In a Huffington Post article today, former Newsweek senior editor Howard Fineman says he was prepared to dismiss Jon Stewart’s Oct. 30 “Rally to Restore Sanity” as “self-indulgent, time-wasting comedy” until he saw two videos that convinced him sanity is indeed in peril in the U.S. during the current campaign season.
The two videos?
One showed a Rand Paul supporter stomping on the head of a female Move On demonstrator (photo above, left). The other showed CNN host Joy Behar calling Sharron Angle a bitch and saying the U.S. Senate candidate is destined to go to hell.
Fineman concludes that these two videos show Americans are losing the ability to debate issues civilly, etc., etc.
Now, I’ve heard Fineman pontificating on Keith Olbermann’s MSNBC show from time to time, and while he’s a bit too wishy-washy for my taste, I had a modicum of respect for the man.
Anyone who equates hyperbole from a comedienne with stomping on someone’s head to suppress their first amendment rights has no credibility in my view.
Fineman obviously feels obliged to cite examples from both sides of the political divide – in short to be “fair and balanced” – in his mealy-mouthed condemnation of the head stomper.
Confessed stomper Tim Profitt, who was working for Rand Paul (pictured together above, middle), is charged with a criminal offense. Lexington police have issued a summons for his arrest.
Joy Behar, on the other hand, might be guilty of poor taste but she broke no law. (And I can understand her exasperation. She was justifiably disgusted by a Sharron Angle ad that portrayed every stereotype of Mexican youth … head-scarf-wearing, gang-joining, border-busting, mug-shot-glaring, tattoo-flaunting … to convince Arizona’s voters that “waves of illegal aliens are streaming across our border, joining violent gangs, forcing families to live in fear.”)
By lumping Behar and Profitt together, Fineman joins the likes of Glenn Beck, who has been insisting that the threat of violence is coming from both left and right. In effect, he creates a false impression.
It’s the right, stupid!
It’s the right that’s doing and saying the crazy things – not just crazy but dangerous and seditious. It’s the right that America must watch out for.
These people aren’t just kooky; they’re malignant.
Who on the left has had his security guards handcuff a reporter and hold him prisoner – as Tea Party candidate Joe Miller did in Alaska recently? Who on the left is calling for armed insurrection?Who on the left is showing up at political rallies with loaded guns?
Yes, Howard, Stewart’s rally is no laughing matter. It’s satire at its most powerful. And you would have been a dope to shrug it off.
But don’t play the “unbiased journalist” with me, Howard. I spent too long in the news game to put up with that kind of smarminess.