How do we get Rush Limbaugh to read David Brock’s new book? For months, in years gone by, Brock was the source for some of the most scathing charges Rush ever leveled – which is saying something. Rush even read portions of Brock’s journalism on air. Now it turns out – according to Brock – many of those charges were bogus. Nor was Brock alone in playing dirty. Even Theodore Olsen, Brock says, who currently serves as United States Solicitor General, encouraged the sleaze (in particular, the suggestion that Vince Foster was murdered, even though he believed it to be untrue).

Seriously: how do we get Rush to read this book. Or, for starters, to read this review of it?

Because Rush has made more money than he could ever need, and because he has had that awful brush with deafness, my guess is that he is at a stage in life where he could surprise people. He could read the book and, in an act of extraordinary courage, join in David Brock’s apology. Brock was misled; Brock misled Limbaugh; Limbaugh misled millions. And now he can fix that.

Oh, and how about this article about our Attorney General? You already know that he ordered a statue in the Justice Department to be draped, at a cost of $8,000, because it showed a female breast. You know one of his top aides has claimed that the A.G. believes calico cats are a sign of the devil. You know about his ‘We have no king but Jesus’ speech to the good folks at Bob Jones University. What I did not know (if this article from the Guardian is accurate) was that his dad was a Pentecostal minister who spoke in tongues, and that each time he has been sworn in to political office, he has had himself anointed with cooking oil – most recently, the Guardian reports, by Mr. Justice Clarence Thomas. The same Clarence Thomas who, a decade or so earlier, watched silently as David Brock attempted to destroy Anita Hill’s reputation (‘a little nutty, a little slutty’). Could Justice Thomas possibly have even heard of ‘Long Dong Silver?’ It was beyond preposterous.

From the above-linked Hendrik Hertzberg review in the New Yorker:

Brock and Clarence Thomas’s other supporters had portrayed him as having a prudish distaste for pornography; Mayer and Abramson reported that, on the contrary, he was a habitual renter of hard-core videotapes. While looking for a way to refute this, Brock concluded that it was true. Nevertheless, in his review [of the Mayer/Abramson book] he wrote that there was no evidence-none-“that Thomas had ever rented even one pornographic video, let alone that he was a ‘habitual’ consumer of pornography.”

“When I wrote those words, I knew they were false,” Brock writes in Blinded by the Right. [H]owever, to protect myself and my tribe from the truth and consequences of our own hypocrisy, smears, falsehoods, and cover-ups, I consciously and actively chose an unethical path. I continued to malign Anita Hill and her liberal supporters as liars. I trashed the professional reputations of two journalists for reporting something I knew was correct.”

Now, let me be quick to put in a strong good word for pornography and another for speaking in tongues. I am not big on either one, but I enthusiastically support your right to enjoy them both. Quite seriously. Tens of millions of decent Americans – including Mr. Justice Clarence Thomas, apparently – get private pleasure and/or satisfy human needs with pornography. When the actors are not exploited, what’s wrong with that? (But hey: would you straight people please stop trying to get me to open e-mails with fathers allegedly doing terrible things to their daughters, ‘horny school girls,’ ‘lusty farm girls,’ ‘nurses ——- their patients,’ and teen-age co-eds allegedly doing bizarre things with farm animals? Bad enough I have to get all this spam about FREE LIFE INSURANCE QUOTES.)

In a free country, what’s wrong with having the liberty to pursue happiness any way we want, just so long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else?

Same goes for the cooking oil anointments, the calico cats, and anything else John Ashcroft is into that doesn’t interfere with his sound judgment and the passion with which I hope he defends the separation of church and state. But is it possible that he failed to tell the whole truth when, during his confirmation, the subject of Missouri’s desegregation fracas came up? Or that, given the depths of his religious beliefs, he lied when, during those same hearings, he denied blocking James Hormel’s ambassadorial nomination because Hormel was gay? Would it have been more truthful for him to say (in the manner of Jack Nicholson at the end of A Few Good Men), ‘You’re damn right I did!’


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