Roger Ailes can now be called Roger Dead

Roger Ailes was the founding President of FOX News, which was a creation of Rupert Murdoch and his News Corporation. For all practical intents and purposes, FOX News was the American conservative version of Pravda: a news source which had the effect of propagating right-wing politics at the expense of objective reporting. Last year, as a result of a series of sexual harassment accusations by women associated with the network, Ailes resigned as FOX News President. And now he has died.

Rolling Stone writer Matt Tabbi, already known as a dedicated enemy of corruption and hypocrisy in our governments, wasted no time going after Ailes.
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/features/taibbi-roger-ailes-was-one-of-the-worst-americans-ever-w483013

Roger Ailes Was One of the Worst Americans Ever

Fox News founder made this the hate-filled, moronic country it is today

By

Roger Ailes

On the Internet today you will find thousands, perhaps even millions, of people gloating about the death of elephantine Fox News founder Roger Ailes. The happy face emojis are getting a workout on Twitter, which is also bursting with biting one-liners.

When I mentioned to one of my relatives that I was writing about the death of Ailes, the response was, “Say that you hope he’s reborn as a woman in Saudi Arabia.”

Ailes has no one but his fast-stiffening self to blame for this treatment. He is on the short list of people most responsible for modern America’s vicious and bloodthirsty character.

We are a hate-filled, paranoid, untrusting, book-dumb and bilious people whose chief source of recreation is slinging insults and threats at each other online, and we’re that way in large part because of the hyper-divisive media environment he discovered.

Ailes was the Christopher Columbus of hate. When the former daytime TV executive and political strategist looked across the American continent, he saw money laying around in giant piles. He knew all that was needed to pick it up was a) the total abandonment of any sense of decency or civic duty in the news business, and b) the factory-like production of news stories that spoke to Americans’ worst fantasies about each other.

Like many con artists, he reflexively targeted the elderly – “I created a TV network for people from 55 to dead,” he told Joan Walsh – where he saw billions could be made mining terrifying storylines about the collapse of the simpler America such viewers remembered, correctly or (more often) incorrectly, from their childhoods.

In this sense, his Fox News broadcasts were just extended versions of the old “ring around the collar” ad – scare stories about contagion. Wisk was pitched as the cure for sweat stains creeping onto your crisp white collar; Fox was sold as the cure for atheists, feminists, terrorists and minorities crawling over your white picket fence.

Ailes launched Fox in 1996 with a confused, often amateurish slate of dumb programs cranked out by cut-rate and often very young staffers. The channel was initially most famous for its overt shallowness (“More News in Less Time” was one of its early slogans) and its Monty Python-style bloopers. But the main formula was always the political scare story, and Fox quickly learned to mix traditional sensationalist tropes like tabloid crime reporting with demonization of liberal villains like the Clintons.

Hillary Clinton in particular was a godsend for Fox. The first lady’s mocking comments about refusing to stay home and bake cookies – to say nothing of the “I’m not sitting here, some little woman, saying ‘Stand By Her Man’ like Tammy Wynette” quote – were daggers to the hearts of graying middle Americans everywhere. What’s the matter, Ailes’ audiences wondered, with Tammy Wynette?

So they tuned into Fox, which made ripping Hillary and other such overeducated, cosmopolitan, family-values-hating Satans a core part of its programming.

But invective, like drugs or tobacco or any other addictive property, is a product of diminishing returns. You have to continually up the ante to get people coming back. So Ailes and Fox over the years graduated from simply hammering Democratic politicians to making increasingly outlandish claims about an ever-expanding list of enemies.

Soon the villains weren’t just in Washington, but under every rock, behind every corner. Immigrants were spilling over the borders. Grades were being denuded in schools by liberal teachers. Marriage was being expanded to gays today, perhaps animals tomorrow. ACORN was secretly rigging vote totals.

Hollywood, a lost paradise Middle America remembered as a place where smooth-talking guys and gals smoked cigarettes, gazed into each others’ eyes and glorified small-town life and the military, now became a sandbox for over-opinionated brats like Sean Penn, Matt Damon and Brangelina who used their fame to pal around with socialist dictators and lecture churchy old folks about their ignorance.

The Fox response was to hire an endless succession of blow-dried, shrieking dingbats like Laura Ingraham, author of Shut Up and Sing, who filled the daytime hours with rants about every conceivable cultural change being the product of an ongoing anti-American conspiracy. Ingraham even derided muffin tops as evidence of America’s decaying values.

Ailes picked at all these scabs, and then when he ran out of real storylines to mine he invented some that didn’t even exist. His Fox was instrumental in helping Donald Trump push the birther phenomenon into being, and elevated the practically nonexistent New Black Panthers to ISIS status, warning Republicans that these would-be multitudinous urban troublemakers were planning on bringing guns to the GOP convention.

The presidency of Donald Trump wouldn’t have been possible had not Ailes raised a generation of viewers on these paranoid storylines. But the damage Ailes did wasn’t limited to hardening and radicalizing conservative audiences.

Ailes grew out of the entertainment world – his first experience was in daytime variety TV via The Mike Douglas Show – but he later advised a series of Republican campaigns, from Ronald Reagan to George H.W. Bush to Trump.

So when he created Fox, he merged his expertise from those two worlds, mixing entertainment and political stagecraft.

The effect was to politicize the media, a characteristic of banana republics everywhere. When Ailes decided to cordon off Republican audiences and craft news programming targeted specifically to them, he began the process of atomizing the entire media landscape into political fiefdoms – Fox for the right, MSNBC for the left, etc.

Ailes trained Americans to shop for the news as a commodity. Not just on the right but across the political spectrum now, Americans have learned to view the news as a consumer product.

What most of us are buying when we tune in to this or that channel or read this or that newspaper is a reassuring take on the changes in the world that most frighten us. We buy the version of the world that pleases us and live in little bubbles where we get to nurse resentments all day long and no one ever tells us we’re wrong about anything. Ailes invented those bubbles.

Moreover, Ailes built a financial empire waving images of the Clintons and the Obamas in front of scared conservatives. It’s no surprise that a range of media companies are now raking in fortunes waving images of Donald Trump in front of terrified Democrats.

It’s not that Trump isn’t or shouldn’t be frightening. But it’s conspicuous that our media landscape is now a perfect Ailes-ian dystopia, cleaved into camps of captive audiences geeked up on terror and disgust. The more scared and hate-filled we are, the more advertising dollars come pouring in, on both sides.

Trump in many ways was a perfect Ailes product, merging as he did the properties of entertainment and news in a sociopathic programming package that, as CBS chief Les Moonves pointed out, was terrible for the country, but great for the bottom line.

And when Ailes died this morning, he left behind an America perfectly in his image, frightened out of its mind and pouring its money hand over fist into television companies, who are gleefully selling the unraveling of our political system as an entertainment product.

The extent to which we hate and fear each other now – that’s not any one person’s fault. But no one person was more at fault than Roger Ailes. He never had a soul to sell, so he sold ours. It may take 50 years or a century for us to recover. Even dictators rarely have that kind of impact. Enjoy the next life, you monster.

You could argue that Ailes never murdered anyone, so how could be have been so terrible? But his conservative political views which FOX News relentlessly promoted killed many thousands of Iraqis in a war that America clearly started and the opposition to gun control enabled the deaths of many Americans due to gun violence over many years.

Ailes’ conservatism must have included sexism, explaining why women would attack him as a harasser of them.

Ironically, this longing of older people for a society like the one they grew up in strikes me as immature, but Ailes and his gang of propaganda ministers fanned the flames of this nonsense, making the process of making America a more inclusive and tolerant society that much longer and more painful than it needed to be.

I remember when Barack Obama was elected President in 2008. FOX News responded to this in at least two ways:

  1. It canceled the show “Hannity and Colmes” in which the conservative Shawn Hannity and the liberal Alan Colmes debated each other in every episode, and replaced it with “Hannity” in which the host’s conservative opinions would no longer be challenged.
  2. It hired Glenn Beck, who then became notorious for being an attack dog against Obama, even stooping to telling outright lies about the President.

So much for being “fair and balanced”!

In any case, what goes around comes around. May the hatred that Roger Ailes stirred up constantly through FOX News follow him forever!

The downfall of Milo

Milo Yiannopoulos, the weapons-grade asshole who was banned from Twitter last year, has suffered another blow to his overinflated and dishonest ego: he has been forced to leave breitbart.com!

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-39043496

Milo Yiannopoulos quits Breitbart News

A senior editor at a conservative website has resigned and apologised after a furore over comments that appeared to condone paedophilia.

Milo Yiannopoulos said in a statement his “poor choice of words” was detracting from his colleagues’ work, so he was quitting immediately.

He had already lost a book deal and a speaking engagement over the row.

Videos surfaced of him discussing the merits of gay relationships between adults and boys.

But Mr Yiannopoulos, the tech editor, denied he had endorsed child abuse and said one video had been edited to give a misleading impression.

“I would like to restate my utter disgust at adults who sexually abuse minors,” the 32-year-old wrote in his resignation statement on Facebook on Tuesday.

At a press conference on Tuesday, he explained that he had been referring to his own experiences as a victim of child sexual abuse.

He said that two men, including a priest, had touched him inappropriately when he was in his young teens.

“I haven’t ever apologised before, and I don’t intend on ever doing it again,” the hero of the so-called alt-right movement read to a room full of reporters.

“To be a victim of child abuse and at the same time be accused of being an apologist for child abuse is absurd.”

But the mea culpa came too late to save him from being axed in the line-up at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland.

The organising group, the American Conservative Union, said his response had been “insufficient”.

Milo is known to be openly gay, and I suspect that his comments about pedophilia were intended to play into the all too common stereotype that gays (and transgendered people, who he has also attacked) are mostly child molesters. But this was a serious miscalculation on his part. If you are trying to stir up hatred, doing it against some group you are actually a part of, even if you disown the group, is stupid. It will ultimately backfire on you, as we see here.

You do not merely quit an organization that made you famous in the first place. It is clear the operators of breitbart.com finally figured out that Milo had become more of a liability than an asset to them. He was out of control and needed to be stopped.

Now, if only we could do that also to Donald Trump!

Falsehoods about the “regressive left”

1. Progressives are now using the same subversive and highly inflammatory tactics that they have seen conservatives use against their liberal opponents for decades. But for some reason they are condemned as “intolerant” for this. That’s like going to fight with someone else when you have only a dagger when your opponent has a gun; you should not be condemned for insisting that you need a gun too!

2. Progressives are not a monolith; they are individuals and may disagree with each other as well as with conservatives. If one progressive activist claims something is racist, sexist, or otherwise prejudicial, that only reflects the opinion of that one activist; others may not agree.

3. Criticism is not censorship! If Progressive activists attack right-wing opponents via the media, that is not an indication that they are calling upon the government to shut their opponents down. Unless and until you actually hear the progressive ask for any such thing, you lie when you claim such. Freedom of speech is just that and must apply to all.

4. The media has NEVER been dominated by liberals. Back in the 1960s and 70s, the media simply reported the truth about what was going on in America and around the world, often causing conservatives to look bad. In the 1980s, President Reagan got rid of the Fairness Doctrine, which insisted that all media outlets be fair and balanced. With that gone, corporations could then gobble up or create all sorts of media outlets (like FOX News) and force them to represent only views they could tolerate, resulting in the First Amendment’s protection of freedom of the press becoming a non-issue. Even worse, conservatives made their own “echo chambers” on the internet like Breitbart.com, NewsMax, RedState and others that are just like the Soviet Union’s Pravda. Only a bogus ideology dedicated to corruption and violating human rights needs to do such things.

There is no such thing as the “regressive left”; that very concept is not valid and never can be. Just as there is no such thing as “liberal fascism”. Conservatives have been lying outright about their opponents for decades; we should no longer accept any of that.

Some Right-wing Bigots have NO Shame!

Sometimes Conservatives are so desperate for validation of their extremist crusade against their political opponents that they will grab at straws and refer to things that have NOTHING to do with their politics. Below is an example of this chicanery:

http://www.redstate.com/jimjamitis/2017/01/11/leah-reminis-scientology-fight-front-andrew-breitbarts-war/

How Leah Remini’s Scientology Fight Is A Front in Andrew Breitbart’s #WAR

Please note that RedState is yet another one of those right-wing propaganda mills, like breitbart.com, FOX News, WorldNetDaily, NewsMax, and others.

I don’t know any Scientologists that I’m aware of and my only connection to L. Ron Hubbard is having read his bad science fiction novel Battlefield Earth back in the ’80s and later—primarily out of morbid curiosity—watching the even worse film adaptation starring Scientologist John Travolta.

The writer starts off with something that looks completely reasonable and true. If it had stuck to the actual issue of the Church of Scientology vs. Ms. Remini, I would highly recommend it. Instead….the article goes into left field, pun intended!

Last night while watching episode 7 it dawned on me why I am so involved with this show: What Leah Remini is doing is the most Andrew Breitbart-esque thing I have seen anyone do since his untimely passing. Like Andrew did with the Democrat-media complex, Remini is throwing down the gauntlet and challenging a corrupt institution to prove her wrong.

I only met Andrew Breitbart a couple of times, both of which were in chaotic and noisy environments, so I can’t claim to have been his friend or to have really known him personally. Still, he is one of relatively few people I would consider to be personally inspiring to me.

And what did Breitbart do to be so inspiring? Save one or more lives? Create an invention to make millions of lives better? Write a fictional story to entertain and impress readers? Hold public office and push for legislation to make government better for the people?  No, none of these things! He was a writer and publisher of propaganda attacking liberals!

I have no idea what Remini’s politics are. Maybe when you publicly pick a fight with a global cult that has virtually unlimited resources, there isn’t even room for politics in your life. Whether she knows it or not though, Remini’s fight is the same fight for liberty and truth that Andrew Breitbart fought, just on a different front. She is in effect saying to a the cult of Scientology, “I’m going to follow the facts where they lead and if you don’t like it, f*** you. Bring it on. Accuse me of whatever you want, I’m not going to be intimidated. I’m just going to take what you throw at me and use it to show everyone who you are and why you need to be taken down.”

She is executing her takedown just like Andrew would, by telling stories. Data and analysis don’t change people’s minds anywhere near as well as good storytelling.

Scientology is responding with the same sort of tactics the institutional left used against Andrew. According to the people whose stories Remini is telling, anyone who leaves Scientology or speaks ill of it is declared to be a “suppressive person” and is considered “fair game.” Scientologists then use any and all means to intimidate, discredit, or personally destroy those people. They employ private investigators to dig up dirt. They falsely accuse them of crimes. They follow them with cameras in order to capture embarrassing video.  It is like an even more fanatical version of the Saul Alinsky tactics employed by far left progressives.

As I recall, it was Breitbart and his cronies that engaged in disruptive and deceitful tactics against liberals. Like having a guy pose as a pimp to misrepresent how ACORN did its business.

Remember when “Joe the Plumber” tripped up candidate Obama into being honest about wealth redistribution? In just a few days the media investigated the background of a private citizen more thoroughly than they ever did Obama’s. How about when the New York Times crowdsourced their sleazy fishing expedition into Sarah Palin’s emails from when she was Governor of Alaska? Have you ever heard of a black conservative who hasn’t been smeared as an “Uncle Tom?” Or a scientist skeptical about man’s role in climate change who hasn’t been accused of being in the pocket of Big Oil? Racism, sexism, misogyny, are all part of the litany against those who have a different opinion. It’s all the same though. Speak out against progressive orthodoxy and you will be smeared or destroyed. The more effectively you speak out, the more weapons they will bring to bear, not to refute what you say but to silence you from saying it.

Of course, the first two sentences are assertions not backed up with proof. The reference to Sarah Palin’s emails is ironic considering how obsessed Republicans have been about Hillary Clinton’s emails. Hypocrisy much? Also, black conservatives may have sexist (if male), religious (if Christian fundamentalist) or economic (if rich) reasons to sell out the best interests of their own race, much like Milo Yiannopoulos does in backstabbing the gay community despite being gay himself, because he is a white man too. And Big Oil is indeed rich enough to corrupt both governments and scientists; the evidence for man-made climate change is solid. It’s OK to have a different opinion as long as it does not hurt people or render them powerless, as conservative policies often do. And most obvious of all……CRITICISM IS NOT CENSORSHIP! Unless Andrew Breitbart or the others that work for his propaganda site could show attempts on their lives or even death threats sent to them by known liberals, they cannot legitimately claim to be targets of attempts to silence them. That’s just dishonest hyperbole.

I can’t help but think Andrew would be a huge fan of what she is doing. He might even be helping her if he was still with us.

Did he ever attack Scientology before he died? Did he ever attack any extremist cult? If not, that assertion is entirely baseless. The implication that liberals are also members of some extremist cult is nothing but libel.