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Kathy Shaidle

Media Matters and the ‘Paranoid Style’ Drinking Game

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Posted on December 18 2009 1:35 am
Kathy Shaidle blogs at FiveFeetOfFury, now entering its 11th year online. Her latest book is Acoustic Ladylandkathy shaidle, which Mark Steyn calls "a must-read."
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Yesterday I stood in wonder at what $10 million buys George Soros these days. His 70-man steno pool at Media Matters apparently needs that much cash to carry out the all-important, nation-saving work of making fun of the weatherman on Fox & Friends, and transcribing Rush Limbaugh’s jokes.

Some of Soros’ staffers aren’t even trying any more. Today, one Simon Maloy typed up a huge essay that’s been granted pride of place on the Media Matters homepage. It’s called “Glenn Beck and the paranoid style.”

No, really.

I just typed “paranoid style” and “2009” into Google and got 50,000 hits. The “paranoid style” meme was this year’s “Who Let The Dogs Out?” of liberal rhetoric. Back in March, Jonah Goldberg had already noted the spread of this cliche contagion:

Over at The New Yorker, George Packer, echoing many, rehashes the usual talking points about how conservatives are particularly prone to paranoia and populist hysteria. He trots out Richard Hofstadter and Hofstadter’s cribbing of the incredibly flawed work by Adorno. I respect Packer, but I find this all so deeply tiresome. (…)

When Randall Robinson proclaimed at the Huffington Post that blacks — and only blacks — were being forced to eat the flesh of the dead in the wake of Katrina, why did no one dust off their Hofstadter? (…)

The real problem is that the liberal establishment, starting with Hofstadter and Adorno, have perfected the art of proclaiming paranoia or populism they don’t like as “right-wing” when — often, but not always — there’s nothing right-wing about it.

It’s just another indication of how bereft of ideas the “progressive” left is today: thousands of articles and blog posts referencing a book from 1964 that most of these prosaic polemicists have probably never read, authored by a man whose name they frequently misspell.

Is there a top secret socialist “paranoid style” drinking game we right wingers just aren’t hip to? Because that’s the only valid excuse I can think of for this epidemic laziness and stupidity.

Seriously: just try to imagine the sub-atomic level of self-awareness that prompts a guy who looks like he just graduated from college to snidely pontificate about a book composed “back when Bachmann and Limbaugh were still in grade school.”

Not that I want to give aid and comfort to the enemy or anything, but George Soros and all those “progressive” foundations could save millions of bucks if they simply hired someone to java script an “Anti-Glenn Beck Article Generator”. Along with obligatory reference to Hofstadter, you could program words to pop up at random, like “crying,” “tears,” “Father Coughlin,” “Lonesome Roads,” “Howard Beale,” “crazy, ” “Morman” and “alcoholic.”

Naturally, like other innovations in automation and productivity, this invention would put lots of people out of work. In this case, liberal “journalists.”

But hey, that’s progress for you.

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