Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Can someone tell me what happened to Dennis Miller? You know, the snarky comedian who used to crack us up on SNL and who later had his own weekly show on HBO that in many ways cleared the way for Bill Maher's show. Like Maher, Miller would lampoon politicians with a definite leftist tilt, always ringing true in his exposure of hypocrisy and basically anything stupid.

But what the hell happened? It's as if he was hit by lightning and turned into what he spent years targeting in his humor. I seem to recall reading somewhere that he claimed 9-11 changed everything, transforming him into at first the host of a barely watched CNBC program and more recently into a somewhat-hip, right-wing radio talker.

Have you checked out his radio gig? I sampled a bit this weekend and wow, to say he has switched sides is putting it lightly. To start, you have to check out his web site, The Dennis Miller Zone. Sound familiar? Yeah, as in The No Spin Zone. Also like Bill O'Reilly's web site, Miller has an online store where you can spend your hard-earned money on DMZ baseball caps and bumper stickers. Then go to iTunes to download his latest radio podcast, and there you'll notice that those who subscribe to Miller's podcast also subscribe to the right-wing shows of Michael Medved, Michael Savage, and yes, Bill O'Reilly. I kid you not.

On his August 17th program, Miller was plugging an appearance that supports our troops, which while of course it's for a good cause, it smacked so much of Sean Hannity's "Freedom" concerts I again just couldn't believe what this guy has morphed into.

Some of the wisdom spouting from his lips? Regarding global warming, Miller has become a huge skeptic, stating that for us to believe we mere humans could do anything to harm this planet's atmosphere is frankly "narcissistic" in his view. Further, he asserts, "we play a small, small part... if you really go and look at the composition of the atmosphere, see how much man-made.... it's under less than 1/2 of 1 percent is man-made CO2 emissions added to the atmosphere...." Say what? Our atmosphere is comprised of less than 0.5% of man-made CO2? OK Dennis, whatever you say. You're not a scientist and you implore your audience to go and look up the figures, admitting you don't have a clue, but we'll take your acumen to the bank. Boy, I feel better.

He pokes fun at Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid when a caller brings up the low approval rating of Congress. Opting not to link the low rating with the fact that Reid/Pelosi have not gone far enough in fighting Bush and taking back our country, Miller instead wishes to focus on their lack of spine to de-fund the war and we have to fight the terrorists over there and now. Straight out of the neocon playbook.

Oh, he also goes on to joke about testing a nuclear bomb in the mountains of Pakistan, that because we can't get the nightly weather report right we should therefore have little faith in any of the science backing global warming, that a prisoner should pay property tax on his cell -- need more? Look, his entire delivery is as if it's the show Jack Nicholson's McMurphy (from Cuckoo's Nest) would have had post-electro-shock, just before Chief Bromden snuffed him out. It's really sad.

One can argue whether Miller truly had an epiphany post-9/11 or did he suddenly realize what a great thing the Limbaughs and O'Reillys of the world had going, making a ton of dough tossing off nutty opinions and frequent distortions and lies to a zombie-like audience. I won't venture a guess, you decide.

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