For all we bitch about Oprah, Jenny McCarthy, Rosie (when she was on The View), and Dr. Phil, you know who often gets a pass? Elizabeth Hasselbeck. I see her mentioned sometimes on Pharyngula, but honestly why aren’t skeptics making more of a big deal about her. Sure she’s not spreading nonsense about vaccines, but she is spreading nonsense about a whole lot of other crap on a major network daytime TV show. She deserves a heaping pile of criticism. So buckle up. I hope you appreciate the pain and torture I’m going to have to endure to get this information.
Her Wiki page is an example of what I’m talking about. There are examples of her getting into conflict with other people (“noteable debates”), but no inclusion of criticism towards her extreme views which include (I’m paraphrasing with my own wit): waterboarding is not torture, gluten nonsense, over-the-counter morning after pill is evil (even in the case of rape or incest), every lie a Democrat tells is worth 100 million Republican lies, gays aren’t people, black ownership of the term “nigger” is offensive (I wonder what she thinks about homosexual ownership of the word “gay”), screaming is better than presenting an argument, etc. Her views, although she has right to have them, are perfect examples of fallacious and vapid thinking. Let’s take these one at a time.
Waterboarding is not torture
O RLY? Jesse Ventura makes some good points with EH — if it’s not torture, how come the US gets so pissed off when other countries do it to them? If it’s only “enhanced interrogation” and it’s not a big deal, then what is the big deal? If it’s not torture, how come we don’t let the police do it to dangerous criminals? Clearly “enhanced interrogation” could help in those instances too, right, if it’s so not torture?
Apparently, the only reason she believes that waterboarding not torture is because the Bush administration told her so. There is no apparent free thought there whatsoever. No rational person could watch this and not think it was torture under their own free will. Either torturing people is acceptable or it’s not. Packaging it into fancy euphemisms like “enhanced interrogation” doesn’t change that. You don’t know what’s going to happen to you, you can’t see anything, you’re with people you don’t trust, you’re alone, you’re slowly being drowned, and you know there’s nothing you can do about it. This is inhumane torture — even the UN agrees. I fucking dare her to do what Hitchens had the balls to do and find out for herself. Maybe she’d actually have to change her mind.
Morning After Pill Rapes Babies, is Evil
I can’t. It’s just too stupid. When rich people who have never had anything significantly bad happen to them have these opinions I just get too pissed off to function.
Democrats are Evil
Usually her “fantastic” argument about Iraq is simply “Well, such and such Democrat (usually Hillary Clinton) voted for it, too!” So “The Dems were just as dumb as we were” is the argument. That’s what you’re going with. Really. Ok then. How about the epic fail that was the entire thing? How about the total absence of WMDs? How about “Mission Accomplished”? If her opinion was simply “I agree that we needed to go here and here’s why” I might respect her opinion, but her opinion is a complete regurgitation of Cheney’s excuses almost word for word. That is not weighing a complicated issue and taking a stand, that’s being fed bullshit.
She also often falls into the “so and so Democrat voted for X once ever and therefore they are untrustworthy for life and this completely overshadows anything bad any Republican has done.” This displays a complete inability to critically reflect on the party she backs. If she wants to be a Republican, great, go right ahead. But to blindly follow so deeply without any critical analysis, spinning every bad thing they’re caught at into some Democratic conspiracy is deeply disturbing. This kind of Orwellian thinking is not something we should strive for. We should be willing to question our government, criticize their bad decisions, and force them to make better decisions through our voting power and freedom of speech. They are elected by the people to act as the people’s voice, not to make retarded decisions and have some talk show personality bleating on about how everything they do is perfect because the Democrats suck too.
Some politicians actually have the audacity to change their minds about something when they realize that was they used to think was wrong. This is clearly not desirable, as anyone who does such a thing is a “waffler” or can’t stick to their guns. You know what sticking to things despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary is? Fundamentalism. Political fundamentalism in this case. This American “virtue” of never changing your mind is ridiculous and dangerous. Also, it makes people less willing to publicly change their mind in order to avoid the embarrassment. So they dig themselves deeper and deeper trying in vain to alleviate the dissonance, until eventually they’ve buried themselves in their own bullshit where they rot and drown forever.
Gays and Blacks
Ah the cultural insensitivity is strong in this one.”I’m neither gay nor black and yet I presume to speak for all of you and decide what’s best for the sake of everyone because I’m a rich white girl who has never had any significant hardship.” Right. EH can get married if she wants to in any state. EH has the luxury of finding black use of the word “nigger” offensive. EH had never had to be either gay or black. She has never had to fight for any personal freedom: against religious or white oppression, against daily cultural insensitivities, against the “color-blindness” that’s so pervasive in society because it’s thought of as the best thing to combat racism (it’s not). She can claim to understand all she wants, but she never really can. For example, I as an atheist can understand what persecution feels like, but I can’t understand what gay persecution or black persecution feels like. I can’t say “Oh I understand that it sucks that you can’t get married but I’m going to deny you that freedom anyway.” 1) because I’m not an asshole, and 2) because I don’t understand that. I never can. And I would never deny someone an important social symbol because I interpreted an old book a certain way. EH will though. On TV. And loudly.
Style of “Argument”
Well I’ve already discussed the glaring suckitude of her logical capabilities, but I want to focus here on literally what she does.
“Elizabeth I think –”
“SCREAM SCREAM SCREAM, BUSH, SCREAM!!”
“Elizabeth, I’d like to say someth–”
“LET ME FINISH!!! LET ME FINISH!@!! SCREAM SCREAM”
“[Crying] THIS JUST MAKES ME SO UPSET!!”
Clearly she graduated with top honours from the Jenny McCarthy Debating School — when you can’t think of something intelligent to say, just scream loud and long enough for your “opponent” to get frustrated with even tolerating your existence, let alone speaking with you for any length of time about anything ever.
“Elizabeth, what’s the weather like today?”
She has been flying under the radar too long and reaching far too many people with her bullshit. Skeptics, start paying attention.