Those Crazy Liberals!

Last night, two Dennis Kucinich supporters screamed during Jay Leno’s Late Night Show. They rudely interrupted Jay’s Bill Maher interview. The audience seemed confused, Bill and Jay seemed pissed.

In Bill’s defense, the Loose Change crazies have been hounding him for years now, and periodically infiltrate his Real Time sound studio to shout their poorly synchronized slogans. So Bill’s not that keen on people shouting crap at him, and he might have thought it was 9/11 conspiratorial nonsense. I’m assuming this because Bill Maher should know more than anyone the importance of free speech, and surely he doesn’t believe the only people allowed to express their opinions are individuals with HBO talk shows.

The Kucinich supporters yelled two slogans: “Let Dennis debate! Stop censorship! Help save democracy!” and “GE, NBC, Put Impeachment on TV!”

Jay asked the audience if anyone could understand what they said, the crowd murmured, a few smatterings of “no,” and the show moved on.

The entire interaction was about a minute long. It was awkward. I cringed through the whole thing.

Why do crazy liberals do things like that? I say liberals because you rarely see a suit-wearing Conservative hold up a sad, limp piece of cardboard during the Republican debates with a psychotically lettered message of: “MORE PRIVATIZATION!!!” scrawled across its face.


This is uncommon because random acts of desperate protest are reserved for a repressed, voiceless minority. Except, in America, the silenced minority is actually the majority. Most of us are poor, can’t afford health insurance, think the Iraq war is pointless, and would like to mend our country’s world image.

With all that being said, why are people continually shocked by these random outbreaks? I’m shocked there’s not MORE of them.

Maybe it’s because the protests of the sixties, and all the hippy girls placing flowers in the barrels of soldiers’ guns, are considered cliche because liberals are way too cool to protest now. To protest you have to be — like, you know — angry and shit. It’s very uncool to scream passionately about something. It’s disruptive and rude. It doesn’t accomplish anything. We’ve heard all these reasons to shut up and sit down before.

And yet, people keep protesting. Their numbers are fewer now, but you still see them. They’re the annoying hippies that get in the way of your daily routines. They’re the 80 activists in Washington, who wore orange jumpsuits and black hoods outside the Supreme Court, protesting Guantanamo. Sometimes, they lay down in streets to block traffic, or they walk into St. Patrick’s Cathedral and lay down in the aisles to symbolize the causalities of the AIDS epidemic as the ACT-UP members did in 1989. Sometimes they ride bikes, or paint their faces, or wear crazy outfits.

The point is: they keep resisting. They keep resisting even when most citizens give them the stink-eye when they cause traffic jams and make a lot of noise.

Why would any sane person publicly humiliate themselves like that? What force drives people to stand up and start screaming like they’re on fire?

Sane people only scream when they feel they have no other outlet for their voices. Bill Maher and Jay Leno have a public stage from which they can voice their political views. Jay uses his stage for comedy (I’m using the loose definition of comedy,) and Bill uses his stage for comedy (real definition), political discussion, and to show off his balls of steel when he dismisses the existence of God.

Whoever these Dennis Kucinich supporters are, they clearly felt enough desperation to risk embarrassment and jail time in order to reach a mainstream audience about what they perceived as social injustice. That’s not crazy. That’s brave. That’s braver than most of us will ever be during our measly little lives.

I propose this: those protesters didn’t interrupt a late night talk show. That late night talk show interrupted what should be our collective outrage. We should all be so furious and outspoken. Instead, we all slowly blinked and stared glassy-eyed at the television and computer screens, our mouths opening and closing like grazing cows’.

Protesting is a healthy part of any democracy, and yet it is increasingly marginalized as a form of communication. Instead of carefully regulating media activity, the FCC and its soulless Harry Potter king, Kevin Martin, have opened the door to all kinds of insane mergers of already monstrously large corporations. Rupert Murdoch’s NewsCorp recently absorbed The Wall Street Journal and the latest word from Wall Street is that the Sirius and XM merger is back on the table. All the while, more fringe voices are forced out or silenced by new uber-management at the helm of these giant corporations.

So as the public airwaves are bought and sold to huge conglomerates, the networks’ voices become narrower and simultaneously louder as more mergers occur. They pump into the public one truth — their truth — and silence any form of protest.

This brings us back to little Dennis Kucinich. NBC is a major network owned by a multinational conglomerate, GE. When the higher-ups (several of who include contributors to other presidential candidates) decided Kucinich’s voice was not essential to the debate, they nixed him several days AFTER telling Kucinich’s people he met the requirements to debate.

Using insane doublespeak that would make Orwell vomit blood, NBC claimed Dennis Kucinich was violating THEIR first amendment rights by fighting, biting, and clawing his way onto their precious, pure network, and sullying everything with his liberal propaganda. To be fair, though, I hear Dennis is terrifying in real life. Brian Williams says his eyes glow red in the dark.

And so we arrive back at forms of protest. Forced off NBC’s airwaves, Dennis appeared on Democracy Now!, a daily independent news program hosted by Amy Goodman. Goodman showed footage of the NBC debate, and then periodically cut back to Kucinich so he had time to give his answers.

How sad is that? That’s what Democracy is becoming in America . . . a fake debate. Goodman and Kucinich should be applauded for their form of stubborn protest, but everyone else: GE, NBC, and all participants of the fake Nevada debate, should feel ashamed and embarrassed for our supposed democracy.

Allison Kilkenny writes for Huffington Post and The Beast. She can be reached at: Read other articles by Allison, or visit Allison's website.

14 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Deadbeat said on January 18th, 2008 at 10:39am #

    I am always amazed at how writers can write absolutely worthless prose. What’s the point here and where is there any information that’s useful. The “desperation” is the result of not having any organized outlets. Why is there no organize outlets. Well because the anti-war movement deliberately demobilized in order to avoid any real confrontation of American Zionism by throwing their efforts behind the Democrats in 2004. Clearly the author lacks the “courage” to provide such a radical analysis. Also Bill Maher is an ardent Zionist.

    Also the concentration of the media didn’t start with the current crop of FCC commissioners. Ben Bagdikian has been raising this issue since 1981. So why didn’t the author have the “courage” to provide a historical reference that would better inform her readers? The same holds true about the debates.

    “Courage” comes from informing the public about the root of the issue.

  2. Jamie said on January 18th, 2008 at 10:55am #

    Maybe the author didn’t address your specific issues because she was addressing people who have not given up hope. Maybe, she wasn’t talking to conspiracy nut basement dwellers who have nothing better to do then comment on other peoples writing instead of acting themselves. Maybe, self proclaimed “deadbeat”,you should try to make a stand on places that are not message boards. Maybe you should stop trying to relive your glory days just because your stuck in a cubical now. Maybe liberals instead of going after each other should start going after the root of the problem. Its not all about you. Sorry dude.

  3. messianicdruid said on January 18th, 2008 at 12:54pm #

    The “root” is the love of money, by all of us. Liberals want it, conservatives want it, “all the above” want it, and the rich use it to rule. Until that bulb lights up over our heads we will continue fighting among ourselves {over money = wealth = entitlements = power over others} and the elite will continue laughing behind their hands at our stupidity, which of course was installed in front of the boob toob and in gobberment skools.

  4. Deadbeat said on January 18th, 2008 at 2:02pm #

    Maybe liberals instead of going after each other should start going after the root of the problem. Its not all about you. Sorry dude.

    Sorry dude but liberals are part of the problem. Getting to the root causes of problems is the first step to deriving solutions and building solidarity.

    Perhaps jaime you prefer la-la land because it distracts and misdirects people.

  5. Deadbeat said on January 18th, 2008 at 3:36pm #

    The “root” is the love of money, by all of us. Liberals want it, conservatives want it, “all the above” want it, and the rich use it to rule.

    There is more to the political spectrum than Liberals and Conservative both of whom “love money” as you put it. There is more to life than the burdens of wage slavery.

  6. Mulga Mumblebrain said on January 18th, 2008 at 4:44pm #

    I recently read an interesting article on East European politics, where the expression ‘Democracy without choices’ caught my eye as a pithy summation of our predicament. There is an expression, beloved of the Right, ‘capitalist democracy’ that is almost as replete with meaning. The self-evident contradiction of this term may not be commented upon, at least in polite society. You can either have a Market economy, or you can have a society, to paraphrase Karl Polanyi. Where money rules, ie in every capitalist society, you have, simultaneously, a plutocracy, a pathocracy ie rule by the psychopathically deranged, psychopaths being the type empowered by such a system, and a kakistocracy, rule by the worst in society. We in Oz have just cast the evil Howard regime out, after eleven years of government by lies, hatemongering and class warfare. In his place, as was feared, and is daily becoming more apparent, we have a fully fledged Blairite regime under the euphoniously named Kevin Rudd. Rudd proved his ideological suitability to rule, during the election campaign, by announcing he would agitate to have Ahmadinejad hauled before the International Criminal Court for ‘incitement to genocide’ for his, non-existent, call to wipe Israel off the map. That’s about the choice you get these days. A two-headed press oligopoly, where you can have either Rightwing, ferociously pro-US, pro-Israel, Market Fundamentalism, or Rightwing, ferociously pro-US, pro-Israel, Market reasonableness ie we believe in climate change, but it is essential its amelioration is left to the ‘private sector’. It is taken as religious dogma that you can never stimulate the private sector too much, notwithstanding the hairy palms that result. The universal dominance of the Rightwing has been forged through years of murder and repression, throughout the world, all denied or ignored. Now the process of making the world safe for a tiny, parasitic elite is reaching its ghastly apotheosis. As climate change, Peak Oil and habitat destruction reach a crescendo, it is now apparent the rulers of the world intend to resolve the ecological crisis, and ensure their survival and continued enjoyment of their trillions, by Malthusian means. If there has been better evidence of this than the insane determination to pursue ethanol and bio-diesel, then I’ve missed it. Ethanol for Yankee SUVs ensures mass hunger and starvation in the poor world. Killing directly, a la Iraq, Lebanon, Afghanistan or Somalia hardly keeps pace with the untermenschen’s breeding. Besides, they fight back. Mass killing by starvation is much easier, and will no doubt soon be joined by mass death through mysterious new diseases, that will baffle the ‘experts’, but have ‘Made in Fort Detrick’ written all over them. The rulers of the world are not merely arse-holes-they are monsters who put the Nazis in the shade.

  7. Hue Longer said on January 18th, 2008 at 4:53pm #

    Mulga, I could read you for pages….it’s as entertaining as a Bageant piece

  8. messianicdruid said on January 18th, 2008 at 5:25pm #

    “There is more to the political spectrum than Liberals and Conservative both of whom “love money” as you put it. There is more to life than the burdens of wage slavery.”

    That is why I added “all the above”. I absolutely agree that there is more to it than wage slavery. Isn’t that what I said!! We must learn to stop selling our lives {and bodies} to stay alive. Cut out the middle {money} man. Build communities where money is not needed, at least not THEIR money. Their money usually has blood on it, not to mention
    it’s other costs.

  9. Eric Patton said on January 18th, 2008 at 7:51pm #

    I think there’s definitely a place here for optimism though. More and more, it seems like the left is realizing that our problems are systemic. People are realizing that capitalism itself is the problem, and no amount of reform is going to fix things. We need a whole new economic system.

    If you read Zinn’s “People’s History,” I think you see parallels between movements a century ago and movements now. Then, people become more and more revolutionary as they realized that the problems facing society were systemic. Movements started addressing the structure of society, and they were able to achieve great things. Of course, since the movements a century ago weren’t adequately dealing with issues of race or gender (or class, since Marxism’s class analysis is flawed as it misses the coordinator class), the movements they built ultimately petered out.

    The 60’s brought needed race and gender analysis. It’s time now for us to build on that, broaden our systemic analysis of society, and pay attention to the existence of the coordinator class as we go. If we do that, we build an enormous movement capable of rolling back imperialism, racism, sexism, classism, and giving the human race at least a fighting chance against global warming.

    This is not only possible, but the left is getting closer and closer to actually doing it.

  10. messianicdruid said on January 19th, 2008 at 6:13am #

    “…but the left is getting closer and closer to actually doing it.” The “left” cannot do it without the “right”. As long as we use these labels {supplied by coordinators} we will be “coordinated” into argueing with each other about the elephant’s trunk vs. his tail vs his legs. It is systemic. It is mainly a money system.

  11. Don Hawkins said on January 19th, 2008 at 6:41am #

    “You can read as much as you want on these subjects, but it doesn’t really enter your system. You don’t really appreciate the enormity of what you have,” Pachauri said. As climate change, Peak Oil and habitat destruction reach a crescendo is the part many of us are trying as best we can to not let happen. It looks like it is getting to the point where slowing down climate change and that little oil problem is to move backwards in many ways it’s going to happen anyway. Now to say that the people who make all that money will of course go what did he just say is he nuts. You want to talk about nuts this last little round of greed Worldwide as we can all see is not working out well. In this country you have people with those 1000 dollar haircuts and 5000 dollar suits who like pushing that easy button. I must say greed this time reached new heights and now to fix the problem push the easy button again print checks and hope like hell it works so they can start the whole dam thing over again. It’s called instinct over reason and they no not what they do. Easy way out or another way of putting it lazy, unimaginative, shallow, weak and stupid. We need to slow it down until we can figure out how to produce energy without fossil fuels grow crops without destroying the land and water. Build the things we NEED to last. Now let’s see how to do that well stop buying. Only what you need shut it down slow it down.

  12. Don Hawkins said on January 19th, 2008 at 9:56am #

    Just got back from the store in the check-out line there it was Oprah fires Dr. Phil, Hurray. Got home turned on the tube Fox Cashin’ in. Everybody gets a tax cut the checks are in the mail but that is taking away from the rich to give to the poor, Hurray. Everybody gets a free car, Hurray. Madness

  13. rosemarie jackowski said on January 20th, 2008 at 2:48pm #

    I like Allison’s article. It says what needed to be said about a very relevant and contemporary issue. Too many of “us”, are sometimes too elitist to comment on the TV culture which has a very powerful effect on almost everything in the U$A. Dennis doesn’t scare me but Brian Williams does.

  14. Brian Mattox said on January 22nd, 2008 at 1:31pm #

    I often argue politics with the most aggressive, fascistic right-wingers I can find. One of the phrases I sometimes come across is “liberal gate-keepers.” This term refers to those liberal organizations who appear to be radical yet, in reality, serve to keep the population under control. Every time I come across that term I immediately think of two websites that I frequent. One is Alternet and the other is Dissident Voice. Both sites publish some good liberal writings, yet serve to keep the public from revolutionary tendencies.

    I only got as far in Allison Kilkenny little rant here as the phrase, “he (Maher) might have thought it was 9/11 conspiratorial nonsense . . .” Such a phrase is used by a writer to intimidate others into accepting the government’s “official” version of events on 9-11. Of course, no one wants to be guilty of believing in “nonsense.” In fact, I often use this exact bullying tactic myself (quite effectively I might add) when arguing that 9-11 was indeed a government conspiracy. Frequently, I’ll preface my own pro-conspiracy viewpoint with a phrase like, “Only the most ignorant and mindless among us still cling to the government’s official version of 9-11 when the evidence so overwhelmingly points to a government conspiracy.” Of course, I then follow up that statement with plenty of evidence and proof of the conspiracy.

    The evidence provided in the Loose Change series is compelling, but it’s not the only evidence as most of us are aware. An excellent video indictment that I frequently pass around is one where former L.A. detective Mike Ruppert lays out the evidence in courtroom fashion. That video is called The Truth and Lies of 9-11, is a little over 2 hours long and is available on Google video among other places. Here’s a link:

    So, why does Dissident Voice and other liberal web sites and organizations serve as “gate keepers”? Why do they work so hard to intimidate the public into accepting the lies handed down by our masters regarding 9-11? The answer is that these web sites and organizations are run by liberals and liberals are not revolutionaries. They are members of the establishment whose goal is to maintain a capitalist society that is designed in a more fair manner. Were the truth of 9-11 to be accepted by our society and the real criminals prosecuted, it would be a revolutionary event.

    Quite obviously, America’s ruling-elite have been involved in many conspiracies. The Bush administration can hardly go a week without some such conspiracy being revealed. Without going into too much detail I’m sure we all remember the conspiracies of the 2000 election, the 2004 election, the Iraq has WMDs lie, Watergate, Iran contra, The Savings and Loan Scandal, the JFK assassination and the Gulf of Tonkin lie. There are, of course, many more conspiracies in our nation’s history. But the 9-11 conspiracy is much, much worse and much more troubling for America’s ruling elite. This was a blatant attack upon our own citizens for the purpose of generating imperialist war in the Middle East. Additionally, it was a sloppy, sloppy crime with plenty of compelling video evidence. Revealing that a faction of our nation’s own ruling-elite was responsible for the crime of 9-11 and that it was subsequently covered up by the entire ruling-elite, including the Democrats and the mainstream media, would serve to reveal the Marxist conflict that exists between the super-rich and the rest of society.

    Firstly, exposing 9-11 as a crime committed by a faction of America’s ruling elite, and subsequently covered-up by the entire ruling-elite, would necessarily beg the question, why? Why did the neocons conspire to attack us with a false-flag event? What did they hope to gain? Why has the entire political body, whether Democrat or Republican, been complicit in the cover-up?

    Most certainly, they have all seen the overwhelming evidence suggesting that 9-11 was an inside job. So, why has the corporate media aggressively participated in the cover-up? Why did virtually the entire
    ruling-elite sign on to the lies that were used to promote the subsequent imperialist wars in the Middle East? Why did virtually the entire political body sign on to the repressive Patriot Act? Why have they all signed on to allowing government spying on our own
    citizens? Why have they all signed on to eliminate Habeus Corpus? Why did they use the crimes of a ruling-elite to attack the freedoms and liberties of America’s general public?

    9-11 being revealed as a false-flag event perpetrated by our own ruling-elite would serve to reveal that the entire “War on Terror” is a fraud. It would reveal that the fascist Patriot Act is a fraud. The war in the Middle East immediately becomes exposed as one that is obviously a criminal, imperialist war of aggression of the type that would condemn all members of America’s ruling-elite who participated in the criminal act of 9-11, the cover-up of 9-11 and/or the pursuit of imperialist wars in the Middle East to long prison terms . . . or worse? Bush and Cheney
    would be condemned as the equals of Hitler — exposing the entire Bush presidency as a fraud. It would also serve to expose the Democrats as complicit criminals as they yielded to Bush’s every fascist whim.

    Additionally, exposing 9-11 as a conspiracy instigated by our own government would serve as a catalyst to reopen investigations of past conspiracies from the Kennedy assassination to Iran Contra. History books would be rewritten. Classified documents that have long been kept from the public view largely for the purpose of protecting the guilty would at long last be revealed.

    Bringing down the criminals who promoted this horrendous crime against their own fellow countrymen would expose the reality that the real confrontation is not the silly one promoted by G.W. Bush as being
    between terrorists who “hate our freedom” and good, decent Americans; rather the confrontation is between the wealthy-elite and the average citizens. Marx was correct.

    The needs and desires of the super-rich are diametrically opposite to those of the general public to the point that the super-rich are willing to kill us, lie to us and to use our children as pawns in an imperialist war in their insatiable pursuit of ever-growing wealth for themselves. They are the kings and rulers on “the grand chessboard,” as Zbigniew Brzezinski calls it, and we the underclass are merely the disposable pawns.

    Bringing down the real criminals of 9-11 would reveal the contradictions inherent in the organization of a society where the needs and desires of a small group of super-rich, politically-dominant individuals run diametrically opposite to the needs and desires of the majority general public. Bringing down the real criminals of 9-11 would expose capitalism as a corrupt, social order.


    This article lays out the timeline surrounding 9-11.


    by Michael C. Ruppert