Howling Dog Graphic
Point. Click. Search.

Contents: Archives:



Search this weblog
Search WWW
Howler Graphic
by Bob Somerby
  bobsomerby@hotmail.com
E-mail This Page
Socrates Reads Graphic
A companion site.
 

Site maintained by Allegro Web Communications, comments to Marc.

Howler Banner Graphic
Caveat lector



A GIRL NAMED BRUCE (PART 4)! Colmes asked Bruce, What makes you a lib? She gave him a classic reply:

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 19, 2003

A YEAR NAMED 1830: Johnny Cash’s “boy named Sue” always did boil with anger. So too with a “Girl Named Bruce,” whose tough talk now has her on Fox. But Cash’s lad was upset with his dad; T-Bruce vents at a much larger target. In 1996, she stepped down as head of Los Angeles NOW—dumped for racially naughty comments. Two years later, she was dumped as talk host at KFI—canned for racially naughty remarks (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 12/18/03). Then she penned her first book, The New Thought Police; by page eighteen, she had trashed Dr. King and Rosa Parks, identifying them as “totalitarian.” In her second book, The Death of Right and Wrong, Bruce identified “the main threat to the black community.” Surprise! This threat was Bill Cosby! According to Bruce, Cosby is part of the Black Elite—a group of people who are “motivated, whether consciously or unconsciously, by a deep-rooted hatred for their country and themselves.” How bad does it get with this Black Elite? According to Bruce, their hatred “leads them to attempt to destroy the future of their own people and, indeed, everyone else.”

In short, Bruce is pretty much a complete screaming nut. It’s amazing that this “Fox contributor” plays any role in America’s discourse. But the strange misnaming of Tammy Bruce clearly extends past her shape-shifting patronym. Every time Bruce shows up on Fox, she quickly IDs herself as a Democrat. And not only that—she says she’s “a progressive,” or “a liberal,” with a deep “investment in progressive politics.” But what makes Tammy Bruce think she’s a liberal? The subtitle of her book doesn’t sound very liberal. Exposing the LEFT’S Assault on Our Culture and Values, it says. And just check out the list of people who praise her book on its jacket:

Sean Hannity
G. Gordon Liddy
Chris Ruddy
Dennis Prager
There’s one more blurb—from a Doctor Named Laura. So it’s hard to see why Tammy Bruce persists in thinking that she’s a liberal. In fact, Bruce is a highly-fringe pseudo-conservative. Why, when Tammy Bruce says she’s a progressive, you could even think that the Girl Named Bruce is playing Fox viewers for marks!

But don’t worry—Bruce can explain the whole thing. To see more of the clowning that defines the Fox network, let’s review what T-Bruce said when Alan Colmes raised this very subject.

Last January 30, Bruce appeared on Hannity & Colmes for an “Interview on Partisan Politics” (Fox transcript). She wasn’t yet an official “Fox analyst;” she appeared as author of the brilliant book where she said that the totalitarian Rosa Parks was an avatar of the new “thought police.” As usual, her name was Bruce—but her manner was frank. She quickly admitted that she was a lefty—then began trashing all those on the left. “This is my argument coming from inside the left,” she confided. “We’re training the entire political spectrum to use name-calling to silence people, to stop debate.” Of course, conservatives aren’t like that, Bruce sadly admitted. “You find it here, I think, being on this program and this network as well, that, in fact, the right, the general right, don’t use that tactic, want to hear new ideas and don’t name-call.” Reporting in from a Planet Named Neptune, T-Bruce auditioned her pleasing new act, in which she swears she’s from The Left, then heaps piles of praise on The Right.

But you know Alan—he fought tooth and nail. At the start of the session, Colmes asked Bruce why she says she’s a liberal. Settle back and enjoy a good laugh as you read his guest’s clowning reply:

COLMES: You and I have some of the same views here, which—I think there’s intolerance on both the right and the left, and they don’t like it either way, and liberals are often not critical enough of themselves.

BRUCE: Well, that’s never going to happen.

COLMES: Yes. But you’re a liberal. And you are critical—

BRUCE: I’m a classical liberal.

COLMES: A classical liberal!

BRUCE: And the difference is that the left has gone so far to the left now, they’re fascists, and I’m considered a conservative, and I’m pro-choice and I’m a lesbian and I’m a feminist, and it’s gone so far to the left, I’m considered a conservative.

You could see how T-Bruce hates name-calling! (“The left?” They’re just “fascists,” she said.) At any rate, Bruce explained her puzzling self-ID: Tammy Bruce is a “classical” liberal! Translation: Bruce’s views would have been liberal in, oh, 1830. Therefore, that makes her a liberal today. And all those people who think she’s conservative? They’re using a fake definition!

Is there any way to get more stupid? If there is, rest assured that Roger Ailes will soon find it. But this clowning performance by kooky-con Bruce explains the FNC’s latest burlesque. Relying on her fractured logic, Fox throws its “analyst” onto the air. She says she’s a liberal, a progressive, a Dem. Then she starts to trash those groups. Fox viewers swell up with pride.

So no, Tammy Bruce really isn’t a “liberal,” and Tammy Bruce really isn’t “progressive.” Essentially, Tammy Bruce is a fake—an actor who has been thrown on Fox to con its conservative viewers. And by the way, is Bruce a Democrat? Anyone can register in any party, of course. But back in November 1998, Ron Russell wrote a profile of Bruce for the New Times Los Angeles. Bruce was not a Dem, Russell said. According to Russell, Bruce had “turn[ed] Clinton hater, becoming sufficiently incensed by the Monica Lewinsky revelations to change her voter registration from Democrat to Libertarian.” Was Bruce a registered Libertarian in 1998? And did she later switch back to Dem, despite her obvious contempt for the party? It would surely be good fun to know. After all, Bruce is useful to Fox as a registered Dem; she can go on the air and say she’s a Dem without engaging in technical lying. Without engaging in technical lying, Bruce can then lament the work of the party she so deeply loves Posing as frank, a Girl Named Bruce is a wolf in sheep’s clothing on Fox.

But then, we live at a time when many faux Dems seem to be playing fake roles in the discourse. Tammy Bruce is an obvious fake. But what about all the rest?

TOMORROW: Are other “Dems” just faking it too? We wish we could give you the answer.

LETTERS—THEY GOT LETTERS: The New Times Los Angeles got tons-o-mail after Russell’s profile of Bruce. One reader described the “progressive Democrat’s” flair for international diplomacy:

LETTER: KFI had good reasons to terminate her employment long ago. I had the misfortune to tune in to her show after midnight one morning early this year to hear her viciously attack the nation of Mexico because of a single court decision. She slandered the entire Mexican people in terms so abusive, insolent, arrogant, and asinine that I felt compelled to keep listening to assure myself that she was serious. My letter to David Hall of KFI, of course, went ignored, unlike that of Camille Cosby’s lawyer. Ms. Bruce, who in her talk show tirades uniquely combined vapidity and vitriol, was truly a loose cannon of the airwaves.
Now, the cannon booms at Fox, presented as a progressive liberal Democrat.

STILL QUACKING: Once again, the doctor was IN on last night’s Special Report. During the roundtable, Dr. Krauthammer grew impatient as panelists tried to shrink Howard Dean. Finally, the doctor pulled rank:

KRAUTHAMMER: [Sorry. Nexis still hasn’t posted its transcript. We’ll transfer it here when they do.]
There’s simply no end to Krauthammer’s quackery. And there will be no correction to the fake facts he presented in the Washington Post two weeks back. In an op-ed column, Krauthammer completely misstated something Barbra Streisand (never) said, and he blatantly mangled a Hardball transcript, making a joke by Dean sound like his latest weird statement (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 12/5/03). Yep, Krauthammer is a general practitioner. He knows how to shrink a wayward pol. But he also can doctor a transcript.

But guess what? Fred Hiatt has a big fancy desk—and no apparent plan to lose it. In his column, Krauthammer blatantly misled the Post’s readers. But two weeks have gone by since the column appeared. No attempt has been made to correct.

For the record, Harold Meyerson misstated facts about Dick Cheney in a Post op-ed last summer (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 7/17/03). Hiatt didn’t make Meyerson correct his facts, either. Under Hiatt, the op-ed page is the Post’s wild west. Our advice: Double-check any “fact” which you find there.