Monday, January 30, 2006


Usually, Hyman’s “Mailbag” segments are exercises in self-congratulation in which he quotes from several viewers who agree with him, and perhaps includes one or two critical responses that are usually chosen or excerpted in a way that makes those who disagree with him seem unreasonable.

This is true almost every week, and I usually don’t bother commenting on them because by now, we’re all familiar with Hyman’s game.

the most recent Mailbag segment contained a bit of unadulterated ugliness that must be acknowledged.

Hyman quotes viewer responses to the decision by a judge to sentence a convicted child molester to treatment rather than a lengthy prison sentence.
As pointed out here, while this decision might seem unreasonable at first glance, the truth of the matter is that thanks to arbitrary state regulations, the convicted man would not have been eligible for treatment had he been sentenced to a multi-year prison sentence. He would have probably spent a maximum of 8 years in jail, meaning that when he got out, he would simply be an untreated child molester who had been incarcerated for a few years. The sentence the judge handed down was the only way to guarantee that the next time this individual is free, he’ll have gone through extensive treatment.

Reasonable people can disagree about the choice the judge made when faced with this dilemma, but Hyman did everything in his power in
his original commentary to demonize the judge and suggest he did not take the rape of a child seriously. He even went so far as to encourage viewers to give the judge an “attitude adjustment,” providing his audience with the judge’s phone number (the better to make harassing phone calls with).

If that wasn’t bad enough, in his mailbag segment, Hyman approvingly quotes a letter writer who asks the rhetorical question, “"What do you get for killing stupid judges?"

Apparently Hyman thought this was clever. But in light of Hyman’s previous encouragement of viewers to harass the judge in question, the quoting of this letter to an audience of millions is tantamount to a threat of physical violence.

This goes beyond liberal/conservative or issues of media reform.

This is simply a despicable act by a despicable human being.

And that’s The Counterpoint.


At 11:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good God, Ted, that is really bad.

Has Media Matters been alerted to that?

What is wrong with these asses? It's not enough to amass large wealth, manipulate stations, be a bully. Not its being cute with advocating violence.

But I suppose it's all part of the Abu Ghraib / "detainee" torture zeitgeist.


At 11:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The right has been floating this kind of language out there for quite some time now. Cases in point: Ann Coulter "liberals can be killed" etc., and Bill Bennett -who thinks crime can be solved by aborting black babies - yes, he actually said that. This is part of their twisted long-term strategy to reduce those who disagree with their ideology to objects of contempt.

At 12:11 PM, Blogger Ted Remington said...

Yes, speaking of Ann Coulter, she's also threatening judges specifically. From today:

'With a tip of the War Room Kevlar helmet to Raw Story, here's the ever-charming Ann Coulter, speaking Thursday night about her hopes that George W. Bush will get to nominate a replacement for Associate Justice John Paul Stevens. "We need somebody to put rat poisoning in Justice Stevens' creme brulee," Coulter said.

Coulter insisted it was "just a joke, for you in the media."

Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. Section 115, anyone who "threatens to assault, kidnap, or murder . . . a United States judge . . . with intent to impede, intimidate, or interfere with" that judge's duties is guilty of a felony.

That's just a joke for you, Ann. Sort of.'

Perhaps that joke should be shared with Mr. Hyman as well.


At 12:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To All Interested in Media Reform:

This instance (of Hyman's effective incitement to violence) may be a useful one for media reformers.

Clearly it is uncivil, antisocial, and outrageous.


I'd suggest that you write to your local Sinclair station and complain. By FCC rules, each station must retain copies of all public comments in their "Public File". This Public File can be quite relevant to larger efforts to alert the FCC to stations/owners that fail (egregiously) to serve "the public interest".

At 1:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hyman, Coulter, Dobson, Robertson and all the other Neo-Fascist talking heads, are just doing their Fascist duty in trying to bring on the "Night of the Long Knives" here in the good old USA.
Thanks Ted, and keep bustin' Hyman!
Mike B. in SC

At 9:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It makes you wonder (but not for very long) about exactly how cynical the Angry Right's coalition with the Religious Right is.

Hyman et al. can spew out all sorts of filth and antisocial behavior, but then they position themselves with God on their side. And for good measure, they also wrap themselves in a flag.

It is sick.

I think my parents did a pretty good job of raising me with Christian beliefs. This current crowd of the Greedy Right is about as far from Jesus's teaching as I can think. It's eye-for-an-eye (or other major organ failure) with these people. So... they suck up to the religious right.

How incredibly false.

At 12:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And now, as if we didn't already have plenty of Neo-Fascist right-wing slant in our mainstream media, Bill Bennett and Glenn Beck will be joining the team at CNN!
Call them and complain - more info at MoveOn.Org


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