Saturday, June 6, 2009

Kiss Up, Kick Down

Mark Levin,
JBS management's idea
of a conservative media figure

After I was tossed overboard by Appleton in October 2006, several JBS members and TNA subscribers made inquiries regarding my sudden disappearance.

In one quite typical reply, Alan Scholl -- the chief instigator of my termination -- insisted that among my supposed sins was that I had attacked " a nationally known radio talk show host" -- specifically, Mark Levin.

Alan went to some lengths to defend Levin's supposed honor and conservative bona fides.
He also insisted that I had "threatened physical beatings on [sic] this man, and three other nationally known conservatives," including that iconic "conservative" pairing of somebody he called "Hannity and Combes."

The latter name, of course, is correctly spelled "Colmes," as in Alan Colmes, a notable liberal television and radio personality. In the essay to which Alan referred, I never mentioned Mr. Colmes at all.

In his handling of these critical details Alan displayed all of the honesty and competence for which he was rewarded with a position of responsibility in the present JBS kakistocracy.

In that same e-mail -- which was something of a template for replies to other inquiries -- Alan also berated me for placing "posters of Nazis with the emblems on the uniforms replaced with the Republican Party emblem on [my] site," something that simply wasn't to be done, no matter how much the agenda and actions of the Bushified GOP savored of national socialism.

"Will cannot refrain from personal name-calling and ad-hominem attacks, outbursts of anger and threats on [sic] people with whom he disagrees," lied Alan, an individual from whom lies flow as effortlessly as bile from a ruptured liver.

I don't disagree that my rhetoric takes on a certain edge when I'm dealing with powerful or influential people who are promoting, implementing, or defending abhorrent policies -- aggressive war, wealth redistribution, torture, and so forth. But my iron-clad rule is this: I only attack those who are more powerful or influential than myself, or someone who has abused someone less powerful than himself.

Yes, I'll decorticate a Sean Hannity or Mark Levin -- someone whose audience is in the millions -- or elected boobs of various kinds, or policemen who strangle 12-year-old girls or force helpless grandmothers to "ride the Taser."

I've been known to write and say nasty things about neo-Nazi bullies. As this blog attests, I spare no arrows in my dealings with people who have maliciously wronged me and my family.

But I don't abuse people who simply disagree with me; I never have, I never will, and Alan knows that he cannot substantiate that accusation, a lie he put into circulation with the arrogant indifference to truth that is a defining trait of what passes for his character.

I never kick people who are down; I only kick up, as it were. That is exactly the opposite of the priorities that govern the craven children running the JBS: Their approach is to kiss up, and kick down.

They will go through astonishing contortions to avoid offending genuinely powerful and consequential figures, while finding some excuse to target marginal and powerless figures as if by doing so they demonstrate boldness and leadership.

There's a lot I could say on that general subject, but I want to restrict myself, for the nonce, to a couple of specific illustrations involving those sanctified beings known as "nationally known radio talk show host[s]."

Alan's comments, as excerpted above, were part of a dishonest depiction of an essay I published in September 2006 entitled "I Can't Stand Bullies."

For all of his mendacity Alan is bright enough to recognize the essay was a satire, if only because it was clearly labeled as such in order to clarify matters for simple-minded folks like him. It was inspired by an exchange on Mark Levin's unbearable radio program, in which Levin -- in a fit of adolescent malice typical of his rancid personality -- threatened a caller, claiming that he could "kick [his] ass."
I cited Levin, along with Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly, as examples of the dominant bully faction in the GOP-aligned Right.

As honest readers of the essay can see, I challenged each of them
to a debate, and, if any of them wanted to demonstrate his tough-guy cred, to a refereed fight -- a boxing or wrestling match, not a street brawl. Obviously, an invitation to debate is not a threat of physical violence.

Sure, challenging someone to a fight is an invitation to physical violence, but it is hardly the same as a simple criminal threat: You're giving the other individual a fair chance to defend himself, or to decline the invitation.

Alan, who claims to have been quite the butt-kicker in his day, should understand this. He almost certainly does. Which means, once again, that he simply lied about what I had written.
Each of the three prominent GOP media shills at one time or another has bullied smaller, easily intimidated people. O'Reilly famously tried to bulldoze Jeremy Glick, a small, meek, but admirably strong-willed young man whose father was killed on 9-11. Hannity has been known to spew tough-guy talk out the side of his mouth when he's dealing with callers or otherwise insulated from reprisals.

And as for Levin .... Just a few weeks ago, Levin had an on-air conversation with a female caller, a typically misguided Obama supporter that ended with the following refined and genteel exchange:

LEVIN: Let me ask you a question. Why do you hate this country?

CALLER: No, I love this country.

LEVIN (angrily shouting): I SAID WHY DO YOU HATE MY COUNTRY! WHY DO YOU HATE MY CONSTITUTION? WHY DO YOU HATE MY DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE?... Answer me this, are you a married woman? Yes or no?


LEVIN: Well I don’t know why your husband doesn’t put a gun to his temple. Get the hell out of here.

This is the fellow whose honor and reputation Alan was so eager to protect.

When a young conservative blogger named Conor Friedersdorff publicized Levin's atrocious treatment of an inoffensive woman, Levin and his chums -- sensing that Mr. Friedersdorff was a gentle and vulnerable target -- ganged up on him. To his credit, the young blogger more than held his own, and by doing so he helped demonstrate, once again, just how deeply infected the Right has become with bully-boy authoritarianism.

Levin, whose arse is his arsenal, has retaliated against Friedersdorff (and other critics, including self-designated "Crunchy Con" Rod Dreher) in transparently adolescent fashion.

What was really interesting to me, however, was a defense of Levin published by Robert Stacy McCain, a former Washington Times writer and a pillar of the Washington conservative establishment.

To McCain, Levin's financial success as a radio ranter and author of insipid tracts -- a career he oozed into as a remora attached, at one time or another, to either Sean Hannity or Rush Limbaugh -- is a good and sufficient rebuttal to his critics, whom McCain likened to socially maladjusted geeks at the prom, looking on with envy as the quarterback canoodles with the Homecoming Queen.

Those who scorn Levin, insisted McCain -- in an essay devoid of satirical intent -- are "wussified," "effete" specimens, "beta males" who "have never driven 110 mph, never spent a night in jail, and never won a fightfight in their lives"; pathetic ectomorphs "who never played in a rock band or sold a pound of weed or dove from a 50-foot cliff into an abandoned rock quarry."

Of the woman assailed by Levin, McCain -- who, as a neo-Confederate of sorts (a label I do not regard as a pejorative) should understand something about defending the honor of even obnoxious women -- insisted: "Levin insulted her because she deserved to be insulted" (italics in original).

"One more thing," McCain said in conclusion, "Mark Levin is a big man. His nasal tenor voice might lead the uninformed listener to picture him as a diminuitive nebbish. He is not. He's the size of a Big 10 linebacker and I'd bet dollars to donuts Levin could take out Rod Dreher with a single punch."

Hey, Alan, pay attention, OK? This was an example of a threatened physical assault, and it came at the end of an essay not intended as a parody.

Hey, "Big Man" Levin: My invitation to a mediated debate and/or refereed fight remains open.

Hey, Stacy (snicker) McCain, our supposed tutor in the manly arts:

I drive insanely fast -- sometimes up to 110 MPH -- every time I travel alone through Nevada (although I'm not so reckless when I'm traveling with my family).

I've been arrested in three countries and jailed in Egypt. I've never sold weed in any quantity, or been stupid enough to dive in an abandoned rock quarry, but I've been in dozens of rock bands and cut more than one album.

No, I wasn't the starting quarterback on our state championship football team.

I was the starting fullback -- the guy who spent most of the game knocking defensive tackles and linebackers on their butts to clear a hole for our extraordinary tailback.

While I've not been in a fistfight in decades (and don't miss the experience one bit), I've never lost a Judo match and not long ago competed and placed third in a wrestling tournament against kids less than half my age.

The last time I nearly ended up in a fistfight was almost exactly a year ago, when I called off a guy more than a head taller (and twenty years younger) than myself who was abusing a young woman. I got in his face and told him: "Leave her alone, and back the hell off!" He looked at me, and did.

The Homecoming Queen? I married her, you impotent windsock, and we have six children.

Levin might be the "size" of a Big 10 linebacker, at least in aggregate body mass, however unremarkably organized.

At age 46 I can still bench-press as much as an NFL defensive tackle, even though my own profile and body composition currently reflect a terribly sedentary occupation and the vagaries of a very difficult domestic situation.

This isn't meant to be merely a sterile exercise in adolescent boasting. It is that, of course, but I also have a point: Nobody in his right mind would consider me an "effete," "wussified" geek. By Stacy (snicker) McCain's checklist it appears that I hardly qualify as a "beta male" (the authentic alpha males I know don't spend time fretting about whether or not they're alpha; they simply are).

And yet I, just like presumed wusses Rod Dreher and Conor Friedersdorff (neither of whom deserves that epithet), despise Mark Levin and other "conservative" bullies of his ilk.

They are bullies, which means that they are cowards. They're not bold individualists; they're second- or third-string opportunistic predators who travel in packs and prey on the weak and pitiful.

They are also typical of the people whose favor JBS management was so eager to court that they threw me and my family under the bus.

One last item deserves some attention. By way of illustrating just how evil the Republican media apparatus had become by late 2006, I present the following video of GOP/Christian Right radio personality Michael Reagan, circa September 2006, suggesting that Arab infants should be sodomized with explosives and murdered, along with their mothers:



This kind of stuff was in wide circulation prior to the mid-term election. Republican media figures were defending aggressive war, open-ended extra-judicial detention, and torture; they were eviscerating the Bill of Rights, abolishing the habeas corpus guarantee, and denigrating as unpatriotic anybody who was not part of George W. Bush's authoritarian cult.

Some of us, recognizing a certain foul aroma in this agenda, were willing to call it by its proper name: Fascism.

Others, like Alan and his playmates in JBS upper management, were more concerned with currying favor with the "in" crowd, even if that meant they'd end up doing "The Wave" at the Nuremberg Rally.

"This blog and it's [sic] content is [sic] certainly not the image that I, or the others who are leaders in the JBS project, or should project," sniffed Alan in reply to an inquiry about my termination, exhibiting his familiar mixture of sanctimony and dubious verbal skills. "Is this an image for the JBS that you condone?"

It's all about image, is it? That being the case, apparently in what passes for their wisdom Alan and his cohorts decided it was more important for the JBS to be seen on the side of Mark Levin, Michael Reagan, and their ilk, than to tolerate the presence on staff of someone unwilling to abide their vituperative bullying of the helpless and their support for mass murder.


Anonymous said...

Well reading this blog was timely to say the least. I was recently solicited by the JBS ( former member and contributor) for money. The decision is easy - NO!!!!!

Anonymous said...

There was once a time, in a galaxy far far away, when I actually liked Michael Reagan but then I suddenly woke up and realized that the guys is a lunatic! Being part of an ex presidents family seems to bring out the moon bat in them.

Buddhadev said...

Will, this was a BEAUTIFUL pwnage of a pack of self-important nancies.

Someone should tell Stacy that winning or not winning a fistfight doesn't make one's opinion any more or less valid. Besides, a guy who's spent his adult as the Moonies' kept concubine shouldn't be calling other peoples' manhood into question.

Ned said...

Wow, Will. At least we now know what happened. We stopped subscribing to TNA after the loss of your incisive columns.

Buddhadev said...

I've found myself re-reading this post as my motivation to get pissed-off enough to have a good workout.

Anonymous said...

Who is this Levin character never heard of em. Sometimes I'm glad I live in a cave. I wouldn't get in a fistfight unless they are cutting checks for it. Here in the peoples republik the police haul off both parties in a fight and let the prosecutors and judges sort it out.