The last couple of days have served to reacquaint me with Fox News. It’s always interesting to see what they’re up to. Not that it changes much. Fox is like a soap opera: you can miss a few weeks and come back in right where you left off.
On Saturday morning alone they mentioned Bangazi six times, usually apropos of nothing in particular. The Hillary bashing is to be expected, that’s their bread and butter after all. It’s no surprise that Fox doesn’t like Bernie Sanders either. He’s a socialist! And not like that sneaky President Obama either, Bernie is proud to describe himself as a socialist! No, the only surprise this time around was how much time and effort Fox is putting into slinging mud at one of the Republican candidates for president. Only one, the other twenty-two are fine. You know which one they hate.
Yes, The Donald.
One of the newer smear techniques on display was a “word cloud” graphic made up of verbal information gathered in some kind of poll. The pollster would prompt the pollee, “what’s the first word that comes to mind when I say . . .” (name of a candidate). The most common words offered in response were the most prominent in the word cloud, set in the biggest type, and so on down the line.
Amazingly, but not surprisingly, the resulting descriptions of the candidates lined up perfectly with the Fox News propaganda line. (Amazing because that it such a bold faced display of moral corruption; not surprising because Fox News is famous for that kind of thing.)
Hillary is a liar! She’s dishonest! The Fox News party line since they went on the air. What’s the truth of the matter? The odds are that she’s no angel, but she’s running for president, not pope. We’ve had one angel as president in my lifetime, and most people did not appreciate his goodness. (Jimmy Carter, of course.) Hillary happens to be competent, cool-headed, resilient and experienced. Qualified, in other words.
Trump is arrogant! A more recent development, but these days all of the extensive Fox coverage of Trump is negative. Is he arrogant? Well yes, he is all of that, and more. He is also wildly unsuited by temperament for the presidency, and wildly unqualified by experience. Oh, and he’s dangerous too, he’d be a huge liability in the job. Fox is not anti-Trump because he would be a clear and present danger to the country though. Most of the other Republican candidates would be dangerous too. Fox is on the attack because Trump is trouncing the candidate who is the obvious choice not only of Fox News, but also of the Koch brothers et al. Which brings us to . . .
Bush is experienced! The negatives in Bush’s word cloud were limited to the ambiguous “Bush” and “dynasty.” Experienced is a big stretch though, I mean, come on. He’s experienced like his brother was. He’s experienced at getting his way without much effort. John Bush, like George before him, is a mediocre rich kid legacy with a wild and demanding sense of entitlement. John and George have always been coasters, coat-tail riders, and total jerks. The power brokers can only love him because they have decided that he has the best chance to beat Hillary. What else could it be?
Here are my quickly noted responses to the poll:
Hillary: strong, confident;
Bernie: smart, ethical;
Trump: abrasive, moronic, rude, selfish, overconfident;
John Bush: stooge, wimp, lightweight;
Cruz: maniac, ugly, mediocre;
Huckabee: phoney, duplicitous;
Carly F.: unknown;
Marco R.: desperate, hopeless;
Ben Carson: ungrateful, uncaring, unqualified;
Scott Walker: asymmetrical, fascist, hateful;
Rand Paul: liar, plagiarist;
Bobby Jindal: anchor-baby.
I must have left out a few. Oh! Chris Christie! (Fat, creepy, bully.)
I left out Joe Biden too. Is he in the race? If he is, it’s only because the Democrats are as afraid of Bernie Sanders as the Republicans are of Donald Trump. The Republicans already have twenty-plus alternatives to Bush lined up. (I say Bush, he’s the obvious choice of the Republican party and their money people.) If something happens to Bush, like some unfortunate campaign airplane crash, somebody, probably Kasich, could step in. But so far the Democrats are limited to Hillary and Bernie. If someone shoots poor Hillary, an unpleasant but not entirely inconceivable eventuality, the Democrats would be left with Bernie. And Bernie scares the Democrats. So they need Joe Biden as backup.
I’m home now, so no more Fox News for a while. Not on my cable, thank God. I can only take it in small doses. Only fifteen months before the election! Man, I just hope that it goes by quickly.