January 11, 2011

"Me got bullhorn. Me talk. You listen."

On Saturday, much of the establishment media class instantly responded to the shooting news based on their deeply held racial and regional prejudices: the killer was white and from Arizona, so therefore he must be one of those crazed, twisted, anti-illegal immigration Tea Party conservatives whose hate-filled rhetoric is so vile, disgusting, and loathsome that I just want to spit in their stupid, ugly Arizona Republican faces and then I want to crush their ... uh, what we're we talking about again? ... Oh, yeah, we were talking about how you can just tell from looking at the guy that he is white, and did you know he's from Arizona? Because we all know what that means!

But within a few hours, the evidence from YouTube and MySpace was clear: the typical national media pundits' prejudice had been wrong. Jared Loughner was not a conservative, he was a radical and, most importantly, he was obviously deeply mentally ill.

What has been fascinating is how A) So few have recanted and/or apologized and B) How many have responded to being wrong by shouting the same thing even louder in the hope that repetition can make their wishful thinking be remembered as the truth. For example, in Tuesday's New York Times, Adam Nagourney pounds the table harder:
by Adam Nagourney

[Republican Gov. Jan Brewer] is eagerly trying to defend a state whose reputation has been battered in recent years, particularly since the massacre here on Saturday. 

But fairly or not, Arizona’s image has been forged in part because of Ms. Brewer herself, who has been identified with the tough law aimed at illegal immigrants, budget cuts that include denying aid to people who need life-saving transplants and laws permitting people to take concealed guns into bars and banning the teaching of ethnic studies in public schools.

Arizona's image has been unfairly battered by, among others, Adam Nagourney, who has the bullhorn and has no intention of sharing it.

Or, in the Washington Post's Slate on Monday evening, long after the facts had been out, we read:
the big idea
The Tea Party and the Tucson Tragedy
How anti-government, pro-gun, xenophobic populism made the Giffords shooting more likely.
By Jacob Weisberg
Posted Monday, Jan. 10, 2011, at 6:30 PM ET

There's something offensive, as well as pointless, about the politically charged inquiry into what might have been swirling inside the head of Jared Loughner. We hear that the accused shooter read The Communist Manifesto and liked flag-burning videos—good news for the right. Wait—he was a devotee of Ayn Rand and favored the gold standard, so he was a right-winger after all. Some assassinations embody an ideology, however twisted. Based on what we know so far, the Tucson killings look like more like politically tinged schizophrenia.

It is appropriate, however, to consider what was swirling outside Loughner's head. ... It was the anti-government, pro-gun, xenophobic populism that flourishes in the dry and angry climate of Arizona. Extremist shouters didn't program Loughner, in some mechanistic way, to shoot Gabrielle Giffords. But the Tea Party movement did make it appreciably more likely that a disturbed person like Loughner would react, would be able to react, and would not be prevented from reacting, in the crazy way he did.

Huh? How do you know that, Mr. Weisberg? Jared Loughner was not shy about sharing his thoughts with the world. Or are you just projecting the angry thoughts in your own head onto the world?

What would it mean if, say, it turned out that every evening around the dinner table, the shooter's mother, a government employee for the last 23 years, had denounced the Tea Party and worried out loud that Republicans might take away some of her government pension? What if it turns out that a check of Loughner's web browser finds that he read many of the countless denunciations of Arizonans in the national press in 2010, and that he shared the fear and loathing of the Nagourneys, Weisbergs, Sullivans, Greenbergs, and Krugmans toward the average Arizona voter, that Loughner's craziness had been stoked by the national campaign of vilification against Arizonans? What would it mean?

Well, it wouldn't mean much. The bottom line is that the killer is a major league lunatic.

The real issue isn't one maniac's psyche, of course, it's what has been revealed over the last four days about the psyches of the people who have the media bullhorn. 

45 comments:

Garland said...

"B) How many have responded to being wrong by shouting the same thing even louder in the hope that repetition can make their wishful thinking be remembered as the truth."

Chris Matthews on his show tonight, responding to Palin's relabeling of her crosshairs as surveyor marks: "That's not the way this crime is going to be written in the history accounts. It will include an account of how Congresswoman Giffords had been targeted, placed in the crosshairs prior to the attack by one person, Sarah Palin."

Regardless of Palin's defensive spin, why would her crosshairs be part of the historical account when the shooter had nothing to do with political ideology?

Anonymous said...

Mr. Sailer,
I like posting links to your posts on my facebook page just to hear all my liberal friends attempt to suppress the truth. Unfortunately, when you link to it in facebook, the facebook synopsis gives me your paypal blurb instead of the first paragraph of your post ( which is the norm ). Could I suggest that you tweak your layout such that facebook displays your content properly.

I know. Silly thing, but I just want to poke a little more light into the folly of my friends' liberal group think.

(Please don't post this, just moderate it away :-) )

Anonymous said...

The real issue isn't one maniac's psyche, of course, it's what has been revealed over the last four days about the psyches of the people who have the media bullhorn.

Which is that they are exceedingly wicked people.

Justin said...

The real story appears to be that the Loughners and Giffords attended the same synagogue in Tucson. At least, that would be the kind of personal connection that would make a little bit of sense out of this. But so far, I don't see any major media outlets digging in that direction. The Loughners are shunning the media at this point, so that may have something to do with it.

But is it really asking too much of the media to go interviewing members of their synagogue to find out, as they have done to the members of his college?

Anonymous said...

Thanks Steve for bringing this up. This whole incident shows how the entire public discourse of 300 Million people -despite the internet - is still ruled by what? 500 or 1,000 people living in NYC or DC.

Who are Chris Matthews or Wiesberg or Frank Rich? Why should I Care what any of them thinks? When were they elected to anything? And why is Palin part of this story?

I care what you think - based on what you write. But why should I care what some numskull like Kitty Couric thinks? The answer is, people with power hired her, and gave her a bullhorn.

Anonymous said...

I honestly fear for the Republic when I read and listen to these idiots. Steve, I know that you and your readers have tried many times to figure out the reasons that these people either believe what they believe or pretend to believe what they say they believe.

At this point, it really doesn't matter. I can't see this country holding together if these people aren't roundly ridiculed and scorned by the public, either now, in falling ratings for the networks for which they work, the papers for which they write, and in the defeat of the candidates whose asses they lick.

Tom Regan said...

Interesting insight into Loughner's mind, from the family of one of his few close friends:

"Loughner, now 22, would come over several times a week from 2007 to 2008, the Oslers said.
The boys listened to the heavy metal band Slipknot and progressive rockers The Mars Volta, studied the form of meditative movement called tai chi, and watched and discussed movies.
Loughner's favorites included little-known conspiracy theory documentaries such as "Zeitgeist" and "Loose Change" as well as bigger studio productions with cult followings and themes of brainwashing, science fiction and altered states of consciousness, including "Donnie Darko" and "A Scanner Darkly."

Strikes me as pretty normal for guys around his age - taking in a lot while still developing the wisdom to sort good from bad. At most he was a 9/11 Truther and conspiracy theorist. Not exactly a Bill O'Reilly person. Doesn't strike me as a person who would have been the least bit interested in the political climate of Arizona.

tacticalchrstn said...

Mr. Loughner has schizophrenia. H is neither left, right, nor center. He is delusional and is not capable of a coherant political philosophy. What a sane and rational society would do with a person like loughner is lock him up until a cure can be found, but our society is even more nutso than loughner. We spend huge amounts of money on transfer payments to able bodied people. We spend even more on dubious foreign military adventures. A sane society would spend money on locking up crazy and dangerous people first and then worry about the rest. Soon we will not have a choice.

adsfadsfsdf said...

"I like posting links to your posts on my facebook page just to hear all my liberal friends attempt to suppress the truth. Unfortunately, when you link to it in facebook, the facebook synopsis gives me your paypal blurb instead of the first paragraph of your post ( which is the norm ). Could I suggest that you tweak your layout such that facebook displays your content properly."

After you attach the link, click on the paypal blurb and then you'll be able to remove it and replace it with your summary of the link. And then click SHARE.

adfadasdfasdf said...

I heard Loughner's favorite movie is DONNIE DARKO. With every one of these psychos, there seems to be some movie they are obsessed with.
With V-tech killer it was OLD BOY. With Hinckley it was TAXI DRIVER.
And I heard some whackjob got funny ideas from NATURAL BORN KILLERS. And Kubrick had A CLOCKWORK ORANGE pulled because it inspired vandalism and violence among some British youths--though I don't believe it was connected to some psychopathic murder.

Perhaps this is inevitable with cinema as the main artform and also as the artform that most dissolves the separation of reality and fiction. In a way, watching a movie is like going into a schizophrenic trance. One completely forgets the boundary between the real and unreal. Just as Donnie Darko stares into the Alice in Wonderland mirror, the silver screen is like a projection of personal, collective, social, political, spiritual fantasies as tangible reality before our eyes. Though most people don't go crazy from movies, movies have greatly distorted our view of reality. (Even news shows like NIGHTLINE oftentimes begin a story by linking it some movie. And politics have become very movielike). With people with poor grasp of reality to begin with, movies can really become another kind of reality that leaks into their lived reality(like in Mulholland Dr).
Depending on the personality, this movie madness can be peaceful or violent.
Here's a peaceful nut:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=moyO2aYICAk (This video is so funny--and pathetic--I nearly died.)
Loughner, being a naturally aggressive person, acted out his violent fantasies fostered to some extent by a movie. Watching Donnie Darko, perhaps he felt vindicated or that his schizo view of reality has aesthetic value via identification with Darko, who has become a kind of heroic cult figure.
But movie nuts who are often totally obsessed with movies or with one particular movie tend to be peaceful nutjobs--as most nutjobs are non-violent.
In earlier times without movies and with greater faith, people like Loughner might have justified their madness on religion--message from God or Satan or whatever--as many do in the Muslim world today. Now, many whackjobs get their message from movies. I don't think Donnie Darko is to blame, and indeed schizos will even find dark codes and messages in the most innocuous things, as in the powerful film CLEAN SHAVEN. Even a G-rated movie could be mistaken for some message from the dark side. Schizos have a way of seeing patterns and connecting the dots in reality and fiction that really are not there. A pop version of this was dramatized in BEAUTIFUL MIND. These connections can be clever, brilliant, creative, and even meaningful in a metaphorical/metaphysical/poetic way, but of course, schizos confuse symbols and metaphors for literal reality as their consciousness hovers in a kind of waking dream state.

What's really amusing about the whole Loughner affair is that so many people in MSM, who are fully sane and rational, seems to be connecting dots that don't exist just like schizos. They ignore or suppress actual reality in this case and project their fears and fantasies and connect the shooting to Palin, Limbaugh, Tea Party, American Renaissance, and... has Ann Coulter be mentioned yet?

adsfasdsfs said...

I think a film like DONNIE DARKO or TAXI DRIVER may be more dangerous for certain schizos than BEAUTIFUL MIND or CLEAN SHAVEN. Whereras BM and CS eventually establish the existence(and preference) of a true reality as opposed to schizo reality, DONNIE DARKO and TAXI DRIVER unfold almost entirely within the minds of unbalanced people. There is almost no point where the viewer is jolted awake from the subjective madness. It's like watching PSYCHO entirely from inside the mind of Norman Bates. Thus, the identification of a troubled viewer and the film will be much closer in a film like Donnie Darko.

Anonymous said...

"Arizon's image has been battered".

Translation into plain, objective, dispassionate, anlytic and explanatory English, as all 'journalists' are supposedly taught to do from day one at journalism school:

"The voters of Arizona, have through their elective representatives and entirely democratically have actually had the temerity to legislate policies that I personally disagree with".

Mr. Anon said...

Reportedly, Jared Loughner often expressed strong opinions concerning language.

Therefore, I blame the Modern Language Association for the killings.

Steve Sailer said...

The title phrase, by the way, is from a comment of Svigor's a few months ago.

Steve Sailer said...

Do I have a Facebook page?

Steve Sailer said...

I know that sounds like a stupid question, but I may have signed up for an account to reserve my name, but I don't recall if I did anything with it.

Anonymous said...

"Do I have a Facebook page?"

I never found it.

ben tillman said...

The real story appears to be that the Loughners and Giffords attended the same synagogue in Tucson.

Where's the evidence of this? From what I've read, this is just speculation.

Silver said...

In Australia I listened to a couple of highly informed liberals wringing their hands on the radio about how "American gun culture" lead to the shooting in "tuckson" [how they pronounced it].

The beauty of being a liberal is you don't have to actually know anything; it's perfectly sufficient to merely feel as though you do.

Anyway, it's been raining real hard here and a couple hundred thousand people have been displaced by massive floods. We're all anxiously awaiting the looting and rioting to commence -- 'cos that's just what people do during a massive flood, right?

Anonymous said...

My God, according to Weisberg, evn Arizona's CLIMATE is "angry"!


You just can't make this stuff up....

Chad Buffington said...

"Mr. Sailer,
I like posting links to your posts on my facebook page just to hear all my liberal friends attempt to suppress the truth. Unfortunately, when you link to it in facebook, the facebook synopsis gives me your paypal blurb instead of the first paragraph of your post ( which is the norm ). Could I suggest that you tweak your layout such that facebook displays your content properly."

+1 ... I had to quote you directly and not link to you today for this reason ...

Anonymous said...

"Me got bullhorn. Me talk. You listen."
I love that!

John said...

@ adsfasdsfs:

Don't forget that the guy who shot the Florida school board member was a fan of V for Vendetta, at least if the graffito he painted on the wall is any indication:

http://theothermccain.com/2010/12/14/video-florida-school-board-shooting/

AlphaOmega said...

Myspace died after white flight to Facebook. The killer Jared Loughner used Myspace.

At least some white people still use Myspace.

Anonymous said...

The discussion right now ought to be about mental illness. While the MSM does say the guy is "disturbed" and "may be suffering from a mental illness," they act as if they don't know what a "mental illness" is. There's been no discussion about the physiology of the brain--instead they are still rooted in some kind of Freudian discussion of "the mind."

Baloo said...

There's one fan site for you and a list of several Steve Sailers HERE, one or more of whom may or may not be you.

Svigor said...

The title phrase, by the way, is from a comment of Svigor's a few months ago.

Ah, my fifteen minutes! You didn't have to name me Steve. I've never sent you a dollar (always planning to, never able to spare enough to make it worth the while) and I've been grabbing a nice share of your bullhorn for years now.

Too bad my famous phrase is Homer-speak. :)

Anonymous said...

regarding facebook there can be multiple steve sailers, just as there are multiple bob smiths. the account is by email not name.

Rob said...

Of all the assassins and would-be assassins in American history, Loughner seems to be the craziest, and that's saying something. Working out the cause of his actions is a matter of psychopathology, not politics. If he hadn't picked a politician, he'd probably have gone for a movie star or a tennis player.

stari_momak said...

"Why would her crosshairs be part of the historical account when the shooter had nothing to do with political ideology?"

"He who controls the present controls the past. He who controls the past controls the future."

George Orwell

Whiskey said...

The media really, really hate Sarah Palin. Who is a marginal social/cultural and political figure at best, focused on making money from her reality show.

It is class, and also gender/feminized base. It shows how completely captured by a feminized ethos the media and culture have become. It seems like we live in a "Selling New York" (on HGTV) world. One in which Sarah Palin's existence is blamed like for everything, like witchcraft.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Sailer,
I don't know if you have a facebook page. I just post a link in facebook for my friends. Facebook will then, automatically:
* fetch your webpage
* parse your webpage and automatically choose a synopsis
* insert that blurb under the posted link.


Someone else gave me a method of working around facebook's parsing of your page ( thanks! ), but you might want to tweak your page layout to fix the _default_ behavior ( more than 90% of people *only* use a software's default settings ).

You can test any fixes by posting your link to your "status" in facebook and inspecting the auto-generated blurb. ( Create a throw-away facebook account on one of your garbage/spam email accounts if you don't already have a facebook account. )

Clearly, this is not a priority feature request for your web page.
:-)

Thanks for writing!

RKU said...

"He who controls the present controls the past. He who controls the past controls the future."

To which I always add: "And he who controls the media controls the present..."

Anonymous said...

Whiskey: The media really, really hate Sarah Palin... It is class, and also gender/feminized base.

No, it's because Palin is the most charismatic conservative since Reagan, and they simply cannot allow another Reagan to rise from the ashes.

spacehabitats said...

Son of Sam thought a barking dog was telling him to kill teenagers.
I guess by the liberal pundits' logic we should be blaming the American Kennel Association?

Udolpho.com said...

Adam Nagourney...name rings a bell...oh right, "major league asshole".

Truth said...

"No, it's because Palin is the most charismatic conservative since Reagan...

Wow, the elephants are in deep, deep trouble.

What about Joe Scarborough?

Svigor said...

No, it's because Palin is the most charismatic conservative since Reagan, and they simply cannot allow another Reagan to rise from the ashes.

I agree with this. There are lots of little reasons, but that's the big one.

The Wobbly Guy said...

However, for reasons Whiskey has articulated, and which I agree with, Sarah Palin is not viable as a presidential candidate for the Repubs. She could write a ground breaking paper on public policy, get a Nobel prize for whatever, and she will still not be viable.

I don't get why she's regarded with such vitriol. Her track record as a governor and before that, for the things SHE DID, speaks for itself.

I used to say of the US presidential election, that if the 4 main players (Obama, Biden, McCain, Palin) lined up before Lee Kuan Yew, and he was asked to pick the best of the lot, his choice would be Palin by a mile.

So while she cannot be a candidate herself (because she's too polarising), what she CAN do is to endorse and mobilize popular support behind another candidate.

Truth said...

"She could write a ground breaking paper on public policy, get a Nobel prize for whatever, and she will still not be viable."

Maybe, but she won't, and that, my friend, is the operative concept here.

"Her track record as a governor and before that, for the things SHE DID, speaks for itself."

Speaks for itself? Quitting halfway through her first term pretty much screams in one's ears.

David said...

>But is it really asking too much of the media to go interviewing members of their synagogue to find out, as they have done to the members of his college?<

LOL. That made my day.

You were joking, right?

Don't hold your breath waiting for the MSM to mention the word "synagogue" in any but these two contexts:

1. "Magnificent bipartisan politicians and others affirmed the highest ideals of human culture last night at Beth Israel" - or

2. "Evil scum broke a window of Beth Israel last night. Well, it looked broken from the vantage of the roadway, anyway. It's sort of scratched - it may have been scratched by a rock. That's what seems likeliest. FBI investigators are questioning local Christian groups."

No way are you going to see the word "synagogue" associated with this tragedy - period.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

So while she cannot be a candidate herself (because she's too polarising), what she CAN do is to endorse and mobilize popular support behind another candidate.

Great idea but who does she get behind? I suppose Romney is still the frontrunner but Mormons are just too weird for most people. This may seem silly to secularized intelligentsia but the rest of the highly sectarian planet takes such things seriously. Me for instance, all other things being equal, I'd vote for a Buddhist first.

David Davenport said...

My God, according to Weisberg, evn Arizona's CLIMATE is "angry"!

Arizona's trending Republican, isn't it? The thing speaks for itself.

So while she cannot be a candidate herself (because she's too polarising)

Too polarizing? That sounds like what some liberal such as Jacob Weisberg or Chris Mathews would say about Sarah P.

Whom do you suggest should the Repubs nominate in 2012? Some nice herbivorous moderate more pleasing to the NY Times or Newsweek?

///////////////////

Re Freudianism: Freud may be passe among the cognocenti, but Freudianism is still a large part of the pop psychology of the Western populace.

Why does the liberal intelligentisia cling to Freudianism, aside from the lib. intelligentsia being behind the scientific times? Steve's written about that in the past. Maybe it's time for Steve to do another piece on Freud and the liberal mindset.

Fred said...

The good news is that the more traditional elements of the MSM are dying- viewers and readers are leaving by the boatload for more truthful alternative sources providing content from multiple angles, which leaves the bullhorns bellowing nonsense to fewer and fewer people each day.

Anonymous said...

There was a NYT article regarding the fact that AZ was dropping coverage for certain organ transplants by Medicaid. The comments were predictable, all along the lines of "Here are the real death panels!", "See these Republicans/Gov. Brewer have no respect for life!" etc.

Nowhere - either in the article itself or the comments - did anybody mention the fact that states cannot cut their Medicaid costs by not covering all eligible. They can however restrict WHAT is covered. This, apparently, is what AZ did. Needless to say, several organ transplants could cost into the tens of millions.

So, why would AZ's Medicaid costs go through the roof? Did it never occur to anybody that all those kids born to AZ's huge illegal alien population might, just might play a big part?

Apparently not. The MSM's aggressive ignorance on this issue is astounding.