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Thursday, February 04, 2010

So, Who's Going to Replace Supergnat?

You may remember me and others mentioning with some wryness that the Salt Lake County Republicans scrubbed James "Supergnat" O'Keefe from being their keynote speaker the day after he got busted with three of his cohorts for allegedly trying to bug Sen. Mary Landrieu's office. What we haven't paid so much attention to is with whom they replaced him for their fundraising dinner tonight.

Wonder no more: Insisting on going with the youth movement, they hastily picked none other than Guy Benson, one of the youngest wingnuts in the country to have a national radio show. At 24, he's even younger than O'Keefe and, to judge by this nonbiased wikipedia article on Benson, he apparently has as casual a relationship with the truth as does O'Keefe. However, on the plus side, he's also startlingly original, as this piece for NRO shows.

Benson not only interned at Fox (on the Hannity and Colmes show) for a couple of years right out of high school but he also achieved some brief notoriety for "discovering" a video of a 2007 Weathermen reunion that he then breathlessly broadcast on Fox. He's also the darling of the folks over at Larry Johnson's No Quarter.

It gets better: Benson is a paid contributor to another Andrew Breitbart enterprise: Big Hollywood, a forum that had no problem trashing through its promising young talent the late Howard Zinn barely a week after his death (I'm sure you'll remember that O'Keefe is a paid contributor to Breitbart's Big Government). It seems the Salt Lake County Republicans just can't quite quit Andrew Breitbart's young, white protoges.

The Salt Lake County Republicans' new Guy has also achieved some fleeting celebrity by weaving loose threads into conspiratorial wholecloth with a Beckian dexterity, such as when he inveighed on Townhall.com against Hizb ut-Tahrir and their meeting last summer in Chicago. Hizb ut-Tahrir has not, in fact, been definitively linked to any terrorist organization, insists it does not engage in terrorist activity and is not recognized by the State Department as a terrorist organization even though Mideast "experts" also on retainer at Fox are trying to get us to fear them through their unfounded suspicions.

But just the fact they'd organized two days after a car bomb went off in Indonesia was enough for Benson to suggest the conference was a celebratory affair, with AK 47's being fired into the ceiling of the posh Chicago Hilton hotel. As you can expect, Benson's sourcing for this anti-Muslim claim is none other than Fox "News", the very same scabby, hyperpartisan cabal of syphilitic cock goblins for whom Benson had interned for two summers.

Whatever Benson says, Fox believes. Whatever Fox believes, Benson repeats. Thence the echo chamber begins and we have moderate Republicans agreeing with neoconservatives in a heartburning display of bipartisan consensus.

Maybe the Salt Lake County Republicans would've been better off sticking with O'Keefe. They could've still used him for comic relief or, if they'd tried really, really hard, they could've spun his exploits in post-Katrina Louisiana as an homage to that proud Nixonian tradition of illegally spying on Democrats.

And that's all O'Keefe is, now- a punch line for liberals and an embarrassment for conservatives. Benson, despite being a glorified child trying to clomp around in big shoes once worn by Walter Cronkite and Edward R. Murrow, has several national forums and generally reaches more people.
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