If Fox Noise has turned against "Slimy Dick" Morris, it must mean he's crossed some kind of line, right?
Oh please, let me not blow the punchline on this one.
It always fascinates me when the Far Right turns on one of its own. Why? Because it means, presumably, that this one of its own has Gone Too Far, which fascinates me on the simplest level as a demonstration that even among the most deluded and deluding, there actually is such a thing as "too far."
Howie and I have both been all over "Cockroach Eric" Cantor's bizarre "rebranding" campaign, in which the brutish dunce is apparently trying his best to show us a kinder, gentler Eric. (My contribution yesterday was the post "Now we know who should have played the title role in The Eric Cantor Story." I won't say anything more except to note that the post was accompanied by a blurry clip of Judy Garland singing, "Get Happy.") I say "apparently" because the Cockroach's "best" isn't good for anything except blunt frontal assaults on people whose toes he isn't fit to lick. But you'd have to guess that this is what he thing he's doing, and doing such a dreadful job of it. Let's recall Dana Milbank's WaPo characterization of his performance at his new coming out, delivering his Tuesday speech to the pack at the American Enterprise Institute:
His delivery was forced and, as he read his text, he seemed to be reminding himself to grin. As a result, he scowled for much of the speech and sounded as though he were spitting out his words. Smiles formed at inopportune times, such as when he described a boy’s failure in public school.No, Cockroach, you can smile about the public school kid's failure when you're securely alone among your psychotic soulmates, but in public . . . er, not so much.
But do you see what's happening? The Cockroach has turned on himself! In some cobwebby corner of its brain, it has apparently admitted the idea that somewhere, somehow he and his crackpot cronies have just possibly gone too far, some way or other.
Which brings us to our Right-Wing Crazy of the Day Who Has Gone Too Far. Ladies and germs, I give you the infinitly odious Dick Morris. (Take him, please.) In case you hadn't heard, Slimy Dick has been given by the heave-ho, which instantly creates the presumption that he has -- you guessed it! -- gone too far.
And Washington Post media mauler Erik Wemple is on the case. Yesterday he reported ("Fox News drops Dick Morris: Hooray"):
No more Fox News contributor Dick Morris. His contract to spout republic-damaging nonsense on Fox airwaves has expired, and the network isn’t renewing it.But Erik, are "vast arrogance and loose, poorly substantiated facts" really enough to get you booted from Fox Noise? If so, wouldn't the place be, like, a deserted warehouse? This really isn't much help to me in figuring out where the line is that Slimy Dick crossed.
Taken together with the news that Sarah Palin will no longer be contributing, the Morris development is strong evidence that Fox News has glimpsed the underside of allowing charlatans to brand its coverage. Palin was a roboto-contributor, who responded to everything with a little crack on the lamestream media and a reference President Obama’s socialist heart.
As for Morris’s misdeeds, well, everyone knows what they are. That’s because Fox News presented them so prominently in the run-up to last year’s presidential election. In his prime-time, pre-election appearances, Morris was among the few pundits who wouldn’t hedge his bets; who wouldn’t triangulate his way through the polling numbers; who wouldn’t rummage through scenario after scenario in his analysis.
No, Dick Morris was predicting a Mitt Romney landslide. Fox News fell for it, and surely millions of Americans did as well. After all, in the same breath that he was predicting landslides, he was citing his own expertise:
It’s not a question of being smarter than anybody else. It’s that I’ve done this for a living and there are very few people on television who talk about politics who’ve ever made a living doing it, and most of them are partisan and echoing a point of view, but when you get down to it, a guy like Karl Rove or Pat Caddell or me or even Joe Trippi, we make a living doing this and I’ve made a living doing it for 40 years.Vast arrogance and loose, poorly substantiated facts: a great combination for a cable-news contributor in these modern times. . . .
Evidently Erik himself accepts that he didn't have the last word on the story yesterday, since he's returned today to the subject of "Why Fox News booted Dick Morris."
Erik starts by getting a dig in:
Last night wasn’t a good one for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. That's because in the closing moments of his interview on CNN with Piers Morgan, failed pundit Dick Morris was asked whom he'd like to see lead the Republican Party come 2016.Erik proceeds to tell us again that Slimy Dick "was just abandoned by Fox news because of his faulty 2012 election predictions."
"Scott Walker," came the response from Morris. Surely he'd win in a landslide.
If you hadn’t heard Morris’s well-worn excuses for erring on his Mitt Romney-blowout prediction of last fall—that an unexpected demographic thing happened, that Superstorm Sandy interrupted the campaign, etc.—this Morgan-Morris interview is for you.Did you get that? In Slimy Dick's telling, he was shitcanned by the Noisemakers for being "wrong at the top of my lungs." I'm not absolutely sure that this decisively separates him from people who are still on the Fox Noise payroll. But if someone's got some noise-measuring apparatus to apply to the job, maybe we can get an actual decibel measurement of the exact degree of Slimy Dick's top-of-his-lungs wrongness, and we'll be a step closer to pinpointing the line that he crossed, the step he took that was One Step Too Far even for the Right-Wing Noise Machine.
Credit Morgan, however, for prying this bit of news out of his interlocutor:
MORGAN: What people are asking is why FOX is not interested now on your views or whether Republicans want you to go?Right there: Evidence of honest-to-goodness editorial standards at Fox News, something for which the Erik Wemple Blog is always scanning the horizon.
MORRIS: Hey, I don’t — I don’t know what FOX is interested in or not.
MORGAN: But they must have told you, isn’t it?
MORRIS: Well, I had a wonderful talk with Roger Ailes, who I really respect, a week ago. And he said in this business, you’re up, you’re down, nothing is final or fatal.
MORGAN: But why are you down now as far as –
MORRIS: Because I was wrong, and I was wrong at the top of my lungs. [Emphasis added.]