Thursday, August 21, 2003

Joe Conason Is My Hero

I just watched Joe Conason -- liberal Salon columnist , author of Big Lies: The Right-Wing Propaganda Machine and How It Distorts the Truth (currently ranked #8 on Amazon) -- appear on MSNBC's conservative-leaning Scarborough Country. Before Conason came on the show, the guest host, Steve someguy, basically made it clear that he believed there was a huge liberal bias and that Conason was full of shit. The smug bastard looked like he was salivating at the opportunity to "take on" Conason and debunk all of his nutty theories.

Then we cut to a shot of Conason looking like he was in a really really bad mood. My God, those piercing eyes totally reminded me of Ms. Paine, my HS English teacher who used to set people's heads on fire just by glaring at them. If you looked up "raging bull" in the dictionary, you would find a picture of Conason. The man was ready to pounce.

And boy did he eviscerate that sneering, patronizing, cocky bastard, who could have benefitted from some tips on how to avoid making a fool out of himself.

First rule of debating: if you are going to attack someone's ideas viciously and take quotes out of his book totally out of context, at least read the fucking book so you don't look like a total moron when he goes on the counterattack. Second rule: while in the process of attempting to explain someone else's viewpoint (again, without reading his book), if you are planning to put words in his mouth, make sure the guy isn't sharp enough to notice you twisting his words, doesn't call you out for distorting his arguments, and is NOT able to present his real viewpoint in such a succinct and concise way as to completely torch your straw man. Third rule: if you are planning to shout down someone because his arguments are much more logical and persuasive than those of your own, pick someone who doesn't have the "I came here to do 2 things, chew gum and kick ass. Looks like I'm fresh out of gum" look in his eyes. Finally, get a clue. There is a very good reason shrieking conservative Ann Coulter ducked her scheduled debate (scroll to middle of the page) with Joe Conason on CNBC's "Kudlow & Cramer" at the last minute: Joe Conason.

Now if only Fox News and Bill O'Reilly have the balls to invite Conason on The O'Reilly Factor for a real debate. So far Fox News has not allowed Conason to go on any of its news programs. Sigh, one can only dream.