This Week in Buffoonery: Oprah, Bunny Sex, Anti-Tea Party Metaphors, and More!
CNN’s GOP Strategist Sees ‘Bunny Sex’ for Ted Cruz
When GOP strategist Alex Castellanos told Anderson Cooper that Ted Cruz is “having bunny sex,” he embodied the word “buffoonery” — i.e., something that is both ridiculous and amusing.
With some explanation, I guess we kinda-sorta understand the comparison? In taking an unwavering stand against Obamacare, Sen. Cruz is rallying the base and “multiplying” their numbers, but eventually it will lead to a “bust,” which apparently happens every few years among the snowshoe hare population. Or something.
But, really, in the immortal words of Cooper that night: “Are you high?!”
Keith Ablow Diagnoses the President’s ‘Grandma Issues’
Let’s just come out and say it: Fox’s resident “psychiatric expert” Keith Ablow is terrible. And yet he constantly finagles his way onto your TV screen, killing 7-10 minutes of airtime by rattling off hilariously absurd theories about the crime du jour, transgenders, and presidential infidelity. All these analyses are clearly designed to fit a particular narrative.
And so, this week, Ablow smirked his way through another brilliant TV psychoanalysis. This time: President Obama supports expensive entitlement programs like welfare and food stamps because his grandmother “didn’t trust people of color,” and so he’s taking it out on America. Bravo.
Hey, while we’re at it, I’ve got a diagnosis of my own! Methinks there’s a particular Fox psychiatrist who didn’t get enough attention from mommy and daddy as a young child, and so he’s taking it out on TV viewers.
Ed Schultz’s Anger Problem
On Thursday afternoon, Ed Schultz berated, insulted, and hung up on a combative caller who identified himself as a retired military vet who served 23 years. Naturally, there were lots of conservative critics gasping at how a liberal treats a cherished veteran!
But look, it’s Ed Schultz’s radio show. He can yell at whomever he wants. He can also hang up on anyone he chooses. That’s not the issue.
The real problem is that how this talk radio shout-fest reminds us, yet again, how the medium — on the left and right — can be one of the uglier sources of political information. How many of America’s top radio hosts make a living by shouting so loud into a microphone that you can hear their spittle? Too many.
Hey, I’m not going to lecture anyone about “civility,” but I will say there are probably better places to get your information.
Oprah Winfrey’s Comments on Atheism
Yeah, I said it. Oprah is a hero in countless ways, but what she said about atheism this week was clownish. After swimmer and self-identified atheist Diana Nyad said she feels awe and wonder about the world, despite not believing in a deity, Queen O informed her she can’t possibly be an atheist because that sense of appreciation implies the presence of a God.
Yeah, not quite. Atheists and agnostics can be quite appreciative of the earth’s majesty without necessarily thinking some higher being created it all from dust. Hell, as famed “skeptic” Michael Shermer has written on many occasions: Science and a sense of awe are complementary.
Of course Oprah was well-intentioned in her comments, but her remarks only serve to continue the public’s longstanding misunderstandings about atheism and unbelief. Nyad, meanwhile, demonstrated a remarkable sense of tolerance for such clownery.
Phil Mushnick’s ‘Baby Mama’ Blame Game
After pro football player Adrian Peterson‘s 2-year-old son was killed by the abusive boyfriend of his mother, the sports world heaped praise upon the star running back for his demeanor and resolution. But apparently New York Post sports columnist Phil Mushnick wasn’t going to let that slide. He penned a column trashing Peterson’s character, placing blame squarely on the football star for leaving his “baby mama” and (only-recently-discovered) child without a safe home.
In the racially patronizing tone you’d expect from such a column, Mushnick digs up minor legal infractions from Peterson’s past to make the case that he’s no saint. And then he goes for the slam dunk by suggesting Peterson never supported or cared for the child in the first place, leaving him in a “baby mama” home to die at the hands of abuse. Suffice it to say, nearly everyone hated the column.
Great job. Awesome work, Phil.
[Read about it here]
MSNBC’s Martin Bashir Continues to Be Vitriolic
It’s no secret that MSNBC’s Martin Bashir has a penchant for saying vitriolic, over-the-top things about his ideological enemies. Hell, as I’ve written before, his show is basically one giant pat-on-the-back for MSNBC’ers who enjoy taking turns sneering at (yes, often sneer-worthy) Republicans.
So it should come as no surprise that on Wednesday, Bashir attempted to outdo himself by wondering aloud whether Ted Cruz is the GOP’s own version of suicidal cult leader David Koresh. “He’s a bit like a character who believes himself to be anointed,” the host asserted, “believes himself to be a prophet, ignores everything, and torches the place in the process.”
Fox & Friends Just Asking Questions About House Stenographer
We all saw House stenographer Diane Reidy‘s outburst, right? She hijacked the House Speaker’s mic and ranted and raved about the Holy Spirit, Freemasons, and how America is not “one nation under God.” Seems like she might have been driven over the edge a bit, eh? I mean, she flat-out said the Founding Fathers (many of whom were Freemasons) could not have written the Constitution. Sounds like perhaps she had a screw loose; perhaps not permanently, but was not in her right state of mind at that moment, eh?
Well, think again. On Thursday morning, the Fox & Friends hosts read off a series of emails and “concerns” that maybe Reidy wasn’t temporarily off-the-rails. Maybe… she was inhabited by the Holy Spirit Himself! She was simply acting as a vessel for God’s message! One emailer, read un-skeptically, said Reidy being taken in for a mental evaluation constituted anti-Christian discrimination. (Was that you, Todd Starnes?)
Of course, the hosts can easily say: Hey man, we’re just asking questions. We were just reading the three emails that fit this exact “War on Christians” narrative. But can you imagine what sorts of questions the Fox & Friends crew would be asking if she hadn’t mentioned the words “Holy Spirit”? What if she said something like “God doesn’t exist”? Or “Praise be to Allah”? Would she then just be someone who “saw something she didn’t like” and had to let it out? Just asking.
MoveOn.org Hosts Petition Demanding GOP Leaders Be Arrested for Sedition
After the government shutdown ended, a crafty progressive and lover of democracy created a petition on MoveOn.org calling for the very progressive action of arresting and trying House GOP leaders for the sedition. Users flocked to the petition, making it go viral quickly, and helping it accrue more than 35,000 signatures. Many of the signatories wrote notes asking that the charges be bumped up to treason.
As Reason editor-in-chief Matt Welch accurately pointed out: “So weird, how the T-word is always popular among those who support sitting presidents!” (Note the link-outs to articles about some of Bush’s biggest boosters calling liberals “treasonous” during those dark eight years.) (Also, note: After a while, MoveOn.org posted to their website that they don’t necessarily endorse this user-created content.)
Hey, way to go guys. Not much else to say other than: Congrats on setting your respective movements back. Both sides love to capitalize on this nonsense and generalize about each other — Liberals: “The tea party are neo-Confederates!” / Conservatives: “Liberals hate the mentally disabled!” — and all you do is add fuel to that flame. Great job.
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