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The Sucker Base

by Steve Young

Steve Young columns

"When one lies, one should lie big." -- J. Goebbels

There is no point to debating Bill O'Reilly or Sean Hannity about Iraqi losses or the damage caused by the U.S. invasion into Iraq. They follow the time-honored right-wing talk radio policy of admitting only that which is impossible to deny, then cutting it in half, while at the same time doubling or tripling the enemy's losses. This balances the accounts. The astonishing thing is that Mr. O'Reilly and Mr. Hannity, genuine John Bulls, hold to their lies and in fact repeat them until they themselves believe them. That is an old Lords of Loud trick. Mr. O'Reilly and Mr. Hannity do not need to perfect it, as it is one of the familiar tactics of Goebbels, Limbaugh and Rovian politics, known to the entire world.

O'Reilly made good use of the trick during the Iraqi incursion, boycotting France and labeling those who do not agree as unpatriotic, with the difference that world opinion believed it then, which cannot be said today. That is because O'Reilly thought France would never recover. In part from indifference, but also in part from boastfulness, he made the mistake of telling the world he knew how well the boycott worked when the facts said the opposite.

Mr. Hannity just refuses to listen to anyone while he incessantly interrupts anything coming close to a discussion, telling his followers that he is unbelievably nauseated by the politicizing of the war by Democrats, when you'd have to be brain-dead not to appreciate that Hannity only exists because he politicizes EVERYTHING.

Mr. Rove...Oh, Mr. Rove, how he does go on, calling journalism's kettle "black" (or "corrosive") when it is he who has blackened the factual landscape.

Mr. O'Reilly and Mr. Hannity in particular, have no problem lying to high heaven during the war. They were even proud of fooling their own fans in so easy and clever a fashion. But tapes and transcripts of their own shows reveal their methods. They are not believable any longer. We only need to refer to those tapes and note that they, like Rove and the White House, are the ones trying to determine U.S news policy and everything becomes clear.

That is of course rather painful for those involved. One should not, as a rule, reveal one's secrets, since one does not know if and when one may need them again. The essential Bush/Rove/Neo-con leadership secret does not depend on particular intelligence. Rather, it depends on a remarkably stupid thick-headedness.

The Neo-cons and O'Reilly and Hannity follow the principle that when one lies, one should lie big, and stick to it. They keep up their lies, even at the risk of looking ridiculous.

(End of Goebbels, thanks.)

With President Bush's favorable ratings sitting comfortably in the tank, and even Republicans finding less and less to like about their War (making) President, it would seem that eyes are beginning to open. Obviously November will prove the truth in the pudding. But even then, people have always been mindful that politicians lie, but hoping with all their partisanship in tact, that the lies will benefit their team.

Yet with the politicians believed to be unbelievable, a righ-wing talk show fan, will believe that their favorite talk radio host is telling the least three hours a day.

When these poor exploited paramours wake from their politically-induced, brain-washed trances to cry on your shoulder about how they feel so stupid; that they can't believe they were being lied to all the time they were being being courted; that they were so blind not to have seen the signs. The signs that were all so obvious to you, but to these girlfriends, er,, they had been dismissed as just cute misunderstandings.

As most of the U.S. audience slowly but surely is now realizing, the right-handed Lords of Loud have been lying to them. They were the victims predators like Hannity and O'Reilly have respected the least and were, in truth, the last to be trusted. They thought themselves as fans, but they were in actuality their suckers. Suckers who weren't able to be trusted with the truth. For if they were provided the whole truth they would have made the wrong decision -- the decision that their beloved host didn't want them to make.

And when the the talk radio fans wake up, realizing they have been duped all these years by Lords of Loud like O and H, and wish to cry on your shoulder, be there for them. More importantly, with the pangs of betrayal filling them with a desire to avenge the years of painful deceit, you can introduce them to the best method for getting back their dignity: the voting booth.

Steve Young's latest novel "15 Minutes" (HarperCollins) hits the bookshelves this week. (

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Albion Monitor   July 29, 2006   (

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