Archive for March 3rd, 2009

March 3, 2009

‘You must think we’re f—ing idiots’

Part of my job today required me to do some cold-calling on behalf of a county Republican Party in another state. So I was doing my FM radio smooth-jazz voice, with a bit of Andy Griffith downhome charm, and knocking ’em dead.

Talking to my boss about this, she mentioned that she got cold-called by a Democratic organization last week. My boss hadn’t gotten the “Operation Chaos” message on time, so she actually voted for Obama in the primary, even though she is the staunchest of staunch conservative Republicans. Her registration therefore put her on the Democrat calling list.
Now, being a smart lady, my boss knew what to do when she got the Democratic cold call:
  • Waste the maximum amount of the caller’s time. They’re getting paid to call you, and every minute of time they waste on you is a minute they can’t spend calling someone who might actually give them money.
  • Demoralize them. Your objective is to convince the caller that you are a loyal Democrat and have been for years, but . . . (and here you might want to choke up just a little) . . . Obama’s breaking your heart. He has sold out and betrayed everything you ever believed in as a loyal Democrat.
My boss worked that like a pro. “Why is he hurting people? . . . We’re the party of compassion, and he’s hurting poor people, he’s hurting women, he’s hurting black people, he’s hurting everybody! . . . Obama is destroying the country, he’s destroying the Democratic Party, he’s playing right into the Republican Party’s agenda. . . . How do you even have the nerve to call and ask a loyal Democrat like me to give money to Obama after he stabbed us in the back like this? Are you a Democrat? Aren’t you ashamed of how cruel Obama is to the little people who’ve lost their jobs?”
You get the drift. The cold-caller kept interrupting, trying to give her Democratic talking points, but my boss lady would have none of it. Finally, after the cold-caller tried for the third or fourth time to argue that everything was Bush’s fault, my boss just said in a quiet serious voice: “You must think we’re f—ing idiots.”
And the cold-caller hung up. Eight minutes is not bad. And just think of the break-room chat when the cold-callers get together. Complete demoralization.
March 3, 2009

The Emmett Till smear

In response to my much-noted American Spectator column of yesterday, some obnoxious troll commenter asserted that I had once wrote a column “praising the lynching of Emmet Till.” For the record, I never wrote any such column.

At the time that this libelous accusation first emerged on the Internet, I was employed as an assistant national editor at The Washington Times. My employers ordered me not to respond to this libel, and I was compelled to remain silent under penalty of being fired if I dared defend my good name. Duty and loyalty required me to obey, but when I resigned from The Washington Times in January 2008, no one even bothered to say “don’t let the door hit you on the way out.”

C’est la vie! C’est l’amour! C’est la guerre!

Having acquired a bad reputation in such a manner, I am loath to deny anything unnecessarily. Being notorious is not the same as being famous, but it’s better than being anonymous. So if it helps my career to be thought a vile “white supremacist” hatemonger (like the notorious Walter Williams), then I’ll laugh all the way to the bank.

I write for money, and if someone wants to pay me enough to explain how a fundamentally unserious person, a “tedious nothing” like myself, could ever acquire such a monstrous notoriety, please make an offer. Don’t lowball me, because it’s a very long story and the value of the continued mystery is not neglible.

Let the mystified think on this: Saturday evening, I was introduced to the old college boyfriend of a beauty whom I’d introduced to her most recent boyfriend. The college beau’s eyes were burning with rage, his upper lip glistened with perspiration, and when I shook his hand, it was cold, damp and unsteady. With jocular courtesy and good cheer I greeted as an old friend this fellow whom I’d never met before and who, for all I knew, was even then contemplating whether to pull out a .32 semi-auto and blast me into oblivion.

And he never saw me flinch, not once.

March 3, 2009

Yet another Malkin Award nomination

Dadgum, when you’re hot, you’re hot. Sully knows top-drawer Alpha Male wingnuttery when he sees it. And if ever there was a man who could appreciate a little Rule 2 action . . . OK, where’s the brain bleach?

WOLVERINES!

March 3, 2009

‘Those of us who consider ourselves moderates . . .’

“. . . are forced to confront the reality that Barack Obama is not who we thought he was.”
David Brooks, New York Times

Meanwhile, those of us who consider David Brooks a useless son of a bitch are forced to confront the reality that the New York Times is still paying him $300,000 a year to annoy us with idiotic self-promoting drivel like this:

Those of us in the moderate tradition — the Hamiltonian tradition that believes in limited but energetic government — thus find ourselves facing a void. We moderates are going to have to assert ourselves. We’re going to have to take a centrist tendency that has been politically feckless and intellectually vapid and turn it into an influential force.
The first task will be to block the excesses of unchecked liberalism. In the past weeks, Democrats have legislated provisions to dilute welfare reform, restrict the inflow of skilled immigrants and gut a voucher program designed for poor students. It will be up to moderates to raise the alarms against these ideological outrages.

Smitty, Dave and an army of Internet commenters can fisk Brooks point-by-point. I’m just pissed off that I got up this morning with the idea of blogging some real news and instead found myself confronted by another David Brooks column. Eight hundred and fourteen words, exhibiting no apparent effort at reporting. Let the reader calculate the cost-per-word of Brooks’s annual output. Compare and contrast.

With American newspapers in meltdown mode — my old boss at the Rome (Ga.) News-Tribune, Pierre-Rene Noth, was recently put out to the pasture of semi-retirement — why is Brooks still on the NYT payroll?

Because he’s a stylish writer? Stylish writers are a dime a dozen. Because he brings to bear incisive reporting? Make me laugh. Given access to the resources and awesome prestige of one of the world’s most important news-gathering organizations — please don’t accuse me of succumbing to Tucker Carlson Syndrome — Brooks adamantly refuses to gather any news, opting instead for the posture of the Platonic archon, deciding which “noble lies” are acceptable for utterance by those who aspire to lead the ignorant masses.

The New York Times continues to pay Brooks to produce his elaborate nonsense, and the idiot (he is not even a useful idiot) doesn’t realize that there are people among the readership who remember his past idiocies and are capable of doing a quick compare-and-contrast that exposes him for the posturing sham he is. Ladies and gentlemen, liberal blogger John Cole:

Moderate? What happened to worshiping Edmund Burke and Hayek and Oakeshott and all those other guys? What happened to kicking it in Gstaad with William F. Buckley?
What concerns me most is the very real possibility that Brooks will now dig up some long forgotten hero of moderation and begin quoting him as if we all were supposed to know who he was. Are there any moderate intellectual writers I should start boning up on right now?

If there is one thing that the blogosphere has accomplished, or will eventually accomplish, it is to expose the likes of David Brooks as vestiges of the golden age of journalistic excess, a Darwinian remnant of an obsolute appendage, a luxury that newspapers could arguably afford when ad revenues were growing and newsrooms were crowded.

Those days are over, and now ad revenue losses are requiring news organizations to excise the bone and sinew of their core news-gathering operations. Lean-and-mean will be the newsroom of the future, and the day is soon coming — not soon enough, but nevertheless soon — when the city editor of the New York Times will be told he’ll have to lay off another reporter. And there will be an angry shouting match in someone’s office at 620 Eighth Avenue:

Hell, no! Why the f— should I lay off a reporter when that g–d— piece of s— David Brooks is collecting $300,000 a year to produce two columns of nothingness a week? You can fire me if you want to, or I’ll just quit right here and now, because I’ll be g–d—-d if I’ll lay off one more reporter as long as that useless motherf—-r David Brook is on the payroll!

It is possible to argue that Brooks never should have been hired for that job in the first place. He is the Chauncey Gardner of American journalism, a man elevated by circumstance to a position beyond his aptitude or capacity.

Brooks reminds me very much of a couple of staff writers I encountered in 1987 after I was hired as sports editor of the Douglas County (Ga.) Neighbor. One spring afternoon, in transit from an afternoon track meet to a night baseball game, I stopped by the office to get film for my camera (I did most of my own photography) and overheard these two guys talking amongst themselves. One of them was overjoyed that the local amateur theatre outfit had agreed to produce his one-act play, which prompted congratulations from the other writer, who complained that his latest poem had been rejected by whatever literary magazine he’d sent it to.

That overheard conversation has stuck in my mind for more than two decades. As I hopped back in my ’84 Chevette that afternoon, I cussed a storm and peeled out of the parking lot. Here I was, wearing out my tires and clutch en route from one event to another, working the phones late at night to get complete results for events I couldn’t cover in person, writing into the wee hours, doing my own photography, layout and paste-up. And there were those two useless sons of bitches, required to contribute a mere eight bylines a week, and using their ample leisure to write poems and plays.

“F— them,” I said to myself. Oh, I had my own original ambitions, but the rock-star thing wasn’t working out, so I was happy to get a job as a sports editor, even if it did take everything I had to keep up with the pace, as I was required to produce not only the sports pages of the Douglas County Neighbor, but also the geographically adjacent Paulding County Neighbor.

I vowed that day never to become one of those useless sons of bitches. Wherever I worked, I’d work — I would produce, over and above the minimum requirements — and when I finally got pissed off enough to walk out the door, my absence would be felt. Curious minds may inquire of Pierre-Rene Noth if I made good on that ancient vow, and if my talents were missed after the day in 1997 I left the Rome News-Tribune.

Yesterday, a blog reader sent me an e-mail alleging shady doings at the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. The e-mail, including transcripts of testimony before a congressional committee, ran to 10 pages. I was too brain-fogged from Post-CPAC Syndrome to make heads or tales of what it was the tipster was alleging, and I got up this morning at 6:30 with the intent of finding out, or at least trying to blog about some actual news.

Instead, I found myself noticing (via Memeorandum, Rule 3) this ridiculous ode to moderation by David Brooks. So I’ve wasted time telling my few hundred regular readers what they already know, that David Brooks is a useless son of a bitch. And in recompense for my labors, I pray for only one thing: That someone will call this to the attention of the city editor of the New York Times, so as to hasten that angry shouting match at 620 Eighth Avenue.

ADDENDUM: OK, so I lied. Additional recompense is always welcome, if anyone wants to hit the tip jar. It’s a long way from the occasional Google Adsense check to $300,000 a year, and every $20 helps.

UPDATE: I would be remiss if I failed to link Russ Smith’s farewell to the Rocky Mountain News. When venerable newspapers like the Rocky are going belly-up and hard-working journalists everywhere are dreading the next round of newsroom pink slips, the continued employment of a useless SOB like David Brooks reeks to high heaven as an insult to the profession.

If you’re one of the New York Times employees reading this via the electronic water cooler (SiteMeter sees all), allow me to offer a suggestion: Somebody compose a small note, with four words in red 72-point Arial Bold:

NO JUSTICE, NO PEACE!

Let these notes begin to appear inconspicuously in your newsroom cubicles, so that you will know who your comrades are. John Galt. Tyler Durden. You get the idea.

UPDATE II: Michelle Malkin:

What an unbelievable waste of time and real estate is David Brooks. It’s profane. Which is why Robert Stacy McCain’s expletive-filled smackdown is the only appropriate and satisfying response.

Glad you enjoyed it, ma’am. I always aim to please.

March 3, 2009

Who is Robert Stacy McCain?

Glad you asked! I’ve been meaning to write one of these “who is” posts for about . . . oh, forever. But I kept putting it off, because writing about me has never been something I was good at. Between August 1987 and January 2008, I changed employers exactly once. Why? Because I hate writing resumes and filling out applications. It feels like bragging.

I’d much rather just do the work and get credit for that, than to spend my time composing self-glorifying profiles of myself like some kind of ambitious arriviste social-climber. However, since you’re interested, here’s the thumbnail bio:

  • Born in Atlanta in 1959, grew up in Douglas County, Ga., graduated from Jacksonville (Ala.) State University in 1983.
  • Started journalism career in April 1986 at the 6,000-circulation weekly Cobb News Chronicle in Austell, Ga., earning $4.50 an hour as a staff writer. Next worked (Dec. 1986-July 1987) as a sports editor for the Marietta, Ga.-based Neighbor Newspapers. Sports editor for the twice-weekly Calhoun (Ga.) Times, September 1987-May 1991. Transferred to News Publishing Company’s flagship daily, Rome (Ga.) News-Tribune, in June 1991, where I worked for special projects/editorial page editor Pierre Rene-Noth.
  • In 1996, I was awarded the George Washington Medal from the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge for my series of columns on the controversial National Standards for U.S. History.
  • In November 1997, I was hired by The Washington Times as an assistant national editor, and subsequently became editor of the newspaper’s “Culture, Etc.” page.
  • During my years at the Times, I developed a knack for producing feature profiles of prominent personalities. I interviewed such notable newsmakers as John Stossel, David Horowitz, Peter Jennings, Wendy Shalit, Ronald Radosh, R. Emmett Tyrrell, Tammy Bruce, Andrew Breitbart, William J. Bennett, Phyllis Chesler, Ward Connerly, Michael Savage, Roger L. Simon, Dinesh D’Souza, L. Brent Bozell III, Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin and Cal Thomas.
  • When former President Ronald Reagan died in June 2004, I was the guy assigned to write the memorial article that appeared as a special feature in The Washington Times.
  • In 2006, my old friend Lynn Vincent (World Magazine) and I co-authored Donkey Cons: Sex, Crime, and Corruption in the Democratic Party, the most complete history of its kind ever written. It was praised by David Horowitz as “irresistible,” while historian Thomas Woods hailed it as “relentless and stunning.” And the MSM politely ignored it.
  • Since I’ve got a face for radio, I’m not one of those celebrity pundits whose thumbnail bio includes “. . . has appeared on Fox News, MSNBC, CNN, VH-1, Home Shopping Network . . .” I’ve made exactly one appearance on C-SPAN2’s Book TV, but I’ve done a ton of talk-radio, and have recently begun doing weekly spots on the G. Gordon Liddy Show.
  • In January 2008, I resigned from The Washington Times. My reasons for resigning were multiple. I had been contracted to work on a book-research project that required me to travel to Africa, and it was very difficult to fit that project into my work schedule at the newspaper. Then one day, it was announced that (a) Wes Pruden would retire as editor, (b) managing editor Francis B. Coombs would resign, and (c) John Solomon would take over as executive editor of the newspaper.
    People whose judgment I trust assured me that Solomon was a good guy. However, he came from The Washington Post and, as one of my co-workers remarked to me when this news was announced, “If I’d wanted to work for a Postie, I would have applied at the f—ing Post.” I despise the Washington Post with every cell of my being, nearly as much as I despise the New York Times, a contempt quite sufficient to encompass every person who has ever been associated with those institutions of evil.
    Also, it occurred to me that, over the next 90-120 days, Solomon would be evaluating the productivity of the newsroom staff, during a period when I’d be bogged down with the book project. So I could quit now, and leave on good terms, or risk being s—canned at some point in the future. After consulting with my wife and praying together earnestly, I decided I needed to quit or, as I said at time, “God said, ‘Go.'” And I went.
  • Yes, I said “praying together earnestly.” Wretched reprobate though I may be, yet I know that God is merciful and gracious to those who love Him. I acknowledge Him too rarely, and disobey Him too often, and if you’re looking for a Christian role model, please don’t look at me. If asked to describe myself by denomination or theology, I’d say “Bible-thumping hillbilly holy roller.” I’m a backslid Baptist married to a Seventh-Day Adventist, but I’m basically a hard-shell Calvinist who leans on The Word (see Romans, Chapter 8) and doesn’t much care for legalism or the Theology of Niceness that has infested the evangelical movement in recent years. Martin Luther, John Calvin, Oliver Cromwell and Jonathan Edwards did not subscribe to the Theology of Niceness.
  • After returning from Africa and ending my research project, in March 2008 I began blogging regularly, concentrating on the presidential campaign, which I also covered as a reporter/columnist for The American Spectator and Pajamas Media. My reporting on the Libertarian Party convention in Denver was praised by Rocky Mountain News columnist Dave Kopel as “the best national coverage” of that event.
  • I’ve recently begun writing a series of columns on love, sex and marriage for Taki’s Magazine. This has raised some eyebrows among my neoconservative friends, given that Taki Theodoracopulos is known as one of those “Unpatriotic Conservatives” famously condemned by David Frum. Well, politics is politics. Many of my dearest kindred are Democrats — including my cousin Pepper Ellis Hagebak, columnist for the LaGrange (Ga.) News — shall I repudiate them? If Taki, who has been relentlessly smeared as an anti-Semite, is willing to pay for contributions by the man considered Most Likely to Become First Gentile Prime Minister of Israel, should not he be praised and admired for his generous tolerance of a bloodthirsty Zionist like me? As I once explained to Rod Dreher, I write for money, and when God answers prayer, a wise man ought to consider that the answer may involve a lesson.
  • On Feb. 13, 2009, my cumulative traffic passed the 1-million hits milestone, which inspired the semi-humorous celebration, “How to Get a Million Hits on Your Blog in Less Than a Year,” the surprising popularity of which has given me a nice boost toward my second million hits. Learn it, love it, live it.
  • I am one of the most accessible people on the blogosphere. E-mail me, Facebook me, Twitter me. As we used to say in college, “Hit me, beat me, get me drunk and rape me, make me write bad checks and call me Helen.” I’ve been abused by the best, so be advised that your idiotic troll-flames are incapable of damaging a two-time “Malkin Award” nominee. You can come after me any way you want, but be advised that you’re messing with the Ninja master of ad-hominem invective. And the comments are moderated, assholes.
  • The “racist” smear. A long, long story that began on May 9, 2000, when I published a news feature with the headline, “Researchers Say ‘Watchdogs’ Exaggerate Hate Group Threat.” When the smears started, my bosses decided that the best response was a non-response. The smears were thus elaborated year after year on the Internet, errors compounding on lies with additions of libels and distortions, like a metastasizing cancer.
    Had I been permitted to respond initially in my own defense . . . well, “if” is the largest two-letter word. Trying to unravel it all at this late date would be a waste of time and energy.
    Along the way, I’ve discovered the amazing professional value of a bad reputation. Being notorious is not the same as being famous, but it’s better than being anonymous. The harm to my career and my reputation was more than recompensed by the acquisition of virtuous character attributed to A Man Who Has The Right Enemies — the same parasitical assassins who attack me have also attacked inter alia Michelle Malkin, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, David Horowitz, Mark Steyn, Kathy Shaidle and other worthy souls more eminent than myself.
    At this point, if it pleases anyone to think of me as a neo-Confederate white supremacist xenophobic bigoted nativist hatemonger, the accusation is too delicious to deny and if anyone wants the full explanation, they can pay me for it. (I write for money.)
  • Speaking of money, it has from Day One been my thought that blogging is a capitalist enterprise. I joke a lot about my financial plight — the ACORN protesters are trying to keep the repo man from towing my car — but it is nonetheless not a joke that I have to earn a living for myself, my beautiful wife and our six children. So . . .
    Hit the tip jar. Or buy an “Ordinary American” T-shirt. Or, when I link a book from my Amazon Associates account, buy the book and know that a small percentage of the purchase price will be paid to me as a commission. I’m a shameless tip-jar rattler, and don’t mind asking for the cash. (It’s For The Children!)
    Once upon a time (and I was a loyal Democrat back then) I worked briefly as a DJ in a strip joint on Atlanta’s Fulton Industrial Boulevard, and if things got slow, I’d announce between songs, “Guys, if you ain’t tippin’, the ladies ain’t strippin’! So get up off your a$$, pull out some cash, get up to the stage and put something green in the lovely lady’s garter!” A man can learn more about pure capitalism working in a strip joint than he’ll ever learn at Harvard Business School.

OK, so that’s it. I’m Old School in the New Media. I’m available for freelance assignments, communications consulting, public speaking engagements, karaoke parties, weddings, birthdays and bar-mitzvahs. I might come back to expand or update this later, but I must conclude with a legal disclaimer required by the Blogger Board Of Ethics:

DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS AT HOME. This Man Is a Trained Professional Journalist Who Is Neutral, Objective And Ethical. Keep This Blog Away From Children, Pregnant Women, and Persons With Heart Conditions. The Proprietors Of The Other McCain Are Not Responsible For Accidental Injuries Resulting From This Blog, Including Computer Damage Caused By Spontaneous Coffee-Spew. No Hotties Were Harmed In The Production Of This Blog. Do Not Fold, Spindle Or Mutilate. Do Not Remove This Tag Under Penalty Of Law. ALL YOUR LINKS ARE BELONG TO US.

Heh.

Who Is Frequent Commenter Smitty?
No one really knows the answer to this question. Way back when this blog was nothing, Smitty started popping up regularly in the comment fields. Then one day, a man in a bowtie appeared at a Heritage Foundation event, and introduced himself as Smitty. Given permission to post as an admin, on only his second post, he did a reference to Cthulhu that earned him an Instalanche. With that kind of track record, it’s probably only a matter of time before he demands a cut of the tip-jar proceeds. At which point . . . well, let’s not think about that doomsday scenario, eh?