Monday, February 06, 2006

What About Mark?

For one of the few times since I’ve been responding to “The Point,” I thoroughly agree with Mark Hyman. In his editorial on Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church, Hyman says its members are “despicable morons.” Any person with two brain cells to rub together would have to concur.

Phelps is the hate monger whose church regularly demonstrates at the funerals of people who have died of AIDS. They famously picketed at the memorial service for Matthew Shepherd, the young Wyoming man who was beaten to death because he was gay.

To be completely honest, I admit that the cynical side of me can’t help but notice that while Hyman condemns the church, he doesn’t explicitly say that their views on homosexuality are objectionable. Rather, he focuses on the group’s demonstrations at funerals.

Moreover, Hyman only specifically mentions their recent picketing of the funerals of American service personnel and West Virginia miners (whom church members apparently think died as God’s punishment for America’s tolerance of homosexuality). He doesn’t mention Matthew Shepherd or that the group came to infamous prominence primarily because of its demonstrations at the funerals of people who died of AIDS. If the WBC hadn’t gone on record as hoping for more U.S. casualties in Iraq and merely continued with their homophobic rantings, would Hyman have noticed or cared? Is it their hatred that’s objectionable, or merely the fact that their hatred has spilled over into “hating the troops” that’s the problem?

And given the fan base Hyman plays to, I can’t help but wonder how many “Point”-heads surfed over to the WBC website after hearing Hyman’s commentary because they were at least vaguely sympathetic to the church’s views.

But beggars can’t be choosers, and Hyman certainly didn’t have to take up the topic of the WBC at all. It might sound like faint praise to cheer Hyman for voicing objections to Phelps & Co. (sort of like offering kudos to someone for taking the position that Hitler was, on the whole, a less-than-pleasant fellow), but when you’re right, you’re right. Rather than bashing Hyman for not being as vociferous and inclusive in his attacks on the WBC as I would like, I’d rather give him a pat on the back and encourage him to go after more of the people and groups on the Radical Right that are an embarrassment to legitimate conservatism. It is here that Hyman could perhaps do the most good (the whole “Only Nixon could go to China” thing).

Heck, maybe this could lead to Hyman moving ever so slightly to the political mainstream.

You can do it Mark . . . just keep reminding yourself of Bill Murray's mantra in What About Bob?: baby steps, baby steps.

And that’s The Counterpoint.


At 11:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

These Neo-Fascists were just fine with Phelps and his gay-bashing, until he started showing up at the funerals of our dead soldiers. Hannity went on his show and tried to convince his audience that Phelps and his protestors were actually part of the liberal left anti-war movement, to transfer the blame and outrage.
Next we'll be seeing Hyman attacking Robertson for his remarks about killing Chavez, or Dobson for his comments about the Supreme Court Justices being KKK in black robes, or some other garbage spewing from the mouths of these so-called religious leaders.
Nah, a tumblebug of Hyman's character (or lack thereof) can never change, he has pushed way too many piles of crap on the American people.
Thanks Ted, and keep bustin' Hyman.
Mike B. in SC

At 11:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Isn't this just Hyman's segue into bashing former President Carter for his recent funerary remarks?

At 3:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm just curious Ted, you attempt to slam Mark Hyman for every word he utters, but yet when one takes a step back to reflect and offer perspective - Hyman has climbed the ladder of success, while you have not.

Is your motivation for the counterpoint sourced in bitterness? Jealously?

At 3:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't this just Ted's excuse to bash Hyman, despite a lack of true cause?

Is it any wonder Ted can't hold a job, being so easily distracted and all?

At 12:35 PM, Anonymous Bradley said...


I see you can't respond to any of Ted's points, so you've resorted to ad hominem attacks. Again. Surprise, surprise.

For as long as I've been reading this blog at least, I'm pretty sure that its author has had a job. If you would pay attention, you'd know that even Mark Hyman acknowledges that Ted is employed-- in fact, what Ted does for a living provided the material for one of Hyman's sleaziest attempts at character assassination of the last year.

(If you're unfamiliar with the story, I would advise you to Google both men's names. A lot's been written about Hyman's attempt to smear Ted).

If you're seriously arguing that leaving one academic job for another, better academic job is somehow evidence that one "can't hold down a job"... Well, you're an idiot. Using that logic, anyone who ever changes jobs for an increased salary, for better benefits, a greater sense of job security, to be closer to family, etc. is someone who "can't hold down a job."

Furthermore, I can't imagine what kind of job you must have, that you're able to surf the Internet drunk or high or suffering from head trauma (whatever your problem is), posting ridiculous smears on other people's blogs, at 2:30 in the morning. Night watchman? Third shift at McDonald's? Millionaire playboy? Do tell.

At 5:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good points Bradley.
The fact is, as I pointed out in my first comment, Hyman's only reason for attacking Phelps now, and not a long time ago, is that Phelps has been getting press coverage when showing up to protest at soldiers funerals and the funerals of the coal miners recently killed in the latest mining disaster. Phelps says that all these deaths are God's wrath on America for allowing sinful lifestyles. Showing up to protest at the funerals of soldiers, who are not gay, tarnishes the image of the partnership between the GOP, that likes to show fake support for the military, and the religious right.
The fact is, there is only a degree or so of separation between Falwell, Reed, Robertson, Dobson Phelps, and many other so-called religious leaders. They have all made similar comments about 9/11, New Orleans, voters who chose to support teaching evolution over intelligent design in their classrooms, and many other instances of incurring the wrath of God.
All of these mentally twisted idiots, including the Idiot-In-Chief, George W. Bush, all claim to know the mind of God, and that God speaks to them and through them.
These religious leaders have forced many of their dim-witted followers to open the gates of their churches to allow in the minions of Satan in the form of the GOP, and in some cases, as in East Waynesville Baptist Church, in North Carolina, asked all Democrats to leave. The situation is far too much like Germany in the 1930's.
Speaking to God is one thing, we call that prayer. Claiming that God speaks to you and through you, is quite another thing, more like psycopathic, paranoid-schizophrenia psychosis!
If you or I walked out on the street tomorrow and killed a number of people, claiming God told us to do it, we would either be tried for murder or locked up in a mental institution somewhere, but, the son-of-a-Bush in the White House can do basically the same thing, and cause the deaths and injury of well over one hundred thousand Iraqis and Americans in a war based on lies, and there is no accountability.
Go figure!
Thanks, and keep bustin' Hyman.
Mike B. in SC

At 7:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It looks like the Rush Limbaugh of Iowa has returned.

I bet that Mike Thayer, Troll Extraordinaire, is back, given the recent nasty remarks above.

That guy is quite a mindless parrot. Brawwwk! (cut and paste)

God, that guy is a piece of work, to quote President McFlightsuit.

At 1:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ananymous said, "Hyman has climbed the ladder of success..."

What a joke that is!
Hyman puts on his knee-pads every day and does for George Bush and the Republican Party, what Monica did for Bill Clinton, he's just a lot better paid for it!
I think I'd much rather do what Ted does, and maintain a little more of my integrity and self esteem.
Mike B. in SC

At 11:08 PM, Blogger Ted Remington said...

It's great to see you back Mike!

And to Monsieur de Spin, I thought I was actually relatively kind to Hyman. I was sincere in my point that he didn't have to take up the Phelps issue at all. I merely pointed out that his condemnation of a man as truly evil as Phelps was tacitly qualified in unfortunate ways.

As for "climbing the ladder of success," perhaps you have some information about my job situation that I don't. I don't happen to think that making money or landing a prestigious job is synonymous with having a successful or productive life. You might be shocked to learn that many people think other qualities in life, such as building meaningful relationships with others, participating in civic life, educating oneself, living the life of the mind, fostering creativity in oneself others, and trying to make the world just a shade better than it is, are all more worthy of vigorous pursuit and are better measures of someone's "success" as a human being than "climbing the ladder."

Having said that (and at the risk of being immodest), I have to point out that the fact is I was accepted for graduate study at one of the most prestious programs of its kind in the nation, then received a doctorate from that program, then received an offer to teach at the same university as an adjunct assistant professor, and then received an offer to become a fulltime, tenure track faculty member at a respected liberal arts college.

I would think that even to the eyes of someone who counted success only in terms of bank accounts and professional prestige, this would be acknowledged to be "climbing the ladder of success." And if not, I really don't care.

I guess the more interesting question from my point of view is why someone who doesn't know me and knows nothing of my "success" or lack thereof (by any measure) would make such an obviously specious and unsupportable attack rather than discuss the actual issues at hand.

I'm just wonderin'


At 2:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


What Sick of Spin thinks is "success" is just what the asses at Enron thought was success: making tons of money off of others at their expense.

Heck, that's what Sinclair is all about. They buy up stations, gut their new staffs, then run way more crappy programming (informercials) to increase revenue while making their viewers more ignorant. I guess they figure that's how they can spawn more Republicans: make the public ignorant.

Then there's Sinclair's Ken Lay...
Sinclair CEO Smith gets arrested for getting a blow-job from a prostitute? His restitution? Cop a plea deal whereby he gets his stations to air additional public-service announcements.

Ah, justice for the rich and greedy. More crap on the airwaves for the public.


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