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Michael Medved

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A moustache that happens to be attached to Michael Medved.
One of the
Pundits
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And a dirty dozen more
The idea of a distinctive, unifying, risk-taking American DNA might also help to explain our most persistent and painful racial divide – between the progeny of every immigrant nationality that chose to come here, and the one significant group that exercised no choice in making their journey to the U.S. Nothing in the horrific ordeal of African slaves, seized from their homes against their will, reflected a genetic predisposition to risk-taking, or any sort of self-selection based on personality traits.
—Michael Medved[1]

Michael Medved is a C-list movie critic and right-wing radio host who gets air time on the reactionary Christian Salem Radio Network. Medved is notable for trying to present himself as the "moderate" of the extremely conservative network, but some of his writings put him further to the right than any of his fellow hosts. He is also odd in that he says conservatives have become too extreme in recent years though he himself supports Tea Party leader Paul Ryan.

Medved got his journalistic start as a movie critic. His earlier books, co-written by his brother Harry, include The Fifty Worst Films of All Time (1978) and The Golden Turkey Awards (1980), which were both seminal in pointing out the humorous appeal of "bad" movies. These books launched the cult following of Ed Wood's Plan 9 from Outer Space, which the Medveds dubbed the worst film ever made. At some point he lost his sense of humor; his later books that touch on popular culture, such as 1992's Hollywood vs. America: Popular Culture and the War on Traditional Values, revert to standard "liberal media" tropes.

He is both a global warming denialist and a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute.

Jingoism[edit]

What makes Michael Medved even more extreme than his cohosts is his extremely regressive stances on civil rights issues. He has promoted racialism in the past, specifically in a 2008 Townhall.com article that claimed that American DNA is significantly different from European or African DNA. [2] He says this is because Europeans who went to America had the genes of risk-takers, whereas African slaves who were forced to go to America didn't go by choice and, thus, lack the "risk taking" genes. (Yeah, because genetics works like that...) He also says this is why Obama's policies will fail, since they go against the risk-taker genes. In another bout of jingoism he tried to argue that slavery wasn't as bad as the libruls make it out to have been. It doesn't help that his article uses logical fallacies to defend this view point. However at one point he concedes that millions of Africans died during these voyages, but then he writes the following:

Perhaps the most horrifying aspect of these voyages involves the fact that no slave traders wanted to see this level of deadly suffering: they benefited only from delivering (and selling) live slaves, not from tossing corpses into the ocean.

Yes Michael, the worst part of the horrible voyages was the fact the slavers didn't really want the Africans to die since they would lose a profit. He even says that African Americans are probably better off in America today than if they'd been left alone in Africa.[3]

In another article he tried to say that mentioning an American Indian Holocaust was just political correctness gone mad, since the US government never deliberately killed Native Americans. The Trail of Tears, where deaths were expected, is never mentioned. He also refers to the Native American tribes as "stone age societies", despite the complexity of some Native American societies, particularly in the Northeast.[4]

Homophobia[edit]

Since Medved is on Salem it's really no surprise to anyone he's a homophobe. Medved attempted to argue against the repeal of DADT when it applies to gays but NOT when it applies to lesbians. This is because gay sex is an act of "aggression", whereas lesbian sex is an act of "affection".[5] Take from that what you will, including the fact he thinks about gay sex too often for a straight man. He's also argued against building a small memorial to the approximately 10,000 homosexual victims sent to concentration camps during the Holocaust because it was only 10,000 gays, never mind that their memorial is still much smaller than the Holocaust Museum in Berlin.

He has also stated that most Nazi leaders, including Adolf Hitler, were gay. This completely ignores that Hitler had affairs with at least six women, that Hitler was disgusted by homosexuality, and that the Holocaust happily killed gays alongside the disabled and Jews.[6] He also holds the completely batshit insane belief that SA chief Ernst Rohm (who did happen to be a homosexual) was killed during a "gay orgy" by Hitler, which contradicts every non-crazy historical account that says Rohm was arrested and executed by SS officer Michael Lippert via a pistol shot to the chest during the Night of the Long Knives.[7] He has defended these viewpoints using the thoroughly discredited book The Pink Swastika as evidence.[8]

He is also, obviously, against gay marriage, calling the "one man and one woman"-kind of marriage "essential for the survival of our civilisation".[9]

General stupidity[edit]

Medved criticized the animated family film “Happy Feet” for having what he considered subtle pro-gay messages.[10] In the same review he implied that some gays can make themselves straight when they have "turned their lives around". He has also tried to claim that the liberal media was trying to attack conservatives when the Wisconsin Sikh temple shooter was labeled a “right-wing extremist”. Since the shooter was a white supremacist then according to academics he would fit that label, and it’s somewhat disturbing that a political commentator doesn’t understand the basics of a political spectrum, and nobody mainstream was trying to say the shooter was a Republican. He has also declared global warming to be a "complete scam" and opposes Social Security as well as progressive taxation.[11]

His loudest failure was when he wrote the book The Odds Against Obama: Why History and Logic Make the President a Likely Loser and encouraged conservatives to buy his book even when polls, even Nate Silver's poll, showed that Obama would probably win. The book makes little sense given that the last time the Republicans screwed up the economy the Democrats managed to control the presidency for over two decades. [12]

A 1992 book, Hollywood versus America, was full of the usual lame scaremongering against the whole of modern (circa 1992) culture, even though he is of a political ilk which would regard any restrictions on the spread of that culture as socialism. "Highlights" included suggesting that Madonna had adopted that name to shock, whereas in fact it is her birth name, and referring to "groups such as Black Sabbath and Judas Priest achieving vast popularity", years after that popularity had peaked (virtually twenty years in Sabbath's case).

In April of 2003, Medved published a long screed against the fictional character Captain America, saying that a set of recent stories in comic books and graphic novels (from 2002 onward) were sympathetic to terrorism simply because Captain America was questioning official U.S. policy with regards to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. [13]

Brief moments of sanity[edit]

Medved devotes some of his show to attacking conspiracy theories, particularly those put out by Iran and 9/11 truthers. He is also not a birther, so he’s reasonable in that regard. He has also rejected the idea that Barack Obama is a radical left winger, saying he is a “mainstream Democrat”, though he still considers him as liberal as FDR, which isn’t really true. Medved has been willing to debate reputable opponents such as Thom Hartmann and Christopher Hitchens (though Hitchens easily beat him).[14] However, he still believes in a liberal media, which is conspiracy theory lite, as well as global warming being a lie. Though has called out conservatives who "overreact" to environmental extremists and thus Medved believes forests should be preserved. These brief moments of sanity still don’t come close to redeeming the wingnuttiness that regularly appears in his articles and radio show however, and he does not deserve to be labeled a moderate, especially due to his claims about Nazism and homosexuality.

In another surprising twist he has taken a stand against the Republican backed government shutdown that occurred in 2013, and isn't as vehemently opposed to the Affordable Care Act as his co-hosts are.

References[edit]