Battle of the Bloviators | NBC New York

Battle of the Bloviators

Political and media types start beefing with one another.



    AP, Getty Images
    Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich went at it; Jim Cramer and Jon Stewart did, too. Last week was an entertaining one for the chattering class who took aim at one another as if there were some sort of celebrity war.


    All is not lost! 

    Yes, there are a couple of wars going on. And, yes, there is a mini-, almost-but-not quite -Great Depression enveloping the world. 

    But there is cause for hope: A lot of famous and semi-famous people are really happy to declare their hatred for one another!  It's Celebrity Smackdown-O-Rama.  And, we're not talking about Trump's “Apprentice” wannabes either.  

    The GOP vs. Rush bit a week ago looked like it was going to fall by the wayside, with Republicans realizing they had been expertly set up by Democrats to get into a Rush-denunciation fest. Then, Sunday, Newt reignited things on Meet the Press, saying that hoping for the president's failure (as Limbaugh has repeated) is  “irrational.”

    Rush then unloaded on the former speaker on Monday:

    “I'm frankly getting tired of talking about Newt. I mean, it's a pointless exercise. I'm surprised by nothing when I'm dealing with people in the media who think they're in politics. ... They are fly-by-night operators, and most of them stand for nothing until they see a poll about what the American people want, and then they go out and try to say one way or another what the American people want while trying to falsely hold onto an ideology at the same time — and you can't count on them. You can't depend on them. They will sell you out; they will throw you overboard to save themselves, faster than anything. And they'll use you on their way up as often as they can at the same time.
    "I mean, next week Newt could come out and profess his total admiration and love for me if it would serve his purposes. They're running TV ads against me. Newt Gingrich wishes they were running TV ads against him."
    Of course, Rush is someone in the media who thinks he's in “politics.” Limbaugh is great at what he does, but it's not like he's ever run a political campaign or won an election. But, so what? The ego has landed on everyone! Newt, for his part, may have staged the whole thing, knowing how Rush would react. After all, Newt is one of the few in the conservative movement who has enough independent cred that he doesn't have to worry about offending dittoheads. The former Speaker won't be “apologizing."
    Just as these two were swiping at each other, another precinct was to be heard from!  Yep, ladies this time! Meghan McCain decided to go after Ann Coulter and settle some scores left over from the presidential campaign in the process:

    Is she for real or not? Are some of her statements just gimmicks to gain publicity for her books or does she actually believe the things she says? Does she really believe all Jewish people should be “perfected” and become Christians? And what was she thinking when she said Hillary Clinton was more conservative than my father during the last election? If you truly have the GOP’s best interests at heart, how can you possibly justify telling an audience of millions that a Democrat would be a better leader than the Republican presidential candidate?
    Coulter, surprisingly didn't immediately return fire. Possibly because she was busy Monday going at it with her best frenemy, Bill Maher. (Scary thought: Coulter is old enough to be Meaghan's mom!)
    Not to be outdone, however, "Mad Money" Jim Cramer decided that Jon Stewart had been too unfair to him on a recent “Daily Show.” Stewart actually went after examples of analysts on the network getting predictions wrong. Admittedly, Stewart did take great pleasure pointing to Cramer's boosting of Bear Stearns several days before it collapsed. So, Cramer responded to Stewart in print, but also hit the airwaves to dismiss Stewart as just an “entertainer.”
    Interestingly enough, that's the same word many of Rush's GOP critics use to downplay his lines. Hmmm....does this mean that Stewart could be a leader of the Democratic Party? Joe Scarborough might want people to believe that as he happily tag-teamed with Cramer to slap at Stewart. Of course, Stewart wouldn't let that alone – so he dumped on Cramer again.
    Cramer vs. Stewart vs. Scarborough!!!
    McCain vs. Coulter vs. Maher!!!
    Newt! vs. Rush! (you know you've made it when you only need one name) vs. everybody!!!

    Now, none of this is up there with the intellectual firepower of William F. Buckley vs. Gore Vidal. But as end-times entertainment, it sure beats a string quartet on the Titanic.


    Robert A. George is a New York writer. He blogs at Ragged Thots.