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Saturday, July 30, 2016

The Gaseous Dirigible Named Roger Ailes Implodes!

Schadenfreude. Not very Buddha-like. To "derive pleasure from the misfortune of others." At the least, it's seems like bad form.

But I can't help but exult in the implosion of Roger Ailes. You hope to come to this planet, live your life, and leave it a better place than before you arrived. Or maybe, at least, "do no harm."

But of course, that doesn't really pay. Ailes has been an active malefactor for decades. He helped remake and elevate Richard Nixon. He helped create our corrosive political culture. He was the primary architect of Fox News - the great Right-Wing Propaganda Noise Machine of our era.

He has twisted and polluted our discourse over the last 40 years or so. As David Remnick of the New Yorker writes:

"At each stage of his career, he has helped amplify the reactionary memes of the moment: Willie Horton, Whitewater, Travelgate, Monica Lewinsky, the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, Benghazi, “the war on Christmas.” Ailes also helped weaponize the language of casual racism in the Obama era. When one of his hosts, Glenn Beck, declared on the air that the President had a “deep-seated hatred for white people,” Ailes hardly reprimanded him. “I think he’s right,” Ailes said."

So now he has fallen amid a slew of accusations of sexual predation. A man brought down by his own hubris, arrogance and bad action.  There is something satisfying in the tale. Man of power finally brought down by a woman, a victim, and then many supporting victims voices, who had the courage to call out his bad behavior.

Of course, he walks away from the big corporation with a fat paycheck. But the man is brought down, his reputation is besmirched. And now maybe his terribly negative Noise Machine can become a bit less noisy. That would be great!

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