Batter up

Well, it’s a good thing I’m not some smarty pants editor of that commie rag, the New York Times, because if I were, I’d be nervous as a whore in church. You see, any minute now, Bill O’Reilly and Bernie Goldberg could be walking in, to pummel me with baseball bats.  They said so.  On television.

Perhaps more than most people, I’m familiar with this rather unusual negotiating tactic; my grandmother made this threat routinely, to traffic police, judges, neighbors, sales clerks, children…  You name it.  Even as a small child, I noticed that this strategy was demonstrably ineffective, and also that my grandmother, Etta, was crazy.  I would have died of embarrassment had Etta been able to say such things on TV, since it was bad enough in person, but they didn’t have FOX back then, where crazy people now get to have their own shows.  And they  threaten others with what I’ll call “Etta Justice”  when they’re angry at them, for whatever reason, and millions of Americans think this is normal.  The Bill O’Reilly figure of the era, Archie Bunker, was, well, fictional, although of course Etta liked him for all the wrong reasons.  When he said something like, “It’s a known fact that capital punishment is a detergent to crime,” the audience laughed.  I don’t think the FOX audience laughs at Bill, when he says essentially the same things, and I find that disturbing.

Of course, I would be dreadfully ashamed to admit what I’d contemplate doing if I happened to find myself holding an air conditioner out a window and noticed Tom Friedman and Maureen Dowd standing below, but that’s not the issue here.   I don’t live in New York and this is unlikely to happen, and honestly, just because we dislike what these journalists may write, often vehemently, we don’t publicly say we would resort to violence to teach them some lesson.  Evidently the New York Times did the one thing O’Reilly can’t stand, quote him, and in so doing, well, sorta made him look like a racist.  Because it’s, well, sorta the case.  But the very Pope=Catholic obviousness of the NYT’s observation really got Bill’s dander up, and, like Etta, he decided that if the facts were against you, there’s always the Louisville Slugger option.  Bernie Goldberg, the noted media scholar participating in this lofty discussion, even had a bat picked out, but Bill said he didn’t want to use his “good” bats.  So any minute, they’d be walking down 42nd street with their, uh, bats.  Hmmmm.

The only odd thing about the segment was that white-coated men didn’t show up at the end.

It’s getting so that seeing righty gasbags is, on the whole, more likely to produce something cringingly embarrassing to watch than say, watching the monkey cage at the zoo, each day.  The claims become more bizarre, the conspiracies larger, the enemies more numerous, and the “solutions,” well, let’s just say impractical.

It didn’t work for Etta, and it won’t work for them, and now  Rush Limbaugh is less popular than either Rev. Wright or Bill Ayers, by several points.  Is this a mystery?  People may tolerate crazy relatives, but they aren’t interested in their political opinions.  Because they’re crazy.  It’s disqualifying.

Will someone tell Bill and Bernie?

UPDATE:  Well, just when I thought Etta was dead and buried, along comes Zoltan Newberry, at UT, channelling her.  The spookiest thing about crazy people is that they think everyone else is crazy.  Sheesh.  Can we get some bleeding-heart mental health funding in that stimulus?  Please?


  1. Jim White says:

    Rush Limbaugh is less popular than either Rev. Wright or Bill Ayers, by several points

    Oh, that’s great news! May we have a link for that, please? It will be very useful in the future for dealing with, well, batty people.

    • cocktailhag says:

      Actually, that was in error. The Rush Limgaugh thing was at KOs. The video of O’Reilly and Goldberg is at newshounds.

    • bystander says:

      A link as requested.

      An October 24, 2008, poll conducted by the Democratic research firm Greenberg-Quinlan-Rosner has Rush Limbaugh enjoying a public-approval rating of just 21 percent among likely voters, while 58 percent have “cold” feelings toward the right-wing radio-talk-show host. Limbaugh’s cold rating was higher than that of all the political figures the firm polled. It was seven points higher than Rev. Jeremiah “God Damn America” Wright and eight points higher than former Weather Underground domestic terrorist William Ayers. (As the firm points out in an email, it’s true that Wright and Ayers both had lower “warm” ratings than Limbaugh—as you’d expect for men who have virtually no constituencies.)

      The embedded link in the story is a pdf with an .exe extension. I wasn’t brave enough to chase it, but maybe someone with a UNIX or LINUX OS might be.

      • cocktailhag says:

        Thanks, Bystander. I’m going to Seattle this weekend, and hopefully my buddy up there will help me link more effectively. Old hags can learn new tricks, and I plan to, one way or the other.

        • Dirigo says:

          It may have been a clever stroke on Obama’s part to say to Republican lawmakers: “Don’t listen to Limbaugh.”

          It obviously provoked Rush, which may, over time, cause him to believe his influence is greater than it actually may be in the new era (sort of like an actor reading too many reivews), especially if the GOP lawmakers start to think for themselves.

          If they do, and realize it’s not a good idea for the new president to fail, as Rush wishes, they may make some deals that will really help the country and not just their base.

          Such a development will only piss Rush off more, leading him to rant more; and if he hurts enough ears in the ranting (wearing out his welcome), his ratings could tank.

          I would shed a tear over that.

          • cocktailhag says:

            Ah, me too. But as a devoted listener to lefty talk, I worry where that would leave his audience. Most days at work I have Thom, Ed, Randi, et al to make time fly and keep those unused brain parts working. Rush has left a lot of people with nothing left to believe, or listen to, and I feel bad. I started to listen to KPOJ in 2004, when things were really bad, and it helped a lot. Righties, in this winter of their discontent, will cling to Rush as though their lives depended on it, and Bill too, with all the ominous implications that entails. Bad news, to me.

  2. cocktailhag says:

    I’m a dummy about posting links, but I’m trying to learn. It’s at and several other places.

    • bystander says:

      The process for embedding a hyperlink is a cook book type recipe. You do it exactly the same way every time. Just remember to substitute < where I’ve used [ and > where I've used ].

      [a href=""]Link.Name[/a]

      There is a space between a and href, but nowhere else. The quotation marks at the beginning and end of the url are important, and easy to overlook.

      The nice thing for you is, since it’s your blog, you get to practice as much as you want.

      • cocktailhag says:

        Dang. Was that supposed to make it sound easy?

        • William TImberman says:

          I tried this once before, but it vanished when I hit submit, so I’ll give it one more go:

          If you type:

          <A HREF “”>Unclaimed Territory</A>

          you’ll get this:

          Unclaimed Territory

          which will link you to Glenn’s blog. By subsituting the URL of your choice between the quotation marks, and the appropriate title where Unclaimed Territory is above, you can fashion a nice link to wherever. See, it really is easy.

          • William TImberman says:

            Whoops! I actually pasted in the URL to this page by mistake when I did the link, so if you click on it, it takes you back here. Still, the instructions are otherwise correct.

            Do what I say, not what I do, right?

  3. rmp says:

    A common denominator in any two-sided conflict where there must be a winner and a loser is escalation. You would think that the concept of conflict means there has to be two sides. In fact it is not. When one side believes they are always right, there really isn’t a conflict. Just people/groups using imaginative ways to repeat the same things. If you don’t believe me, marry a woman from Japan when you were raised in a survive on your own farm culture where nature or common sense proves you right or wrong. Or you can have a debate with a devout religious believer that the word of God is gospel regardless of how nonsensical their position may be.

    Back to the escalator clause in a two-sided conflict. The object is to top your opponent with each exchange where the ultimate end result can be the end of a relationship, injury or death.

    The worst of the TV gasbags are those that create a fight with a politician, famous person, or guest just to prove how smart and powerful they are. That is what our stenographer stars masquerading as reporters do so that they don’t have to do research, logical thinking and hard work. They may be crazy. However, some are crazy rich and their goal is to keep the riches flowing or even increase the flow.

    That is why I admire Rachel and John Stewart so much because they care more about what is right and their beliefs than winning a conflict. I think Keith does too but he has spent so much time in sports broadcasting that win-lose is a hard habit to break.

    • Dirigo says:

      It’s nearly impossible in the media circus culture to prove anything these days. It’s a merry go round of dueling assertions.

      I mentioned to RMP a Boston Globe lead story today in which the proposed $50 million “stimulus” for the National Endowment for the Arts is discussed (a crummy 50 mil in a 1 trillion dollar proposal), with the emphasis on the proposal’s critics, who say, as an amen chorus, that the “arts are a frill.” It doesn’t matter whether it’s cloudy or sunny, whether tap dancers have to sell their shoes for a room, whether poets read in a closet, or whether carpenters who build stage sets are “real” carpenters; anti-artist advocates assert there is no intrinsic (or market) value in such work at any time. So it deserves no support and no respect, more so when one talks about spending government money on it, whether in good or bad times.

      I commented in that piece that assertions that are made by anti-artist advocates should meet some standard of proof. There is market data to refute some claims made by anti-artist advocates.

      But I know that will go nowhere because the mantra that the government should not spend a nickel on the arts will simply be repeated over and over again.

      Trying to stop the merry go round to see if it’s going in the wrong direction usually gets you invited off the merry go round.

      That’s about it.

      • cocktailhag says:

        Well, Dirigo, as you know, art was a part of the New Deal, and many beautiful murals still remain, but few people realize that other artists also benefitted. Seems to me that rich people like art, too, especially the expensive kind. For them it’s a frill, because it is. Somewhat less so for the artists.

    • cocktailhag says:

      That’s it, of course, rmp, and it’s part of the RWA mindset… ruling over others, with violence if necessary. To this group, who salivate over torture and such, a baseball bat seems almost gentlemanly. So low-tech and honest. Facts and evidence are for pussies.

  4. heru-ur says:

    Another fine article; I should be hit with a bat for not using this approach first!

  5. Karen M says:

    Coincidentally, I recently read a “true” story on Open Salon, in which a wronged woman makes good use of a Louisville Slugger, as well as a chain saw.

    If you’re interested, you’ll find it here.

    She didn’t get much criticism, either, for her choice of tools/weapons.

  6. Karen M says:

    I’m glad you all liked it. Her writing is not as smooth as they typical O_Ser (grammar/sytax, etc.) but perhaps if it were, the stories would not ring so true. In any case, I think she’s a natural storyteller. I’d willingly trade my own grammarianism for that ability.

  7. Karen M says:

    Can we get some bleeding-heart mental health funding in that stimulus? Please?

    Not likely. They’ve already stripped out the funding for contraception.

    • cocktailhag says:

      You’re right of course. For whatever reason, every penny that might meet a real human need is deemed some kind of hand-out, while tax cuts are never seen this way. 30 years of Republican framing has done wonders for or discourse, not to mention our humanity.

      • Karen M says:

        Just wait, though, until we have an epidemic of soldiers returning home with active PTSD symptoms. Maybe that will supply the needed incentive.

        • Meremark says:

          Before that epidemic comes around, this needs to go around. (psst! ‘Hag, pass it on to Greenwald.)

          Psychedelic Healing, By David Jay Brown, Scientific American, December, 2007.

          * The drugs that put the “psychedelic” into the sixties are now the subject of renewed research interest because of their therapeutic potential.
          * Psychedelics such as LSD and the compound in magic mushrooms [psilocybin] could ease a variety of difficult-to-treat mental illnesses, such as chronic depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and drug or alcohol dependency.
          * Clinical trials with various substances are now under way in humans.

          Mind-altering psychedelics are back — but this time they are being explored in labs for their therapeutic applications rather than being used illegally. Studies are looking at these hallucinogens to treat a number of otherwise intractable psychiatric disorders, including chronic depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and drug or alcohol dependency. [Article lists more addictions successfully treated, in remission, including gambling, prescription meds, nicotine, others.]

          The past 15 years have seen a quiet resurgence of psychedelic drug research as scientists have come to recognize the long-underappreciated potential of these drugs. In the past few years, a growing number of studies …

          Hey, wait a minute, I just got an idea for a new business venture in zero-petroleum future …

  8. cocktailhag says:

    More likely, it will just provide a new generation of crazy, chemical dependent, and homeless people, just like Vietnam did. Don’t bet on the “support the troops” magnet types getting all excited about helping the people who fought their war; they’ve already moved on. Once they come home, they’ll just be freeloaders (a favorite Etta word) looking for a handout, and I bet Bill O’Reilly will be one of the first to say so.

  9. Jim White says:

    Wow, Glenn did a great job on Moyers tonight. He even wore a different tie than the one he wore on Rachel Maddow’s show.

    • rmp says:

      Here’s the intro to the Moyers interview and link

      Glenn Greenwald is a constitutional lawyer turned journalist. His blog on is one of the most influential on the internet. He’s written two best sellers: “How Would a Patriot Act?” about President Bush and executive power, and “A Tragic Legacy.” His most recent book is “Great American Hypocrites.”

      Jay Rosen is a founder of the citizen journalism movement and is a professor of journalism at New York University, as well as a widely published writer and media critic. He created the popular blog called PressThink, subtitled “Ghost of Democracy in the Media Machine.”

      Two and a half years ago he began a research project called, bringing together professional journalists and amateur contributors to cover the news.
      Welcome to both of you.

    • cocktailhag says:

      Dang. I missed it; I was out at dinner here in Seattle. I’ll watch it now.

    • Karen M says:

      I didn’t see the Maddow show, but I thought Glenn was great on Moyer’ program. He and Rosen both did a good job. If only more people had watched…

  10. Paula NOLA says:

    As another grandchild of Etta I want to testify to the truth spoken here- Etta could be a FOX celebrity and her ranting would put Bill O’Reily to shame (if he ever had any). Cocktail Hag you’ve touched on a natural comparison, no wonder he frightens me so –

    Right wing verbal abuse can spark flashbacks to our childhood filled with crazy relatives we’re told to respect. Isn’t it good to be grownup!

  11. timothy3 says:

    (Etta voice) “I’ll say.” “I’m 21 plus.”

    Love that, CH.

  12. Meremark says:

    Escalate meets de-escalate. Call the cable TV company and just say, “hell no, won’t take no mo’ O’Rube has got to go.” Then don’t pay them. (If you are not a cable subscriber, call anyway and pretend to be one of theirs on TV.)

    Let’s all of us do it together. O’Rube dude is departed in the morning, death by the ‘overnights.’

    It ain’t enough to stop watching. We have to stop paying. In this drain-swirl economy, that’s coming to be more of a pocketbook decision than a socio-political one.

    And combined with the impending loss of 10 to 20 points in the HUT universe, (homes using television), and deflating ad-sales value, when broadcasters go binary balmy and nobody follows them there, we may be on the verge of sweet-jesus-buddha-the-doctor Peace (of mind) in our time. No mo’ tv sho’.

    All internets, all the time.

    • cocktailhag says:

      I’ve never had cable, except at home in high school, and my internet is Qwest, who did at least not participate in the wiretapping. But the 25% need their 30-minute Hate each day… and it may ever be thus.