The Konformist

May 2004

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Beast of the Year 2004

The Right-Wing Media Whores Coalition

The votes are in, and The Konformist readers have spoken. The Right-Wing Media Whores Coalition is your choice for the 2004 Beast of the Year - a choice that is well deserved.

In retrospect, this was an easy and decisive choice for Konformist voters. As the most Beastly event of the past year was clearly the Iraqi quagmire, there would have been no event without the drumbeat of reactionary "news" sources like Fox and Clear Channel, or shameless mouthpieces such as Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, Michael "Savage" Weiner and original gangsta of the 'Pub Posse, Rush "Hillbilly Heroin-head" Limbaugh. Nothing could stop the dishonest spewing of lies from this gang of lying liars (as Al Franken would describe them) to the American public - save a sudden loss of Oxytocin supply by Rush or a trip to Vegas or Atlantic City by William Bennett. The most telling statistic: those who had viewed more Fox News coverage of "Operation Iraqi Freedom" actually knew less about the actual facts surrounding the war.

In honor of this year's Beast of the Year sponsor, the Feral House book 50 Reasons Not to Vote for Bush, by Konformist editor Robert Sterling, here's a little excerpt from his book which deals with the Right-Wing Media Whores Coalition, Reason #40, "The Corporate Takeover of Our Media":

A cynic would suggest that the Democratic Party is only in opposition to corporate media power now that the damage is hitting its members personally. FOX News is a prime example: the pseudo-news operation is a right-wing cheerleader, with hacks such as Levittown square Bill O'Reilly, transparent GOP mouthpiece Sean Hannity and Shepard Smith (the Dan Quayle of news anchors) barely concealing their support for the Bush agenda. Besides its ownership by Rupert Murdoch, FOX News is run by Roger Ailes, a longtime Republican supporter from the Nixon years. (Curiously, Murdoch's recent buyout of DirecTV for $6.6 billion was aided by the nullification of a previous deal by Echostar nixed by the FCC, a move that suggests political back-scratching.) Then there is the rise of Clear Channel Communications, the radio behemoth with over 1,200 stations in the US. (The maximum allowed was 40 before the 1996 telecom "deregulation.") Clear Channel was a major player in the Dixie Chick-bashing, blacklisting their music from stations for Natalie Maines' solitary denouncement of Bush during a European concert. It's a disturbing development that a single company could control public airwaves to such a degree and silence someone for her politics: making it even more suspicious is that Clear Channel is run by Chairman Lowry Mays and Vice Chairman Tom Hicks, both of whom have been close business associates of Dubya. (In fact, Hicks is the man who bought the Texas Rangers from a consortium Shrub was part of, making Georgie-boy a multimillionaire.) Clear Channel also staged "patriotic rallies" across the country that were thinly veiled promotions of the Iraq war.

(All of which increasingly exposes the lie by right-wing mouthpieces who whine of a "liberal" bias in the media. As Al Franken put it, "Asking if there is liberal or conservative bias in the media is like asking if al Qaeda uses too much oil in the hummus. There is a bias in the right-wing media. The right wing media is FOX, Washington Times, Ann Coulter, Wall St. Journal ed page and talk radio. They will lie and cheat in talk radio to pursue. There is no equivalency.")

Cynical politics aside, at least Democrat leaders have finally awakened to the consequences of the policies they've resoundingly supported. Bush, Powell and their allies appear ready to retire any concept of public interest in fairly distributing airwaves, and Bush has threatened to veto any law that reverses the FCC decision. The bottom line: had any 2004 Democratic presidential candidate made the FCC appointment, the new rules would not be in place.


The 2004 Beast of the Year party on Beast Island was hosted by Donald Rumsfeld, last year's winner. The Beast Island Security Chief was John Ashcroft, last year's runner-up. This year, the Fab Five from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy were added on for the ceremonies as fashion consultants.



Paul Wolfowitz

In the unlikely event that the Right-Wing Coalition can no longer fill its duties as Beast of the Year (such as doing something shockingly decent), Paul Wolfowitz is ready to take over the crown. Rest assured the BOTY trophy is in good hands either way, as Wolfie has been a prime beast himself. As the grand architect of the Iraq war, he is now the owner of the dubious distinction of the greatest failure in Babylonian building since Nimrod and the Tower of Babel.

In any case, we salute you all, Right-Wing Whores and Wolfie. Congratulations, and keep up the great work!!!

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