Sunday, September 24, 2006

Name Calling

A very good point from Jeff Cohen at AlterNet (hat tip to Crooks and Liars) regarding the recent flap about Hugo Chavez calling Dear Leader "the Devil":
Among those exercised (and exorcized) about Chavez' name-calling were some of the loudest name-callers in American media today -- including Rush Limbaugh and other rightwing talk hosts. Limbaugh tried to equate Chavez' remarks with the alleged Bush-bashing that comes from top U.S. Democrats. In case you've forgotten, it was Limbaugh who ridiculed Chelsea Clinton, then 13, as the "White House dog."

It was Limbaugh in 2001 who routinely referred to Democratic leader Tom Daschle, literally, as "El Diablo." Along with "Devil in a Blue Dress" theme music, Limbaugh would carry on at length about how Daschle may well be Satan in soft-spoken disguise. Bellowed Limbaugh in July 2001: "Just yesterday, as Bush winged his way to Europe on a crucial mission to lead our allies into the 21st century...up pops 'El Diablo,' Tom Daschle, and his devilish deviltry, claiming that George Bush is incompetent." (Months later, Limbaugh started describing Daschle more as a traitor than a devil, who'd decided to "align himself with Iran, North Korea and Hussein.")

[...]

Let me be clear: Those of us who use facts instead of rant; reason and argument instead of name-calling and personal attacks; evidence instead of intimidation and accusations of disloyalty -- we have the moral authority to tell Hugo Chavez that his comments were out of line.

But the Limbaughs, Hannitys, Scarboroughs and O'Reillys are in no position to point any fingers. Nor are the executives at Disney, GE and News Corp who have made them the loudest voices in American media.

Nor, for that matter, is Team Bush -- whose strategy has been to demonize and intimidate critics and other members of the "reality-based community."


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