FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Four Horsemen of Propaganda

 

History has all but forgotten Nazi Germany’s most feared judge, Roland Freisler, the President of the Volksgericht (People’s Court). Known as the “hanging judge,” Freisler was known for yelling at and berating prisoners paraded before him. Newsreels of Freisler’s trials show an animated judge constantly playing up to German public opinion, already whipped into a fanatic frenzy by the intensive propaganda of Joseph Goebbels. Freisler was ultimately killed in an Allied bombing raid in 1945. Ironically, he was presiding over one of his kangaroo courts at the time his courtroom received a direct hit.

Today we are faced with the Freislers of the airwaves – those right-wing hate mongers who act as judges, juries, and character executioners. Chief among these are the typical promoters of neo-conservative (read that as extreme right-wing) policies. Among the most outrageous are Rush Limbaugh, Fox’s Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity, and G. Gordon Liddy.

One good joke about Rush Limbaugh goes like this — Question: What does the airship Hindenburg and Rush have in common? Answer: they are both flaming Nazi gasbags. But Limbaugh, beyond being a gasbag, is also a complete phony. Many have heard that Limbaugh avoided the draft by claiming a problem with rectal hairs and fissures (no pain in the ass jokes please). Not so well known is Limbaugh’s jaundiced opinion of his fans.

When Limbaugh hosted a short-lived television program, the executive producer of which was Roger Ailes — the current President of Fox News and former Ronald Reagan toady – the gasbag demonstrated what he really thinks about his beloved “ditto heads.” A technician who worked on the show’s set in New York City reported that a group of Ohio fans once arrived by bus to sit in as members of Limbaugh’s studio audience. After taping the show and after the audience left the studio, the technician overheard Limbaugh saying, “Can you believe these fucking ditto heads? They sit on a bus for eight hours to sit for a half hour show, what morons.” It’s about time for Limbaugh fans to face up to what their hero thinks about them. You are money making morons for Mr. “Excellence in Broadcasting.” Limbaugh – phony number one.

Then there is Bill O’Reilly. His favorite targets are all those anti-war liberals in Hollywood. O’Reilly would rather his fans not know about his own sycophantic Hollywood past. After having been a reporter for ABC and CBS News, O’Reilly opted for the Hollywood route, becoming the co-anchor of the tabloid program Inside Edition. From 1989 to 1995, O’Reilly fawned all over those nasty Hollywood lefties he now pretends to despise. There was O’Reilly, at his phony best, covering such Hollywood lefties as Woody Allen, Steven Spielberg, Jane Fonda, Robert Redford, Paul Newman, and Ed Asner. Imagine O’Reilly working the phones in 1993 to get that big exclusive interview with the liberal environmental activist Ted Danson to ask him about the final episode of Cheers. “Hi Ted, it’s Bill O’Reilly from Inside Edition. I know you’re busy trying to save the oceans and all that stuff, but do you have time to come on my program to talk about doing the last Cheers? I’d be so ever grateful.” Right O’Reilly, grateful until you get your own political platform to beat up on environmentalists like Danson.

Having made his career, courtesy of left-wing Hollywood, O’Reilly was plucked from Los Angeles by Roger Ailes, who had just taken over the helm at Fox News after having blown it ratings-wise with Limbaugh’s ill-fated TV program. A few months ago, I had a discussion with one of O’Reilly’s Fox producers. She asked me what I would want to talk to O’Reilly about if I went on his program. I said, “that’s easy, let’s talk about Hollywood making O’Reilly’s career and how he now rants and raves about Hollywood’s lack of patriotism.” Never heard anything back. What a surprise! It seems O’Reilly is better at dishing out criticism than taking it. No spin? Really O’Reilly! O’Reilly – phony number two.

And what about Sean Hannity? Is this some experienced inside-the-beltway political sage who has always had his hand on the political pulse of Washington? No, alas Sean started out as a deejay in the radio mega-market of Huntsville, Alabama – a town that abounds with Wal Marts, fast food joints, and military employees and contractors but little full spectrum political discourse. Before ending up at WABC-AM in New York, Hannity honed his Freisler-like skills in Atlanta, where his audience, while larger than the one he had in Huntsville, was still demographically largely male, white, and red neck. Hannity, of course, was chosen by WABC to replace Bob Grant, who was fired for expressing glee over the death of Commerce Secretary Ron Brown in a plane crash in Croatia. Grant said that there were initial reports that there was one survivor of the crash, adding, “it’s probably Ron Brown, but then again I’m a pessimist.” Hannity, who now spins right-wing muck instead of America’s Top 40, was the perfect choice to replace Grant.

When I appeared on “Hannity & Colmes” to defend former Representative Cynthia McKinney’s statement about what George Bush might have known about the terrorist attacks in the months leading up to 9-11, I was pitted against Florida’s GOP Representative Mark Foley. During a commercial break, Hannity said he enjoyed his recent trip to Florida and his golf outing with Foley. Can anyone even spell “conflict of interests?” Hannity: phony number three.

Then there is G. Gordon Liddy. A former long-term guest of the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, Liddy was the team leader for the botched 1972 attempt by Richard Nixon’s “Plumbers Unit” to bug Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate. Libby now shills for the neo-conservatives and the Israeli right-wing. He constantly features Jerusalem Post publisher Tom Rose on his radio show. Rose is tied at the waist to Richard Perle, the neo-conservative’s Prince of Darkness. Liddy constantly makes racist comments about Arabs and parrots the Israeli expansionist line. He often mentions his parachute jumps with the Israeli Defense Forces. People have their price. If Liddy had been offered a chance to fly Russia’s latest MIG, perhaps he would be singing the praises of Vladimir Putin’s brutalizing the Chechens.

Liddy once said he would stand on a Washington street and take a bullet for Richard Nixon’s administration, if that’s all it took to save it. Apparently, in his zeal to defend Israeli expansionism, Liddy fails to remember that Nixon was one of America’s most anti-Semitic presidents – he always complained about Jews to people like Billy Graham and his German-descent gauleiters, John Ehrlichman and H.R. Haldeman. And no one can forget where Nixon went for a ticker tape parade as his administration was crumbling in 1974: Damascus, Syria where he was hailed by one Hafez al Assad, whose son Bashir is routinely demonized by Liddy and his Israeli lobby guests. Liddy: phony number four.

Roland Freisler is gone but his ideological grand-standing descendants rule the airwaves. The Federal Communications Commission, which, under Colin Powell’s son Michael, is now bought and paid for by the corporate infotainment industry, should investigate America’s radio phonies and their connections to the GOP right-wing. In a perfect world, there would be such an investigation. But in a nation gone mad, the hate mongers of the airwaves continue to spew forth their venom. Freisler would have loved it.

WAYNE MADSEN is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and columnist. He wrote the introduction to Forbidden Truth.

Madsen can be reached at: WMadsen777@aol.com

 

More articles by:

February 21, 2019
Nick Pemberton
Israel, Venezuela and Nationalism In The Neoliberal Era
Chris Orlet
The Bill and Melinda Gates’ Fair Taxation Scaremongering Tour
Bruce E. Levine
“Heavy Drinking” and the NYT’s Offensive Obit on Herbert Fingarette
Lisi Krall
This Historical Moment Demands Transformation of Our Institutions. The Green New Deal Won’t Do That
Stephanie Savell
Mapping the American War on Terror: Now in 80 Countries
Daniel Warner
New York, New York: a Resounding Victory for New York Over Amazon
Russell Mokhiber
With Monsanto and Glyphosate on the Run AAAS Revokes Award to Scientists Whose Studies Led to Ban on Weedkiller in Sri Lanka and Other Countries
Jesse Jackson
Trump’s Fake National Emergency Moves America Closer to an Autocracy
Alex Campbell
Tracing the Threads in Venezuela: Humanitarian Aid
Jonah Raskin
Mitchel Cohen Takes on Global and Local Goliaths: Profile of a Lifelong Multi-Movement Organizer
Binoy Kampmark
Size Matters: the Demise of the Airbus A380
Elliot Sperber
For Your Children (or: Dead Ahead)
February 20, 2019
Anthony DiMaggio
Withdrawal Pains and Syrian Civil War: An Analysis of U.S. Media Discourse
Charles Pierson
When Saudi Arabia Gets the Bomb
Doug Johnson Hatlem
“Electability” is Real (Unless Married with the Junk Science of Ideological Spectrum Analysis)
Kenneth Surin
The Atlantic Coast Pipeline: Another Boondoggle in Virginia
John Feffer
The Psychology of the Wall
Dean Baker
Modern Monetary Theory and Taxing the Rich
Russell Mokhiber
Citizens Arrested Calling Out Manchin on Rockwool
George Ochenski
Unconstitutional Power Grabs
Michael T. Klare
War With China? It’s Already Under Way
Thomas Knapp
The Real Emergency Isn’t About the Wall, It’s About the Separation of Powers
Manuel García, Jr.
Two Worlds
Daniel Warner
The Martin Ennals and Victorian Prize Winners Contrast with Australia’s Policies against Human Dignity
Norman Solomon
What the Bernie Sanders 2020 Campaign Means for Progressives
Dan Corjescu
2020 Vision: A Strategy of Courage
Matthew Johnson
Why Protest Trump When We Can Impeach Him?
William A. Cohn
Something New and Something Old: a Story Still Being Told
Bill Martin
The Fourth Hypothesis: the Present Juncture of the Trump Clarification and the Watershed Moment on the Washington Mall
February 19, 2019
Richard Falk – Daniel Falcone
Troublesome Possibilities: The Left and Tulsi Gabbard
Patrick Cockburn
She Didn’t Start the Fire: Why Attack the ISIS Bride?
Evaggelos Vallianatos
Literature and Theater During War: Why Euripides Still Matters
Maximilian Werner
The Night of Terror: Wyoming Game and Fish’s Latest Attempt to Close the Book on the Mark Uptain Tragedy
Conn Hallinan
Erdogan is Destined for Another Rebuke in Turkey
Nyla Ali Khan
Politics of Jammu and Kashmir: The Only Viable Way is Forward
Mark Ashwill
On the Outside Looking In: an American in Vietnam
Joyce Nelson
Sir Richard Branson’s Venezuelan-Border PR Stunt
Ron Jacobs
Day of Remembrance and the Music of Anthony Brown        
Cesar Chelala
Women’s Critical Role in Saving the Environment
February 18, 2019
Paul Street
31 Actual National Emergencies
Robert Fisk
What Happened to the Remains of Khashoggi’s Predecessor?
David Mattson
When Grizzly Bears Go Bad: Constructions of Victimhood and Blame
Julian Vigo
USMCA’s Outsourcing of Free Speech to Big Tech
George Wuerthner
How the BLM Serves the West’s Welfare Ranchers
Christopher Fons
The Crimes of Elliot Abrams
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail