Is Tokyo Rush Cartoonishly Incredible on Purpose?

10 06 2009

“Tokyo Rose” was convicted of treason for broadcasting popular but demoralizing propaganda in time of war.
tokyo rose from wikipedia

She was imprisoned despite being an American citizen and claiming she was really on our side the whole time because although forced to broadcast, she was “cartoonishly incredible” on purpose, to subvert any damaging effect.

Ironically it was another popular, vitriolic radio personality campaigning relentlessly against her on the air, that brought her down.

She was stripped of her U.S. citizenship and received a sentence of 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. She was sent to a federal women’s prison in Alderson, W.Va., where she was said to have spent many hours playing bridge with “Axis Sally” Gillars.

But she was released for good behavior after six years and eventually pardoned by a president, and she certainly fared better than American-born “Lord Haw-Haw” hanged for broadcasting wartime propaganda in England.

Having just endured the most venomous rant to date from Tokyo Rush as “notorious instrument” against the critical interests of the USA at home and abroad and specifically, with excruciating malice aforethought, against the person of our president and commander in chief — ending darkly with “SOME-how [pause] he needs to be stopped!” — I think the cartoonishly incredible defense won’t work any better for him.

rush limbaugh old
And is it similarly ironic and a bad portent that broadcast personalities (such as Keith Olbermann?) have begun using their airtime to campaign against Toyko Rush and his similarly demoralizing anti-American propaganda?

What conceivable defense will be left for his increasingly overt spewing against American government and American interests foreign and domestic — maybe profound mental incapacity to know right from wrong? Yeah, that could work. I’d buy it.

Otherwise, I suppose he can beg a presidential pardon from the same man he called a traitorous, cowardly, bank-robbing criminal today, to all of America.
Good luck with that . . .




15 responses

10 06 2009

Shepard Smith of FOX News says seriously that his email is getting more and more frightening:

11 06 2009

Jeffrey Feldman, author of Framing the Debate:

This moment when politics seems to be turning from talk to killing has emerged at a time when our politics is dominated by an alarming amount of over-the-top confrontational rhetoric . . . we should all do what it takes to ratchet the political rhetoric down.

My suggestions are simple enough for everyone to do immediately.

First, the next time we hear a radio or TV host bombard an issue with overstated, violent rhetoric–we need to speak out against it. We should turn it off, sure. But we also need to tell our neighbors, friends, and coworkers that we do not want that kind of talk in our media.

Second, the next time we hear a politician incite hateful rage on the campaign trail with unsubstantiated claims and conspiracy theories about their opponents–we need to speak out against it. We should vote for someone else, sure. But we also need to tell our neighbors, friends, and coworkers that we do not want that kind of talk in our elections.

11 06 2009
Nance Confer

Smith thinks maybe the Homeland Security report shouldn’t have been criticized by some? Hmmm. . . who would have done such a thing?


11 06 2009

There is no Environmental Protection Agency to measure hate pollution in national dialogue, and no mechanism in place to warn us when the poisonous rage spewed into the national consciousness by shock-jocks, poisonous television pundits, megachurch leaders, and oh-so-subtle politicians, has reached dangerously toxic levels.

No, there is only the result: widows, orphans, collective grief, and an absolute refusal on the part of our loudest, coarsest voices to take any responsibility for their part in the carnage.

12 06 2009

And worse yet, I heard Rush blame Obama being the President as the cause for the man who killed in the Holocaust Musuem. Yes,,,Rush blamed President Obama that people like this lunatic on the right…killed someone. The illogical reasoning of that is so insane I can’t even wrap my brain around it.

Yes, it is time to speak up…against killing people for having an opinion opposite from our own. Wasn’t it Hannity and Rush who blasted the President for his “association” with the Chicago professor who had been acquitted of the Weatherman bombings in the 70’s, labeling him guilty of association with a murderer..what’s the difference?

1 08 2009

No, Rush Limbaugh never said Obama was guilty by association…you drew that conclusion. You can look through the archives on his website; he never said that. His point is about who Obama chooses as his friends. It is well known that Bill Ayres participated in several bombings and only had charges dropped because of negligence of the FBI. Ayres admits it himself.

1 08 2009

I don’t think this “Dawn” has posted here before — it’s definitely not our Evolved Homeschooler friend Dawn from Day-by-Day. But I approved the comment anyway, after puzzling over it and going back over the original post only to find nothing about Bill Ayers or anyone concluding that Limbaugh had charged guilt by association, so the comment as a whole doesn’t make much sense and adds nothing to the conversation, unless the point was to pick a fight with the lovely and bend-over-backwards-for-peace Betty.

Care to play again?


One other thing — I’ve left “Dawn’s” misspelling of his last name to show how insidious smears can be. The Bill Ayers demonized in last year’s presidential campaign is now apparently being further smeared with this lie by letter transposition, of the “r” with the “e” to get Ayres, a child molestation defendant named Bill Ayres currently in the news. It just doesn’t get any more execrable than that.

2 08 2009

Frank Rich:

What about those . . . who insistently cry “racist” — and in public forums — without any credible justification whatsoever? . . . They include Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich, both of whom labeled Sonia Sotomayor a racist. Their ranks were joined last week by Glenn Beck, who on Fox News inexplicably labeled Obama a racist with “a deep-seated hatred for white people,” presumably including his own mother.

What provokes their angry and nonsensical cries of racism is sheer desperation: an entire country is changing faster than these white guys bargained for. . .

Threatened white elites try to mask their own anxieties by patronizingly adopting working-class whites as their pet political surrogates — Joe the Plumber, New Haven firemen, a Cambridge police officer. Call it Village People populism.

For a wider perspective see Salon’s “Great Moments in Political Race-baiting”

2 08 2009

The real Bill Ayers in Salon, on how he as a private citizen was ruthlessly demonized, so that Obama could then be smeared as “guilty by association” —

I thought that I was being used as a prop in a very dishonest narrative . . . I felt that part of this was the demonization of me — certainly that I’m some kind of toxic agent that has to be feared.

The second thing, and perhaps more important, is that I was being used to try to bring down this promising new leader by the old tactic of guilt by association. The idea that somehow — and this is deep in the American political culture — that if two people share a bus downtown, have a cup of coffee, have several conversations, that somehow means that they share an outlook, a perspective, responsibility for one another’s behavior. And I reject that. That guilt by association is wrong and we shouldn’t buy into it.

Do you feel diminished by Obama repeatedly referring to you throughout the campaign as just some “guy from the neighborhood”?

Not in the least; I am a guy from the neighborhood. And I’m proud of it … And the neighborhood being Hyde Park, which is a very close-knit, very friendly, very politically diverse, very racially diverse. . .

It’s an interesting neighborhood, a college town. It’s close-knit. It’s kind of like Wasilla, Alaska, except that it’s different.

31 12 2009
29 01 2010

Tokyo Rose in the shocking SCOTUS news this week:

The Court ruled that the First Amendment makes no distinction among speakers — that the identity of a speaker makes no difference for purposes of government regulation of speech. As Justice Stevens pointed out in his dissenting opinion, this logic leads to some remarkable conclusions:

“Such an assumption would have accorded the propaganda broadcasts to our troops by ‘Tokyo Rose’ during World War II the same protection as speech by Allied commanders.”

8 06 2010

Yes, Elton John really did sing for money at the Limbaugh (fourth) wedding over the weekend.

Cartoonishly incredible.

8 06 2010

What’s the difference between a real journalist and a Tokyo Rush? Helen Thomas was humiliated and immediately resigned for ONE bigoted remark. That’s a real journalist.

(And her colleagues are saying she was no longer reporting anyway, had been a columnist for the past decade at that. Still she knew and they knew it wasn’t defensible.)

8 06 2010

In the same vein:

While my reference to [Pat] Buchanan is certainly aimed at him, his inclusion here speaks to the larger phenomenon of certain kinds of people spewing racism and being treated with impunity. For me, there are more than a few people of his ilk who don’t get fired for inflaming the public discourse with racist talk.

So let Helen Thomas go; she earned her unemployment (though I am concerned about the free speech implications in all this). But the public discourse requires that people of goodwill to respond forcefully to racists, so let’s make sure Thomas is not alone on the “retired” list. Buchanan is far more dangerous than Thomas ever was. Otherwise, she will simply be a scapegoat in a much larger circus of hypocrites.

Michael K. Fauntroy is an associate professor of public policy at George Mason University. An author, commentator, and columnist, he blogs at

29 07 2010

And talk about mercenary armies where money is the commanding force. America missed actual news coverage of the latest revolutionary right terror plot playing out, while Shirley Sherrod was set up as its highly profitable propaganda machine’s faux news conceived, created, armed and commanded by pretend patriots crying for an America they claim to love, via corporate-cashing-in radio, tv and the internets.

California Highway Patrol officers pulled [Byron] Williams over for drunk driving on his way to his killing spree. Williams quickly opened fire, wounding two officers during a lengthy shootout. Luckily, Williams wasn’t able to act out the ultimate goal of his dark anger — fueled by the TV news he watched — . . .inside the offices of the Tides Foundation, an organization “nobody knew” about until Glenn Beck started targeting it.

And thankfully, Williams wasn’t able to take his place alongside a growing list of domestic, anti-government terrorists, such as the recent Pentagon shooter, the Holocaust Museum gunman, the kamikaze pilot who flew his plane into an IRS building in Austin, Texas, and the Pittsburgh cop-killer who set up an ambush because he was convinced Obama was going to take away his guns.

All the vigilante attacks appear to have been fueled by an almost pathological hatred for the U.S. government — the same open hatred that right-wing bloggers, AM talk radio hosts, and Fox News’ lineup of anti-government prophets have been frantically fueling for the last year, pushing doomsday warnings . . . no longer even political in a partisan sense. Instead, it’s purely revolutionary. It isn’t, “We think taxes should be lower” [but] “There’s an insidious and deadly plot afoot . . .to destroy the United States from inside the Oval Office. . .”

Rush Limbaugh: “Our country is being overthrown from within.”

And this summer, the latest toxic twist to that line of attack is that Obama is destroying America on purpose in order to exact revenge from white America for the historic sin of slavery. (Think: Black Manchurian Candidate.) The GOP Noise Machine is now mixing a vile cocktail by stirring revolutionary rhetoric with hateful race-baiting.

It’s impossible to argue that today’s avalanche of insurrectionist rhetoric doesn’t have a real world effect. Or that those on the fringes don’t find comfort in seeing and hearing their worst fears legitimized on AM radio and Fox News.

The consequences of the doomsday programming seem entirely predictable. . .Indeed, the relentless message that right-wing audiences hear is unequivocal and inescapable: Do something! Take action!

And last week, Byron Williams, likely inspired by Glenn Beck’s Tides obsession, grabbed his guns and set out to do just that.

[Note that the terrorist’s name is Byron Williams, not to be confused if you Google this story, with a contributing columnist to the San Jose Mercury News who in this same time frame decries traitorous radio hosts of the Right under the same name.]

This is indeed a low point in American discourse. . .

One can only imagine the type of moral depravity necessary to transform an open and honest public self-examination representing America at its best into something that was portrayed as hateful, symbolizing the nation at its worst.

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