THE RICH AND THE STUPID
Brock’s take on the big money and big lies behind the conservative movement is obvious but disturbing
~ By RON GARMON ~
Why do liberals keep fouling themselves in public? This question is completely beyond the nose or forensic gift of ex-conservative hit man David Brock, so, in his current book "The Republican Noise Machine: Right-Wing Media and How It Corrupts Democracy," he contents himself with a dazzling reiteration of the obvious. Big Media (like Big Oil and Big Pimpin) likes the message that what is is good and wants it core-sampled into your cranium by the most stupidly direct means. This is a fiercely right-bent country, friend, sort of a Fourth Reich with TiVo, and there’s nothing any latte-hugging, tree-gulping Left Coast progressive can do about it. We control the vertical. We control the horizontal. You are fucked.
Since the onetime star libeler at The American Spectator and author of a best-selling bio of Anita Hill (which he repudiated, keeping the money) helped invent this hustle, he could’ve milked the Kim Philby dodge for a while longer, but the fellow’s plainly gone berserk. Following the money with the near-Marxian obsession of an SEC accountant, Brock uses his time inside the conservative giggle-works to good, nasty effect. Some raw psychopath you’ve seen jabber on cable news wears nearly every name in this book, and all the rest sign the checks.
Sometime after Barry Goldwater perished in a welter of uppercuts and bloodspray in the 1964 election, the moneyed right decided it was the commie-dominated news media what waxed their paladin, and the American people won’t get fooled again. At about this time, conservative publicists, angered by the Civil Rights Act, resurgent feminism, and suchlike signs of national head unsticking from ass, were whooping up the white male "working class" backlash that continues to this hour. The slow public death of Richard Nixon occasioned the forced wedding of these two forces after a long, coy flirtation.
You know the rest. Brock knows it better. The entire conservative movement is a neo-fascist iron dream funded by a few very deep pockets and kept in power by systematic lying to voters dumb enough to believe in it. The lying, after all, was where Brock came in. The self-paroled hit man took the omerta at the Moonie-owned Washington Times (whose Wes Pruden, as editor-in-chief, rewrote and slanted enough lead grafs to get his Dickensian name verbed in the trade), but fired his most celebrated bullets from the Scafie-sponsored Spectator. Direct cash infusions from weird billionaires and funding from Heritage, Olin, and lesser-known foundations pay for bogus (and openly racist) "research" into social ills. This fodder, purveyed by right-wing media, goes into our great feckless cow of a national press to be spat into the public’s ears and remasticated on the floors of Congress.
The good news is, the best their money can buy is David Horowitz, Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, and Abigail Thernstrom. Though Brock probably doesn’t realize it, his entire book is an indictment of the sorry tastes and venal stupidity of the U.S. uber-rich. If Fat City now thinks it smart to vend such shoddy weltanschauung to a people who’ve shown distressing disinterest over and again in renting space in the nation they have in mind, then American capitalism doesn’t have many pages left in its checkbook.
The bad news is, getting rid of the status quo is going to be rough, ugly work, unfit for most liberals. Brock, for all his new faith in the "marketplace of ideas," takes us on this tour of filthy grotesques with all the glee of a headsman contemplating blue-veined necks. Sign up one more for the Revolution.
First run in LA CITY BEAT, 10-6-04
c) 2006 by Ron Garmon