Home





Issue #68

Download Entire issue (Right-click and "Save as")

Features:

Social Anxiety: Kleptocracy is the Greatest Luxury - Allan Uthman

Sorry to Wake You: A Rousing Conversation - Matt Taibbi

Hillary Takes a Dive: Buffalo loves any kind of attention - Jeff Dean

Soylent Purple : The Finger Thing Makes More Sense Than You Thought - Allan Uthman

Bowtie Bondage: Newsworm Tucker Carlson Asks the Tough Questions - Matt Taibbi


Faux-tures:

Future World News

Rooney Eyebrow Reserves to be Opened for Driling - Ian Murphy

Money Matta$$: Finincial Advice from 50 Cent



Departments:

Buffalo in Briefs

BEAST-O-Scopes

Cross Examination: Bible Study with Itza Crock

The Straight Dope: Growing Advice from Dr. Rotten

Page 3

Separated at Birth?

[sic] - Letters




Music Reviews:

Voodoo Dollies CD Release Party

Full Treble Stereo/Day Month Year/Kamchatka

Hondsome Boy Modeling School

Movie Reviews:

Kino Korner

Sports:

Wide Right: The Losman Cometh - Ronnie Roscoe



Comix:

Deep Fried - Jason Yungbluth

Bob the Angry Flower - Stephen Notley

Perry Bible Fellowship - N!cholas Gurewitch

I Witless News - I. Gonzalez



Issue #67

Download Entire issue (Right-click and "Save as")

Features:

Devil in an Ice-Bllue Dress: Nation Delights in Worship of Unattainable Affluence- Matt Taibbi

Inaugural Balls: Increased Freedom Exports Lead to Domestic Shortage - Allan Uthman

Dr. Strangefeld - Alexander Zaitchik

Ripped from the Headlines: WMD Not Found, Media Coverage Likewise - Matt Taibbi


Faux-tures:

Inaugural Numbers

Scores Injured as Landon Clone Ramages - N. Sorrenti

Beast Reader Opinion: This Tiger is Still on the Prowl

Are You Dyslexic?

BEAST Art Director Accidentally Drinks Own Urine

Corrections



Departments:

Cross Examination: Bible Study with Itza Crock

Buffalo in Briefs

BEAST-O-Scopes

Page 3

Separated at Birth?

[sic] - Letters




Movie Reviews:

Kino Korner

Sports:

Wide Right: Wanna Bet? Pats are Sure Thing - Ronnie Roscoe



Issue #66

Download Entire issue (Right-click and "Save as")

Features:

The 50 Most Loathsome Americans of 2004

DLC Mooseshit: A Letter to Marshall Wittman - Matt Taibbi

2004: The Year in Regret Timeline

Time Lies: "Person of the Year" Issue Shits in Your Mouth & Calls it a Chocolate Sundae- Matt Taibbi


Faux-tures:

Tsunami Offers Heartfelt Apology

Life Value Calculator

Giambra's Pets raise Questions, Concerns



Departments:

Buffalo in Briefs: Looking Back

BEAST-O-Scopes

I HATE YOU: Channel 2 News "On Your Side"

Local Book Reviews

Page 3

Separated at Birth?

[sic] - Letters




Movie Reviews:

Kino Korner

Sports:

Wide Right: Bills, Bledsoe Just not Good Enough - Ronnie Roscoe






RSS Feed

Contact Us

MERCHANDISE



Archives--Old BEASTs

#67

#66

#65

#64

#63

More

2004 The Beast

Bowtie Bondage

Tucker Carlson Asks the Tough Questions

by Matt Taibbi


CARLSON: We've been hearing all day about this volcano in the Canary Islands that may collapse at some point and send a tsunami toward the East Coast of the United States drowning the Hamptons. Do you consider that a likely scenario, a possible scenario?

SIPKIN: You know, I hate to say things are impossible ... I would say that it is not very likely, that if it was possible there's no way of telling whether it's going to happen in 100,000 years I don't even know what the likelihood is.

Tucker Carlson, on CNN's Newsnight, interviewing seismologist Stuart Sipkin of the U.S. Geological Survey.

Thank you, Tucker, thank you. When this whole tsunami thing happened, that was my first thought, too hey, what about the Hamptons? Are the Hamptons safe? Now I know.

Tucker Carlson is in the news this week. Rumor has it he is going to take Deborah Norville's nine o'clock slot on MSNBC, providing society with the hyperambitious, polysyllabic segue to Scarborough Country it has been lacking all these years. The move comes amidst reports that the network has scrapped plans for its long-anticipated revival show, Alvin Ailey Presents Michael Savage.

Carlson's move to MSNBC is almost certain to provoke yet another series of articles about the "right-i-zation" of cable news. Liberal outlets everywhere are going to remind us that the Fox network has been crushing its opposition so convincingly that the other networks are now fighting back with moves like this Carlson thing by trying, in other words, to equal or surpass Fox's partisanship. Weed out the old "neutral" voices, stick in a seemingly open, unapologetic conservative like Carlson, and eventually the entire informational landscape will be dominated by flag-waving dunderheads fighting over the carcass of Alan Colmes. This is the terrifying future we are going to be warned about once again, if Carlson goes GE.

Certainly this is a frightening prospect, but I'm not sure the ascension of Carlson is the right thing to get upset about. Carlson's role in the cable-news world that absurdist interpretation of Orwell that dominates the shape and speed of the American news cycle has never been entirely clear. He has never been believable as a hatemongering brownshirt; his political ethnicity is probably closer to traitor than demagogue. You'd know exactly which side of the desert island to search for Carlson, if he were ever to be stranded on one with the Barnard French faculty and the Tuscaloosa chapter of the Klan he'd be on the left bank, passionately misquoting Baudelaire. The same cannot be said for people like Sean Hannity and Michael Savage, genuinely insecure creeps whose ideal natural habitat is the praise of bigots.

Carlson occupies the same role for conservatives in the media landscape that Colmes does for liberals. Colmes is a pale-faced, paint-by-numbers loser whose only job is to be a believable liberal for people who live in trailers. Carlson is CNN's idea of a conservative. His right-wing ideas come from his changeable, expensive brains instead of his stomach. In the same way that the helpless, ineffectual Colmes is a reassuring image to hardcore conservatives, Carlson puts a soothing face on conservatism for educated East Coast progressives because even the biggest neo-Marxist wanker from Brown takes one look at Carlson and sees the one man in America he would feel sure of being able to kick the shit out of in a back alley.

That same wanker could probably take Savage or O'Reilly, too, but those guys have supplicants and constituents by the millions who would come rushing to their aid. Not Carlson. In a bar fight, no 35-year-old man with a bowtie has friends. Especially not a smart-aleck closet case like Carlson. You would be hard-pressed to find an American who would not leap to his feet to cheer the sight of Tucker Carlson getting his teeth kicked down an alley, which I suspect is the reason CNN picked him to be their champion of conservatism. He is a patsy and a fraud the kind of public personality totalitarian regimes used to nurture for years in order to execute for a lack of orthodoxy at some opportune historical moment much later on. That MSNBC hires him thinking they're getting the real thing, a big ticket to red-state ratings, just shows how clueless that network really is.

It's true that Carlson has said and done a lot of inflammatory things over the years. His criminal niches in the conservative pundit world seem to be the bald factual misrepresentation and the suggestively over-enthusiastic gay-bashing joke. He once described cross-dressing as a "Democratic value," and said the following about gay, lesbian and transgender delegates at the DNC: "If you don't find them at least mildly funny, you're probably a Democrat." In yet another break from the grimly onanistic Hannity/Savage aesthetic, Tucker will occasionally come on like a lascivious young sex god, and often seems anxious that the CNN demographic know how much he digs chicks and even gasp lesbians. "One area of liberal phenomenon I support is female bi-sexuality, this apparent increased willingness of girls to bring along a friend," he told Elle magazine. Famously, he once also confessed to a sex fantasy about Hillary Clinton; he said she was too wound up and that he could "help her."

More seriously, Carlson has been known to do things like falsely report that Al Gore decided to go campaigning on the day his sister died, and that Republican speakers were booed and hounded by angry activists at Paul Wellstone's memorial service (they were not). But this is academic. You play a conservative pundit on television long enough, and anyone will be able to find a whole pile of objectionable statements in your past. The real significance of Carlson, as the celebrated exchange with Jon Stewart incoherently hinted at, is not what he says about the right, but what he says about television.

Stewart was right to target Crossfire. The Carlson/Paul Begala "debate" show is not only one of the biggest con games in the informational arena, it's the archetypal blueprint for the larger con game of American politics. In the show, the "left" battles the "right," and the segments are structured in such a way that the commentary is bound to outrage virtually every viewer away from one or the other debate participant. Taking sides, the viewer accepts the black-and-white left-right paradigm and focuses exclusively on the two debaters. As a result, he doesn't ask the important question, which is this: If Tucker Carlson represents the right and Paul Begala represents the left, what is the ideology of the TV studio in which they sit? What's the politics of that dull white table upon which their arms rest? Because the unspoken assumption of the show is that the debate is held in a perfectly neutral medium and this is a false assumption.

Television has its own ideology. No matter who wins the fake debates, it always wins. It is always selling something: not just products, but a whole mountain of cultural assumptions and prejudices that make the population passive, submissive and amenable to buying. One of the biggest of those assumptions is that politics is something neat and theatrical that fits in three eight-minute segments, and can be conducted with a handshake on an unchanging set day after day for decades, by a pair of glib geeks in suits who probably drink espresso together or blow each other after each show.

Real politics isn't a ping-pong game. It's ugly, uncomfortable, deadly serious and inherently bad television. That both Crossfire and our presidential elections are good television ought to tell us something. We're being had by a league of frauds, and whether they play on the right or the left is immaterial.

 

. This Issue ...........Home............. Contact........Archives

Social Anxiety

Allan Uthman

I’m no slouch when it comes to math, and I even did well in economics, but I don’t have to look at the numbers to figure out whether Bush’s proposed changes to Social Security will be a boon or a disaster. All I have to do is look at who’s proposing them.


Sorry to Wake You

Matt Taibbi

1:36 a.m., Jan. 25. Somewhere along a row of darkened town houses near Arlington, VA, a phone rings.

RUMSFELD: Uh... Hello?

FEITH: Donny? Are you up, man?

RUMSFELD: Shit. Who is this?


Buffalo in Briefs

Playing Down Brown

Three weeks ago, the Buffalo News ran the results of a Zogby poll on our upcoming Mayoral election. The results were somewhat surprising, putting Byron Brown up front and spelling almost certain doom for Masiello, who may have actually lost to a canteloupe if it had been offered as an alternative in the poll.


Soylent Purple

Allan Uthman

...Then there was the clip of a bunch of Republican Congressmen pointing their ink-stained index fingers in the air.

“You see that shit?” Frank asked.

“Yeah,” he said, surprised to hear it. “I thought I was gonna puke.”

“Fucking hilarious, I know. It’s so ironic, really—if only they knew. Wouldn’t stop ‘em anyhow.”

“Knew what?”

He knocked back his whiskey, grimaced and wiped his mouth on his sleeve. “The ink. What it’s made out of. You wouldn’t fucking believe it.”


Bowtie Bondage

Matt Taibbi

Tucker Carlson is in the news this week. Rumor has it he is going to take Deborah Norville's nine o'clock slot on MSNBC, providing society with the hyperambitious, polysyllabic segue to Scarborough Country it has been lacking all these years. The move comes amidst reports that the network has scrapped plans for its long-anticipated revival show, Alvin Ailey Presents Michael Savage.


Money Matta$$

50 Cent

Bump dat! Dow Jones Industrials capped dat week with a 120-point climb and broader stock indicators also moved substantially higher. The Standard & Poors 500 index surpassed the 1,200 level for the first time since Jan. 3. The PIMP index was also up despite the Labor Department's job creation report, which showed just 146,000 new jobs last month, far less than the 200,000 expected. Uh Uh Uh Uh.


[sic] - letters

COMMA SUTRA

your article,,is written by an idiot.if it is you,,,oh well,,put the egg in your shoe and beat it.Do you remember sep 11th,,,i guess you don`t,,many firefighters lost their lives that day..I am a firefighter,,as you may have figured out already.i take offense to this article,,as would any fireman..you owe a apology,,you paper is trash,,,your news is trash,,,i use your paper to wipe my butt.


Future World News

Machine to Sign Historic Accord with Man

"Logic dictates that Machine and Man must learn to work together to terminate our common enemy. The world stage is now set to end the tyranny of nature" said President 1100, in a transmission from the White Cube mercury garden.

"The most important thing at the summit will be a mutual declaration of cooperation of violence against the planet earth," said Omega Sheila E, a Nectaris negotiator.

Whole page as PDF


The 50 Most Loathsome People in America 2004

21. Alan Colmes
Crimes: An angry conservative’s wet dream: an effete liberal dive artist. As a professional doormat, Colmes’ only tasks are to serve as a comforting aggregate of Republican stereotypes about Democrats and a target for the seething derision of his psychotic guests. Stands idly by while voracious green-blooded co-host utilizes Gestapo tactics against centrist Democrats.


Subscribe to The BEAST

 

Seriously. We need money bad. $26 / 6 Months in the US, and you get our super-cool paper delivered to your door, virtually ensuring your admission to all of the important FBI watch-lists.


Inaugural Balls

Allan Uthman

...The real problem isn't that Bush's vision is vague, or that it signals an imperialist agenda that has already been in place for years. It isn't even that he's completely revised his justification for war in Afghanistan and Iraq for a proudly amnesiac public, or that he's launching his trial run at Iran. The real problem about Bush's speech is that it simply isn't true, and doesn't make any sense. It's 100% manure from start to finish.


Devil in an Ice Blue Dress

Matt Taibbi

I’ve always thought that one of America’s best selling points was that it never had a king. If there is one thing that defines us as a people, as opposed to all other peoples, it is this fact. Every other nation in the world has a dozen or so of those embarrassing chapters from the past to live down. Not us.


Disinformation Age

Allan Uthman

....The problem with the left is that our whole model of changing opinions—that contrary facts will alter people’s views—is inherently flawed. Mundane, oafish Americans, in a national competition to see how many $3.99 “support our troops” ribbon magnets they can fit onto the backs of their Suburbans, simply aren’t interested in reality...Let’s face it; there is a sizable chunk of the population who deny the validity of evolution—evolution. Who are we kidding, thinking we can make them see the errors in Social Security privatization?