The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Sizzle Sells the Steak

Since it's all about ideology today, I'm going to post some disturbing articles from Salon.

First, the terrifying piece, by Glenn Greenwald:

[In today's NYT column, David] Brooks comes out and explicitly declares the twin icons of "conservatism" to be every bit as quaint and obsolete as the Geneva Conventions: "Goldwater and Reagan were important leaders, but they're not models for the future."

Brooks admits what has been crystal clear for some time -- namely, that so-called "conservatives" (meaning the contemporary political "Right") no longer believe (if they ever did) that government power should be restrained in order to maximize freedom. That belief system, says Brooks, is an obsolete relic which arose out of the the 1970s, and has been replaced by the opposite desire -- for expanded government power on every front.

Brooks is a hack in sheep's clothing and always has been, but he's got the art of insincerity down to the point where he can sell totalitarianism as just what Mr & Mrs. Middle America are dreaming of. And be taken seriously.

And now the depressing piece:

"Maybe [Pakistani cricket fans] should focus less on cricket and a little more on hygiene," opined Rachel Marsden on a recent episode of Fox News' middle-of-the-night talk oddity "Red Eye." Marsden was adding her two cents to a discussion of murdered Pakistani cricket coach Bob Woolmer, and seemed unaware that she had said anything offensive.

Apparently Fox is grooming another Joanie Bravo to keep the airwaves sizzlin' hot with reactionary nonsense. And they certainly know how to pick fame-hungry demagogues with a couple of screws loose. And, once again, serious psychosexual problems.

Donnelly fired back, alleging that it was Marsden who had done the harassing. He handed over photos of the scantily clad student that he claimed she had slipped under his door, and released an e-mail she had sent him after the date of the alleged molestation that read in part, "I suggest that you just relax and let me undress you, touch you ... If you want, you can undo the garter and take off my stockings, take off my lace bra and underwear, and let your hands explore my body wherever they want to." . . .

According to Donnelly, Marsden had been stalking him for years, making multiple hang-up calls and showing up at his home. Donnelly claimed that this behavior had begun as early as 1992 but had worsened over time. He alleged that by 1995, someone he believed to be Marsden had vandalized his car, strewn condoms in his driveway, posted graffiti advertising his number as a phone-sex line in campus bathrooms, subscribed to Playboy in his name, and left phone messages for him with a voice-altering machine. Donnelly later told the press: "She was everywhere. She would turn up at events where I was working. She was phoning me all the time ... She admitted she bought a voice-altering machine. That was the one that scared me the most. It sounds like the devil."

Donnelly had lodged complaints with his local police departments about these occurrences in 1992, and again in 1995, when he named Marsden as the person he suspected was behind them. . . .

Marsden was next charged with criminally harassing former Vancouver radio host Michael Morgan in 2002. According to the statement of facts in the case, Marsden and Morgan met in 2001; soon after, he called the police when Marsden sent a teddy bear and flowers to his home. Marsden was warned to stay away from Morgan. But according to court documents, contact resumed and the two began a consensual sexual relationship several months later. When Marsden traveled to the U.S. in 2002, Morgan began dating another woman. According to the court summary of events, this didn't go over well with Marsden, and she began calling and e-mailing him repeatedly, also contacting his new girlfriend, his sister, his son and his business partner, and waiting for him outside his apartment. Police investigated at Morgan's house, where they listened to several phone messages from Marsden described in court documents as "vindictive and threatening." Morgan turned over 38 e-mails sent by Marsden between Sept. 20 and Oct. 10, 2002. According to the court, Marsden also rigged Morgan's computer to send her blind copies of every e-mail he sent to anyone.

In May 2004, Marsden pleaded guilty to the criminal harassment charges.

Look for her being fawned over at a right-wing gathering near you.