The Superlie

When mere distortion just isn’t enough:
Did you know the ACLU is fascist?

[ed. note: The image has been moved down so it doesn’t interfere with quoting.]

Well, at least according to Bill “O’Really” O’Reilly. During my daily blogging run, I came across this on Media Whores Online:

From Bill O’Reilly’s opening comments January 9:

Now the ACLU is free to come to your town and sue the heck out of it. And believe me, that organization will. The ACLU doesn’t care about the law or the constitution or what the people want. It’s a fascist organization that uses lawyers instead of Panzers. It’ll find a way to inflict financial damage on any concern that opposes its secular agenda and its growing in power.

At first, I was just going to remark on the breathtaking audacity of labeling a group like the American Civil Liberties Union fascist. Rather like calling Ariel Sharon anti-Semitic, Osama bin Laden a peacenik, or George W. Bush an intellectual. When I went looking for a primary web source, however, I quickly discovered that this isn’t the first time that O’Reilly has called the ACLU “fascist.” Far from it.

On Fox News itself, from December 2002:

The ACLU has now become a fascist organization that is imposing a perverted interpretation of the Constitution upon the American people.

About a month later, he was at it again:

“I call them a fascist organization, because what they’re doing is using terror to further their agenda.”

Fascists and terrorists. Well, hey, they do use lawyers. (I suppose it would be rude of me to mention the O’Reilly-driven Fox lawsuit against Al Franken. Oh well. 😉 Later, Howard Kurtz wrote an article in February 2003 quoting O’Reilly on the same topic:

The American Civil Liberties Union “has become a fascist group devoted to hammering Americans with a narrow agenda that is harmful to the country.”

[Superlie]This goes far beyond a simple, spiteful comment. Even the word “lie” doesn’t seem to cover the topic appropriately. This has all the appearance of a calculated, long term effort to invert reality itself, an epic case of up-is-downism that staggers the imagination. The superlie.

It isn’t as if O’Reilly lacks ammunition that will satisfy his target audience. With his own brand of dittohead already predisposed to hate the ACLU, he could call them pinko commies, America-haters (which is, of course, code for anyone opposed to neocon world domination), reactionaries, even — gasp! — liberals. None of which would be exactly true, but at least those statements would bear some passing resemblance to reality.

It’s bad enough when there’s a public media outcry about two non-approved videos comparing Bush to Hitler in a free-for-all ad competition, while the grassroots supporters of the Dean campaign are compared to the Brownshirts with virtual impunity. (A Google search at the time this article was written turned up about a dozen lefty blogs and the original New York Post op-ed that made the comparison, now in the Post’s archive.) This Orwellian use of the Mighty Wurlitzer, however, is truly amazing. Perhaps if O’Reilly tells his audience that black is white, peace is war, and liberty is fascism long enough, they’ll start believing it. If his track record is any indication, he’s already got them believing one of the above.

(/) Roland X

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