The World O' Crap Archive

Welcome to the Collected World O' Crap, a comprehensive library of posts from the original Salon Blog, and our successor site, (2006 to 2010).

Current posts can be found here.

Friday, January 7, 2011

March 4, 2004 by s.z.

St. Ann, the Patron Saint of Ignorance

Poor Ann Coulter.

Five weeks ago she called John Kerry a gigolo.  Three weeks ago she claimed that Max Cleland was no hero because his injuries resulted when he dropped a grenade on himself while on a non-combat mission.  Two weeks ago she called everybody else liars for pointing out the errors in her Max Cleland column.  So, how could she ever top that? 

Well, how about by claiming that Muslims are smelly and bloodthirsty, and that Christianity isn't about treating others decently, it's about Jesus getting the crap kicked out of him. 

Yes, welcome to Ann Coulter, Theologian

Ann starts by claming that the "panic-stricken" NY Times articles about Mel Gibson's movie have convinced her that "liberals haven't the vaguest idea what Christianity is."  So, St. Ann issues a fatwa to her followers to invade their country, kill their leaders, and forcibly convert them to it.
But the loony-left is testy with Gibson for spending so much time on Jesus' suffering and death while giving "short shrift to Jesus' ministry and ideas" – as another Times reviewer put it. According to liberals, the message of Jesus, which somehow Gibson missed, is something along the lines of "be nice to people" (which to them means "raise taxes on the productive").
You don't need a religion like Christianity, which is a rather large and complex endeavor, in order to flag that message. All you need is a moron driving around in a Volvo with a bumper sticker that says "be nice to people." Being nice to people is, in fact, one of the incidental tenets of Christianity (as opposed to other religions whose tenets are more along the lines of "kill everyone who doesn't smell bad and doesn't answer to the name Mohammed"). But to call it the "message" of Jesus requires ... well, the brain of Maureen Dowd.
Wow, Ann really thinks her line about Muslims being smelly is funny, since she's repeated it several times,  But since she is a furious smoker (and not just when she's burning in hell), I doubt she's all that sweetly scented herself.  

While Ann did of course, make up that whole thing about liberals thinking that Christianity is about "niceness," I believe that Jesus might disagree with Ann's implication that treating others well is one of the "incidental tenets" of the faith that bears his name.  After all, he taught that the two great commandments are, "'Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength," and secondly, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."  He also said, "A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.  By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."

How "large and complex" is that?  Love God.  Love other people like Jesus loves them.  If you wish to be treated nicely, then be nice to others.

It's a good thing Ann wasn't one of the gospel writers: otherwise, we'd probably have part of the Sermon on the Mount rendered as, "Blessed are the warmakers, for they shall be called gods."
In fact, Jesus' distinctive message was: People are sinful and need to be redeemed, and this is your lucky day because I'm here to redeem you even though you don't deserve it, and I have to get the crap kicked out of me to do it. That is the reason He is called "Christ the Redeemer" rather than "Christ the Moron Driving Around in a Volvo With a 'Be Nice to People' Bumper Sticker on It."
Actually, Jesus' distinctive message was: I have risen from the dead.  That's way more distinctive that getting the crap beaten out of one (the Romans beat and crucified lots of people).  Jesus isn't our savior because he suffered the most pain or got the longest scourging of all time, but because he spiritually paid the price for our sins.  Sure, he suffered a lot, for us, but his getting beat to a pulp isn't the key point of Christianity; rather (IMHO) it's, "Because Jesus and his Father love us, they gave us a way to escape sin, and we should return the favor by treating other people with love."

Anyway, enough Christianity: let's learn why Mel's movie can't be anti-Semitic (it's somehow because of the smelly Moslems having the monopoly on that, and hey, they are all trying to kill us, unlike Mel Gibson, who just wants our money):
By contrast, in the weeks after 9-11, the Times was rushing to assure its readers that "prominent Islamic scholars and theologians in the West say unequivocally that nothing in Islam countenances the Sept. 11 actions." (That's if you set aside Muhammad's many specific instructions to kill non-believers whenever possible.)
Muhammad really gave many specific instructions to kill all non-believers?  Could you cite some of them, Ann? 
Times columnists repeatedly extolled "the great majority of peaceful Muslims." Only a religion with millions of practitioners trying to kill Americans and Jews is axiomatically described as "peaceful" by liberals 
And there are MILLIONS of Muslims trying to kill Americans?  Wow, we've really got our work cut out for us, if we're going to kill all of them first.
As I understand it, the dangerous religion is the one whose messiah instructs: "[I]f one strikes thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also" and "Love your enemies ... do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that persecute and calumniate you." The peaceful religion instructs: "Slay the enemy where you find him." (Surah 9:92). 
Ann, honey, first of all, Mel's movie isn't Christianity, it's just a movie.  Oh, and Rambo 3 isn't a major world religion either; I just wanted to point that out now.

And second of all, Surah 9:92 actually says:
Nor (is there blame) on those who came to thee to be provided with mounts, and when thou saidst, "I can find no mounts for you," they turned back, their eyes streaming with tears of grief that they had no resources wherewith to provide the expenses.
So, it's about horses.  Not about killing Americans. 

Wow, for somebody who does such extensive research and knows so much about Islam, that's a pretty stupid mistake to make, Ann.  How ever did you come to believe that Surah 9:92 says anything about slaying enemies?

I think a simple Google search might enlighten us:
WorldNetDaily: Muhammad, a 'demon-possessed pedophile'?
... Islam's inclination toward violence, he added, also is reflected in
the Koran: "Slay the enemy where you find him" (Surah 9.92). ... An Editorial by Dr. Jerry Falwell ...

While there are several more citations for Surah 9:92 and "slay the enemy," they all refer to that same column by Jerry Falwell.  So, Ann relied on Jerry Falwell for her information on Islam, and did no cross-checking.  As Jesus might say (if he didn't think being kind to others was important): What a maroon!

What Ann might have meant, if she was actually slightly knowledgeable about Islam, was Surah 9:5
But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans (idolaters, polytheists) wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practice regular charity, then open the way for them: for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.
And even that verse doesn't instruct Moslems to kill all nonbelievers.  As Moiz Amjad explains, when you read it in context, it clearly refers only to a specific group of Pagans/polytheists who had entered into an agreement with the followers of Mohammed, and then broke it; they had helped the Muslims' enemies, conspired to banish Mohammed,  and attacked the Muslims first.  So, it's not referring to all Pagans, just THOSE pagans.   

Just like how when Deuteronomy 7:2 says "And when the Lord thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor show mercy unto them," it refers just to the Canaanites.  It isn't a commandment to Jews and Christians today to kill  nonbelievers -- or even liberals. 

Anyway, since Ann clearly doesn't know much about any religion (but clearly needs some in her life), I suggest she enroll herself in a monastery where she can pray and meditate in silence for the months and years it will take her to achieve spiritual enlightenment.  Yes, years of silence.  It's the only way.

6:06:50 AM    

Who's Looking Out For Those People Bill Is Stealing Ideas From?

Speaking of Bill O'Reilly, Rory O'Connor, writing at, is saying that Bill is not only a liar, but also a thief.  O'Connor starts by telling how he was invited to talk about the BBC's coverage of the Iraq war on "The O'Reilly Factor," but when it became clear in the pre-interview that he wasn't going to characterize the Beeb as a propaganda organ for Hussein, Bill personally dis-invited him.  Yeah, fair and balanced.

Anyway, O'Connor shares the latest example of unethical behavior on Bill's part:
[O'Reilly] stole an exclusive investigative story broken in the pages of the recently launched free daily amNewYork, and presented it as his own. The front page exclusive, which concerned a charity fund organized to reopen Lady Liberty, ran on February 2. It revealed that although the fund raised $40 million annually, officials were using the money for minor maintenance instead of the $7 million in repairs necessary to reopen the monument to the public.
Two weeks later O'Reilly's researcher, Susan Beachy, called amNewYork and asked for a copy of the article. Alex Storozynski, amNewYork editor, followed up with O'Reilly's producer Rich McCue, who told him, "We know you guys broke this story.  We haven't seen it anywhere else."
To Storozynski's surprise, however, no mention was made of his newspaper when the story appeared on The O'Reilly Factor. Instead O'Reilly took credit for it himself. As Storozynski later wrote to O'Reilly, "Even the Daily News has given us credit when we break a story, and they are one of our competitors."
If his viewers don't yet know how dishonest O'Reilly is, his staff seems well aware of his ethically challenged behavior. Asked why O'Reilly didn't credit amNewYork, McCue said: "I can't tell him what to do. That's the way he operates."
Fox representatives failed to return several of my phone calls. But when contacted by Lloyd Grove of the Daily News, spokesman Rob Zimmerman dismissed Storozynski's complaints, simply asserting, "There is no plagiarism. Our friends at amNewYork are claiming that they broke this story. But they weren't the first ones to bring it to the public's attention."
Zimmerman must be taking honesty lessons from O'Reilly, because amNewYork undoubtedly had the story first. Instead of acknowledging the truth, however, Zimmerman responded as usual --with an attack -- telling Grove "amNewYork is trying to get publicity off of Bill O'Reilly's coattails."
Grove says, "Lowdown's scoop: A check of stories on the Liberty fund indicates that amNewYork had it first." 
In any case, it's clear that somebody other than Bill was "the first to bring it to the public's attention," and if Bill didn't credit his source, it sure sounds like plagiarism to me.  Bad enough if you're filching from the networks, but worse when you're stealing from a new, small outfit like amNewYork.  I don't think this is how a stand-up guy acts, Bill. 

1:34:57 AM    

The Going Rate For Looking Out For You

Remember back in September, when Bill O'Reilly said:
Recently in BusinessWeek online, a columnist wrote that I, your humble correspondent, and other Fox News personnel were, "cheesy patriotism peddlers."  Isn't that nice? Well, this cheesy patriotism peddler is not going to be buying BusinessWeek, any longer.  Cheesy patriot?  No.  So there you go. To buy it would be ridiculous.
Well, I wonder if Bill is still holding to this vow.  He did, after all, let them interview him for the recent piece entitled The O'Reilly Factory.  The article claims that between his Fox TV show, his radio program, the books, the newspaper columns, the speaking fees, and his "Bill O'Reilly Will Be Your Friend for $19.95 a month" website, Bill generates an estimated $60 million a year.

Because he needs the money, Bill is currently plugging his novel Those Who Trespass as industriously as humanly possible.  He has appeared on "The View," "The Tonight Show," has been doing books signings, and seems to mention the book daily on his TV show.  A couple of days ago, he read an email  from a "Factor" viewer who asked if Bill will appear in the film version; Bill said that the production company (Mel Gibson and friends) wants Bill to play a character who is killed off by page 6.  As we fans of schlock know, that character would be Ron Costello, the self-important, horny, obnoxious news personality who, the book tells us in a bit that seems autobiographical, "did what he usually did when gratification eluded him--he got unpleasant."  And then Ron opens his hotel door to the wrong person and gets killed by an iced tea spoon to the brain.  We think this is perfect casting, and it might even make us see the movie.  

But back to that BusinessWeek article, which quotes Bill's publisher, and then comments on sales of Who's Making a Buck From You:
"Bill is one of our cherished marquee authors.  It doesn't hurt that he shamelessly promotes his books." His latest tome has sold 644,000 copies since it was released last year, according to sales tracker Nielsen BookScan.
Bill, of course, says it sold 800,000 copies, which is way better than how Hillary Clinton's book did, if you subtract all the copies of hers that were sold to the DNC, buyers, smart people, men, and women.

But won't there come a time when, similarly to what we saw happening at a couple of weeks ago, "the folks" get sick of Bill?
O'Reilly admits he thinks about oversaturation. But he says he will be in demand as long as he keeps raging on behalf of America -- he lambastes liberal media elites, predatory priests, Hillary Clinton, corrupt CEOs, illegal aliens, and "racial witch-hunters" who hijack policy debates with charges of racism.
And that kind of thing never gets old.  And anyway, "the folks" need Bill to look out for them, because otherwise they'd just waste their money on French products, rap music, and Hillary Clinton books. 

Bill insists that he's "not a materialistic person," so why does he keep doing the radio show, the columns, and selling the Bill O'Reilly doormats?  Businessweek doesn't say, but ego seems to be the answer.  Bill, who has his staff look for public mentions of him, and who frequently responds on his TV show to any perceived slights, really seems to need to have people buying his books, listening to his radio show, filling seats at his public appearance, etc., because he requires constant reassurances that he is important, well-liked, and respected.  I imagine this all stems back to some childhood father issues.  I think a stint in Rush Limbaugh's rehab ranch might help him to make peace with his demons, and get him to realize that his father is dead, Al Franken was right about Bill being from Westbury Township, and that "the folks" need to stand on their own two feet and stop relying on Bill to do their Hillary Clinton bashing for them.

Anyway, now that Bill has conquered TV, radio, newspaper columns, nonfiction books, self-help books, and lurid serial killer novels, what comes next?
O'Reilly, who has a wife and two daughters, is looking to spread his message of self-reliance to another generation.  He says a kids' book, The O'Reilly Factor For Kids: A Survival Guide, is set to be published in October by Harper Collins, owned by Fox parent News Corp.

And to think we used to joke about Ann Coulter writing a kid's book!  How can satire ever hope to complete with reality, with people like Bill around?

12:37:50 AM 

No comments:

Post a Comment