While out and about one recent morning, a friday if you must know, I was on my way home from doing an errand and while scanning the various radio stations, both FM and AM, I happened to catch part of the opening monologue from the Glenn Beck radio show. Something he said made me fly off the handle at the hypocrisy of his comments. His comment, as best as I can recollect, was that he had been debating whether or not to talk about the Bill O'Reilly sexual harassment lawsuit because he didn't think it was an important story to cover.
Not important?! NOT IMPORTANT?! A nationally known, possibly internationally known, tv commentator being sued for $60 million for supposed comments and actions he made to a former producer for Fox News and that is not considered important? As the saying goes, I want what he's smoking.
I'm sure in another column I've made comments about the overall hypocrisy of people in general, particularly those in positions of power, but this particle column is dedicated to the hypocrisy of the right-wing of american politics. Let's start with Glenn Beck since I've laid the groundwork.
To say that the Bill O'Reilly sexual harassment lawsuit isn't important is preposterous. Bill touts himself as being fair and balanced and for the most part he is. He certainly has his political leanings as we all do but on the whole, when I have watched his show, he is pretty much down the middle. I've seen him rail against people from both the left and right of the political spectrum. My favorite show was when he tore apart a guy who claimed he was once gay but was now 'cured' thanks to religion. This particular guest was trying to make the point that gay people should not be allowed to adopt children.
Bills point was that it is better to have a gay couple adopt a child than to have the child stay in the system. This guest then proceeded to try and quote bible verses to back his side of the story. For those that don't know Bill is a Roman Catholic so trying to use bible verses to defend yourself is not the smartest thing to do. Bill proceeded to tear down every argument the guest put forth and at the end of the segment it was clear the guys point wasn't holding water.
Now then, if Glenn Beck feels that not talking about the Bill O'Reilly sexual harassment lawsuit isn't important what does he consider important? Maybe the Laci Peterson trial. Hey Glenn, how many hours have you talked about a trial about some guy who supposedly killed his wife and unborn kid? Is that important? If so, why is that more important than talking about Bill O'Reillys supposed back room schenanigans? It's just one of many murders that take place every day in this country. Why is that story more important than one about a man who can influence opinions?
Maybe Glenn feels that Michael Jacksons child molestation trial is important. After all, Michael has admitted that there were several occasions on which he let children sleep over at his Neverland Ranch. We also know that Michael has paid hush money to various people in the past who have claimed that Michael molested their children when they stayed over at his ranch. I know that Glenn has talked about that story.
How about Rudy Giuliani. How much did you talk about Rudy and his mistress romping about in plain view while Rudy was trying to run New York? How much did you talk about that Glenn? Wouldn't you think that story was important? I'm sure you felt that Clinton getting his willy waxed (no pun intended) was important and spent hour upon hour going over the minutiae but did you ever say one word about Rudy and his dalliance?
I could go on about Glenn but let's move on to the general hypocrisy of those from the Right. They claim they want less government interference yet have forced through some of the most intrusive laws this nation has ever seen, starting with the Patriot Act. One of the most onerous parts of the Act is the portion which allows police to search your home without a warrant.
Yes, you read that right. In direct violation of The Constitution the police now have the power to search your home and do not have to have a warrant to do so. Currently a court has struck down that provision saying it is unconstitutional but the administration is appealing that decision.
Have you tried to take a flight recently? Did you try to pay with cash for a ticket? You couldn't, could you? Nope, thanks to the current administration it is now not possible to pay for cash for airline tickets. Why? Because the government wants you to use your credit card to they can then track your purchase.
This administration, the same one who claims to want to get government off our backs, is now developing an all-encompassing database which will essentially be able to track every purchase you make and then cross-reference those purchases to see if you're a terrorist. Supposedly all terrorists follow similar patterns so if you follow those same patterns then obviously you're a terrorist!
How about subsidies. Those from the Right talk about how other countries subsidise the production of things such as steel and food products and how that is bad for American producers. However, these same folks vociferously argue against any cuts in subsidies for sugar and peanut production in this country, to name just two. They claim that our farmers can't compete against the lower cost of production of these goods from other countries.
Yeah, so? It's called the free market. If someone can produce a good or service at a cheaper price then that is where people will buy from. Isn't that the same argument those on the Right use to justify the outsourcing of thousands of jobs? The claim is that by allowing companies to use cheaper labor from overseas to produce a good or service that will save the company money which the company can then use to spend on hiring more people in this country for other jobs. If using cheaper labor to produce a product is so good how come we can't get cheaper peanut butter or sugar?
Let's move on to the bastion of Right-wing thinking, Fox News. No, not the Bill O'Reilly issue again. I'm talking about Geraldo Rivera. During the initial invasion of Iraq, Geraldo was doing a live broadcast with members of the 101st Airborne. During his broadcast he drew a diagram in the sand and described where these troops were going to be going to next. That's a big non-no. The military ordered him out of the country.
Fox News vehemently opposed the order and tried to claim that it was all a mistake and that what people thought Geraldo said is not really what he said. For his part, Geraldo said:"It sounds like some rats from my former network, NBC, are trying to stab me in the back."
"MSNBC is so pathetic a cable news network that they have to do anything they can to attract attention," Rivera said. "You can rest assured that whatever they're saying is a pack of lies."
You and I both know that had another newscaster from another network, Christiane Amanpour perhaps, done the same thing Fox News would have been all over the story like flies to a possum carcass on an Alabama road in the middle of August (nice image, huh?). Fox would have run the story day and night sparing no excuse to remind viewers of the stupidity of that act and how it endangered our troops.
However, because it was Geraldo Rivera (architect of the failed search for Al Capones safe) and because it was Fox News, the media mouthpiece for the current administration, barely a mention was made. Fox did have a piece or two on this subject but if you blinked you missed them. For his part Geraldo never apologized for making those comments.
I could go on giving more examples of the hypocrisy of those from the Right (Ann Coulter saying anyone who doesn't agree with the administration is a traitor) but you get the point. They say one thing but do another.
"Everyone should make it on the basis of their abilities, not their race" they claim. "Oh, you're the son/daughter of Senator so-and-so, come right in! You're resumè? No, you don't need to show me that."
"The government should get off peoples back and let them get on with their lives." "Wait, there are two men having sex in their own home! Quick, arrest them! We can't have people of the same sex enjoying their lives as they see fit."
"I will not bring my religious viewpoints into this office. My religious viewpoints will not color my decisions." "Ack! A statue of a woman with a naked breast! Cover it up! Cover it up!"
Lest anyone think that I am only harping on the Right be assured that my column on the hypocrisy of the Left will be out soon. As I always say, if both sides are pissed at you, you're doing something right.