won't allow himself to be played by prejudice. hat's what makes him different from the hate Robots who follow Rush and Company.

But Left Wing or even a moderate radio network wouldn't be able to do radio the Right Wing Hate Monger and preaching way. First, most of us have a conscience and it gets in the way. Look at the Bush memos which made Dan Rather resign as CBS news anchor after 24 years. Conversely, when the O'Reilly factor presented pedophile congressman Mark Foley as a Democrat in their graphic, when they knew he was, and still is a Republican, no less than three times, they didn't even bother to tell us all "Whoops! We made a mistake." even the next day. There is a brain there, but no heart and certainly no soul.

We here on the left, or like the majority of American, those of us living in the middle want to tell the truth. The Righties on the radio think of us much as they think of their audience: As suckers. And they're right. We won't fight by their rules and we won't speak without first examining our thoughts for errors or our sources for errors.

It's funny how the "liberal media" is also known as the "legitimate media". Funny also how no one has ever used the word "legitimate" as it refers to Limbaugh, Hannity, Coulter and company. Getting on Right Wing hate monger radio is the film and television equivalent of the casting couch. You have to give up on your self respect and any thoughts of being taken seriously by those whose opinions really do matter in the end for a quickie on the couch and a shortcut to fame, money and hell. it ain't worth it, but I won't preach to them.

Maybe it's time for a Leftie Limbaugh to get some airtime. Maybe we could get our own lying, hate-monger to preach the left side of the tale. But that could never happen because his (or her - see? I'm politically correct already) audience wouldn't stand for it. If the wrong word comes out of one of our mouths there would be a smattering of phone calls to the station along with emails and letters to various editors all starting with the words "In the spirit of fair play, I have to correct (the radio personality) and say..."

WE all just don't get it.

But sometimes the American people actually do see through the bull-crap. they did so his past November when they threw the bums out, although not enough of them.

My vision of a left-leaning, but moderate radio program would look something like this
-Smart no-name personalities who work for less, but do their homework
-Real debates between a rightie and a leftie with the announcer as host
-less preaching, more humor
-interviews with a different crowd: The guy who wrote that great letter to the editor in the local newspaper; The mother who stood up at the town hall meeting or the PTA and asked the tough question to the politician who never is asked a tough question, then refuse to sit down when it isn't answered; or that college professor who isn't the number one guy in his department, but the one that every single student wants to have as a teacher because "She gets it"
-Have groups on as guests who not only have a mission, but can explain their group mission
-Allow young people a voice on the air so other young people might realize that they actually do count even if they only vote at a 17 percent of the total voter rate
-Blogger segments where bloggers, both big and small, get a chance to spread their words and possibly get more hits to their websites

And those are just the thoughts off the top of my head.

Liberals and moderates have to understand that we are really allies. And I could think of no better way to spread that word than a radio network made for the majority of us True Americans.

-Noah Greenberg


Coulter, Limbaugh, Rumsfeld and Bush: The Real Winners of Election 2006

Washington, DC, Dec. 4. Objective Oriented Press Service, OOPS. The conventional wisdom inside the Beltway, throughout America, and all over the world is that the Democrats won the election. And while it’s technically true that candidates from the Democratic Party won election after election across the country, and Democrats won a majority in the House and the Senate, did they really win the election? I spoke to Silas W Coddington, noted “pundit.” He says “No, the Democrats didn’t win; they lost.”

"The real winners." according to Coddington, "were Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Don Rumsfeld, and George W. Bush. Coulter Limbaugh and all the other right wing pundits, commentators, writers, hacks, sycophants, and hangers on have made their living – and some have made a very good living – complaining that the Democrats were in control. This was really hard to do with a Republican President, Republican majority in both the House and the Senate, and Republicans in control of the Judiciary. Now that the Democrats control the House and the Senate, the job of these pundits will be so much easier. They won’t have to stretch the truth so far it breaks. Limbaugh will be able to stop “doing” drugs. Or he’ll be able to “do” better ones. And if a Democrat wins the Presidency in 2008? Coulter, Limbaugh and company will be in Heaven.”

“But wait,” I said. “Rumsfeld resigned on Nov. 8, day after the elections. How can you say he won?”

“It’s true that Rumsfeld resigned but look at it this way: he’s free. He may not have liberated Iraq, but he himself is now liberated. And with his skills and experience – advisor to Presidents, Secretary of Defense – he should run for President. His slogan: ‘Rumsfeld in ’08: Because there’s no success like failure.’ I think lots of people would love to see Rumsfeld as the Republican candidate for President in 2008. Especially Democrats.”

“The same holds for President Bush,” Coddington explained. “He’s got a little over two years left to his Presidency. People are starting to call him a ‘Lame Duck.’ The Disloyal Opposition, which is just about everybody, can’t wait. They have ‘Countdown’ clocks that count the days between now and Jan. 20, 2008. Unreasonable people are even calling for him to accept responsibility for the response to Hurricane Katrina, the felony of identifying a covert CIA agent, and misrepresenting the facts and “making up” the justifications of the Iraq war, as if the Commander-in-Chief really needs ‘Justifications’ to go to war … why incredible as it may sound, some even want him impeached for ‘Violating the Law’ over the NSA wiretaps. It could even happen.”

“But that sounds really bad,” I said, “How can he be considered to have won the election?”

“Simple. ” Coddington explained. “He just blames someone else for the failure in Iraq. He says ‘I’m the ‘Decider,’ not the ‘Fall Guy.’ I declared ‘Mission Accomplished’ way back, May 1, 2003. It’s not my fault the Iraqis didn’t listen. Ask the Democrats – they’re in control now, have been since January, 2007. We Republicanistas have been too busy working with lobbyists and decidering decisions about who gets what. Cheney spent a lot of time with Ken Lay’s people talking about energy policy before they went bankrupt. Cunningham, DeLay, Foley, we've been working hard. And now they’re all gone. Some went to jail. How can we accomplish anything?’”

“Well,” I asked, “what should he do?”

“if you ask me,” Coddington replied, “He should just go back to his ranch for a few days, or the next two years. chop some wood and hand over the keys to Jeb, or Cheney, or Rumsfeld. Yeah, that’s the ticket.’”

This is a work of satire. Any resemblance to the facts is purely tragic.

-Thanks to Larry Furman

In response to Lew Warden's tirade against Madman's article on Senator-Elect Jim Webb (DEMOCRAT-VA) and his unhappy encounter with President Bush, Robert Chapman writes:

To Lew Warden:

Mr. Warden, you really might want to read a little more before you start calling people names. Webb's son is a USMC rifleman in Iraq and Webb wears a pair of his boots to remind him.

In the encounter with the President, Bush asked Webb about his son twice, Webb's first response was that he'd like them all home, then Bush persisted and asked about Webb's boy in particular.

My feeling is hat American citizens still have the right to tell officials that they are going to far and getting too personal.

I guess I'm a liberal (expletive deleted), too.

And Victoria Brownworth responds:

Webb was Secretary of the Navy under Reagan, in case that part of American history was deleted from your FOX-only webcast.

His son is in Iraq--I don't see any of the other chickenhawks sending their kids to be slaughtered for the truly vainglorious Bush. (Kerry vainglorious? Why because he went to Vietnam while Bush drank himself into a cheerleading stupor?)

And just a reminder: our girls are over there, too. About 30,000 of them. Thus far Bush's folly has killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, 3,300 of our men and women soldiers, and maimed and permanently disabled another 35,000 of our soldiers--male and female. If anything can be said to have insulted the office of President, it is Bush's presence in the Oval Office. Clinton just stained Monica Lewinsky's dress. Bush has splashed blood on the hands of every American with his torturing and killing in Iraq. Blaming Webb for speaking the truth makes no sense. Try blaming Bush for taking all of America down the rabbit hole of his own arrogance.

And in response to Lew Warden's "Webb is just another loud-mouthed Liberal," Robert Scardapane writes:

I though the conservatives claim that nothing but conservative Democrats were elected in 2006. How did Webb slip by? Jim Webb is a Reagan Democrat that lost faith in the Republican party. He is a decorated war veteran who served in Reagan's defense department. It's a pity that conservatives are so quick to shove under the bus any veteran that doesn't genuflect to the "overworked President". Yes I know, it's hard work being President! After all, Bush told us as much.

Jim Webb had every right to respond the way he did to Bush. Bush could have simply acknowledged a father's genuine concern about his son. Instead, Bush shoved his question in Webb's face demanding an answer. That sort of arrogance merits no respect. Mr. Webb's son darned near died a couple of weeks ago in Iraq. Those who imply Webb is lying about having a son in Iraq should check their facts.

If anyone is being loud these days, it's conservatives of all stripes who have nothing positive to contribute and are simply singing the blues that voters rejected their ideology in 2006.

In response to National Security advisor Stephen Hadley's "We have not failed in Iraq. We will fail in Iraq if we pull out our troops before we're in a position to help the Iraqis succeed," Robert Scardapane writes:

We have been in a position to help the Iraqis for three years and yet it kept getting worst. The truth is that we want a united Iraq more than they do. The reason there are so few trained troops is that they desert in favor of the sectarian militias. All we can do is throw good money after bad and continue to be a magnet for bloodshed. It's time to get out. It's time for the Democrats that we elected in 2006 to show some gumption and cut off the money.

In response to, "Everything that is going on now points to an Bush-led failure in Iraq that doesn't amount to a hill of beans to the Average American. Win or lose, our lives will be the same. This was never a war where we were ever going to have to fight the Iraqis 'here'. But it is a conflict turned into a civil war that is, and will continue to claim the lives of innocent Iraqis every day, regardless of an immediate American troop pullout," Rhian writes:

I'm sort of wondering who takes the loss on the. . . .what. . . . . $23,000,000,000.00 infrastructure built as permanent in Iraq?

Oh? US taxpayers? I see.

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-Noah Greenberg