by Steven Weber
We create the news, we report the news we've created, we tell you to decide in our favor.
Conspiracy theories aside, I suspect that fomenting discord, even to the point of violence, is in the Fox News manifesto of blatant bias, outrageous Orwellian newspeak and basic shit-stirring, all in an effort to distract their audience, one which I feel certain they laugh at and/or regard as lab mice, from their right to truthful, responsible information.
Using their demographic's genetic predisposition to trust authority, they disguise their agit-prop as old-fashioned Huntley-Brinkley newscasts, throw in some archetypal American-looking leggy women to echo the sentiments of the patriarchal anchormen/fathers and their aforementioned racist, xenophobic messages are disseminated widely and effortlessly.
It's The Cabinet of Caligari here, with the mesmerist (O'Reilly) sending out a mass suggestion to its suggestible somnambulist audience. And, by golly, so far several have indeed been given to violent responses prompted by thinly veiled cues:
"Daddy is angry at the baby killing monster. I want to make Daddy love me. I will kill the monster."
O'Reilly has much in common with the inspirational rhetoric and impassioned, arguably effective gesticulations of certain historical demagogues and despots, who find their métier when harnessing their unique gifts of persuasion. In Bill's case, he is the embodiment of the stern but loving father, the one who alternately kneels alongside you at bedtime and prays and takes a belt to you if you misbehave. If he were to have been a success publishing erotic literature loosely based on his own steamy adventures, he would have been the current version of the original Continental character, cooing and wooing an equally impressionable audience, eager for romantic escapades instead of blood-soaked fantasies of Christian-American hegemony. Instead, he is Bill O'Reilly: Culture Terrorist.