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Hullabaloo


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

 

The best minds of his generation destroyed by radio

by Tom Sullivan


The Persistence of Memory, Salvador Dali (1931).

Starving hysterical naked, etc. Madness has tightened its grip. Like the the Black Death carried by rats infecting town after town, it spread, until not even the priests and nobles are un-touched. They are carriers.

Raw Story this morning might as well be the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for the multivarious disorders of right-thinking people.

In his last week on The Nightly Show, Larry Wilmore pointed to Donald Trump “spokesgoblin” Katrina Pierson for claiming President Obama invaded Afghanistan. Elsewhere on the page, a story chronicles her claim that reporters "literally beat” Trump supporters for supporting his policies.

Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani told a Youngstown, Ohio Trump rally on Monday, “Under those 8 years, before Obama came along, we didn’t have any successful radical Islamic terrorist attack in the US. They all started when Clinton and Obama came into office.” Somebody get the net.

But more revealing is the report on a tweet by Business Insider’s Oliver Darcy. In an interview for an upcoming piece, conservative radio host Charlie Sykes told Insider that years of right-wing talk radio have essentially destroyed the truth function of facts. Whereas liberals used to be accused by the right of relativism, decades of conservative talk radio attacks on the press (and science) have slowly dissolved objective reality. Sykes says,

We’ve basically eliminated any of the referees, the gatekeepers. There’s nobody. Let’s say that Donald Trump basically makes whatever you want to say, whatever claim he wants to make. And everybody knows it’s a falsehood. The big question of my audience, it is impossible for me to say that. ‘By the way, you know it’s false.’ And they’ll say, ‘Why? I saw it on Allen B. West.’ Or they’ll say, ‘I saw it on a Facebook page.’ And I’ll say, ‘The New York Times did a fact check.’ And they’ll say, Oh, that’s The New York Times. That’s bullshit.'
That's basically what I said about the fallout from the Reformation during the Bundy militia standoff in Oregon. Any self-anointed preacher with a flashy suit, an expensive coif, a sonorous voice, and a black, Morocco-bound, gilt-edged, King James red-letter edition can now define Christianity any way he pleases. Who is to say otherwise? And after decades of anti-government, anti-book-learning propaganda, any gun-toting yahoo with a creatively annotated pocket U.S. Constitution believes he can decide for himself what is and isn't the law. Objective reality is melting like one of Dali's clocks. To speak out against the madness, as Crosby, Stills & Nash once sang, is for Sykes to reveal oneself as not yet body-snatched, not one of the pod people.

Sykes continues,
When this is all over, we have to go back. There's got to be a reckoning on all this. We’ve created this monster,” he warned. “Look, I’m a conservative talk show host. All conservative talk show hosts have basically established their brand as being contrasted with the mainstream media. So we have spent 20 years demonizing the liberal mainstream media. And by the way, a lot has been justifiable. There is real bias. But, at a certain point you wake up and you realize you have destroyed the credibility of any credible outlet out there.

In old movies, the townspeople take up torches and pitchforks against the monster. In what passes for reality today, the townspeople are the monsters. Where have you gone, Rod Serling?