Roses For Peretz
A couple of years ago or so, I good-naturedly ribbed Kevin Drum for
characterizing comparing ESPN's deletion of Greg Easterbrook's columns from its website to Stalin's deletion of fallen-from-favor party functionaries from Soviet texts. I pointed out that Stalin also expunged those individuals (and millions more) from the ranks of the living, while the Disney Corporation graciously spared Easterbrook's life. You could look it up (I tried, but I couldn't find it).
Anyway, over at The $9.97 Republic, and more specifically, on The Wank blog, crackpot Kremlinologist Gnome Scheiber tops that insipid analogy by a factor of four:
Various aggrieved bloggers have suggested the audience wasn't laughing because Colbert was too tough on the president and the press corps. I dunno.... I was sitting about ten feet from Ed Helms, Colbert's former "Daily Show" colleague, and kept glancing over to check his reaction. He cracked some smiles here and there. But I never saw him doubled over with laughter, not even close. My sense is that the blogosphere response is more evidence of a new Stalinist aesthetic on the left -- until recently more common on the right -- wherein the political content of a performance or work of art is actually more important than its entertainment value.
Don't tell anyone, 'cause it's still in the planning stage, but the next big netroots project is to install a 30-foot-tall bronze statute of Comrade Colbert in the town square of every occupied Red State. The Artist's and Blogger's Union has been mobilized to exterminate Trey Parker and Matt Stone. (Bruce Tinsley will be allowed to live, but will be relocated to Abu Ghraib and forced to increase his output to three strips a day.) Our plot to flood the market with hammer-and-sickle sportswear has succeeded beyond our wildest dreams. (That's been a long struggle -- Sully's been boring us with tales of his anti-Communist heroics in Cambridge Theater of Operations for, what, 30 years now?)
Now, I don't mean to suggest that Gnome is unfamiliar with brutally-enforced ideological conformity; far from it. And it would be cynical to suggest that the real point of Gnome's piece to was ensure his continued access to those "Bloomberg affairs" he adores so much that he ranks them. But you'd think he'd be smart enough to realize that criticism of a leader who (as Gnome admits) deliberately misused intelligence in order to wage war and consolidate power is the antithesis of Stalinism.
p.s. to the Gnome: Supporting a claim that you thought the War Against Iraq was a bad idea from "the get-go" by citing a piece dated July 11, 2005 is only going to make you sound as lazy and stupid as a White House reporter. Or just like a dumbass.