Malacandra.me

Remember Kids, The Secret To Big, Big Media Success…



...is to wait until after everything Liberals have been warning about for decades finally comes to pass --

In The Beginning...


"The junk [heroin] merchant does not sell his product to the consumer, he sells the consumer to his product. He does not improve and simplify his merchandise. He degrades and simplifies the client."
-- William S. Burroughs, "Deposition: Testimony Concerning a Sickness" with a big h/t to Neo Tuxedo for this quote.
For the record, I am perfectly aware that the roots of our long and tortured political history go back to Beringa, Eric the Red and Strom Thurmond quitting the Democratic Party in 1948 to form the segregationist States' Rights Democratic Party also known as the "Dixiecrats" (note:  The Dixiecrats were later dissolved and then gradually reconstituted into a much larger, more powerful and better-funded segregationist party called "The Republicans".)


But because this post will not be one billion words long, it will not cover anything like a territory that vast...
-- and then emerge from the smoking rubble and report it as some kind of breathless epiphany.  From the Atlantic's November 2018 feature story:
How Newt Gingrich Broke American Politics

He turned partisan battles into blood sport, wrecked Congress, and paved the way for Trump's rise. Now he's reveling in his achievements.
Yes, Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh and a rogue's gallery of other well-funded Republican thugs, racists and demagogues did indeed break American politics.  In real time.  Right in front of everyone.  While the Beltway media "oohed" and "ahhed" and jerked off and whinged about Both Sides Being Awful.

Old fucking news, boy-o.

But amazingly what the Atlantic story never bothers to mention is how American politics stayed broken.  In an act of extraordinarily conspicuous omission that crosses the line into genuine journalistic malpractice, the author, McKay Coppins, terminates the Gingrich 1.0 timeline right about here --
On December 19, 1998, Gingrich cast his final vote as a congressman—a vote to impeach Bill Clinton for lying under oath about an affair. By the time it was revealed that the ex-speaker had been secretly carrying on an illicit relationship with a 23-year-old congressional aide named Callista throughout his impeachment crusade, almost no one was surprised.
-- and then just skips right over pretty much the entire intervening twenty years between then and now and picks up the timeline again with the Gingrich 2.0 of today:
There’s something about Newt Gingrich that seems to capture the spirit of America circa 2018. With his immense head and white mop of hair; his cold, boyish grin; and his high, raspy voice, he has the air of a late-empire Roman senator—a walking bundle of appetites and excesses and hubris and wit. In conversation, he toggles unnervingly between grandiose pronouncements about “Western civilization” and partisan cheap shots that seem tailored for cable news. It’s a combination of self-righteousness and smallness, of pomposity and pettiness, that personifies the decadence of this era.
You see, 20 years ago -- just four years after he led his angry mob of Republican bigots and imbeciles to electoral victory -- Newt Gingrich was politically dead:
The poor showing by Republicans in the 1998 Congressional elections, a reprimand from the House for Gingrich's ethics violation, pressure from Republican colleagues, and revelations of an extramarital affair with a congressional employee 23 years his junior resulted in Gingrich's resignation from the speakership on November 6, 1998.
So what the hell happened between then and now?

Meet the Press happened. 

Because everyone (except, apparently, Mr. Coppins) knows what happens to lying, corrupt, publicly disgraced moralizing Republican serial adulterers when they are thrown out of their own party, right?
Most frequent ‘Meet the Press’ guest in 2009: Newt Gingrich.
That's right, kids!  Quicker than you can say "Tom DeLay", the Beltway media -- especially the disgraced former host of Meet the Press, David Fucking Gregory -- enacted what I've referred to on my shitty blog several million times as "The Gingrich Rules".
In the game of professional punditry there also clearly exists a special set of rules designed with one person on mind.  Or, rather, one sort of person: Conservatism's parade of bomb-throwing, hate-mongering, race-baiting bottom feeders.  That breed which makes their daily bread from grifting the Pig People by generating an endless flood of books, magazine articles, broadcasts, speeches and videos all telling the GOP base over and over again that them their bigotries are noble and their paranoia is patriotic.

Of course, part of the downside of wallowing in the wingnut sewer and trafficking in slander and lies is that, sooner or later, you become a toxic mess.  Your stink becomes unacceptable to the general public, which s where the Sunday morning talk shows -- the Mouse Circus -- comes in.   Because despite having long ago devolved into a sinkhole of Beltway centrist twaddle, it is still viewed by altogether too many people as a bastion of Very Serious people -- it's the strip-mall of political opinion where casual shoppers go to feel smart and validated.

And so a bargain is struck; the bottom feeders deliver a temporary hike in the only thing these show's owners really care about -- audience share -- and, in exchange for being teevee friendly and keeping the worst of their batshit crazy on a leash for a few minutes, their Mouse Circus deburrs the bottom feeders' public image, replates and burnishes their credibility and temporarily transfuses them with Seriousness, which can then be redeemed at ten times its face value back among the Pig People.

And in the key to that bargain we find "The Gingrich Rules":  an agreement that the moderator will never, ever ask the bomb-throwing, hate-mongering, race-baiting goon sitting directly across from them a single question about their bomb-throwing, hate-mongering or race-baiting activities.  Instead they will be represented to the public merely as a Conservative commentator or talk radio host or pundit who, at worst, might be known for some "controversial" opinions, which the moderator will never bothers to explicate...
And so while Gingrich's grifting, slandering, racist ass may have been tossed out of the "political" door, and while has not held political office since Ally McBeal was on the air, for reason the lords and ladies of the Beltway media have never deigned to share with the unwashed masses, he was welcomed right back to the table through the "media" door like a long lost lodge brother. 

Over and over and over again.

And without the unstinting support of his collaborators and fellow-travelers in the Beltway media, today Newt Gingrich would most likely be the most insufferable associate professor of "history" at Chattahoochee Tech, and not the layabout asshole husband of the United States' ambassador to the Vatican.

And now you know the rest of the story.  And you also know most important secret to big, big media success.

Never, ever mention that the Left has been right about the Right all along, and never, ever make your colleagues uncomfortable by suggesting that, while Gingrich may have torched American politics, they were only too happy to expunge his record and drive his getaway car.

Over and over and over again.


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