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Rich Heldenfels wrote a piece for the Beacon's Saturday front page about civility in our political discourse. It's odd how that all works. Andrew Breitbart, an unstable and duplicitous man pretending to be a journalist passes away at 43....and Rush Limbaugh goes on one of his monthly-period "you are a slut" rants.....and those become the wingnut straws that break the Villagers "both sides do it" incivility-camel's back.
Heldenfels quotes Kathleen Jamieson extensively in his piece. Jamieson is co-founder of the group FactCheck.org.
...the media landscape has made it seem that incivility is pervasive by showcasing even the smallest examples nonstop on 24-hour news channels and the Internet.
Whatever incivility is, however we would identify incivility....Jamieson tells us that it's the "24 hour news channels and the Internet" who make it seem "pervasive" by megaphoning, apparently, insignificant, incidents of incivility by both sides.
This is the world-famous, both-sides-do-it, horsesh*t that Village corporate media types have been pushing for decades.
The truth is this: Last week, the angry, angry Rush Limbaugh found that one of his "entertainment" rants, the one where he called Ms. Fluke a "slut" and a "prostitute" for testifying before congressional members about contraception, offended people on both political sides, and particularly, women. Advertisers began dropping Rush's show because of his vile performance.
AND ONLY THEN....did Village media and it's representatives, like Ms. Jamieson, have their epiphanies. In essence....the King of incivility gets his tit caught in the wringer...and ONLY THEN....does corporate media discover that the problem here is that "both sides are uncivil."
Americans have been paying some attention to the Republican primary-athon. We've heard the raucous applause by GOP audiences when hundreds of executions in Texas were mentioned. We've witnessed conservative audiences loudly booing a gay-soldier for asking a question. We've listened as the bigoted Newt Gingrich defended his bigotry, refusing to admit that his claim that black school kids didn't know how to work unless crime was involved might be taken by many as insulting. We heard the conservative crowd roar their standing-ovation approval.
That's what "incivility" looks and sounds like. And that type of incivility has been found almost exclusively on the conservative side over the last 20 years.
To flesh out my point here.....consider what these same Village media writers are calling today, a Limbaugh "apology"....CBS: Will Limbaugh apology quell controversy?, Christian Science Monitor: Limbaugh's "unusual retreat", Huffington: Rush Limbaugh Apologizes to Sandra Fluke.
Here's Rush's "apology"...
"For over 20 years, I have illustrated the absurd with absurdity, three hours a day, five days a week. In this instance, I chose the wrong words in my analogy of the situation. I did not mean a personal attack on Ms. Fluke.
I think it is absolutely absurd that during these very serious political times, we are discussing personal sexual recreational activities before members of Congress. I personally do not agree that American citizens should pay for these social activities. What happened to personal responsibility and accountability? Where do we draw the line? If this is accepted as the norm, what will follow? Will we be debating if taxpayers should pay for new sneakers for all students that are interested in running to keep fit? In my monologue, I posited that it is not our business whatsoever to know what is going on in anyone's bedroom nor do I think it is a topic that should reach a Presidential level.
My choice of words was not the best, and in the attempt to be humorous, I created a national stir. I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for the insulting word choices."
Rush had called Ms. Fluke a "slut" and a "prostitute." Rush said that Ms. Fluke wanted tax payers to pay her for having sex. Rush said that he would make Ms. Fluke a deal....in return for free contraception, Ms. Fluke had to video herself having sex so Rush and his listeners could watch.
Does that sound like Limbaugh had simply made a wrong choice with his words? Or does that sound like the words Rush chose were the essence of his misognystic and bigoted message? Does that sound like a non-personal attack? Was Ms. Fluke discussing "personal sexual recreational activities" when she told of her friend losing an ovary because birth control pills were not part of her friend's health coverage? Did Ms. Fluke's testimony even include a single mention about her need for contraception which might enable her to have "lots and lots of sex?"
The Villagers from corporate media who woke up Friday afternoon and decided that the problem with all of this was that "both sides are uncivil"......are the same folks who are calling Rush's apology....an apology....today. Neither is true.
One of the reasons I began blogging years ago was because of what I perceived to be a feckless and hopelessly compromised mainstream corporate media. A media whose job no longer consisted of telling readers and/or viewers who was telling the truth and who was lying.
When these Villagers tell you today that both sides are uncivil, and that's the problem...they are lying. When they tell you Rush Limbaugh issued an apology...they are lying. And I have no qualms about saying so.