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A GIRL NAMED BRUCE (PART 3)! Her name may be Bruce—but her books make us ralph. Who is this “progressive” Fox “Democrat?”


THAT’S A ROGER: When you deal with a Girl Named Bruce, perhaps you expect contradictions. But in the case now under review, contradictions and confusion abound. Her name may be “Bruce,” but her manner is frank; every time she comes on the air, the “Fox contributor” quickly admits that yes, she really is a Big Democrat (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 12/17/03). And not only that—by her own admission, Bruce is a feminist, she’s openly gay, and she has “an investment in progressive politics.” In short, if you’re willing to listen to Tammy Bruce, Tammy Bruce is a screaming Dem liberal. But then, as soon as someone asks her a question, Bruce begins to trash all Dems! It’s no wonder our analysts were so kerflubbled. Is Fox’s “Girl Named Bruce” the real deal? Or is Tammy Bruce just the latest slick Willie?

Who in the world is Tammy Bruce? In 1989, Bruce, then 27, became head of the Los Angeles branch of NOW. But she was forced from her post in 1996—canned for making racially naughty remarks about the O.J. Simpson case. On December 7, 1995, Marc Lacey gave an overview in the Los Angeles Times. “Bruce was quoted in an Associated Press report as saying she did not want to discuss the O.J. Simpson case on a TV program because she did not want ‘to argue with a bunch of black women,’” Lacey wrote. “Bruce also said her domestic violence message provided ‘a needed break from all that talk of racism.’” Maybe these were just clumsy locutions, and maybe NOW was hyper-sensitive. But the national office censured Bruce, and asked her to apologize for these remarks (and some others). Bruce refused to do any such thing. Six months later, T-Bruce moved on.

Bruce made news again in the summer of 1998, when she was canned as a radio host at L.A.’s KFI—for making racially naughty remarks! On July 8, Camille Cosby, Bill Cosby’s wife, published an op-ed in USA Today. One day earlier, 19-year-old Ukrainian immigrant Mikail Markhasev had been found guilty of murdering the Cosbys’ son, Ennis. “I believe America taught our son’s killer to hate African Americans,” Camille Cosby wrote, citing a racial remark by Markhasev and his previous criminal assault on an African-American. After reading Cosby’s column, T-Bruce swung into action. Six weeks later, KFI program director David Hall apologized for Bruce’s remarks. Judith Michaelson described the action in the Los Angeles Times:

MICHAELSON (8/21/98): In a highly unusual statement aired eight times over a two-hour period Wednesday night and Thursday morning—in which the word “apology” was used 10 times—top management at talk station KFI-AM (640) expressed deep regret, made corrections and offered retractions for comments made by nighttime host Tammy Bruce involving Camille and Bill Cosby and the murder of their son, Ennis.

KFI’s nearly five-minute apology was pre-recorded by program director David G. Hall, who spoke for 4 1/2 minutes, and Howard Neal, vice president and general manager.

Noting that Bruce’s opinions began to “overtake the facts,” Hall called various comments by the KFI host “unfounded, mean-spirited and simply inappropriate.”

Holy cow! What had KFI’s progressive Democrat said? Michaelson’s report provided some details. As he apologized on behalf of KFI, Hall spoke in the first person plural:
MICHAELSON: “Specifically,” Hall said, “Mrs. Cosby was characterized as ‘incredibly unstable, crazy, paranoid, delusional, just nuts’ and the like. It was suggested that Mrs. Cosby seek therapy. We had no information about Mrs. Cosby’s mental health…We wish to apologize.

“Similarly, in challenging Mrs. Cosby’s assertion that her son’s killing was racially motivated, we suggested that Mrs. Cosby caused her son’s death by giving him access to an expensive car. Those comments were remarkably insensitive…Ours were cruel statements to make to parents whose son had recently been murdered.”

As for Bill Cosby, Hall said statements by Bruce about him were “false, offensive and unnecessarily hurtful. And they too need to be retracted.” Hall cited “our statements” that Cosby had “multiple illegitimate children as a result of multiple extramarital affairs with white women,” and another that he “secretly funded the criminal defense of O.J. Simpson.”

No doubt about it—Bruce’s deep “investment in progressive politics” had really begun to shine through! In a lengthy, generally sympathetic portrait of Bruce, Ron Russell provided more quotes in the New Times Los Angeles:
RUSSELL (11/12/98): “I have two words for you this evening,” she warned listeners. “Camille Cosby.” The Tammy, as fans affectionately call her, then went ballistic. In two hours of fire and brimstone, she ripped apart the essay line by line, not only questioning Camille’s sanity but wondering aloud about her super-rich and powerful husband’s sexual mores, referring to him as a “philandering, impregnating friend of O.J. Simpson.” While acknowledging that she had no proof, she suggested that the revered Cosby, a friend of Simpson lawyer Johnnie Cochran, may have secretly helped to fund the ex-football star’s murder defense. But most of her ire was aimed at Camille’s assertion that the 27-year-old Ennis had been shot to death while changing a tire late at night near a lonely stretch of Mulholland Drive because he was black. Bruce posited that he was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time—while driving his mother's $130,000 Mercedes-Benz. She then implied that the parents themselves shared the blame. “I say to Mrs. Cosby first of all, if she’s not in therapy she needs to get some immediately. And how dare she!” fumed The Tammy.
Bruce said her remarks been taken out of context. But the thoughtful feminist was finished at KFI, and soon enrolled at the University of Southern California. Soon, she’d reappear as a Trojan horse, rolled on TV to pose as a Dem while trashing all Dems and all liberals.

Bruce began to re-emerge in 2001 with her incoherent book, The New Thought Police. Early on, Bruce engaged in—what else?—racially naughty remarks; indeed, by page 18, she had trashed both Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks, while magnanimously saying that King and Parks weren’t necessarily villainous. “I wouldn’t say that these people are the villains of the current Left,” T-Bruce generously said (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 12/2/03). But King and Parks did show their “preference for deceit in the pursuit of power,” she noted. More specifically, Rosa Parks had “pushed us into the maze of Thought Police totalitarianism that we face today.”

Are you starting to see a recurrent theme in BruceThought? Needless to say, the racially naughty remarks persist in her current book, The Death of Right and Wrong. Indeed, Bruce revisits an old pal, Bill Cosby, whom she compares unfavorably to convicted rapist Mike Tyson. “”[A]t least Tyson’s honest about his corruption,” she types. But Bruce dismisses the Coz—along with Kweisi Mfume—as “The Great Black Hypocrite.” Men like Cosby are “the main threat to the black community,” she writes. According to Bruce, Cosby and Mfume are part of the Black Elite—people who are “motivated, whether consciously or unconsciously, by a deep-rooted hatred for their country and themselves, which leads them to attempt to destroy the future of their own people and, indeed, everyone else.” And yes, this is the kind of writing which pervades Bruce’s crackpot books. For the record, Bruce cites only one piece of evidence regarding Cosby’s devilry—an ambiguous (and unsupported) passage from former supermodel Janice Dickinson’s recent book, a book in which Dickinson claims love affairs with many famous men. Most of these men are white, of course, and therefore manage to escape Bruce’s notice. For the record, Dickinson plainly doesn’t claim that she ever had sex with The Coz.

No doubt, all these remarks have been taken out of context. In no way should they make readers wonder why Bruce presents herself as “a progressive” and “a Democrat.” But other parts of The Death of Right and Wrong might at least raise such a question. Early on, we couldn’t help wondering why a fiery progressive would want to say something like this:

T-BRUCE (page 15): Wow! Neither guilty nor innocent! How’s that for Through the Looking Glass? That’s how the liberals would have our world be. No judgment, no conclusions, no reality, no rules, no personal responsibility. No guilt or innocence. The death of right and wrong.
According to Bruce, “the liberals” want there to be “no reality.” We thought that statement was just a bit odd, coming from such a committed progressive. But then, knowing what a Big Dem Tammy Bruce is, we were also a bit surprised by a grouping she gave to Bill Clinton:
T-BRUCE (page 35): [T]he Judeo-Christian ethic and the personal standards it encourages do not impinge on the quality of life, but enhance it. They also give one a basic moral template that is not relative, but that’s exactly why it threatens the Left Elite. This basic ethical guide provides standards that people like Bill Clinton, Jesse Jackson, Andrea Yates and Mumia Abu-Jamal do not meet. But these are the very people who are held up as examples by the Media Elite (serving as foot soldiers for the Left).
Trust us—most Democrats don’t lump Clinton in with someone who recently drowned all her children. But by now, of course, you’ve seen the Big Secret—Tammy Bruce is a circus act—someone you just can't take seriously. But just imagine that she’s put her on the air to pose as a Dem when she writes clowning bullroar like this:
T-BRUCE (page 125): Leftists, now in control of the Democratic Party, have simply co-opted issues of importance to all Americans, including black civil rights. But the proof of a real commitment isn’t seated in rhetoric—it’s in action. Which is probably why it took a fairly conservative president, George W. Bush, to finally appoint black people to real positions of power. Jimmy Carter didn’t. Bill Clinton didn’t. It didn’t take a village, Hillary—it took a Republican.
But then, T-Bruce seems to think poorly of all major Dems. Early on, for example, she provides a review of the cardinal virtues. After quoting C. S. Lewis’ definition of justice, she relates the concept to both the Clintons—and, of course, to “Teddy” Kennedy. “I think it’s safe to say…that this virtue doesn’t even remotely touch their lives,” T-Bruce says.

As we’ve mentioned, T-Bruce is a circus act. The fact that she's on the air at all—well, it’s a stunning fact about our era. But how about the fact that Fox presents her as a “progressive” and a “Democrat?” Whatever this Girl Named Bruce really is, it’s fairly clear that she’s neither of these. Would it take a real faker to pose Bruce that way? Our answer is clear—that’s a roger.

TOMORROW: This “Girl Named Bruce” can explain the whole thing. But so can the other faux Democrats.

VERY RELIABLE SOURCES: What an amazing remark by the Thurmonds’ lawyer! Michael Janofsky quoted the counselor in Tuesday’s New York Times:

JANOFSKY: “As J. Strom Thurmond has passed away and cannot speak for himself, the Thurmond family acknowledges Ms. Essie Mae Washington-Williams’ claim to her heritage,” a family lawyer, J. Mark Taylor, said in a brief written statement. “We hope this acknowledgment will bring closure for Ms. Williams.”
Amazing, isn’t it? Whatever one thinks of this fascinating story, Strom Thurmond had 78 years “to speak for himself” about this matter. We couldn’t restrain those low, mordant chuckles as we marveled at Taylor’s construction.

Meanwhile, we suggest that you read Brent Staples’ discussion in today’s New York Times. Staples critiques the work of establishment sources in the telling of America’s racial history. How about Thomas Jefferson, for example? “The big lesson for historians in the Hemings-Jefferson case was that the oral histories passed down by slaves and their descendants were more reliable than the official written record,” Staples notes. So too with the Thurmond story. “Like most stories of its kind, this one would have died out long ago had it not been carried for nearly a century on the tongues of black South Carolinians, who recognized the story of Strom Thurmond and Essie Mae Washington-Williams’s mother as a universal story of black families across the state.” Official sources, alas, told it wrong. Official folk? They misinformed you:

STAPLES: It was not, however, the official story. The biographer Nadine Cohodas dismissed it as a “legend in the black community” a decade ago in her book “Strom Thurmond and the Politics of Southern Change.” Another writer of the South described it as apparently without foundation—a phrase that is used all the time to dismiss the black oral tradition as apocryphal.
Ah yes—those “official stories.” We have tried, for the past six years, to debunk many current “official stories”—official stories which store-bought bootblacks have been more than willing to tell you. But then, store-bought scriveners are always eager to tell you the tales current power prefers. As you read through Staples’ piece, be sure to sing praise of two writers he mentions—“a journalism professor, Jack Bass, and a Washington Post reporter, Marilyn Thompson.” Tomorrow, we’ll consider the way some modern scribes have kept you clueless about other stories. For example, why must you read about Tammy Bruce here? Tomorrow, we’ll name the names of store-bought scribes who hate disrupting official stories. As sources, they are completely reliable. Want the truth? You can wait 80 years.