Ernie Kovacs once said, "There is currently a formula for success in the entertainment medium, that is -- beat it to death if it succeeds." Who am I to argue with the master so, direct from the desk of Secretary Fiddlesticks of the Department of STFU, here are this week's recipients of a big ol' cup of STFU.
1) On his Headline News show this week, Glenn Beck asked Congressman-elect Keith Ellison (D-MN), the first Muslim to be elected to Congress, the following question:
"I have been nervous about this interview with you, because what I feel like saying is, 'Sir, prove to me that you are not working with our enemies.' I'm not accusing you of being an enemy, but that's the way I feel, and I think a lot of Americans will feel that way."
It comes as no surprise that Beck personified the very worst in white American attitudes. So he's right on one front: a lot of Americans do feel that way. In a post-9/11 world, white Christian conservatives in particular feel as if they're entitled -- allowed -- to make veiled racist remarks with self-righteous immunity. After all, we were attacked! We were attacked by Muslims! Hence, as victims, we're allowed to be unapologetically racist because we've been wronged. Wrong. In attitude, style and unbelievably idiotic racial slurs, Beck seems to be a copy of a copy of a copy of Rush Limbaugh and, as such, Beck earns himself a big cup of STFU. Straight up.
2) Oh, James. James Carville. Whoever got to Zell Miller clearly got to you. Howard Dean's massively successful 50 State Strategy is indicative of "Rumsfeldian incompetence?" Dammit all, Carville. STFU. I've seen The War Room something like two dozen times and I've always admired your pluck, creativity and talent on the campaign trail, but dag, broseph -- who got to you?
3) The precocious children in the endlessly repeated LearnAboutCoal.org commercials have been pimping the benefits of clean coal for months now and deserve "like, a 250 year supply" of STFU. But of course it's not their fault that they've been lassoed into reciting this ridiculous drivel about the benefits of coal energy -- the most dangerous and polluting form of energy on the planet -- so it's unfair to blame them. Let's revise that and just say the LearnAboutCoal.org people should STFU. A while back, I did some research on LearnAboutCoal.org. For what it's worth, here's what I found:
The "non-profit" and "non-partisan" Learn About Coal organization's website domain name is registered to CEED, the Center for Energy and Economic Development. CEED's vice chairman is Michael Ward. Michael Ward is the chairman and CEO of the CSX Corporation. Guess who used to be the chairman and CEO of CSX? Former Treasury Secretary John Snow. Who was the chairman of CSX/Sea-Land under Snow? David Sanborn. In January of this year, David Sanborn was nominated by President Bush as the next Administrator of the Maritime Administration (Dept. of Transportation). Who does Sanborn work for right at this very minute? Dubai Ports World, which acquired CSX's ports for $1.15 billion in 2004.
Here's a CLEAN cup of STFU for LearnAboutCoal.org and their butt sniffing corporate cronies.
4) This next one is easy. Pat Robertson said this week:
"When you see L-O-R-D in caps, that is the name. It's not Allah, it's not Brahma, it's not Shiva, it's not Vishnu, it's not Buddha. It is Jehovah God. They don't have a relationship with him. He is the God of all Gods. These others are mostly demonic powers. Sure they're demons. There are many demons in the world." (via C&L)
I don't believe in literal or biblical demons, but if I had to point one out in the flesh, it might be a wackaloon preacher who blackmails God fearing Americans into giving millions of dollars they don't have to his ministry or they'll be damned, and whom claims he invented a protein shake which grants human beings the ability to leg press a Toyota Scion (the boxy shape gives it a solid center of gravity for leg pressing). Hey Pat, how's about a protein shake served in a big cup of STFU?
5) And finally, anyone who believes the corporatization of our vote is both awesome and hilarious ought to STFU. That includes both Mr. Coulter and Michelle Malkin (here and here and here) who believe that the software used to count our votes -- software which, for example, lost 18,000 votes in Florida alone -- should continue to be a trade secret forbidden from independent voter auditing and analysis. Then again, I guess our democratic process is safe under secret corporate rule. After all, corporations have never abused their power for profit. They've never exploited the sick and infirmed; they've never duped their labor force and shareholders; they've never abandoned their workers in lieu of cheaper (exploited) labor overseas; they've never hired illegal immigrants while donating millions to anti-immigration candidates; they've never been responsible for killing millions of people; they've never subverted democracy in the past, so -- LOL, Michelle -- demanding transparency in our corporate-controlled electoral system is really flipping hilarious. A knee-slapping cup of STFU for you.
And that's it for this week. Incidentally, using the slang "STFU" doesn't necessarily imply anything literal. For example, when someone tells you that you're full of shit, it doesn't mean that your body is literally filled head-to-toe with excrement. If it is, call an ambulance immediately. Just a note to the commenters who think I'm on a mission to repeal the First Amendment.
Meanwhile, the comments are open for any newsmakers I missed. Secretary Fiddlesticks thanks you in advance.