When you see a headline like, Limbaugh Rants Against Idea Of A Black James Bond, it’s only because Limbaugh has run out of other things to rant about. There is literally nothing Republicans did not attack in 2014, and to recount such a list would take up too much space to post here.
In fact, one could make a list of such lists, which are popping up everywhere. The sad thing is that these are not your good old fashioned lists of political disagreements of the sort the country used to see. No, these are paranoid-ridden, conspiracy-laden, jaw-droppingly, catastrophically stupid, lunatic fringe outbursts.
And in case you’re worried, Fox News even managed to get another one in before New Year’s Eve: Anna Kooiman out-Hasselbecked Elisabeth Hasselbeck when she suggested Sunday on (yes) Fox & Friends, that the metric system was to blame for the loss of yet another Indonesian airliner. If you’re drinking something now, put it down.
According to Kooiman, we should be looking at the “different way other countries train their pilots.”
You know, because, Pssssst, they’re not like us.
“Even when we think about temperature, it’s Fahrenheit or Celsius. It’s kilometers or miles. You know, everything about their training could be similar, but different.”
Just listening to it, I think a part of my brain died. Maybe my soul.
I think we can safely pin the Air Asia loss on the fact that, as Deutsche Welle tells us, the airline does not meet international aviation safety standards.
There are literally millions and millions of flights to and from countries that use the metric system, because pretty much the entire world uses the metric system except for the United States, Liberia, and Myanmar (though some elements of the old Imperial System are still used in the United Kingdom, Canada, and elsewhere the British Empire once reigned).
The point is, of course, if the metric system was to blame, planes would be falling out of the sky far more often than crossing it.
I could give up here, because I’d like to say there is nothing more stupid than what I just detailed here, that it would be impossible to top that, but we all know that would not be true.
I think this Elisabeth Hasselbeck tweet speaks for itself:
Because yes, NFL scandals have everything to do with Benghazi.
But even that was not the epitome of Republican stupid in 2014. There is the idea that President Obama was somehow responsible for Ebola. That the Ebola outbreak was deliberate. Despite these assertions, we find ourselves inexplicably alive today. And here Obama had all those handy FEMA coffins standing by…
Media Matters for America calls this “the year on the fringe” but I think this might be overly generous. Ebola fever infected the entire right end of the political spectrum: There was Michael Savage and Alex Jones, true, and the ubiquitous World Net Daily columnist, but there was also Alan Keyes, who regularly runs for public office (and now that one-man-kook-fest Gordon Klingenschmitt has shown it can be done, could actually succeed at long last), and Keith Ablow at Fox News, which is as mainstream as it gets. Laura Ingraham also got into the act (In fact, our Headley Westerfield devoted an entire Fox Follies to their coverage of Ebola).
All that stopped right after the midterm elections, showing how serious about it they were. But the fact remains they still said it. And there is that whole personal responsibility thing Republicans like to harp on. Of course, that doesn’t apply to them, only others, just like religious freedom, that other thing they like to harp on, applies only to them, and not to others.
If you want an ecology-themed list, Media Matters also has that, The 6 Most Ridiculous Attacks on Clean Energy In 2014, which mostly involved simply making stuff up. You know, like Benghazi and Ebola (above). My own favorite is Rush Limbaugh’s claim that “Mass transit is total control. It is the way the government can totally control the movement of the population.”
Imagine how upset Neanderthal Rush must have been over the domestication of the horse. Heck, I’m not certain at this point if Republicans entirely trust the invention of fire.
Not only have Republicans told some whopping big lies this past year in the furtherance of their agenda against humanity, but they have been, well, just plain mean. And another list at Media Matters that might interest you is their Worst 2014 Smears From Right-Wing Websites. Number One on the list is a typical example of thoughtless mud-slinging:
Daily Caller Columnist Blamed Gay Service Members For Rise In Military Rape. A Daily Caller columnist claimed that the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, which allowed LGBT soldiers to serve openly, was responsible for an “uptick in same-sex rape” in the military. [Media Matters, 8/28/14]
Because THAT makes sense.
If we’re thinking about the third big issue of the year after Benghazi (a best-seller since 2012) and Ebola, Obamacare, Media Matters takes a look at how none of those dire predictions about Obamacare came true (oops).
Right-Wing Media’s Catastrophic ACA Predictions Still Haven’t Materialized. You know, like all he horrible events that would ensue if we abolished Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. I know this is a shock, because none of us ended up dying from Ebola either:
MYTH: ACA Will Eliminate Millions Of Jobs
MYTH: Obamacare Won’t Reduce Number Of Uninsured Americans
MYTH: The Affordable Care Act Is “Failing The Public”
MYTH: “Millions Will Lose Insurance” As Companies Drop Health Benefits
MYTH: The Affordable Care Act Creates “Death Panels” To Ration Care
MYTH: Health Care Premiums Will Rise Dramatically Thanks To Obamacare
You can see how similar these are to the Ebola frenzy. It’s like Fox News just has some sort of plug-n-play system where they have headlines with handy blanks and they just fill those in depending on the subject. They’re tried and true after all, and they’re going with what clearly works. Can’t fault them for that, as far as business models go, though you can certainly call them on their complete lack of journalistic integrity and moral compass.
In that, this year just past has been no different than any other year since 2009: endless lies and each worse than the last. Worse, they are lies seemingly only an imbecile could believe. And believe them they do. Which says far more about Fox News and its audience than the people about whom those lies are told.
While Indian journalist Shubhranshu Choudhary is saying “Journalism has to become everyone’s business,” Fox News is apparently embracing the belief that journalism is nobody’s business, including, especially, their own.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.