Perhaps the foremost villain on the "extreme right" known for discrediting people by quoting them is OpinionJournal.com's James Taranto. Just the other day, he indulged in arrant character assassination against one of those brave souls now opposing the nomination of John Bolton as our United Nations ambassador. Lynne Finney, a former employee of the federal government, has written an affecting letter to Sen. Barbara Boxer notifying her of enormities committed by Bolton against her person in "late 1982 or early 1983." Allegedly Bolton "screamed that I was fired," Finney writes. She has since become a "motivational speaker," and Taranto has published contents of her website, merely to reveal her as a fool.
On the site she confides that we live in a time of "rapid evolution and intense transformation." "New discoveries in quantum physics, psychology, and spirituality" reveal "wonderful new realities. It's estimated that more than 14 million people have already become enlightened or Self-realized ? Each time someone reaches Self-realization, it affects the collective Mind. Things are heating up. Like popcorn, we are all popping faster and are reaching enlightenment at a rapid rate." From elsewhere on the Web, Taranto quotes sources claiming that Finney now engages in "recovering memories" after her own painful youth. She lives in "a world of miracles."
Actually the treacherous quoting of innocent liberals has become a staple of the American right. Rush Limbaugh does it every weekday and so does Sean Hannity. Every year the Media Research Center holds a huge dinner in Washington devoted to ridiculing members of the media for things they have said over the past year -- and the Media Research Center uses video tape . MRC spends the year taping network news and then plays select tapes back during its dinner. It gives awards for the stupidest quotations. Naturally, this year Dan Rather won.
Hundreds of conservatives turn out for the MRC awards dinner every year and have a very jolly time. I must admit I went this year and enjoyed myself immensely. Ann Coulter was on the program as well as Hannity. Midge Decter was the heart of suave hilaritas. But Boone Pickens and Zell Miller stole the show, along with Swift Boat hero John O'Neill, who was superb. All in all, it is a very amusing -- if treacherous -- evening. Curiously, never is it ever reported on by major media. Maybe major media is waiting for Al Franken to put together an amusing dinner. It will be a long wait.