Unemployed Journalists in Bondage, Whoring for Ari, a Death in Fresno, and the Poor Under-Represented Conservative Media

By Warren Pease

FedEx and Sears may have started something. First they stuck a cork in Bill Maher's politically incorrect mouth, and now it seems cracking down on First Amendment rights are becoming positively fashionable. Everybody wants in on the fun - including a couple of Podunk publishers, the official White House spokesdork and the Wall Street Journal.

Since September 11, two columnists - one in Grants Pass, Ore. and the other in Texas City, Tex. - have been fired by their publishers for writing pieces harshly critical of Bush's leadership. The natural question would be, "what leadership," but apparently the publishers see some where most people who aren't on Prozac see only a terrifying vacuum. Of course, if you've been to either of these places, you'll already know that public criticism of a conservative Republican in any context whatsoever would probably get you tarred, feathered and ridden out of town on a rail.

Now there's a grand American tradition ripe for revival. Imagine, say, the reptilian Dick Cheney and the antediluvian Jesse Helms stark nekkid and stinking like a new roof on a muggy Alabama day, a rime of snowy down covering their chunky Republican thighs, pumping one of those railroad hand cars for all they're worth, a mob of seriously pissed off, torch-bearing progressives in hot pursuit. Cheney's pacemaker battery is sorely taxed, Jesse can't resist slowing down to scold a couple of chickies for baring their navels (while swallowing very rapidly indeed), the mob's catching up. Normally there'd be details at 11:00, but the newsbabe just got disciplined for failing to preface her comments with the proper measure of Bushean veneration. And then she got a hangnail and had to be whisked away by chopper to a 24-hour emergency salon.

Presidential spokescreep Ari Fleischer, commenting on the Maher incident, scolded the White House press corps - or corpse, more accurately, since it's getting increasingly hard to detect any higher brain functions emanating from this sorry band of cheerleaders. Anyway, upon returning from eating his young, Ari said, "ŠThere are reminders to all Americans that they need to watch what they say, watch what they do, and this is not a time for remarks like that."

Of course not. This is the time to wrap ourselves in the flag and kill as many Americans of Middle Eastern descent as we can get away with under cover of patriotism. Just as a mob of wonderfully good, wholesome, red-blooded American youths between the ages of 13 and 18 did last Saturday in Fresno County, Calif., where a Yemeni-born father of eight was murdered after a week of escalating racist slurs and death threats.

I think we need a new flag. One that doesn't signify hatred and bigotry and ethnic cleansing and Aryan Nations and John Ashcroft. These days I get the same chilling feeling seeing the stars and stripes go by as I did when I saw the stars and bars flying over the South Carolina capitol building a few years back. They've both become metaphors for white male rage, tough-talking braindead rubes and suppression of anything to the left of Tom DeLay.

The definitive report on who actually won Florida, and therefore who should now be sitting in the Oval Office, has been delayed "indefinitely" by the consortium of media organizations who commissioned the recount in the first place - including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and CNN, three of the administration's chief apologists. "The priorities of the country have changed and the priorities of our news staff have changed," said Steve Goldstein, a VP at Dow Jones and Co., which publishes the Wall Street Journal.

It's been my experience that the priorities of the Journal are, and have always been, promoting rapacious American-style radical capitalism whenever and wherever the opportunity arises. And from where I'm sitting, there's no more critical priority than finding and publicizing credible evidence that last November's presidential election was hijacked by the American right wing, and then taking whatever legal steps are available to send our Wanker-in-Chief back to whacking brush on his ranch before he does any more damage. Or maybe that's just *sooo* 2000 and we should all just get over it. Maybe Katherine Harris, Jeb Bush, Antonin Scalia, Jimbo Baker and the rest of that freak show cast stole it fair and square and that's the end of it. Might be nice to know, at least.

At the very least, this kind of behavior should bring about the death knell of the "liberal media" mythos. Does anyone really think Rush Limbaugh, the $250 million fat boy, along with the thousands of imitative motor-mouths he's spawned, aren't given a mainstream media outlet for their points of view, such as they are? What would you call three solid hours a day on the radio, plus TV face time? Some might call it bliss; I'd call it revolting. Nobody, however, can call it under-representation.

I'm looking forward to a nationally televised panel discussion that includes Gordon Liddy, Cal Thomas, Robert Novak, George Will, John McGloughlan, Debra Saunders, Ollie North, Fred Barnes, Matt Drudge, Mona Charon and the editorial staffs of the Wall Street Journal, Forbes and the American Spectator. They're sitting around a table, all frumpy and anal-retentive and terminally pissed off the way conservatives naturally get when they wake up in the morning. And all these media stars are sniveling and bitching about how hard it is to get good, traditional conservative views represented in the American media mix.

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The author has a 5-gallon bucket of Hydroseal and a leaky down quilt at the ready for whenever Dick and Jesse show up in his town. While waiting for that happy day, you can email him at war_on_peas@yahoo.com - an equal opportunity alias where yahoos and non-yahoos alike can come together in a spirit of peace, brotherhood and unanimity of purpose. Or not.

Copyright SRC, Inc. 2001. All rights reserved.

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