Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Worst Persons For March 16 2011
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The bronze goes to the Huffington Post. For a change, this is not about Arianna selling out for $315,000,000. It's about what's happened in the wake of the AOL purchase: a post by the notoriously shamed anger mismanagement goober, Andrew Breitbart that references Little Jimmy O'Keefe's "success" and trumpeting NPR as "collateral damage." I really don't know what I would do if AOL offered me $315,000,000 for this blog (or $315, for that matter), but I would be prepared to see it turned into almost anything including a site devoted to the best of Carl Palladino's emailed photos. And I would be prepared to hear booing. Breitbart?

Silver: who else but the impossibly perfectly named Kansas state legislator Virgil Peck. He got worldwide attention by prefacing remarks to the State House with what you could call 'Conservative Humor':

"It looks like to me as if shooting these emigrating barrel hogs works, maybe we have found a solution to our illegal immigration problem."

And how do they shoot emigrating barrel hogs? Marksmen fire at them from helicopters, Palin-style. And if you don't believe even the state representative from Tyro, Kansas could say anything that stupid, it's on tape.

Peck says he's not apologizing, and is only talking the way people do in his neck of the woods (now he owes them an apology, too). Of the controversy, he added "I think it's over."

You might want to give that a second think, Representative Goober.

But our winner, Lonesome Rhodes Beck. This gives me the opportunity to explain why I call him "Lonesome Rhodes." I refer you to the Elia Kazan 1957 classic "A Face In The Crowd" in which Andy Griffith gives a bone-chilling performance as a clever vagrant who rises to the top of the television ladder and suddenly becomes a political influence, and then power-crazy. It's a kind of cornpone version of Arthur Godfrey's success matched with his abuse of his employees, with the homespun qualities of Will Rogers or maybe an evil John Henry Faulk. The movie is nicely summarized on Wikipedia. It is disturbingly predictive of Beck's success.

Well, his success until now. His radio show has been canceled in New York, Philly, and other major markets, his tv ratings are dropping, and more than 200 advertisers have bailed out. But it's worse than that.

What's the old rental car ad slogan? "Ever get the feeling some people just stopped trying?" Beck has now dismissed the lethal threat presented by the deteriorating nuclear plants in Japan by counting as victims of the Chernobyl disaster only those killed during the first release of radiation:

The UN says the worst nuclear disaster in human history is Chernobyl. The UN says 4,000 people died because of that. That's the "I hate nukes" people that have adjusted that number. Stu, what are the confirmed dead in, from Chernobyl? Was it 40?

Beck grudgingly later ups the total to around 70, including those who went in to try to contain the disaster. The number of nuclear-related cancers, which leads to the 4,000 figure – those he leaves out. Not even most conservative morons think only 40 or 70 were killed at Chernobyl.

This, of course, was on top of what Beck had said Monday about the Japanese nukes, which is where the old Avis commercial comes in. He said it was a message from God. Then this man who produces conspiracy theories the way Charlie Sheen produces self-rationalizations didn't even bother to guess what kind of message it was:

We can't see the connections here. I'm not saying God is causing earthquakes – well I'm not not saying that either! What God does is God's business. But I'll tell you this – there's a message being sent. And that is, 'Hey you know that stuff we're doing? Not really working out real well. Maybe we should stop doing some of it.' I'm just saying...

Later, Lonesome Rhodes started working Pat Robertson's side of the street by claiming the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan because we all weren't abiding by what he called "The 10 Rules of Thumb" – meaning, "The 10 Commandments":

What do you say we start doing those things? Because the things we are doing really suck. And they're not getting better.

Lonesome? Did you ever think maybe the thing "we" are doing that really sucks, is your show? Or that if there is an inscrutable message from some deity translated via earthquake, tsunami, and really bad nuclear power plant construction, the message is: "Glenn Beck Needs To Stop Doing His Nitwitted Show"?