NRA TV video screenshot

The Washington Post yesterday offered a fun profile of rightwing radio host Dana Loesch, advising readers that she has a real knack for upsetting liberals and stirring up controversy, and also that she's now poised to be the new boss of the talk-radio time slot that used to be held by Rush Limbaugh. And don't you go suggesting that the Post is basically normalizing fascism, because after all, the article does include some quotes from critics, who seem awed by her edginess, too. The rest is nothing more than fluffing Loesch as a "scourge of the left" and a "powerhouse conservative influencer" who is so much, much more than just the former face of NRA-TV, where she got a million bucks to make videos watched by a few thousand people each, if that many. In her post-NRA radio and wingnut media career, you see, Loesch is

being introduced to listeners who might know her only as a Second Amendment crusader, rather than the host who has been delving into myriad topics for years.

Apparently Loesch's ability to spout vile opinions on a wide variety of topics besides guns makes her some sort of wingnut polymath, and worth the sort of fawning profile you'd expect for some entertainer who didn't casually dismiss mass shootings as a mere media fixation or suggest patriotic Americans may need to shoot a whole bunch of enemies of America, many of whom probably read Wonkette.

We shouldn't be so harsh, though, since we learned one useful fact about Dana Loesch from the story: Her last name is pronounced "Lash," which is good to know, since we'd been trying to pronounce it as if it had an umlaut in it.


Just look at this bullshit about what a multi-talented troll Loesch is:

She is 42, slender, with penetrating dark eyes and a sharply defined jawline. By now she's gotten used to being called a "gun hottie." She dismisses the label as an attempt to diminish her and undermine the fact that even though she relishes talking about gun policy, the overwhelming majority of content she produces is about other topics, including election law, foreign policy, gender identity and criticism of pronouns used by transgender people, to name just a few.

We're told that she "connects with listeners by deploying a polished delivery, citing a blizzard of data, then pivoting for effect to the cadence of her backwoods youth" — but the piece doesn't go into too much detail about whether she's framing that data accurately, because what is this, the Fact Checker?

There's only the merest hint of a Pinocchio in this paragraph, which manages to mention misinformation about the coronavirus vaccine without directly saying Loesch is peddling it.

On-air, she tells her listeners that she doesn't oppose vaccines. But she has contributed to an aura of mistrust by frequently referring to what she describes as unanswered questions about possible side effects (menstrual cycle problems, heart inflammation), most of which have been dismissed by leading health experts as exceedingly rare or unproven. Vaccine advocates have blamed misinformation, especially in right-wing media, for the lower vaccination rates in red states.

There's enough hedging there to start your own suburb. That barest hint that Loesch is part of the problem is followed immediately by her supposedly redeeming features as an on-air personality:

All the while, she's leavening the mood by sprinkling anecdotes about family life, pop culture references, silly news briefs and updates about the latest medical woes of her pets. She is a voracious researcher, but her on-air delivery feels spontaneous, at times meandering, more a conversation than a stilted monologue.

Oh, she does research, voraciously! The link goes to some 2020 posts on Loesch's website, which maybe isn't the best way to evaluate whether her "research" is reliable. It's probably stellar, what with headlines like "When the Media Became the Overlords," in which she conclusively proves that Big Media are censoring the news because many outlets fell for the dumb Rudy Giuliani Borat hoax but buried the explosive world-changing story about Hunter Biden's laptop.

Voracious researcher, people.

Loesch's real talent, the article reveals, is that she's "excellent at making people mad, whether organically (her fans' take) or purposefully (her detractors' take)."

We aren't sure where the Post's Manuel Roig-Franzia has been for the past 30 years of rightwing media, but "making people mad" is hardly a unique skill so much as it's the freaking business model. It's also nearly the only thing that matters to the Republican Party, at least when it doesn't have any taxes to cut or environmental regulations to undo.

Even people who are critical of Loesch are framed as being somehow in awe of her amazing troll powers. Catherine Allen, who survived the 2018 school massacre in Parkland, Florida, is presented as amazed by Loesch's charisma, almost in spite of herself:

"She is pretty. She is well spoken, she's somebody who you want to listen to. I didn't like what she was saying. But you couldn't help but pay attention to her."

And it's just that sort of appeal, a knack for making it impossible for audiences to look away, that makes Allen think Loesch is a "dangerous" foe.

That's followed by Roig-Franzia saying Loesch is "hard-wired to offend — not to apologize." Again, that's not a personality type that's in short supply on the scumbag Right. He might as well have said Even Loesch's detractors ruefully acknowledge she's a sociopath who can get cheap laughs by being outrageous, just like everyone else on rightwing media and politics.

Oh look, the same disingenuous framing again, in case you missed it the first time:

"There's no line Dana Loesch won't cross," Shannon Watts, founder of a group that advocates for legislation to reduce gun violence known colloquially as Moms Demand Action. Loesch, for her part, has said the name of Watts's group sounds like a "porno" title.

Gosh, she's such a bad girl, snicker.

And that's easily the most grating thing about the piece: the suggestion that, by being reasonably effective at commodifying outrage, Dana Loesch is shaking things up with her brash bold style that's more punk rock than Tea Party. As if that were somehow innovative, to say nothing of whether it's good for America. It's just such tired bullshit.

Catherine Allen is right, of course: Dana Loesch and the many rightwing Limbaugh clones are dangerous, but not because they're such terrific spokespeople for conservative ideas that libs can't win. They're dangerous because they've reduced American politics to a never-ending Twitter fight, a constant parade of outrage, grievance, point-scoring, and smirking racism.

Thanks, WaPo, for showing how hip and fresh that recycled Limbaugh crap is when it comes from a woman in a red dress holding an AR-15.

[WaPo]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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