Thursday, February 24, 2011

Does "Sordid" Mean Anything Any More?

The New York Times reports that former Harper Collins' editor Judith Regan was allegedly told by Fox News chairman Roger Ailes to lie to investigators about an affair she had with Bernie Kerik who had been nominated to become secretary of Homeland Security.  Ailes was supposedly concerned that a scandal about the former New York Police commissioner Kerik could harm his former boss, the former mayor Rudolph Guiliani.  It is claimed that Regan recorded her chat with Ailes on tape which may have led to the nearly $11-million payout she got when bounced from Harper Collins.

The word that comes to mind when I hear "Roger Ailes" is sordid.  It means, dirty, filthy, squalid, depressingly wretched, base, ignoble, mean, mercenary, avaricious.

You could easily, and fairly, tar Ailes' proteges - Hannity, O'Reilly, Beck and Palin with the same brush.  They're all depressingly wretched, base and ignoble people yet all of them in positions of considerable influence.  

Then there's Wisconsin governor Scott Walker who, mistakenly believing himself to be in a telephone conversation with one of the Koch boys, volunteered that he and his staff had considered planting "troublemakers" among pro-union protesters to discredit them.  He also discussed how he would try to lure Democratic legislators into talks and then turn on them.   Once again, the guy is depressingly wretched, base and ignoble, mean and mercenary.

What is happening today?   How did these traits become the qualities of the radical Right?   They employ these talents against their own supporters in order to extract an advantage against their opponents.   Look at how the Right routinely manipulates its own supporters with fear.   They're inflicting fear on their own, using it as a cattle prod, to stampede the herd and thus overwhelm those who stand up to them.  It's all fear, all the time.

Yet the Left, for reasons incomprehensible, rolls over to these bullies, again and again and again.   The Left capitulates or draws closer to the Right to seek shelter.  I guess the Left is becoming sordid too - it's safer that way.

1 comment:

robert said...

How did these traits become the qualities of the radical Right?

You need to think of this in the reverse order. If these are the kinds of personality traits you possess as a human being than the far right is the kind of political affiliation you make, and then the political process simply acts to concentrate the anti-virtues to a critical mass. Individuals form the group and the group reinforces the traits and it all goes from bad to worse.