28 April 2009

TV and Radio: the Pungent Pundits

Have you all read about the 'Banana Republic'–type sound-bites, that the remnants of the rabid–Right were shrieking about that all weekend?

Don't believe me? Go read the Top 10 Conservative Idiots (April 27) at Democraticunderground. (Under Point #2)

It's funny to watch how the Right treats a singular sound–bite like a caterwauling ping–pong ball, bouncing it back and forth between each other just as fast as the average brainwashing victim can absorb it... (Some ZEN questions follow the quotes...); enjoy a recent four–day spew–spree:

Starting with:

Radio host Bill Cunningham (April 21):

(NB: while producing this post, the links to Media Matters would not work; maintenance? Hacking?):

“Well, we shouldn't criminalize legal advice ... It makes us look ... like a banana republic, where each succeeding administration looks backwards.”

and same day service:

Karl Rove (naturally: also on April 21):

“... what we're going to do is we're going to turn ourselves into the moral equivalent of a Latin American country run by colonels in mirrored sunglasses, and what we're gonna do is prosecute systematically the previous administration or threaten prosecutions against the previous administration based on policy differences.”

and overnight:

Sean Hannity (April 22):

“All I hear is a bunch of mealy-mouthed complaining about how this prosecution threat is unprecedented and we don't need to investigate past administrations like they do in, you know, these Third World, you know, dictatorships...”

same–day service:

Sen. Arlen Specter (again: April 22):

“If there is evidence of criminality, then the Attorney General has the full authority and should prosecute it. But going after the prior administration sounds like something they do in Latin America in banana republics.”

by the way(side)? Or by the wave:

Radio host Mark Steyn (April 23):

“In banana republics, this week's president for life takes over, and he decides that all the fellows that supported last week's president for life are now criminals, and he prosecutes them. And that's what -- that's what the Obama administration has done.”

of course, not to forget:

TV pungent pundit Glenn Beck (April 23):

“Your principles as the president of the United States needs to be, we don't make ourselves into a banana republic.”

could you believe we're not finished (?):

Sen. Kit Bond (same day! April 23):

“This whole thing about punishing people in past administrations reminds me more of a banana republic than the United States of America.”

and of course, the Man himself:

Sen. John McCain (April 24):

“It adds fuel to the fire for demands for criminalizing the legal advice that the president was given. We set that kind of precedent, we're no better than a banana republic.”

--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---

Now the questions ZEN would ask, may be quite complicated...

Here we go: Cunningham appears to be the first to mention these two 'bites' that recur throughout these quotes, whether in 'the sense of' or 'literally'...

Those bites are 'criminalize(-d, -ing) legal advice' and 'Banana Republic'... and we realize that they refer to the Obama Administration discussing the results of the disclosed 'torture memos', and their authors.

Reference is certainly towards the Obama Administration taking a look at whether these are indictable offences, against Yoo, Bybee, Feith and others (without mentioning the just provocation brought about by the Spanish Judge's discussions of whether to bring cases against the above–named personnel).

So are the Right's pungent pundits *coincidentally* following Rove, and simply 'regurgitating' the sound–bite du jour? OR are they doing their active duty to share in the brainwashing of their followers, that rabid but vocal minority of non–realist Rightwingers, whose basis for tainted thought are that the country is going downhill 'today' because of a President in office for less than four months? (100 days on Wednesday!)

So, would readers agree (?): we're looking at a 24/4 news–cycle (four days) in which the American people heard the Rabid Right railing against Obama, and denoting a comparison to a 'Banana Republic'.

Does anyone else see signs of latent racism in the word chosen, itself?

'Banana'... jungle? Monkeys?... (prepare yourself for the logical endpoint) ...'jungle bunnies'? ju–ju–just wonderin'...

Now moving into even more obvious things: if all the information being released now, was 'classified' during the Bush misAdministration, and it equates with illegal activities, is there some sacrosanct reason that it shouldn't be investigated? Like 'we're Republicans so we're above the law?'

Why did Rove (above) use the 'future tense', that is: a compound verb combining whatever with 'going to'?

When we began to torture in 2001 and 2002 (concurrent with the memoranda in discussion, and before), based on those memos (reportedly even prior), Bush even went on the record to say:

“The United States is committed to the world-wide elimination of torture and we are leading this fight by example. I call on all governments to join with the United States and the community of law-abiding nations in prohibiting, investigating, and prosecuting all acts of torture and in undertaking to prevent other cruel and unusual punishment. I call on all nations to speak out against torture in all its forms and to make ending torture an essential part of their diplomacy.”

Now don't get riled up when seeing the word 'hypocritical' again, in one of my diatribes against America's 'Worst President Ever'.

Because, given any knowledge of International Public Law, once we descend to the level of a torturing–country, we enter the realms of the Banana Republics: of Latin America, Africa or Asia (Central Europe to a much lesser degree), not to mention the Middle East. So with Rove putting this comparison into a future tense, it smacks of the US Media putting out its own 'influence' to 'shape' affairs (read: American opinions) to come. Or do the millions of ZEN readers (cough...) have another idea?


Go back up and look at Steyn's comment... We'll wait. Here's the ZEN thought: a 'benefactor' may take over in a Developing Country, just as easily as could a 'despot'. Sometimes, as Steyn said, it's just a junta, like when Saddam Hussein took over Iraq as a Colonel in the Iraqi Army... sometimes it's a better regime coming in, whether we 'sponsored' that takeover or otherwise. So if they find evidence of criminal acts, should they not prosecute? (meaning in those DevCountries, or there in the USA?)

And on purely intellectual terms: if 'criminalizing legal advice' is different from 'providing criminal legal advice' what would one think makes it different?

IOW: If ZEN give someone 'legal advice' (which itself would be illegal per se, as I am not a Member of the Bar...) in how to rip off the State of Colorado in some land transaction, and that person acted through the 'justification' ZEN offered, do readers think the State has no right to prosecute the actor, because in fact what they did, based on our 'advice', was in fact illegal?

(Hint: that person would probably call in 'their advisor' (Zm) on a counter–claim)

Realizing that America is now over 70pc in favor of the Obama tide, the number or percentage of Americans who still place their 'faith' (certainly not their LOGIC) in any of the above Pungent Pundit losers, is perpetually shrinking. (NB: will Phil Gramm ever 'rise again'...?)

If readers still need yet another analogy, maybe we can agree on this one: the President of the USA, and his Vice President, get 'legal advice' that it's really no problem if the President takes an American Flag and drops it into a mud puddle.

The entire country is divided on the issue of whether 'flag-mudding' is illegal or not. Turns out that it is illegal. Totally illegal. Boy Scouts know this; Brownies know it; the Marines know it. But the President has 'legal advice' that the act is legal. 49pc of the Congress calls for an investigation. The Majority Party refuses (as they are the same party as the President).

Is it 'wrong' for the newly Elected President to prosecute any known crime that is not outside the 'Statute of Limitations'???

Thus: is America to be a State governed under the Rule of Law, or do minority Pungent Pundits have a supernatural force that dictates that they alone know how the country should be reacting to the evil stench of evidence regarding Torture promulgated by the RepubliCANT Party?

___çç*******/ ZENmud \*******çç___

© 2009

1 comment:

tbv@trustbut.com said...

Late to the party, just came across this.

It's interesting to note the complete missing irony of what a "Banana Republic" actually denotes: A government installed and effectively under control of one of the American Banana companies, with the regime changed at the whim of the American Directors. Thus, when the new regime prosecutes the old one, it's because the corporate masters wanted it, and believed it to be in their interest.

One might speculate nothing will come of torture prosecutions until our Corporate masters decide doing so is in their interests, but that would be cynical, suggesting we are a banana republic, with our politics run by the corporations. And certainly, few republicans OR democrats would admit to that.