It's a "Made in America" disease but it could readily turn infectious and cross our own border. It's the evolution of a powerful oligarchy within American politics. Put simply, today's hyper-rich are flexing their fiscal muscles to subvert democracy and manipulate the Right's gullible supporters. These saps are so stupid that they don't even realize they're being buggered. They're fed a rich diet of fear, anger, indignation, even racism - engorged until they lose their ability to discern reality. Let's face it, people who consider FOX a news agency rather than a propaganda service have lost their minds. They've become insensate, automatons. They're North America's North Koreans.
In yesterday's New York Times, Krugman cited the Politico observation that every contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012 who isn't a sitting politician, with the exception of Mitt Romney, is on the FOX News payroll. Palin, Gingrich, Huckabee and Santorum are all receiving FOX paycheques. How nice, they're being fed by Rupert Murdoch. When a competing news organization wants to interview one of them, they're told they first must ask FOX for permission.
Other notable oligarchs are the multi-billionaire Koch brothers and the descendants of Adolph Coors. These types have a lot to gain by derailing action on climate change, dismembering environmental protection and skewing America's tax laws. But the Koch boys only have but two votes and Murdoch can't even muster one so they need a cooperative Right and legions of really gullible, borderline moronic voters.
Modern American conservatism is, in large part, a movement shaped by billionaires and their bank accounts, and assured paychecks for the ideologically loyal are an important part of the system. Scientists willing to deny the existence of man-made climate change, economists willing to declare
that tax cuts for the rich are essential to growth, strategic thinkers willing to provide rationales for wars of choice, lawyers willing to provide defenses of torture, all can count on support from a network of organizations that may seem independent on the surface but are largely financed by a handful of ultrawealthy families.
As the Republican political analyst David Frum put it, “Republicans originally thought that Fox worked for us, and now we are discovering we work for Fox” — literally, in the case of all those non-Mitt-Romney presidential hopefuls. It was days later, by the way, that Mr. Frum was fired by the American Enterprise Institute. Conservatives criticize Fox at their peril.
So the Ministry of Propaganda has, in effect, seized control of the Politburo. What are the implications?
Perhaps the most important thing to realize is that when billionaires put their might behind “grass roots” right-wing action, it’s not just about ideology: it’s also about business. What the Koch brothers have bought with their huge political outlays is, above all, freedom to pollute. What Mr. Murdoch
is acquiring with his expanded political role is the kind of influence that lets his media empire make its own rules.
Think this could never happen in Canada? Think again. Read Nikiforuk's Tar Sands, Dirty Oil and the Future of a Continent. We're already exhibiting all of the signs of a true petro-state. And don't for a minute think it's just the Conservatives who are in on it. There are plenty of Tar Heads wearing the red jerseys on Parliament Hill. They're the same bunch who consistently fail to stand up to Harper's despotic abuses of Canadian democracy. They're the team who, perhaps unintentionally, contribute so much to Harper's political longevity.