Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sharron Angle, Fox News, and the corrosive influence of money in American politics

This doesn't belong in our "Just how crazy is Sharron Angle?" series. If anything, this shows her to be a rather shrewd political player and media manipulator who even knows how to get the most out of conservatives like Limbaugh, Hannity, and O'Reilly (who may be supportive of her candidacy but who may not like to be taken advantage of like this, not when she evidently sees them primarily as cogs in her money-making machine and doesn't even care if they're "friendly").

At the Las Vegas Sun, Jon Ralston quotes "some audio of Angle at a house party this month, bragging about how profitable FOX can be":

Guest: Sharron, how are you doing as far as the fundraising?

Sharron Angle: It's going really well. If you're interested in just the Internet part of that -- and of course I've been criticized for saying that I like to be friends with the [press] -- but here's the deal: when I get a friendly press outlet -- not so much the guy that's interviewing me -- it's their audience that I'm trying to reach. So, if I can get on Rush Limbaugh, and I can say, "Harry Reid needs $25 million. I need a million people to send twenty five dollars to" The day I was able to say that [even], he made $236,000 dollars. That's why it's so important. Somebody... I'm going on Bill O'Reilly the 16th. They say, "Bill O'Reilly, you better watch out for that guy, he's not necessarily a friendly"... Doesn't matter, his audience is friendly, and if I can get an opportunity to say that at least once on his show -- when I said it on Sean Hannity's television show we made $40,000 before we even got out of the studio in New York. It was just [great]. So that's what I'm really reaching out to is that audience that's had it with Harry, and you can watch that happen when I go on those shows. Go on my website, it starts coming in. We have an automatic... when you put your name in there and it doesn't tell how much you gave, but it tells your name and where you're from. And so you can just watch it; it just rolls like this. In fact, with Rush Limbaugh we put it all down. We couldn't take the ticker going fast enough. And we've pulled in over [3,000,000] dollars just from that kind of a message going out.


If anything's crazy here, it's not just Angle herself but the entire political system, one in which money plays such a significant and corrosive role, one in which campaigning and fundraising are essentially one and the same, in which success has a price, in which victory can be bought, if only you have enough money to spend, spend, spend your way to the top.

It doesn't always work, of course, but there's no denying the supremacy of money in American politics. And at that house party, Angle, unwittingly or not, got right to the heart of the matter.

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