Information Landmine

"The Americans keep telling us how successful their system is. Then they remind us not to stray too far from our hotel at night." - An un-named EU trade representative quoted during international trade talks in Denver, Colorado, 1997.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

The conservative punditocracy: setting new (low) standards for US public discourse

First Ann Coulter's "schoolyard taunting" of Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards makes the news, and now draft-dodging drug-abuser Rush Limbaugh puts forth his characteristically-uninformed views on the subject of global climate change. Though perhaps it's no surprise that the latter doesn't believe in the phenomenon of global warming, accustomed as he is to sitting in a room that's constantly re-filling with hot air. The famous "frog-in-a-pan-of-boiling-water" effect, perhaps?

What does seem abundantly clear, now more than ever, is that conservative commentators are determined to set the bar of US public discourse at a subterranean depth of both civility and intelligence, to the detriment of the country and principles that they so loudly profess to love and defend at the exclusion of those of any other political creed.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

though I'm no fan of Limbaugh you do yourself no favours, and indeed undermine your defense of civility, by prefacing the man's name with an ad hominem insult relating to his drug intake. Is this relevant to the point you make, and is it in keeping with your views on everyone with a weakness for narcotics?

12 March, 2007 11:38  
Blogger Steve said...

On the contrary, it's Limbaugh's own well-documented criticism of both (1) drug abusers and (2) those of a different political stripe who in fact served in uniform while he sat at home that expose his gargantuan hypocrisy to the world and bring comment upon those aspects of his own existence fairly into play. Limbaugh's complete lack of character and over-arching hubris are entirely relevant to any discussion of his role in the right wing noise machine that currently dominates the US public debate.

I am familiar with the pain and difficulty of struggling against substance abuse from my experience with a close family member battling alcoholism and do not belittle those who approach their problems honestly and courageously. Limbaugh, as far as can be seen, has never approached anything with either of those noble attributes, crocodile tears on the radio notwithstanding.

Finally, the right seems to have mastered the tedious habit of playing dirty and then loudly crying foul when the left pushes back with anything approaching equal vigour. The days when one side are expected to play by the rules while the other side revels in ignoring the rules entirely are over and our friends on the right have nobody to blame but themselves for having fostered the sharp political climate in which we now find ourselves, for worse or for worse, in 2007.

12 March, 2007 21:33  

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