Archive for May 22nd, 2009

May 22, 2009

The Geek at the Prom vs. Mark Levin

“Having spent about 15 unpleasant minutes listening to this creep, I cannot imagine why anybody pays attention to him. Seriously, where is the pleasure in listening to this kind of trashmouth?”
Rod Dreher, May 22, 2009

“You’re always ranting against any conservative who is actually popular with Republicans. Glenn Beck, Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Michelle Malkin, Mark Levin, et cetera. . . . You’re like the geek at the dance, complaining that the prom queen and the quarterback are so popular.”
Robert Stacy McCain, May 17, 2009

Do yourself a favor. Buy the No. 1 New York Times bestseller by the founder of the Landmark Legal Foundation, the nationally syndicated radio host recently ranked No. 11 in the nation by Talkers magazine, “the Great One,” Mark Levin.

Ed Driscoll reminds us of a line from The Three Amigos: “In-famous is when you’re more than famous.”

UPDATE: I must address something my friend (shhhhh!) Joe Marier says in the comments:

The smash-mouth style is a traditional part of talk radio, granted. It takes its cues from the Don Rickles – George Carlin brands of comedy. In the DC market, though, WTOP has been killing it with more of an NPR style, and that’s the style Rod Dreher (and Frum, for that matter) has been pursuing.

Joe, neither Dreher nor Frum is a professional talk-radio host, and I’m guessing neither one of them would last six months in the medium if they tried it.

People who’ve never done talk radio, or who’ve never been in a studio and seen how it’s done, have no idea how extraordinarily difficult it is to fill so much as a single hour, much less three hours a day five days a week. Now, consider how difficult it is to do it well, so as to attract a commercially viable nationwide audience. For Dreher (and his source) to disdain Levin is for them to sneer at someone who has succeeded exceptionally in a venue they’ve never even tried.

This is the arrogance of the intellectual elite, to imagine that their particular specialty — the expression of abstract ideals via the written word — is the only ability that matters, qualifying them as experts on anything and everything they choose to write about.

Written expression is an ability, and an important one, but it is not synonymous with intelligence. I don’t give a damn what your SAT score was — and I’ve been knocking the tops off standardized tests of verbal reasoning since I was in elementary school — an 800 verbal does not qualify you to dictate to the rest of the world what they should do, what they should say, or what they should think.

Despite my frequent and scathing criticisms of George W. Bush, I never mistook his verbal awkwardness for stupidity. The man was a fighter jet pilot and holds a Harvard MBA. Even if his syntax and delivery are atrocious — and even if he inherited the family trait of disastrous political instincts — George W. Bush is not less intelligent than Conor Friedersdorf.

A disdain of blunt expression is natural among those who make their living in the wussified environment of contemporary elite journalism. To be a journalist in Washington is to live one’s life surrounded by men who have never driven 110 mph, never spent a night in jail, and never won a fightfight in their lives.

The upper echelons of American journalism have become the exclusive monopoly of former teacher’s pets, who as children were never sent to the principal’s office, who as teenagers were never suspended for showing up drunk for chemistry class, who as college students never woke up at 6:30 a.m. on the porch of the ATO house, 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.

Washington journalism is like some kind of perverse alternative reality where the Beta males are dominant.

It is therefore not surprising that the effete elite of American journalism sneers at Mark Levin. What Levin possesses — and what the typical 21st-century journalist never has possessed nor ever will — is the double-dog-dare-ya boyish audacity that the Ordinary American naturally admires.

Levin’s insult to the woman who called him up was perfectly understood by his audience. The woman was engaged in an essentially dishonest tactic that every succesful talk-show host knows too well: Lying her way past the call-screener and then attempting to hijack Levin’s show to disseminate a pro-Obama message.

Levin insulted her because she deserved to be insulted, and for every Conor Friedersdorf who was shocked — shocked! — by Levin’s abrasiveness, there were at least a hundred normal guys driving home from work who reflexively slapped the dashboard and said, “Hell, yeah! You tell ‘er, Mark!”

“One of the basic principles of military strategy is to reinforce success. If you see a man who fights and wins, give him reinforcements, and bid others to emulate his success.”
Robert Stacy McCain, March 21, 2009

Mark Levin is such a success, a man who fights and wins. He has achieved his success independently, by his own merit and relentless labor, and I am not fit to tell him what he should or should not say on his own radio show.

One more thing: 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.

UPDATE: Reply to Dreher.

UPDATE II: ‘In the famous words of Rahm Emanuel . . .’

May 22, 2009

Founding Bloggers: 1; CNN: -4,275,4332

by Smitty (h/t: Insty)

  CNN’s shameful suppression attempt of the Susan Roesgen clip has been rolled back. This clip is a good one to review, with six weeks to go before the next round of Tea Party protests. We need to stay fresh on how thoroughly disconnected members of the media seem to be from anything resembling the rest of the country.
  Wikipedia notes that Roesgen won an Emmy. So, while Stacy is no fan of metal, this blog feels obligated to slip Roesgen a Lemmy:

May 22, 2009

Ah, the joys of guilt by association!

So, I walk into the Reason magazine party Thursday evening and the first person who greets me is my old buddy David Weigel. “Hey, your girl got the deal!”

Eh? And then he told me that Lynn Vincent, with whom I co-authored Donkey Cons, had been signed to collaborate on Sarah Palin’s book. Son of a gun, it’s true, it’s true, it’s true.

And as we have come to expect, the usual suspects launch the usual smear attack, complete with recycled idiocies about me.

After I clocked my first million hits here, one of the things I decided to do was to write a proper “Who is” bio, and in that bio I included this:

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.)

So there you go. Now, let me defend Donkey Cons against my friend David Weigel:

It was an uncomplicated book, its thesis being that if you compared the number of Democrats who’d committed some sort of crime and the number of Republican lawbreakers, the Democrats were, objectively, the more criminal party.

This is an underestimation of the book. It is the most comprehensive chronicle of Democratic Party corruption ever published. In Chapter 2, “Rap Sheet,” Lynn took on the task of counting every serious charge of corruption or criminality involving members of Congress since 1976, and found 46 Democrats to 15 Republicans. So it’s certainly true that Democrats are the more criminal party — by a 3-to-1 margin!

Critics of the book simply couldn’t get their heads around this immense disproportion. Even some conservative radio talk-show hosts who interviewed us were skeptical. Ever since Watergate, Democrats have benefitted from the notion that somehow it is the GOP that is more corrupt — even while dozens of Democratic congressmen were either convicted of felonies or censured for ethical violations: Jim Trafficant, Mel Reynolds, Robert Torricelli, Jim Wright, Corrine Brown, Barney Frank and Alcee Hastings to name a few.

That the Democrats would win a congressional majority in 2006 based on their promise to clean up a “culture of corruption” in Washington is a testimony to how little public awareness there is of the extensive tradition of corruption in the Democratic Party, a tradition traceable in a direct line all the way back to the party’s co-founder, Aaron Burr.

“Uncomplicated”? Check out Chapter 4, “The Gang’s All Here,” about the Democratic Party’s long association with organized crime, Chapter 5, “Look For the Union Label,” about labor union corruption, and Chapter 8, “Scene of the Crime,” about the tragic consequences of liberal urban policy.

“Uncomplicated”? A serious accusation! Unfortunately, Mary Jo Kopechne could not be reached for comment.

UPDATE: Over at the American Spectator, I congratulate Sarah Palin on her choice:

Congratulations, Governor. If you didn’t hire the best writer in the business, at least Lynn is very close to the best writer in the business. She’s also got an excellent sense of humor,

Kathy Shaidle also has an excellent sense of humor. I’ve found a sense of humor indispensible to dealing with this kind of “scandal,” because the nature of the accusation is so manifestly absurd. As I explained:

However much I sincerely admire beauty, there are few things that interest me less than who wins beauty contests. Yet in the case of Miss Prejean, we see a perfect example of the totalitarian thought-control impulse of modern liberalism, which marginalizes dissent by coercive approval: Disagreement with the liberal agenda disqualifies one from any position of social prestige, and invites the accusation of mala fides.
In the case of the liberal agenda on gay rights, those who disagree are diagnosed with “homophobia,” a mental illness apparently afflicting a majority of the electorate in 30-odd states which have approved measures prohibiting same-sex marriage. Beyond its implausibility as a psychological disorder — conservatism as a species of insanity being a favorite theme of the Left at least since Theodor Adorno’s “scientific” study of The Authoritarian Personality — the problem with the “homophobia” smear is that this allegedly dangerous tendency does not correlate with any actual evil.

Read the whole thing. By the way, I am still the blog king of the “Carrie Prejean nude” Google-bomb (among others of relevant interest that need not be explained here). I mean, you wouldn’t want liberals to monopolize that traffic, would you? And because I’m a giver, I shared this valuable knowledge with Marie Osmond’s lesbian daughter.

Je suis un bloggeur capitaliste. I’m also a “top Hayekian public intellectual.” I write for money. See Rule 5.

May 22, 2009

How Dare These Men Honor Tradition!

by Smitty

  Two congressmen today announced that they will seek to prevent the District from recognizing or performing same-sex marriages.
  Introducing the bill are Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio, pictured top) and Rep. Dan Boren (D-Okla., bottom). It’s important to note that the legislation would define marriage in the District as between a man and a woman. It is not a resolution specifically disapproving the city’s action this month to recognize gay marriages performed out of state.

  If only my local piece of work, Jim Moran, would join with his Democrat colleague on this bill.

May 22, 2009

Does the California Situation Seem Familiar?

by Smitty

  California For Sale, by Llyd Garver, sure does sound familiar, for old comic book geeks:

  Governor Schwarzenegger’s suggestion to help get California back on its sandaled feet. He recently proposed that the state sell off some of its most famous properties: San Quentin Prison, the Los Angeles Coliseum, the Cow Palace, Del Mar Race Track, and various state buildings. He explained that it’s just like some people in the current recession having to sell their homes or luxury items like boats, second cars, and motorcycles. He wants to have a big garage sale, and even sell the state’s garages.

  Didn’t Howard Chaykin do this a while back?

  The Plex has formed the Tricentennial Recovery Committee, to get America “back on track for ’76”, but the TRC is in reality a plan to sell the United States off to the new superpowers and to leech off the remaining inhabitants before gaining true self-sufficiency. As a result, the Plex has outlawed non-combat related education, organized sports such as basketball and personal aircraft, restricted media to only one outlet, the Plex itself (although it has multiple channels), and advocates and glorifies the use of political violence amongst independent policlubs by providing money and firearms for its hit TV show Firefight All Night LIVE!, and covertly sterilizes the population by using a combo contraceptive and antibiotic called Mañanacillin to reduce the population.

  Chaykin was much closer to Bladerunner than The Terminator in feel. But a classic, nonetheless.