Notes from Underground
Pursuing truth with the Two Minutes
The mugging of Mark Weber
By ANDY NOWICKI
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Nevertheless, Hannity doesn't usually get too far under my skin, smarmy and irritating as
he may be. After all, I suppose I agree with him on a lot of things, as I do with most
conservative talk-radio hosts. I oppose most of the same things he opposes; I don't like
liberalism any more than he does. Now, I dislike Establishment "conservatism," too.
Ordinarily I dislike it a bit less than I dislike liberalism, but on occasion the antics of Establishment conservative Hannity just become too vicious to bear and his
Hannity sometimes stages "debates" on his show, in which he and one of his buddies
gang up tag-team style on some seemingly unsuspecting, and usually unprepared, liberal.
Often Hannity's co-host is the buffoonish, and even more annoying-voiced,
I am not an apologist for Weber or others of his orientation, and I believe the mainstream account of the Jewish Holocaust in Nazi Germany to be true. However, I am always appalled at seeing people scapegoated, shouted down, or persecuted because they hold unpopular beliefs. Of course Weber was not allowed to get a word in edgewise. Virtually every word that left his mouth enraged Horowitz, a man so seething with venom that it seems to be eating him up from the inside even as he spews it on others; and he responded with the frightening vehemence of one possessed by a legion of demons.
The "debate" was sickeningly brutal, resembling a rhetorical gang rape. Very little of substance was said. Weber couldn't say much, because he kept getting cut off, insulted, and asked slimy, insinuating questions about his own alleged pathological prejudices. Ironically, the gruesome twosome of Hannity and Horowitz didn't wind up saying much about the Holocaust, either, or any other issue because they were too busy with their Two Minutes Hate against Weber.
By the end of the segment, their treatment of their guest had angered me; witnessing anyone get bullied angers me. Of course, Hannity and his ilk probably wouldn't care much about my response; I, after all, am a paleocon, and to their minds there's probably not a dime's worth of difference between me and the anti-war far Left on the one hand, or between me and David Duke on the other. But I couldn't help wondering about something: Is the mainstream account of the Holocaust fortified by such uncivil spectacles? By such mindless pummeling of critics? Did all of Hannity's audience, listening to the sordid proceedings of this Two Minutes Hate, during which a man was called names and otherwise verbally mugged, really side with the victimizers? Isn't it possible that a great many, thanks to an inherent sense of decency that hasn't been marred or twisted by ideology, actually sympathized with the victim? And if that were so, then was Hannity's and Horowitz's neocon cause, or their defense of established historical accounts, really helped by such behavior?
Or is it just that cruelty comes too naturally to such people, and they find themselves unable to resist indulging in it, even with the knowledge that in the end it will harm their cause?
December 22, 2006
© 2006 WTM Enterprises. All rights
Mr. Nowicki's personal blog is Dyspeptic Myopic, at www.andynowicki.blogspot.com.
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