Glenn Beck started as a no-account shock jock and is now a no-account Internet show host. Breitbart at least went from Drudge lackey to successful right-wing media mogul. Carlson, though, began his career in the most respectable fashion possible and has spent the ensuing decades gradually lowering himself into the gutter. His story illustrates why we can’t have a responsible or at least slightly less hysterical conservative media.

maybe Gingrich deserves some credit for his persistence. He pressed ahead last summer when the entire political world was writing him off and ridiculing him - and by December, he was leading by double-digits in national polls. Then, party elites panicked and cut him down to size and Gingrich was again written off - only to return from the dead and win the South Carolina primary by 13 points. However this campaign ends, Gingrich will have enjoyed far more success than he ever would have if he’d folded his tent when everyone was telling him he was going nowhere.


The irony is that the same elected Democrats singing the praises of Occupy Wall Street are themselves major recipients of money from … Wall Street! Does this mean that the Democratic embrace should be rejected? Not necessarily. Occupy Wall Street could, of course, open up political space for Democrats to address unemployment, income inequality, criminality by banks, the overwhelming influence of corporate money in politics and so on. But it’s worth keeping in mind that most if not all of these politicians have been cozy with Wall Street for years; so there are grounds for suspicion.

there’s also no modern precedent for the out-of-power party being as widely loathed on Election Day as the GOP now is. And there will be many more opportunities in the next 15 months for congressional Republicans to inflict even more damage on the GOP brand. It’s enough to raise the possibility that the very forces that set out to destroy Barack Obama’s presidency from the moment it started could end up being the reason he gets a second term.

What dumb thing did Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann or Glenn Beck just say? You don’t need to watch Fox News to find out. The progressive media will tell you. The economy is still in a coma, revolution is rocking the Middle East - but you can be sure that Rachel Maddow and Chris Matthews will take time to snicker at something silly that Palin or Bachmann or Beck said in the last 48 hours. Is the constant mockery of these bloviating right-wing demagogues really the best use of precious center-left media time?

Not long ago Kristol said Beck was hysterical and marginalizing himself and Beck said Kristol stands for nothing besides power and while they were both basically right about the other, the fact is that both of them engage in incredibly irresponsible rhetoric about “Islamists” and their supposed American liberal collaborators, but Kristol does it with a suit and tie and fancy job title at a Serious Magazine, instead of shouting tearful nonsense on the radio or to a television camera.