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Norman Liebmann's Spew-O-Rama ©

The NewsMax "humorist" goes on a race-baiting binge against Arabs.

By Terry Krepel
Posted 5/13/2002

When a columnist's end-of-column blurb decribes the writer as "a brilliant and insightful columnist/humorist," that's usually a sign that said columnist is probably lacking both brilliance and insight (and probably humor as well).

NewsMax columnist Norman Liebmann, whose every-week-or-so column ends with exactly that statement, delivers on that inverse promise in spades.

Liebmann is also described as "a former television writer [Johnny Carson; Dean Martin; wrote and produced "Chico and the Man" and created the characters for "The Munsters" (who are all named after his relatives)]" and purveyor of a Web site called Firehat, "a treasure trove of Clinton- and media-bashing." Many of the pieces at Firehat have appeared on NewsMax.

In a stable of Clinton-haters at NewsMax, Liebmann has stood out as the most vitriolic. (He does live up to that particular blurb promise.) He has stated, among other things that Bill Clinton "orgasms each time he shakes hands with one of our nation's enemies" and that Clinton's "idea of salvation is to be reincarnated as a tampon"; offers that "In my humble opinion, Bill Clinton betrayed his country, trivialized sex, and moved to Harlem where such things are less noticeable"; asks "Is John Walker Lindh and Chelsea Clinton a match made in heaven - or someplace lower than that?" and suggested that "Gary Condit could perform a valuable service to the nation by taking Hillary out for a roll in the rhododendrons and, hopefully, make her disappear, too." And that's just in the past six months; there's another two years' worth of vitriol before that we haven't even gotten into, when Clinton was actually in office, but you get the idea.

Such "humorous" statements come off as so vicious and hateful as to self-marginalize Liebmann to the fringe of the fringe, a mere step or two away from being on the roof of a building with an automatic weapon -- though they also make him an ideal NewsMax columnist. But his May 6 NewsMax column titled "Insults Unanswered ©" (the copyright symbol is part of the title, as it has been for the past few columns), manages to go beyond even that to some good ol' insensitive -- one might even say racist -- smears of Arabs, apparently trying to keep up with the pro-Israel, anti-Palestinian tone of the boys in the rest of NewsMax. He's only four paragraphs in when he issues the following statement:

Note: University education in the Middle East is like putting turds in a blender and serving the extract in a Waterford crystal punchbowl. It is not known what is achieved by putting an Arab through a university except to take a guileless goat wrangler and inflame him into becoming a well-rounded and highly accredited fanatic equipped to lead the rabble in the Arab Street in throwing rocks and ommitting arson.

Liebmann follows this up with the following allegedly witty repostes offered as "some questions President Bush might introduce in future meetings when he and the United States of America are further disparaged by Arabs":

Is it true Arabs sit on the floor and still need seat belts to keep from falling off the cushions, and that Arabs sitting on chairs are considered to be showing off?

Is it true the Sahara was not a desert until after the Arabs got through relieving themselves in it, and that after thousands of years of wandering, evolution has not yet produced a nomad with a sense of direction?

Is it true the Arab cultural contribution to the world is overstated? Its books are scrawled with caterpillar tracks which Arab scholars pretend to be able to read, and their muezzins' chants (music?) sound like a cross between a wolverine in heat and a guy who got his scrotum snagged in his zipper.

Is it true Arabs like to go out into the street, shoot up into the air and frequently miss the sky completely?

Is it true no Arab has ever appeared in Gentlemen's Quarterly, as no fashion editor can tell where an Arab's wardrobe ends and his tent begins?

Is it true despite the caricature of Jews popular among bigots, no one has bigger or less attractive noses than the Arabs, and that when the royal family of Saudi Arabia gathers, they appear to mill around like a herd of restless umbrellas?

Is it true, in Araby, the reason they are called 17-year locusts is because, like the people, that is how often they bathe?

You may need to be reminded that this is supposed to be humor -- brilliant and insightful humor, mind you -- intended as a response to someone billed as an Egyptian psychiatrist who allegedly called Bush stupid and "an evil person with an ugly soul."

You may also wonder where exactly the humor is in offering a catalog of racial stereotypes and caricatures for the sole purpose of ridicule. We wonder that, too. Maybe he's got some issues he should perhaps be taking up with a psychiatrist before he goes public with them.

But as the nature and caliber of his NewsMax work makes clear, we don't need to wonder why Norman Liebmann is no longer in the television industry, even given the state of much of today's writing for TV. Not to mention why he ended up at NewsMax.

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