Fightin' Words

The age of the wimpy liberal is over.

The age of the wimpy liberal is over.

If you should doubt that fact, drive over to your local bookstore and take a look at the titles crowding spine-to-spine in the displays of newly released or best-selling books. Where once Bill O’Reilly and Ann Coulter dominated key real estate on the shelves, you can now find The Lies of George W. Bush; Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right; Stand Up Fight Back; Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush; and Bush Must Go, to name just a few. In movie theaters, Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 is on track to become the highest-grossing documentary ever, breaking the record set by Moore’s previous film, Bowling for Columbine, and matching the success of his books Stupid White Men and Dude, Where’s My Country? Over in the previously conservative-dominated world of talk radio, the liberal Air America network has found a niche and an audience, beating out Rush Limbaugh’s show for listeners in New York City.

What caused this shift in political popular culture? For one thing, Clinton-bashing fatigue has set in. Even rabid conservatives can’t conjure up the same level of outrage for a figure who left office almost four years ago (although the popularity of the unseemly new book Ron Brown’s Body: How One Man’s Death Saved the Clinton Presidency and Hillary’s Future indicates some amount of persistent hatred). The trend can also be explained by the economics of the publishing industry—in a 50/50 country, there are plenty of readers for polemical books from both sides of the aisle.

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Sojourners Magazine September 2004
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