Saturday, September 09, 2006


I found the following sentence in The New York Times's new political blog, The Caucus, in a post from late yesterday afternoon:

Following the president's spooling out of a freedom agenda this week, Adam Nagourney and Carl Hulse did a spot survey of Republicans, some of whom stressed that they intend to keep their distance from the president and instead want to campaign on local issues.

"The president's spooling out of a freedom agenda"? Say what?

It's a small thing, but if you regurgitate a phrase like "freedom agenda" without quote marks, they've got you just where they want you -- you can't distinguish party propaganda from plain English.


And on the subject of language, I trust you've already read the reports about the far right/Christian right network behind ABC's Path to 9/11 (if you haven't read the reports, go here and here) -- but I want to note that in reaction to attacks on this movie, righty blogger Sister Toldjah is using the word "Demofascists."

Ah, so now I get it: "Fascism" is statist abuse of government power, even by people who don't run the state and don't have any power. Crystal clear! Thanks, Sis!

So -- who's going to be the first Republican to use "Demofascist" in a major speech or on nation TV or on the floor of Congress? Anyone want to guess?


Yeah, I know -- Toldjah's upset at the potential use of government power by Democrats. And, well, maybe the Dems ought to stop talking out loud about the airwaves being allotted to ABC to use "in the public interest." Maybe they should make their point the way the GOP did in 2003 -- without leaving any fingerprints:

"As a broadcast network, we feel [CBS is] a public trust," the New Haven Register reported [CBS's Les] Moonves telling Yale students last Wednesday [as the decision was being made to shift the TV movie The Reagans to Showtime]. "We have a news division. We have to be fair in what we show, and a pay-cable network can be a little more biased in what they show. It can be an opinion piece. We can't do that."

Moonves's assertions didn't stop grumbling that CBS caved to political pressure at a time when it has major business pending in Washington.

The attacks from political leaders, including Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie, caused many to question whether CBS faced an implied threat of government retribution unless it axed the show. If so, such a cave-in carries troubling implications for programmers hoping to air controversial takes on highly charged political issues.

"The kind of pressure exerted here goes on all the time," said First Amendment lawyer John Crigler. "It's insidious."

Insidious pressure -- bet that didn't strike the good Sister as "Republofascist".

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