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Inside Blogotics

- The Washington Times - Monday, August 4, 2008

Make-up' time

Actor Jon Voight denounced Sen. Barack Obama on the op-ed pages of The Washington Times last week, saying that an Obama presidency would let racist radicals "demoralize this country and help create a socialist America." To paraphrase Oscar-winning Hollywood producer Julia Phillips, he'll never even get a snack in this town again.

"You'd think an arch conservative working in an overwhelmingly liberal town would think about restraining himself for expediency's sake, if nothing else," Jeffrey Wells wrote at the blog Hollywood Elsewhere.

"It's going to be hard henceforth not to think of Voight as some kind of diseased wingnut."

"It's only natural that industry-based Obama supporters will henceforth regard him askance. Honestly? If I were a producer and I had to make a casting decision about hiring Voight or some older actor who hadn't [angered me] with an idiotic Washington Times op-ed piece, I might very well say to myself, 'Voight? Let him eat cake,'" concluded Mr. Wells, one of the country's leading entertainment reporters and Oscar prognosticators.

The best reaction came from former Premiere film critic Glenn Kenny: "You've seen both 'The Champ' and 'Table For Five,' and it's only now you have a reason to feel negatively about Voight."

After a barrage of criticism that involved National Review and Instapundit, Mr. Wells posted again to say he wasn't supporting any blacklist, but that an informal one was likely: "I hope it's not a shock to anyone that people tend to hire according to whims and hunches, likes and dislikes, alliances and contretemps. Admit it - it feels good to stick it to people you don't like or strongly disagree with."

But Mickey Kaus at Slate noted that Mr. Wells also had provided an "in all fairness" philosophical justification for blacklisting in his own comment field.

"It's been said in this town many times that the right has a debt to pay for the blacklisting of lefties in the '50s, and that in all fairness it's probably going to take a long time to make amends. The fact is that the philosophical grandfathers and great-grandfathers of today's right-wingers ruined the lives of many Hollywood screenwriters in the '50s, and so their descendants now have to suffer and make up for that," Mr. Wells wrote. Racial deal

Sen. Barack Obama said John McCain isn't running a racist campaign, merely a "cynical" one, but the liberal netroots don't agree.

"John McCain's campaign advert conflating Barack Obama's candidacy and person with Paris Hilton and Britney Spears [contains] something more nefarious" than the obvious point that Mr. Obama is a vapid media starlet, charged Melissa McEwen, best known as one of the two feminist bloggers who lost their jobs with the John Edwards campaign over their vulgar rants against "Christofascists."

"Obama, dog whistles the ad, hitting old racists in the sweet spot, could [violate] these white girls," Miss McEwan wrote at the Guardian blog Comment is Free.

In the New York Times, columnist Bob Herbert said in a column titled "Running While Black": "Gee, I wonder why, if you have a black man running for high public office [-] say, Barack Obama or Harold Ford [-] the opposition feels compelled to run low-life political ads featuring tacky, sexually provocative white women who have no connection whatsoever to the black male candidates."

John Cole at Balloon Juice, said Mr. Herbert "absolutely nails it" and praises the columnist for raising his consciousness. "One of Obama's strengths is that he is not perceived by the wider American public as the aggrieved black man - he is no Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton. By claiming Obama is playing the race card (however absurd the charge), [the McCain team] can turn him into the angry black man. It really is shameless and disgusting, and while I had seen no racial component to the Britney ad earlier, I can understand where Herbert is coming from now. I just didn't see it before."

No deliveries

Sen. Tom Coburn, Oklahoma Republican and a licensed obstetrician/gynecologist, delivers poor women's babies free of charge at an Oklahoma hospital. And Senate Democrats don't like that.

The Hill reported last week that since the Muskogee Regional Medical Center, where Mr. Coburn volunteers, went from being a public hospital to a private one, Senate Democrats say Mr. Coburn's volunteer activities constitute a "fiduciary relationship." The reaction in the conservative and Catholic blogospheres was quick and unanimous:

From "Feddie" at Red State: "Does anyone believe that this complaint would have been filed against Senator Coburn if he had been performing free abortions? Of course not. Heck, were that the case, 'Born Alive' Obama would no doubt ask the good senator from Oklahoma to be his Veep on a proabort 'unity' ticket."

From Jill Stanek: "Were Tom Coburn aborting babies free instead of delivering them free, there would be no investigation; there would be an awards ceremony. This is ridiculous on so many levels, not the least of which is the Democrats' disregard for the poor, unless they control the dole so as to get the credit."

Happy EIB-day

Conservative bloggers and icons lined up all during the week to pay tribute to Rush Limbaugh, whose conservative talk-radio show went national 20 years ago Friday, defining a new national medium and a way for conservatives to get around the liberal-dominated mainstream media.

Human Events had a whole "Rush Week," featuring articles by brother David Limbaugh, Ted Nugent, Steve Forbes, Ann Coulter, Phyllis Schlafly, Sean Hannity and more. National Review held a symposium on "What makes Rush Limbaugh special?"

"If Rush were a lib, he'd be feted endlessly by what he has deliciously dubbed the 'drive-by media.' There would be profiles gloating over the pathetic performance of Air America and contrasting liberal radio failures with the amazing longevity of EIB. Here's to the next 20 years of excellence in conservative broadcasting," wrote Michelle Malkin.

Others remembered their favorite moments. Tygrrrr Express cited a prank against Sen. Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, who was soliciting people to call Congress and demand an end to the 1994 baseball strike with two words: "Play ball."

"Limbaugh recommended that his audience call up Schumer's office and say two words: 'Cut taxes.' So many people called up and said, 'Cut taxes,' that the phones and faxes had to be unplugged," Tygrrrr Express recalled.

The Limbaugh site had up clips and transcripts from such legendary moments as Dan's Bake Sale, the address to the Republican freshman class of 1994, and a call from Charlton Heston, who had expressed a desire before his April death to appear on the 20th anniversary show: "If Moses wants to be on, you put him on."

Contact Victor Morton at vmorton@washingtontimes.com.