Huffington's House of Horrors
Table of Contents:
- Executive Summary
- The Celebrity Fulmination Files
- Lesser Known, But Just As Outrageous Bloggers
- Conclusion: When Will the Media Bring Scrutiny to This Mud Pit?
The Celebrity Fulmination Files
The original attention-grabbing element of The
Huffington Post’s launch was its promise of an all-star far-left cast of
celebrity dilettantes fulminating against everything conservatives
wanted to accomplish for America. From the very beginning, it was clear
that the official celebrity bloggers would demonstrate that what they
lack in political sophistication, they can certainly compensate for in
Impeach Bush or ‘We Become a Cum-Stain on the Flag’? Accepting the Christopher Reeve First Amendment Award at a Creative Coalition gala in New York City on December 18, 2006, actor Sean Penn went on a rant calling for the impeachment of President Bush and insulting conservatives from Rush Limbaugh to Sean Hannity. In the text of his prepared remarks, posted by The Huffington Post hours before he spoke, Penn asserted:
They tell us we lost 3,000 Americans on 9/11. Is that enough? We’re about to match it. We’re within weeks, if not less, of killing 3,000 Americans in Iraq. I ask Speaker Pelosi, can we put impeachment on the table then? Without former FEMA chief Mike Brown being held accountable, post Katrina (scapegoat though he may have been) we’d have had the same chaos and neglect when Rita hit Houston. Think about it. And, the same people who trumpet deterrence as a justification for punishment when we speak of “crime and punishment,” will boast their positive thinking when dismissing the deterrent qualities of an impeachment proceeding....So...look, if we attempt to impeach for lying about a blowjob, yet accept these almost certain abuses without challenge, we become a cum-stain on the flag we wave.
He concluded by pleading: “Let’s move forward and swiftly get out of this war in Iraq AND impeach these bastards.” Penn derided conservatives for complicity with Bush:
...it seems inconceivable that this country could’ve ever bought into this war. Who were those mothers and fathers believing in?! We know it’s not the administration alone, but a culture at large, cloaking itself in self-righteousness, religion, and adolescent hero-dreaming machismo. Would they have believed Rush Limbaugh if they’d known he was high as a kite on OxyContin? Would they have believed the factually impaired Bill O’Reilly if they knew he was massaging his rectum with a loofah while telephonically harassing a staffer? Hannity, had they known he was simply a whore to the cause of his pimps – Murdoch and Ailes? Or the little bow-tie putz, if they knew all he was seeking was a good laugh from Jon Stewart? Maybe our countrymen and women were listening to Ted Haggert [sic] while he was whiffing meth and boning a muscle-headed gigolo? Or Mark Foley seeking junior weenis [sic]? Joe Lieberman, sitting Shiva? And Toby Keith, singing about how big his boots are?
Ironically, as Penn accepted the award from PBS personality Charlie Rose, he still declared the liberal media (including PBS) were eager boosters of Bush’s war:
Men and women stationed in Iraq at this moment, under orders of a Commander-in-Chief so sufficiently practiced in the art of deception, that he got vast numbers of American journalists and the most esteemed media outlets of this country, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, NPR, and PBS to eagerly serve his agenda-building for war.
Cheney Is A Terrorist: On February 17, 2006, actor Alec Baldwin described the Vice President of the United States in the most negative light:
Cheney is a terrorist. He terrorizes our enemies abroad and innocent citizens here at home indiscriminately. Who ever thought Harry Whittington would be the answer to America’s prayers. Finally, someone who might get that lying, thieving Cheney into a courtroom to answer some direct questions.
A few days later, after hearing complaints about this rather indiscriminate remark, Baldwin insincerely apologized: “How about something more measured, then? How about...a lying, thieving Oil Whore. Or, a murderer of the U.S. Constitution?”
Could I Kill Cheney with Osama’s Corpse? On the Fourth of July, 2006, Alec Baldwin advanced his double-murder fantasy, by hurling the corpse of Osama bin Laden over a balcony onto Vice President Dick Cheney standing below:
At that instant, Osama Bin Laden comes out of a door. He is oblivious. I make my move. Bin Laden reacts, but too late. We tumble into his upper floor suite. I have him in my grasp and, conveniently, I spy a box cutter on the table. (Hey...it’s a fantasy.) Osama struggles, swearing at me in his native tongue, until I jam the box cutter into his neck. I do it again. Fading, Bin Laden says (this time in English for my benefit) “Good luck with 30 Rock. I am a big Tina Fey fan.” I gather up the body of the world’s most notorious terrorist and hurl it over the balcony. Then, in the final stroke of luck, bin Laden lands on Dick Cheney.
Baldwin was also snide on the occasion of actual funerals. His quick and dirty take upon the death of former United Nations Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick was typical for the HuffPost, obscuring her talk of peace through strength: “I heard William Bennett on CNN, eulogizing Jean [sic] Kirkpatrick. He referred to her as the GOP’s Thatcher and called her ‘our Iron Lady.’ What is it about these people that they can never talk of peace? (Even their women have to come across like Vince Lombardi.)”
‘Crypto-Fascist Scum’ Mired Us In Iraq for Personal Gain: As the 2006 elections approached, on October 10, Alec Baldwin rejoiced in the growing doom over Republican election prospects after the Mark Foley scandal broke. He couldn’t believe the page scandal would matter more than the Bush record, and as usual, the incomparable Bush stupidity:
Nearly six years of lies, incompetence, lies, hate, lies, corruption, lies and war. Misguided, meaningless war that has destroyed the landscape of Iraq and the souls of the Iraqi people. And what has the war done for us, other than line the pockets of Bush, and his father’s friends?
...DeLay may get away. Cheney. Novak. Armitage. Rumsfeld. All your crypto-fascist scum, as well. Bush, too, who will have no trouble raising money from his war-profiteering friends for a library which, I would imagine, will be the most poorly attended of any in our history. That’s one certainty we can see on the horizon. Bush really is the worst president in American history. I almost feel sorry for him. Talked into the whole thing by his Dad’s cronies. Unskilled. Unprepared. Just a bible in one hand and a copy of the “The Prince” in the other. How many of us knew this would never come to any good? How many of us could smell this guy 500 miles away?
Bush’s “Human Scum,” Supported by “Flag-Sucking Half Wits”? On November 11, 2006, actor John Cusack was no slouch in the HuffPost’s apparent competition in Hollywood Bush-bashing:
Bush 2. How depressing, corrupt, unlawful and tragically absurd the administration’s world view actually is...how low the moral bar has been lowered...and (though I know I’m capable of intellectually lazy notions of collective guilt) how complicit our silence as citizens is...Nixon, a true fiend, looks like a paragon of virtue next to the criminally incompetent robber barons now raiding the present and future...This is indeed a league of bastards — these men are human scum. [The first two ellipses are Cusack’s.]
Cusack then supportively quoted his idol, the drug-addled journalist Hunter S. Thompson -- an excerpt from his 2002 book Kingdom of Fear that’s widely circulated on the leftist blogosphere -- declaring that America is now a “Nazi monster,” and denounced conservatives as “flag-sucking half wits,” Klansmen and Nazis:
We have become a Nazi monster in the eyes of the whole world – a nation of bullies and bastards who would rather kill than live peacefully. We are not just Whores for power and oil, but killer whores with hate and fear in our hearts. We are human scum, and that is how history will judge us. No redeeming social value. Just whores. Get out of our way, or we’ll kill you. Well, shit on that dumbness, George W. Bush does not speak for me or my son or my mother or my friends or the people I respect in this world. We didn’t vote for these cheap, greedy little killers who speak for America today – and we will not vote for them again in 2002. Or 2004. Or ever. Who does vote for these dishonest shitheads? Who among us can be happy and proud of having all this innocent blood on our hands? Who are these swine? These flag-sucking half-wits who get fleeced and fooled by stupid rich kids like George Bush? They are the same ones who wanted to have Muhammad Ali locked up for refusing to kill gooks. They speak for all that is cruel and stupid and vicious in the American character. They are the racists and hate mongers among us – they are the Ku Klux Klan. I piss down the throats of these Nazis. And I am too old to worry about whether they like it or not. Fuck them.
Bloody-Handed Bush, Scared of Heroic Cindy Sheehan: Actress Christine Lahti, perhaps best known for starring on the CBS medical drama Chicago Hope in the 1990s, unloaded the S-bomb on President Bush as she offered her overflowing admiration for war protester Cindy Sheehan during her time perched outside Bush’s ranch in Crawford, Texas. The post was dated August 11, 2005:
Cindy Sheehan is my hero. She is the hero of all Americans who make up the 62 percent of us who oppose this war. As an American exercising her right to free speech, she is a brave, passionate, living example of democracy and she has the undeniable force and the moral authority of a grieving mother. Being a mother of three, I can’t even imagine the depths of the grief she must feel having lost her son in this horrific war. But I can imagine that her grief and rage – her demand for justice and action – are a force that is unstoppable.
No wonder Bush is intimidated. No wonder he can’t even walk down his driveway to speak with her. He is scared shitless. Whether he acknowledges it or not – whether his aides try to insulate him from the truth or not – his hands are covered in the blood of Cindy Sheehan’s son. They are dripping with the blood of all who have died there.
Forget His American Birth, Deport Alberto Gonzales: HBO talk-show host Bill Maher wrote a blog post with a typical HuffPost headline (“Why Not Impeachment?”) on August 23, 2006, full of enthusiasm that then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales could be deported, despite his American birth:
[F]ederal law expressly makes the ordering of surveillance under the program a federal felony. That would mean that the president could be guilty of no fewer than 30 felonies while in office. [Italics Maher’s.] Moreover, it is not only illegal for a president to order such surveillance, it is illegal for other government officials to carry out such an order. And that means Alberto Gonzalez [sic] could be tried, convicted, and deported.
Maher also added to the usual profanity with an April 12, 2007 post headlined “John McCain Fucked by the Republican Fantasy World.” Maher delighted in how “ridiculous and out of touch” the GOP presidential nominee was going to sound in 2008 sounding positive about progress in Iraq: “In fact, two-thirds of likely GOP primary voters support what Bush is doing in Iraq. They support the surge. They’ve swallowed so much Kool-Aid that any change in their diet would kill them.”
Religious Fundamentalists Ruin First Amendment, Build American Empire: On August 24, 2006, former Democratic Senator and presidential candidate Gary Hart lamented both the dreaded neoconservative crusade in Iraq and the ideological selection of judges, tying them together into a vision of neocon religious imperialism:
The unprecedented attempt to make the administration of justice the instrument of ideology is incompatible with the Constitution of the Republic whose flag we salute. And, of course, the Republican party has been imaginative and innovative in its exploitation of religious sentiments. The unprecedented submission of social policy, and foreign policy in the Middle East, to religious fundamentalists violates the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and has weakened America in the world.
The army, the courts, and religion. The keys to the creation of the American Empire.
Ann Coulter and 'Overly Patriotic' Americans Are Hateful Filth-Spewers: Best-selling fiction writer Jane Smiley, still remembered for decrying “the unteachable ignorance of the red states” on Slate.com after John Kerry lost in 2004, brought those views to the Huffington Post as well. Smiley hated conservative author and columnist Ann Coulter so much that she attempted to write a blog post on July 7, 2006, that attacked her without ever once naming her. HuffPost commenters still scolded her for giving Coulter the time of day. Smiley wasn’t just attacking Coulter, but the ignorance and hatred of patriotic Americans in general:
American history is filled with people who have used hateful words to enrich themselves and to destroy others who were quite often weaker or more vulnerable than themselves. On every middle school playground in America, right now, some bully is tormenting some other, weaker child out of the sight of the adults, and some of the other children are egging him on, and still other children are watching from the sidelines. It’s as American as apple pie. As she [Coulter] demonstrates with the filth she spews out of her mouth and her pen, Americans aren’t nice or decent people, and conservative, overtly patriotic Americans are even less decent and less nice. They do harm, and they like to do harm, just as she likes to do harm, and they even expect to profit from the harm they do....
Americans, true patriotic red, white, and blue Americans like hate. They feel comfortable with it and always have. Over the years, they’ve hated the Irish, the Italians, black people, foreigners of all kinds, Catholics, Chinese workers on the railroad, Jews, Hispanics, gays, fans of the White Sox – the list is as long as your arm. And, of course, it makes any decent American uncomfortable, but “real” Americans are beyond shame – they are so ignorant and poorly brought up and fearful and pandered to by haters in the media that they don’t even hear themselves disgorging sewage from their mouths, they don’t see the ignorant, vicious looks on their faces, they don’t hear the stupidity of their own laughter.
Every time she [Coulter] opens her mouth, she poses a test, and every customer who buys her book fails that test. Every show that puts her on the airwaves fails, too. She’s not the only one – there are others on radio and TV who pose the same test, but she’s the craziest one. The test is a test of humanity. How low can you go? What sort of vileness it is that you enjoy? How base are your motives? How little shame do you have? And what does that say about America?