Reporting on the reporting

from satirist Andy Borowitz:

Fox News Estimates Jon Stewart’s Crowd at Seven People

Disappointing Turnout, News Channel Says

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report) – The Fox News Channel reported today that the turnout for Jon Stewart’s “Rally to Restore Sanity” was underwhelming at best, with Fox sources estimating the total turnout at seven people.

“Our total count includes Stewart, [Stephen] Colbert, and what appear to be a few of their friends and relatives,” said Fox anchor Shepard Smith.  “This has to be a smaller crowd than they were expecting.”

But immediately after Fox broadcast what it described as “live coverage” of the rally showing a nearly-deserted National Mall, viewers began to point out irregularities in the images being shown.

First of all, one viewer noticed that the live coverage of the rally was actually being broadcast a full twelve hours before the rally began.

Second, an expert identified the supposedly “live footage” of today’s rally as file footage from a Sunday in 1997 when the Mall was completely shut down for reseeding.

Even in the face of such evidence, Fox stood by its story, with Fox host Glenn Beck pointing out that the seven people in attendance were “largely elitists.”

“I was struck by how many correctly spelled signs there were,” Mr. Beck said.  “That’s not my America.”

Couldn’t happen to a nicer whack job

It appears that former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum is worked himself into a frothy mixture over what’s being described as a “Google” problem.

Mother Jones elaborates:

Rick Santorum would very much like to be president. For the past few years, he has been diligently appearing at the sorts of conservative events—the Values Voters Summit, the Conservative Political Action Conference—where aspiring Republican candidates are expected to show up. But before he starts printing “Santorum 2012” bumper stickers, there’s one issue the former GOP senator and his strategists need to address. You see, Santorum has what you might call a Google problem. For voters who decide to look him up online, one of the top three search results is usually the site SpreadingSantorum.com, which explains that Santorum’s last name is a sexual neologism for “the frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex.”

Santorum’s problem got its start back in 2003, when the then-senator from Pennsylvania compared homosexuality to bestiality and pedophilia, saying the “definition of marriage” has never included “man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be.” The ensuing controversy prompted syndicated sex columnist Dan Savage, who’s gay, to start a contest, soliciting reader suggestions for slang terms to “memorialize the scandal.” The winner came up with the “frothy mixture” idea, Savage launched a website, and a meme was born. Even though mainstream news outlets would never link to it, Savage’s site rose in the Google rankings, thanks in part to bloggers who posted Santorum-related news on the site or linked to it from their blogs. Eventually it eclipsed Santorum’s own campaign site in search results; some observers even suggested it may have contributed to Santorum’s crushing 18-point defeat in his 2006 campaign against Bob Casey.

Yep, I recall it well, as well as the hundreds of times I’ve linked Santorum‘s name to Savage’s site myself.  And encouraged others to do so.  Savage hasn’t updated the site in years, but I’m sure he’ll become much more active if little Ricky throws his hat in the ring.

Sound advice

My friend John Cole finally had enough.  He has good advice for us all.

Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore, and when he said “You can’t even pray anymore. Christians get stopped from praying, but Muslims get to pray,” I lost it.

“When was the last time someone stopped you from praying,” I asked.

He seemed startled- “Me, never. But they…”

I cut him off- “And when was the last time anyone stopped anyone you know from praying?”

“Well, I don’t personally know of anyone…”

“So who exactly is stopping people from praying?”

A little reality goes a long way.  It’s time to start introducing it to the discussions.

Wingnut Welfare in Action

Good for the New Yorker, following the money trail that set up so much of the right wing infrastructure.

With his brother Charles, who is seventy-four, David Koch owns virtually all of Koch Industries, a conglomerate, headquartered in Wichita, Kansas, whose annual revenues are estimated to be a hundred billion dollars. The company has grown spectacularly since their father, Fred, died, in 1967, and the brothers took charge. The Kochs operate oil refineries in Alaska, Texas, and Minnesota, and control some four thousand miles of pipeline. Koch Industries owns Brawny paper towels, Dixie cups, Georgia-Pacific lumber, Stainmaster carpet, and Lycra, among other products. Forbes ranks it as the second-largest private company in the country, after Cargill, and its consistent profitability has made David and Charles Koch—who, years ago, bought out two other brothers—among the richest men in America. Their combined fortune of thirty-five billion dollars is exceeded only by those of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.

The Kochs are longtime libertarians who believe in drastically lower personal and corporate taxes, minimal social services for the needy, and much less oversight of industry—especially environmental regulation. These views dovetail with the brothers’ corporate interests.

Hat tip: C&L