Category Archives: William Rivers Pitt
|Mitch, the rightwingers Bitch|
Mr. Pitt has written an open letter to the extremists on the right at TruthOut.org. Bear in mind, he does not paint all Conservatives with his brush, only those that make their living lying, spinning and power-grabbing. I have had several email conversations over the years with Mr. Pitt, as he is quite accessible. I would like to share part of his open letter to the extremists and those culpable media types with you now:
The “mainstream” media is already working overtime playing up the “Disturbed loner” angle with all their might. There is no doubt, from the available evidence, of Mr. Loughner’s transformation into a disturbed individual. But here’s the funny part: all the crazy crap he spewed, about the gold standard (a favorite of Glenn Beck, the master of Fox “News” fearmongering…so he can sell his gold scam to suckers) and government mind control and everything else before going on his rampage, is straight out of the Right-Wing Insanity Handbook. His personal YouTube ramblings were a mishmash of right-wing anti-government nonsense…the kind that attracts sick minds like Loughner, the kind that only reinforces their paranoia, the kind that finally pushes them over the brink and into the frenzy of violence that took place on Saturday. The kind that the likes of you have been happily spreading by the day.
He did not act alone. You were right there with him. You helped.
I’m talking to you, “mainstream” media people, who created this atmosphere of desperate rage and total paranoia out of whole cloth because of your unstoppable adoration for spectacle, and ratings, and because the companies that own your sorry asses agree with the deranged cretins you helped make so famous and powerful. It was sickeningly amusing on Sunday to watch Wolf Blitzer bluster and bluff on CNN about how the media owns no responsibility for this disaster. It was like watching a ten-year-old try to explain how a lamp got broken while he was running through the living room, but no, it wasn’t him. It was, in reality, a pathetic display…but that is what you generally get whenever Wolf is on your screen.
“Mainstream” news personalities like David Gergen and John King bent over backwards warning people not to blame Sarah Palin and her ilk for this calamity. It was a sick man who did this, they said. Bollocks to that. I hate to break this to the “mainstream” media know-betters, but words matter. When people like Palin spray the airwaves with calls to violence and incantations of imminent doom, people like Loughner are listening, and prepared to act. The “mainstream” media lets it fly without any questions or rebuttal, because it’s good for ratings, and here we are. Words matter. Play Russian Roulette long enough, and someone inevitably winds up dead.
Words matter. Words have consequences. Yet the extreme right and their friends in the corporate media feel no guilt when they issue their declarations of lies that they spin as truth. They know they are lying. It’s all politics all the time for them. It’s about winning at any cost for them, its about power and control.
What it’s not about is governing or putting forth ideas and programs that will help mainstreet americans crawl out of this recession that Wall Street’s greed created. That large portions of the corporate media readily goes along for the ride by reporting their bs as truth makes them part of the problem as well.
As Mr Pitt notes, this isn’t a new phenomena. Since the time of Nixon, the extreme right has been polishing and honing their skills of obfuscation. One need only read the sickening but memorable quotes Mr. Pitt includes in his letter to see how long these extremists have been hawking their wares, like a grifter trying to suck in his next victim:
“I tell people don’t kill all the liberals. Leave enough so we can have two on every campus – living fossils – so we will never forget what these people stood for.”- Rush Limbaugh, Denver Post, 12-29-95
“Get rid of the guy. Impeach him, censure him, assassinate him.”- Rep. James Hansen (R-UT), talking about President Clinton
“We’re going to keep building the party until we’re hunting Democrats with dogs.”- Senator Phil Gramm (R-TX), Mother Jones, 08-95
“My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times building.”- Ann Coulter, New York Observer, 08-26-02
“We need to execute people like John Walker in order to physically intimidate liberals, by making them realize that they can be killed, too. Otherwise, they will turn out to be outright traitors.”- Ann Coulter, at the Conservative Political Action Conference, 02-26-02
“Chelsea is a Clinton. She bears the taint; and though not prosecutable in law, in custom and nature the taint cannot be ignored. All the great despotisms of the past – I’m not arguing for despotism as a principle, but they sure knew how to deal with potential trouble – recognized that the families of objectionable citizens were a continuing threat. In Stalin’s penal code it was a crime to be the wife or child of an ‘enemy of the people.’ The Nazis used the same principle, which they called Sippenhaft, ‘clan liability.’ In Imperial China, enemies of the state were punished ‘to the ninth degree’: that is, everyone in the offender’s own generation would be killed and everyone related via four generations up, to the great-great-grandparents, and four generations down, to the great-great-grandchildren, would also be killed.”- John Derbyshire, National Review, 02-15-01
“Two things made this country great: White men & Christianity. The degree these two have diminished is in direct proportion to the corruption and fall of the nation. Every problem that has arisen (sic) can be directly traced back to our departure from God’s Law and the disenfranchisement of White men.”- State Rep. Don Davis (R-NC), emailed to every member of the North Carolina House and Senate, reported by the Fayetteville Observer, 08-22-01
May your God have mercy on all your twisted souls, because I can not show you any mercy, not now, not ever.
William Rivers Pitt has a good read up at TruthOut this morning. The title is the same as mine-Sotomayor Derangement Syndrome. He lists all the major rightwing nutters that are foaming at the mouth over Judge Sotomayor and her supposed racism. The list is quite long, as you are probably aware. His explanation of SDS:
They called it Bush Derangement Syndrome for eight years: the condition of being berserk with rage, hatred and fear over the acts and actions – nay, even the very existence – of George W. Bush and his administration.
Last week, the malady mutated into a whole new thing – Sotomayor Derangement Syndrome – and boy, but it’s a doozy. Ranting incoherence, brazen racism and suicidal ideation swept through the ranks of the far right after Judge Sotomayor was nominated to replace Justice Souter on the high court, symptoms that became worse by orders of magnitude as the week wore on. By the weekend, those suffering from Sotomayor Derangement Syndrome had not only struck the bottom of the barrel in their attempts to tear the Sotomayor nomination down, but had plowed right through the wood and burrowed deep into the slime and ooze beneath.
They, the nutters, ignore the SCOTUSblog indepth analysis of Judge Sotomayor’s race cases-all 97 of them. The most heinous of these fucktards is Newt Gingrich.
This bigoted wingnut actually is using this issue to raise money. He uses Martin Luther King Jr’s words in his email, from the TIME link:
The email opens with this quote, from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: “I have a dream: that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
Wait..there is more..
Of course, no one believes that any judge can be 100% impartial and unbiased in every situation. Judges are human beings, and will occasionally allow their personal biases to cloud their attempts at impartiality.
But this is VERY different — this judge is making it CLEAR that she thinks she SHOULD be biased and partial, based on her ethnicity and gender!
So Newtie is now bellowing his sexist rant as well. Surprised? Not really. Then he adds a small ps at the end:
We need YOUR help to take this fight to Capitol Hill. Please consider supporting Renewing American Leadership with a generous donation today. $25, $50, or $100 will dramatically help us stand strong for the Rule of Law in America!
PLEASE MAKE YOUR BEST
Paid for by Renewing American Leadership recognized as a public charity by the IRS under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Your generous contribution to support our important work is deductible as a charitable contribution to the maximum extent permitted by law.
Public charity my brown ass. Racism and sexism coming from Newt’s piehole should offend everyone. It should piss off everyone that has two brain cells to rub together..unlike most of Newt’s fan base. William Pitt has this to say about Newt’s fundraising letter to his masses:
Civil war, suffrage, civil rights, un-American … wha? Oh, wait, that’s right, this was a fundraising letter, which means it doesn’t have to make sense. With this letter, Gingrich is seeking to raise money from the same subsegment of the GOP base that vacuums up change from between the couch cushions and sends it to the RNC whenever they get a direct mailer warning about evil immigrant hordes conspiring with Hillary Clinton to abort all Christian fetuses, or something to that effect. Gingrich will turn a nifty profit with this letter, even if it is all nickels, and use the funds to position himself further as the far-right’s darling candidate for the 2012 presidential election. Sense? Meh. There’s money to be made.
So Newt’s email is really about making money off Judge Sotomayor. Nice..and so expected from theses fuckwits. After all, Newt doesn’t have a real job..so how can we expect him to live comfortably without rallying his fellow wingnuts to his latest cause?
Notice that all the wingnuts shooting off their pieholes are not elected republicans. The elected republicans are pissing down both legs at the rhetoric being spewed by the likes of Beck, Gingrich, Liddy, Savage, and of course..Boss Limbaugh. Pitt’s final remarks on what this all means to the The Party Of No:
“After a week of escalating race and gender rhetoric from the right over the Sotomayor nomination, it’s now looking like some in the Republican Party – those concerned with actually getting elected – have become alarmed by the political damage the more extreme members of their party may be doing and are moving to rein in the vitriol,” reported Eric Kleefield of Talking Points Memo on Friday. “It’s the starkest example yet of an interesting division within the right, one that has been apparent for some time, but which the Sotomayor nomination has not only crystallized but accelerated: the right-wing bomb-throwers obsessed with ideological purity versus the right-wing pragmatists who want the party to actually win election again some day.”
By the end of last weekend, Sotomayor Derangement Syndrome had blown this rift within the GOP wide open. Establishment conservatives are now directly pitted against the vocal ideologues on their right flank and a GOP base that seems to be avidly listening to them. For a party already traumatized by arguments over immigration, two decisive routs in a row at the polls, and an absolute absence of any real leadership, the advent of this newest intra-party bloodbath is the worst possible situation.
Oh yes..stay tuned. These fuckwits are not even close to shutting the hell up. I hope this blows a huge hole in the republican party, big enough to drive a semi through, driving sane individuals away from them by the thousands. I hope they become marginalized enough that all they represent are the ignorant bigots in the south.
Because that is all they deserve. Keep talking Newtie..keep talking.
Mr.William Rivers Pitt has graciously allowed me to reprint his piece today at TruthOut.org. They are one of the best sites on the web for progressive news and opinion. They could use some financial help too.
By William Rivers Pitt
t r u t h o u t | Columnist
Wednesday 26 September 2007
Media is a word that has come to mean bad journalism.- Graham Greene
His face was once a totem, a comforting TV-screen touchstone. His voice and inflection lent suppertime credence to the myth of American permanence, safety and dependability, night after night, for a quarter of a century. It is surpassingly strange, therefore, to encompass Dan Rather’s recent and abrupt metamorphosis. The former “CBS Nightly News” anchor, previously a study in constancy and predictability, has suddenly become a genuine threat to the entire mainstream news industry.
Last week, Rather filed a $70 million lawsuit (PDF link, Adobe Acrobat required) against CBS, its chief executive Leslie Moonves, former network president Andrew Heyward, CBS’s parent company Viacom and Viacom’s Executive Chairman Sumner Redstone.
The suit stems from a sensational September 2004 CBS report detailing documentary evidence of George W. Bush’s poor performance during and constant absence from service in the Texas Air National Guard during the early 1970s. The report was met with an immediate chorus of scornful dismissals from Bush administration officials, Bush campaign spokespeople and right-wing bloggers that eventually cast doubt upon the authenticity of the documents. Within two weeks, CBS retreated in humiliation from the story. Rather staggered on as the “CBS Nightly News” anchor for a few more excruciating months, but finally departed on March 9, 2005.
Among the assertions in his suit, Rather claims CBS failed to provide him sufficient time and support to defend the veracity of his report, that the network essentially folded like sodden newsprint under pressure from right-wing advocates of the Bush administration, and that the entire matter permanently ravaged his professional reputation. Presumably, CBS finds Rather’s public allegations disconcerting to at least some degree; their news section is already burdened by cratering viewership resulting from the Katie Couric fiasco, so the additional burden of this suit can only be another unwelcome complication in an already messy state of affairs.
The danger to the mainstream news industry in general, however, is not in the allegations themselves, but in the context surrounding them provided by a long-time insider who knows where all the bodies are buried.
Consider the first paragraph on the fourth page of the complaint. According to Rather, CBS chose to jettison both himself and the Texas Air National Guard story because, “CBS’s parent company, Viacom, and it Chief Executive Officer, Sumner Redstone, considered it to be in its corporate interest to curry favor with the Bush administration.”
Consider CBS’s handling of a far more serious Bush administration scandal, the torture of Iraqis by American forces at Abu Ghraib prison, as described on pages 11 and 12 of the complaint. According to Rather, “Despite the story’s importance, and because of the negative impact the story would have on the Bush administration, with which Viacom and CBS wished to curry favor, CBS management attempted to bury it.”
“Even after obtaining nearly a dozen now notorious photographs,” continues the complaint, “which made it impossible to deny the accuracy of the story, Mr. Heyward and Ms. West continued to delay the story for an additional three weeks… CBS imposed the unusual restrictions that the story would be aired only once, that it would not be preceded by on-air promotion, and that it would not be referenced on the CBS Evening News.”
“What emerges here,” writer Greg Sargent concludes on the Talking Points Memo blog, “is a striking portrait of a big news org that, fearful of pressure from conservative critics and eager to curry favor with the Bush administration, allegedly dragged its feet to an extraordinary degree in order to avoid revealing the truths it knew about a horrifying scandal of international dimensions. Sobering stuff.”
Sobering indeed, and therein lies the threat. The willful collusion between CBS management and the Bush administration, offered by Rather to frame his accusations, illuminate an insidious, grotesque, and altogether deadly alignment of circumstances hiding in plain sight before the entire American populace. An explanation for why the legitimate fears and anxious uncertainties of the people are never soothed or clarified by mainstream news outlets like CBS, but are instead methodically aggravated and intentionally amplified by those outlets, begins to take shape in light of Rather’s inside-view revelations.
Underscored here, in no uncertain terms, are the grim realities of modern American journalism, realities that have little to do with the original conception of the institution. While a number of the Founders were not especially enamored with the printed slings and arrows of the journalists of their day, they were united in the belief that a free and honest press was absolutely necessary to the safety and liberty of the country. “The only security of all,” wrote Thomas Jefferson in 1823, “is in a free press.”
American democracy ceases to function when people blither their votes into ballot boxes on the basis of opinions and ideologies that are swaddled in the beggar-rags of ubiquitous disinformation and bewilderingly muddled cant, but such is now and has long been this nation’s common plight. Today’s “free press,” however, bears little resemblance to the conceived constitutional bulwark cherished by the Founders.
In its place, we now have a tightly-woven confederation of profit-seeking businesses that own virtually every print and broadcast news outlet of significance in the country. There is but scant allegiance to the truth found within these outlets, because their foremost priority when reporting on most issues of national consequence is to protect the interests of those parent companies and their advertisers.
If a parent company is heavily involved in the manufacture and sale of weaponry to the Pentagon, for example, that company’s pet news outlet will skew its coverage to cast the most favorable light on a war – and on the politicians and political parties who support it – because that is money in the bank for that parent. There is nothing theoretical in this; NBC, MSNBC and CNBC all championed both the Iraq war and its architects, because they are owned by huge defense contractor General Electric, which has profited enormously from the war.
Media conglomerates like Time-Warner – whose massive holdings include CNN, HBO, Warner Bros., AOL, Time magazine, People magazine, dozens of other periodicals, film production companies, book publishers and television networks – are utterly incapable of providing objective reports to the American people regarding a broad constellation of significant and pressing issues. CNN is inescapably connected to all of Time-Warner’s myriad subsidiaries and affiliates, and to the political affiliations, which guarantee the biggest profits for these entities.
Thus, many stories on a variety of serious matters (the crippling side-effects of well-hyped but poorly-tested pills, for example, or the abuse of workers in third-world technological sweatshops, or thousands of dead fish rotting downstream from a coal plant, or the deceptions that led to a failed war and thousands of dead American soldiers) almost never tend to see the light of mainstream-newsroom day. This is not called censorship or suppression or collusion or treason in the offices where such decisions are made. This is called sound business practice.
In their desire to curry favor with the Bush administration, the mainstream news media became willing accomplices to one of the most unspeakable crimes ever committed against the American people: the deliberate and strategic use and manipulation of fear by the Bush administration to increase their own power and influence.
The ordinary common sense and sound judgment of the American people was systematically attacked and debased, the psyche of the entire population was ceaselessly pummeled by a paranoid muddle of murky suspicions and nebulous fears, in order to create a population of permanently frightened and thus easily led dupes. The grisly reports of inhuman acts of torture by Americans, the undermining of the Constitution and our rights, the program of domestic surveillance, all this and so much besides, fell by the wayside because Americans became programmed by the news media to accept the unacceptable, lest they be branded as traitors or killed outright by swarming hordes of al-Qaeda/insurgent/shoe-bombers.
It will be many years before the nation recovers from this despicable onslaught, if indeed it ever does, and the mainstream news industry is exactly as guilty as the Bush administration for perpetrating this unspeakable, harmful offense. Even amid the demonstrably ruinous consequences of their behavior, the prime players of the mainstream news industry still languish like cream-glutted cats before the furnace of history, and still seek to curry favor from the Bush administration.
Nothing could be more dangerous to their conniving complacency than the exposure of their voluntary collusion in the promulgation of mortal lies and lethal hyperbole. Conversely, nothing could be more beneficial to the health and security of America and its citizens than exposing the sham passing itself off as “journalism,” exposing what was so deliberately done to them, and exposing the grim truth that almost everything they’ve heard from their government and their news media has been a rank, rancid, self-serving pile of lies designed to imprison their minds and control their behavior.
Because he willingly participated in this for many years, Dan Rather cannot be considered some sort of saint or martyr. But it was that very participation which informs his lawsuit, and because he is now divulging what he came to know through his complicity, Rather is a true menace as far as the mainstream news industry is concerned. This is his final broadcast of sorts, his magnum opus in 32 pages, a parting jolt of desperately needed journalism, one last story filed to report the truth about what journalism has become.