Thursday, March 19, 2009


Fox's Glenn Beck is whinging about "mob rule" and "fake-populist anger" at AIG bonus recipients, Rush Limbaugh, Fox's Martha MacCallum, and Fox's Shepard Smith are comparing Barney Frank to Joe McCarthy for seeking the names of those recipients, and Michelle Malkin is reproducing AIG CEO Edward Liddy's expressed concerns about retribution. Fine. But while wingnuts are defending the underlings, no wingnut is actually crazy enough to defend Liddy, right? No wingnut is prepared to say he's a good guy, right?

As far as I know, no.

For that you need to go to the mainstream press.

Here's Democrat-bashing New York Daily News columnist Michael Goodwin:

... What was supposed to be a legal lynching of AIG boss Edward Liddy over the firm's bonus plan turned into a humiliating defeat for the lynch mob. Liddy came off as a smart straight shooter, a man who gave up retirement for $1 a year to rescue AIG so it wouldn't bring down the financial system.

He also proved himself a cut above those who aimed to make cheap headlines at his expense. I'd pay to see him question Congress on its role in the economic mess.

...Liddy stands guilty of being tone deaf to the public anger on any bonus payouts at a time when people have lost their savings, their homes and their jobs. But as he repeatedly made clear, he came not to defend AIG's past, merely to clean it up.

That puts him head and shoulders above those in Washington who follow no star except merciless ambition.

He's not the biggest corporate villain here. And there are a lot of people in Washington who deserve our outrage. But hands up -- anybody see this guy as a hero?

Michael Goodwin -- to the right of Limbaugh, Beck, and Malkin.


By the way, in that Limbaugh clip linked above, Rush says, regarding the recipients of AIG bonuses,

The next question that will be asked once these names have been produced -- and they will be -- these people will then be called up to testify before Chairman Frank's committee, and they will face other questions, like, "Have you attended pro-capitalist meetings during the course of your tenure at AIG? How many of your friends are free market capitalists, and what are their names? And where can we find them? And if you fail to answer, you will be cited as being in contempt of Congress."

I'm sure Limbaugh, who isn't stupid (unlike, say, Glenn Beck), knows this is a joke. He doesn't mean this literally. He's saying it for effect.

But does his audience know that? How many of his Rand-addled listeners do you suppose believe this will literally happen?


Oh, and to get back to my original point, I should note that Limbaugh does express something like sympathy for Liddy, twice referring to him as a "government-appointed sacrificial lamb" -- but even Limbaugh won't go so far as to praise him.

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