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December 05, 2003
MASH Monster

You think it'd be easy to be Bill O'Reilly these days. As the country's number one disseminator of fear and paranoia, he's got plenty to choose from. Saddam's still out there somewhere. Osama is too. Shoulder-fired missiles are going for a few hundred dollars each. Homegrown terrorists plot their own evil. A killer flu pandemic looms.

And yet, who is it that really sends a shiver up the virile newsman's spine?

Mike Farrell!

For those of you under 40, Mike Farrell was a minor celebrity about 25 years ago or so, due to his supporting role on the sitcom MASH. Because he's also a liberal, that makes him, in O'Reilly's eyes, very, very dangerous.

Along with Farrell, O'Reilly maintains, various other celebrity insurgents are actively trying to undermine our national security by violently removing President Bush from office via a ruthless, vicious, highly politicized tactic known as an election.

Reports O'Reilly: "Increasingly, singers like Bruce Springsteen and the Dixie Chicks, to name just four, are using their venues to talk up liberal politics. So are other performers like Sean Penn, George Clooney and Susan Sarandon. While promoting their films, they drop anti-Bush grenades that millions of people hear. The message is getting stronger and louder: Bush is a menace. This strategy will become even more organized and intense in the coming campaign year."

Bold and italics mine. Hilarious terrorist metaphor O'Reilly's...

Posted by Greg Beato at 09:43 AM
December 03, 2003
Doppelganger

Apparently, there are two Robert Bartleys at the Wall Street Journal. The one I'm familiar with was such a plodding stylist he somehow managed to make obsessive Clinton-hating incredibly boring, and so aggressively "post-American" (in the words of the National Review) he once reportedly said, "I think the nation-state is finished."

Meanwhile, President Bush just awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to another Robert Bartley at the Wall Street Journal. This one, according to the Presidential citation, "is one of the most influential journalists in American history. As a reporter, author, editorial page editor, and columnist, he helped shape the times in which we live. A champion of free markets, individual liberty, and the values necessary for a free society, his writings have been characterized by profound insights, passionate convictions, a commitment to democratic principles, and an unyielding optimism in America."

Posted by Greg Beato at 05:11 PM
American History X

Bill O'Reilly slams Revolutionary War vets: "Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I had the honor to address the Marines and Navy personnel in Hawaii. I told them that only two other times in American history have we the people needed the military as much as we do now. At Gettysburg and during World War II."

Posted by Greg Beato at 10:22 AM
Hollywood Loves Bush

From Salon.com (subscription required): "Bush has pulled in about $515,000 from Hollywood thus far. His contributors this time around include Chuck Norris and 'Driving Miss Daisy' producers Richard and Lili Fini Zanuck, and reliably Republican celebrities like Tom Selleck, Kelsey Grammer and Bo Derek will likely lend their financial support to the Bush-Cheney campaign before November. Bush's $515,000 take is more than what any one Democratic candidate has collected but only about a third as much as all the Democrats taken together."

Posted by Greg Beato at 10:12 AM
Italics Mine, Cluelessness Pruden's

From the Washington Times' always entertaining editor-in-chief Wesley Pruden:

"Internet conspiracy theories are always convoluted if not necessarily imaginative, and usually make sense only to the spinners. But some of the hate-Bush movement thrives in more or less respectable quarters. The New Republic published a cover story by someone identified as 'Jonathan Chait' (perhaps a nom-de-plume for someone who didn't want his real name associated with the piece), who wrote that he hates not only what George W. does, but the way he walks and talks and even hates what everybody else likes about the personable president..."

Is it really possible that Pruden, and apparently everyone else at The Washington Times, is completely unaware that this allegedly pseudonymous Chait wraith is a senior editor at the New Republic and a fairly well-known D.C. pundit?

Posted by Greg Beato at 09:13 AM
Matt Drudge: Anti-Bush Crusader

For days, Matt Drudge tirelessly promoted a "Hate Bush" meeting of influential Hollywood Democrats. And it looks like his efforts paid off...

From CNN: "Some 300 invitations were sent out for the event, which thanks to some unexpected publicity, grew beyond expectations, organizers said. According to Malcolm, the event had to be moved to a larger room at the hotel, and several people wanting to attend had to be turned away...Laurie David -- wife of 'Seinfeld' creator Larry David and co-chair of the event -- thanked Matt Drudge for his report, saying it helped turn 'a small gathering of political activists into a very large gathering of political activists.'"

Meanwhile, the LA Times has a comprehensive story on the event. Some highlights:

But by Monday, Matt Drudge, the creator of the online Drudge Report, was reporting on the Internet that the event's organizers were billing it as a "Hate Bush Meeting" a charge its orchestrators vehemently denied and seemed to stem from wording added to the invitation by someone as it percolated through e-mail.

Conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh called it a meeting of "Left Coast Hollywood Kooks" and on his Web site posted photos of Jane Fonda, Barbra Streisand and liberal filmmaker Michael Moore though they were not associated with the event...

The New York Daily News reported Tuesday that a man in the Midwest who declined to reveal his name added the "hate Bush" phrase in the e-mail's subject line...

Calls and faxes attacking the gathering's sponsors some of them anti-Semitic came in from around the country from people who heard about it on conservative talk radio...

And here's the New York Daily News article the Times article references.

Posted by Greg Beato at 08:58 AM
December 02, 2003
Clockwatch

While writing the previous entry, I found an interesting story at Newsmax.com. Yes, it's yet another one about how Hillary Clinton ruined Thanksgiving for the troops in Afghanistan. Newsmax.com attributes the story to a soldier who witnessed the scene. According to this unnamed soldier, Thanksgiving dinner was scheduled for 2:30 P.M., but Clinton didn't show up until 3:30 P.M., forcing the troops to wait for their food. To add insult to injury, the soldier reports, Clinton cut in line:

"Clinton and her entourage bumped everyone in line, forcing them to wait almost an extra hour."

Question: Exactly how big was Clinton's entourage that it delayed service for an hour? Maybe putting Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown and Root in charge of food service at Bagram, a move that was supposed to bring private-sector efficiency to the chow line, was a mistake...

Meanwhile, the really interesting part of this story is the article's final paragraph:

After Clinton and her entourage departed, the only topics GIs wanted to talk about were "how great the food was and how fantastic they thought George Bush's visit to Iraq was."

Well. President Bush didn't leave Iraq until 8:00 P.M. Iraq time, which would have been 9:30 P.M. Afghanistan time. And the news media didn't start reporting on Bush's Iraq visit until after Air Force One was on its way back to America.

So how could the GIs have known about Bush's trip in the immediate wake of Clinton's departure? Or even, say, five hours after her departure?

Posted by Greg Beato at 09:44 AM
December 01, 2003
Let Them Eat Turkey



There was no way Hillary was going to compete with the Cheerleader of the Free World, of course. He flew into town as stealthily as the Lone Ranger. He baked a delicious turkey, served it to hundreds of hungry soldiers, then wandered amongst them, laying on hands. He cured three of gout, two of psoriasis, and made them all invincible against enemy firepower.

Hillary, on the other hand, hit Baghdad like a tanker of anthrax. As freelance oracle John Galt reported, her appearance at a Coalition Provisional Authority mess hall was greeted with silent stares and walk-outs, a fact that no liberal media account of the event was willing to publicize. (The radical leftist tabloid The New York Post, for example, merely exclaimed that "she had lunch with soldiers from New York and drove north of Baghdad to meet up with troops of the 82nd Airborne Division, where she received a military briefing.")

But Hillary didn't just make soldiers lose their appetite. She also hammered away at their morale. How? By insisting that "the Pentagon needs to speed the delivery of more body armor for American troops and deployment of the armored version of the Humvee truck."

Talk about giving aid and comfort to the enemy! Our troops are placing themselves in danger every day to bring liberty to Iraq, and yet all Senator Clinton can do is remind them of their weakness and vulnerability by harping on their need for body armor and armored trucks! Why didn't she just deliver a few pumpkin pies to Al Qaeda while she was at it?

Not content to simply attack our troops, however, Hillary ripped into our President as well, viciously smearing his own Thanksgiving visit: "It's a positive for the commander-in-chief to visit troops in the field," she hissed, no doubt making our enemies groan with ball-draining pleasure at such wanton anti-Americanism.

To their credit, objective media outlets like Newsmax.com tried to apply some measure of fairness and balance to Hillary's despicable antics.

Ultimately, though, the American public realizes that PR-driven visits to Iraq aren't about information-gathering or showy grandstanding on the bright, dangerous streets of impending democracy. Instead, they're about turkey, flags, and lots and lots and lots of hugs. Luckily, we have a President who understands this too.

Posted by Greg Beato at 06:04 PM
$100 Misunderstanding

Last week, I followed a link from Instapundit.com to this cartoon, which featured a character exclaiming, "Republicans' main source of funds are $100 or less from thousands of people."

Usually, I take cartoon characters at their word, but since I found that factoid pretty interesting, I wanted to learn more about it. Thus, I emailed the cartoon's author and asked him his source for this factoid. Unfortunately, he didn't reply, so I was forced to look for it myself.

And so far, the closest thing I've found is this chart from 2002, which shows that Republicans collected $333 million from donors who gave under $200, and $441 million from donors who gave $200 or more.

So in 2002, at least, it appears that the Republicans' main source of funding was not $100-or-less donors, nor even $199-or-less donors, but rather $200-or-more donors. It's possible, of course, that donations vary wildly by election, so maybe in some recent year, $100-or-less donors were the Republicans' main source of funding. In any case, if anyone who reads this can point me to similar charts or sources that detail campaign contributions by average donor amount, please leave that info in the comments section.

Posted by Greg Beato at 10:32 AM