Is Lee Bollinger receiving the “Larry Summers treatment” from Columbia? (WEDNESDAY EVENING UPDATE)

Posted by: ST on September 26, 2007 at 11:08 am

I just read over at Jules Crittenden’s blog that Columbia president Lee Bollinger is taking criticism from some of Columbia’s faculty and students post-visit from Ahmadinejad. Apparently, they believe that Bollinger’s opening remarks and questions were “too rude” to Columbia’s guest speaker. Via the NY Sun:

A backlash against the president of Columbia University, Lee Bollinger, who on Monday delivered a harsh rebuke to President Ahmadinejad, is coming from faculty members and students who said he struck an “insulting tone” and that his remarks amounted to “schoolyard taunts.” The fierceness of Mr. Bollinger’s critique bought the Iranian some sympathy on campus that he didn’t deserve, the critics said, and amounted to a squandered opportunity to provide a lesson in diplomacy.

[…]

“It’s odd to invite someone and then deal with the objections to inviting him by insulting him before he gets to talk,” a professor of political science at Columbia, Richard Betts, said during an interview in his office yesterday. “He’s having it both ways in a sense, honoring the principle of free speech by not choosing speakers on the basis of how nice they are, but being sharp to him before he speaks.”

Mr. Betts said a more appropriate introduction would have been to make clear that an invitation to speak at Columbia did not qualify as approval of the content of the speech. He said the message should have been delivered as a “less in-your-face assault.”

Students said they interpreted the severity of Mr. Bollinger’s opening, in which he called Mr. Ahmadinejad’s denial of the Holocaust “brazenly provocative or astonishingly uneducated,” as a cowing to political and financial pressure from elected officials who in the days leading up to the event criticized Columbia for providing a platform for Mr. Ahmadinejad and said they would consider reducing capital aid to the university.

“It felt like Bollinger responded out of fear because he still has to be able to get money,” a second-year Pakistani SIPA student, Noni Durrani, said. “It showed a serious difference of class, the way Bollinger behaved and the way Ahmadinejad behaved. Ahmadinejad could have walked out, and he handled it very well.”

The professor of history and Iranian expert who had a role in bringing Mr. Ahmadinejad to campus, Richard Bulliet, said that if Mr. Bollinger led a mission of faculty and students to Iran, which he has expressed interest in doing, he would likely receive a more courteous welcome than was provided to Mr. Ahmadinejad.

Are these people blithering idiots or what?

The statement and questions Bollinger leveled at Ahmeanie have gotten praise from many a conservative in the blogosphere, Jules included:

Larry Summers, now the ex-president of Harvard, was like Bollinger a breath of fresh air in the stifling air of academia. But he learned the hard way that daring to speak harsh truths on a university campus leads to nothing but trouble. Summer’s experience suggests that if Bollinger cares to save his job, he needs to come down from the heady heights of speaking unvarnished truths to a despot, avoid future indiscretions, and don sackcloth. Either that or, if he believes it, stand up for what he believes in.

As a refresher, I recently wrote about what happened to Larry Summers when he dared to say things that liberals in academia didn’t want to hear.

I disagree that this is what Bollinger “believes in.” I don’t think his remarks were sincere and in fact believe he made them in an attempt to “save face” after the massive amount of heat Columbia received over its invitation to Ahmadinejad. But assuming for the sake of discussion that the comments were sincere, that still doesn’t excuse the fact that Columbia provided a stage for Ahmeanie to spew his hateful Islamofascist nonsense, which was a huge propaganda win for Iran’s “leader” and radical Islamics at large. Not only that, the platform at Columbia gave Ahmadinejad’s anti-west viewpoints an air of legitimacy they otherwise would not (and should not) have gotten. Sure, he was allowed to speak at the UN, but if he speaks anywhere on US soil, that’s the place he needs to do it. No one with a half a brain gives the UN any credibility anyway (and the only reason I believe our President visits it is out of obligation and in an attempt to put on a “public face” of wanting to “get along” with members of the UN).

That said, I do agree with Jules that Bollinger is receiving the Larry Summers treatment from some of the faculty and students at Columbia for daring to – sincerely or not – say things which make the far lefties on campus uncomfortable. Incidentally, I don’t remember these same faculty members and students raising such a stink when Minuteman Project founder Jim Gilchrist’s speech was sabotaged at Columbia when far left students rushed the stage as Gilchrist started to speak. But then again, consistency in liberalism is an oxymoron of sorts, so it’s not exactly surprising that this same crowd never complained about the “insulting tone” of the leftist groups that took part in disrupting Gilchrist’s (and others who were speaking that night) speech. And I have no doubt whatsoever that if it had been GWB sitting across from Bollinger, these same faculty members and students upset over Bollinger’s “rudeness” to Ahmeanie would have been demanding those same types of harsh accusations and questions for the President.

Evening Update: My friend The Dissident Frogman has posted another installment in his amazing 3D cartoon series “Meltdown Mahmoud” that you won’t want to miss. It revolves around Bollinger’s remarks to Ahmadinejad, Ahmadinejad’s response, and a post written by a Daily Kos diarist who admits that she, in spite of being a Jewish lesbian who she knows he would kill if she lived in Iran, has a “little crush” on Ahmeanie.

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28 Responses to “Is Lee Bollinger receiving the “Larry Summers treatment” from Columbia? (WEDNESDAY EVENING UPDATE)”

Comments

  1. alchemist says:

    Depending on how you view it, it could be more complicated. Ahmenijad was going to say whatever propoganda he was going to say, there’s no doubt about that. However putting him on the defensive may have prevented him from getting a better “give&take” from the Iranian president.

    Again, I’m not expecting anything fundamentally great to come out of this (not expecting anything bad either). However maybe some students would “learn more” about tyranny from a Iranian president who sees himself as comfortable and in charge. I could see how listening to Ahmenijad while studying “the triumph of the will” could actually be quite rewarding.

    Still, even if the guy’s a loony (or a pundit), allowing him to speak, and then tearing his arguments apart from the inside would probably make for a more succesful dialogue.

  2. Mwalimu Daudi says:

    An interesting background piece on Columbia president Lee Bollinger:

    Lee Bollinger was president of the University of Michigan, and was named in a lawsuit because of the school’s “affirmative action” policies.
    The Supreme Court eventually ruled against the university’s rigid formula that awarded “points” based upon a candidate’s race. Michigan voters in 2006 approved Proposition 2, which restricted race-based admissions to college.

    There are other reaons why I believe that a rough kind of justice is being dished out to Bollinger. His limp response to the brownshirt attacks against Jim Gilchrist were a profile in cowardice (I am not a supporter of the “Minutemen”, but they were also invited and have a right to be heard). And Columbia still bans the ROTC from campus.

    Bollinger is no friend of free speech and academic freedom. He never was. Bollinger’s diatribe against Ahmadinejad was cynical opportunism and CYA, and he is getting what he deserves from the fascist Left.

  3. Leslie says:

    The fierceness of Mr. Bollinger’s critique bought the Iranian some sympathy on campus that he didn’t deserve, the critics said, and amounted to a squandered opportunity to provide a lesson in diplomacy.

    You can’t make this stuff up, can you. :o

    The professor of history and Iranian expert who had a role in bringing Mr. Ahmadinejad to campus, Richard Bulliet, said that if Mr. Bollinger led a mission of faculty and students to Iran, which he has expressed interest in doing, he would likely receive a more courteous welcome than was provided to Mr. Ahmadinejad.

    I know Dick Bulliet. He’s a clever guy–there’s not much he doesn’t know about and can’t write about intelligently. And he’s far from a moonbat. But I think he’s wrong this time.

  4. Hey MD! Good to see you posting. Interesting links. I didn’t know Bollinger at one time was pres. of the U of Michigan.

  5. Steve Skubinna says:

    ST asks:

    “Are these people blithering idiots or what?”

    Okay, it’s tempting to choose Option A, but I’m going to take “or what?” for five hundred, Alex. These people are not actually stupid, but they have so carefully insulated themselves from common sense by eschewing any “judgement” that they have lost their ability to make any critical assessments. Were they confronted by a violent armed criminal wanting to physically assault them, their first response (and their last one, too) would be to attempt understanding what they had done to engender this reaction from the criminal. Who they of course would not identify as such anyway. Aftel all, one man’s criminal is another’s, er, ummm… social activist.

    Remember, these people think Bush 43 is worse than Hugo Chavez – well, that’s a misleading statement, since they wouldn’t accept that there is anything wrong with Chavez in the first place.

  6. alchemist says:

    Steve: Have you watched the daily show? That’s about as liberal a show as you can get, and they LOVE making fun of hugo. I think most liberals recognize Chavez is a tool. however, we tend to think he still manages to be a little smarter than Bush. After all, Chavez (as badly as he’s screwed up his own country) has screwed it up on his own. All of Bush’s screwups required assistance (from his father’s connections no less).

  7. NC Cop says:

    After all, Chavez (as badly as he’s screwed up his own country) has screwed it up on his own. All of Bush’s screwups required assistance (from his father’s connections no less).

    I see. Perhaps you can give some example of how “screwed up” our country is. I’d love to hear them.

    I think most liberals recognize Chavez is a tool.

    You’d never tell from looking at Hollywood which I’m pretty sure is dominated by liberals.

  8. Great White Rat says:

    You’d never tell from looking at Hollywood which I’m pretty sure is dominated by liberals.

    Not to mention the cozy hugs between Hugo and Cindy Sheehan during some of her look-at-me-I’m-so-important events recently.

    Alchemist says most liberals recognize Chavez is a “tool”..I suppose that’s their strongest term for someone who has suppressed press freedom, jailed political opponents, and now is busy forcing all schools to teach his propaganda or else.

    Apparently, in leftist-land, that’s only being a “tool”. Bush, on the other hand, is still Hitler in their minds.

    And if liberals are aware of what Chavez is all about, why the reluctance to criticize him? Well, Hugo is beloved by the MorOn.org wing of the Democrat party, which pretty much calls the tune for Dem policy now. If most liberals really believe as alchemist claims, why don’t they have the backbone to stand up to that nonsense?

    Oh, never mind…that last question kind of answers itself, doesn’t it?

  9. alchemist says:

    Sorry, I was being facetitous. Seriously, we liberals (except for the bats**t crazy liberals) don’t pay attention to Hugo Chavez. He is a totally nuts dictator.

    For example:
    Daily Show Asks: Should Anyone Take Hugo Chavez Seriously?

    And I’ve never called Bush “Hitler”. Bush is nowhere near evil enough to be Hitler.

    Hitler was also a brilliant tactician, a fearless leader, and one of the greatest propagandists the world has ever known. (In addition to being bats**t crazy).

    Bush is none of those things. He’s not even crazy, just a little confused….

  10. Great White Rat says:

    alchemist protests:

    And I’ve never called Bush “Hitler”.

    I never said you did. But the movement that speaks for you, and which runs the leftist party in the US, does exactly that. And I don’t see any leading liberals, with the possible exception of Joe Lieberman, actively opposing them. In fact, all of your presidential candidates just went to one of their conventions and groveled for their support.

    Since only the bats**t-crazy leftists think that way, I’d expect the saner liberals, like yourself, to do something about the influence of the nutroots in your party. But there apparently aren’t enough sane liberals left to influence even one Dem presidential candidate to distance himself or herself from the loons.

    Hitler was also a brilliant tactician

    So brilliant that he found a way to lose an entire army at Stalingrad with incredible blundering. There’s a good reason so many of the Reich’s generals were secretly part of the opposition.

    Then there’s the standard leftist bush-is-dumb drivel:

    Chavez is a tool. however, we tend to think he still manages to be a little smarter than Bush.

    Ah yes, Bush is dumb. Yet he manages to constantly outsmart smug liberals who are so convinced of their own superior intelligence. How’d that happen?

    The modern American liberal is a real-life Wile E. Coyote – convinced that he’s a super-genius, but constantly being outsmarted by those he deems to be dumb.

    Maybe your intelligence insults would ring less hollow if you didn’t do things like nominate a D student like Kerry for president. Or treat the rantings of a D science student, like the Goracle, as gospel of all things scientific.

  11. Lorica says:

    Hitler was also a brilliant tactician, a fearless leader, and one of the greatest propagandists the world has ever known.

    Hitler was none of these things. He wasn’t a brilliant tactician, he was an idiot. This is the dumba** that laid off how many divisions before he took over Moscow, and before the Russian winter?? This if the idiot who built super sized battleships, but didn’t have a single aircraft carrier?? Gudrian created the Blitzkrieg, a man from an old Prussian military family, and Rommel was a super genius who despite horrible odds did amazing things, again a man from an old Prussian Military family. Anyone who believes Hitler was a genius doesn’t know squat about Hitler. He was a tool who rose to power due to nationalism. That was all. Hitler was not a fearless leader, where did they find Hitler’s body?? Ohhh yeah quivering in a corner of his bunker. How many times did Hitler lead men into battle, none!! Hitler was not one of the greatest propagandists, Goebels was. He saw that Hitler was someone he could use to gain power and did so. Good Lord have I haven’t read anything so unrelated to reality since Steve stopped posting. Even tommy makes more sense that this. – Lorica

  12. alchemist says:

    1) I see Bush’s intelligence as irrelevnt to the ability of his administration. He has been led by the hand by several advisors. Bush, before his presidential run had shown signs of intelligence. He also showed signs of tactical ability. Since becoming president, he has seemed (by me) overwhelmed. It appears as though he talks about major decisions, although he is unfamiliar with the details. Individuals under his administration make speeches/televisions circuts with statements that he dissaproves of. Almost every insider who has spoken on this administration has also made this point, that Bush relies so heavily on his advisors that he is unable to differentiate between their opinions and his own. History will eventually decide if this opinion is right or wrong, but so far, evidence seems to lean in this direction.

    2) Hitler was a genius, but he was also crazy. I see all of his successes as failures through that kalidoscope. Especially through propaganda, Hitler was a genius. He took a country that was broke, beaten beshelved and he transformed it into the strongest army on earth in 10 years(USA was in a draw-down isolationist phase).

    He was also not that far away from taking over all of Europe (which no one has been able to do since the roman empire). If Pearl Harbor hadn’t happened, US might not have intervened soon enough to prevent the third reich. England was in danger of becoming broke, and although conquering Russia was “an illusion of grandeur”, without the US entering the fray, Russia might not have survived either.

    But yes he was crazy. He believed that his victory was inevitable. His wrath was so great that generals feared making decisions without him (and often lost crucial time making decisions that could have changed the entire war). But I think saying “Hitler was a wimp, what a nutacase!” understates how difficult a victory WWII was.

  13. Lorica says:

    Hitler was a genius, but he was also crazy. I see all of his successes as failures through that kalidoscope. Especially through propaganda, Hitler was a genius. He took a country that was broke, beaten beshelved and he transformed it into the strongest army on earth in 10 years(USA was in a draw-down isolationist phase).

    Hitler was no genius, how hard is it to convince a broken and beaten people that their only hope is nationalism. Hitler had many good people around him that made him look genius, but even the quickest glance at Mein Kamph proves that he was crazy, not a genius. Also, no one’s military was all that stellar in the days leading up to WWII. Europe had pretty much had it with the hundreds of years of wars that had gone on in the past and after WWI was looking for decades of peace so everyone was really behind on the times when it came to military equipment. Even Hitler’s military wasn’t all that. Panzers were ok, but England had better tanks and so did Russia. Infact one of the greatest medium battle tanks of WWII was the German’s Panther, and it was a copy of the Soviet’s T34. Hitler sneaked attacked France and England in Egypt, and sneaked attacked Russia. Yes it was stupid for these countries to expect some formal declaration of war, but the truth is if it were not for the sneak attacks Hitler might have gotten the ground he did have.

    As far as the Russians go, if they hadn’t entered into treaties with Hitler, Germany might not had the gains he had there too. Treaties give a country a false sense of assurance. – Lorica

  14. Severian says:

    Can’t you just hear the admiration and idolization in alchemists description of ol’Hitler Lorica? He’s undoubtedly wistfully thinking “Now he would have come up with a good Middle East peace process!” ;)

  15. Lorica says:

    Absolutely Sev. This idolatry of Hitler is revolting and the intelectual dishonesty is completely deceptive. I often wonder how the German people could have been lead to the place where the committed atrocities were so easily ignored, even to the point where only 3 pastors in all of Germany would protest, but now I see how, even tho it is more than 60 years later. It is so abhorrent Sev, and completely scary that a new found “love” for Hitler would raise up during this season of lies and biasies, just in time for Hillary to become President. Even tho I am only graphted to the Vine, I fear for my Jewish Brothers and Sisters. – Lorica

  16. alchemist says:

    Even Hitler’s military wasn’t all that. Panzers were ok, but England had better tanks and so did Russia.

    I am by no means an expert on tanks, so I’ll refer to someone who is
    (The answer to this question actually depends on the time period. German tanks were at their best in Normandy, not as good before that. but i digress..)

    The American built Sherman was a tank that could do many jobs…. From 1941 to early 1944 the Sherman was a good tank on the battle field and could be repaired easily. The Sherman had several problems. Frist it was too tall which made it an easy target. Also it armor was too thin to stop the large German tank and antitank guns…Shermans would swarm enemy tanks with much larger numbers… At times it took 10 Sherman to kill one Panther or Tiger tank.

    As far as Russia

    There were still small numbers of the new T-34 when the invasion began, and the rapid German advancement so deep into Russia… forced the Russian industry, … to an unprecedented operation of literally moving its entire remaining military industry factories over 1000 miles further East… to avoid losing it to the advancing Germans.

    In those newly built factories, Russia’s military industry restored and far exceeded its pre-war mass production capacity. The furious motivation… to stop the terribly cruel German invaders… and the desperate draconic measures of the Russian regime itself… gave the wartime Russian military industry the high efficiency that Communism never reached [again].

    The immense production rate of the T-34 was further boosted by the fact that massive American and British material support enabled the Russian war industry to focus all its effort on the production of a small number of main weapon systems…

    So again, without immense western support (& German cruelty), Russia might have caved as well. I think we got off the point somewhere. I think it was something about Iran?

    So I haven’t read Mein Kampf yet, it’s on my list of “Memoirs by Crazy Dictators”. Still, you can’t deny that a “totally crazy guy” dramatically shifted the state of the world that affects us today… The Berlin Wall, Israel, the Cold War… Look, I don’t like Hitler.. I’m just trying to point out that sometimes 1 crazy guy can steal control of a nation and deeply impact history forever.

  17. Severian says:

    Well, alchemist, rent and watch “Triumph of the Will” sometime. It kinda looks like a MoveOn rally or the Democratic National Convention in the mindless adoration of the party category. Should be right up your alley!

    Ingsoc forever eh?

  18. alchemist says:

    I’ve seen triumph of the will, it’s pretty disturbing, even though I can’t understand a word of german.

    A note though: How do you tell the difference between pollitical rallies if you can’t read the signs? Last I checked, a moveon.org rally looks just like an anti-abortion rally, a terry schiavo rally, the “orange revolution”…. or just like a gathering at the RNC. Rallys are rallys. They are all propoganda by definition. It’s a bit much equating “triumph of the will” (& all of the emotional baggage of a third reich march) to an ordinary pollitical rally…

    Interesting though: Initially I was attacked by somone because some libs think Bush = Hitler. Now I’m being attacked by someone who claims that the DNC = “Thriumph of the Will”. Hmmm…. Irony is sweet.

  19. Lorica says:

    I thought we were comparing militaries at the start of WWII?? I am well aware of the problems the Sherman (nicknamed the Ronson, cuz it lit up the 1st time everytime) had. But the Panzer II & III were not much of main battle tank. Later with the Panzer Mark IV, the Panther and the Tigers German armor graduated greatly, but it was only because the reversed engineered a T-34. I am also well aware of how the Soviets maintained their war machine. But the Stalingrad tractor works actually had battles in and around the building while they were building tank chassis. As far as the Lend/Lease program goes, I am in complete agreement with you. The Soviets would have had a much harder time winning against the Nazis if it were not for us, and there is a very good possiblity that England would have fallen. Hitler played upon the desperation of the moment that wasn’t genius. The 1st treaty of Versailles treated Germany horribly and left them in poverty. It wasn’t hard to get these peoples ire up, and move them in the direction they went. That is why we put so much in the promise of the Marshall plan, we knew if we could make them a productive people again, they would stop thier warring ways.

    As far as the topic at hand goes, it was about Lee Bolinger’s comments to another evil man who is not a genius either. It is a sad commentary on this country that people would critize this man for being truthful and “Speaking Truth to Power”. It clearly shows how today’s left are being led by ignorance of the history of evil men. – Lorica

  20. Severian says:

    Well alchemist, irony may be sweet but in your case it’s misplaced, but you don’t read or understand all that well, which unfortunately is common in the modern liberal. Unlike the Bush=Hitler meme so common on your side, I never attributed the DNCs policies with Nazism. The point remains, however, that your adherents share a common trait, unquestioning, almost religious fervor and approval and support, more of an emotional rather than thinking response, to your parties and you rallies seem more like religious festivals than political gatherings. It’s exactly the same in one way, the unquestioning, almost zombie-like tend to follow, that allowed Hitler to turn a nation of otherwise rational people into war criminals, which also allows the liberal masses to be rallied to the most extreme and illogical of causes. National Socialism was a replacement for religion, as is global warming, or whatever the cause de jour of the liberal party is.

    But, typically, you fail to understand the “nuance” involved. The typical liberal mind is so nuanced it’s rigid.

  21. Great White Rat says:

    Another plaintive whine from alchemist:

    Initially I was attacked by somone because some libs think Bush = Hitler. Now I’m being attacked by someone who claims that the DNC = “Thriumph of the Will”

    No…try re-reading the thread. Here’s the sequence –
    – I noted that while the left denigrates Bush as Hitler, the strongest condemnation you can find for Hugo Chavez is that he’s a “tool”. Most people with average intelligence or better would conclude that “tool” is a less vilifying term than “Hitler”.

    – Your response was that Bush is dumber than Hitler, if not quite as evil. Which led us down the path of how smart der Fuhrer was, with you arguing in favor of his genius. See how the thread got there?

    What’s interesting is how you have steadfastly ignored one other more pertinent question, a question I’ve already posed twice on this thread.

    You claim to be a “sane liberal”. Leaving aside the question of whether that’s really an oxymoron, why haven’t you “sane liberals” done anything to recapture the Democratic party from the completely deranged MoveOn/Kos/Soros left-wingers who now own it?

  22. alchemist says:

    1) I wouldn’t actually say that Bush was evil at all. I would say that he’s very well-intentioned. In a perfect world, that would be good enough. But it’s not, and it isn’t. Again, it’s not a matter of Bush’s intelligence, it’s a matter of Bush’s experience & his ability to get ‘handled’ by his advisors.

    Hugo Chavez, on the other hand, is vile, I may not go as far as “evil”, which is title I save for things on the order of genocide, but he’s definately a very bad man. He’s also doing exactly what he intends. Hitler was an order of a magnitude worse, dillusional, but fullfilling exactly what he planned all along.

    The point remains, however, that your adherents share a common trait, unquestioning, almost religious fervor and approval and support…

    Why haven’t you “sane liberals” done anything to recapture the Democratic party from the completely deranged MoveOn/Kos/Soros left-wingers who now own it?

    I don’t know. The Daily Kos is already gone. Once you’ve leaned to far in any direction, you fall out of the sky. The democratic party doesn’t listen to individuals anymore either. they’re too concerned with money I should argue in Daily Kos more, but they’re more set up as a feedback room than a conversation house.

    Still, this zombie-like/nut-roots affect has been in the republican party as long as the dem party. Look at limbaugh (whose followers are dittoheads?), look at Savage who literally requires that you don’t understand history to listen to his show.

    This is the direction of all politics, shrill of voice and low on reason. Have you rebelled against republicans who have raised the shrillness of their voice? Why or why not?

  23. Great White Rat says:

    I wouldn’t actually say that Bush was evil at all.

    As opposed to this remark from earlier?

    Bush is nowhere near evil enough to be Hitler.

    I’m glad to see you’re backing off the earlier characterization.

    Look at limbaugh (whose followers are dittoheads?), look at Savage who literally requires that you don’t understand history to listen to his show.

    Apples and oranges. Savage is a fringe character who routinely finishes first in polls of conservatives of their least favorite person on the right. More to the point, neither Limbaugh nor Savage are actively engaged in financing a takeover of the GOP. No one from any conservative group has made a comment to the effect that “we bought it, it’s ours, and we’re taking it back”. You’ll recall that’s been MoveOn’s boast with regard to the Dems.

    And you’ll find that the right accepts much more diversity of opinion than the hard left. No commentator – not even Rush – dictates what candidates are allow to say or where they may appear like Kos and George Soros do for your side.

    There’s a huge difference between popularity and control. Rush is popular among Republicans, but MoveOn and the associated leftist loons control the Democrats.

    I do hope those of you to the left of center can find the backbone to restore some sense to your party. America needs a competitive two-party system.

  24. Severian says:

    Look at limbaugh (whose followers are dittoheads?), look at Savage who literally requires that you don’t understand history to listen to his show.

    Just as soon as Limbaugh or Savage (who is a real nutcase that most conservatives don’t even like) open up a PAC or 527 and start funneling millions to Republican candidates, you can talk about them in this context. Until then it’s not relevant to conflate entertainers with PACs like MoveOn and such.

  25. alchemist says:

    Those are totally fair characterizations of Limbaugh. I’m also glad that he’s recognized as an entertainer, which is a better description of what he is. And yes, he isn’t techincally “inside the system” the way that Daily Kos is; however I beleive Limbuah & Hannity reach more people everyday than Daily Kos ever will, and are equally important in pushing fringe issues.

    Despite their differences, I believe the pollitical parties use these goups the same way: to spread powerful emotional arguments (based on little fact) that Democrats & Republicans don’t want to say themselves. Most politicans make basic centrist statements, while allowing “non-poplitical agents” to do their dirty work.

    I don’t think Moveon really controls the democrats, but they are a growing (& most active/most heavily publicized) member of the democratic party. And yes, that is a problem for democrats.

  26. Severian says:

    …however I beleive Limbuah & Hannity reach more people everyday than Daily Kos ever will, and are equally important in pushing fringe issues.

    However many people they reach, they pale in comparison to the number that NBC, CBS, ABC, MSNBC, CNN and the like reach, with their manipulated and distorted news coverage and opinion pieces masquerading as news. Add in NYT and PBS and NPR and you get the picture.

  27. Great White Rat says:

    however I beleive Limbuah & Hannity reach more people everyday than Daily Kos ever will, and are equally important in pushing fringe issues.

    Conservative talk radio succeeds because it’s the only media outlet not dominated by the left wing, as Sev pointed out. For every “fringe issue” you can claim Limbaugh pushes, I’ll give you three where the leftist media overkill was evident.

    But again, the topic was CONTROL, not popularity or ratings. George Soros takes out the money clip and your so-called political “leaders” line up to take his money and his orders. There’s no equivalent on the conservative side.

    Again, I’d like to see people like yourself break the hold of the extremists on your party. It’ll be better for the country in the long run.