3/10/2005

How to write like a conservative

This is a funny piece written by a student for the Tufts University school paper:
In honor of Ann Coulter's visit to Tufts last night, here are some helpful hints for all of you aspiring right-wing pundits out there. Follow these carefully, and soon you too could be a syndicated columnist dumbing down political discourse in the pages of America's newspapers.
First, you have to choose what type of article you would like to write. While there are many types of conservative opinion pieces, three common categories are the following:
1. The Michelle Malkin Rantathon. First, choose an aspect of popular culture that you find offensive. This can be anything from Janet Jackson's breast to "Desperate Housewives" to low-cut jeans. Label it un-American, and claim it is a symptom of the downfall of society. Then completely ignore the fact that popular culture is created by market forces and that most large media and entertainment corporations are owned by conservatives and contribute heavily to the Republican Party. Now you are free to blame popular culture, and by extension, the downfall of society, on liberals.
2. The Ann Coulter Two-Step. Step 1. Choose a topic. Step 2. Write whatever crazy thing pops into your head as long as it is demonstrably false.
3. The Generic Conservative Student Opinion Article. Anyone who reads the Daily is familiar with these. The process begins with intense viewing of President Bush speaking. The writer must fully open his mind and allow the President's rhetoric to overcome his sense of reason. When the writer can take no more (allow plenty of time, this may take a while), he must quickly get out a piece of paper and regurgitate as much of what he has taken in as possible. The end product should include many uses of phrases such as "freedom is on the march," "ownership society," "culture of life," "compassionate conservatism" and, perhaps, "don't mess with Texas." Remember to read your work, carefully checking to make sure that no well-constructed and empirically supported argument has hidden itself amidst your beds of flowery rhetorical nothingness.
Now that you are well on your way to becoming a right-wing pundit, here are some additional tips. These can make all the difference in determining whether you turn into the next Bill O'Reilly or become the Alan Keyes of the media world.
Get your history book. Throw it out the window. Now, as an exercise in Academic Freedom, write your own history book. Do not include references to separation of church and state, deism, slavery, the Great Depression, McCarthyism, the Vietnam War, Watergate or the Clinton surplus. Include only one chapter on the 1990s and instead of writing it yourself, simply copy and paste the entire text of the Ken Starr Report.
Now get out your Bible. With your Sharpie, black out all the sections which do not specifically mention homosexuality. Now print the remaining passages on a three-by-five inch note card. This is your new Bible. Have it laminated.
Pose nude and post the pictures on the internet. Start a male escort service. Do not attend journalism school and do not pay your taxes. Change your name. Congratulations, you are now qualified to be a White House press correspondent. If anyone has the audacity to question your qualifications or the process by which you received your White House press credentials, he or she is clearly a raging homophobe. And, quite obviously, a slandering, treasonous liberal. If you can find any patriotism within this person (which is unlikely, considering the fact that all liberals are French-terrorist-communists who hate America) be sure to publicly question its authenticity.
Take quotes out of context to support ridiculous claims. Lie incessantly. When people object to your methods and disagree with your point of view, attack their patriotism.
Insist that all sectors of society, the media and academia for instance, which value objectivity have a liberal bias. Now use this claim to demand balance, in the form of ideological rants from the right. If someone does not agree that the media and academia are the two great cogs in the liberal/terrorist machine, attack his or her patriotism.
Sometimes journalism does not pay as well as you would like. Do not worry. If you run short of cash, the government will be happy to support you financially as long as you support it. Just make sure you vote Republican. And if anyone attacks you or the government for what may seem like unethical behavior, this person is probably either a racist or a terrorist, and of course, a dirty, dirty liberal. In any case, vehemently question his or her patriotism.
If you ever run out of things to write about, return to the basics. Ask yourself, what is the root of all that is un-American? Who embodies terrorism, communism, socialism, and fascism? No, not Osama Bin Laden, Josef Stalin, or Adolf Hitler. The answer, of course, is Bill Clinton. What other man would have a quadruple bypass to boost his favorables?
These guidelines were garnered from observing the very best: America's right-wing punditry dream team. Bill O'Reilly, Michelle Malkin, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh and many others have proven just how much they love America by transforming public political debate into something truly American - show business. You, too, can share in the continued fictionalization of the media. Just keep this list close to you and keep anything resembling an objective fact very far away. Don't believe me? Maybe you just don't love America enough.

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