I occasionally listen to one or more of the hate media mouthpieces just to see what they are up to. Yesterday (Sunday—yes they rerun this drivel on Sunday) I spent a little time listening to Rush Limbaugh who was crying the blues about the loss of the election to the Democrats in spite of the carefully crafted fantasies the conservatives had spun. None of it worked, he moaned.
For the uninitiated a few definitions are in order and then I will let you in on what El Trashmouth had to say.
The hate media are those institutions and their hired mouthpieces which are dedicated to spewing hatred–no this is not a discussion, not a debate, not even a shouting match– it is pure hatred, spewed at mach 3, twenty fours hours per day, three hundred and sixty five days per year. Here are the major hate mongers: On radio they are: Rush, Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage, Neil Bortz, Laura Ingram and a host of others, but you get the general idea. If you listen carefully you will find that most of these programs have little or no advertising support except for those shady outfits that sell nostrums that are supposed to cure everything from impotence to hives. They hark back to the early days of radio and a charlatan named Goat Gland Brinkley who peddled Goat Gland extract as the cure for everything from bee stings to boils. In short the reactionary, proto fascistic right has taken a page out of Paddy Chayefsky’s prescient screen play, Network, where a right wing ideologue keeps the Madman, Howard Beale, on as anchor in order to spew his particular brand of right wing ideological claptrap.. It is worth it to the proto fascisti to own and control the media and program them with hatred for anything that stands in the way of their power and theft capitalism. It is seen as a loss leader, an investment in the future mindset of the unwashed masses, a control mechanism. Peter Finch’s portrayal of the insane Howard Beale and Rush Limbaugh’s rantings are interchangeable. Network premiered in 1976. Need I remind anyone that 1984 has long since come and gone.
On television the worst offender is Fox Fiction, a supposed news service that is merely a propaganda arm for the extreme ideology of its owner Ruppurt Murdoch. The rest of the so called mainstream media is owned by large conglomerates and the so called journalists dance the corporate tune. Fox is loaded with Republican operatives including a principal out of the Nixon administration making Fox Fiction a second rate burglary of the American airwaves.
Worried about the use of the term fascism?? Here is a definition of fascism from an online dictionary:
“ a system of government characterized by rigid one-party dictatorship, forcible suppression of opposition, private economic enterprise under centralized governmental control, belligerent nationalism, racism, and militarism, etc.”
As Gore Vidal astutely pointed out, we have one party in this country with two right wings. Well, enough of the technical stuff.
What did Limbaugh say?
Well he ticked through a list of slurs they had used to try to defeat Barack Obama. He was messianic and had a messiah complex. He was going to do away with coal mining and bankrupt the coal companies and put the coal companies out of business, he was an elitist who saw most Americans as “Bitter Clingers” to God and Guns, etc. Well none of it worked and now the new strategy had to be not to attack Barack Obama, the new Teflon candidate, but to attack his policies as collectivist—here anyone one with any sense of history reads “Communist.” They tried “socialist” and that failed to gain traction. Now the buzzword of the reactionary right will be one step removed from Communist, since after the McCarthyism of the fifties, that word elicits a reaction akin to calling someone the “N” word.
Of course it never seemed to occur to Limbaugh that the reactionary right lost the election because they had controlled all of the branches of government for all but two of the last eight years and had driven the country into a deep and muck filled ditch. They didn’t lose because the neo cons had trashed the good name of this wonderful country and made us into a shameful shadow of our former selves. They didn’t lose because Wall Street thieves were allowed to descend on good working people like a plague of locusts and loot pension funds, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and dozens of banks and financial institutions. They didn’t lose because the greed and incompetence of the administration and its continued rush to de regulation allowed these freebooters to steal everything that wasn’t nailed down. They didn’t lose because they sullied the good name of the country with an unprovoked aggressive war against Iraq, and an over reaction to 9 11 against Afghanastan—never mind the oil pipeline—and made names like Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo part of the international lexicon. Never mind the proto fascism of the Patriot Act. Never mind the warrantless spying on their political opponents. Never mind the screw ups in education, energy, environmental issues and emergency relief. Never mind Katrina. Never mind the Louisiana levees that didn’t stand up or the Minnesota bridge that fell down. Never mind any of the incompetence, the arrogance, the criminality, the viciousness. Never mind. They lost because they attacked Obama directly and it didn’t work. Wow! Are there people left out there who still actually believe any of this drivel?? If so, E.T., time to phone home.
One can look at this last election and take the high road. America has grown up. American is willing to evaluate on competence. American has finally shed its racist past. Or, if one is of a more pragmatic mind, one can argue that Shrek, green, fat, ugly, stinking Shrek could have beaten anyone the right wing fielded because they had screwed everything up so bloody badly. Shrek and his donkey would have trounced anybody the right chose to run. And may it be so for another 50 years, since that is about the time span necessary to dig out of this pit into which they have cast the country.
Clearly, the Limbaughs and the Hannitys and the Igrams are going right to work to feed the hate machine. Barack Obama needs to take note. Barack Obama needs to have Congress revisit the deregulation of the media.
He needs to:
1. Revise the size of the FCC upward in order to gain a working majority as Reagan downsized it to do the same.
2. Appoint a strong FCC Chairman –somebody like Robert McChesney or Ralph Nader— who will bring Back the Fairness Doctrine and remind broadcasters that the airwaves are public property and to be used as such.
3. Break up the media monopolies.
And he needs to do this in the first one hundred days of his administration while he has the hate media on the ropes. He needs to remind the public on a daily basis that it was the right wing reactionary proto fascisti that drove the country into the ditch.
Otherwise they will do as Limbaugh suggests: Rope a dope him until they wear him out and perhaps the unwashed masses begin to listen to the hate media again. But if Barack Obama is as smart as FDR and if Barack Obama is as tough as FDR Limbaugh and Hannity and O’Reilly and that crowd of nit wits will be left standing on a stump in cow pasture yelling through a megaphone to a herd of preoccupied Jersey milkers.