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Fair and Balanced Terrorism- Bill O'Reilly -- the poster boy for American Fascism

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Message John Pagoda
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On Thursday my local radio station announcer on WROW-AM was crowing about the recent television news ratings which reflected that the fair and balanced network headed by Bill O'Reilly was the most watched network for news. Of course he avoids the math that while two million people watch O'Reilly between four and five million people turn on to CBS the least watched network news and somehow FOX comes out on top in the ratings.

Later on in his show a caller mentions a book he was reading which claims there are over 150 stations that receive talking points provided by the White House and the caller hoped the show's host wasn't one of them. Click - the call is ended and the host doesn't deny the allegation rather he chooses to go ad-hominem on the caller as being filled with venom. If the caller didn't know our local "conservative" talk show host was on the take he certainly knew now. Then the talking head launches into his daily shtick about the liberal mainstream media and it's time to shut him off and ponder the absurdity as well as the enormity of it all.

Two million people listening to Bill O'Reilly's version of reality and I wasn't one of them so on Friday I had made it a point to enter the no-spin zone on the same radio station and was astonished to hear Nielsen's leading newscaster claim that while our war on terrorism was the good fight "the only mistake we made in Iraq was that we had too much faith in the Iraqi peoples desire for democracy."

Forget about the primary cause for war in Iraq of WMD, forget the link to al-Qaeda and by definition 9/11, and forget about the nuclear program and the threat to the United States in the form of a mushroom cloud Forget about Hans Blix. Forget Colin Powell's mendacity before the United Nations. Forget Joe Wilson. Forget George Bush's claim that we actually found WMD. Forget the Downing St memo. Forget Donald Rumsfeld. Forget international law. Forget the Constitution. Forget that the war will pay for itself. Forget Baghdad Bob and Baghdad Dick Cheney. Forget "stay the course".

All I had to do now to join the herd that flocks to the O'Reilly Factor ranch was to forget all that reality based on faulty and/or cherry picked intelligence, repeat the latest variation played by the pied piper ad nauseam until it becomes the truth i.e. we were trying to give Iraq a democratic form of government and it's failing because the Iraqi people don't want it because this is "the way forward" in the war on terrorism and I could feast on the cotton candy comfortable lies and avoid the uncomfortable truth.

At the end of the day it occurred to me that we never did have to worry about Iraq's WMD (weapons of mass destruction) which might have been used by non-American terrorists against us to the extent that we did but we certainly should have and still have to be worried about the WMD (weapons of mass deception) which have been constantly used 24/7 by our very own so-called newscasters who tell us what the government wants us to hear.

In the final analysis, terrorism is more obvious when force and violence are deliberately used to target a civilian population for the purpose of creating fear. But when the communications process is used by the media to manipulate an audience through intimidation, coercion, or propaganda, with the purpose being the manufacturing of approval for a political ideology based on fear and ignorance, it still meets the definition of terrorism, even when it is called fair and balanced.

We can never succeed in waging a war on terrorism as long as we cannot see the forest for the trees.

 

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The author is the Contributing Editor of Rabble Rouser
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