Thursday, July 3, 2014
“THOSE CREEPS AT FAIR!”
The memory exploded into my mind while I was going through boxes of stuff for my next Vast Accumulation of Stuff garage sale. I pulled out a long-forgotten copy of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly by Peter Hard and Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting [Seven Stories Press; 2003]. The book did a terrific job setting the record straight on O’Reilly’s bogus claim to being a non-partisan pundit. However, though this book triggered my sad memory, the actual cause of the event I found myself recalling was an earlier FAIR book.
FAIR’s The Way Things Aren't: Rush Limbaugh's Reign of Error : Over 100 Outrageously False and Foolish Statements from America's Most Powerful Radio and TV was published in 1995. Limbaugh might be the darling of the ridiculous right, but the distance between him and the truth is vast. FAIR nailed him on his falsehood and foolishness in magnificent fashion. I was impressed.
I happened to mention the book to the two friends and was startled when their mutual response was “Those creeps at FAIR!” One of the friends was a conservative, but the kind of conservative who does not foam at the mouth. The other was whatever would get a rise out of whoever was around him and drive them away.
I’m not going to mince words. Limbaugh is a terrible human being. He’s a bully and a liar. He is not a conservative as the word was once defined. He’s a vicious hate-monger. To think that my friend would champion him - while not offering the slightest evidence that FAIR’s reporting was inaccurate - depressed me then as it depresses me today.
Are conservatives so morally weak they will take the side of anyone who claims to be a conservative? Even when they know that someone is as horrible as Limbaugh? Is this why, as a nation, we can’t have nice things?
The other friend? Sadly, he is emotionally and mentally unstable. His rants against liberals and the government border on insanity, especially since that government and its liberal policies are all that keep him alive. If I could help him out of the dark world he has embraced, I would. But I can’t.
I’m glad I can still exchange friendly e-mails with the first guy. Obviously, we don’t talk politics. We have many interests in common and that’s what we discuss. I wish we could talk face-to-face on a regular basis - he’s a couple states away - but my door is open to him and will always be open to him.
My door’s open to the other guy as well. He just can’t realize that because of the walls of bitterness and self-loathing he has built around himself. If I were a praying man, I’d pray for him. As it is, I can only hope the universe leads him to a happier place while he’s still alive.
If you know and love someone for nearly half a century, there are bound to be good memories and not-so-good memories. I cherish the good memories and strive to forget the not-so-good ones. Writing about the latter helps put the not-so-good memories to rest.
I’ll be back soon with more stuff.
© 2014 Tony Isabella