Sunday, January 8

RIP, Tony Blankley

I'm sorry to see anyone die of stomach cancer, and I will always remember Tony Blankley from the October 7, 2011 episode of KCRW's Left Right and Center on the topic of Occupy Wall Street, where he pushed the Occupy Wall Streeters being violent paid anarchists, and the President offering words of encouragement to attacks on police. Transcript from me:
Blankley: I was a little appalled if not surprised that the President seemed to speak words of encouragement to demonstrators that have attacked police, and are calling for, I think, unlawful activity against corporations...I find that wrong.

Host, Matt Miller: What unlawful activity? I hadn't heard that. What are they calling for?

Blankley: Haven't they said rude things about bankers? Suggestions that retribution is in order?

Robert Sheer: [scoffing] I've been saying rude things about bankers for years on this show, Tony!

Blankley: I've seen the news, they sound like they're shouting...

Sheer: That's not a calling for violence! It's an exercise of our democratic rights!

Blankley: [sighing] As long as they're not calling for any violence against people, then they're welcome to lawfully say whatever they want. I'm curious about the origins and the organization. I saw that there was a statement that some of them were paid. I don't think this is a spontaneous demonstration, but I don't know anything about it. We'll have to see how it further develops, but it was odd to hear the President speaking encouragingly about it.
Rest in peace.


  1. He will not be missed.

  2. Blankley thought we should give Hank Paulson 100% immunity, the keys to the treasury, give the banksters billions, so they could still get big fat raises, while the sub prime mortgage meltdown created rampant & illegal foreclosures, tanked the market, gutting working stiffs retirement funds & we should all go happily about our business?

  3. Hey, if you people can't appreciate Mr. Blankley's contributions to the world, I'm sure at least Hell will welcome him with open arms!

  4. Psst – Matt Miller, not Neil Conan, is the host. (KCRW is my current home station, btw.)

    I'll modify what I wrote elsewhere. I was sorry to hear this. Tony Blankley was a regular on Left, Right and Center and I heard him often. He was more moderate there than in his columns, which could be fire-breathing screeds against the encroaching socialism of centrist Democrats. He marketed himself as a "reasonable conservative" for the NPR/PBS set just as Davids Brooks and Frum do, and was similarly a champion of the aristocracy and apologist for the crimes of the Republican Party. He was a despicable hack most of the time, but he put more craft into his propaganda than many of his fellows. Blankley was much more paid shill than true believer, though, and would have been a bearable dinner companion. Most importantly, every now and then he'd be honest or gracious. His interview of his colleague and political opponent Robert Scheer on Scheer's book The Great American Stickup was respectful and very well done. Regardless of Blankley's political work, stomach cancer reportedly can be a painful way to go, and I hope Blankley and his loved ones were spared the worst. Dying, and losing someone, are never easy.

  5. Thanks for the Blankley OWS commentary. I was starting to get all soft.

  6. Thanks for the host correction, Bat. And agreed about stomach cancer. And not sure about bearable dinner partner. I'd rather have dinner wtih you and DG again soon. :D

  7. Oh, I'm with you completely on the dinner thing; I just remember discussing reasonably cultured conservatives who could drop the bullshit and act like human beings for an evening, if one was forced to share their company. Liberals over Blankley, but Blankley over Santorum.

  8. What's odd is to hear this voice from the grave. Still.

    I'd hoped his sniveling about the poor, misused corporations was at an end.

    Reminds me of Lee Atwater's ignominious demise a bit and Tom DeLay's constant whining about being punished for being successful (as a crook!).

    These mouthpieces for the "chosen" ones are always given big send-offs by their grateful funders - more remembrances of Nixon, Reagan and Ken Lay!!!

    Rest in torment, Tony.

  9. I took LR&C off my podcast list a couple of years ago. Between the late Mr. Blankley, and the "center" Miller, it was a maddening tag-team of false equivalencies. I don't even know who replaced Blankely on the show, and don't care.

  10. Anonymous6:56 AM

    Isn't "calling for violence" what the conservatives do when they urge, say, open hunting season on liberals?

    Just wondering.


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