I did something unexpected the other day: I watched a little of The O’Reilly Factor. The host made two proclamations that might’ve made me chuckle if they weren’t so frighteningly emblematic of America’s intellectual vacancy. According to O’Reilly, Arianna Huffington is a member of the “far left” and her website, Huffington Post, is home to “hate speech.”
Of course, the myth of a monolithic Left—one that includes everyone from Dan Rather to Derrick Jensen, from Barack Obama to Ward Churchill—is extremely useful to anyone seeking to stifle public debate. However, it only requires an iota of objectivity to recognize that Arianna Huffington dwells in the realm of what might generously be characterized as the “liberal Left” (or, more accurately, the “soft Left”). Along with Sean Penn, Michael Moore, Al Franken, and others of her ilk, Arianna Huffington may not actually be a radical, but will gladly play one on TV.
But let’s move now to the far more noteworthy O’Reilly claim: the Huffington Post is a hate site. In a recent article, the popular Fox TV host focused on Huffington Post visitor comments like this one about an ailing Nancy Reagan: “I feel no pity for the bitch who took delight in watching thousands die of a horrible disease and watching the poor having to eat out of dumpsters because of her husband’s political beliefs.”
Of course, one could justifiably take issue with the harsh tone, the use of the word “bitch,” and the assumption that Just-Say-No Nancy consciously “took delight” in others’ misery. I’m certainly not endorsing the cowardly commentary of internet trolls, e.g. childish name-calling or the spineless reliance on sexism, racism, etc… but the primary point of the above comment seems germane to me. Our society and our planet are in critical condition (or worse) thanks to willful decisions made by human beings occupying positions of power. So, why are we being so damn polite when talking about these elites? Why do we show any mercy when discussing the villains who knowingly pollute, exploit, wage war, steal, and treat all living things as if they were expendable? Why are we so afraid to hate those most responsible for our current global nightmare?
Well-paid entertainers like O’Reilly cow us into fearing the label of “hater” when, in reality, elected [sic] officials and the corporations that own them display sheer, unrestrained hatred in every move they make. They hate freedom, they hate justice, and they hate solidarity. They hate the environment, plants, animals, and even humans. They hate everything… except fame, power, and profits. Why the hell do we give any of them one shred of respect? They haven’t earned our deference; they haven’t earned our patience; they haven’t earned the benefit of anyone’s doubt. They have earned nothing except our utter contempt and loathing.
Pacifist types might cringe at my words and urge us all to eschew hatred. Moderates will talk of the need to find common ground. The candlelight vigil crowd tells us that we must love our enemies. Personally, I’d rather heed the words of Malcolm X: “We are nonviolent with people who are nonviolent with us.”
I feel no solidarity with the professional liars who make up the corporate media. I feel no compassion for the career criminals that stock the corporate ranks. I hold no love for the pinstriped mountebanks we call “politicians.” If that sounds like “hate speech” to you, well… that’s because it is.