Wednesday, January 26, 2011

WSJ Does Slamdown on KeithO Bitch-boy's Abrupt Exit

Bret Stephens has a counter-intuitive article for conservatives to consider now that KeithO has self-destructed for the fourth [and possibly not the last] time in his spew-studded career.
In 1950, the literary critic Lionel Trilling wrote that "Liberalism is not only the dominant but even the sole intellectual tradition." Conservatives, by contrast, didn't have ideas, only "irritable mental gestures which seek to resemble ideas." But then came William F. Buckley and the National Review, and then Irving Kristol and the Public Interest, and then Robert Bartley of this editorial page.

And then came Fox News, and Fox Sports, and Fox Business, and Fox Everything.

With each new iteration of conservative thought, every new conservative encroachment on a previously placid domain, the liberal reaction began to evolve, from indifference to condescension to irritation to tantrum. By the time Mr. Olbermann got into the business, the tantrum had given way to something stronger. Intellectual eclampsia. His genius was to embody it.

That's something conservatives can applaud, even if they aren't exactly grateful for it. At least until the last couple of years, when President Bush's retirement deprived Mr. Olbermann of his premier foil, "Countdown" consistently passed the market test. He served his audience. He put MSNBC on the map. He pushed CNN into third place. He earned his $30 million contract.

Nor was Mr. Olbermann only good for capitalism. For a long time, the dominant mode of liberal argument was to ironize, or tut-tut, or dissemble, or manipulate the terms of discourse, or stack the deck in debates that are supposed to be balanced. The "Countdown" host did away with the old-fashioned liberal snigger and replaced it with a full-frontal snarl.

Put simply, Mr. Olbermann had a genuine faith in populism, something liberals more often preach than practice. Say what you will about his on-air rants, I'll take them any day over the subterfuges used by NPR to fire Juan Williams.

So the smug condescension of cryto-Jew Trilling gives way to "Special Comments" which call Michelle Malkin a "racist" forgetting her Asian heritage and KeithO's other affronts using ad hominem to the point of ad nauseum. Stephens points out that the real enemy is the bland silliness of 'civility' which is punctuated by Demonrats with accusations of Nazi tactics on the floor of the House while Sarah Palin gets crucified for shooting a moose.
All this matters in an era in which the greatest threat to public discourse isn't "incivility," as was so preposterously claimed after Tucson. Just compare the tedium of U.S. congressional debate with the rapier exchanges in Britain's House of Commons, the catcalling in Israel's Knesset, or the fist-fights in Taiwan's parliament.

Rather, the real threat is Good Morning America-style niceness, USA Today-style consensus-seeking, all-round squeamishness when it comes to words like "Islam," the political masquerade of "news analysis" from papers like the New York Times, and so on. In today's media landscape, audiences are being presented with a choice between voices who are honest (at least about their biases) but not objective, and those who claim to be objective but are rarely honest. Not surprisingly, Americans increasingly prefer the former.

So far, conservatives have gotten the better of liberals in the new media world. But Mr. Olbermann has given conservatives, if not quite a run for their money, at least some honest competition. It'll be a rare person who can match Mr. Olbermann for ego, pomposity, volume, self-righteousness, monomania and sheer obnoxiousness. Should MSNBC ever find that person (and Lawrence O'Donnell he ain't), I'll make a point of tuning in.

Sadly, WSJ is chock-full of nerds like John Fund and sillyboys like Moore who really have problems projecting anything except intellectual nausea at the Demonrats' persistent corrupt practices. Henninger and other forgettable spokespeople, including Gigot, simply personify white-bread middlebrow to the nth degree.

Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin do personify the objective rage and serious Tea-Party rebelliousness over the usual RINO equivocations of dinosaurs like Lugar and even McCain which make Republicans want to spit the lukewarm sillyboys out of their mouths.

Tim Pawlenty is another example of Minnesota-nice who simply may have good ideas, but could not last a minute in a hothouse atmosphere of a national campaign. Jon Stewart deconstructed Pawlenty because Timmy-boy was so afraid to say something bad about the degenerate left. Who needs gutless wonders like him and Mitch Daniels, both as sexy as kissing your sister.

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