May 7, 2005

Compulsively Missing an Opportunity Shut Up

A TOUCHING PLEA: "You know, some people are stealing and they're making a big deal out of it. Oh, they're stealing 20 pair of jeans or they're stealing television sets. Who cares?... Maybe those people are so poor, some of the people who do that they're so poor they've never touched anything in their lives. Let them touch those things for once." -- Celine Dion

MORE BAIT FOR HIS RACE HOOK: "The real question is not only those that didn't get out. The question is: why has it taken the government so long to get in. I feel that, if it was in another area, with another economic strata and racial makeup, that President Bush would have run out of Crawford a lot quicker and FEMA would have found its way in a lot sooner." -- Al $harpton

WHATEVER FLOATS HIS BOAT: "There are people that are dying right now—and I mean babies and old people and everybody in between -- they're dying. There are people dying and [the US government is] not putting the boats in the water, I think that's criminal negligence. I don't think anybody ever anticipated the criminal negligence of the Bush administration in this situation." -- Sean Penn

THE ATHEIST SPEAKS FROM HIGH GROUND: "[Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco and President George Bush] should not be violating the Constitution by telling people to pray for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. It's unconstitutional for government officials to be promoting religion; and besides, judging from the speed of some relief efforts, officials should be busy working instead of preaching." -- Ellen Johnson, president of American Atheists

AND WITH NO PIZZA DELIVERY TOO: "C'mon, they're black!... Can you imagine leaving white people on their roofs for five days?" -- Michael Moore

PROOF THAT RAP WILL EAT YOUR BRAIN: "I hate the way they portray us in the media. If you see a black family, it says they're looting. See a white family, it says they're looking for food... They've given them permission to go down and shoot us... George Bush doesn't care about black people." -- Rapper Kanye West

CLUELESS, BUT IF KEITH HAD HIS AUDIENCE PEOPLE WOULD KNOW WHO HE WAS: "I actually heard a commentator this afternoon -- it was that Limbaugh -- suggest that the issue of class and race in those who were left behind in New Orleans was irrelevant, because, as he put it, those people were not forced to live there and they weren't bused into New Orleans. And I was thinking...this guy is even more clueless than I thought he was, which is saying something." -- Keith Olbermann

DEPT. OF 'WHY ARE YOU SUCH A BAD DADDY?': "Do we have to make a choice, at some point, between what we're doing in Iraq and what is needed, right now, to funnel massive amounts of money [to the hurricane victims]?... Do you promise jobs? Do you promise that they will be moved back into housing, and how soon?" -- ABC's Diane Sawyer to President Bush

FOR YERS AGO I CULD KNOT SPEL 'COLUMNITS,' NOW I ARE WON: "The federal government's lethal ineptitude wasn't just a consequence of Mr. Bush's personal inadequacy; it was a consequence of ideological hostility to the very idea of using government to serve the public good. For 25 years the right has been denigrating the public sector, telling us that government is always the problem, not the solution. Why should we be surprised that when we needed a government solution, it wasn't forthcoming?" -- former Enron advisor Paul Krugman, ignoring the immense private solutions being worked out on the Gulf coast.

A JOKE, OKAY, JUST A JOKE: "ATTN: SUPERDOME RESIDENTS: "I think it's time to face facts. That place is going to be a Mad Max/thunderdome Waterworld/Lord of the Flies horror show within the next few hours. My advice is to prepare yourself now. Hoard weapons, grow gills and learn to communicate with serpents. While you're working on that, find the biggest guy you can and when he's not expecting it beat him senseless. Gather young fighters around you and tell the womenfolk you will feed and protect any female who agrees to participate without question in your plans to repopulate the earth with a race of gilled-supermen. It's never too soon to be prepared." -- Jonah Goldberg, 28 August.

NOT A JOKE, BUT NOT TRUE EITHER: "It is reported that black hurricane victims in New Orleans have begun eating corpses to survive." -- Randall Robinson, who later retracted that but stood by "everything else I wrote without reservation."

ALL THOSE RESCUERS LOOK ALIKE: "How can blacks be locked out of the leadership, and trapped in the suffering?" -- Jesse Jackson who evidently cannot tell that U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Russell Honore, head of the military task force overseeing operations in the three states, is black. Ditto the Mayor of New Orleans

AND THE BURNING CROSS AWARD FOR MOST BLATANT RACIST REMARK GOES TO: "What you won't hear, except from me, is that 'Let the good times roll' is an especially risky message for African-Americans. The plain fact is that they tend to possess poorer native judgment than members of better-educated groups. Thus they need stricter moral guidance from society." -- Steve Sailer from who needs to take get a lot of moral guidance toot sweet.

HURRICANES AND STAMPEDES TOO! "Innocent people are dying daily in this world. In the crush of the hurricane story, the fact that 950 people (mostly women and children) were trampled to death in Iraq was buried in the back sections. Those are 950 people who would still be alive if George Bush were not president. " -- Cindy Sheehan, who is so last August already.

LUCKILY FOR BUSH IT WAS A CATEGORY 4: "Does this mean we should blame President Bush for the fact that New Orleans is underwater? No, but it means we can blame Bush when a Category 3 or Category 2 hurricane puts New Orleans under." -- Molly Ivins imitating Helen Thomas.

OPERATORS ARE STANDING BY: "Upon receipt of a valid $100,000 bid, award winning investigative journalist/bestselling author Mark Ebner will officially change his name to "Ron Bon Jovi" and donate the auction proceeds to the American Red Cross hurricane relief fund."

SOME THING OR SOME ONE: "While no one could have known the exact nature of this disaster in terms of time and place, we knew full well that something like it was likely—just as we knew that bin Laden, or someone, was likely to attack the U.S. using planes as weapons." -- Eric Alterman, who should know better, but doesn't. Ever.

AND THE EVER-POPULAR CLASSIC FROM THE KING OF THE COMB-OVERS: "I root for hurricanes. When, courtesy of the Weather Channel, I see one forming in the ocean off the coast of Africa, I find myself longing for it to become big and strong--Mother Nature's fist of fury, Gaia's stern rebuke. Considering the havoc mankind has wreaked upon nature with deforesting, stripmining, and the destruction of animal habitat, it only seems fair that nature get some of its own back and teach us that there are forces greater than our own" -- James Wolcott.

Posted by Vanderleun at May 7, 2005 9:24 AM
Bookmark and Share



"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Coincidentally, when I see that alligator picture from a few days back --

-- I find myself longing for it to be at James Wolcott's front door.

Posted by: Umbriel at September 7, 2005 10:14 AM

Yes, it would fit right in with his cat-kids.

Posted by: Gerard Van Der Leun at September 7, 2005 10:26 AM

"Land shark!"

"Aw, come on, you're just kidding around!" (Opens door.) "Aieeeeee!!!"

Posted by: Andrea Harris at September 7, 2005 10:31 AM

I think you should have titled the post "Missing an Opportunity to Shut Up."

Works on all sorts of levels.

Posted by: Eric Blair at September 7, 2005 12:14 PM

Done and done. Thanks.

Posted by: Gerard Van Der Leun at September 7, 2005 12:45 PM

My personal favorite Olbermann quote can be found here.

SECAUCUS — Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff said it all, starting his news briefing Saturday afternoon: "Louisiana is a city that is largely underwater..."

Well there's your problem right there.

If ever a slip-of-the-tongue defined a government's response to a crisis, this was it.

Yes, that's right. A slip of the tongue by a tired, overworked man calls the entire federal response into doubt.

Posted by: Slublog at September 7, 2005 1:57 PM

I watched the increasingly insane statements emanating from the party of reality coalesce into a full court press of blinding hate by mid-last week. I didn't figure out exactly what the driving PR objective was until Bill Whittle published "Tribes".

Remember that four or five week period right after 9/11? Establishment Democrats and liberals waited with dread the demand of a unified American public for retribution on those responsible for the attacks on our cities... and accountability from those who allowed the primary individual behind those attacks to have run free after so many ignored opportunities to apprehend or simply kill him.

We were one people there for a brief shining moment - excepting creatures like Sontag, Chomsky, Moore, McKinney, et al - and the potential for political backlash was so great that Patriot, DHS, and a land war in Afghanistan shot through both sides of congress without a blink.

By the time we actually got into the meat of removing the Taliban, we lost that unity of purpose. Media sniping, the realization that the core of the Democrat base is closer to al Qaeda than Al the union plumber in affection for democracy and defense of the country made it imperative for those who like DC jobs to say what that base wanted to hear.

With Katrina we had a chance to pull together again - but with a weather event there is no one behind the tragedy to seek vengence on, to focus on, but rather only the prospect of hard work and expensive effort ahead, as with all other historical natural disasters we have experienced as a nation.

We could dig in and do the right thing, and it would be good, and it would be a moment to be proud of. What's Left of the left still owns most of the cameras and barrels of ink, and that shit just wasn't going to be allowed to happen again.

Now our public view into the efforts to help the victims eerily parallels the coverage of the war in Iraq. Turn on any channel, read any column, and you'll wade through viscious second guessing tempered with editorial opinion purveyed as hard news long, long before you get any hard data on tons of supplies, numbers of rescuers, or restoration of services. Thank goodness for Blogs is all I can say.

A great city is on the cusp of destruction and many other smaller communities have been damaged or wiped out entirely. Hundreds of thousands of our citizens are displaced or are yet marooned and awaiting relief. Now is the time to get the job done as best we can, yet the focus of the left remains zeroed on destroying one man, regardless of the cost to the fabric of our society, to the victims on our Gulf shore, the lives of our troops engaged against the veil of evil that is fundamentalist Islam, or the fate of the mere chance of representative democracy rising from the barbarism that is the at rest state of most of the Muslim arc of nations.

I heard mentioned a Gallup poll today that noted that only 13% of the sample blamed bush for the disaster. Had to search out the report and read all the way to the bottom to find that stat, though.

I think thirteen percent would probably be the number for people who think the CIA piloted the 9/11 aircraft, too.

I hope the news cycle rolls over pretty quick; their best effort doesn't seem to be selling the product. Again. Still.

Posted by: TmjUtah at September 7, 2005 5:13 PM

Carnival of the Inanities

Posted by: Cobb at September 8, 2005 12:24 AM