Mark Crispin Miller, Jesse Ventura, and the Huffington Post

We don’t get cable TV anymore, which is mostly a good thing. I wish I could watch Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert before I go to bed and I really miss C-SPAN, but at least I don’t have to look into Wolf Blitzer’s smirking face every night–or have my blood pressure spike when I pass Glenn Beck or Bill O’Reilly when I’m changing channels. CNN is actually the reason we disconnected. My wife worked there for years and she couldn’t wait to get it out of our house when she quit. The guys came and took the box away Labor Day week, 2001. It wasn’t much later that we didn’t have any TV at all except what we could find on UHF, because we live in Brooklyn and the TV antenna was on top of the World Trade Center, which we used to look at from our living room window.

Which is a long-winded way of saying that I haven’t been able to watch any of Jesse Ventura’s Conspiracy Theory shows. I read about them, of course, and I watched some interviews on line. There was nothing new there for me, but then again, I’m up to my neck in this stuff. I thought the promos were pretty off-putting–too histrionic, too loaded–but some of the interviews were intriguing. Jesse Ventura may be a grandiloquent showman and an egomaniac, but he’s not dumb; if I listen to him long enough, I agree with quite a few of the things he says.

I just went to Amazon to check out the tie-in book that came out this week (it’s #7), and I practically fell out of my chair when I read this five star review from Mark Crispin Miller. Headlined “A Brave and Necessary Book” (click here), Miller doesn’t so much endorse the book’s conclusions (“I doubt that the book’s authors would want anyone just to swallow everything they say (unlike rabble-rousers like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh, who do promote ‘conspiracy theories’ without any basis in reality”) so much as he attacks the “mainstream voices, both far-right and ‘liberal'” who would rather that we not even consider them for ourselves.

Miller is a writer I genuinely admire; I wondered if something wasn’t up. So I checked out his own website “News From Underground” and found out. Miller, who has written extensively on Republican election fraud, liked what Ventura and his co-writer said about the subject–and about the rumors that Mike Connell, a Republican cyber-consultant who died in a plane crash shortly after a judge compelled him to testify about vote tampering, might have been murdered. And he was appalled that the Huffington Post had taken down Ventura’s blog about 9/11 Truth the other day, citing their policy against the promotion and promulgation of conspiracy theories.

Clearly, even to question the official story of 9/11 is to engage in “conspiracy theories” (as if the official story weren’t itself a “conspiracy theory,” and a preposterous one at that). Such is always the response of the US mainstream media (the foreign media tends to be more open-minded)–and it’s also the response of our left/liberal media, as this amazing act of censorship makes clear.

Miller posted Ventura’s piece so we can make up our minds for ourselves. I read it and, like I said about the show’s promos, there wasn’t much new there for me and certainly nothing that would change my mind about 9/11 Truth. I am beginning to think of Steven Jones and Richard Gage as grandiloquent showmen too.

If I were a magazine editor I wouldn’t have wanted to pay Ventura for such a tired piece. I’ve posted a few times at Huffington and I know they reserve the right to reject what you write; they moderate comments too. It’s their right–editorial guidelines and censorship aren’t the same thing.

Miller has been debunking the myth of the liberal media since his book Boxed In. The mainstream media is all about consensus, he says, about creating a safe zone for consumerism. Blogs are supposed to be different. I disagree with Miller that Ventura’s piece wasn’t “conspiracy theory,” but blogs are supposed to be quirky and opinionated; if they’re going to be of any interest, they shouldn’t be treated like impersonal magazine copy.

I’m not worried that Jesse Ventura won’t be able to find other venues where he can express his opinions and get paid handsomely for doing so, but I have to admit that I do wish that the Huffington Post hadn’t pulled his piece. I’m not sure that I’m outraged, but I can’t deny that I’m disappointed.

3 thoughts on “Mark Crispin Miller, Jesse Ventura, and the Huffington Post

  1. “or have my blood pressure spike when I pass Glenn Beck or Bill O’Reilly when I’m changing channels”

    If you’ve seen one episode of Beck’s program you’ve seen them all. Every show he’s just repeating the same basic message: liberals are really progressives, progressives are really fascists, fascists and communists are really the same thing; progressives want to destroy America and are achieving it throught their sinister 100 year nefarious plans and what not.

    Beck now has his 3rd propaganda “documentary” (its up on youtube) which says the same thing as the first two, i.e., that progressives are totalitarians trying to destroy America. This one focuses on how progressives have rewritten American history to hide their fascist past so that America will be “doomed to repeat” the fascism that was F.D.R.’s New Deal.

    Funny how genius historian Beck kinda overlooks the small, inconveniet detail that actual American fascists (like, say, the German American Bund or the Black Legion) of the period were opposed to the communist “Jew Deal” and even infamously killed a WPA worker.

    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,756152,00.html

    Their message sounded sorta like Beck’s
    http://apps.detnews.com/apps/history/index.php?id=151

    Running through the literature and rhetoric of the Black Legion was the fear of an international Communist takeover of the United States. Legionaires were ordered by their superiors to be prepared to take over federal government buildings with arms at what they called “zero hour,” the date and time that communists would rise up throughout the United States and launch their attack on the country. In truth, however, the legion was led by unsophisticated men, “petty men,” as one researcher has noted, who were most interested in the “pettiness of personal reform.”

    Thus, the legion saw as its enemies not only blacks, Jews, and Catholics, but also welfare workers and recipients and labor union organizers.

  2. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention. In Beck’s “documentary”, he actually runs footage and talks about the G-A Bund … to demonstrate the history of progressive fascism.

    Oh, the utter irony. Beck running footage of Kuhn denouncing the evil of atheistic, Bolshevik Jews, with Beck denouncing Kuhn for his speeches being nothing more than antiSemitic rants wrapped in the flag. Amazing how Beck fails to notice that his show is centered around denouncing the evil of atheistic, Bolshevik progressives, and that his own speeches are nothing more than anti-“progressive” rants wrapped in the flag.

    This really, really bothers me. Beck is saying that those fascists are “progressives” when in reality they hated and – where and when in power – persecuted the very people Beck accuses of being responsible for fascism. It’s sickening.

  3. Gatekeeping, essentially. I’ve read your own posts at Huff, and “conspiracy theories” were discussed, as they are for many posts there. Debunking’s fine – hell, it is even encouraged (and the proper stance to take). Once you challenge the pc message, however …

    They have been trying to be an extension of mainstream officialdom since they started in the first place. There is no voice for dissent in such a contrived setting. I bet there are a whole range of pissed off authors who’ve had their posts expunged as well.

    Ventura should have known better.

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