DUSTY RHOADES: Learn a Few Simple Rules for Right-Wing Punditry
Hey there, loyal readers! Out of work? Retirement fund tanking? Worried about your future?
Well, have I got a job for you! The people who brought you the Dusty Rhoades Serious Professional Journalists School are back, bringing you the Dusty Rhoades School for Right-Wing Punditry! Take your place alongside the true giants of wingnut commentary, people like Glenn Beck, Michelle Malkin, or even Papa Bear himself, Bill O'Reilly!
Just follow a couple of simple steps and you, too can be one of the Professionally Outraged!
Step One: Find something, anything, that President Obama or some other prominent alleged "liberal" does. It doesn't matter if it's something that every other president in recent memory has done.
Take, for instance the fact that, at recent events, President Barack Obama has used a teleprompter for some of his prepared remarks. It doesn't matter that George Dubbya Bush used a teleprompter (his even had to have some words spelled out phonetically so he could pronounce them, according to a story by Reuters News agency). Bush's daddy used a teleprompter, as did Bill Clinton. Even Ronald Reagan, who was known as The Great Communicator, used a teleprompter.
But if you're going to be a successful right-wing pundit, none of this matters. You can't let facts get in the way of...
Step Two: OUTRAGE! Whatever factoid you've picked, no matter how silly or trivial it is, has to be (1) Proof Positive That Barack Obama is the Antichrist, (2) A Sign of the Imminent Fall of Western Civilization to Hordes of Scary Brown People, or (3) Yet Another Sign That the Liberal Media Are In the Tank For Obama.
It's that simple!
Here's a helpful hint: It's always good if you can work in the phrase "change we can believe in" in a sarcastic manner. You don't even have to be clever or witty. All you have to do, really, is repeat the phrase. Example: "President Obama uses a teleprompter. Change we can believe in."
See how easy that is? It gives the illusion of wit, but requires no thought at all! Don't forget to sneer!
Unfortunately for you, the "Obama is a bad speaker! He's the only president who's had to use a teleprompter!" story is already taken. It's about run its course on the way to becoming another tool in the wingnut commentator's toolbox: The Zombie Lie. It's great for recycling old material.
A Zombie Lie is something that's been refuted over and over. Don't let that worry you! You can raise the lie again and again! That's why it's called a Zombie Lie! You deploy the ZL by reducing it to a one-liner or a stupid nickname that you then drop randomly into other discussions.
Example: In any discussion of former Vice President Al Gore, or of global warming, be sure to mention (with a sneer, of course) that "Al Gore claimed to have invented the Internet." It's been repeatedly shown that he never said that. But that's the beauty of the Zombie Lie: Truth can't kill it. So a year from now, you can call Obama "President Teleprompter" and the Zombie Lie will live again.
For the aspiring wingnut pundit, material is everywhere. Suggested topics: Barack Obama claims to be a man of the people, but lives in a very large house with a cook and a security staff; Obama has demanded an airplane for his personal use; or Obama's dog is some kind of "exotic" breed, not a good American dog at all.
Of course, these are just the basics. To learn more, you'll have to take our eight-week program, where you'll learn such techniques as: responding to even the mildest criticism by freaking out and crying that your free speech rights are being threatened; brushing aside inconvenient facts by irrelevant and insulting references to Michael Moore, Barbra Streisand, and Sean Penn; and, of course, blaming Bill Clinton for everything that happened from the dawn of history up until January 20, 2009, and blaming Barack Obama for everything that's happened after that date.
You also get free brain surgery at graduation to remove every memory of the past eight years. That way, you can squeal with indignation at "hateful liberal name-calling," blissfully ignorant that you sat on your butt and did nothing while people who dared disagree with the government spent that entire time being reviled as "traitors" and "anti-American."
Sign up today! Call 1-800-WINGNUT. Operators are standing by!
Dusty Rhoades lives, writes, and practices law in Carthage.
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