You may have noticed I’ve just discovered YouTube. So for the last couple of months I’ve enjoyed listening to some excellent recordings of my new favorite singer (Elina Garanca) and, with much less pleasure, getting to know Fox News.
You may also know that my political position is simple: I’m disappointed in the Democrats and disgusted by the Republicans. That makes me an independent.
As I’ve watched countless clips of Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, and Megan Kelly, I’ve been deeply repulsed by two qualities that show up repeatedly on their shows. The first is simple rudeness. There is no excuse whatsoever for the way they treat their guests or, more specifically, with the guests whose views they dislike. They cut them off, insult them, call them names, shout over them. It is inescapably clear that they do not want their listeners even to hear guests who challenge them.
Second, they frequently abuse the truth, often very badly to the point of being bald-faced liars, but usually simply twisting the truth. They put words into their guests mouths — even when the guests resist — and try very hard and repeatedly to make their guests say things that violate what the guests are actually trying to say. They openly scorn any who disagree with them.
They are, in short, very childish little brats who have no moral right to be on the air. I’m proud to live in a country which protects the free speech even of fools like O’Reilly and friends. But I’m also ashamed that I live in a country in which people take such folk seriously.
Men and women of integrity have nothing in common with such news “analysts.” Having now listened to many dozens of these clips from Fox, I can only say my disgust with the Republicans is now far greater than ever. Any politician who does not call Fox to accountability is failing in his or her responsibility to the American people.