America’s Clod Culture Has a New Hero.

In the fathomless annals of America’s Clod Culture we have a new hero — to the Anything That Grabs Your Attention crowd — and fool du jour to everyone else who long ago maxed out on People Who Never Were Welcome, Much Less Outlived It.

I refer to the so-called “White House heckler”, real name, Neil Munro, some sort of reporter for Tucker Carlson’s conservative bleat sheet, The Daily Caller. The occasion was President Obama’s  announcement that he’d had enough of the Senate obstructing every conceivable tweak and modification of immigration reform and was unilaterally stopping deportations of children in the United States as a result of their parents “illegal” immigration. This idea — fostered by radical liberals like George W. Bush and Orrin Hatch as a step toward, you know, solving a problem as opposed to playing politics with every goddam wheel and gear of the government  — was anything but audacious.

Nevertheless, Munro (a foreign national here on a green card) interrupted Obama several times demanding to know why he was so intent on stocking the job rolls with immigrants as opposed to do something to help American workers. (Just a reminder. Obama — and Bush and Hatch — were focused on young people  who, attended public schools, perhaps entered military service and might be given a job — thereby paying taxes — by free enterprise job creators). It was — purely and simply — a moment of publicity-seeking, self-aggrandizing boorishness, along the lines of your average fart and boob-obsessed morning zoo radio show’s “correspondent” hectoring the mayor at a ribbon cutting.

In the realm of pigs flying, even FoxNews, (Chris Wallace, at least) which has had its problems achieving a level of credibility with this administration, criticized Munro. But not Carlson, Munro’s boss, who compared his boy’s aggressive questioning to the Grand Vizier of bellowed questioning, ABC’s Sam Donaldson. Donaldson is legendary for shouting questions at Presidents, notably hard-of-hearing Ronald Reagan, when they had no intention of taking questions. … but not during formal statements. Donaldson accepted a minimal level of protocol.

(The all-time Donaldson classic was when Ronnie was ambling back into the White House after landing in the official chopper. Knowing that Reagan wasn’t going to answer anything about anything, Donaldson yelled, “Mr. President a study says 90% of American men play with themselves in the shower and the other 10% are lying. Which are you?” To which Reagan cupped his ear as though to suggest he couldn’t hear so well, smiled and made a gesture suggesting he was in “the other” group.)

Anyway, Donaldson was not at all pleased with being used by Carlson as a precedent for Munro’s clod-burst. When asked to comment Donaldson fired back:

Never once did I interrupt a president in any way while he was making a formal statement, a speech, honoring awardees or in any other way holding the floor. Yes, almost always when he was finished in the Rose Garden or in the Briefing Room or at a photo opportunity with other world leaders I tried to question him (only rarely was it a shout on the rope line, more often a more normal tone of voice) and other reporters of course did the same thing along with me.

What this man did yesterday is something new, to me wrong and unusual. I think it is probably the result of the growing incivility of the times, the competition among reporters and news organizations to be noticed not only for the work product but for the theatrics of the gathering…and there is one more factor, let’s face it: Many on the political right believe this president ought not to be there – they oppose him not for his polices and political view but for who he is, an African American! These people and perhaps even certain news organizations (certainly the right wing talkers like Limbaugh) encourage disrespect for this president. That is both regrettable and adds, in this case, to the general dislike of the press on the part of the general public.

For Tucker Carlson to say that he would if he can give this man a raise for this rude attempt to interrupt the president is reflective of what I’ve said above and, to me, lowers my opinion of Tucker.

The Munro “heckling”incident of course pales in comparison to South Carolina Cong. Joe “You Lie!” Wilson’s outburst during Obama’s address to a joint session of congress … a cloddish apogee that earned him a windfall of contributions from America’s clod worshippers.

The overworked, threadbare rationale for most of the cloddish rhetoric on shock jock radio and America’s unreflective, unrepentant Tea Party right is that nothing they could ever say compares to the fascistic burden they assert that they suffer under from liberal “political correctness”. Their semi-literate, invariably factually erroneous bleating and loud public gas-passing is an antidote to … well, take your pick, soda pop-banning “nanny staters”, “enviro-Nazis” restricting chemical runoff into rivers, yadda yadda.

Where this perpetually aggrieved crowd of disrespected bad boys/real Americans struggle is ginning up comparable examples of boorishness from the mainstream press/tools of the overbearing liberal monolith. Even during the George W./Dick Cheney reign of error and cronyism, amid an unnecessary trillion dollar war, out of control spending and non-existent oversight of Wall St., no “aggressive” reporter heckled one of their (brief) formal statements. (If only someone had during W.’s notorious March 6, 2003 press conference).

Clod warfare — defined as boorishness mixed with factual illiteracy — is a uniquely anti-liberal phenomenon, an offensive against logic and civility.

35 thoughts on “America’s Clod Culture Has a New Hero.

  1. Dennis McGrath says:

    Brian: As usual, good stuff. Clod warfare is just the right phrase. You could just see this spotlight hungry little jerk waiting for his moment.

  2. Mike Thomas says:

    Why the quotations around “illegal” immigrants? Are they legal or not legal?
    A couple items to note. Your President had a fillibuster proof Senate majority for a year and a half along with a liberal congress, why did he wait until a few months before the election to press this “alleged” reform?

    Also, the questions from the Daily Caller to you are clodish, yet when some self important “activist” throws change and dolls at press conferences or meetings you applaud it (and wrongfully him).

    1. Erik says:

      With post-modernism, liberals get to substitute their perceptions for reality. So you could say with the irony quotes he’s signaling his disapproval of the word illegal as used in that context.

      Add to that, for a few years now there’s been a certain style of liberal writing where deployment of the irony quote is supposed to be sardonic, edgy, and clever. So naturally, with a Lambo article you’ll often see 20 or 30 irony quotes.

    2. Mike: there are quotes around illegal because the situation has …just a wee bit …more nuance to it than my rhetorical game-playing conservative friends ever care to admit. There is, for example illegal — like overtime parking, and illegal as in a triple homicide. Both are a violation of the law and if all you’re trying to do is make a limp debating point, you declare yourself the winner. In reality of course there’s a very large difference.

      Opponents of any kind of immigration reform, which is to say virtually every member of the GOP now that the Tea Party caucus wags the dog would like you to believe that the country is flooded with hardened criminals bent on stealing jobs from real Americans, if not beheading them. In fact, the vast majority are here to do work no American wants to do and several very large American industries vitally need doing. (There are also fewer of them coming in now than last year … .)

      So “illegal”. A difference between leaf-blowing and strawberry picking and … a psychopathic drug cartel.

      Also, you may want to avoid overplaying — as the Echo Chamber is wont to do — that very scary interlude between Al Franken (giving Obama dictatorial-like powers over legislation) and the rise of the Democratic Blue Dogs. I believe it was about a half an hour. Tough to get much done.

      1. Erik says:

        Better link, even if it is from Daily Kooks.

        The fee situation aside, advice to buy gold is given with some earnestness rather than cynicism. And it was no rube move to actually take that advice.

      1. Erik says:

        Better, even if it is from Daily Kooks.

        The fee situation aside, advice to buy gold is given with some earnestness rather than cynicism. And it was no rube move to actually take that advice.

    1. … and then the oatmeal got a show on FoxNews.

      The irony is that Munro — like most of the GOP’s “entrepreneurial candidates” in this past primary season — is just trying to exploit his moment in the sun.

      1. PM says:

        …and make it rich by selling gold bars to the rubes.

        BTW, did you see that Glen Beck has vowed to bring down “Glee”?

        ( I have a good friend who works for Fox/News Corp. who asserts that if Murdoch thought he could make money with a far left network, he’d do that in a heartbeat)

      2. Erik says:

        Correct…. at its all time high. So the rubes… chortle chortle… haven’t been terribly ill served here by Beck et als guidance.

      3. Erik says:

        Yes, be that as it may, it’s another non-refutation refutation.

        The rubes have not been ill served by the conservatives gold bugs on talk radio.

      4. I go away for away for a couple hours and we’re arguing … gold? My Ameriprise guy snickers at the”rubes” buying gold. Glorified mattress stuffers. I believe the “rube” part comes into play by virtue of them swallowing Beck et al’s liberal/socialist/fascist/collectivist apocalypse fantasies and moving their investment money from mutual funds to gold coins … which they’ll protect to their death with their home arsenal. The crowd is so paranoid and gullible they’d sell the house and by Ron Popeil stock if Beck told them to.

      5. PM says:

        Erik, the point is–the all time high value doesn’t matter– especially not when the value has just managed to reach the same level it was at 30+ years ago!

        So your advice is to buy it now, at its all time high…. (as opposed to buy low, sell high).

        Who is the rube?

        Seriously, Erik– you where the one who just recently was pointing out how stupid Paul Erlich was, right? Well, do you remember this?

        Don’t be a fool and bet on gold.

      6. Erik says:

        Its heartening to know that you have a mutual fund guy Lambo. There’s a conservative meme out there that the career dead enders not yet eligible for ss are filing for phantom disabilities. Unemployment PTSD. Chronic misanthropy. Etc. And that the Obama administration is granting these claims en masse. Its good you haven’t had to resort to that.

        Ehrlich is an academic. Insofar as he has a sinecure and can do what he wants, he’s not stupid. His followers are stupid. Profoundly.

        Gold can be bought at the top. It’s a hedge for volatile inflationary environments rather than a long term growth strategy. I merely think you have little basis for calling people rubes for taking the advice to buy gold. They haven’t lost money on it to this point. I doubt they will. We’re going to have at least some inflation.

        Personally, gold would be the last thing I buy.

  3. Ellen Mrja says:

    New poll shows that 2/3 agree with the President’s new policy on immigration – and that includes 66% of Independents.

    1. Mike Thomas says:

      Thanks Leinfleder for jumping into this.
      Now if a majority of voters don’t want Government run healthcare those polls do not matter, or if the majority of voters want voter ID that shouldn’t matter. But now if we have one poll that affirms our liberal beliefs we should listen to polls?

  4. The bottom line is that there has not been a president in modern history that has been shown this kind of blatant disrespect and straight up rudeness and Munro’s childish b.s. and excuse shows his – and the conservative punditocracy their lack of respect of the office.

    Cons will point to Reagan and his press conferences – where what Munro pulled simply never happened to Reagan and various “both sides do it” b.s. Find me when a Dem yelled out from the chamber like that pantload Wilson did. Show me e-mails, tweets and texts from elected officials with racist jokes, imaging, etc. about Bush. There. Is. No. Comparison.

    And don’t bring up the Iraqi shoe-throwing incident. Yes, that was horrible, disrespectful, etc. but it didn’t happen HERE, by a U.S. citizen. That said, watch that footage – ever notice that after Bush ducked he had that typical smirk – like just for a second even he thought it was comical and he was kind of proud that he ducked it. Seriously, watch the footage.

    1. Mike Thomas says:

      Um let’s get real “essar1”. sponsored film festivals to make Anti Bush-Hitler movies. Your beloved Olbermann (remember that guy?) spewed personal (yes personal) hated of the man for the hundreds of people that watched that channel.

      1. PM says:

        And lets not ignore the way that the MSM is treating Romney! I mean, just look at all of this coverage of Rafalca–pointing out that Mittens gets to deduct what he spends as a tax loss. I mean, the MSM is almost trying to make it out that Mitt and Anne aren’t like all the rest of us!

        If that isn’t personal hatred, then i don’t know what is!

      2. Erik says:

        PM, what’s the disappointment like for you when MSNBC has to retract something like the Mittens WaWa scanner story? Had you already used that as an anecdote in a conversation?

      3. PM says:

        Sorry to disappoint you, but no. No disappointment, and never talked about that to anyone. And, fwiw, i don’t watch MSNBC. Really, the only cable news I watch with any regularity is Fox.

      4. Erik says:

        Ok. But you heard about it, right? Is untruthfully editing a Romney speech cloddish? And worse than Munro asking Obama a question?

      5. PM says:

        well, it is stupid, and dishonest. I would not say that it is cloddish, because it isn’t insulting in the same fashion–not done to Romney’s face. In that sense, it isn’t personally disrespectful and insulting.

        Frankly, it is the same type of thing that happens pretty often on Fox (here is an example of Hannity doing it: ). And, of course, the candidates themselves say things that are judged by “fact checkers” to be false fairly frequently. And the ads that come from third party groups are, of course, even worse. I simply do not think that you can equate that garden variety type of dishonesty to the actions of Munro or Joe Wilson.

        So, i think that this is an example of false equivalence on your part.

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