Thursday, July 24, 2008

Ben Stein: Continuing a Legacy of WTF

I remember almost two years ago when I thought Ben Stein was a pretty hep cat, and then one day I realized he was an idiot tool for the right wing.

He's still out shucking eye drops - and ignorance.

Media Matters brought the following to my attention:
On the July 23 edition of CNN Headline News' Glenn Beck, guest Ben Stein, while discussing Sen. Barack Obama's plan to deliver his speech accepting the Democratic presidential nomination at Denver's Invesco Field, stated that he did not "like the idea of Senator Obama giving his acceptance speech in front of 75,000 wildly cheering people" because "[t]hat is not the way we do things in political parties in the United States of America." Stein continued: "Seventy-five-thousand people at an outdoor sports palace, well, that's something the Fuehrer would have done. And I think whoever is advising Senator Obama to do this is bringing up all kinds of very unfortunate images from the past."
Sour fucking grapes.

No, Ben, it's not "the way we do things" in US politics because people look at politics with shades of ennui and disdain: they think it's boring and bullshit and 24-hour C-SPAN and in the back rooms they plot and plan and figure out how to rape and pillage America. The fact that any person in American politics could get 75,000 people not only excited enough to talk about going to see him, but to actually mobilize and fill a goddamned stadium is amazing in a world with a six second attention span.

My history professor in college said that you can tell a lot about a civilization by the largest areas of congregation that it constructs. Ancient Rome had the Coliseum; The Dark Ages brought wonder to the masses with churches and cathedrals; Today, it's NASCAR. Seriously.

And a man who stakes his career on his supposed intelligence is comparing Barack Obama to Hitler - forget the discussion, forget Godwin's Law, right out the fucking gate: well, he's Hitler.

But while the reference was obviously to Hitler, I can't quite wrap my head around Ben's word choice: the Fuehrer. I understand he probably understood he was making a dick move and wanted to soften the blow, but "Fuehrer" is German for "leader," noun capitalization and all.

So in an obvious move to demonize Barack Obama (oddly, by referencing a man who would have killed Barack Obama based solely on his skin color), Mr. Stein inadvertently called Barack Obama a leader and - a man of Jewish heritage himself - referred to the monster that annihilated millions of of that Jewish heritage by Hitler's honorary name, der Fuehrer.

Ben Stein: today - and every day - Cause For Concern's Pet WTF Tool.


Anonymous said...

I dislike Ben Stein for ruining my Ferris experience.

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

Feckin' spot on.