AUGUST 25, 2003 – For the rest of
the media, there is a problem.
You see, what do you do if a group on
one side of the political spectrum makes a conscious decision to lie
constantly and use argument tactics to squelch any possibility of
Let me add something to this before you
What if the same side that is doing the
lying and bullying also, at the same time, is accusing you in the
media of being biased in favor of the other side?
I can tell you what we at the Moderate
Independent do. We call the liars liars every time they lie, and
tell them to take their claims of bias and stick them up their lying
For the rest of the media, that is not
the case. Newt Gingrich exposed this flaw back in the early
nineties, and used it to orchestrate the Republican Revolution.
You see, if some talk show host, like
Rush Limbaugh, lies and lies and lies, the press can call him a
liar, since he is just one of their own. But when a candidate for a
major party resolves to lie constantly and without conscience, they
are in a real bind. Even just using the ‘L” word once in pointing
out a lie a candidate is telling is very harsh and opens them up to
claims of unfair bias. Using the “L” word every day about the same
candidate, that would be unthinkable for news sources that want to
remain fair and unbiased.
The Republicans saw how successful Newt
was with this, and a certain group of them began to run with the
game. So what we have now is a new breed of Republican for whom no
lie is too big or too frequently told, and for whom no debate
squelching argument tactic is too childish or unfair.
Let’s look at one of the thousands of
recent examples of this game being used:
The Clear Skies act. According to
experts – and yes, I checked this one out with one of the top
environmental experts at NYU – because of the way this act loosens
standards for industry polluters, somewhere around 18,000 people
will die horrible, premature deaths. 18,000 more than if a
different bill that had been proposed by the Senate had been
adopted. Clear Skies is a lie, and one that will kill six times as
many innocent Americans as 9/11, knowingly. Some reporters will
point out once, weakly, that, “the title may not be accurate if you
look at the facts.” Virtually no reporter in the mainstream press
will point out that this a heinous lie. And the one or two that
will, will do so only once. And the day after they do it, the
President will tell the same lie again.
How can the members of the press report
day after day, “The President is lying again,” or, “despite the fact
we pointed out that calling his bill the ‘Clear Skies Act’ was a
heinous lie, the President refuses to stop lying about it,” without
being charged with bias?
For us at The Moderate Independent, the
question is different. How could we, in good conscience, stand by
as the President intentionally kills 18,000 Americans with
unnecessarily dirty air while going around claiming the murderous
bill itself will clean their air? How could we?
The game is held together by tactics,
tactics to turn things on the rest of us.
We saw a nice example of this setup
being used in Arnold’s announcement for Governor:
“Davis is viscous and will attack me,”
he said preemptively, and, “They will call me a womanizer.” The
reality is that, by numerous accounts, Arnold is a womanizer and he
was trying to put Davis and any would be attackers on the defensive,
so he can turn things on them, making them out to be evil attackers
and diverting attention from the fact that he reportedly fondles
other women’s buttocks with Maria standing right beside him. As a
result, no matter how clear that fact is, no matter how much it is
reported in British newspapers about Arnold’s philandering, both
Davis and the American press take the bait and keep their mouths
shut, not wanting to be accused of acting unfairly or viscously.
But this is not just on the big scale.
The Republicans have tapped into something and, through their 24
hour a day talk-radio, FOX News, USA Today, NY Post, etc. training
program, have coached millions of like-minded amoral people into
using the same tactics on a daily basis.
Take a look at two recent e-mails we
received from readers wishing to criticize something they read on
our site, one from a normal person, one from one of this new breed
of Bush/Limbaugh Republican.
First the non-Bushie:
I'm not going to argue with your opinions, but
I'd just like to say your views of Howard Dean appear to (be) a
result of not following his campaign closely enough. Picking on his
closing statement in the May debate? The real story is he changed
his mind about what he wanted to say at the last moment, and
scribbled it down just before he went onstage so as not to forget.
But yes, he has acknowledged he didn't look very good, and is
learning on the campaigning job.
This is how us
useful people – Republican, Democrat, Green, Conservative, Liberal,
in this man’s case, Independent, discuss things. He pointed out
what he thought was unfair, supplied facts to back up his opinion,
and wrote in a respectful, adult manner. I was able to simply
respond to this man, who is with the
website, that IMHO there is no excuse, when you are campaigning on
the level of President, to have such an unprofessional moment as
Dean did at the end of that debate, and the reason I only mentioned
that one incident was because my intent in writing that column was
not to run down a laundry list of Howard Dean’s early slip-ups, but
to focus on an area that it will be interesting to see if he has
improved by now.
Now, let’s look
at an e-mail from one of these pathetic new Bush-brand Republicans:
moderates, you have proven to be nothing but a bed-wetting liberal.
Notice how there
is not a single fact he questions, not a single article he uses to
back up his claim, and the attack is launched at a grade-school
level. Also notice how the attack is designed simply to try and put
The Moderate Independent on the defensive, to make us think that
maybe we are being unfair towards the ‘liberal’ side. And that we
should wear Pampers.
For the rest of
the press, when they receive numerous of these e-mails, they respond
by altering their content, toning down and “balancing out” their
attacks, or, more realistically, pulling back from attacking
Republicans for fear of this sort of brash intimidation.
But, not us at
The Moderate Independent. We take what these Bush Republicans are
up to very seriously and personally, and do not believe in putting
up with their crap in any way. Backing down to the school yard
bully never worked – in fact, the best way to deal with school yard
bullies is to walk right up to them and punch them in the face
before they even have a chance to bully you – that is our style. It
worked on the playground, and it works here.
So, in response
to this right-wing idiot’s e-mail, I responded: Thank you for
showing the usual right-wing, whining baby-like penchant for
attacking inaccurately, a complete lack of intelligence, and a
complete inability to even define the most basic labels, like
liberal and moderate. Liberals embrace things like unilateral
nuclear disarmament and a severe degree of socialism, which are
supported nowhere in M/I. Conservatives support a constant state of
war and unrestrained capitalism, which is supported nowhere in M/I.
Moderate Independents want a President who doesn’t lie more than he
breathes, who balances between the need for a strong hand and the
intelligent, productive use of force, and who embraces capitalism
but balances that with adequate protections for us – the people who
work in this economy – and our families – the people who breathe the
air that comes out of the smokestacks of the economy. Morons, on
the other hand, are people who cry and inaccurately throw labels
like liberal around any time someone points out that, basically,
they are Morons. Thank you for your commentary, and for reading The
We dish back, and
even dish front. The rest of the media cowers.
But, my dear
friends, the lying/bullying game and amoral tract these
Bush/Limbaugh Republicans have chosen to take is only one reason you
will find them assailed more frequently than, say, liberals in M/I
at the moment. The other is the reality of things.
If we had a
far-left President, Congress, Senate, and Supreme Court filled with
people who were pushing through unilateral nuclear disarmament or
eliminating competitive wages in favor of one uniform wage for all
Americans, regardless of profession, we would be challenging their
policies on a daily basis.
But, the reality
is, the left has virtually no power at the moment and we are not
being threatened with heinous, far-left policies.
on the other hand, holds every branch of government, and wields the
power they have in an undemocratic, amoral fashion. So, they will
be attacked here for every fault they have without relent, for every
lie they tell without exception, and if our news source begins to
sound like nothing but attacks on Bush Republicans, the message is
that the Bush Republicans are unrelentingly scummy and requiring of
constant attacks. Liars are to blame, not the people who point out
they are lying. The choice by Bush Republicans to lie constantly is
the problem., no that we assail them for doing so. And,
furthermore, anyone who backs down from assailing them every single
time they are deserving is a coward, unprofessional, and has clearly
just become a submissive pawn in the Bush/Limbaugh Republican game.
If the rest of
the media wants to take that route, that is their choice. But The
Moderate Independent exists exactly because there is no news source
out there that is brave enough to simply report reality in a
straight forward, unbiased manner.
We are exactly
moderate and independent. A for those of you who wish to try and
bully us into changing, into becoming yet another right-wing puppet
news source, I say, please keep the e-mails coming – it is great
material for pointing out what idiots you are.