Friday: 02/15/02


Ah, the life of a think-tank apparatchik must be good!

Indeed, imagine Norah Vincent, Senior Fellow at The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, as she slowly caresses her hot, throbbing thesaurus while whipping herself into a frenzy of mind-blowing contradiction…

"Few creatures are more detestable, more verminous, than the special interest bureaucrat. He is the banal quintessence of evil," she dirty-talks in a recent LA Times op-ed entitled "Liberal Media Ignore What They Don't Want to Hear."

"With his sniff of sedentary power, he is that most craven of all schlumps," she scolds. "Always and everywhere just following orders, mindless and industrious as a louse, implacable as a meter maid. When challenged on his fierce illogic, he merely parrots the shopworn slogan, 'I just work here.'"

According to Vincent, the verminous special interest bureaucrats who provoke such overheated exhortations "are almost exclusively the property of the complainant left, which has homogenized and mass-produced them, wound them up and marched them, like Energizer bunnies, into the loop of public discourse."

Her evidence? A book by former NOW lesbian activist Tammy Bruce called "The New Thought Police: Inside the Left's Assault on Free Speech and Free Minds."

"Tammy Bruce fingers these groups and others such as the National Assn. for the Advancement of Colored People, exposing them as bureaus of intimidation bent on silencing anyone who deviates from the party line, bastions of hypocrisy where principle has become a casualty of power politics," Vincent declares, with the sort of logic that suggests her own vigorous fingering has taken a toll on her critical faculties…

Indeed, if these verminous creatures are sedentary, schlumpy, and mindless, can they also be such manipulative, effective adepts at intimidation and power politics?

Vincent doesn't pause to ponder this paradox, because ultimately she's got a bigger louse to discipline: the "liberal-leaning mainstream press."

Instead of continuing her dominatrix shtick, however, the versatile Vincent switches into submissive mode: "According to Bruce's publicist, aside from her appearance on ABC's 'Politically Incorrect,' no major liberal media outlet, either print or broadcast, has discussed or reviewed Bruce's book," she dutifully yips like a very, very good little doggy…

And, indeed, as these excerpts from a transcript of Bruce's October 21st, 2001 appearance on the tiny conservative cable news network CNN reveal, the ruthlessly marginalized author had to speak in elaborate code just to slip in subtle references to her new book in any media outlet at all! (Code words highlighted in bold italics to make them easier to spot):

VAN SUSTEREN: When, if ever, does our information overload become aid and comfort to the enemy. Joining me is author Tammy Bruce, who's in Los Angeles.


VAN SUSTEREN: Hello, Tammy. Her latest book is "The New Thought Police."

* * *

TAMMY BRUCE: It is certainly a false concern, but it's based in the fact that there's an underlying thread, which I talk about in my book, about a distrust of Americans' intentions and of Americans character strengths.

* * *

TAMMY BRUCE: And we need not to continue this threat of distrust among ourselves that has been going on before September 11 to the point where now we're saying and arguing, as I expose in my book, "The New Thought Police," what people should or should not say or think on a personal level, if we should talk about opinions.

Of course, with Vincent burrowing her face so gamely into the hindquarters of Bruce's publicist, it's easy to see how she might have missed Bruce's CNN appearance. But how to explain her failure to acknowledge the fact that while Bruce's book may have had trouble getting coverage from the mainstream media, it had no trouble getting published by the mainstream media? "The New Thought Police: Inside the Left's Assault on Free Speech and Free Minds," was released by Prima Publishing, an imprint of Random House.

In addition, Vincent submissively accepts Bruce's claim that the mainstream media doesn't find her so sexy anymore, now that she's a freelance lesbian instead of a NOW-affiliated lesbian. "As Bruce told me: 'When I was with NOW, I could get an interview on anything anywhere. With the media's complicity, I knew I could move any issue and make it work. Now they don't even return my phone calls."

Well. Bruce was with NOW from 1990 to 1996: during that time, the Washington Post mentioned her name eight times, with five of those mentions concerning her remarks about OJ Simpson's notoriously left-leaning wife-beating habits. The New York Times mentioned the name "Tammy Bruce" eleven times during that period, with four of those mentions concerning her remarks about OJ Simpson's notoriously left-leaning wife-beating habits.

At the same time, it does appear that Bruce was a consistently dependable TV news soundbite dispenser during that era, especially throughout the trial of the century. And it's true that she was mentioned in her hometown paper, the LA Times, an impressive 94 times during that period. So perhaps it's accurate to say that she could indeed get an interview on anything anywhere, if by "anything" you mostly mean Simpson's wife-beating habits and "anywhere" you mostly mean the LA Times. (Some other conservative icons and institutions Bruce bashed while she was making the complicit liberal media do her bidding: Bret Easton Ellis, rap music, and the movie "Basic Instinct.")

After 500 or so words of Vincent's hardcore idiocy, it would seem impossible for her to end on an even higher note, but remarkably enough, she pulls it off: "Are the illiberal apparatchiks having their way again, dispensing their chits of pillory and slander?" she ponders. "You can bet on it. After all, you don't have to shoot the messenger if you can make her disappear--which, of course, just proves Bruce's point."

It also proves that Vincent doesn't know what the words "slander" or "pillory" mean: if the media is maintaining a pervasive, deliberate, unrelenting silence about Bruce and her book, it cannot also be making false and malicious statements that damage her reputation, or ridiculing and scorning her openly.

Vincent's facility for such rhetorical double-speak is what earned her her Senior Fellow status at the "non-partisan and non-ideological" Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, no doubt. With non-ideologues like Steve Forbes, Jeane Kirkpatrick, and Jack Kemp at the helm, the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies lobbies high-ranking U.S. officials, issues position papers, recruits "email activists," and pays Senior Fellows like Vincent up to $1500 per published op-ed (according to the Foundation's media director Travis Clark) in its effort to "abolish the scourge of international terrorism."

And, thus, as admirable as its cause is, it's hard not think, just for a second, that the apolitical patriots who comprise The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies actually sound a bit like the implacable meter maids who constitute the "complainant left." But that's where hired guns like Vincent come in. Indeed, as any craven schlump can tell you, the fecal stink of hypocrisy will overwhelm the verminous whiff of special interest bureaucracy every time.

--G. Beato

Other recent Soundbitten articles:
Malkin Points
The Glenn Reynolds Story
The Secret History of the Drudge Report
All the News That's Fit to Excerpt

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