America is at war with itself. And anyone who watches Fox News or listens to US radio talk shows should not be surprised that another gunman has taken aim at his own government, his own elected officials or his fellow citizens.
Being in the midst of what is going on, the American people have slowly become anesthetized to the hatred being encouraged in their media every day, 24 hours, 365 days a year. But anyone visiting from Canada, from Europe, Asia or Africa easily discerns it when they just turn on their rental car radios to listen to the “voices” of America.
Dime-a-dozen radio talk show hosts direct shrill attacks every day against the government, against their President, against their elected representatives and against not only everything Democratic, but, if you listen carefully, against almost anything democratic at all.
And Fox News, in my view a total disgrace as a “news” network, uses the TV airwaves unrelentlessly to spread open propaganda directed against those same entities enumerated above day in, day, out, week in, week out--all year round.
So, American TV and radio, with the likes of Hannity, Beck, Limbaugh and their coteries of pathetcally biased “analysts” railing against almost everything left of Genghis Khan for years now, reaching millions, we cannot be surprised when a mentally-disturbed individual is moved to “take up arms” against the enemy: America’s own elected officials.
What I find especially interesting is that their one-sided media tactics are not new: the Soviet news media, Hitler’s propaganda machine, China, Cuba or North Korea’s tightly controlled message control spread one-sided brainwashing much the same way that Fox News and US talk radio shows do. The messages and biases have differed, but the tactics have worked.
Of course, there are other voices in other media in the US: but their reach is in no way comparable to the overwhelimgly right-wing extremism flooding US airwaves, especially on radio stations across the land.
The millionaires and the Republican-supporting owners of these stations have the ”ear” of the nation, literally. Ever since the Obama victory, have been using their power unrelentingly to make sure that never happens again.
But they may have gone too far: the Tea Partyers are not what they were hoping for; the growth of armed militants ready to “take aim” at Democrats (as Sarah Palin’s own campaign ads urged them to) have taken the message too literally; and we now have millions of Americans who “hate” their own government, their own leaders as much as America’s enemies do.
We don’t yet know if this latest assassin was an avid listener or viewer, but I’d bet he was affected, directly or indirectly, by the escalating temperature of the one-sided right wing rhetoric . And I have no doubt there are others like him still out there--wound up, and ready to strike. Again.
It’s time the American people took a hard look at their right wing media “heroes” , who use the country’s airwaves, not to inform, or discuss, or weigh alternatives, but to brainwash: one way, every day, in every way.
I believe they are destroying their country, their institutions, mature debate, journalism and American democracy itself--from within.
And, of course, in the true American way, becoming multi-millionaires in the process.