Thursday, January 27, 2005

Exploring the Republican Noise Machine: Day One - The Washington Times

Yesterday, I wrote a entry on how I was embarking on a thorough investigation to understand the internal workings of the Republican Noise Machine, which is a name coined by David Brock. I have occasionally watched Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity in an effort to understand the views and opinions that led to compelling 50.8% of the country to vote for the re-election of George W. Bush. But I want to dig deeper.

The true source of the neoconservative movement isn't the external face of the mass media -- it is the internal workings of the Republican Noise Machine - the conservative think tanks and neocons responsible for bankrolling these operations. In future postings, I plan to study many of the larger players in this entire process - People like Paul M. Weyrich, Richard Mellon Scaife, Rupert Murdoch, Andrew Sullivan, Irving and William Kristol, Lawrence Kudlow, Ann Coulter, Robert Novak, Armstrong Williams, Roger Ailes - I'd really like to begin a thorough investigation into the histories, motivations, associations, and into the foundations and beginnings of this widescale neoconservative hostile takeover of the landscape of accepted political thought and ideology in the United States.

I think I just stumbled onto a great resource to start my quest: has a list of regressive organizations, including Media Monitoring and outlets, columnists, commentators, funding sources, think tanks, pundits, and more. I was thinking I would need to start something like this as my own project, but it looks like they have done a lot of the groundwork for me.

Anyways, I started on my journey yesterday by subscribing to several neoconservative rss feeds and email alerts. It is day one, and for starters, I have to say that I am thoroughly unimpressed with the quality of the thought and work that has went into the writings that I have so far received.

I guess I'll start my dissection of the right wing media today with this thoroughly asinine rss feed on politics, provided courtesy of the Washington Times. I'd never actually read the Washington Times before, but I knew they were a rag based on the quality of the articles I had been emailed from them over the years. Here are a couple examples of high quality entries from this political blog:

Confirmation Tests on Hill
states that Harry Reid has lost control of the democratic wing of the senate. That a strong leader would've found a way to ensure a vote before inauguration day. They warn that the democratic party should vote for Gonzales' confirmation because a vote against him would further alienate the Hispanic population from the democratic party. Oh really? Is that why a retired Hispanic general and Hispanic law professors are rallying with human rights watch organizations to protest the nomination of Alberto Gonzales? At least they didn't go as far as Rush Limbaugh, who implied that the democratic party was racist for impeding the nomination of a man who made a legal argument for torture, and a women who had a rather unspectacular stint as the national security advisor, aiding in the effort to convince the American public to initiate a war based on false pretenses.

Glasnost for the Bush press corps? made the claim that Bush has been unusually available to the press since being re-elected, alluding to a new era of openness from the president. Yeah, right.

Fiscal Indignation somehow comes to the egregious conclusion that the $413 Billion deficit wrought by the Bush administration's blundering policies is due to discretionary and entitlement spending. How much of moron can you possibly be? This is directly from a Whitehouse reporter? The article concludes by stating: "The question now is whether congressional spenders in this new 109th Congress will remember what Ronald Reagan said about biting off more than we can chew." WHAT??? The Reagan administration was the single most fiscally irresponsible administration in American history. In eight years, the Reagan Administration took a relatively modest debt of one trillion dollars, accumulated over the 200 year history of the United States, and increased it by 300%. What kind of crackpipe are these people smoking? Who reads this stuff?

The Bush Administration has cut social programs all over the place, and completely blown the budget surplus and economic growth developed by the Clinton Administration and it's policies. Maybe you should take a good look at the $ 1.3 Trillion Dollar Bush tax cut given the richest 20%. Maybe you should focus on the estimated $200 Billion dollars spent on the Iraqi war.

President Bush and Religion starts by comparing Bush's deep religious convictions to the convictions of the founding fathers of this country. From there, the argument quickly wanders to an irrelevant football analogy. The conclusion of this entry is that those that do not have the same depth of understanding and religiosity of President Bush and founding fathers simply cannot understand our country as well as those that do. The comparison: "However, you never played in the NFL, thus it is impossible to have the equal understanding of the game as former quarterback Terry Bradshaw. That plain fact doesn't make you less of a football fan than Bradshaw; it just recognizes reality."