I wish the Delaware Republican primary season could have stretched on for a few more weeks or even months. Watching partisan right-wing pundits battle each other over the state's U.S. Senate nomination was pure delight. And the media fratricide that marked the final 48 hours of the bitter campaign battle was especially satisfying as some far-right propaganda players finally got a taste of their own misinformation medicine.
My favorite part: Watching GOP bloggers condemn Tea Party hate talker Mark Levin for being unethical. (You don't say!)
As you may have noticed, during the final Delaware fury, right-wing media players went all in on behalf of controversial Tea Party candidate Christine O'Donnell and in the process waged war with fellow right-wing media players who dismissed her as unelectable in November. They instead stood by traditional Republican Party candidate Mike Castle.
Nothing wrong with an honest intramural debate, right? Problem is the GOP Noise Machine doesn't really do honest. It's not one of their gears. That doesn't bother members when they're being dishonest about Democrats and liberals. But suddenly when they're dishonest about each other? Apparently that is not allowed. And yes, the Delaware hypocrisy was in full bloom.
The week's marquee media matchup featured Levin battling blogger Paul Mirengoff at the high-profile conservative site Powerline. Mirengoff had chided conservatives for not being pragmatic in backing O'Donnell even though polls showed she had little chance of defeating her Democratic opponent in November. By not supporting the more electable Castle in a Democratic-leaning state like Delaware, the Powerline blogger worried that conservatives were dooming Republicans to permanent minority status.
For whatever reason that innocuous analysis set off Levin who lashed out wildly at Mirengoff (while misstating his position):
The battle quickly shifted to the right-wing blogosphere when Tea Party bloggers Jin Hoft and Dan Riehl peddled the bogus claim that conniving Castle once tried to impeach president Bush. The guys at Powerline seemed genuinely stunned that fellow right-wing bloggers would stoop to such lows:
The madness continues, as activists who support Christine O'Donnell in the Delaware Senate primary have stepped up their attacks on Mike Castle by alleging that he voted to impeach President Bush.
And with that, the full-on civil war erupted, with both sides calling out each other for being deceitful and dishonest. And yes the irony was hard to miss.
It's ironic because all these right-wing bloggers and talk show hosts shovel bullshit all the time. It's what they do. It's how many of them make their living. They strive to shovel as much of it as they can in a 24-hour day. They take pride in their shoveling prowess. They layer it high and try to score points by shaping their piles into new and usual forms: Obama is a Kenyan communist! Texas was invaded by Mexico drug gangs! Nancy Pelosi is Hitler's mistress. Or whatever idiocy they dream up that day, and whatever their sycophantic readers and listeners want to ingest.
That's the norm. That's considered okay. In fact, that's celebrated within the GOP Noise Machine.
The mistake Levin and some of his hot-headed online supporters made in defending O'Donnell and smearing Castle's media backers was they didn't shovel their dung far enough. Meaning, the manure landed inside the right-wing blogosphere and splattered onto the loafers of the Powerline team, which took offense and complained loudly about the stench surrounding Levin's misinformation.
Yeah well, welcome to the club guys.
And let's stipulate that having Powerline bloggers call out anyone for peddling “misstatement” and "playing so fast and loose with the facts" represents a monstrous bout of hubris in and of itself. Why? Because that's what Powerline does. (i.e. It shovels a lot.)
Powerline played a starring role in advancing the Terri Schiavo talking points memo hoax during the spring of 2005. Powerline played a starring role in the rush to declare guilty an Associated Press photographer who was accused of working with insurgents in Iraq. Powerline played a starring role in advancing the phony accusation that the AP had invented an Iraqi police captain and used him as a source. Powerline played a starring role in advancing the phony story that CNN reporter Michael Ware had heckled Sen. John McCain during a Baghdad press conference. And yes, Powerline has been busy lately pushing the rancid talking point that Obama is foreign and not like you and me.
All of which means, if even they were offended by Mark Levin's recent behavior, it must have been really, really bad.
And it was. Meaning he made stuff up, attacked people personally, and acted like a creep. Here's how Levin responded to The Weekly Standard's John McCormack after he wrote some tough articles about O'Donnell's political past:
You seem obsessed with O'Donnell. Have you obsessed over women before? Have you ever been married? Have you dated? I hate to ask you personal questions, but they do seem to be your speciality. [sic]
He also called the conservative Weekly Standard journalist “a sleazy” “regurgitator.” But here's the news flash: That's not unusual because it's Mark Levin and he's nut job.
So why does this suddenly come as news to the Powerline bloggers? Why does this only now strike them as a revelation? Honestly, have they ever spent five minutes listening to Levin's lunatic rants on the AM dial?
Gimme a break fellas. You're arriving very, very late to the Mark-Levin-can't-tell-the-truth party. But yes, you're welcome to stay. And while you're lounging, let's get you up to speed on some recent Levin chestnuts:
When Levin was busy unveiling those nuggets of wisdom, right-wing bloggers like the ones at Powerline didn't say boo because the targets of Levin's deranged venom were deemed to be acceptable. There were no murmurs of Levin being irresponsible or of the AM hate host misstating the facts.
Why? Because when he attacked Obama and Democrats as miscreants nobody in the right-wing blogosphere cared that Levin was busy shoveling. They actually liked it because everyone knows when right-wing pundits, bloggers, and talkers attack Democrats, facts and decency are pretty much optional. So why on earth would anyone object to Levin's shtick?
But OMG! When Levin put on the same type of widely unethical performance and took aim at a couple of conservatives? Well, that simply could not be ignored as bloggers and writers harrumphed and pretended there were suddenly standards that serious people were expected to uphold within conservative media circles.
Y'know, the right-wing standards that are invisible every other day of the year when the GOP Noise Machine takes aim at liberals.