You may only read this site if you've purchased Our Kampf from Amazon or Powell's or me
• • •
"Mike and Jon, Jon and Mike—I've known them both for years, and, clearly, one of them is very funny. As for the other: truly one of the great hangers-on of our time."—Steve Bodow, head writer, The Daily Show

"Who can really judge what's funny? If humor is a subjective medium, then can there be something that is really and truly hilarious? Me. This book."—Daniel Handler, author, Adverbs, and personal representative of Lemony Snicket

"The good news: I thought Our Kampf was consistently hilarious. The bad news: I’m the guy who wrote Monkeybone."—Sam Hamm, screenwriter, Batman, Batman Returns, and Homecoming

January 09, 2008

The Real News On Ron Paul & Pakistan

Donate to the Real News here.

—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at January 9, 2008 03:27 PM

There must be something I don't understand about the Real News, Jon, and your insistence on our donating to it. Isn't there a whole lot missing from this Paul video?

His facts about immigration are flat out wrong -- blaming closing hospitals on illegal immigrants, who are less likely to go to hospitals than are citizens (look it up), while opposing national healthcare is a little fucked up.

And opposing corporate control of the government is not opposing corporate control of American life. Paul's ideas will lead to unregulated corporations strong enough to take the place of government-- with no citizen control.

You'd think that an outlet calling itself "The Real News" would be the one calling politicians on this kind of shit instead of simply repeating their lies -- you know, like CNN would, just with different politicians. This just seems coopted by the Paul campaign.

And this isn't going into Paul's fascination with the New World Order, or his racist statements and writings, or his links to white supremacist groups like Stormfront.

Posted by: Sully at January 9, 2008 05:36 PM

Dunno, Sully - I agree with you that they could have been more thorough, but I thought the immigration stuff was meant to be a jab at him. I bet many of his well-wishers have never heard those views from him, and to hear him chuckling and characterizing Mexican immigrants as "drug dealers" is a little jarring. Also, I wish people would stop peddling that "Fascism is corporatism" line as implying that fascism has anything to do with corporations.

Posted by: saurabh at January 9, 2008 06:06 PM

At any rate, for all of Ron Paul's faults he can at least Monkeywrench the current situation. You don't think about ideas that much when the shit is already scattering in all directions from the fan, you find out someone who can at least stop the fan and clean it up a little.

Posted by: En Ming Hee at January 9, 2008 07:19 PM


I think the intention was to let Ron Paul and his backers speak for himself and themselves.

The Real News is not interpreting it for you. Of course the reasoning he uses to support his position on immigration is ridiculously wrong.

The point is to show him for what he is. Not to endorse what he is saying.

The current news media is entirely structure to supply the thinking to with what is shown. This segment by the Real News does not do that. And I think you have found it's absence striking, which should be a lesson on the power of the conditioning the media exerts on all of us.

Posted by: patience at January 10, 2008 12:40 AM

Also, I wish people would stop peddling that "Fascism is corporatism" line as implying that fascism has anything to do with corporations.

there is a pretty fair amount of research/discourse on the subject of 'what is fascism.' ('Google' it.) I agree that 'corporatism' does not exhaust the meaning or the implications of 'fascism'... (E.g., "Fascism is the triumph of the elite agenda against the 'popular will'.") It is perhaps wrong to say that "Fascism is corporatism," but it is not incorrect to say that "'corporatism' is (a brand/version of) fascism," primarily because of its reverence for the "BOSS!"

Posted by: konopelli/wgg at January 10, 2008 11:08 AM

Sully's right that someone (the "reporter", perhaps?) should have called Paul on his anti-immigrant bullshit. Immgrants "cost" the Social Security system? In fact, it's completely the opposite - undocumented workers pay billions every year into Social Security that they will never get back. Social Security runs a surplus because of these workers. You think we would be more grateful to the people who are paying for our parents - and, eventually, our - retirement.

And I don't buy the argument that this is some sort of "We report, you decide" new journalism. That's what the corporate media already does - just throw some quotes out, very occasionally from "both sides", and let the viewers sort it all out.

As for Paul, I do find some appeal in the fact that he's the only candidate, Republican or Democrat, who actually seems to appreciate the seriousness of our current situation. We're a collapsing empire, massively in debt, and all the other candidates talk as if this party can go on forever. The Republicans sell us their inspiring vision of endless war and all of us getting rich through endless economic growth and tax cuts, while the Dems promise guns and butter, because somehow we can remain the planet's only "hyperpower" while we all still get "affordable" health care - whatever the hell "affordable" means.

So I'm on the verge of crossing over to the dark side on primary day to vote for Paul. I figure his poll numbers put him down in Kucinich Country, where it's not really about getting elected, but about "sending a message." Paul's "success", such as it is, only sends one message through our tiny-brained media: even Republicans are sick of this war. That's a useful message to be sending at this point, I think.

Posted by: SteveB at January 10, 2008 01:09 PM

Konopelli: "Fascism is corporatism" is a quote from Mussolini. However, when he says "corporatism", the "corporation" he is referring to is not the modern business entity, but merely the idea of a corpus, an economic body of some sort (in his case, wholly subsumed within the state). That quote has been bastardized for years by people who want to tar the modern system of corporate control with the same brush used on the 20th century's greatest bogeymen; Ron Paul is following suit. Semantics, maybe, and not all that important, but annoying.

Posted by: saurabh at January 11, 2008 12:04 AM