|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|24 Hour Nazi Party People|
If that guy is telling you you should feel shame, that’s like Charlie Sheen showing up at your intervention to tell you to take it down a notch.
I’ve devoted a lot of column inches to talking about civility lately, including a takedown of Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) for invoking Nazism during the debate on the House floor over repealing health care reform. That sort of over-the-top imagery is just plain offensive, regardless of which side of the ideological fence you happen to call home. After all, if you can casually invoke the evil of Nazism to describe those you disagree with, what language is left to describe those who really ARE truly and irredeemably evil?
After Cohen’s despicable performance, much condemnation was to be expected. Not one to ever disappointed in the manufactured outrage department, Fox Noise Channel talking head Megyn Kelly chimed in her own disapproval, stating emphatically that no one on FNC would EVER employ Nazi imagery. Uh, yeah….
Fortunately, there’s this little thing I like to call the Internet, which, besides being a very serviceable porn dispenser, also works beautifully as a fact checker. As it turns out, Kelly is either willfully stupid or just plain lying (I’ll let you figure out which), because it took the staff at The Daily Show no time at all to come up with numerous examples of FNC talking heads referring to those on the Left as Nazis…including, interestingly enough, on Kelly’s own show. It’s a very basic and simple strategy, really; deflect criticism by accusing your adversaries of the very tactics that you yourself regularly employ when it serves your purpose…which in FNC’s case, is frequently.
If we’re to have any hope at all of creating a more civil tone and tenor in our public discourse, we first need to be honest about what’s out there now. Fox Noise Channel, from Roger Ailes down to the mail room clerks, traffics in the language of hate. I can’t hope to change that, and since I can’t stomach the idea of watching FNC, they can (and will) proceed as they see fit.
Here’s an idea, though; how about losing the hypocrisy and cheap self-righteousness? If you want to employ the language of hatred and character assassination, stop acting as if it’s acceptable when you do it but an abomination when others do the same thin. Because I gotta tell you, there are few things funnier than watching Jon Stewart deconstruct that sort of cheap, amateur hypocrisy…and it’s not as if it takes a lot of time and effort.