Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus


 And he just came down the American chimney and left an unexpected gift. Apparently, there is enough of a moral backbone left in a country that has been on a rampage of excusing misconduct that the unbelievable has happened—Bill O-Reilly has been fired from FOX news. No surprise that it came from our Puritan-side— sexual misconduct. (And I suppose I should say “alleged,” but spending 13 million dollars to shut it up seems to indicate that there was some concern about guilt.).

Don’t get me wrong. Such behavior is no minor thing and is absolutely sufficient grounds for terminating his show. But isn’t it interesting that the network was willing to excuse his constant racist attacks on black folks, his willful perpetuation of the lie that rich Republicans got that way from hard work and effort and anyone who can’t make it is a loser who deserves it (read Tim Wise’s book Under the Affluence), his contribution to the culture of mindless confrontation beyond any standard of civil discourse. All of that was fine, made for good TV and made money for the network. It’s odious that stirring racial hatred was less serious than sexual misconduct.

But let’s be grateful for small miracles. It’s a good sign that an organization like FOX finally held one of its glowing stars accountable. Perhaps Republicans will follow suit with Trump. If that happens, I will stand with Virginia and proclaim that Santa Claus is indeed real.

And he should run for office in 2020. Who’s with me on the campaign trail?

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