Bill O'Reilly - Caricature
(image by DonkeyHotey)
There simply is no political middle ground in America anymore. For instance, when I offer verifiable facts to counter someone who trashes this president with lies, distortions and the latest Fox News meme, I am accused of being a thoughtless sycophant. (But usually they don't use big words like sycophant. They call me other awful names, like "Obama supporter")
The reality show advertised as the O'Reilly interview of President Obama on Super Bowl Sunday was revealing. As usual, O'Reilly was the star. This time he had Mr. Obama as a prop, there to be interrupted for the purposes of proving O'Reilly's brilliance and improving his ratings (and income, of course), as he pandered to his loyal followers. Who I'm sure felt vicariously vindicated as O'Reilly did his usual thing, pounding on his guest.
Washington Post's Dana Milbank had one of the best takes, "The Fox News host and purveyor of anti-Obama sentiment was given 10 minutes to question the man he decries to millions nightly. O'Reilly devoted nearly 40 percent of his time to the attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, 30 percent to the Obamacare rollout and 20 percent to IRS targeting.
Along the way, he interrupted the president 42 times, by my count -- although, given the amount O'Reilly spoke, it may be more accurate to say Obama was interrupting him. Sometimes he argued with Obama as though the president were a guest on "The O'Reilly Factor." Of the 2,500 words uttered during the interview, O'Reilly spoke nearly 1,000 of them."
This show was an excellent example of how showboats like O'Reilly and his ilk keep their listeners and viewers hyped up on emotional flotsam and jetsam instead of facts. So much so that when they are confronted with facts, they cannot distinguish them from absolute mindless support of the person they hate.
Read, view or listen to any conservative, right wing, fundamentalist Christian, Republican influenced news paper, magazine, website, radio show, cable show or podcast and you will be introduced to another reality in America. A reality that only exists in the minds of the faithful. A reality where there are only good guys and bad guys and someone has to be to blamed for every incident that happens in the world.
A reality that is reinforced with well designed and executed memes like, "Obamacare is a disaster," or this "increasingly lawless president."
Don't believe me? Anytime a Republican has a mic available, listen for yourself. I have to hand it to them. They are as disciplined as newly-minted, Marine boot camp graduates. And just about as creative.
Defend the president against any accusations -- mindless, thoughtless, emotionally groundless, ridden with hyperbole, off the wall, completely wrong -- and you automatically love Mr. Obama and everything he does with no reservations or concerns.
Now some of you might be saying, "but you do the same thing" but lean toward the left No. I see too many shades of gray to take hard positions on every incident. I don't see a need to blame someone for everything that goes wrong, with the exception of the Bush administration's lying us into two unnecessary wars and the loss of thousands of lives and trillions of dollars. But in that case, no one denies the facts, they just try to obscure them.
Most of my material has to do with the damages being done by people in positions of power when they try to implement ideas that separate, judge, condemn and control others. It just so happens that most of them are members of the Tea Party and/or one of the many fundamentalist Christianity cults. Their overwrought paranoia deserves everyone's indignation.
In summary, when someone dislikes a politician for reasons other than can be supported with facts and then gets confronted with facts that support that politician, it doesn't mean the confronter is in full support of everything the politician does.
I know. That's a complex sentence and difficult to understand. But, it's exactly like life.
Robert De Filippis