Elbert Ventura

Elbert Ventura is a research fellow at Media Matters for America.

Recent Articles

How Hate Groups Went Mainstream

In his new book, David Neiwert charts the rise of paranoid, hate-focused rhetoric on the right.

The Eliminationists: How Hate Talk Radicalized the American Right by David Neiwert, PoliPoint Press, 266 pages, $16.95 David Neiwert's The Eliminationists: How Hate Talk Radicalized the American Right arrives in stores as if conjured up by the zeitgeist. Since the inauguration of President Barack Obama, a culture of paranoia has hijacked the conservative movement. Examples of the hysterical style abound: Glenn Beck portraying Obama pouring gasoline on the American people; Rep. Michelle Bachmann of Minnesota calling for "an orderly revolution" against the Democrats; a right-wing conspiracy nut killing three Pittsburgh policemen because of unfounded fears that the government was going to take away his guns. It seems among all segments of the conservative movement -- from the vanguard on the air, to the leaders in the Capitol, to the rank-and-file on the ground -- the mood is apocalypse now. The thread that connects them is the subject of Neiwert's compelling new book. A journalist based...

What Hollywood Agenda?

Try as they might, conservatives just can't quit Brokeback Mountain . Weeks after its release, Ang Lee's critically acclaimed hit continues to be the object of fixation among conservative pundits. The grumbling has been relentless. The movie advances Hollywood's “radical agenda,” says MSNBC's Joe Scarborough. Syndicated conservative radio host Janet Parshall calls it part of the “homosexualizing of America.” Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly, talking about the film's critical success, says the rapturous response is “about mainstreaming certain conduct.” That the right would reflexively reject a film romance involving gay men is no surprise. But what makes the conservative assault on Brokeback Mountain truly pernicious is not the strained squeamishness of insecure anchors. Rather, the campaign against the movie aims to accomplish a larger goal: turning liberal-leaning art into nothing more than propaganda, and enthusiasm for such art into a cause. Dismissing the praise for Brokeback...