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Vitriolic Garofalo: Racist Tea Party Protesters; FNC for Dummies --4/20/2009


1. Vitriolic Garofalo: Racist Tea Party Protesters; FNC for Dummies
Left-wing activist/actress Janeane Garofalo, now starring on Fox's '24,' went on a wild rant Thursday night, on MSNBC's Countdown, impugning those who attended the Wednesday tea parties as racists and denigrating the brain power of anyone who watches the Fox News Channel. "This is about hating a black man in the White House. This is racism, straight up. That is nothing but a bunch of tea-bagging rednecks. And there is no way around that," she scurrilously charged. After comparing conservatives to "white power activists," she continued: "This is about racism. It could be any issue, any port in a storm. These guys hate that a black guy is in the White House." Denigrating the Fox News Channel, she asserted the right-wing has "no shortage of the natural resources of ignorance, apathy, hate, fear" which FNC has exploited: "Fox News loves to foment this anti-intellectualism because that's their bread and butter. If you have a cerebral electorate, Fox News goes down the toilet, very, very fast." FNC, she stumbled into alleging, has cornered the "Klan with a k demo."

2. NPR's Nina Totenberg Dismisses Tea Parties as 'Cockamamie'
NPR's Nina Totenberg on Friday night was unsure as to whether the tea parties have "any legs are not" since "at almost any given time any cockamamie proposition in America will have at least 25 percent of those polled supporting it." On Inside Washington she called the anti-tax and anti-spending rallies "a good stunt," before declaring Americans "pay relatively small taxes" and then lecturing those unappreciative protesters about how taxes provide, as if they want taxes totally eliminated, "a civilized kind of social compact where you don't have massive civil eruptions. That is what taxes are for." To which, Newsweek's Evan Thomas chimed in: "I'm all for paying more taxes."

3. ABC Highlights 'Frank' Repudiations of Conservative Social Views
ABC's World News programs on Friday and Sunday highlighted "frank comments by Republicans" who indicated either an admission to having reservations over, or who called on a reversal of, the Republican party's conservative stance on social issues. On Friday, Charles Gibson informed viewers that Sarah Palin confessed before a pro-life group to having briefly wondered about having an abortion after she discovered her son Trig would be born with Down's Syndrome. Gibson also highlighted comments by Steve Schmidt, the former campaign manager for John McCain, as he addressed a gathering of the Log Cabin Republicans and "urged the Republican party to support same-sex marriage." On World News on Sunday, correspondent Rachel Martin filed a full story on pro-gay comments by both Schmidt and John McCain's daughter Meghan. Anchor Dan Harris introduced the report: "There are some new and rather surprising voices wading into the debate over same-sex marriage. Last night, John McCain's daughter, Meghan, jumped into the fray, and she is not the only Republican suggesting that the party might want to reconsider its stance on this very divisive issue."

4. Donaldson: 'Torture Memo' Writers Must 'Held Accountable' in Court
Those who "devised" what ABC called "torture memos" and the "methods" they defined, retired ABC News correspondent Sam Donaldson contended on Sunday's This Week, "should be held responsible" and so "should be held accountable in the court of law." Donaldson allowed that "people who thought they were following the law as outlined" should not be punished, but: "The people who devised these methods and devised these memos, if, in fact, they knew that they were just trying to find cover, just trying to find a way to get around American values and American law and the American Constitution, I think they should be held responsible. I think they should be brought in and if President Obama wants to pardon them as one President pardoned a former President, then let him do so, but they should be held accountable in the court of law."


Vitriolic Garofalo: Racist Tea Party
Protesters; FNC for Dummies

Left-wing activist/actress Janeane Garofalo, now starring on Fox's '24,' went on a wild rant Thursday night, on MSNBC's Countdown, impugning those who attended the Wednesday tea parties as racists and denigrating the brain power of anyone who watches the Fox News Channel. "This is about hating a black man in the White House. This is racism, straight up. That is nothing but a bunch of tea-bagging rednecks. And there is no way around that," she scurrilously charged. After comparing conservatives to "white power activists," she continued: "This is about racism. It could be any issue, any port in a storm. These guys hate that a black guy is in the White House."

Denigrating the Fox News Channel, she asserted the right-wing has "no shortage of the natural resources of ignorance, apathy, hate, fear" which FNC has exploited: "Fox News loves to foment this anti-intellectualism because that's their bread and butter. If you have a cerebral electorate, Fox News goes down the toilet, very, very fast." FNC, she stumbled into alleging, has cornered the "Klan with a k demo."

[This item, by the MRC's Brent Baker, was posted Saturday morning, with video, on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

The MRC's Brad Wilmouth noticed that she seemed to be trying to set a record for how many times she could accuse conservatives of being racist as she made cracks about "racism," "white power," and "hating a black man" ten times during a discussion of less than five and a half minutes.

Several of those scurrilous slams are in the four-parts excerpted and combined into the video and audio, to be posted with CyberAlert and already posted on NewsBusters, in which you can watch and hear this from Garofalo:

Let's be very honest about what this is about. It's not about bashing Democrats, it's not about taxes, they have no idea what the Boston tea party was about, they don't know their history at all. This is about hating a black man in the White House. This is racism straight up. That is nothing but a bunch of tea-bagging rednecks. And there is no way around that. And you know, you can tell these type of right wingers anything and they'll believe it, except the truth. You tell them the truth and they become -- it's like showing Frankenstein's monster fire. They become confused, and angry and highly volatile. That guy, causing them feelings they don't know, because their limbic brain, we've discussed this before, the limbic brain inside a right-winger or Republican or conservative or your average white power activist, the limbic brain is much larger in their head space than in a reasonable person, and it's pushing against the frontal lobe. So their synapses are misfiring. Is Bernie Goldberg listening?...

["That guy" referred to a man at the rally in Pensacola who inspired boos when he blamed high taxes and spending on the Republican Congress.]

It's almost pathological or elevated to a philosophy or a lifestyle. And again, this is about racism. It could be any issue, any port in a storm. These guys hate that a black guy is in the White House. But they immigrant-bash, they pretend it's taxes and tea bags, and like I said, most of them probably couldn't probably tell you thing one about taxation without representation, the Boston tea party, the British imperialism, whatever the history lesson has to be. But these people, all white for the most part, unless there's some people with Stockholm syndrome there....

And Fox News loves to foment this anti-intellectualism because that's their bread and butter. If you have a cerebral electorate, Fox News goes down the toilet, you know, very, very fast....

Here's what the right-wing has in, there's no shortage of the natural resources of ignorance, apathy, hate, fear. As long as those things are in the collective conscious and unconscious, the Republicans will have some votes. Fox News will have some viewers. But what else have they got? If they didn't do that, who's going to watch -- you know what I mean? They have tackled that elusive clam -- clam, klan, I said clam, you know the clam demo, the 18 to 35 clam demo -- klan. Klan with a k demo....

END of Garofalo

On the bright side, at least Garofalo didn't force us to see any of her many tattoos. Check the jpg to be added her and another here: media.eyeblast.org

Both are from a February Countdown appearance documented in a CyberAlert: "Olbermann & Garofalo See 'Self-Loathing' 'Black Guy' Michael Steele, Limbaugh Compared to Hitler," at: www.mrc.org

Brad Wilmouth also detailed Garofalo's anti-conservative hatred in a March 17 post, "On MSNBC Garofalo Paints Conservatives as Angry Racists Who Inspire Murder," which quoted Garofalo's sleazy charge: "The right wing has a way of always having an enemy, whether it be immigrants or Arabs or brown-skinned people, black-skinned people, homosexuals, women. They all, kind of, rally around an enemy, an other, that they can get mad at. And death does occur." See: newsbusters.org

Brad also prepared a rundown of Garofalo's April 16 rants, including a full transcript of the segment:

Olbermann readily accepted Garofalo's premise that conservative activists were motivated by racism, and that Fox News caters to a racist demographic: "Is that not a bad long-term political strategy because, even though, your point is, you know, terrifying that there are that many racists left, the flip side of it is there aren't that many racists left....But if you spear your television network or your political party towards a bunch of guys who are just looking for a reason to yell at the black President, eventually you will marginalize yourself out of business, won't you?"

Garofalo claimed that the right wing does not have a shortage of "hate," charged that Fox News caters to the "Klan" demographic, and referred to conservative women having Stockholm Syndrome.

When Olbermann raised the possibility of right wing gatherings leading to violence, Garofalo responded: "Oh, that is an unfortunate by-product, since the dawn of time, of a volatile group like this, of the limbic brain. Violence, unfortunately, may or may not ensue. It always, like I said, the Republican party now depends on immigrant-bashing and hating the black guy in the White House. Will people act on that? It's not new. But, you know, Fox doesn't mind fomenting it. Michele Bachmann doesn't mind fomenting it. Glenn Beck doesn't mind fomenting it."

Below is a complete transcript of the relevant segment from the Thursday, April 16, Countdown show on MSNBC:

After showing a clip of a man addressing a Tea Party rally in Pensacola, who blamed the budget deficit on the past Republican Congress, drawing boos from the audience, Olbermann continued:

KEITH OLBERMANN: Congratulations, Pensacola tea-baggers. You got spunk. And despite the hatred on display, few of you actually violated the penal code. But tea-bagging has now petered out. It ain't what it used to be. And when you coopt the next holiday, Fourth of July, try to adopt a holiday food that does not invite double endendres, like, you know, franks and beans. On a more serious note, we're now joined by actor and activist Janeane Garofalo. Good to see you.
JANEANE GAROFALO: Thank you. You know, there is nothing more interesting than seeing a bunch of racists become confused and angry at a speech they're not quite sure what he's saying. It sounds right to them, and then it doesn't make sense, which -- let's be very honest about what this is about. It's not about bashing Democrats. It's not about taxes. They have no idea what the Boston Tea Party was about.
OLBERMANN: That's right.
GAROFALO: They don't know their history at all. This is about hating a black man in the White House. This is racism, straight up. That is nothing but a bunch of tea-bagging rednecks. And there is no way around that. And, you know, you can tell these type of right wingers anything and they'll believe it, except the truth. You tell them the truth and they become, it's like showing Frankenstein's monster fire. They become confused and angry and highly volatile.
OLBERMANN: Mm-hmm.
GAROFALO: That guy caused in them feelings they don't know, because they're limbic brain. We've discussed this before. The limbic brain inside a right winger or Republican or conservative or your average white power activist. The limbic brain is much larger in their head space, than in a reasonable person, and it's pushing against the frontal lobe, so their synapses are misfiring. Is Bernie Goldberg listening? Yeah, because Bernie might not have heard this when I said this the first time. So, Bernie, this is for you. It is a neurological problem that we're dealing with.
OLBERMANN: Well, what do you do about it, though? I mean, our friend in Pensacola there who played them like a $3 fiddle, and led them right down the garden path with nothing but facts, and they went, "Wait a minute, that doesn't sound like Rush Limbaugh!" If you can't, if you can't get them to make that last leap to, "What are we all doing here? Howard Johnson is wrong," you know, how do you break through that?
GAROFALO: I don't think you do, for most of them. This is a pathological, it's almost pathological or elevated to a philosophy or a lifestyle.
OLBERMANN: Yeah?
GAROFALO: And again, this is about racism. It could be any issue, any port in a storm. These guys hate that a black guy is in the White House. But they immigrant bash. They pretend it's taxes and teabags. And, like I said, most of them couldn't probably tell you thing one about taxation without representation, the Boston Tea Party, the British imperialism, whatever the history lesson has to be. But these people '€" all white, for the most part, unless there's some people with Stockholm Syndrome there.
OLBERMANN: I didn't see them. They were in the back. They weren't near the cameras, which is bad strategy on the part of the people who were staging this at Fox.
GAROFALO: True, and Fox News loves to foment this anti-intellectualism because that's their bread and butter. If you have a cerebral electorate, Fox News goes down the toilet, you know, very, very fast. But it is sick and sad to see Neil Cavuto doing that. That's why Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch started this venture, is to disinform and to coarsen and dumb down a certain segment of the electorate. But what is really, I didn't know there were so many racists left. I didn't know that, you know, because, as I said, the Republican, hyphen, the conservative movement has now crystallized into the white power movement.
OLBERMANN: Is that not a bad long-term political strategy because, even though, your point is, you know, terrifying that there are that many racists left, the flip side of it is there aren't that many racists left.
GAROFALO: They're the minority. I mean, literally, tens of people showed up to this thing across the country.
OLBERMANN: But if you spear your television network or your political party towards a bunch of guys who are just looking for a reason to yell at the black President, eventually you will marginalize yourself out of business, won't you?
GAROFALO: Here's what the right wing has. There's no shortage of the natural resources of ignorance, apathy, hate, fear.
OLBERMANN: Yeah.
GAROFALO: As long as those things are in the collective conscious and unconscious, the Republicans will have some votes, Fox News will have some viewers. But what else have they got? If they didn't do that, who's going to watch, you know what I mean? They've got, they have tackled that elusive clam -- clam, I said "clam." You know, the clam demo, the 18 to 35 clam demo. Klan, Klan, with a "K," demo. But, you know, who else is Fox talking to? I mean, what is it? Urban, older white guys? And the gopher-
OLBERMANN: Yeah.
GAROFALO: And the women who suffer from Stockholm Syndrome again. There's a lot of Stockholm Syndrome, is what I'm saying, ultimately. What else do you want, what else do you got, what do you want to know?
OLBERMANN: What happens if somebody was at one of these things hurt somebody?
GAROFALO: Oh, that is an unfortunate by-product, since the dawn of time, of a volatile group like this, of the limbic brain. Violence, unfortunately, may or may not ensue. It always, like I said, the Republican party now depends on immigrant-bashing and hating the black guy-
OLBERMANN: Mm-hmm.
GAROFALO: -in the White House. Will people act on that? It's not new. But, you know, Fox doesn't mind fomenting it. Michele Bachmann doesn't mind fomenting it. Glenn Beck doesn't mind fomenting it.
OLBERMANN: Lou Dobbs.
GAROFALO: Lou Dobbs, oh man! He sure doesn't mind. But this is their -- what have they got, if they don't have this? You know what I mean? It's like an identity politics of the worst kind.
OLBERMANN: Peace in our time
GAROFALO: Is Bernie still listening?
OLBERMANN: Bernie doesn't listen.
GAROFALO: Bernie G.?
OLBERMANN: Bernie listened for one, about two minutes last week. That was his year-
GAROFALO: He doesn't watch your show?
OLBERMANN: No, no, no, I meant, in general, that was his year's contribution to the actual political discourse.
GAROFALO: Oh, I was hoping I could move up the wrung from five to at least three.
OLBERMANN: Janeane Garofalo, number five, comedian, actress, political activist, and the expert on the limbic brain. Great thanks, as always.
GAROFALO: Very much thanks to you.

NPR's Nina Totenberg Dismisses Tea Parties
as 'Cockamamie'

NPR's Nina Totenberg on Friday night was unsure as to whether the tea parties have "any legs are not" since "at almost any given time any cockamamie proposition in America will have at least 25 percent of those polled supporting it." On Inside Washington she called the anti-tax and anti-spending rallies "a good stunt," before declaring Americans "pay relatively small taxes" and then lecturing those unappreciative protesters about how taxes provide, as if they want taxes totally eliminated, "a civilized kind of social compact where you don't have massive civil eruptions. That is what taxes are for."

To which, Newsweek's Evan Thomas chimed in: "I'm all for paying more taxes."

[This item, by Brent Baker, was posted Friday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

From the April 17 Inside Washington:

NINA TOTENBERG, NPR: Well, you know, I don't know whether this really has any legs are not. You have to remember that at almost any given time any cockamamie proposition in America will have at least 25 percent of those polled supporting it. It was a good stunt. Whether the stunt really is more than a stunt remains to be seen. Obviously there are people who don't like paying taxes, among them, probably some people at this table and certainly a certain individual whom I share a bed with doesn't like paying taxes at all.
GORDON PETERSON, MODERATOR/WJLA-TV ANCHOR: Nobody does, but we pay, actually in comparison to other countries-
TOTENBERG: We pay relatively small taxes. And what you get for it, let us say, what you get for it, even though you don't like this program are this program for this war or that were, what you ostensibly get for it is a civilized kind of social compact where you don't have massive civil eruptions. That is what taxes are for.
EVAN THOMAS, NEWSWEEK: I'm all for paying more taxes, but you've got to get things for it. And it has to be part of a compact. You can't just pay more taxes, you also have to have less spending...

Inside Washington is a weekly show produced and aired over the weekend by Washington, DC's ABC affiliate and its all-news cable channel, but first broadcast Friday night on the local PBS station, WETA-TV: www.insidewashington.tv

ABC Highlights 'Frank' Repudiations of
Conservative Social Views

ABC's World News programs on Friday and Sunday highlighted "frank comments by Republicans" who indicated either an admission to having reservations over, or who called on a reversal of, the Republican party's conservative stance on social issues. On Friday, Charles Gibson informed viewers that Sarah Palin confessed before a pro-life group to having briefly wondered about having an abortion after she discovered her son Trig would be born with Down's Syndrome. Gibson also highlighted comments by Steve Schmidt, the former campaign manager for John McCain, as he addressed a gathering of the Log Cabin Republicans and "urged the Republican party to support same-sex marriage."

On World News on Sunday, correspondent Rachel Martin filed a full story on pro-gay comments by both Schmidt and John McCain's daughter Meghan. Anchor Dan Harris introduced the report: "There are some new and rather surprising voices wading into the debate over same-sex marriage. Last night, John McCain's daughter, Meghan, jumped into the fray, and she is not the only Republican suggesting that the party might want to reconsider its stance on this very divisive issue."

Martin began her report with a a clip of Meghan McCain boasting that she has many gay friends, and the ABC correspondent then continued: "The daughter of the GOP's most famous maverick headlined a Republican gay rights event, and, while she didn't go so far as to come out for gay marriage, her dad's former campaign manager did. ... even taking on the powerful religious right."

[This item, by the MRC's Brad Wilmouth, was posted Sunday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

After a clip of Schmidt warning against the Republican party appearing to be a "sectarian party," Martin recounted recent victories for same-sex marriage in some state supreme courts and state legislatures. While acknowledging that most Americans, including many Democrats, oppose same-sex marriage, the ABC correspondent ignored past electoral defeats by the Democratic party linked to gay marriage initiatives and insisted that it is really Republicans who oppose gay marriage who should be politically afraid. Martin: "Most Americans still oppose gay marriage '€" Democrats and Republicans. But it's been in the GOP that the issue has recently come to the fore, with some suggesting the party must distance itself from the religious right if it's to make its way out of the political wilderness."

Back to Friday's World News with Charles Gibson, host Gibson introduced his clip of Palin's speech at a pro-life event: "Two frank comments by Republicans are generating a lot of discussion tonight. The Alaska governor, Sarah Palin, told an anti-abortion event that she wondered about ending her pregnancy when she learned her son Trig would be born with Down's Syndrome."

Then came a clip of Palin: "I thought, 'Wow, it is easy, could be easy to think maybe if trying to change the circumstances and no one would know, no one would ever know.'"

Gibson added: "But Palin said she realized she had to stay true to what she had long said, that life is valuable because it is ordained."

Then the ABC host quoted Schmidt's pro-gay marriage speech. Gibson: "And the manager of Senator John McCain's presidential campaign, Steve Schmidt, urged the Republican party to support same-sex marriage. He said, quote, 'As former Vice President Cheney observed, freedom means freedom for everybody. And I think Republicans should always be on the side of freedom and equal rights.'"

Below are complete transcripts of the relevant stories from the Friday, April 17, World News with Charles Gibson, and the April 19, World News Sunday from ABC:


# From the April 17 World News with Charles Gibson:

CHARLES GIBSON: Two frank comments by Republicans are generating a lot of discussion tonight. The Alaska governor, Sarah Palin, told an anti-abortion event that she wondered about ending her pregnancy when she learned her son Trig would be born with Down's Syndrome.
SARAH PALIN: I thought, "Wow, it is easy, could be easy to think maybe if trying to change the circumstances and no one would know, no one would ever know."
GIBSON: But Palin said she realized she had to stay true to what she had long said, that life is valuable because it is ordained.
And the manager of Senator John McCain's presidential campaign, Steve Schmidt, urged the Republican party to support same-sex marriage. He said, quote, "As former Vice President Cheney observed, freedom means freedom for everybody. And I think Republicans should always be on the side of freedom and equal rights."


# From the April 19 World News on Sunday:

DAN HARRIS: There are some new and rather surprising voices wading into the debate over same-sex marriage. Last night, John McCain's daughter, Meghan, jumped into the fray, and she is not the only Republican suggesting that the party might want to reconsider its stance on this very divisive issue. Here's ABC's Rachel Martin.

RACHEL MARTIN: Meghan McCain has a message.
MEGHAN MCCAIN: I have lots and lots of gay friends, and, yes, and I am a Republican.
MARTIN: The daughter of the GOP's most famous maverick headlined a Republican gay rights event, and, while she didn't go so far as to come out for gay marriage, her dad's former campaign manager did.
STEVE SCHMIDT: -but it cannot be argued that marriage between people of the same sex is un-American-
MARTIN: Even taking on the powerful religious right.
SCHMIDT: In a free country, a political party cannot remain viable in the long term if it is seen as a sectarian party.
MARTIN: The comments come in the wake of two recent wins for the gay marriage movement -- in Iowa, where the supreme court made history with the unanimous decision legalizing gay marriage. And Vermont, now the first state to legalize same-sex marriage through the legislature, not the courts. Most Americans still oppose gay marriage -- Democrats and Republicans. But it's been in the GOP that the issue has recently come to the fore, with some suggesting the party must distance itself from the religious right if it's to make its way out of the political wilderness.
MEGHAN MCCAIN: Most of the old-school Republicans are scared [CENSORED]-
MARTIN: But those old-school Republicans are standing their ground.
WOMAN #1 IN AD: There's a storm gathering.
MAN #1 IN AD: The clouds are dark and the winds are strong.
WOMAN #2 IN AD: And I am afraid.
MARTIN: The National Organization for Marriage released this ad warning about gay marriage.
STUART ROTHENBERG, ROTHENBERG POLITICAL REPORT: The Republican party knows which side of the debate it comes down on there. The question is, do they talk about that? Do they tear themselves apart over that, discussing that, or do they focus on their differences with President Obama?
MARTIN: How the party answers that question could shape the face and future of the GOP. Rachel Martin, ABC News, Washington.

Donaldson: 'Torture Memo' Writers Must
'Held Accountable' in Court

Those who "devised" what ABC called "torture memos" and the "methods" they defined, retired ABC News correspondent Sam Donaldson contended on Sunday's This Week, "should be held responsible" and so "should be held accountable in the court of law." Donaldson allowed that "people who thought they were following the law as outlined" should not be punished, but: "The people who devised these methods and devised these memos, if, in fact, they knew that they were just trying to find cover, just trying to find a way to get around American values and American law and the American Constitution, I think they should be held responsible. I think they should be brought in and if President Obama wants to pardon them as one President pardoned a former President, then let him do so, but they should be held accountable in the court of law."

[This item, by the MRC's Brent Baker, was posted Sunday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

From the April 19 roundtable, with "'Torture Memos' Debate" as the on-screen heading:

SAM DONALDSON: As to the prosecutions, I agree that people who thought they were following the law as outlined, you can say, well, following orders is no excuse, this is not Nazi Germany, this is not that type of thing, they should not-
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Acting reasonably, believing they were following the law.
DONALDSON: Acting reasonably. But the people who devised these methods and devised these memos, if, in fact, they knew that they were just trying to find cover, just trying to find a way to get around American values and American law and the American Constitution, I think they should be held responsible. I think they should be brought in and if President Obama wants to pardon them as one President pardoned a former President, then let him do so, but they should be held accountable in the court of law.
PEGGY NOONAN: Well, I have reservations about all this. You know, it's hard for me to look at a great nation issuing these documents and sending them out to the world and thinking, oh, much good will come of that. Sometimes in life you want to just keep walking. History has changed. It does change. We have a new administration, a new way. Sometimes I think just keep walking. Don't always be issuing papers and reports.
DONALDSON: People walk who should they be held accountable? Let people walk who may have committed a crime? I don't know they did or not-

-- Brent Baker