America is a sick nation.
Not from the swine flu pandemic, although surely that doesn’t help, but the U.S. is afflicted with an even graver illness. At the moment, it’s looking terminal. Health care reform and affordable medical treatment for everyone cannot come too soon.
Like most illnesses, no one is exactly sure when our patient contracted the disease. Sometimes, that’s not important; this time it is. If we can get to the source of this epidemic, we have a chance of preventing future outbreaks from happening.
Thus far, research points to May 15, 1940, the day Roger E. Ailes, the son of a factory worker, was born in Warren, Ohio. Apparently, Ailes was exposed to the AILE-ment when he was quite young. Although it remained dormant for a long time, the symptoms of Ailes’ disease erupted in 1967 when Ailes first met Richard M. Nixon. The disease known as Extreme-Partisanship, has progressed exponentially.
In 1968, Ailes joined Nixon’s presidential campaign. After leading Nixon to victory, Ailes’ symptoms became even more pronounced.
He founded Ailes Communications in New York. About the same time, one symptom, brain dysfunction escalated. Ailes became obsessed with right-wing politics, obsession as an addiction, being the major symptom of the disease.
Many credit Mr. Ailes with Ronald Reagan’s 1984 successful run for the American presidency. Reagan, history tells us, contracted the disease later in his life, in 1962, when he became rabid about his politics. No one is sure exactly from which carrier he contracted the AILE-ment.
But back to Ailes and how his disease manifested itself. No trick was too small for Roger Ailes. Obsessive partisanship exhibits itself through excessive measures. All reason is thrown out the window with this brain dysfunction. When there is no rationale, there is no underlying principle, only righteousness. Ailes hired New York Mad Man Philip Dusenberry to build the supporting ad campaign to further his cause and his candidate, Ronald Reagan.
Dusenberry created ads that seduced the public, infecting them with, according to unnamed sources, “swelling violin music and emotional, issue-free imagery of weddings, flag-raising, home-buying and peaceful, scenic vistas.” It was an alchemy to which many Americans succumbed, not understanding that they were being contaminated with a dose of Ailes’ AILE-ment that is highly contagious.
By 1988, Ailes was seriously ill with the AILE-ment. He helped George H. W. Bush defeat Michael Dukakis. Ailes and political guru, Lee Atwater, who had earlier contracted the AILE-ment, used race-baiting as a tactic to secure the win for their candidate. The subtle and undiagnosed disease was advancing rapidly in both men. Highly contagious, it often manifested itself in excessive meanness.
Radio personality, partisan and King of Mean, Rush Limbaugh, may still not know that he has the disease. But in 1991, Ailes exposed Limbaugh, who has the addiction gene (Oxycontin ring a bell?) to the AILE-ment. Together Ailes and Limbaugh worked on a TV show, but it was short-lived. Limbaugh, of course, has returned to radio where listeners are exposed to a daily dose of the AILE-ment at work.
Following his initial association with Rush Limbaugh, Roger Ailes’ disease went into remission. But in February 1996, Ailes symptoms returned. Rupert Murdoch of News Corporation hired Ailes to create Fox News Channel set to launch on October 7, 1996.
Ailes hired a coterie of right-wing broadcasters including Matt Drudge, Sean Hannity, Oliver North and Bill O’Reilly, all who had already contracted the AILE-ment. He also hired veteran broadcaster Geraldo Rivera who appears to have some resistance to the disease.
By now Ailes disease was full-blown. Did Ailes know that something was wrong? Perhaps as a cover-up, Ailes employed one of his New York Mad Men to create the slogan for Fox News Channel: ”fair and balanced reporting.” Of course, the AILE-ment prohibits fairness and balance because that’s exactly what the afflicted patient lacks as the insidious disease attacks the brain.
Again, the disease is highly contagious. It has spread across the airwaves. Turn on MSNBC and there is as much obsessive partisanship there as on Fox News Channel. MSNBC has caught the fever!
The other cable network, CNN, is losing viewers daily. Apparently, the disease has not reached the pandemic stage at CNN. It therefore looks weird to the American viewing public, most who have contracted the AILE-ment and no longer relate well to reasonable discussion.
Apparently, only 9% of Americans have full immunity against the AILE-ment. A 2009 Gallup assessment has found an average of 36% of Americans consider themselves Democratic, 28% Republican and 37% call themselves independent, although when pressed to say which party they lean toward, 51% of Americans identify as Democrats, 39% as Republicans.
In other words, 91% of Americans have been exposed to the AILE-ment.
Another manifestation of the AILE-ment is that Americans no longer pledge allegiance to The United States of America, but to their respective parties, an AILE-ment that is quickly bringing America to its knees.
Currently, there appears to be no effective vaccination against the disease. And there isn’t likely to be one soon. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has apparently been exposed to the AILE-ment itself. And besides, the CDC has its hands full with the H1N1 Swine Flu pandemic, for which, thankfully, there is immunization.
Unfortunately, the CDC been unsuccessful in getting the vaccination to the people in a timely matter. They must be suffering from the characteristic brain dysfunction common from their exposure to the AILE-ment, apparently getting in their way of doing things reasonably.
Halli Casser-Jayne is the author of A YEAR IN MY PAJAMAS WITH PRESIDENT OBAMA, The Politics of Strange Bedfellows. To read more of her opinions visit http://www.thecjpoliticalreport.com
c. 2009 All rights reserved.