UFPPC (www.ufppc.org) Digging Deeper XXIX @ Mandolin Café (Tacoma, WA) 2, 2007, 7:00 p.m.

April

Gerry Spence, Bloodthirsty Bitches and Pious Pimps of Power: The Rise and Risks of the New Conservative Hate Culture (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2006).
Acknowledgments. Agent, editor, brother-inlaw, wife, brother, friends. A Beginning Thought. We have become “a hate-addicted culture” (xii). Ch. 1: Hate Sells: Meet Its Prime Peddler, Nancy Grace. Of Court TV, and CNN’s reporter on the Michael Jackson trial (2-16). Ch. 2: The Queen of Hate: Ann Coulter. A “media creature” who engenders violence; seems to believe what she says (17-24). Ch. 3: Hate, the Road to Power, and the Elitists of Laura Ingraham. Talk radio host who attacks “the élitists” (24-32).. “[T]he public is angry . . . the media business is . . . conscious of this phenomenon” (25). Americans lack trust; “[w]e’ve turned into a paranoid nation” (38; 32-38). Ch. 4: For I Have Sinned: The Saga of Bill O’Reilly. Likable; a conservative; “a guy from the old school” (40). “Here’s a general rule: Conservatives do not have answers” (41). Reminiscent of Don Quixote (42). O’Reilly almost gets it, then veers off (43-46). Account of a one-hour show (46-50). Embellishes, doesn’t lie (50-52). Andrea Mackris’s suit against O’Reilly, settled out of court (52-55). He understands he lives by producing hate, but is oblivious of the consequences of purveying it (55-56). Ch. 5: Hate, Hypocrisy, and the Pimps of Power. The cause: “the pursuit of ratings, nothing more sinister” (57; 57-74). “My mantra: Hate sells” (68; emphasis in the original). Ch. 6: The Noxious Garden: The Cultivation of Hate in America. Description of American anomie (not a word Spence uses) (75-90). People “feel hurt” (79). “The world has become mechanized” (80). “We float in a historical vacuum” (86). Ch. 7: Freedom of Speech: The Unheard Voices of People. Tocqueville on the importance of freedom of the press (91-93). But freedom of the press has been abandoned in the U.S. (93-95). People don’t read books (95-97). Corporations control the press (9799). Most Americans get their news from rightwing-controlled sources (99-101). This translates into political power (101-02). Government surveillance (103-09). Founders’ fear of democracy (109-11; Spence misidentifies the Declaration of Independence as “the Bill of Rights” [111]). The true élitists are the corporations (111-15). ACLU (115-17). Americans “chiefly uninformed” (118). Ch. 8: The Ghost of Goebbels, Propaganda, and the Rock-Hard Right. Energy of hate is key to power of the extreme right (119-23). Deprivation of rights after 9/11 a strange and disturbing aberration (123-27). Joseph Goebbels (who like Bill O’Reilly, considered himself a moderate) (127-33). Government is packaging the news (133-37). Ch. 9: Hate for the Love of Christ: Pat Robertson and the Christian Right. Pat Robertson (138-44). Tim LaHaye (144-46). Analysis of sources of power of “this powerful movement” (147-49). Theodore Dreiser’s 1931 warning (146-47; 149-50). Ch. 10: Kill All the Lawyers: The Rise of the New King. [By far the longest chapter.] Passionate defense of trial lawyers, and debunking of the “medical malpractice crisis” and “tort reform” (151-87). “The warriors for the people are trial lawyers” (151-52). Ch. 11: Hate and the New American Slavery. The “King of America” has “for a long time” been the “corporate conglomeration” (188). American “thingism” (190-92). TV teaches it (192-95). 1984 (195-97). Americans bound to “enslaving debt” (197-99). “I am not a Marxist, but it is clear to me that as long as one class has oppressed another, a condition that has extended across the entire history of civilization, hatred has been the principal dynamic at play and has provided the energy for both enslavement and revolution” (200). Ch. 12: The Rise of the Fourth Reich: Entrance to Hell. Analyzes parallels between recent American history and Hitler’s Third

Reich (201-25). (Spurious Shakespeare quote [217-18]). Ch. 13: The End of Hate: Return to the Garden. Spence’s congressional campaign [late 1950s?] (226-29). “Today we’re divided into two camps of spiraling hate” (230). “We need to return to a tribal view, to convert America into one large, truly democratic community of tolerance and trust” (231). “The task . . . is for each of us to become a person” (232). Call for a spiritual revolution (232-35). “We must drive corporations out of politics and return control of the nation to Americans” (235; 235-37). Proposal for a “Tell the Truth (TTT)” organization (237-41). Spence’s dream of “pancake government”—government by lot (241-46). Call for American democracy to rise

from its sickbed, with the help of the Internet (246-47). Roosevelt’s “four freedoms” (24749). Summons “to take back America” (24950). Afterthought. “We are as much to blame as they” (251). Notes. 22 pp. By chapter; mostly Internet sources. Index. 10 pp. [Gerry Spence was born in 1929; grad. U. of Wyoming Law School in 1952. Lives in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. One of the nation’s most successful trial attorneys, best known for the Karen Silkwood case. His sixteenth book.]

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful