Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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March 28, 2010

RNC RAISES MONEY FOR HANNITY.... Former Bush speechwriter David Frum, recently fired from AEI for telling Republicans what they didn't want to hear, noted the other day, "Republicans originally thought that Fox [News] worked for us, and now we are discovering we work for Fox."

I thought of this quote when I saw the latest email sent to Republicans this morning by the Republican National Committee. This is the body of the message in its entirety. (thanks to reader C.R.)

Dear XXXX,

I wanted to let you know that I just finished reading Sean Hannity's new book, Conservative Victory: Defeating Obama's Radical Agenda. As they so often do, Sean's words left me energized for November and even more committed to making the gains necessary to bring the Obama agenda to a halt.

In the book, Sean does more than just tell us why we need to defeat the Obama Agenda. He also gives us a blueprint for getting it done. I cannot recommend it enough -- and I'm confident that, like me, you will be ready for the upcoming elections with a renewed commitment.

Sincerely,

Michael Steele
Chairman, Republican National Committee

Just to be clear, this wasn't a personal endorsement from Steele. The email was sent to Republican donors, through the RNC, as part of an official RNC message. The email notes that it was "paid for by the Republican National Committee."

Isn't this a little odd? The RNC is using its list to urge Republicans to buy a book from an independent media personality?

I've seen appeals that tell donors if they pony up a few bucks, they can get a book as a premium, but that's not what this is. Indeed, Steele's message doesn't even ask for a donation for the party. Rather, the RNC simply wants Republicans to go buy a Fox News host's book.

When it comes to the network and the party, it appears one is an adjunct of the other, though the roles are less than clear.

Steve Benen 12:00 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (45)

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Comments

You have a good point, but as a librarian, I wouldn't draw the same conclusion about the letter. It never recommends *buying* the book. One could just as easily check it out from the public library.

Posted by: Jonathan on March 28, 2010 at 12:05 PM | PERMALINK

I wonder if we will hear anything about this from CNN. They almost had a cow about the OFA sending out a fundraising letter to help combat the Republican lies. It was fascinating to see the nostrils flaring at CNN about that email. Oh the horror, the Democrats need to raise money to combat the fear, lies and distortions from Republicans.

They really made it seem like this was something highly unusual. Meanwhile, the congressman who yelled out baby killer wasted no time using that incident for fundraising. Looks like CNN has now become the moral authority on exactly what is appropriate for fundraising. But what really happened, was that CNN was just echoing the noise from the Republicans. A willing echo chamber for the opposition. Would that email had even been mentioned were it not for the whining of the GOP?

Posted by: Ladyhawke on March 28, 2010 at 12:10 PM | PERMALINK

It seems that being Republican is now a profession rather than an ideology...

Posted by: Adam on March 28, 2010 at 12:15 PM | PERMALINK

....and you are surprised, why?

Posted by: dweb on March 28, 2010 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

Good to see a perpetual war advocate neocon like Axis of Evil David Frum get his due. Maybe the neocon rats will desert the sinking Republican ship and the Republicans will be reborn into a party that can yet keep us out of deeper bankrupcy. Throwing the money into a questionable health care policy is still better then throwing the money down the rathole of perpetual war to pamper Israel and the radical religious right.

Posted by: Bob D on March 28, 2010 at 12:20 PM | PERMALINK

"Republicans originally thought that Fox [News] worked for us, and now we are discovering we work for Fox."

Exactly. If Fox controls the largest item in a Republican's campaign budget, tv ads or in Fox's case hours, even weeks, of political advocacy infomercials disguised as news, it controls the party. Get Fox and its local affiliates on your side and you won't need to raise as much money. The RNC recognizes that. Its not free though. The RNC and Republicans owe Fox and pay them back by strictly conforming to Fox's politics.

Posted by: John Henry on March 28, 2010 at 12:26 PM | PERMALINK

Since when is Sean Hannity "an independent media personality"?

Posted by: HappyCamper on March 28, 2010 at 12:27 PM | PERMALINK

This is payback for Sean endorsing Steele for NRC chairman, they are both crooks and now they will help each other make as much money off of the tea baggers before the gig is up......its a shame how they use these people to get filthy rich......

Posted by: John on March 28, 2010 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

These guys are cleaver. They are screeming bloddy murder about the Obama's takeover all the while doing their coup in a steady, nauseating pace. A quick read of Frank Rich's eassy in today's Times says it all. We all should be afraid. Very afraid. The revolution will not be clean or long-winded. It will not be done via a slow takeover via elections. The far right is tired of waiting and has, via corporate America, not only being incited to rebell but, more importently, funded for their attempt to forcably take this country form the those wanting to reach a modicum of sanity and fairness to the middle and lower classes.

The nauseating irony is that these corporations are duping the very people these reforms are targeting to help. By dumbing down our population they have been able to control the segment of the population most likely to use deadly force to end this Republic's push for equality.

Rich rightly points this out in his essay. This is far closer to the backlash white america launched following the civil equality of Johnson's Equality and Civil Rights bills than it has to do with a weak overly-compromised Health Care Bill.

Let's see who in Congress is up for the fight. I am sure Rich's is wondering the same thing. Count me in.

Posted by: stevio on March 28, 2010 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

"...though the roles are less than clear."
i'd have to disagree. it's becoming clearer and clearer who's the bottom and who's the top.

Posted by: mellowjohn on March 28, 2010 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

Nothing wrong with mixing politics and profit... in Plunkett of Tammany Hall, the ward boss GW Plunkett, says, 'i seen my opportunities and i took 'em.'

Posted by: kurt on March 28, 2010 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

Y'know what-- maybe Steele is just being stupid (which is not impossible)... but, just maybe, there's something going on here that's not public knowledge. Too bad there's a deficit of 'journalists' who would try to find out about that sort of thing.

Posted by: MattF on March 28, 2010 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

Tight connections between political parties and media has a very, very, very bad history.

Posted by: inkadu on March 28, 2010 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

If you possess the intestinal fortitude to read Mr. Hannity's book (warning: do not read immediately after a meal, walking down a dark alley, or going to sleep), you'll fnd that the "blueprint" of this particular screed is (1) a not-so-vague recipe for sabotaging the legal functions of the United States Government, and (2) a bargain-basement rendition of the mental imbalance originally employed in Mr. Hitler's Mein Kampf.

Pay special attention to the coded vernacular style of the text....

Posted by: S. Waybright on March 28, 2010 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

Recommending a book could include borrowing from the library or an acquaintance, as one post points out, BUT it also must include BUYING the book as well. Are there any federal laws concerning the relationship between T.V./radio outfits and political parties?

Posted by: Varecia on March 28, 2010 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

Seems pretty straightforward to me. For over a generation, the GOP has been about advancing the interests of the corporation. So who's the corporation in this relationship?

Posted by: Roddy McCorley on March 28, 2010 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK

Good to see a perpetual war advocate neocon like - Axis of Evil - David Frum get his due. Maybe the neocon rats will desert the sinking Republican ship and the Republicans will be reborn into a party that can yet keep us out of deeper bankrupcy. Throwing the money into a questionable health care policy is still better then throwing the money down the rathole of perpetual war to pamper Israel and the radical religious right.


Posted by: Bob D on March 28, 2010 at 1:51 PM | PERMALINK

It's actually very straightforward why Steele gushes over Hannity. The money was on the bed.

Posted by: Repack Rider on March 28, 2010 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

No surprise. Also, what about Hannity's fraud in spending so little of his fundraising on that charity (~ for veterans' kids) he said it was for? Someone should be looking into that as criminal fraud or at least embarrassment (and if involves veterans, to make hay of about our great military etc.)

Frum: surely was too honest, but gossip says he didn't want to do enough work there and that was the immediate cause of release.

Posted by: neil b. on March 28, 2010 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

Party above country, money above all.

Steele's getting a cut, count on it.

Posted by: LosGatosCA on March 28, 2010 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

Hannity may be calculating that he's effectively immune from fraud investigations. If any are launched, he will insist that it's political, that it's a sign that Obama is planning to throw all conservatives into concentration camps. Republicans will take up the call, and soon the rest of the media will demand to know why Fox is being prosecuted.

Posted by: Joe Buck on March 28, 2010 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

Steele is just looking our for his own best interest. Since the Fox Club is in charge of the Right Wing, and can help him connect with some deep pockets once he is done with this RNC Chair gig, you bet he is going to kowtow to Hannity. It's not so much real support of the book, so much as it is laying the groundwork for the next job.

Posted by: jcricket on March 28, 2010 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

This is truly offensive.

Posted by: Squeaky McCrinkle on March 28, 2010 at 3:18 PM | PERMALINK

Michael Steele is perfect in that job.

Posted by: jonthebru on March 28, 2010 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

as others have pointed out, mikey, in his capacity as faux-fluffer in chief, doesn't actually use the word "buy" in his promo letter..perhaps he's channeling his inner abbie hoffman and recommending that folks "steal this book."

Posted by: dj spellchecka on March 28, 2010 at 4:09 PM | PERMALINK

I believe the technical term in political circles for this sort of transaction is "payoff". Its just nice they do it brazenly in public.

Posted by: robert on March 28, 2010 at 4:12 PM | PERMALINK

I'm waiting for Hannity to wave this recommendation letter on-air, to prove his Republican bona fides, to the teabagger literati.

Posted by: Ken on March 28, 2010 at 4:34 PM | PERMALINK

Can you imagine the uproar if the Democratic party was raising money for Markos Moulitsas?

Posted by: Kevin on March 28, 2010 at 4:46 PM | PERMALINK

Don't you mean the teabagger ignorati?

Posted by: MVH1 on March 28, 2010 at 6:08 PM | PERMALINK

Isn't this a little odd? The RNC is using its list to urge Republicans to buy a book from an independent media personality?

Well at least they didn't mandate the purchase of the book. :-)

Posted by: Dale on March 28, 2010 at 6:31 PM | PERMALINK

I think Michael Steele has already shown that he's in it for the money. I think he's just sucking up to Fox News hoping for a job after his term in the RNC is done.

Posted by: Scott on March 28, 2010 at 6:36 PM | PERMALINK

"Republicans originally thought that Fox [News] worked for us..."

Lost in all the brouhaha over Frum being fired is that rather damning admission. Once again, Republicans in high places blurt out their awareness that Fox is no real news station, but a a propaganda outlet.

Posted by: jp on March 28, 2010 at 9:25 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, one cannot check the book ('Conservative Victory: Defeating Obama’s Radical Agenda') out of the library, because the book isn't available in stores until March 30th, 2010. So, this is pretty much exactly what it looks like.

Posted by: sleepy_commentator on March 28, 2010 at 10:07 PM | PERMALINK

Remember the Knoxville, Tennessee, liberal hater who shot up a Unitarian-Universalist church during a children's musical performance in July of 2008? Two dead, seven wounded by his shotgun fire. I looked this up recently, because of all the threats from the loony right. He is one of them and Hannity is one of his inspirations, along with Mike Savage and BillO.
Here's a couple of links to news stories of that time:
1. Bill O'Reilly, Michael Savage, Sean Hannity on accused shooter's reading list
2. Police: Killer targeted church for liberal views
I fear we may see more of this as the right keeps turning up the hate rhetoric.
oldswede

Posted by: oldswede on March 28, 2010 at 10:20 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry, the link to the first item doesn't go exactly where I thought it would. It just gives the photo. The news article is here:
Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church

Posted by: oldswede on March 28, 2010 at 10:27 PM | PERMALINK

Who wants to bet that in a few months it will be revealed that Steele got paid for a dust-jacket quote or some other kickback directly to him (not the RNC) for that e-mail?

$50 says he did. Who wants odds?

Posted by: Chris on March 28, 2010 at 11:50 PM | PERMALINK

Steele is a shameless profiteer. He is using the RNC infrastructure to bump Hannity in the hopes that he will get a quid pro quo for his own book. Steele and Palin treat the GOP like a reality TV show, using their 15 min to cash out.

Posted by: Capt Phat on March 29, 2010 at 12:05 AM | PERMALINK

It never recommends *buying* the book. One could just as easily check it out from the public library.

Yes, I suppose you could do that...

[sunglasses]

...if you were some kind of socialist.

Posted by: ajay on March 29, 2010 at 6:53 AM | PERMALINK

Lost in the discussion is this:

"In the book, Sean does more than just tell us why we need to defeat the Obama Agenda. He also gives us a blueprint for getting it done."

The RNCC is effectively stating that they get even their policy strategies from Hannity. Democrats need only point this out publicly, and directly ask the American people if they are aware that Republican leadership is being told why and how by Fox. All the posturing about leadership by Boehner, et al is easy to tumble.

Posted by: deb on March 29, 2010 at 10:23 AM | PERMALINK

Folks, we're all rational thinking beings. There is no need to say the vowels or verbs goes here or the consonants,etc go there to know what is meant. From "I can not recommend it enough " to the end IS enough.

Posted by: Hank Himmiler on March 29, 2010 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

Sounds like they are promoting their own 'little red book'....

Posted by: JMC on March 31, 2010 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

When a party is out of power, it creates the opportunity for their media outlet to take over prominence. Durr.

Posted by: sherifffruitfly on March 31, 2010 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK
[sunglasses]

...if you were some kind of socialist.

YYEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!

Argh. I can't help it, it's like a tic.

Posted by: Sammy on March 31, 2010 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

I'm researching people willing to be interviewed for an article regarding the occult and love spells.
Please contact me if you have had any experience with spell casters, good or bad.
Discretion and privacy are guaranteed.
Thanks.

Posted by: Impepzeda on June 18, 2010 at 7:36 PM | PERMALINK

Hello lads,

This is a story that I find amusing everytime I read:

A man received a parrot for his birthday. This parrot was fully-grown with a bad attitude and worse vocabulary. Every other word was an expletive. Those that weren't expletives were, to say the least, extremely rude.
The man tried hard to change the bird's attitude and was constantly saying polite words, playing soft music, anything that came to mind.
Nothing worked. He yelled at the bird, the bird got worse. He went to a voodoo spell caster to cast a love spell on it, with no luck.
He shook the bird and the bird got more angry and exceedingly rude.
Finally, in a moment of desperation, he put the parrot in the freezer.
For a few moments he heard the bird squawking, kicking and screaming and then, suddenly, all was quiet.
The man was frightened that he might have actually hurt the bird and quickly opened the freezer door. The parrot calmly stepped out onto the man's extended arm and said: "I'm sorry that I offended you with my language and actions. I ask for your forgiveness. I will try to improve my behavior."
The man was astounded at the bird's change in attitude and was about to ask what changed him when the parrot continued, "...May I ask what the chicken did?"
:)

Posted by: reurpiretap on August 9, 2010 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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