Vanity Fair profiles The eXile: "Gutsy...visceral...serious journalism...abusive, defamatory...poignant...paranoid...and right!"
MSNBC: Mark Ames and Yasha Levine
Broke the Koch Brothers' Takeover of America
Fatwah / August 13, 2009

The photos definitely reveal something else: that the world of rightwing thinktanks means even a Mad Midget has a circle of friends. Here’s Matthew Vadum with the Atlantic’s resident libertarian-welfare-queen, Megan McArdle:


…and photographic evidence that Vadum is friends with that Moonie freak Amanda Carpenter, the one who e-mailed me a scary “I’m a-gonna write a column ‘bout y’all!” threat last week (shown here on the right):


What a close, tight-knit community these rightwingers have–a hagfish-feasting-on-ocean-floor-carrion sort of close, if’n you know what I mean. See, Megan McArdle’s fiance, Peter Suderman, worked as a fake-grassroots propagandist for the notorious rightwing monster FreedomWorks, which set up the Tea Party movement, and today is behind the town hall mob violence to stop health care reform. And wouldntchaknowit, FreedomWorks is also the gravy train that Amanda Carpenter’s husband rides! That’s right, the Moonie attack dog Amanda Carpenter’s husband, Chris Kinnan, is or was in charge of “Online grassroots organizing and messaging” for FreedomWorks. In other words: AstroTurfing. (I say “is/was” because Kinnan’s Linkedin page was strangely changed after August 6, 2009, to say that he runs Rally Congress; but we have a google cache of his Linkedin page from August 6 which showed Kinnan listed as working for FreedomWorks since 2001. Interesting too that Rally Congress’s “Meet the founder” omits the 7-plus years Kinnan has spent at FreedomWorks and affiliates.)

Omigod, it’s like, seriously, no way, it’s such a small world! Megan’s FreedomWorks fiance and Amanda’s FreedomWorks husband must be such good friends! And look, here are some photos of Amanda’s and Chris’s wedding:


Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Jesus Christ, Amanda Carpenter married her grandpa! That old dude has more gray hair than Barbara Bush!” Well, folks, you gotta stop being cultural imperialists here and understand that Amanda comes from one of those banjo-plucking Red States, where marrying your grandpa is considered a delicacy. Heck, she went to a school called “Ball State.” Seriously, it’s in her bio. I had no idea there was such a thing as “Ball State” except in Butt-head’s dreams. “Ball. Uh-huh-huh.”

So where does the Mad Midget fit into all of this? Welp, his think-tank, Capital Research Center, fits in real nice-like. See, Capital Research Center is funded by the same cast of billionaire freaks like Scaife, Coors, Olin and the rest, along with corporations like Exxon and Philip Morris, that all the other rightwing lairs are funded by–like the Heritage Foundation . Capital Research Center has had an incestuous relationship with the Heritage Foundation going back to its inception in the early-mid 1980s. Capital Research Center’s president, Terrence Scanlon, was the vice president of Heritage Foundation before landing his current gig in 1994, while the founder of CRC also served as a VP at Heritage.

But Vadum’s boss, Terrence Scanlon, has an even more illustrious background. Before he settled in for the easy retirement of life in the rightwing think-tank nomenklatura, Scanlon was a government employee. In the mid-1980s, Ronald Reagan named Scanlon to head the Consumer Protection Safety Commission. Scanlon’s brief reign was described by a Harvard lecturer/researcher this way:

As CPSC chairman, Scanlon did more to undermine consumer product safety than any chairman in the agency’s history, a dubious achievement that holds true to this day.”

Scanlon ran into hot water not only because he promoted a policy of “voluntary safety standards” for businesses, but also because he allowed so many hapless ATV enthusiasts to die or suffer injury on his watch, and did all he could to keep the slaughter-for-profit going as long as possible:

Scanlon’s loyalty to industry and his disdain for government intervention in commerce, regardless of the body count, played out in his battle with Commissioner Stuart Statler over the regulation of All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs).

ATV-related accidents skyrocketed from 29 deaths and 10,000 injuries in 1982 to 156 deaths and 78,000 injuries in 1984. Of greatest concern was that children under 16 years old made up half of those injuries and deaths.

Not a problem for Scanlon–the only lives he wanted to save were little fetus-lives, not the lives of the hicks who rode ATVs, because they were more useful as profit-cows for his sleazy corporate sponsors.

And guess who was aligned with Scanlon and the ATV industry against the last pre-Reagan holdout in the Consumer Protection commission? Larry Craig. The Republican from Idaho. Yup, the guy who liked tapping Morse Code love sonnets in men’s restroom stalls. Here’s the connection between Larry Craig and the Mad Midget’s boss, Terrence Scanlon:

While the GAO was investigating Scanlon, Representative Larry Craig (R-ID), ranking minority member of the House commerce subcommittee and an ATV industry-supporter, sought ways to protect the industry. In November 1985, Craig called for the Justice Department to investigate [Stuart Statler, the lone holdout on the commission] had breached federal law by issuing a CPSC Fact Sheet on ATV-related injuries and deaths culled from the CPSC’s database….[Statler said,] “What really needs to be investigated is why this congressman is so hell-bent to deprive the American public of critical information about one of the most dramatic surges of injuries ever to be associated with a product under CPSC’s authority.” Congressman Craig (R-ID) failed to muster support for his investigation and the Justice Department turned him down.

So there you have it, the Klendathu world where Matthew Vadum thrives: sleazy bosses who helped his friends profit from ATV deaths, mixing with fake-grassroots propagandists and taxpayer-funded libertarians, a world where grandpas marry their granddaughters, and angry midgets are allowed to take photographs with all of them, as though they’re all great friends. It is the cast of Star Wars Bar freaks who ran America under Bush. And they’re planning to take over again before you know it–and they will, too. It’s only a matter of time.

Mark Ames is the author of Going Postal: Rage, Murder and Rebellion from Reagan’s Workplaces to Clinton’s Columbine.

Click the cover & buy the book!

Read more: , , , , , , , Mark Ames, Fatwah

Got something to say to us? Then send us a letter.

Want us to stick around? Donate to The eXiled.

Twitter twerps can follow us at


Add your own

  • 1. Bernard  |  August 14th, 2009 at 1:13 am

    I really hope people keep sending you letters because I love these articles.

  • 2. captain america  |  August 14th, 2009 at 3:55 am

    i like sucking cock

  • 3. Mark  |  August 14th, 2009 at 5:05 am

    This brings back memories of the good old days of reading the Exile. It’s great that you’re now in a target-rich environment!

  • 4. Ashley Schaeffer  |  August 14th, 2009 at 5:13 am

    I would pay substantial amounts of monies to see Ames and the mad midget in the same room.

  • 5. Mish  |  August 14th, 2009 at 6:08 am

    The pics of mad midget from the 80s are too good to be true.

    You should do these as audio pieces. The one where you come after Kudlow shows how much more goddamned hilarious they are with intonation.

  • 6. chance mcgee  |  August 14th, 2009 at 6:29 am

    Any idea as to whether Terrence Scanlon is related to Michael Scanlon, the Delay/Abramoff crony?

  • 7. X  |  August 14th, 2009 at 8:38 am

    Beautiful, Mark, just beautiful. Please keep up the excellent work.

  • 8. s.  |  August 14th, 2009 at 11:00 am

    This is absolutely wonderful.

  • 9. Aaarrggh  |  August 14th, 2009 at 12:13 pm

    A progressive with balls. You’re my new role model, sir.

  • 10. Rob  |  August 14th, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    Why is everyone in Anglo-Saxon politics either hideous, freakish or both?

    The sooner we get some soveriegn democracy the better: porn stars in the Parliaments and a shirtless Putin clone living it up like the virile fuhrer. ‘Til that happy day, keep on breaking the debating society rules these freaks enforce with the exquisite old eXile style on display here!

  • 11. Flozzi  |  August 14th, 2009 at 9:48 pm


    I am amazed you invest so much time in writing personal attack articles. The result is beautiful (and superbly researched, it seems), I am just worried that you might be wasting your talents.

    That said, can we suggest targets for such write-ups?

  • 12. captain america  |  August 14th, 2009 at 10:41 pm


  • 13. withnail  |  August 14th, 2009 at 11:39 pm

    Loved the Starship Troopers reference. Of course the important point of ST is this: the bugs were the good guys. (Did I read that here?)

    The Mad Midget would probably have felt right at home wearing SS uniforms with Doogie Howser and raping brain bugs for fun.

  • 14. no he's not  |  August 15th, 2009 at 4:32 am

    If Mark Ames is a “progressive” then I’m a chile relleno. A lot of progressives make a living oozing contempt for the natives? He’s more of Republican Kurtz gone off the reservation.

  • 15. Juhi  |  August 15th, 2009 at 8:45 am

    Anyone else notice that Amanda Carpenter wasn’t wearing white to her own wedding? Looks like someone wasn’t as big a proponent of abstinence as the rest of her fellow right wingers.

  • 16. hyperbolus  |  August 15th, 2009 at 11:47 am

    In short, a fascist world. He accuses you of being Bruno, because he wants Bruno, wants to be Bruno. If only you would agree to meet him in Central Park after dark, he’d be your very best friend.

  • 17. WE  |  August 15th, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    Fucks like Vadum are simply mercenaries, they are far less defined by actual beliefs than greed and pathological antipathy for the other. What people like him, Glen Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter and the rest of the talk radio/think tank cabal have in common is that they are laying the foundations for civil war, though if war/civil uprising actually comes to pass they will be playing the entertainment we never intended to promote violence card right up until the end (unless their side wins of course, then they’ll be having Keith Olbermann skull fuck parties in a bathtub full of Coulter’s piss). Vadum doesn’t look like a stranger to speed addled prostitute strap-on fucks, just wait for the video, if it could happen to Larry Craig, it could happen to you.

  • 18. jajagenau  |  August 16th, 2009 at 3:58 am

    Hitchens at 1:30. Who’s that at 1:54? He doesn’t seem to be too thrilled sitting next to Vadum.

    What I find strange about Carpenter’s wedding is how empty the church seems to be.

  • 19. Larry Craig  |  August 16th, 2009 at 8:30 am

    Somebody just tap me an invite? Which stall?
    Vadum, you little hunka achondroplasiac buttbait, that was you, wunnit? Jeez, man….

  • 20. par4  |  August 16th, 2009 at 10:45 am

    Waffendwarf,you should copyright that one.

  • 21. blowback  |  August 16th, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    Haven’t you got any photos of Matthew Vadum with Brigette Bardot and Jane Fonda ‘cos he was married to both of them (not concurrently of course) back in the day?

    What about a picture with Pamela Artless Juggs, the Ayn Rand wannabe?

  • 22. Palmer Eldritch  |  August 22nd, 2009 at 11:12 pm

    I cannot understand what it is that causes so many perpetually adolescent slow learners from the conservative movement to squat on and around the classics as they do.

    Somehow, it seems that they get the idea that a guy with a weak personality and no intellectual talent can bull his way to a reputation for subtlety and erudition by dedicating himself to the study of Latin and Greek, and peppering his speech and writing, (and arms?) with italicized quotes.

    However it happens, every Classics department seems to have at least one Vadum type haunting it at all times, and in prose comp he never fails to write a poem about how thankful he is to his father.

  • 23. Jyp  |  August 23rd, 2009 at 4:39 pm

    Oh. He’s a fucking midget. I thought he was standing there with a couple of really tall skinny broads. Like models or something. Well, a non-homosexual Republican! Holy shit! And Ames.. “Eurotrash”.. huh? I thought Mark was some kind of frat boy CIA line rider, ie., way out there on the edges of their turf, possibly going half-rogue or something. Someday the Company will have to send a Captain Willard out to the Big Giant Head in the jungle to correct a defection. No? Aw, you guys rock.

  • 24. Anonymous  |  August 27th, 2009 at 6:36 am

    Oh, beautiful. The man who, a short while ago, was castigating you for your malicious personal attacks on McArdle is now calling you a “fascist-loving Eurotrash wannabe.”

    What an asshole.

  • 25. skinny welsh git  |  August 31st, 2009 at 3:04 am

    He is bloody marvelous, is Mark. But he’s no Jonny Chen.

Leave a Comment

(Open to all. Comments can and will be censored at whim and without warning.)


Required, hidden

Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed