If there’s one thing conservatives are good at, it’s eschewing “political correctness” (what decent people call “sensitivity, compassion and manners”) and launching scathing attacks on people who have experienced devastating losses in tragic circumstances. And conservative pundits — who have a stranglehold on the public airwaves, despite the “liberal media” myth — have made it their stock in trade to appeal to the basest, cruelest depths of human nature by ridiculing anyone who has suffered… which is dripping red meat to the cold, heartless and unsympathetic masses who make up their audience. All under the guise of “telling it like it is.”
Lately they’ve been having a field day mocking the families of the victims of the mass shooting in Newtown, CT that killed 20 children and six adults this past December. As the president shows these grieving people some humanity — humanity shared by normal people everywhere — conservative commentators sneer and mock both the president and the families, rolling their eyes and wondering why these attention-whores can’t just get over it already.
Here are five of the most shockingly merciless attacks conservatives have perpetrated on people who had already suffered enough.
AP Photo/Susan Walsh
Radio host Bob Davis (left) of Minneapolis’ KTCN-AM this week unleashed a barrage of jaw-dropping abuse on the Newtown families, as well as the victims of any other shooting, because his right to brandish a deadly weapon is far more precious than their children’s right to live past kindergarten.
We’ll let him speak for himself:
I have something I want to say to the victims of Newtown or any other shooting, I don’t care if it’s here in Minneapolis or any place else. Just because a bad thing happened to you doesn’t mean that you get to put a king in charge of my life. I’m sorry that you suffered a tragedy, but you know what? Deal with it, and don’t force me to lose my liberty, which is a greater tragedy than your loss. I’m sick and tired of seeing these victims trotted out, given rides on Air Force One, hauled into the Senate well, and everyone is…terrified of these victims. I would stand in front of them and tell them, ‘Go to hell.’
If you have the stomach for it, you can listen here.
Rush Limbaugh of course needs no introduction, and nor does his penchant for ridiculing anyone and anything not guided by hate.
In January, he accused the president of using children as “human shields” at a press conference shortly after the Newtown tragedy, and mocked him for reading aloud letters written to him by children, because only an idiot would be compassionate to children expressing their confusion over trying to process something children should never have to process.
“I’ve been watching the children-as-human-shields show that is now going on at the White House. Boy, these guys are somber,” said Limbaugh. “Yeah! Kids cheer and the president starts out reading some letters from the kids. Gotta do what the kids want. Gotta answer all their letters to Santa Claus. Gotta do everything they want.”
AP Photo/Ron Edmonds, File
Radio talker Neal Boortz let loose with a particularly vicious attack on the victims of Hurricane Katrina that was stunning not only in its hostility, but its blatant racism.
Lamenting a suggestion that “Washington that didn’t hear the cries of the downtrodden,” Boortz spewed a barrage of vitriol that left no doubt as to the mindset of those on the right-hand side of the aisle:
Cries of the downtrodden, my left butt cheek. That wasn’t the cries of the downtrodden; that’s the cries of the useless, the worthless. New Orleans was a welfare city, a city of parasites, a city of people who could not and had no desire to fend for themselves. You have a hurricane descending on them and they sit on their fat asses and wait for somebody else to come rescue them. “It’s somebody else’s job to get me out of here. It’s somebody else’s job to save my life. Not mine. Send me a bus, send me a limo, send me a boat, send me a helicopter, send me a taxi, send me something. But you certainly don’t expect me to actually work to get myself out of this situation, do you? Haven’t you been watching me for generations? I’ve never done anything to improve my own lot in life. I’ve never done anything to rescue myself. Why do you expect me to do that now, just because a levee broke?”
What is there to say about Ann Coulter that hasn’t been said already? While it’s hard to choose just one of the violent, foul-mouthed tirades the acid-tongued harpy has subjected us to, this assault on the women whose husbands perished in the 9/11 attacks is right up there near the top of the list.
Bemoaning that vilifying victims is frowned upon by polite society, the conservative spokesharridan complained that the widows were allowed to express themselves, but she was forced to refrain from ridiculing them without looking like the she-devil she is:
These broads are millionaires, lionized on TV and in articles about them, reveling in their status as celebrities and stalked by griefparrazies. I have never seen people enjoying their husband’s death so much… This is the left’s doctrine of infallibility…Don’t put up someone I am not allowed to respond to without questioning the authenticity of their grief.
That’s right, Ann. You’re the victim here. Because all you’re trying to do is explain to us that these women were happy their husbands were murdered by terrorists. They wouldn’t have had it any other way.
AP Photo/Andy Carpenean
Remember Glenn Beck’s 9/12 Project? “We weren’t told how to behave that day after 9/11, we just knew,” he said. “It was right, it was the opposite of what we feel today. Are you ready to be the person you were that day after 9/11, on 9/12?”
Ah, yes. The the sense of oneness, the compassion, the willingness to work together in the spirit of a shared experience that made us realize that above all, we were all Americans and all human beings. Right, Glenn? Wasn’t that the idea?
Except that in 2005, Beck — that great patriot and humanitarian — had this to say about the families who lost loved ones on that day in 2001:
This is horrible to say, and I wonder if I’m alone in this. You know it took me about a year to start hating the 9/11 victims’ families? I don’t hate all of them. I hate probably about 10 of them. But when I see a 9-11 victim family on television, or whatever, I’m just like, ‘Oh, shut up!’ I’m so sick of them because they’re always complaining. And we did our best for them.
Can’t you just feel the love?