I`ll get to First Lady Laura Bush`s
bawdy stand-up routine in a minute.
But I want to highlight a related
new book out about how young conservatives are
shaking up the dominant liberal media culture. It`s
"South Park Conservatives." My name is
listed on the
cover along with many other (mostly) right-leaning
pundits, websites, and bloggers, but I must confess to
having mixed feelings about the honor.
The best-selling book`s author,
Brian C. Anderson of the Manhattan Institute, writes a
fun, breezy survey documenting the rise of
FOX News, the
Internet, conservative publishing, and college
Anderson`s chapter on the success
of conservative talk radio and the abysmal failure of
Air America to replicate it is incisive. Another
chapter on the
blogosphere (alone worth the price of the book)
gives readers a useful history of the explosion of news,
opinion, and political websites that have smashed the
left-wing media monopoly.
But how did such a wide-ranging
list of individuals and organizations-Anderson`s book
cover includes the names of conservative-leaning
Matt Drudge and center-left journalist
Mickey Kaus, the libertarian Tech Central Station,
the culturally conservative
WorldNetDaily, political upstart
Schwarzenegger and political chameleon
Andrew Sullivan, plus
Ann Coulter, Laura Ingraham, and
myself, along with a feature blurb from
Jonah Goldberg-all get lumped under the umbrella
term "South Park Conservatives?"
Anderson argues that Comedy
Central`s cartoon series, South Park, embodies the
"fiercely anti-liberal comedic spirit" of the
"new media" from Kaus to Coulter.
The cartoon, he writes, reflects a
"post-liberal counterculture" that is
"particularly appealing to the young, however much it
might offend older conservatives."
Well, I`m 34 and no fan of South
Park. I have many good friends who are indeed huge
boosters of the show, but I find that the
characters` foul language overwhelms any
entertainment I might otherwise derive from the show`s
occasional, right-leaning iconoclastic themes.
South Park may be "politically
incorrect." But "politically incorrect" is
not always a synonym for "conservative."
My discomfort with South Park`s
increasingly mainstream vulgarity is not a matter of
nitpicking. We`re not just talking about a stray curse
word here or there.
As liberal New York Times
Frank Rich points out, South Park "holds the
record for the largest number of bleeped-out repetitions
(162) of a single four-letter expletive in a single
television half-hour." [Conservatives
♥ `South Park`,
May 1, 2005]
That`s probably about the same
number of profanities uttered at John Kerry`s infamous
New York City celebrity fundraiser last summer, which
Republicans rightly condemned for its excessive
Rich is wrong about most things,
but he`s painfully on target in noting the incongruous
pandering now taking place by some in the cool-kids
clique on the Right. Conservatives criticize Hollywood
relentlessly, but as Rich notes, "the embarrassing
reality is that they want to be hip, too."
Which brings me to Mrs. Bush. She
demonstrated at the celebrity-studded White House
Correspondents` Dinner this weekend that you can
entertain without being profane. Most of her humor was
just right: Edgy but not over the edge. But her
off-color stripper and horse jokes
crossed the line. Can you blame Howard Stern for
feeling peeved and perplexed? And let`s face it: if
cheeky!") Heinz Kerry had delivered Mrs. Bush`s
First Lady Gone Mildly Wild routine, social conservative
pundits would be up in arms over her
bad taste and lack of dignity.
The First Lady resorting to horse
masturbation jokes is not much better than
Whoopi Goldberg trafficking in dumb puns on the Bush
family name. It was wholly unnecessary.
Self-censorship is a conservative
value. In a brilliant commencement speech at Hillsdale
College last year Heritage Foundation president Ed
called on his audience to resist the coarsened
rhetoric of our time:
are to prevail as a free, self-governing people, we must
first govern our tongues and our pens. Restoring
civility to public discourse is not an option. It is a
Lighten up, you say? No thanks. I`d
rather be a G-rated conservative who can only make my
kids giggle than a South Park/Desperate
Housewives conservative whose goal is getting
Richard Gere and
Jane Fonda to snicker.
Hollyweird Left the last laugh is not my idea of
Michelle Malkin [email
her] is author of
Invasion: How America Still Welcomes Terrorists,
Criminals, and Other Foreign Menaces to Our Shores.
here for Peter Brimelow`s review. Click
here for Michelle Malkin`s website.
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