Sometimes, truth is stranger than fiction. The Lewis Carroll’s Alice had to fall down a rabbit hole to begin her adventures in Wonderland, quite a trick in itself. The origin of our own misfortunes is far more mundane. We have only to turn on our TVs or sign onto the Internet, and we find ourselves in an endless feedback loop of the bizarro that won’t go away.
Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze.com lauds Texas Governor Rick Perry’s righteous battle against Martha Raddatz, co-host of ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” as Perry “doubled down” on some pretty out-there conspiracy theories and she called him on it.
What you won’t find on The Blaze is how Martha Raddatz dealt with the governor’s refusal to back down: she abruptly cut him off mid-sentence and ended the interview.
To The Blaze, Perry is a conservative hero taking on impossible odds and triumphing. The truth is, Raddatz clearly thought he was a whackadoodle and had transcended the bounds of propriety.
Watch the interview if you haven’t seen it already:
The Blaze does admit that Rick Perry “had his hands full” Sunday but their headline, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, TV Host Battle Over Illegal Immigration: ‘They Either Are Inept or Don’t Care’ is misleading to say the least. The Raw Story did much better with their ABC cuts off Rick Perry’s conspiracy rant about Obama, immigrants, drones, and hurricanes. ThinkProgress correctly pointed out that Raddatz “schooled” Perry. And as you know, our own headline was a hyper accurate, ABC News Cuts Off Rick Perry In The Middle Of An Insane Obama Conspiracy Rant.
If you don’t have the stomach early in the morning for Rick Perry, and missed Jason Easley’s coverage of the event yesterday, this is, briefly, how it went:
Raddatz asked Perry about the law and Perry instantly hid behind the Constitution he otherwise cares nothing about and said that the Constitution demands the nation’s borders be protected. Raddatz stops Perry mid-rant here and says,
“But governor, please, go back to the law, the 2008 law that was signed into law by George Bush.” She asks Perry if the problem isn’t in fact a backlog in the courts. “Doesn’t that have to be addressed first?”
“What has to be addressed,” intoned Perry, “is the security of the border.” This is coming from a guy, mind you, who has already expressed support for an invasion of Mexico.
Yes, because no Republican wants to talk about George W. Bush.
“You know that, I know that, the President of the United States knows that. I don’t believe he particularly cares whether the border of the United States is secure. And that’s the reason there’s been this lack of effort, this lack of focus, this lack of resources…”
Here Raddatz cuts him off again, and not for the last time, and tries to steer him back to our fact-based reality, but Perry is having none of that. What Tea Bagger would vote for him if he appealed to facts?
This is the point at which Raddatz addresses Perry’s allegations on Fox News on June 17:
We either have an incredibly inept administration, or they’re in on this somehow or another. I mean I hate to be conspiratorial, but I mean how do you move that many people from Central America across Mexico and then into the United States without there being a fairly coordinated effort?
Yes, one can see at once how much he hates to be conspiratorial, since that is the first thing he suggests.
Martha Raddatz asked him point-blank, giving him an opportunity clarify his remarks, in other words, to remove his tinfoil hat (The Blaze called this “chiding Perry’s remarks”),
“Governor, do you really believe there’s some sort of conspiracy to get people into the United States by the federal government, by the Obama administration?”
When I have written a letter that is dated May of 2012, and I have yet to have a response from this administration, I will tell you they either are inept or don’t care, and that is my position. We have been bringing to the attention of President Obama and his administration since 2010, he received a letter from me on the tarmac… I have to believe that when you do not respond in any way, that you are either inept, or you have some ulterior motive of which you are functioning from.
Perry said he wants “boots on the ground” and drones.
Unless we secure our southern border, this is going to continue to be a massive amount of individuals that are coming to the United States. And, frankly, we don’t have a place to house them as it is. And if we have a major event, a hurricane that comes in to the Gulf Coast, I don’t have a place to be housing people who are displaced because this administration…
At that point, Raddatz interrupted Perry and ended the interview.
“Okay, Governor, I’m going to have to stop you there. But thank you very much for joining us.”
The Perry interview says quite a bit about how Republicans deal with reality: they don’t. And the right wing reaction to the interview reinforces his view that reality is somehow subservient to conservative desires to paint reality red:
Twitchy media condemned Raddatz, who they called a “partisan hack” for her “dishonest” interview with Perry. For Newsbusters (talk about partisan hacks), reality parsed itself in this way: ABC’s Raddatz Peddles Obama Talking Points On Border Crisis During Interview With Rick Perry. NewsAlert called Raddatz a “Lib Crank” for daring to bring up actual facts.
Newsmax.com probably showed the greatest discernment in an obviously lost cause, by pretending the Perry didn’t talk crazy, the confrontation with Raddatz never took place, and focusing instead on the call for “boots on the ground” and drones. None of which, it must be said, serves the cause of our fact-based reality.
In right wing circles, crazy is mainstream. Reality – the world of facts – has been replaced by what Republicans want it to be – worse, NEED it to be in order to further their agenda. Failing that, it is something – as Newsmax proved – to be ignored.
And if you didn’t understand this before, you will now, that this is why conservatives call the media “liberally biased.” To the extent that any in the media rely on facts rather than blindly repeating conservative talking points, they are liberally biased because reality itself, as Stephen Colbert famously said, is itself liberally biased.
Rick Perry, as he so often does, made a fool of himself on national television. Right Wing media compounded his error by decrying the world of facts in favor of a distorted world of wishes that would have made Alice recoil in horror.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.