Saturday, December 14, 2013


Last night on Fox News, Megyn Kelly defended her Jesus-and-Santa-are-white segment from earlier in the week, telling viewers she'd just been joking. The problem isn't merely that she clearly wasn't joking -- she actually plays the clip from the earlier segment at 0:50 below, and her dead seriousness is unmistakable -- it's that she's telling us haters through clenched teeth that we should just lighten up. (Check that out starting at 3:27.)

Pretending to smile, claiming unconvincingly to be the only one with a sense of humor in a humorless world, Kelly says:
This would be funny if it were not so telling about our society, in particular the knee-jerk instinct by so many to race-bait and to assume the worst in people, especially people employed by the very powerful Fox News Channel....

For me, the fact that an offhand jest I made during a segment about whether Santa should be replaced by a penguin has now become a national firestorm says two things. Race is still an incredibly volatile issue in this country, and Fox News, and yours truly are big targets for many people.
But this is the formula that works for the right. America is a country in which two-thirds of the voters are either moderate or liberal, and yet the conservative third of the country maintains control on a wide range of issues. Partly that has to do with the influence of right-wing billionaires -- but it's also the result of conservative propagandists' success in getting right-wing Americans to take politics very, very seriously.

They have Fox and talk radio on all day and all night. They buy every right-wing book that's published. (As I type this, the three top nonfiction hardcovers on the New Yok Times bestseller list are by Charles Krauthammer, Bill O'Reilly, and Brian Kilmeade, with Glenn Beck at #5.) Politics means everything to these people. They feel permanently under siege. Everything they don't like is a threat to the very existence of America, if not of Western civilization or the human race.

Even the promotion of the Fox News brand in Kelly's monologue -- "the very powerful Fox News Channel" -- doesn't come off as shameless for the base, because the base identifies with Fox, as its defender against a relentless liberal juggernaut.

If you're liberal or moderate, you probably agreed or disagreed with Aisha Harris's original essay on de-racializing Santa, or just thought it was food for thought -- but it probably didn't seem like the most vitally important thing you'd read.

That's because you're not right-wing. If you're right-wing, everything is for all the marbles. Everything is a fight to the death. And thinking everything is a fight to death is why right-wingers -- and Fox -- rack up so many wins.


Ten Bears said...

From my albiet unique perspective I am finding it all rather humorous. Quite possibly the lowest common denominator, though nothing unites the haters quite so as their common hatred of all those not-them.

Paris Hilton's panties.

No fear.

Victor said...

Liberals have lives beyond TV and radio.
We have outside interests, and don't think everything is some sort of a plot against us - even though, in reality... Well, Conservatives ARE always plotting against us: Often for things we aren't even thinking of doing. They plot against us, because they think we plot against them. We don't plot against them. We'd laugh at all of their stupid shit all of the time if they didn't take that shit so damn seriously, and try to change the world to reflect the likes and dislikes.

Conservatives can't be taken away from those TV and radio teats, for fear they'll be left all alone in the world - and at the mercy of EEEBUL LIBERALS AND MOOOOZLUMMZ!!!
They live, breath, eat, and drink, paranoia.

And if "Paranoia will destroya," it's sure taking its damn time!!!

aimai said...

Well, "rack up so many wins" is debatable. We still, mysteriously, had a black man win the presidency twice. I'd argue that despite the massive success of the current Republican party's attempts to nullify progress we are making progress. And ultimately I think the state of high alert/high rage that Megyn Kelly and the fox viewers require for happiness is going to be self defeating. I don't see that Fox's demographics are getting any less scary. They are facing demographic winter and the last thing that happens as people get older is they just exhaust themselves. Financially the older, whiter, voters are going broke, getting sick, and dying off. They may still get angry and still vote for a while, but even that is going to end for a lot of them pretty soon.

Jack said...

Stunningly cogent analysis, Steve.

Uncle Mike said...

Megyn Kelly needs a visit from Krampus.

Examinator said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Examinator said...

Sorry Kelly
But like the wise men say..... If you lay with feral dogs you shouldn't be surprised if you're seen as a source of parasitic worms, rabies or mental mange.

If America is so jumpy about race let me suggest that it's because of your and Fox's targeted audience.

You don't appear to be so Naive or dumb to think that a selfish underlying philosophy urbanely put is anything more than a cosmetic foundation not even significant Plastic surgery, none of these change it's homozygous DNA.
It simply breeds more inbred imbeciles nothing more.

Then again Fox doesn't want thinkers as an audience they want units of profit...Period!
Apparently so do you.