Thursday, May 18, 2017

Go Tell That Long-Tongued Liar

Media manipulator, nation destroyer, obscene form of life Roger Ailes is dead.

I know if you're not able to say anything nice about anybody you shouldn't say anything at all.

But Ailes has many sins to answer for.

Much of the Far Right Noise Machine is his fault. Granted, there were Right Wing pundits for decades. Rush Limbaugh existed years before Fox Not-News did. But what Ailes brought to that whole side of the journalistic spectrum was a foundation and focal point. He gave the Far Right extremists a platform to vent, he hired pundits to corral and promote that extremism, he pitched a safe haven where the Conservative viewpoint could flourish and expand.

There may be the likes of Drudge, and Rush, and Breitbart (his remnant empire), and Coulter, and there are other conservative outlets like National Review and Newsmax. But Fox Not-News made itself the sun around which all others orbit.

He'd been a major player in the media for years, ever since helping Richard Nixon's 1968 campaign. The Selling of the President should be on everyone's reading list: it's where our modern political world got its ugly baptism. And it's where Roger Ailes appeared on the stage.

Ailes' influence reached far. Political campaigns and elected officials knew to bow in his general direction, and cower when he got angry. Rather than report the news, Ailes tilted his channel to focus on the opinion, filling the cable signals with pundit after pundit pushing agendas instead of the facts. Troubling enough, his approach worked: it appealed to the white and male audience Ailes wanted to reach, injecting them with anger and aiming that rage towards the Democrats and Liberal Left.

Where Ailes could not argue with conviction, he pushed with false narratives. His network would offer up half-baked conspiracies, twist reports to accent the negatives, confuse the issues by denying facts. He perfected the act of malicious reporting while avoiding the hazards of Libel and Defamation laws, by skirting the edge of fuzzy journalism to where if anyone fought back they would get attacked for "destroying free speech."

Ailes is the reason why most of our nation's attention towards political and social issues is driven by vitriol.

Ailes is one big reason (out of several) why we have trump in the White House.

There is no pit of hell deep enough for Roger Ailes.

You may throw a rock, hide your hand
Work in the dark against your fellow man
But sure as God has made the day and the night
What you do in the dark will be brought to light

You may run on for a long time
Run on for a long time
You may run home for for a long time
But let me tell you God Almighty's gonna cut you down

Go tell that long-tongued liar
Go tell that midnight rider
Tell the gambler, rambler, backbiter
Tell them God Almighty's gonna cut him down...

-- Written by Willie T. Johnson, Henry L. Jr. Owens, Clyde Riddick, and Orlandus Wilson (with thanks to Johnny Cash for a brilliant cover version)

1 comment:

dinthebeast said...

"I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it." -- Mark Twain, attributed


-Doug in Oakland