“Don’t Confuse Me with the Facts….”

UPDATE: Alert Hag reader Sysprog noted, tastefully by email, that my original attribution of “Don’t confuse me with the facts,” and therefore kinda the whole point of this post, were not actually the words of Roman Hruska, but rather the similarly addled Earl Landgrebe.  Those wingnuts all look (and sound) alike to me.  Someone in CHNN’s vast information bureau will soon be receiving a pink slip, at such time as I’m sober enough to locate him or her….  The edited version follows, with CHNN’s apologies.  Thanks, Sysprog.

….. “I have a closed mind.”  Thus spake to universal derision Earl Landgrebe (R- outer Wingnuttia), infamous dingbat of the Watergate era, who still loved ol’ Nixon even in the face of the nearly unanimous national horror and outrage produced by the release of the White House tapes.  The famously conservative Chicago Tribune was so aghast that they fired up the presses and ran the transcripts in their entirety, in a bulging special edition, and even Barry Goldwater urged the disgraced and disgraceful President to resign.  The Washington Post, which had doggedly pursued the story from day one in an often lonely crusade, was finally vindicated for its years of hard work in bringing to light the shockingly heinous behavior that had become commonplace at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, although in that quaint era no deaths or diapering were as yet involved.  Those were the days, my friend.  And they’ve ended,  big time, as the media’s President for life, Dick Cheney, might say.

Today, our watchdogs of Democracy in the rapidly collapsing Fourth Estate have found, together, a new cause: the people’s right not to know.  The LA Times’ Tim Rutten has joined the thundering chorus of those in journalism who have now discovered that their real role is to protect the American people from unpleasant, confusing facts, particularly when it comes to the Bush administration’s torture program, borne of their rather curious belief that executive abuses of power and lawbreaking are just too “political” to wade into.  Even as their newspapers wither before their eyes, these cretinous moral midgets show us exactly why; those eating up the dwindling space in our emaciated press wouldn’t know a good story if it dropped on their swelled heads.

Rutten cites, as justification for sweeping the story of the century under the rug, the certifiably crazy comments of modern day Landgrebes like Dick Cheney and Rep. Peter King of New York as reason enough for covering up the wholesale torture and murder of human beings without ever reflecting on the fact that even without their continued indulgence of such nutcases, the great majority of Americans are still smart enough to know right from wrong, dumb from smart, and lies from the truth.  They’ve made their bed, and they’re inviting us all to get in.  Polls, and history, show they are wrong, but they nonetheless furiously type away.  Too divisive, they say, as their readers stampede for the exits.

It seems that the massive malpractice perpetrated by their profession during the Bush years, and the understandable desire they share with the torturers to be forgiven and forgotten, has turned them into an ink-stained cadre of Earl Landgrebes, who with their similarly discredited ideological soulmates like Roman Hruska, not incidentally, praised the uninformed among us as deserving representation, even, in Hruska’s case, on the Supreme Court.  Unsuccessfully, I might add.  Landgrebe was promptly turned out of office, and Hruska soon followed.

Know-nothingism has collided with the people’s right to know, and this time know-nothingism ought to have a chance, they all say.  And maybe it will, thanks to guys like Rutten, Ignatius, Sarasohn, Broder, and on and on.  Too bad they didn’t choose careers for which they were more suited, perhaps at Halliburton.  Too bad for the rest of us, that is.  Back during Watergate, people still read their rags, and now they don’t.  Coincidence?


  1. timothy3 says:

    Jesus, CH, you’re as bad as GG when it comes to getting my dander up. That Rutten, I recall his name from some other garbage he wrote (although I don’t recall the specifics), so it comes as no surprise that he continues to trot out the apologias.
    I thank God that these papers are losing readers right and left–it makes me happy that so many are turning to the likes of you and GG and anyone else who gives a whit about that weird stuff we commonly call truth and facts.
    I need to relax now. I’m way too uptight.

    • cocktailhag says:

      He’s their purported “media critic,” and has evidently modeled himself on the WaPoo’s ridiculous Howie Kurtz. Worse, this column certainly has nothing to do with “media criticism,” unless that means praising the media, but he was moved to write outside his area anyway.

  2. Jim White says:

    Landgrebe–there’s a name from the past for me. I don’t remember the politician, but a Professor Landgrebe was in charge of the organic chemistry laboratories back in my undergraduate days.

    Wait a minute, that’s a pretty confusing fact. Don’t mind me, just killing time in the Atlanta airport…

    • cocktailhag says:

      People like us, named “White” or “Smith” never get tarred so unfairly…. And no spelling is ever involved, either. I was only ten when I heard that quote, and I never forgot it. In those days, it was still quite an extraordinary thing to say. Hope you escape airport hell soon, Jim; I feel for you.

  3. dirigo says:

    Well, Mr. Hag, Know-nothingism, Italian style, may soon be landing on our shores, at least in terms of threats to news organizations – like CHNN – which have been playing journalistic footsie with the comings and goings of Prime Minister Berlusconi and his many “velina” babes.

    The P.M.’s lawyer, Niccolo Ghedini, is threatening to comb the four corners of the earth to confront what he says are slanderous reports on the escapades, real or imagined, in bed and out, by Silvio.

    A writ has already been filed against La Repubblica, the major Italian newspaper (not owned by Berlusconi, the Italian Rupert Murdoch). La Repubblica has published scathing stories about Berlusconi’s alleged affairs, and has published, daily, ten questions it insists the prime minister must answer about his dalliances and their possible effect on state business.

    Ghedini also says suits may be filed against newspapers in France, Spain, and the UK (Murdoch’s Times among them).

    But CHNN may also be hauled into the dragnet, given Harlan Harrington’s sterling if provocative reports, direct from the scene in Naples, live from the CHNN flying boat, and from far-flung parts of Italy via satellite.

    Ghedini was heard at a press conference wondering about such a craft, bearing a bright red logo – CHNN – and musing whether it had the proper permits to hop about, amidst the islands and the mainland of sunny Italy.

    I hope CHNN has its stable of crack lawyers ready to go.

    Fair warning from the East Coast assignment desk.

    • cocktailhag says:

      I’ve already alerted the CHNN legal team to this danger; unfortunately on a Friday night, few were in possession of all of their faculties. Clearly there are a lot more drunkards in that field than most people think. As my own father used to say, before he became a DA… “I drink when I win, and I drink when I lose.” I’m hoping I’ll be able to reach them by noon, but I’m only guardedly optimistic.

  4. sysprog says:

    Glenn Greenwald, today, links to yesterday’s rotten work by Rutten.


    [...] It’s long been clear that most of our establishment media believes in torture — that’s why there was so little outcry from them when the torture regime was implemented and why they’re yet again reacting with horror over the prospect of accountability. [...] Dick Cheney couldn’t have said it better himself. It’s so strange how often that’s true of The Liberal Media.
    - – Glenn Greenwald

    And, celebrating their victory in the battle for cultural hegemony, The Weekly Standard chortles this morning:


    Is the mainstream media coming around?
    - – Stephen F. Hayes on August 29, 2009 11:14 AM

  5. sysprog says:

    Speaking of torture . . .


    Weekend Talk Shows


    This Week With George Stephanopoulos (N) 8 a.m. KABC
    Remembering Sen. Edward M. Kennedy; healthcare reform: Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah); Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.).
    Panel: Republican strategist Liz Cheney; E.J. Dionne, Washington Post; Sam Donaldson; Gwen Ifill, PBS; George Will.

    Fox News Sunday With Chris Wallace (N) 8 a.m. KTTV
    Former Vice President Dick Cheney; Attorney General Eric Holder; remembering Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.).
    Panel: Bill Sammon; Mara Liasson; Bill Kristol; Juan Williams.