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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    Jumbo Shrimp, Virtual Reality, Conservative Compassion

    The conservative base in this country is lost. That is the only explanation for the erratic, shameful behavior being exhibited on an almost nightly basis by some of the most well known water carriers currently doing the bidding of the Bush administration. In the past week alone, some of the right wing’s biggest stars have threatened the life of a twelve-year-old boy, called the Nobel Peace Prize a terrorist weapon, wished that ‘terrorist weapon’ upon our troops, threatened to rape a woman who disagreed with their opinion, and have called Christianity the perfection of the Jews. More shocking is that all of the aforementioned incidents went unnoticed by most people on this campus, and the people who uttered these remarks all still have their jobs.

    Let us start with twelve-year-old Graeme Frost. He is the young boy who survived a horrific car accident in 2004 and had to undergo a grueling series of surgeries, which, without the assistance of the State Child Health Insurance Program’s assistance, would have been entirely unaffordable for his family. When the $35 billion expansion of the SCHIP was approved by Congress and then promptly vetoed by President Bush, Graeme and his family stepped forward and asked the Senate and the House to reverse the veto. That is when all hell broke loose. Conservative bloggers, radio talk show hosts, TV personalities, and even Republican congressmen worked in unison to fabricate information about the Frost family. The blog Red State was the home to one person who called for ‘the public hanging of Graeme and his family.’ The right wing lunatics attacked the messenger, ignoring the message. And the messenger happens to be a 12 year old.

    When Al Gore added a Nobel Peace Prize to his mantle last week, all Sean Hannity could talk about was how he would never accept an award that a ‘terrorist’ has won, speaking of course about Yassir Arafat’s Nobel in 1994. Sure, he was probably not the best recipient, but it is almost comical to hear Fox News hosts argue about the validity of the most coveted award on Earth. Hannity went on to say that while he wouldn’t accept the award, the United States military would certainly get his vote. Never mind that the award has the word ‘peace’ in its title, but Hannity seems to think that the troops are just as deserving of the award as terrorists. Jon Stewart was the only TV host to call Hannity out on his Freudian slip. Hannity has spent so much time constructing false news to fit his and his boss’ political agenda, he can’t keep his stories straight anymore.

    The New York Post’s Page Six editors went perhaps further than anyone else. A female reporter from New York Magazine who disagreed with Page Six editor Richard Johnson by saying that he has been ’emasculated by the Murdoch hierarchy’ was threatened with gang rape. Seriously. Johnson declared that the male staff at Page Six ‘might take her someplace private and disprove her theory, but we don’t like a woman with a moustache.’

    And lastly, we arrive at queen of the conservatives Ann Coulter. Coulter has made a career out of calling people names and riling up controversy wherever she goes, but on CNBC she reached epic new heights when she declared that ‘we [Christians] just want Jews to be perfected.’ And Bill O’Reilly, conservative king, came to her defense the next day, declaring that he ‘[doesn’t] even care, to tell you the truth.’ It is shocking to see such utter complacency on behalf of the mainstream media in the face of such blatant anti-Semitism.

    As I write this, I have clips open from several news outlets, all featuring the likes of Bill O’Reilly, Hannity, Coulter, Rush Limbaugh’hellip;and I can feel my blood pressure rising. I would like to believe that the American people are smart enough to weed out the nonsense and hatred that passes for journalism nowadays, but I fear that there are too many people in this country who actually subscribe to the conservative talking points.

    The problem is that the right wing fringe has become the right wing base. Instead of relying on honest debate, they have turned to pathetic scare tactics and immature insults to further a political agenda that is hate-filled and preaches intolerance to a susceptible America.

    I can’t blame those who fall victim to the perpetual lies forwarded by media figures. Many do not have access to quality education, a device that easily disproves right-wing propaganda. No, my blame lies entirely with the disgraceful conservatives of this country who go out of their way to manipulate, exaggerate and fabricate facts to gather support for an agenda that most discerning humans recognize as preposterous at best.

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