Mile-High Mania

Last Sunday afternoon, amid the noise of NFL squads either launching a late-season push for the playoffs or resigning themselves to hopes of drafting Andrew Luck, the Denver Broncos chased down the Chicago Bears in overtime, 13-10. In and of itself, the Broncos’ win is hardly the stuff of gridiron greatness. Sure, they came from behind to pick up the victory in a hard-fought struggle. And they needed a little help in the form of a Marion Barber fumble to snare even a chance at the game-winning field goal. But win they did — for the sixth straight week. Given the fact that three of those six victories have required overtime, some have taken to using the word “miraculous” to define the Broncos’ recent winning ways.

I am not among those who add divine descriptions to gridiron grandeur. Luck (“Lady,” not “Andrew”) has blessed the Broncos, who began their season with limited hopes of a title. And an oft-maligned, questionably prepared quarterback has hoisted the team on his broad shoulders and carried it toward the proverbial end zone. Tim Tebow, who began the season clinging desperately to a spot on the Broncos’ bench, has emerged as The Mile High City’s man of the year.

Tebow carries a football resume stuffed with superlatives. He won the Heisman Trophy and a pair of national championships during his tenure under center at the University of Florida. And now, despite an odd throwing motion, a marked tendency to telegraph his passes and an aggravatingly persistent belief in his own right to victory, Tebow looks heroic.

For some people, however, Tebow has become a lightning rod for controversy — and not because they are die-hard Chiefs fans. Forget about Michael Vick, Adam “Pacman” Jones and Plaxico Burress. For what may be the first time, an NFL player has earned the distaste of detractors — from sanctimonious sportswriters who would likely hide behind Tebow if they faced a jailbreak blitz on third-and-long to smug liberals who watch soccer and call football “American football,” despite having never ventured farther east than Martha’s Vineyard — not for being a bad player, but for being a good guy.

Tebow displays more than merely a burning desire to win football games. He displays a surplus of something the aforementioned folks lack: character. As witnessed during his infamous Super Bowl ad a couple of years ago, Tebow — himself nearly a victim of abortion — is unabashedly pro-life. As witnessed every time he runs over some undersized safety at the goal line, Tebow is also unabashedly open about his faith. We should be thankful he is so devout. Imagine the horror if “Vicking” became a meme instead of “Tebowing.” (And imagine the PETA protests at NFL functions.)

Tebow is no paper-thin theologist who praises Jesus on his way to the strip club; his off-seasons are filled instead with mission work to places where the Son of Man himself is less than revered. If only Tebow spent his summers unwinding with a nice puppy-lynching or nightclub shooting, Broncos’ owner Pat Bowlen might have earned a congratulatory phone call from President Obama — much like Eagles’ owner Jeff Lurie did following his decision to allow Vick a second chance. Instead, Tebow is vilified by people who normally wile away their Sundays reading The New York Times style section, looking for another photo of Barbra Streisand to add to their scrapbooks.

Tebow is no second coming — not even of Joe Montana. In fact, he might not even be the second coming of Trent Dilfer. If he were more circumspect about his life off the gridiron, he would garner less attention than — say — Joe Flacco. In the interest of full disclosure, I am no Broncos fan. I will root against them with the volume of a Papal Mass in St. Peter’s Square should they ever meet my Giants on the field. I’ll also be fair and note that some people despise Tebow either because he went to Florida and they’re Georgia fans, or because he quarterbacks the Broncos and they’re Raiders fans (who pretty much hate everyone).

Liberals hate Tebow for his full-throated acknowledgement that his talents, like all of our lives, are a gift from the Almighty. I respect him for actually working to be the sort of role model the NFL seldom features but ought to. But Broncos fans have a better idea about Tebow than either the liberals or me: They love him because he’s 7-1 as a Sunday starter.

The Fast And The Spurious IV: The Empire Strikes Out

President Barack Obama and the bulk of the corporate media continue to act as if “Operation Fast and Furious (OFF)” is a bad movie sequel featuring Vin Diesel and the Rock flexing their muscles and struggling with dialogue as opposed to a poorly conceived and implemented Department of Justice “gunwalking” program that cost hundreds of millions of dollars, armed Mexican narcoterrorists and resulted in the murder of at least two Federal agents.

Across the aisle, the number of prominent Republicans calling for Attorney General Eric Holder to resign is closing in on five dozen. I wonder why that number isn’t significantly higher.

Meanwhile, new information surfaced last week that indicates Department of Justice officials openly discussed leveraging the OFF disaster in an effort to put the proverbial bullet in the Constitution. CBS News reporter Sharyl Atkisson, who has played both Woodward and Bernstein on the OFF story despite working well behind enemy lines, revealed last Wednesday afternoon that DoJ officials openly discussed trying to leverage the OFF-linked murders to push the Obama Administration’s and Democratic Party’s anti-Bill of Rights agenda. Despite the fact that gun sellers pushed into participation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives warned against the gunwalking program, BATF official Mark Chait emailed OFF front man Bill Newell:

Bill — can you see if these guns were all purchased from the same (licensed gun dealer) and at one time. We are looking at anecdotal cases to support a demand letter on long gun multiple sales. Thanks.”

A “demand letter” is a BATF requirement that gun shops provide detailed tracking information on people who buy more than one long gun. The Holder DoJ’s reaction to the unfolding nightmare was to see if they could exploit its almost unavoidably tragic outcome to force the same guys they pushed to sell multiple guns to known straw purchasers to tattle on you if you buy your kids matching Cricket .22’s. Essentially: abrogating the 2nd Amendment is so important, we’ll create our own statistics and allow innumerable innocents to die to do it. An anthropologist might call that “a self-reinforcing prophecy.” I call that “one step from being an accessory after the fact.”

Holder’s behavior throughout the OFF fallout has been dishonest, contemptuous and nothing short of breathtakingly callous. While virtually each day delivers a new detail regarding the depressing depths of executive arrogance from Phoenix to Washington; Holder has repeatedly lied and/or stonewalled about his role in and knowledge of the program. The fact that Holder’s DoJ considered politicizing the murders of two Federal agents and an untold number of Mexicans (about whom he would care more if they made it across the Rio Grande) that resulted from a program THEY ENGINEERED is sociopathically cold.

Senior officials in the current Presidential Administration openly discussed abrogating the Bill of Rights based on the fatal consequences of their own erroneous efforts. Holder either approved of their macabre musings, making him an accomplice; or he didn’t, meaning he’s even more grossly incompetent than most of the rest of the Obama Administration—itself no small accomplishment.

As my deadline approached, 55 Congresspersons, two U.S. Senators, two Governors and four Presidential candidates (Obama is not among them) are calling on Holder to step down. While I agree wholeheartedly with them, I should think that an immediate resignation should be only the beginning of the consequences Holder should — must — face.

-Ben Crystal

No Newt Is Good Newt

In 2008, I cast my ballot for the Republican Presidential ticket of John McCain and Sarah Palin. At that time, I wrote in a column for a different media outlet: “I’m going to have to vote for (Senator) John McCain.” Like so many of my conservative compatriots, I simply could not bring myself to pull the proverbial lever for the community activist from the front pew in the Church of Wright and Ayers and his sidekick, Ol’ Pluggsy. Being the well-conditioned believer in the infallibility of our Republican system, I held my nose and stood up against Obama/Biden 2008 as much — if not more — than I stood up for McCain/Palin 2008. Judging by the results of that tragic electoral misstep, I was hardly alone. I joined millions of my fellow Americans in voting for the lesser of two evils. I expect the lack of enthusiasm for McCain’s campaign played a large part in Obama’s victory. Let me be absolutely clear about one point: not this time, baby.

Recent polling, including a scrimmage conducted by Personal Liberty Digest™ just last week, indicates a growing preference for former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. In fact, Gingrich has opened a lead over the field that, in some cases, edges into double digits. My instincts lead me to presume that Gingrich’s appeal rests heavily on a combination of fear of four more years of Obama’s dog and pony show and that old canard: electability.

Why even focus on the myth of electability? If the landslide which buried the Democrats nationwide last November told us anything, electability is already settled in our favor. Americans sent liberals packing in record numbers from the halls of Congress all the way to small-town officials’ offices. And let us leave the spirit of bipartisan accord where it belongs, as well. The Democrats abandoned it years ago; and the voters swarmed into the polls last year to remind the Republicans not to follow the Democrats. With that in mind, why the hell would we think of handing the keys to the patron saint of fence-straddling RINOs?

Gingrich is to conservatism what MSNBC is to journalism; if you don’t pay close attention, it seems right. However, in Gingrich’s case, a cursory examination of his curriculum vitae reveals his dalliances with the dark side: his complicity in the Freddie Mac disaster, his support of cap-and-trade legislation and his video love letter with Representative Nancy Pelosi (in addition to some marital missteps which are permissible only for doughy ex-governors of Arkansas). In MSNBC’s case, a simple turning up of the volume reveals — well — Rachel Maddow (enough said).

Now that the Democrats and their accomplices in the corporate media have finished lynching Herman Cain, perhaps it’s simply Gingrich’s turn in the spotlight. Maybe the voters will remember the reason they handed the Democrats a mass of pink slips last November. The corporate media likely will avoid substantive discussion of the various contenders beyond scripted talking points, vague innuendo and — in the case of the tinfoil hat brigadiers on MSNBC — outright slander. Consider that the recent debate producers and moderators seemed less willing to allow Congressman Ron Paul a chance to speak than I am to answer the door when the Jehovah’s Witnesses come knocking (which always seems to occur at 8:30 on a Saturday morning; positively inhuman).

I have not yet decided which of the candidates vying for my ballot will enjoy the privilege of receiving it. But I guarantee you, whoever wins the race for my political heart will bloody well earn it.

–Ben Crystal

The Fast And The Spurious III

Last week, before a rather transparently timed late Friday document dump, Attorney General Eric Holder stuck his skinny finger in the face of a reporter for The Daily Caller and demanded that The Caller “stop” reporting on his role in the disastrous gun-walking fiasco: Operation Fast and Furious. Evidently, Holder has decided that such reporting is entirely the creation of what Secretary of State Hillary Clinton once called “the vast right wing conspiracy;” and he wants the media to avert their eyes.

The reporter stopped Holder as his handlers tried to hustle him offstage to avoid questions the corporate media were likely going to eschew asking anyway. He asked Holder about the growing chorus of Congressional demands for Holder’s resignation over OFF. Holder’s response was tragically predictable, considering his membership in an Administration which is as likely to offer direct answers as a fleabagger is to bathe: “You guys… need to stop this. It’s not an organic thing that’s just happening. You guys are behind it.” Translated from the original liberal doublespeak, that reads thusly: “How dare you continue to focus on this scandal, the attendant body count and my role therein! Why can’t you just churn out some fluff about the occupiers like my friends at The New York Times?”

Three days after Holder delivered his rant, the Department of Justice delivered thousands of pages of documents to Congress regarding the failed operation which included the ill-advised plan to allow straw purchases over the objections of career field agents and gun retailers, the arming of narcoterrorists and the subsequent murder of Border agent Brian Terry and Immigration agent Jaime Zapata (along with an unknown number of Mexicans about whom Holder and Barack Obama would have cared only if they had made it to the polls on election day — preferably twice). The document release likely was timed to occur late enough on a Friday to coincide with the low-key weekend news cycle (an odd effort, given the fact that the corporate media would rather offer Christmas cookie recipes than speak ill of Obama and his accomplices).

The material paints a horrific portrait of dishonesty, arrogance and incompetence on the part of multiple members of Obama’s DOJ. In addition to the extraordinary step of withdrawing an explanatory letter about OFF which the DOJ dispatched to Congress in February, the Friday activities were highlighted by the revelation that the now-disavowed missive was the product of an internal debate which raged for three days. To repeat: They required three days to decide on which lies to tell Congress.

In the course of the DOJ email chain about the proper response — which presumably should not have included those pesky “inaccuracies” — to inquiries from Senator Charles Grassley’s staff, former U.S. Attorney and OFF point man Dennis Burke sounded off. Burke falsely asserted that Terry’s murder was unrelated to OFF and charged that Grassley’s staffers were “acting as stooges for the gun lobby.” Those silly “gun lobby stooges” are always asking questions about arming narcoterrorists, murder and potentially false testimony in front of Congress.

We already know that Holder’s testimony about OFF was rife with what taxpayer-funded NPR called “inaccuracies” in a Friday afternoon report and you and I call — ahem — bravo sierra. What we see in the document dump is a pattern of deliberate obfuscation stretching from Arizona to Mexico to Washington over the course of more than a year.

Unfortunately for Holder — and ultimately Obama — while supplicant media flacks are gazing at their navels, Congressional investigators are paying close attention. Grassley and Congressman Darrell Issa, along with nearly five dozen of their compatriots and at least one of the Republican Presidential candidates, show no signs of letting Holder, Obama and their accomplices bury the OFF story. Holder is due for another visit to the Congressional woodshed on Thursday.

Perhaps Holder made the fatal mistake of assuming the blanket immunity offered to his big buddy Barack by the corporate media would not only extend to his own crimes, but would stifle the legitimate media, which has not abdicated journalistic responsibility on the altar of liberal fealty. Among the questions I’d like Holder to answer: “Do you think you’ll like prison?”

To Be Perfectly Frank

Since he let us in on his future plans, Representative Barney Frank has touched off a firestorm of discussion over his legacy of 40 years living off the largesse of the taxpayers of Massachusetts and the United States. As you might expect, much of the discussion has centered on the factor Frank spent the most time promoting: his sexual preference. (Barney liked girls, but not in that way.) I would be remiss in my duties if I sent Barney packing without so much as a nod to the fact that he is openly gay. In fact, Frank is the first-ever member of the U.S. House of Representatives to live openly as a homosexual. Even a casual glance at the fawning political epilogues being offered to Frank among today’s corporate media reveals that Frank’s sexuality is the most prominent — if not sole — reason he will be remembered.

While he made his sexual identity a sword that he used to help gays ascend to a position of political and social equality, his use of the same as a shield against any criticism may well have slowed the process. Call it a backlash, but I would suggest that Frank, much like some of the so-called black leaders, allowed his most-cherished issue to become his sole defining position. For better or worse, Frank countered criticism with unfair charges of bigotry — even when said criticism was deserved. Frank was never a Congressman; he was a gay Congressman. Something tells me that had Frank gone to cooking school, he would have become a gay chef, as opposed to just a chef. Since I am merely an average guy, I can’t necessarily identify with the difficulties Frank faced early in his career; nor can I necessarily identify with the concept of being a member of a once-disenfranchised minority of any sort. However, I wonder how Frank feels now, knowing that his entire career can be boiled down to the fact that he is gay? It strikes me that, according to Frank’s stated goal, his announcing himself as “gay” would be akin to me announcing myself as “tall.”

For those who dismiss my musings as being somehow driven by the bigotry liberals blindly assign to all conservatives, consider who’s doing the talking. The Washington Post called Frank a “hero… for his role in promoting gay rights, having been the most prominent openly gay member of Congress.” The Associated Press labeled him a “a gay pioneer in Congress” before it noted his home state. And the rusting hulk that used to be The New York Times noted Frank “… has been among the nation’s most prominent gay elected officials.”

The media’s effort to lionize Frank — while tossing out only fleeting (if any) mentions of his considerable missteps, failures and scandals — is entirely transparent. The reason has nothing to do with his sexuality and everything to do with his liberalism. Much like the abominable Ted Kennedy, who left behind a legacy of almost shockingly unrepentant corruption and offense (as well as some extraordinarily bad driving), Frank is one of the more redoubtable travelers from the far left of the American political atlas. As such, he earned a free pass from consequences. From his involvement with a prostitution ring to his well-documented complicity in the housing crisis, Frank skated away from scandals that would sink a conservative’s career.

From my perspective, Frank’s private life means nothing more to me than he wants it to. My objections to Frank are entirely political — a fact I expect would disappoint him, given the enormous effort he has put into trying to make me despise him on moral grounds. Frank has supported the Democrats’ efforts to let millions of illegal aliens dance across our borders, stood steadfast with the far left in attempting to abrogate the 2nd Amendment and pushed for government speed bumps on the information superhighway in the form of so-called “Net Neutrality.” He remains a committed supporter of the unholy profanity that is partial-birth abortion. And there is that dalliance with Fannie Mae when he took center stage in the organization’s failure and subsequent bailout for a sizable fee.

Much as it would pain him to hear it, Frank disgusts me, but only in the same way Representative Nancy Pelosi and President Barack Obama disgust me — no more, no less. I will remember him as unforgivably liberal. Sorry, Barney.

The Five People You’ll Meet In Charlotte

In 2003, Detroit-based sportswriter Mitch Albom published the much-heralded The Five People You Meet In Heaven. The book spent nearly two years on the bestseller list and was made into a TV movie starring Jon Voight. It told the tale of one man’s life, growth and death as seen through the lens of five individuals with whom he is inextricably linked.

Granted, none of the five folks of whom I speak today offer opportunities for growth beyond the sort achieved by fungus and mold, and their connection to life and death revolves around the former for murderers and the latter for unborn babies. Some might even see my references to Albom’s work as a shameless attempt to hitch my rhetorical wagon to an enormously successful writer. It is. But Albom lives in Detroit, so I’m certain he has suffered greater pain. And Albom has sold about 30 million books, so I’m quite sure he’ll survive the indignity.

This summer, the Democratic Party will hold its quadrennial Presidential nominating convention in Charlotte, N.C. Among the rogue’s gallery who will descend upon that poor city to re-coronate President Barack Obama (or perhaps not; check out Chip Wood’s column The Plot To Make Hillary President) will be the usual coterie of bottom-feeders who populate every large gathering of liberals. While every single one of them will share the dubious distinction of being members of the Democratic Party, they generally will fit into one of five categories (although given the girth of some of their masters, some pushing and/or WD40® will be involved).

With apologies to Albom, I present: the five people you’ll meet in Charlotte.

The Egghead

Distinguishing characteristics of the egghead include: unwashed hair, a ponytail (regardless of both gender and amount of hair remaining atop the head), speaking with eyes closed and spectacular body odor.

Often nominally employed as either a lawyer or college professor (or worse, both), the egghead suffers from an odd combination of low self-esteem and overestimation of his own intellectual import. This psychological stew produces an individual who recognizes that no one really cares what he thinks, and he responds by replacing import with volume.

The egghead carries a dog-eared copy of Rules for Radicals and the latest issue of Mother Jones in the tote bag he earned for donating $25 to his local PBS affiliate. The veterans write for hate-speech blogs like Dailykos; the real all-stars quote their own material in the third person.

Eggheads are fond of making definitive statements about the evils of conservatives, such as: “The Rethuglicans are pushing for immigration reform because they’re racist” and “The ‘teabaggers’ are so stupid.” The egghead laments 9-11, but only because it made life harder for Muslims. The egghead considers Michael Moore a visionary and George Soros a saint, and he has no issue with the fact that both are archetypal hypocrites.

The egghead supports any legislation and/or court decisions which abrogate the rights to offer opinions, pray or own firearms — except for liberal hate speech, Islamofascism and Mexican narcoterrorists. When eggheads dress down, they wear the jerseys of European Premier League soccer teams and refer to soccer as “football” and football as “American football,” though they’ve never been farther east than a whale-watching trip off Nantucket Island, Mass.

The eggheads’ idols are Keith Olbermann and Rob Reiner. Their defining Issue is the establishment of the United Nations as the world government. Their next destination is Occupy Haight-Ashbury.

The True Believer

Distinguishing characteristics of the true believer include: wearing mom jeans (regardless of gender) and bringing “Hillary ’12” and “Obama ’12” buttons (both homemade) to Charlotte, just to be on the safe side.

When the rest of the fleabaggers headed home to mommy’s basement because it began raining, this was the redoubtable martyr who stayed out there, proudly waving a hand-lettered “I am the 99%” sign. The true believer has never led so much as one of those disjointed chants of which liberals are so fond, but he is the rock upon which the Democrats balance. The true believer isn’t mean-spirited like most liberals; but a dearth of intellect – and, therefore, long-term prospects — have left him vulnerable to believing his party’s promises of an easier life with limited effort. Younger true believers will come to Charlotte with their egghead college professors on junkets paid for by their college student activity funds.

In photos of outraged liberal protesters, the true believer always smiles and is never in the front row. Many members of the Service Employees International Union are true believers who believe that verified reports of union thug and/or occupier violence “are overblown.”

The true believers’ idols are Hillary Clinton (because she’s such a strong woman) and Michelle Obama (because she looked great in the latest issue of People magazine). Their defining issue is… um, let them check with the eggheads. Their next destination is a Unitarian Universalist sing-along and drum circle.

The Joiner

Distinguishing characteristics of the joiner include: owning at least a half-dozen cats, wearing T-shirts proclaiming so (even in rather formal settings) and saying “interwebs” without a hint of irony.

The joiner shows up at Democratic rallies because Democrats need warm bodies, and the joiner has nowhere else to go. The joiner will listen in on conversations of which he is not a part and later misquote the speaker thusly: “They say..” as in: “They say the Koch brothers are funding attacks on the Occupiers!” The joiner seems incongruously cheered by fairly mundane news, as in: “One of Nancy Pelosi’s staffers just told me to step aside.  She was that close to me!”

The joiner watches MSNBC’s nightly tirades and nods the whole time. The joiner reads the eggheads’ blogs, but never writes his own. Male joiners gravitate toward the most outraged female they see. Female joiners gravitate toward the first rock star or movie star they see.

The joiners’ idols are Madonna and Leonardo DiCaprio. They have two defining issues. Older joiners want increased Federal funding for Planned Parenthood. Younger joiners want Federally subsidized weed. Their next destination is determined by their age. Older joiners will go home alone. Younger ones will go back to the vegan dorm.

The Outraged Minority

Distinguishing characteristics of the outraged minority include eight-button suits (male), awesome hats (female) and wardrobe colors not found in nature (both).

The outraged minority Democrat stands apart from the rest of the rabble, partially because he doesn’t like noisy white people and partially because he doesn’t like quiet white people. Outraged minorities will vote for any black Democrat and will subsequently consider any opposition to black Democrats racist. Outraged minorities stood with Marion Barry, O.J. Simpson, Kwame Kilpatrick and William Jefferson, but they consider conservative blacks “Uncle Toms.”

The outraged minorities’ idols are R. Kelly and Johnnie Cochran. Their defining issue is re-election for Obama (and Marion Barry). Their next destination is church; Jeremiah Wright is delivering a special homily.

The Thinker

Distinguishing characteristics of the thinker include: being groomed (but not overly so) and being mortified by his surroundings (but keeping quiet about it).

The thinker is a rare liberal. The thinker is likely socially liberal, but harbors fading hopes that his party can be rescued from the clutches of the aforementioned people. The thinker has studied the issues from multiple angles, and his objections to some positions tend to be fairly well-informed and based on principle — as opposed to ignorance or hate.

Older thinkers voted for Ronald Reagan in 1984 and backed Hillary Clinton in 2008. When Obama loses next November, a large part of his defeat will be due to thinkers abandoning him for Ron Paul.

The thinkers’ idol is President Harry S. Truman. Their defining issue is saving their party from their fellow characters. Their next destination is returning home to their families, followed by work the next morning.

Of course, these categorizations are far too broad. There are many subcategories within each of the aforementioned categories. Unlike the characters in Albom’s bestseller, heaven-bound souls are few and far between; although it would be enormously entertaining to watch a personal injury lawyer try to argue his way past Saint Peter.

Liberals are fond of overly simplistic generalizations; I am fond of making liberals sputter like preteen girls whose parents confiscated their iPhones. What better way is there to do so than to hold up the mirror and give them (and you) a look at themselves, warts — or fleas — and all?

MSNBC Should Keep Sharpton

As I perused the endless reams of material required for Outside The Asylum, I happened upon a piece on The Blaze in which Mike Opelka asks: “Should MSNBC fire Al Sharpton for making (well documented) racially insulting and insensitive comments in public?” Opelka goes on to offer a broad outline of Sharpton’s disgraceful dash for cash and fame and also highlights the well-established liberal hypocrisy required to allow a valueless parasite like Sharpton to continue to pollute the public discourse. In truth, Sharpton has made such a spectacle of himself in the same cottage industry exploited by fellow bottom-feeder Jesse Jackson that Opelka went over his word count without even touching on what I consider to be Sharpton’s career-defining moment: the Tawana Brawley hoax.

I have an answer for Opelka: No. Of course, I agree that Sharpton is a cartoonishly accurate exemplar of the anti-intellectual vacuum which consumes liberals. But I’m also a conservative with libertarian stripes. It is MSNBC’s prerogative to immolate its own ratings with the sideshow refugees it features, if that’s what it wants to do. It is its choice to employ the hate-spewing buffoons who have turned their channel into a perennial ratings loser. It is our choice as viewers to watch something more compelling. Check out the drama of the Knitting Channel, where there is almost no chance any teenage girls will end up smeared with feces.

MSNBC certainly seems excited about Sharpton’s presence in its laughingstock of a lineup. If you’ve endured one of its simpering “lean forward” promos, then you have noticed Sharpton is the star of the newest edition; signaling MSNBC’s plan to continue his tenure. For those of you who chose the Knitting Channel, MSNBC’s latest marketing effort involves one of their hosts babbling incomprehensibly for 30 seconds or so, followed by on-screen graphics reminding viewers that the channel exists. “Lean Forward” replaces MSNBC’s previous strategy: “We let Keith Olbermann in the building unsupervised.” That plan worked well enough to earn Olbermann a spot at the foot of Al Gore’s bed.

It’s worth noting that MSNBC is offering Sharpton significantly more support than it did former morning-show host Don Imus, in whose dismissal for racially tinged comments Sharpton played a central role. Imus even offered a private apology to Sharpton, although I don’t understand how Sharpton routinely manages to position himself as the recipient in such cases. Most, if not all, of the victims of Sharpton’s bigoted slander are still waiting for his contrition.

Should we not all long for a day when the most noxious of our political refuse is as isolated as possible? Let MSNBC continue Sharpton’s employment. Of course Sharpton is vermin, but would you rather have the rats isolated in one terrarium or loosed among an unsuspecting public? I vote for the former, and I bear proof. Consider MSNBC’s energetic promotion of the Democrats’ so-called “Occupy” loafers. Just as rats carry fleas, MSNBC carries fleabaggers.

I hope MSNBC never decides to fire Sharpton. I’m a conservative; therefore, I do not share the liberal belief that free speech should be restricted to those who earn liberal approval. Plus, as long as Sharpton is in the spotlight, I am guaranteed material for The Great Eight. Is Sharpton racist, dishonest and crude? Of course he is, but so are his cretinous co-workers. MSNBC should keep Sharpton in the lineup for the same reasons it should keep his network cellmates, The New York Times should keep Frank Rich and Newsweek should keep nearly everyone on its payroll: It keeps them away from the rest of us — and none of them deserve better.

–Ben Crystal