Before the Obama Regime began tapping journalists' phone lines and crushing Wikileaks' ability to accept credit card donations, right wingers traditionally occupied the role of harassing journalists and those who leaked scandals to the media. Who wants to "execute and torture" these bad people? Roger Ailes!
"These leakers!" Ailes shouted at a reporter one night in 1988. "I think they should all be executed and tortured."
Of course, Ailes worked in the White House when he said that, for the first President Bush. Then a sexy Southerner named Bill Clinton put Ailes out of a job, and before long a magical cable channel called Fox News was there to call for Clinton's impeachment and basically put a video feed on the clenched-anus screeching of Rush Limbaugh-style talk radio.
The same right-wing entertainers acting like they're outraged by the Justice Department's creepy spying on reporters have reliably called for censorship, harassment and prosecution of reporters when the targets are Republicans. This is hypocritical and dull and obvious, I know, but that's also an accurate description of all political media.
When one side is in power, the other side is always outraged and butthurt over the same things that are okay when their side is in power. Dull, dull, dull, and only surprising to the kind of stunted intellect you'd find at Politico or whatever.
But, because we're in one of these cycles and people bored and lonely enough to watch Fox News are expected to believe wingnut circus clowns are the new champions of government transparency and an amendment that doesn't begin with "second," here are some things various dumb entertainers have said before that are opposite of what they're saying now:
- "There are traitors in America. Whoever leaked those State Department documents is a traitor and should be executed—or put in prison for life."—Bill O'Reilly, television idiot, 2010.
- "My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times Building."—Ann Coulter doing her thing, 2002.
- "You just sit there, you go, 'They'll never get it until they grab Michael Kinsley out of his little house and they cut his head off.' And maybe when the blade sinks in, he'll go, 'Perhaps O'Reilly was right.'"—O'Reilly again, talking about ... who even knows? Cutting off Michael Kinsley's head, and insulting the size of Kinsley's house? From 2005.
- "See, I'm more into the ends justifying the means. And what they do is you can sunset this, Judge. The same way they have the Patriot Act sunsetted. You put up the Office of Censorship. You get a consensus to journalists to analyze and then you realize what FDR realized early. Winning is everything."—Some radio host on Fox News talk radio, 2006.
- "Well yeah and the other thing is treason media. Where is the mainstream media in all of this not telling this story? This is a compelling story, that the Speaker of the House would even consider having us pass a bill that no one votes on."—Michele Bachmann, sideshow freak, 2010.
- "First of all, they want kill Perry, they want to kill Romney, and so the media does all the bidding for the White House. They even edited NBC News as I’m sure you saw, you know, the comments that Perry made which were very innocuous, talking about, you know, the black cloud that’s handling over the economy and the country. Is that how desperate this is going to get?"—Sean Hannity, currently the great champion of the Mainstream Media, doing his thing in 2011.
A right-winger might say, "But Al Franken and The Daily Show and Alec Baldwin and somebody on the Daily Kos and [name of left-wing AM radio host nobody remembers] all said some right-wing media figure should be jailed for treason or executed or whatever, and what about Bush Derangement Syndrome and etc.," and you know what? The right-winger would also be correct, because people who do political entertainment all the time don't have any actual beliefs or scruples of any kind. They are entertainers talking to a specific audience, a tiny sliver of the population that overly identifies with politics as a tribal affiliation. Yes they're all hypocrites, and bad people, etc.
[Photo via Getty Images.]