FRIDAY, DECEMBER 19, 2003
A YEAR NAMED 1830: Johnny Cashs boy named Sue always did boil with anger. So too with a Girl Named Bruce, whose tough talk now has her on Fox. But Cashs lad was upset with his dad; T-Bruce vents at a much larger target. In 1996, she stepped down as head of Los Angeles NOWdumped for racially naughty comments. Two years later, she was dumped as talk host at KFIcanned 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 Elitea 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. Its amazing that this Fox contributor plays any role in Americas 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 thatshe says shes a progressive, or a liberal, with a deep investment in progressive politics. But what makes Tammy Bruce think shes a liberal? The subtitle of her book doesnt sound very liberal. Exposing the LEFTS Assault on Our Culture and Values, it says. And just check out the list of people who praise her book on its jacket:
Sean HannityTheres one more blurbfrom a Doctor Named Laura. So its hard to see why Tammy Bruce persists in thinking that shes a liberal. In fact, Bruce is a highly-fringe pseudo-conservative. Why, when Tammy Bruce says shes a progressive, you could even think that the Girl Named Bruce is playing Fox viewers for marks!
But dont worryBruce can explain the whole thing. To see more of the clowning that defines the Fox network, lets 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 wasnt 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 Brucebut her manner was frank. She quickly admitted that she was a leftythen began trashing all those on the left. This is my argument coming from inside the left, she confided. Were training the entire political spectrum to use name-calling to silence people, to stop debate. Of course, conservatives arent 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, dont use that tactic, want to hear new ideas and dont name-call. Reporting in from a Planet Named Neptune, T-Bruce auditioned her pleasing new act, in which she swears shes from The Left, then heaps piles of praise on The Right.
But you know Alanhe fought tooth and nail. At the start of the session, Colmes asked Bruce why she says shes a liberal. Settle back and enjoy a good laugh as you read his guests clowning reply:
COLMES: You and I have some of the same views here, whichI think theres intolerance on both the right and the left, and they dont like it either way, and liberals are often not critical enough of themselves.You could see how T-Bruce hates name-calling! (The left? Theyre just fascists, she said.) At any rate, Bruce explained her puzzling self-ID: Tammy Bruce is a classical liberal! Translation: Bruces views would have been liberal in, oh, 1830. Therefore, that makes her a liberal today. And all those people who think shes conservative? Theyre 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 FNCs latest burlesque. Relying on her fractured logic, Fox throws its analyst onto the air. She says shes a liberal, a progressive, a Dem. Then she starts to trash those groups. Fox viewers swell up with pride.
So no, Tammy Bruce really isnt a liberal, and Tammy Bruce really isnt progressive. Essentially, Tammy Bruce is a fakean 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 shes 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 sheeps 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.
LETTERSTHEY GOT LETTERS: The New Times Los Angeles got tons-o-mail after Russells profile of Bruce. One reader described the progressive Democrats 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 Cosbys 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 nights 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 hasnt posted its transcript. Well transfer it here when they do.]Theres simply no end to Krauthammers 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 deskand no apparent plan to lose it. In his column, Krauthammer blatantly misled the Posts 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 didnt make Meyerson correct his facts, either. Under Hiatt, the op-ed page is the Posts wild west. Our advice: Double-check any fact which you find there.