Fox News has distinguished itself as as purveyor of extraordinarily bad advice. Just last week they offered “Eight Tips To Opt Out of ObamaCare” that would likely result in serious medical harm and/or bankruptcy were you to suffer illness or injury. Earlier this year they demonstrated that they are the nation’s premiere source for truly dreadful financial advice. And last night Fox hosted a discussion on the legalization of marijuana that was riddled with similar ignorance.
On Greta Van Susteren’s “On The Record,” Fox’s newest wingnut crush, Dr. Ben Carson, was invited on to bash ObamaCare, which he did with relish, as expected. But as the segment came to close, Van Susteren threw in a question about Colorado’s recent legislation legalizing marijuana. This gave Dr. Carson an opportunity to reveal just how wingnutty he can be.
Carson: Marijuana is what’s known as a gateway drug. It tends to be a starter drug for people who move onto heavier duty drugs – sometimes legal, sometimes illegal – and I don’t think this is something that we really want for our society.
First of all, to argue that smoking Marijuana leads to heavier drug use is not supported by scientific study. It makes no more sense than the argument that milk leads to heavier drug use simply because everyone who uses heroin had previously been a milk drinker. Secondly, Carson fails to divulge where he got the impression that legalizing marijuana is not something society wants. A recent Gallup poll shows a large majority (58% to 39%) favoring legalization.
But Carson wasn’t finished embarrassing himself. He moved from misrepresenting the facts to dispensing pedantic philosophy by lamenting that “We’re gradually just removing all the barriers to hedonistic activity.” For the record, hedonism is the belief that life should have more pleasure than pain. It’s easy to see why the Morality Centurions at Fox would be against such a radical concept.
Van Susteren then sought to have Carson address the question from the angle of personal responsibility, free choice, and the position that government should not have the power to mandate private behavior. This is a subject that Fox’s conservatives beat to death on a daily basis. But for Carson there is an exemption allowing nanny-state regulations for things that he doesn’t like. And to make matters worse, he supports that hypocrisy with an utterly absurd analogy.
Carson: Well, do those same people argue for freedom of choice when someone says “I want to buy a gun, I want to buy an UZI, I want to buy” – you know, let’s be consistent with this thing.
Exactly. Because it is entirely consistent to compare the unregulated proliferation of deadly, military-style weapons that have produced horrific tragedies with smoking an occasional doobie while zoning out to some Pink Floyd. But what sends this completely over the logical cliff is that while Carson blasts what he regards as liberal hypocrisy, he is himself neck deep in a hypocritical bog for advocating free choice for gun fetishists but not for potheads.
Finally, Carson demonstrates that he is living in an alternate universe by asserting that the marijuana issue has not been sufficiently debated by society.
Carson: We’re changing so rapidly to a different type of society and nobody is getting a chance to discuss it because, you know, it’s taboo. It’s politically incorrect. You’re not supposed to talk about these things. [...] Why can’t we talk about these things? That’s what I want to know.
Really? We haven’t talked enough about legalizing marijuana? So the decades spent debating it in state and federal legislatures, in academic research, by law enforcement professionals, in the media, and by citizens throughout the country, does not assuage Carson’s phobia of a rapidly changing society? To say the least, Carson has some pretty stiff deliberative prerequisites for untethering America from an anachronistic prohibition. And where he gets the notion that discussing marijuana is “taboo,” is a mystery only his dementia can unravel.
However, it is not surprising that Fox is presenting opposition to marijuana legalization. And it has nothing to do with the substance of the issue. Anything that happens on Obama’s watch is automatically bad and subject to vilification by the robo-critics at Fox News, whether he had anything to do with it or not. So despite public support and medical research, Carson and the Fox irregulars will stand strong against common sense and liberty and blame everything on the black guy in the White House.