“I genuinely believe that if Trump wins and gets the nuclear codes there is an excellent possibility it will lead to the end of civilization.”
—Tony Schwartz, real author of The Art of the Deal
headline in the New York Post reads:
Let’s hope that the end is only near for him.
From the article:
Ailes, 76 — who built Fox News into an influential $3 billion business — is reportedly being shunted aside in the wake of a sexual-harassment suit filed against him by former anchor Gretchen Carlson.
Ailes has strongly denied the accusation.
I’m going to apply the standards of Fox “News” to this case. I’m going to evaluate the accusations and evidence in the case just like the typical Fox anchor or pundit would do if this were a claim made against Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton or any other Democrat. Ready? I find Ailes guilty as charged. He did it. Everything Gretchen Carlson—and the other women who have come forth alleging the same kind of harassment since the 1960s—said is true. It must be true because I want it to be true.
With that out of the way, think about something with me.
Roger Ailes, piggybacking on the success of right-wing talk radio, created in 1996 a fact-ignoring environment on television and disguised it as “fair and balanced” news. He sold it to gullible conservatives anxious to see on television what they were hearing on the radio each and every day since the emergence of Rush Limbaugh and his imitators in the late 1980s. That fact-ignoring environment at Fox eventually became a place where a fact-free demagogue and bigot and racist like Donald Trump could thrive. Ailes is therefore guilty of establishing and profiting from a media culture that not only nourished a factless fungus like Trump for the last year, but helped him take over and make over a once-great political party.
Roger Ailes also created a culture at Fox “News” where women were subjected to his male aggression. He created a hostile environment for certain women. He tried to exploit them and, again using Fox truth standards, likely did exploit some of them. Trump’s history of remarks about women indicate he is in Ailes’ league. In fact, they have both harassed the same woman, Megyn Kelly. And Trump tweeted last year:
If Hillary Clinton can’t satisfy her husband what makes her think she can satisfy America?
Given such sexism, it is no surprise that the first two days of the Ailes-Trump Republican National Convention have featured the most aggressive and shameful verbal attacks on a woman one can imagine at such an event. The delegates have become a hate-filled mob. By Thursday night, when mercifully this madness will end, the crowd may be so frenzied that someone may round up a posse and bring Hillary Clinton to justice, the old-fashioned way.
The theme of Monday night’s convention was dark and disturbing. Essentially, America is a dangerous shithole. Speakers included people like Scott Baio—who essentially called Hillary Clinton a “cunt” on Twitter just ten days ago—and Rudy Giuliani who angrily riled up the crowd, calling both Clinton and Obama liars and saying that Clinton didn’t care “how or why people serving America are killed.” The crowd went wild as Rudy became unhinged. I thought I had stumbled on WrestleMania.
Monday night also brought us perhaps the worst moment in big-time politics I have witnessed. Organizers of the convention, no doubt mostly men, managed to exploit a still-grieving mother, who turned her grief into a despicable and hostile speech in which she, without the slightest bit of evidence, blamed Hillary Clinton for the death of her son. “How could she do this to me?” said Patricia Smith, whose son was killed in Benghazi in 2012. Then, quite tastelessly, Mrs. Smith said in response to someone in the crowd, “That is right. Hillary Clinton for prison! She deserves to be in stripes.” Needless to say, the congregation of merciful, forgiveness-loving Christians were quite pleased.
Tuesday night showcased more Hillary-hating. Mitch McConnell—who mentioned her name 24 times in his few minutes of vitriol—dutifully called Clinton a liar and said,
I’m here to tell you Hillary Clinton will say anything, do anything, and be anything to get elected president.
That’s the equivalent, in this context, of saying a woman will bang the boss to get that promotion. Icky stuff.
Chris Christie, former prosecutor, failed governor of New Jersey, and now a second-class Trump butt-wiper, went after Hillary Clinton like it was Salem, 1692. And the crowd was eager to see the witch behind bars, if not burned at the stake. “Lock her up! Lock her up!” they shouted in Jesus-approved orgasmic unity.
That’s enough. I couldn’t take any more. Off went the TV.
Next week Democrats will nominate a woman for the presidency. That woman, should she be elected, will become the most powerful woman in the history of the world. That bothers a lot of people for a lot of reasons. But let’s not discount the fact that it bothers a lot of people because she is a woman. Which leads me back to Roger Ailes.
Among other things, Gretchen Carlson has accused Ailes of sabotaging her career because of her refusal to quietly work in a hostile environment. Her legal complaint says:
After learning of Carlson’s complaints, Ailes responded by calling Carlson a “man hater” and “killer” and telling her that she needed to learn to “get along with the boys.”
The boys are in charge. The boys should stay in charge.
The complaint also states:
Ailes had made it clear to Carlson that he had the power to make anything happen for her if she listened to him and “understood” what he was saying.
You see? These things are tacitly expressed and then “understood.” Roger shouldn’t have to say it out loud all the time. Women should just understand what they’re up against and submit. Or else.
Or else they will face a witch hunt at the Republican National Convention.