“It’s Rush, it’s Sean, it’s Mark – they have an amiable exchange.”
Bob Tyrrell, editor-in-chief of The American Spectator magazine, could go on and on about how he believes conservative journalists ought not snipe at one another or cut one another down. And he does in his new book, After the Hangover: The Conservatives’ Road to Recovery. He adopts a ‘do as I say, not as I do’ attitude. In his book and in his interview with FishbowlDC, he takes a variety of sharp digs at MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, a former conservative member of Congress.
Let’s review: Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh, FNC’s Sean Hannity and conservative radio host Mark Levin: GOOD GUYS. (Rush Limbaugh’s a funny man. They don’t deny the existence of one another.”)
But MSNBC’s Scarborough? “Scarborough is one of those superficial figures,” Tyrrell told FishbowlDC. “He has no deep conservative roots. He was a lawyer who got lucky in Florida and got himself elected. He’s an opportunist, too. He’s another one who has gotten his way diminishing conservatives.”
Tyrrell’s thoughts on FNC contributor and former GOP V.P. hopeful Sarah Palin: “I think she’s awfully pretty. ‘How’s that hop-y chang-y thing working for her?’ I thought that was a clever line. Put her in Bartlett’s [Quotations]. I take her as a spokesman [SIC] for conservative principles.”
Tyrrell, thankfully, forges on.
“The whole debate over whether she is going to become president of the United States shows you how infantile American media is,” he said. “It’s a silly discussion. For serious people who know anything about the history of politics,” to say a less than one-term governor is going to be president, “they really got to be smoking something illegal. I know a lot of attractive women and they don’t have to be president.”
That’s not to say Tyrrell couldn’t imagine a female president, even one dubbed the ‘Iron Lady’. “I accepted Lady Thatcher as Prime Minister. I encouraged her to start a second career here. I like Joan of Arc. I like a woman on horseback.”
Onto the purpose of his book.
Tyrrell said during the President Bush years that Republicans “spent like drunken sailors (and I mean no offense to drunken sailors) and they got just what they deserved.”
Tyrrell, not surprisingly, gives high praise to Fox News, and says it’s more profitable than all other networks combined. “Now we have a counter culture in this country led by Fox News,” he said.
But does he watch Fox News? No chance in hell. In fact, he barely watches any TV. He deems reading and writing higher, more sophisticated, higher intellectual ways to spend one’s time. “I don’t have to watch a lot of television to know about it,” he said. “I don’t have to jump off a building. Don’t tell me I have to sit in front of a television set all day to know what’s flickering on it.”
Tyrrell concluded, “I don’t expect television to live up to the standard of serious writers. I’m just telling you my hierarchy of values.”
Read the nasty stuff Tyrrell writes in his book about Scarborough after the jump…
After the Hangover: The Conservatives’ Road to Recovery
There was a day when conservatives did not remark on other conservative invidiously to curry favor with Liberals. It is the dialogue maintained by the big three in conservative talk radio: Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Mark Levin. These three conservative personalities are very much aware that they are in the same movement, hoping to advance personal liberty and American conservative values. Always they are invigorating conservatism at the popular level.
Conservative talk radio also embraces the opposite of these conservative leaders, for instance Joe Scarborough, the ex-congressman, an RC (Reformed Conservative, which is a subgroup from the original conservative movement) for the airwaves. As it turns out, he has exiguous background in the ideas of the movement. He was a Florida lawyer before running for Congress in 1994 on what he himself implies was a whim. After leaving Congress in 2001, he found his way to MSNBC and a cable show where he specializes in calling himself conservative while managing to be on both sides of most issues or sniping at genuine conservatives. Through the years he has rarely manifested an interest in much beyond his own self-promotion.
Whereas Limbaugh, Hannity, and Levin sell conservative principles, Scarborough uses conservative principles to sell himself. He is not a leader in the movement but the rider on it. Like the mini-cons and the RCÂ’s he is adept in self-advancement and in diminishing conservatives. Limbaugh, Hannity, and Levin are examples of what the conservative writers and policy experts ought to be: colleagues in a cause.