- The Washington Times - Monday, May 2, 2005

Mainstream method

“Do you really want to buck the trend and try to be a conservative in the media or do you want to join the mainstream press? Because if you want to join the mainstream press, I can tell you what you have to do. …

“Practice destroying people. Practice researching and writing profiles that absolutely destroy people and ruin their lives. And the mainstream press will take notice of you faster than they will in any other way. You go out there and … do it as an internship project or something. Pick some local citizen and just make some assumptions.

“If the citizen is rich, make the assumption that the citizen is a criminal, has stolen or cheated people … whatever, has not acquired his wealth legitimately. And go out and do a research project on how this is, and literally destroy the citizen. … I would urge you, if you want to start in the mainstream press … to seriously consider that. …

“Remember, in the mainstream press, it is the seriousness of the charge that matters, not the nature of the evidence. You don’t even need any evidence.”

Radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh, giving on-air advice to “Ashley,” a conservative 21-year-old journalism student, April 26

Vicarious glow’

“In a recent Sunday New York Times, Rich Cohen, contributing editor at Rolling Stone, threw another elegiac log on the funeral pyre of Hunter S. Thompson, favorite uncle of the nation’s nattering nabobs of nostalgia.

“What is clear from the piece … is Cohen’s bathetic esteem both for the Gonzo legacy and for his own vicarious glow in its light. …

“But it was Thompson himself who blamed ‘a whole subculture of frightened illiterates with no faith in anything’ on ‘the importance of Liking Yourself,’ back when the cult of self-esteem had yet to eviscerate an entire culture. … Today, Hunter Thompson is dead, and Liking Yourself is more popular than ever.

“The question of whether Thompson really liked himself is gobbled up whole by the grinning mouth of critical praise. And the question of whether the Left, which has made such a halcyon hero of Thompson, has really come to terms with his half-reactionary heritage haunts the resin-clogged halls of the whole ‘68-liberal establishment.”

James G. Poulos, writing on “Hunter Thompson’s Reactionary Heart,” April 26 in the American Spectator Online at www.spectator.org

Katie Dearest’

“I’ll bet Katie Couric never expected to get the smackdown she received [April 25] in the pages of the New York Times. … But TV critic Alessandra Stanley slapped the ‘Mean Girl of Morning TV’ hard and said in print what has been media gossip for months: that NBC is in a panic about the falling ratings of that cash cow, [‘Today’]. Her Cuteness is no longer the most popular girl in the crowd, with ‘likeability’ ratings in the toilet. …

“We’ve all watched as Katie has grown richer, smugger, and more chic. But for years … [Mrs. Couric] sold women … the notion that she is just like them: a harried working mom. …

“Yep, just an ordinary mom with a $15-million-a-year paycheck, a Park Avenue co-op, a millionaire boyfriend, a high-priced personal trainer, and the power to control two prime hours of TV five mornings a week.

“Andrew Lack, former president of NBC, described Katie, during the good times, as a ‘fist in the velvet glove,’ while for years her staff has called her ‘Katie Dearest.’”

Myrna Blyth, writing on “Curtains for Katie?” Wednesday in National Review Online at www.nationalreview.com

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