What Fresh Hell Is This?

March 7, 2012

Context Is Everything

Take, for example, this op-ed from today's Tribune-Review.  Scaife's braintrust defends Rush Limbaugh by, in effect, saying "hey, the libs do it too!

But by removing the context (or imposing their own) they, in effect, invalidate their own argument.

For example:
Even with an apology, a plethora of "progressives" continue to be up in arms over Rush Limbaugh employing the absurd to expose the absurd -- in this case, advocacy for at-whim government suspension of freedom of religion.
Really? THAT'S why he called Sandra Fluke a slut and a prostitute and said that she should post sex tapes so the tax payers can watch her use the contraceptives "they" paid for?  It was about "at-whim government suspension of freedom of religion"?  That's simply absurd.  Even for Scaife's braintrust.
Then there's their examples:
  • Ed Schultz, who fancies the term "bimbo," once called talk show host Laura Ingraham a "right-wing slut"
Yes, that's exactly the same as Rush, right? Well, let's see what Ed Schultz himself had to say about it:
Schultz noted that Limbaugh had said he didn’t expect liberals to apologize for myriad offenses they had racked up against conservative women, something Schultz personally took umbrage at. “As usual, he is wrong,” he noted, and found the comparison between Limbaugh’s “tirade for nine hours” and the “12 seconds [in which] I made an inappropriate statement” ridiculous. “Drawing a moral equivalence between me and Rush… diminishes the outrageous nature of Limbaugh’s attack,” he argued, adding that Limbaugh “completely failed to offer an adequate apology.” To depict what he considered an adequate apology, and in case anyone had forgotten, he played his mea culpa to Laura Ingraham from last year, and noted that he personally called Ingraham and they made amends. “I went to management and told them I need to take myself off the air without pay,” he concluded. Noting that Ingraham had attacked the President for calling Fluke and not her after Schultz’s remarks, he appeared surprised he would bring it up since, to him, it was a closed case after his repentance– that lack of remorse being the fundamental difference between his remarks and Limbaugh’s.
Rush is still on the air, isn't he? Still getting paid, isn't he? Never apologized personally to Fluke, has he?

Yea, Ed Schultz and Rush Limbaugh are exactly the same.

Then there's Keith Olbermann calling Michelle Malkin a "mashed-up bag of meat with lipstick". Why would he do such a thing? Here's the transcript (thanks to our good friends at Newsbusters):
KEITH OLBRMANN: Runner up, Michelle Malkin. ... When this Obama song stupidity broke in New Jersey last month with elementary school kids there singing about the President, author Shariz Carney Nunez says she got an email from Malkin reading:
I understand that you uploaded the video of schoolchildren reciting a Barack Obama song/rap at Bernice Young Elementary School in June. I have a few quick questions. Did you help write the song/rap and teach it to the children? Are you an. educator/guest lecturer at the school? Did you teach about your book, "I Am Barack Obama," at the school? Your bio says you are a schoolmate of Obama. How well acquainted are you with the President?
That was at 6:47 in the morning. By nighttime, Malkin and the lunatic fringe had decided Carney-Nunez was responsible for the song and whichever plot their fevered little paranoid minds saw behind it. She received death threats and hate-filled voice mails all thanks to the total mindless, morally bankrupt, knee-jerk, fascistic hatred, without which Michelle Malkin would just be a big mashed-up bag of meat with lipstick on it. Ms. Carney-Nunez had nothing to do with the song. By the way, the fringe is out protesting at the school again scaring the kids. You know, exactly the way that psychotic pastor protests at military funerals.
Context is everything, isn't it?

But they all do it, right?  Take this example, from 30 some odd years ago:
Richard Scaife rarely speaks to the press. After several unsuccessful efforts to obtain an interview, this reporter decided to make one last attempt in Boston, where Scaife was scheduled to attend the annual meeting of the First Boston Corporation.

Scaife, a company director, did not show up while the meeting was in progress. Reached eventually by telephone as he dined with the other directors at the exclusive Union Club, he hung up the moment he heard the caller's name. A few minutes later he appeared at the top of the Club steps. At the bottom of the stairs, the following exchange occurred:

"Mr. Scaife, could you explain why you give so much money to the New Right?" "You fucking Communist cunt, get out of here."

Well. The rest of the five-minute interview was conducted at a rapid trot down Park Street, during which Scaife tried to hail a taxi. Scaife volunteered two statements of opinion regarding his questioner's personal appearance—he said she was ugly and that her teeth were "terrible"—and also made the comment that she was engaged in "hatchet journalism." His questioner thanked Scaife for his time.

"Don't look behind you," Scaife offered by way of a good-bye.

Not quite sure what this remark meant, the reporter suggested that if someone were approaching it was probably her mother, whom she had arranged to meet nearby. "She's ugly, too," Scaife said, and strode off.
Ah...good times.  Did he ever apologize?


EdHeath said...

Actually, I'll say this is a bit of a complicated issue. But it does almost seem that Heir "If any Democrat ever did anything wrong then all Republicans are excused for everything, up to and including murder and rape" to the Throne is working for the Trib editorial board.

I say it is complicated because, yes, Rush Limbaugh calls women femi-nazis regularly and repeatedly and has never, to my knowledge apologized, and Republicans/conservative/Tea Party members regularly call Democrats/liberals/progressives various pejorative names all the time, especially on right wing radio (not to mention lying about Democratic proposals and constantly getting facts wrong on essentially all topics). Still, when the Keith Olbermann's and the Ed Schultz's on the left decide to try to whip up Democrats by matching the tone of the right wing, then the left does lose some of the high ground. The fact that Schultz made such a sincere effort to apologize is to his credit, and helps the left.

And in any event, conservative commenters (like HTTT and Conservative Mountaineer) are constantly saying that Democrats are essentially scum of the earth, implying Republicans are a better class of people. Santorum tried to deflect questions about what said by saying Limbaugh is an entertainer. Of course, Limbaugh is an entertainer who, when a Republican politician disagrees publicly with him, demands and receives a humiliating apology from that politician.

Which brings up the point that Limbaugh's apology to Fluke was transparently a sham, a dog whistle if you will. Rush apparently can not comprehend that there are plenty of Republican parents (including probably some Catholics) whose 20 to 30 year daughters are taking the pill to keep from getting pregnant or for a variety of medical reasons such as addressing cysts or regulating cycles. Limbaugh is calling those daughters "slut"
and "prostitute" too, and insulting the parents as well. If those parents are as smart as Republicans think themselves to be, they will realize that subscribing to Rush's brand of Republicanism is inconsistent with life in their real world.

Or they'll just engage in cognitive dissonance.

EdHeath said...

Good job on all the research, by the way.

Conservative Mountaineer said...

@Ed.. Thanks for the shout-out!! Nice to see I'm thought of, but I don't seem to recall ever saying 'Democrats are essentially scum of the earth'. (But, that's nitpicking. They actually may be pond-scum. But, then they would qualify as a fuel source, according to Barack Hussein Obama. LOL)

Regardless of the (supossedly) name calling or public posturing(on both sides), I see the issue has Obama saying organizations *must* provide birth control pills, etc, *regardless* of religious or other beliefs.

I fail to see where the President has that authority.

Let me ask you - *If* you think the President has the authority to force citizens to purchase or have available (free, or on demand) anything, what type of service or product would 'cross the line'? In other words, what is too much? Where would you say "Enough is enough?"

Man, you and I need to sit down and have a beer one of these days.. as long as it's a Yuengling (non-Union) or something like Smithwicks (Irish Ale), any Belhaven Ale (Scotland) or Pilsner Urquell (Czech Republic). No cheap American union-produced p*ss-water. Heck, I'll buy.. 'cuz I'm (supposedly) part of the 1%.

P.S. Any spelling errors are because my tpypist left early. :)

EdHeath said...

Hi CM. I guess you have become a skilled bureaucrat, considering the final part of your comment.

But that's only a sideline. You want to have a different conversation; not on what Dayvoe posted on, you sweep that aside with a "regardless". Apparently you are conceding that the Trib and anyone who doesn't condemn Rush Limbaugh, let alone chooses to defend him, is a hypocrite.

But on to your hypothetical. You know, it's funny. Condoms generally speaking have only one use (well, "The Big Red One" had army infantry using them to keep water out of their M1's, pulling them right down over the barrel, but anyway ...). Oral contraceptives, the "pill" if you will, the type of contraceptive at issue here, I read that that it is prescribed some 40% of the time for purposes other than specifically for contraception. So apparently you want to tell doctors how best to practice medicine. Because there is that pesky word prescribed.

There is the issue of how, if Republicans get their way and all employers are able to refuse to pay for medical services based on whatever religious reason they an invent, only poor people will be hurt. Specifically, poor women will have to rely on men to take responsibility for contraception, even though the men don't have to deal with the consequences. Why do Republicans hate the poor so much?

Let's say you work for ... say, a construction company that is owned by a Jew. You get paid, you go to a restaurant, you buy a hamburger and a glass of milk. Your boss passes by, sees you and fires you on the spot because your actions violate the laws of kosher dining, and he does not want the money he pays his employees to support non-kosher dining. How far can employers go to regulate the behavior of their employees on religious grounds, regardless of the religion of the employee?

I understand what you are saying about liberty pretty clearly. Frankly, from my point of view, to say that it is not a very complicated issue would be to do it a great injustice. The government (of which Barack Obama is the chief administrator, but not a lawmaker in and of himself - except for executive orders) compels us to buy car insurance and takes away our children if we go too far outside societies expectations for raising them. The government could theoretically draft me and make me kill a person. I could only get out of that if I have spent my whole life saying killing other people is wrong and I would never do it. Apparently it is not enough that Christian religions say killing is wrong.

I will say I do find Glenn Greenwald persuasive, so I am willing to say that there are some things the Obama administration is doing that are at least as bad as what the Bush administration did. Having said that, there is not one of the current crop of Republican candidates, or even those on the sidelines (Pawlenty, Daniels, Christie, Jeb Bush, etc) who would, in my opinion, be any better than Obama and I think likely would be worse. I might well have voted for Chuck Hegel if he had ran for President, but that's about it.

Truth to tell, if I am going to drink, I would probably order a highball, or possibly a Moscow mule if I thought the bar had good ginger beer. But I would want to drink somewhere close to where I live, so I could stagger home. I find I get more honest the more I drink. "In vino veritas".

Ol' Froth said...

The other thing is that no one is requiring religious institutions to "pay" for contraception. A health care plan is part of the compensation package...my employer provides me with health care as part of my total compensation. In fact, there's a cash value to that plan. Say, for example, my wife's employer had a better plan than mine. I could opt out of my employer's plan, and take cash value instead. So the employer is not paying for my health care. I am.