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You are here Editorials Bob Alexander Can't Sleep? Me Too

Can't Sleep? Me Too

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Newt Gingrich crawled onto Fox last Thursday evening and proclaimed to his boy-toy Sean Hannity that he had lost his fucking mind by saying, "Western civilization is in a war, We should frankly test every person here who is of a Muslim background, and if they believe in Sharia, they should be deported. Our forces should be used to systematically destroy every Internet based source, and frankly if we can't destroy them through the Internet, we should destroy them with kinetic power using various weapons starting with predators and frankly just killing them.”

Not to be out-crazied, Bill O'Reilly and Donald Trump agreed that it's not just isolated ISIS attacks anymore because “we” are now in a World War.

I know … I know … Fox's overriding agenda is to scare the shit out of the old folks hooked on their cheap crank but c'mon … World War Three? Seriously?

What in the hell happened to make grown men bark like mad dogs trying to scare the moon away?

A truck driver, who 'became depressed' when wife left him, snapped and drove through a crowd of over 3,000 people in Nice, France killing 84 people before the police shot and killed him.

The killer's name was Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel. That's all the Fox-crazies needed to know. In fact they're poised to lose their shit the moment they hear the magic name “Mohamed.”

Now the gomers huddled around their TV machines warming their hands on the hate glowing from the screen won't hear Trump, Gingrich, Hannity, or O'Reilly walk back their howling war cries … because they won't. That's not what they do. Their job is to stoke the fire.

On March 18, 2003 Bill O'Reilly declared on Good Morning America, "And I said on my program, if -- if -- the Americans go in and overthrow Saddam Hussein and it's clean, he has nothing, I will apologize to the nation, and I will not trust the Bush administration again."

Well … here's how Bill apologized.

In February 2004 O'Reilly was back on ABC's Good Morning America and said, "Well, my analysis was wrong and I'm sorry.. I was wrong. I'm not pleased about it at all."

But what about the promise to "never trust the Bush administration again." O'Reilly weaseled out by saying, "I am much more skeptical of the Bush administration now than I was at that time."

But the day after his “apology”, O'Reilly told his Fox audience that the controversy was cooked up by the "left-wing press" who "used my words to hammer the president."

For anyone keeping score Donald Trump lies 91% of the time, Hannity lies 78% of the time, and O'Reilly is off the charts.

Peter Hart from Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting filled an entire book with O'Reilly's lies. The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly

In the introduction, media scholar Robert McChesney wrote, “What struck me most, and should bring pause to everyone who reads this book, is the cavalier manner in which O’Reilly routinely lies, exaggerates, and misstates the truth. It is one thing to make misstatements on a daily TV program; that is going to happen under the best of circumstances. But O’Reilly does so repeatedly and shamelessly. O’Reilly’s disinterest in truth, in principle, in interrogating his own assumptions and in intellectual consistency is little short of breathtaking.

But there's a special place held by Newt Gingrich in the pantheon of lying liars. Because He … Is … Awesome.

On one Sunday in 2011 Newt Gingrich said that Paul Ryan’s plan to completely replace Medicare with vouchers was a bad idea. But a couple of days after he said this Conservatives went crazy because they wanted to kill Medicare. So Newt flipped a gargantuan flop and said he totally supported Paul Ryan. And then he said something I think is one of the most astonishing proclamations in American Political history. He said it was dishonest and unfair to point out that three days previously he did not support Paul Ryan and, “Any ad which quotes what I said on Sunday is a falsehood.”

Let me see if I can wrap my fevered brain around what the Newter said. If anyone quotes … what Newt Gingrich said … it's a lie.

How many ways can we parse this before our heads explode? I think the record is seven. After that it's time to hose off the walls.

In October Fox News will celebrate its 20 year anniversary. They've been pounding out fear, hatred, and rage for a generation. They have steadfastly been against everything you and I (and every sane person) would consider … good. They're throwing lit matches around just to see what catches on fire and do not give a good goddamn about how big the fire might get. Or if it spreads. Simply put … they're evil.

Hannah Arendt coined the phrase The Banality of Evil. The monsters of the Third Reich weren't the Übermensch as described by Friedrich Nietzsche. They were monstrous in their thoughtlessness. They did not have the capacity to think. Adolf Eichmann could efficiently route boxcars full of Jews to the death camps but described himself as just a cog in the Nazi machine. He literally didn't think about what he was doing beyond connecting the dots.

Stanley Milgram showed in his experiments on obedience to authority figures that it was not only possible, but horribly easy to get 65 percent of normal everyday Americans to participate in torturing another human being to death.

The banality of evil at Fox News is blatantly obvious … to everyone except the people who watch Fox News … um … religiously. There's something palpably “wrong” with the FOX people. Every once in awhile some aspects of their private lives leak into the public spotlight.

Roger Ailes, the CEO of Fox News, is alleged to have sexually harassed at least 14 of his employees. Here's a guy at the top of the Fox News Bullshit Mountain, wielding the power of a multibillion dollar empire, but he's so repulsive he can't even get laid without breaking the law. Bill O'Reilly had to settle out of court when he was sued for sexually harassing his former producer. I don't have the time, or the will, to delineate Newt's creepy sexual escapades but the high point (or is it the low point) was when he told his first wife he was divorcing her … in her hospital room … while she was recovering from surgery for cancer. These are really creepy guys.

The world is in shit shape and it's made all the worse having these piss-poor clowns pumping out their bullshit 24 hours a day to their brain-dead audience. Stanley Milgram carried out his social psychology experiment 55 years ago. It would be interesting to see the Milgram experiments carried out using Fox News viewers. Would the Fox-aholics score higher than 65%? I'd bet my last dollar they could.

Is it possible to “make” someone a full-blown sociopath? That's debatable. But it is possible to train people to act like sociopaths. After awhile you can't tell the difference between the home grown versus the cultured variety. And that's exactly what Fox News does every goddamned day. They train their audience to act like sociopaths. The underlying message in everything Fox News does is to drain away empathy for anyone who isn't a Christian white male. After 20 years of teaching that shit to millions of people I think we end up exactly where we are. Here's a book scarier than anything Stephen King ever wrote: Confessions of a Sociopath: A Life Spent Hiding in Plain Sight by M.E. Thomas.

I suggest you read it during Fox News' coverage of the Republican (and Democratic) conventions. You'll never sleep easily again.

 
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