The Fox News Medical “A” Team’s resident psychiatrist, Keith Ablow, has a long history of going “inside the mind” of pretty much anyone who is in the news (and especially President Obama). I recently compiled a list of 35 articles in which Ablow entered the minds of unsuspecting victims of his quackery. What they all share in common is a deep disregard for medical ethics and a penchant for sensationalism, wild conjecture, and deranged diagnoses – such as his affection for the Unabomber. [Here is the News Corpse file on Ablow's vast crackpottery]
With the Russian foray into Crimea, the rank opportunist in Ablow has marched himself straight into the mind of Vladimir Putin. And you’ll never guess who he found there. After rattling around for a bit to make some baseless assumptions, Ablow discovered that President Obama had established occupancy and become the key factor in everything that Putin does. In fact, Ablow’s excursion into Putin’s mind is really just an excuse to foster ludicrous hypotheses about Obama’s psychological state. Ablow begins his inane adventure by saying…
“I believe Putin’s psychology is being directly fueled by that of President Barack Obama. Obama being Obama helps Putin be Putin.”
Isn’t that simple? Putin isn’t an autocratic dictator with a compulsion for power and influence. He’s just a vessel into which Obama pours his omnipotence. Putin wouldn’t have invaded Ukraine – he might not even have existed – but for Obama. But despite the fullness of Obama’s ability to fuel Putin’s emptiness, Obama is still Putin’s lesser who is motivated by a desire to weaken America, the nation he rose from simple beginnings to lead. Ablow says that…
“Putin apparently believes he was placed on this planet to be the most powerful person he can be, to assert his religious and social beliefs unsparingly and to help reestablish his Russia as the dominant power in the world. Barack Obama apparently believes he was placed on this earth to be the most powerful person he can be, in order to restrain America in the expression of its power.”
Makes perfect sense, doesn’t it? The interracial child of a single mother struggles his whole life to achieve lofty goals that most people believed to be unattainable just so he could rip it all apart once he arrived. It’s a theory so brilliant that only Ablow himself can understand it as anything other than idiocy.
Ablow goes on to assert that Obama thinks that “national (American) character is a bad thing,” and that Obama is only interested in “in disempowering the United States.” But it isn’t just America as a nation that Obama is determined to destroy, it is every individual in the nation, whose autonomous freedom Obama has set out to eviscerate. And naturally, Putin’s superior observational capability is further praised by Ablow who said…
“I do not believe that Vladimir Putin would miss the fact that Barack Obama has imperiled the notion of individual autonomy (by seeking to disarm Americans, by seeking to make Americans dependent on unemployment checks and food stamps and by making it officially impossible to choose how to spend your own money, via the Affordable Care Act).”
Somehow, in this article purporting to be an examination of Putin’s mind, Ablow has managed to turn it into a parade of nearly every negative talking point about Obama on the Republican Party’s hit list: guns, unemployment, food stamps, health care. If he had thrown in Benghazi, and taxing the rich, he would have completed the set. But he wasn’t finished. He still had to concoct a conclusion that would denigrate the President as being more harmful to America than Putin or its other foes. And this is what he came up with:
“If Crimea becomes part of Russia or all of Ukraine does, it will be in no small measure due to the psychology of Vladimir Putin, and, in equal measure, due to the psychology of Barack Obama.”
There you have it: Keith Ablow’s excursion into the mind of Vladimir Putin – where the mind of Barack Obama rules. It still isn’t clear how a weak and vacillating Obama in mom jeans can overpower the mental superiority of a masculine and virile leader like Putin (Ablow and his right-wing comrades truly love Vlad), but Ablow’s analyses were never intended to make sense. His sole purpose is to attack the President, and it hardly matters if the attack is coherent. His audience is infected with an inability to grasp reason or logic, and they are overtly hostile to facts. And with psychiatric advice from wankers like Ablow, don’t expect them to get any better.
Ablow is famous for making the most absurd and surreal observations about people he has never examined, which is a violation of the Principles of Medical Ethics of the American Psychiatric Association (Section 7.3). These include advocating the political advantages of marital infidelity and his love for the Unabomber. However, the headline had a familiar ring to it, so I did a little research and found these:
Inside The Mind Of Dennis Rodman
Inside The Mind Of Ariel Castro
Inside The Mind Of How Race Divides Us: Zimmerman trial
Inside The Mind Of Aaron Hernandez
Inside The Mind Of Alec Baldwin
Inside The Mind Of Amanda Bynes
Inside The Mind Of Convicted Crime Boss Whitey Bulger
Inside The Mind Of Julian Assange
Inside The Mind Of Casey Anthony
Inside The Mind Of Todd Akin
Inside The Mind Of Navy Yard Shooter Aaron Alexis
Inside The Mind Of Joe Biden
Inside The Mind Of John Edwards
Inside The Mind Of Jerry Sandusky
Inside The Mind Of A Hacker
Inside The Mind Of Dr. Kermit Gosnell
Inside The Mind Of Kristen Stewart
Inside The Mind Of Rogue Ex-LAPD Cop
Inside The Mind Of Octuplet Mom
Inside The Mind Of the Octuplets’ Father
Inside The Mind Of the Fort Hood Shooter
Inside The Mind Of Josef Fritzl
Inside The Mind Of Clark Rockefeller
Inside The Mind Of Neil Entwistle
Inside The Mind Of The JetBlue Flight Attendant
Inside The Minds Of Rod Blagojevich And Bernie Madoff
It is now indisputable that the most maniacally demented crackpot on Fox News (since the excommunication of Glenn Beck) is the psychiatric member of their Medical A-Team, “Doctor”Keith Ablow. This ODS (Obama Derangement Syndrome) sufferer regularly violates the Principles of Medical Ethics of the American Psychiatric Association (Section 7.3) by forming medical opinions about people he has not examined and discussing them without approval.
Ablow has previously manifested such acute symptoms as advocating the health benefits of gun ownership and political advantages of marital infidelity. He has even praised the Unabomber. Most recently he has taken to accusing President Obama of having a “victim” mentality that has turned him into “a force that is disempowering Americans.” The ravings of Ablow are rapidly devolving into what can only be described as avant-garde comedic performance art. It is such over-the-top idiocy that it can’t possibly be taken seriously.
Nevertheless, Ablow has a captive audience in the Fox News congregation of Tea-soaked dimwits. His latest op-ed for Fox has the alarming headline: “How to immunize our kids against Obama’s victim mentality.” It’s his third installment in the “victim mentality” series. He leads off by regurgitating a string of mythical affronts that Ablow’s imagination has distilled into pure lunacy. For instance, he brings up the old “you didn’t build that” canard that Republicans deliberately misconstrued. He falsely claims that Obama believes that “individuals, even if they have committed no crimes, shouldn’t own firearms.” He raises the IRS pseudo-scandal that in reality included both liberal and conservative groups. Clearly Ablow is using this bizarre psychoanalysis in an attempt to exhume phony political attacks that didn’t work the first ten times their were trotted out.
In his previous chapter, Ablow asserted that if it wasn’t for Obama’s victim psychosis “dissolving the will of countless Americans,” there would be no poverty in America. But the new chapter is addressing the far more ominous danger that an Obama Virus poses to our children. And once again, Ablow assigns to Obama an almost supernatural power to impact whole societies by virtue of his omnipotent will:
“So it is time to immunize our sons and daughters against the president’s psychologically toxic rhetoric, which has the capacity to destroy the self-esteem of a generation of young people.”
Yikes! Sounds like the spell of Lucifer spreading across the nation like a poisonous cloud, enveloping the innocent and dooming mankind’s future to ruin. And Ablow’s response to this impending horror is an ingenious three step plan to shield our kids from Obama’s voodoo magic.
Make it plain to one’s children, certainly those who are exposed to the news, that the current president and those he has selected to govern with him are attempting to convince them that they are not powerful and cannot be trusted to make good decisions.
Make it plain to one’s children that the president’s belief that they are not powerful, inside themselves, as instruments of the vast power in the universe that fuels love and creativity and bravery, is completely incorrect.
Tell one’s children that their journey in life cannot be about admiring how powerful our government is, but being thankful for how powerful their own gifts might be and serving those gifts by putting forth all the needed effort to develop them and share them.
In short, Ablow’s advice is for patriotic parents to convince their kids that the President is a beastly liar who is trying to sap their free will and self-worth. Sure, that won’t traumatize any young’ns. And they need to be made aware of Obama’s determination to beget “the subtle, chronic, steady erosion of their belief in themselves.” Well, Ablow did publish this on the day before Halloween, so perhaps that’s why he is trying so hard to frighten the children. Or perhaps he is just dickwad who thinks he can peddle his paranoid theories about why the otherwise good people of America voted twice for such a monster. Ablow says…
“At the time we elected this president, we were doubting ourselves. We had been traumatized by the attacks of 9/11 and too many of us wondered if we had done something to deserve the hatred of others. So we elected a man who symbolized all that self-doubt and, because he had resented America his whole life, he made us doubt ourselves even more. Tell your children all this.”
Not a single wiord of that made the slightest bit of sense. First of all, we didn’t elect Obama until seven years after 9/11. The first post 9/11 election returned George W. Bush to the White House. So should he be the target of Ablow’s wrath? Secondly, what psychiatric principle asserts that a population of citizens traumatized by terror would seek to console themselves by electing someone they regarded as resentful of the nation they loved?
It’s a theory that only a madman, obsessed with showering hatred on the object of his disgust, could seriously propose. And that is a pretty sound psychoanalysis of Keith Ablow and many of his colleagues at Fox News. They are so profoundly paranoid and seething with contempt that it’s a wonder they can tie their shoe laces without strangling the cat. And now they fear a virus outbreak from the White House with the potential to turn our kids into zombies if they aren’t warned that all their leaders are out to get them. And if you think that they aren’t building a case that Obama is striving to become the messianic cult master, then you haven’t read this yet.
“…it is unethical for a psychiatrist to offer a professional opinion unless he or she has conducted an examination and has been granted proper authorization for such a statement.“
That notwithstanding, Ablow has again belched out his hilariously asinine perspective of the President for whom he has a palpable hatred. The apparent trigger for Ablow’s ire is Obama’s use of words like “hostage taking” and “extortion” to describe the behavior of Tea Party Republicans who have shutdown the government and are threatening to throw the nation into default unless they get exactly what they want – in other words, hostage taking and extortion. Ablow says…
“President Obama’s rhetoric is finally coming closer to what appears to be his psychological truth: Because America victimized him and countless millions of others, any person or party or movement that opposes his views and does not yield to him is not just his adversary, but abusive, predatory and even threatening.”
Obviously Ablow has not been listening to any Republicans lately. If anyone regards their ideological adversaries as threatening, it is the right-wing nutjobs who demonize Obama as a socialist, Muslim, dictator from Kenya. They have resorted to the most brazenly hyperbolic rhetoric to attack Obama and his initiatives, including warnings that immigration reform, climate change mitigation, tax increases on the rich, and, of course, the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare), will literally destroy America, if not the world. Nothing Obama has said comes even close to that level of dementia. Ablow continues his rant by demonstrating that he doesn’t even understand the hostage analogy:
“It is exceedingly difficult to come to terms with a person who sees you as his oppressor, his kidnapper, and someone terrorizing him who might well destroy him. You aren’t likely to consider whether your assailant and jailer and would-be killer has a few good ideas, after all.”
Ablow badly misinterprets the terms of the current debate. He seems to think that Obama is the hostage in this narrative. But anyone with an ounce of intelligence knows that it is the country or the economy that is being held hostage. Republicans have their weapons trained squarely on the financial well being of the nation and are threatening to harm it if Obama does not succumb to their demands. So Obama is not the kidnap victim at all. He would be the parent in this scenario, trying to save the child from those who will harm it for their own selfish interests (i.e. the Koch brothers funded, Fox News promoted, Tea Party driven, Republicans).
It is not enough, however, for someone as delusional as Ablow to stop at merely getting everything wrong about the analysis he is peddling. No, he must go further and tie unrelated issues to it in order to heap as much scorn on the object of his animus as possible. So Ablow throws in a dig at poor people whom he regards as collateral damage in his war on Obama:
“The president’s victim mentality could contribute to dissolving the will of countless Americans who might otherwise see themselves as capable of summoning internal resolve and creativity to surge out of poverty.”
See that? Because the President allegedly has a victim mentality, poor people lose all of their incentive to improve their lot in life. If it wasn’t for Obama’s victim psychosis, there would be no poverty in America, and there would be no lazy moochers clamoring for frivolous things like food and medicine.
Just for good measure, Ablow also threw in conservative dog-whistle canards that castigate Obama for a so-called “apology tour” that never took place; for his remarks defending a Cambridge professor who was assaulted by police; and for his empathetic response to the tragedy of the murder of Trayvon Martin (who Ablow refers to as “an alleged drug user and burglar”).
Keith Ablow is a quack of the highest order. He repeatedly violates the ethical standards of the profession he purports to practice. And he wastes no opportunity to blame Obama for any and all ills of society. And all of this makes him the perfect spokesman for Fox News as their in-house psychiatric correspondent.
It doesn’t take much to get “psycho” analyst Keith Ablow, a member of the Fox News Medical “A” Team, to embark on a demented journey into Obama Derangement Territory. Ablow is well known for his schizoid rants attacking the President and finding common ground with fellow nutcases like domestic terrorist Ted Kazcynski (I’m not kidding. See Romancing The Unabomber).
In his most recent outing on Fox, Ablow was supposedly brought on to discuss an inspiring story in which a subway passenger fell onto the tracks and nearby witnesses bravely jumped down to help him back onto the platform and safety. It didn’t take long for Ablow to dive into his own personal obsession and divert the segment into an Obama bashing circus of stupid. This is the exchange with host Martha MacCallum that dominated the segment that was supposed to be about a heroic rescue by ordinary citizens:
MacCallum: You say [heroism] can be taught. How?
Ablow: It can be taught by example and by people talking about it. [...] Now I know it’s not gonna be popular with all viewers, but I gotta tell you, the culture of dependency that’s being created by this administration, which is a favorite psychological topic of mine, that is the enemy of these moments of autonomy and heroism.
There you have it. The culture of dependency, by which right-wing crackpots like Ablow mean Social Security, Medicare, Food Stamps, etc., is the enemy of heroism. So according to Ablow, people who receive such benefits are cowardly no-accounts who cannot be relied upon in a crisis. Of course, Ablow made no attempt to find out whether any of the heroes in the subway were the sort of government moochers he is insulting. The exchange continued…
MacCallum: Why? How so?
Ablow: Because you gotta be a person. You have to have a self. You have to feel confident about you and your capacity to change the world for yourself and for others in order to hop down past that third rail and rescue someone. Otherwise, if you can’t have intention, if you can’t believe in your own power, you can’t do those things. And to the extent we create a culture of dependency, we are not going to have people that have the wherewithal to act heroically.
Remember, Ablow is a psychiatrist (although he is no longer a member of the American Psychiatric Association over a dispute wherein he was violating their standards), and he is asserting that Social Security recipients, who worked their whole lives to earn their benefits, are not “persons.” He says they lack the confidence, intention, and belief in themselves to be heroes. And the same is true, in his view, for low-income parents working two or more jobs to provide for their families if they accept any type of temporary aid for food or housing. Perhaps they would be more heroic if they were homeless and their children starved. He goes on…
MacCallum: So you’re suggesting that if we rely on government, rely on programs all the time, that we’re just sort of part of a mass and we lose that kind of independent spirit and confidence and self-esteem? Is that the suggestion?
Ablow: That is the risk. It’s the risk in towns, it’s the risk in families, it’s the risk on the world stage as to the American character and the character of Americans. We have to choose whether we want people to be autonomous, and do we want people to emulate these people who rescued someone, or do we want people who are always looking to some amorphous entity called the government to say “Well the government can be heroic, but I can’t because I’ve never had that experience in my life.”
Ablow is now elevating this absence of heroism from the individual to the world. He thinks the entire nation is made up of drones who have no autonomy or self-direction. They cannot think for themselves or act independently once they have been tainted by the group-think of what he calls an “amorphous entity” that usurps their free will. Actually, he may have something there. It sounds very much like the elitist, Koch-sponsored, Tea Party movement that thrives on ignorance and fear mongering. Ironically, it was Ablow who once presented a recipe for building a terrorist that also seemed more like a recipe for building a Tea Party. There is an odd and disturbing consistency in his dementia.
There are few people on Fox News who are more repulsive than Keith Ablow. He repeatedly violates the standards of his alleged profession and of decency. And this abhorrent episode is further evidence of his disdain for ordinary people who valiantly struggle to get by in the face of adversity. Contrary to Ablow’s derogatory point of view, it is these people who are the true heroes, and they have to prove it every day as they strive to improve the lives of their families, their communities and their country.
Well, despite all the odds, Ablow has managed to surpass his own Olympian record for demented commentary by writing an op-ed for Fox News paying tribute to the philosophy of convicted murderer and terrorist, Ted Kazcynski, aka the Unabomber.
After making an obligatory condemnation of Kaczynski’s crimes, Ablow proceeds to express his admiration for the ideas laid out in the “manifesto” that the serial killer demanded be published in exchange for his promise to stop blowing people up.
Ablow: “Kaczynski’s ideas, however, described in a manifesto entitled, “Industrial Society and Its Future,” cannot be dismissed, and are increasingly important as our society hurtles toward individual disempowerment at the hands of technology and political forces that erode autonomy.”
Ablow then describes Kaczynski’s work as a treatise in opposition to “the industrialization of America and the world, and our increasing reliance on technology,” which he and Kaczynski believe is “short-circuiting the ability of human beings to think for themselves.” There is kernel of truth in this concept. However, there are also dozens of other, more reputable proponents whom Ablow could cite if he were interested in advancing these theories.
However, Ablow quickly reveals that he isn’t interested in this as a discussion on societal progress. Like everything else he touches, this is just another opportunity for Ablow to disparage the President and hurl screwy psychological insults at his perceived enemies. Ablow is nothing if not consistently obsessed with liberal bashing. His article continues with an overt swipe at “the left” that he borrows from Kaczynski.
Ablow: “He [Kaczynski] saw the political “left” as embracing these technologies with special fervor, because they were in keeping with the “leftist” ideology that centralized power was the way to govern men.
“He saw these “leftists” as psychologically disordered—seeking to compensate for deep feelings of personal disempowerment by banding together and seeking extraordinary means of control in society.”
For those of you who have wondered what the Unabomber thought about liberal politics, it’s true that Kaczynski had some harsh criticisms of leftists in his manifesto. But there are three problems with Ablow referring to them in order to make his point.
First of all, whether or not you have some philosophical agreements with someone like Kaczynski, it is utterly insane to cite him as a corroborating source. It’s like trying to persuade a friend to become a vegetarian because Hitler was one. You might have better results if you use Einstein as an example.
Secondly, even if you were foolish enough to try to associate yourself with Kaczynski’s aversion to liberals, you would have to dishonestly and deliberately hide the fact that he also despised conservatives. Which is exactly what Ablow did. Here is what Kaczynski wrote about the right:
Kaczynski: “The conservatives are fools: They whine about the decay of traditional values, yet they enthusiastically support technological progress and economic growth. Apparently it never occurs to them that you can’t make rapid, drastic changes in the technology and the economy of a society without causing rapid changes in all other aspects of the society as well, and that such rapid changes inevitably break down traditional values.”
Even worse, Kaczynski assailed one of the most cherished sacred cows of the right when he wrote this…
Kaczynski: “Conservatives’ efforts to decrease the amount of government regulation are of little benefit to the average man. For one thing, only a fraction of the regulations can be eliminated because most regulations are necessary. For another thing, most of the deregulation affects business rather than the average individual, so that its main effect is to take power from the government and give it to private corporations. What this means for the average man is that government interference in his life is replaced by interference from big corporations, which may be permitted, for example, to dump more chemicals that get into his water supply and give him cancer. The conservatives are just taking the average man for a sucker, exploiting his resentment of Big Government to promote the power of Big Business.”
I couldn’t have said it better myself. Nevertheless, I would never promote the fact that Kaczynski said something with which I agree. Not when more ethical folks like Robert Reich, or Howard Zinn, or Bernie Sanders, or a thousand other people’s advocates, have also said these things and don’t happen to be deranged killers. Which brings us to third reason not to recruit Kaczynski as an ideological ally: HE’S NUTS!
Still, Ablow expands on his tribute to Kaczynski with the assertion that the emergence of social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) must have caused Kaczynski to have “even more certainty, that he was onto something,” and to “marvel at the ease with which technology taps the ego and drains the soul.” Ablow further speculated favorably that Kaczynski must have wondered whether “the widespread use of GPS…erodes your real sense of direction — on highways and, perhaps, in life.” Seriously. Ablow actually believes that using GPS can erode your direction in life. That would explain why so many people looking for the nearest Starbucks ended up with their noses in copies of Atlas Shrugged.
Now, if you think that Ablow has reached a pinnacle of dementia, you don’t know Keith Ablow. He segues from his comically delusional analysis of new media to his favorite target, President Obama. Ablow sets about to connecting non-existent dots to draw a picture of the President as a master manipulator who is putting “the core of human life”“under seige.” Ablow’s evidence of this is that Obama won election to the presidency “in part, by mastering the use of the Internet as a campaign tool.”
See what he did there? According to Ablow/Kaczynski, technology is an evil usurper of individual autonomy that will destroy traditional values and make us all slaves to Big Government and/or Big Business. And Obama is the master of technology. Could it be any clearer? Obama must be the Techno-Anti-Christ – a demon so rare and powerful that only Ablow is aware of its existence. And aren’t we lucky that he is here to warn us?
So essentially, Ablow, who once declared that Obama “has it in for America,” constructed this whole article as a vehicle to cast the President as a monstrous aberration bent on America’s ruin. The surprising thing is that he enlists the help of a domestic terrorist to make his case. And to insure that no one misses the point, he closes his column with a profoundly flattering review of Kaczynski’s opus saying that…
Ablow: “It is time for people to read “Industrial Society and its Future,” by convicted serial killer Ted Kaczynski. His work, despite his deeds, deserves a place alongside “Brave New World,” by Aldous Huxley, and “1984,” by George Orwell.”
There are some notable differences between Kaczynski’s rambling, psychotic screed, and the inspiring fiction of Huxley and Orwell. At the risk of belaboring the obvious, the latter two were gifted novelists who never murdered anyone. And the former is a criminally insane sociopath who has found common ground with a member of the Fox News Medical “A” Team. God help anyone who takes advice from this maniac. And if I were you, I wouldn’t open any packages with Ablow’s name on the return address.
In what may be the year’s most blatantly idiotic expression of puerile Teabaggery thus far, Fox News has published an article by their truly “psycho” analyst, Keith Ablow, that seriously charges President Obama with waging psychological warfare on Americans – the people who elected him twice by decisive margins and continue to approve of his leadership.
You may recall “doctor” Ablow as the lunatic who actually praised Newt Gingrich for being unfaithful to multiple wives; who welcomed the pain of Americans suffering through the recession; who repeatedly diagnosed President Obama and others without ever having met them. No wonder he was booted from the American Psychiatric Association.
This new column reaches farther into the dimwitted dementia of Ablow’s warped worldview than ever. The first paragraph lays the groundwork for a wildly deranged analysis that seems as if it were constructed by a mind rotted with schizophrenic delusions:
Ablow: “I believe that the Obama administration is conducting psychological warfare on conservative Americans. Not only that but it is also waging this war on all Americans who previously viewed themselves, their country, their Constitution and their overwhelming belief in God as a force for good in the world.”
You can almost hear his inner voice warning him to steer clear of the reptilian demons who have inhabited the bodies of otherwise ordinary looking neighbors. He is obviously struggling mightily to prevent his thoughts and organs from being stolen.
It is in this vein that he asserts the evidence of Obama’s mental assault on all that is virtuous. He cites as proof imagined “apology tours” and insufficient expressions of patriotic pride. Ablow goes on to declare that both the President and First Lady have deliberately “planted the seeds of self-hatred and self-doubt” into the American psyche. Further evidence of Obama’s malicious mind meld is his…
“…misrepresenting horrific crimes, such as the one which unfolded in Newtown, Connecticut, as evidence of the need for gun control measures, when they clearly evidenced a need for revamping our mental health care system.”
Of course, huge majorities of Americans believe that the Sandy Hook shootings did indeed reveal a need for additional gun safety measures, but Ablow would probably just attribute that to their being under the hypnotic spell of Warlock Barack. Ablow also says that “Attacking gun rights, I believe, is an element of the psychological warfare.” So in his reverse-logic brain, keeping the weapons of war out of the hands of crazies and criminals is in itself warfare.
Next Ablow attempts to tie his psych-war theory to recent so-called “scandals” that his fellow Tea-publicans are peddling. Somehow the IRS affair is part of Obama’s war effort and the tragedy in Benghazi has become a full-on conspiracy theory in Ablow’s diseased mind:
“Ablow: Seen through the lens of psychological warfare, the failure to defend our embassy in Benghazi need not be understood simply as a screw-up. It could reflect an actual strategy on the part of the administration.”
Ablow concludes by proclaiming that “Americans who value autonomy and free will and free markets and small government” are the targets of Obama’s “black ops technique in an ongoing war against our freedoms.” Black ops are generally defined as covert, extra-legal activities carried out by military and/or intelligence agencies. For Ablow to assign that sort of purposeful deployment of wartime hostility aimed at unsuspecting Americans is nothing short of delusional. It is beyond the conventional conspiracy theory theatrics of nutcases like Alex Jones or Glenn Beck (with whom Ablow co-authored a self-help book).
It is important to remember that Ablow is not broadcasting this drivel from an Idaho compound over a ham radio network. He is a member of the Fox News Medical “A” Team and his opinions are distributed by Fox and its affiliated “news” outlets. So the next time anyone tries to pass off Fox as a reputable journalistic enterprise, direct them to this example of the absurd balderdash that they regard as respectable reporting. Fox News continues to prove that their brand of journalism is about as respectable as the fruitcakes who gave us Batboy and alien encounters with former presidents and celebrities.
In researching the recent controversies over the IRS and its alleged targeting of conservative non-profits, I stumbled across an article I wrote two years ago that unveils yet another blatant hypocrisy from Fox News (as if more were necessary to make the point). The current programming on Fox is dedicated almost non-stop to hammering the Obama administration for the misbehavior of low-level IRS staff. The story has even supplanted their previous pet scandal, Benghazi. And despite making broad accusations of complicity by the President, they have failed to provide even a smidgen of evidence that he had any role in the way that non-profits were selected for review.
That simple fact, however, has not stopped Fox from launching a sustained campaign of outrage aimed at the IRS, which they now regard as a totalitarian agency bent on destroying America and freedom. But it was not always thus. Not too long ago, Fox News was happy to use the IRS as a cudgel against their own perceived enemies. They embarked on mission to wipe the watchdog group Media Matters off the face of the earth. It was a weeks-long effort that included dozens of broadcast segments explicitly recruiting their viewers to file falsified complaints challenging the tax-exempt status of Media Matters. In the process they brought in pundits, and lawyers, and even their in-house “Psycho Analyst” to paint a disparaging portrait of the organization and its founder.
The irony of Fox using the IRS to harass a non-profit organization just because they disagree agree with it will surely be lost on everyone at Fox and everyone who watches it. Below is the article re-posted in full because it is still as relevant today as it was then. Actually more so, with the addition of Fox’s newly minted contempt for the IRS.
[July 11, 2011] In the untamed jungle that is cable news, there is a ferocious and predatory beast stalking the terrain. Anyone who has encountered Fox News in the wild can attest to the spine-chilling threat imposed by the pseudo-news network. And now Fox News has the scent of new game.
The Fox News pack is on the prowl for the media watchdog group, Media Matters, against whom they have recently initiated a sustained assault. In the past two weeks they have featured over 30 stories with the express purpose of challenging the group’s right to exist. Fox has assigned network stalwarts like Bill O’Reilly, Bret Baier, Charles Krauthammer, James Rosen, Ann Coulter, Dick Morris, and Bernie Goldberg, to the mission. This is an unprecedented, broadly distributed attack by a major media enterprise against a non-profit group they regard as an adversary.
This latest batch of complaints stem from comments made last March by Media Matters founder, David Brock. He was quoted in Politico as saying that the organization was shifting its focus toward Fox News to one of “guerrilla warfare and sabotage.” Giving Fox the benefit of doubt, one might conclude that it’s only fair that Fox defend itself from such an overt declaration of war. The only thing that might refute that perspective is – reality.
If this is war, it is one wherein Fox is the aggressor. Fox News initiated their attacks long ago with aggressive and false assertions that cast Media Matters as hacks, anti-American, violent, and communist. They alleged that George Soros was pulling their strings long before Soros ever made any contributions the group. Fox stalwarts like Bill O’Reilly and Glenn Beck engaged in rhetoric so hostile that it inspired actual physical attacks against Media Matters and their progressive allies. This video (courtesy of Media Matters) was posted two years ago and illustrates the hostility harbored across the Fox platform long before Brock’s recent comments:
The new and highly coordinated offensive by Fox asserts that Media Matters has violated the terms of their tax-exempt status by setting their sights on Fox. They quote from the IRS rules governing non-profits that state that…
“…501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office.”
On the basis of that criteria, Fox News argues that Media Matters is in violation and should have their tax-exempt status revoked. However, in order for that to be valid, Fox would have to admit that they are a political operation so that attacks on Fox News would qualify as opposition to political campaigns and/or candidates. Without that stipulation there is no violation on the part of Media Matters. So Fox is, in effect, conceding their role as a Republican mouthpiece. Shocking, I know.
Keith Ablow, a member of Fox’s Medical “A” Team, has a long history of deranged commentary that includes praising Newt Gingrich’s serial infidelity, condemning Chaz Bono as a bad influence on America’s children, and diagnosing President Obama as “having it in for America.”
The latest contribution to his opus of asininity is an op-ed he authored that purports to explain “How To Build A Terrorist.” It’s a surprisingly simple recipe with only two ingredients:
Clinging to a set of overvalued ideas that may approach the level of a psychotic delusion
Being so completely severed from empathy that the suffering of ones’ victims is either ignored or celebrated.
This set of instructions sounds awfully familiar. In fact, psychotic devotion to overvalued ideas brings to mind a recent political movement that is obsessed with things like cutting taxes, balancing the budget, promoting guns, and dismissing evolution and climate change as hoaxes.
As for being severed from empathy, that fairly describes the crowd that wants to dismantle Social Security, repeal ObamaCare, cut funding for food stamps and education, deny women reproductive health services, and pour more billions into the military/industrial complex for endless wars.
Indeed, it seems like Ablow has drafted a blueprint for the Tea Party. In his warped imagination he has inadvertently stumbled upon the formula for a divisive, self-centered, ill-informed congregation of zealots who enjoy nothing better than mucking up the wheels of progress. They literally celebrated the suffering of others several times last year during the GOP primary debates. On one occasion they cheered at the prospect of letting a man with no health insurance die. On another they applauded Texas for executing more people than any other state. And who can forget them booing a gay soldier serving in Iraq?
Ablow’s terrorist construction relies on a presumption that the subject is insane. He says specifically that…
“…when a man is deprived of his empathy by a set of beliefs that casts entire groups as inhuman and worthy of death then that man is mentally ill.”
By this measure, Ablow is absolving the Boston bombers of any responsibility for their actions. They were not, according to his diagnosis, competent to make sound decisions. Ablow even extends that absolution to historical villains like Jim Jones and Hitler. it’s not their fault, they were crazy. And they exploited the weak who would follow them unquestioningly in the same manner that…
“Cults prey on those who are psychologically unstable, offering them a fixed and false (delusional) point of view on the world around them and offering them the false freedom of projecting all their suffering on others, rather than seeking to understand it and truly overcome it in themselves.”
This could not be a more accurate portrait of the Tea Party if it were deliberate. Their delusional point of view was demonstrated in frightening detail last year when they believed everything that the Koch brothers and Fox News told them, including that Obama was going to go down in flames on election day. And although the vast majority of scientific research proves that climate change is occurring, they prefer to believe talk radio hosts over climatologists.
Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of this is the precision with which Ablow accidentally nails the Teabaggers for projecting their suffering on others. For them there is always someone else to blame, be it Muslims, Latinos, gays, etc. For them the downfall of America is easily attributable to affirmative action, terrorism, moochers, communists, atheists, labor unions, and, of course, black presidents who they fear are exerting tyrannical powers.
Check that. The most disturbing aspect of this is that Ablow has a license to practice medicine. His radically absurd ramblings would make an interesting study for a real psychiatrist. Unfortunately, Ablow would never submit to an examination. Like most paranoid schizophrenics, he would be certain that the whole thing was a plot to steal his internal organs.
In one of the most repugnant expressions of heartlessness ever put forth by a major media enterprise, Keith Ablow, the Fox News psycho analyst, has callously come out in favor of making less fortunate Americans suffer in even greater measure. He is literally giddy over the prospect of inflicting more pain on people who have endured so much of it already. And at the same time he neglects any such sacrifice for our nation’s privileged and wealthy – like himself.
Despite labeling himself an “economic masochist,” Ablow would be more accurately described as a sadomasochist because he is advocating for others to experience pain along with his own. He sets the stage for this depravity with a tale of his inconvenience at the airport:
“I traveled from Boston to New York yesterday on the Delta shuttle out of Logan. The lines were especially long, and the wait to get through security was 30 minutes. It’s usually about 10 minutes at the time of day I was flying.”
Ablow explained that the extended delay was due to the elimination of overtime by the TSA as a result of the sequester budget cuts. Then we went on to say…
“My immediate reaction to the announcement that I should anticipate inconveniences at airport security wasn’t annoyance or worry; it was relief and resolve, about the short staffing. I felt good that budget cuts were being made and that I could feel them.
I liked the pain, because I am certain that our economy will not be righted without some discomfort–mine, included. I felt like my wait in line was showing some personal discipline in service to the public good.” [...] “I am hoping for more pain from the Sequester.”
For a rich psychiatrist and television commentator to embrace the “pain” of waiting twenty minutes more than usual for his (probably first class) flight as some sort of patriotic sacrifice on the scale of Nathan Hale’s famous regret, makes a mockery of citizens who truly gave something of value for their country – like their lives.
Even worse, Ablow appears to be utterly unaware that the sequester’s impending cuts are going to disproportionally harm low income seniors and children, as well as the sick, the homeless, and veterans. Yet Ablow has the gall to call for sacrifice only on the part of those who are hurting the most and that those moochers ought to “not only anticipate pain, but welcome it.”
Nowhere in his screed does Ablow suggest that privileged folks like himself should participate in the “service to the public good” by paying a little more in taxes. He and his upper class comrades are the ones who have benefited most from the economic recovery of the past four years. The stock market is at an all time high and the rich, according to Forbes, are enjoying unprecedented growth while paying less in taxes.
In Ablow’s world only the poor and middle class are expected to sacrifice. He and his peers must be permitted to maintain the luxurious lifestyles to which they have become accustomed. And that lifestyle must be paid for by underprivileged kids, fixed-income seniors, and disabled vets. And still they have the audacity to congratulate themselves for magnanimously waiting a few extra minutes to get through airport security as if that were some sort of torturous act of heroism. You’d think he had been nailed to a cross. What a repellant pile of unadulterated douchebaggery.
With the GOP in a historic internal battle between the forces of the hard-right establishment (Karl Rove & Co.) and the confederacy of right-wing dunces (the Tea Party), an old warrior has made an appearance on the battlefield.
Roger Stone is a veteran Republican operative who cut his teeth in the nastiest campaigns of Richard Nixon. More recently he founded a group to oppose Hillary Clinton’s primary campaign in 2008, that he called “Citizens United Not Timid,” or C.U.N.T. So it is not particularly surprising that Stone would resurface in order to take the side of the Tea Party in their war against Rove. Nor is it surprising that Stone would find the most disgusting way to articulate his support for the inexorable Teabaggers. He told TPM Livewire that…
“These are the storm troops of the Republican Party. Don’t offend them.”
Hmm. I wonder how the Tea Party would respond to being compared to Germany’s special forces who advanced the art of brutality. With friends like Stone who needs enemas?
The Tea Party is not the only new friend that Stone has made. Keith Ablow, the Fox News “Psycho Analyst,” was recently mulling a bid for the senate seat vacated by John Kerry. A couple of days ago he decided against entering the race and made this statement:
Ablow: As I made clear, with the sprint to the Special Election in June, a primary fight was not in my blood. I have conferred with my chief advisor Roger Stone, who agreed with my assessment of a primary as an unwise choice for me.
So Ablow has revealed that he has chosen for himself a chief advisor who calls Clinton a “cunt” and the Tea Party “Storm Troopers.” That’s a curious selection considering that Ablow regards himself as an exemplar of morality. Perhaps it was Stone who advised Ablow to praise Newt Gingrich for his serial infidelity, or to engage in diagnoses of public figures whom he had not examined, in violation of the ethics codes of the American Psychiatric Association.
Ablow has been a relentlessly repugnant presence on Fox News with his offensive misrepresentations of other people’s motivations. He further disgraced himself by coauthoring a book with Glenn Beck. But now that we know who has been behind the scenes giving him advice, it all makes much more sense. Ablow and Stone were made for each other, and if they weren’t both homophobic bigots we might see them one day tie the knot.
The 2012 presidential election cycle saw an unprecedented exploitation of the media by Fox News. The network employed numerous on-air hosts and contributors who were also prospective candidates for the Republican nomination for president. These included Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, John Bolton, and Donald Trump. That relationship was wholly unethical by any standard, but Fox refused to comply with the professional standards that any credible news enterprise would maintain.
Now that 2012 is behind us, Fox has begun their campaigning for the next election cycle in 2014. Already at the gate are two Fox News employees who have indicated their interest in running for the senate. Geraldo Rivera announced that he is “truly considering” a run for the GOP nomination for senate in New Jersey. Keith Ablow reported on air his intention to seek the seat in Massachusetts. Setting aside momentarily the ethics dilemma this creates for Fox, these particular candidates would be a boon for professional comedians everywhere.
Geraldo is best known for hosting an epically anti-climactic television spectacle to reveal the contents of Al Capone’s secret safe. After a two hour long buildup it turned out that the safe was empty. Geraldo also hosted a syndicated talk show that featured America’s low-life engaging in televised slap-fights. More recently he caused a stir by saying that “I think the hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin’s death as George Zimmerman was.” Geraldo later both apologized for, and defended the statement.
Keith Ablow is the disreputable psychiatric analyst Fox employs to make absurd and insulting diagnoses of Obama and other enemies of Fox. In the course of his practice, Ablow has praised marital infidelity as evidence of strong moral character that would enhance America’s leadership. He has suggested that the children of gay parents are at risk of sexual abuse. And he frequently offers public diagnoses of the President and others in violation of the American Psychiatric Association’s code of ethics.
The qualifications of these Fox/Tea Party candidates are embarrassingly sub-par. They would have to rise significantly to be considered mediocre. These hacks have nothing to recommend them as legislators, thinkers, or public servants. All of this makes them perfect candidates for the radically dimwitted right-wingers who watch Fox.
However, for Fox to permit their punditry to toy with electoral politics and remain on the air is an affront to the profession of journalism. Fox is effectively donating valuable airtime to promote their candidacies and the platforms they espouse. What’s more, Fox cannot possibly cover them fairly because their colleagues would be afraid to criticize them for fear of retribution from the executive suites. Roger Ailes has publicly admonished his staff to refrain from “shooting in the tent,” which would make impartial analysis impossible.
This is likely just the beginning. There may be additional announcements of Foxies who think they are poised for positions of power due to the notoriety they get from being on Fox. They may be sorely disappointed. None of the candidates above got anywhere during a year when many people thought the president was vulnerable and Fox was riding high in the ratings. Now that Obama was reelected with a substantial majority and Fox has taken a devastating hit in the ratings, it would be far more difficult for their candidates to make a mark, particularly when they are as insipid as these two.
Still, for the sake of the well being of America’s comedians, we must hold out hope that Steve Doocy or Eric Bolling or Gretchen Carlson will throw their tri-corner hats into the ring. With Sarah Palin and Dick Morris off the air there is a severe drought of comic relief. So, please, won’t somebody think of the comedians?
The Fox News Medical “A” Team’s Keith Ablow is notorious for his unethical practices and opinions. He has made public diagnoses of people he has never examined (or even met), including President Obama. He has praised marital infidelity as evidence of strong moral character that would enhance America’s leadership. And now he he has published an editorial for Fox News that extols the “benefits” of gun ownership.
Ablow begins his rambling departure from reality by building a foundation for his argument that guns are not a problem in American society at all, despite the statistics. He cites examples of mass killings in which guns played no part, like the bombing of the Oklahoma City Federal Building in 2001, and the Tylenol poisoning scare in 1985. However, his suggestion that gun safety advocates are off-base because determined madmen “could have chosen other lethal means to cause just as many deaths,” ignores the glaring fact that in all of his examples measures were taken to control the means by which they were carried out and, consequently, it has been decades since there have been any similar bombings or product tampering. That’s actually an argument in favor of limiting access to certain firearms.
Then Ablow swings for an even more rationally distant fence by asserting that there is “potential widespread psychological harm that disarming Americans could cause.” That statement is absurd on its face as it implies that all Americans who do not own guns are already psychologically impaired. In addition, Ablow is deceitfully implying that there is an effort afoot to “disarm” all Americans. He elaborates on that fabrication by shockingly asserting that this imaginary disarmament would result in “a population that has completely ceded the power to defend its homes against local, state or federal authorities.” Apparently Ablow is one of those lunatics who believes that the right to bear arms is intended as a means to equip treasonous citizens with weapons they can use against fellow Americans.
Ablow continues on this theme of a disarmed nation by seemingly advocating for a police state, saying that “The same people who passively pay taxes that put tanks on the streets and fighter jets in the skies over our enemies’ nations can cringe at the idea of owning guns themselves.” Is he really suggesting that deploying soldiers in war zones is analogous to stockpiling arms on Elm Street?
Next Ablow joins the Hitler-thumping crowd by conjuring up a debunked rendition of history in which gun control was a factor in the rise of Nazis in Germany, but the opposite is the truth. Alex Seitz-Wald of Salon provided the facts about this commonly repeated falsehood. The truth is that Hitler signed into law a bill that “completely deregulated the acquisition and transfer of rifles and shotguns, as well as ammunition.” So if anyone, it’s conservative gun worshipers who are seeking to emulate Hitler.
Ablow closes by regurgitating the position of the NRA that more, not fewer, guns is the panacea to our national crisis of violence. He argues that it would “immunize the population from feeling like potential victims,” and he reiterates the nonsense that it would protect an otherwise docile citizenry from their government. To the extent that any threat exists from the federal government, there are no currently available weapons that could match the firepower of the American military. It would be suicide for a citizen armed even with an AR-15 to challenge troops with tanks, grenades, missiles, gases, and impeccable training.
If Americans ever actually have to face the fictional scenario of a tyrannical regime in Washington, they will have a lot more to worry about than what type of rifle they carry. But since the prospects of such a catastrophe live only in the diseased minds of right-wing paranoids and Fox News “doctors,” the whole discussion is merely the neurotic nightmare of an Alex Jones inspired schizoid. So good night, children, and sleep tight.
This is rapidly devolving into surreal comedy. Keith Ablow, a member of the Fox News Medical “A” Team, keeps showing up on Fox properties dispensing the most absurd opinions about President Obama’s psychiatric profile.
Remember, Ablow is the same “doctor” who wrote an editorial for Fox News praising Newt Gingrich’s infidelity and serial matrimony as proof that he would make America stronger were he president. And no one should be surprised that Ablow has separated from the American Psychiatric Association due to “ethical differences.” His opinions are devoid of any professional substance or reason. They are merely excuses to vent his political biases couched in cliche jargon and twisted logic.
Ablow has never examined (or even met) the President, so his opinions are about as credible as my evaluation of quantum physics. But that doesn’t stop him from continuing to embarrass himself on television by spreading puerile nonsense. His latest excursion into idiocy took place yesterday on Fox Business Network’s Lou Dobbs Show in a discussion of the President’s remarks about the Supreme Court. Here is the exchange that Ablow thinks passes for psychoanalysis:
Dobbs: Joining us now to talk about the psychology behind this confrontation between the administration and the judiciary, Dr. Keith Ablow. [...] What would possibly be motivating the president to get into this mess, and seemingly he’s unable to let go of it.
Ablow: Well, he’s seemingly unable to let go of it because I think we finally have to start taking him at his word. And you know this is a favorite theme of mine, that people want to try to find some other explanation than the obvious. The obvious explanation is that the President has contempt for that branch of government, is egocentric, and believes that any form of authority, perhaps other than that vested in himself, is untrustworthy. Particularly the longstanding authority associated with branches of government of the United States. That’s literally the most obvious explanation.
The one part of that statement that’s true is that this is one of Ablow’s favorite themes. He has been relentlessly pushing his delusional theory that the President is acting out some sort of suppressed rage as a result of a deprived upbringing. It’s a good thing that more children are not crushed by such childhood traumas or the country would be overrun with kids who excel academically, graduate with honors from Ivy League law schools, and enter careers in public service that lead to the White House. It must have been awful for young Barack.
Ablow’s “obvious explanation” is fraught with fantastical apparitions. There is simply no way that he can justify the assertion that Obama has contempt for the judiciary or that he rejects its authority. Why on earth would Obama have dedicated his adult life to law and constitutional scholarship if he did not have a profound respect for it? The entirety of Ablow’s theory is that the alleged contempt grew out of Obama having been raised by a single mother with help from her parents. But Ablow never connects the dots to show how that could have resulted in animosity toward authority. Is Ablow suggesting that every kid from a broken home is averse to authority? And what about all the young rebels from intact families (like mine)?
Simply said, Ablow’s analysis is bullshit. He is incapable of forming a coherent argument to support his wild notions, and he never even bothers to try. The “obvious explanation” for Ablow’s frighteningly comedic bluster is that he is petulant and partisan right-wing schizoid whose impersonation of a doctor has failed miserably.
Fox News’ resident psychiatrist, a member of the Fox News “A” Team, visited Lou Dobbs yesterday on the failing Fox Business Network. The two of them discussed the Trayvon Martin shooting in the unique manner that is typical of the leader in dishonest, uninformed, hyperbolic, right-wing media.
Much of the conversation focused on President Obama’s comments on the subject a few days ago in response to a question from a reporter. The crux of their criticism centered Obama’s personal reflection that “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.” Both Dobbs and Ablow were incensed that Obama expressed that personal reflection and accused him of turning the incident into a racial matter. They complained that the President should have sought to unite the country and address the shock that all Americans must feel after hearing about this tragedy. And, oddly enough, that’s exactly what Obama did. Preceding the personal part of his comments, Obama said…
Obama: I think every parent in America should be able to understand why it is absolutely imperative that we investigate every aspect of this, and that everybody pulls together — federal, state and local — to figure out exactly how this tragedy happened.
Nevertheless, Dobbs and Ablow only heard the part of the remarks that they could misconstrue as racial. It is still mind-boggling how rightists can so cavalierly assert that Obama is hell-bent on disparaging white people – like his mother. And it’s rather disingenuous for conservatives like Dobbs and Ablow to portray the Martin incident as a tragedy that ought not to be limited by race, when the other half of the time they are discussing it, they don’t regard it as tragic at all, but simply a case of self defense from an aggressive black teenager.
As usual, Ablow distinguishes himself by making an absurdly remote diagnosis of the President, a man he’s never examined or even met. That is an explicit violation of the standards of ethics of the American Psychiatric Association, which Ablow need not worry about since he was forced to separate himself from the APA due to “ethical differences.” Ablow’s conclusion, on the basis of information he gleaned from a paranoid hallucination, is that Obama is an anti-American zealot on a mission to bring the empire to ruin.
Ablow: As a psychiatrist, there is a certain point, when you get a diagnosis, you say, OK look, absent something that refutes this, this is the diagnosis. A president who hangs around with Rev. Wright – whose wife said that she was never proud of this country – has an edge. He’s got it in for this country. And at moments when there’s an opportunity to fracture the unity, he does.
Setting aside the fact that Ablow is lying about Obama’s relationship with Wright and Michelle’s comments on pride, his assertion that Obama has “got it in for this country” is just plain lunacy. Does he really think that Obama raised himself up from a struggling single-parent home, worked through schooling to achieve honors from one the nation’s most demanding universities, applied his skills to both public and private enterprises, and put himself before a grueling campaign that resulted in his being elected president of the United States, all because he has a hankering to tear it all down?
Where do these nutjobs get these unfathomably ludicrous theories? Do all Fox analysts have to have lobotomies prior to going on the air? Any reputable news enterprise would be embarrassed by having someone like Ablow on their payroll. So it’s a good thing for Ablow that Fox News exists.
A new book from Media Matters was just released that chronicles the history of Fox News and explains how a small group of wealthy, politically connected conservative partisans conspired to build a pseudo-news network with the intent of advancing the right-wing agenda of the Republican Party. And that network, known for its drooling anti-liberalism, is scared spitless.
The Fox Effect: How Roger Ailes Turned a Network into a Propaganda Machine, was written by David Brock and Ari Rabin-Havt (and others) of Media Matters. It begins by looking back at the early career of Fox News CEO Roger Ailes and his role as a media consultant for Republican politicians, including former president Richard Nixon. From the start Ailes was a brash, creative proponent of the power of television to influence a mass audience. He guided the media-challenged Nixon through a treacherous new era of news and political PR, and his experiences formed the basis for what would become his life’s grand achievement: a “news” network devoted to a political party, its candidates, and its platform.
When Ailes partnered with international newspaper mogul Rupert Murdoch to launch a new 24 hour cable news channel, he was given an unprecedented measure of control to shape the network’s business and ideology. The Fox Effect examines the underpinnings of the philosophy that Ailes brought to the venture. His earliest observations exhibit an appreciation for the tabloid-style sensationalism that would become a hallmark of Fox’s reporting. Ailes summed it up in an interview in 1988 as something he called his “orchestra pit theory” of politics:
“If you have two guys on stage and one guy says ‘I have a solution to the Middle East problem,’ and the other guy falls into the orchestra pit, who do you think is going to be on the evening news?”
That’s the sort of thinking that produced Fox’s promotion of hollering town hall protesters during the health care debate and their focus on lurid but phony issues like death panels. It is a flavor of journalism that elevates melodrama over factual discourse.
The book exposes how Fox was more of a participant in the news than a reporter of it. Through interviews with Fox insiders and leaked internal communications, The Fox Effect documents the depths to which the network collaborated with political partisans to invent stories with the intent of manipulating public opinion. The authors reveal memos from the Washington managing editor of Fox News, Bill Sammon, directing anchors and reporters on how to present certain subjects. For instance, he ordered them never to use the term “public option” when referring to health insurance reform. Focus group testing by Fox pollster Frank Luntz had found that the phrase “government option” left a more negative impression, and they were instructed to use that instead.
There is a chapter on the Tea Party that describes how integral Fox was to its inception and development. The network literally branded the fledgling movement as FNC Tea Parties and dispatched its top anchors to host live broadcasts from rallies. The Fox Effect also details the extensive coverage devoted to the deceitfully edited videos that brought down ACORN. Fox was instrumental in promoting the story and stirring up a public backlash that resulted in congressional investigations and loss of funding. The book followed the story from Andrew Breitbart’s new and little known BigGovernment blog to Glenn Beck’s conspiracy factory to the wall-to-wall coverage it enjoyed on Fox’s primetime. This chapter is where the authors introduce what they call “The Six Steps” that Fox employs to create national controversies:
STEP 1: Conservative activists introduce the lie.
STEP 2: Fox News devotes massive coverage to the story.
STEP 3: Fox attacks other outlets for ignoring the controversy.
STEP 4: Mainstream outlets begin reporting on the story.
STEP 5: Media critics, pundits praise Fox News’s coverage.
STEP 6: The story falls apart once the damage has been done.
This is a pattern that has played out with varying degrees of success. Fox used this blueprint to engineer the career-ending slander of presidential adviser Van Jones and Department of Agriculture official Shirley Sherrod. But the strategy was less effective when used against Attorney General Eric Holder and Planned Parenthood, although not for lack of effort.
These, and other examples of deliberate bias, illustrate why most neutral observers regard Fox News as the PR arm of the Republican Party. The Fox Effect makes a convincing case to affirm that view and even offers admissions to that effect by Fox insiders. It is a damning exposé of how a political operative and a right-wing billionaire built a propaganda machine thinly disguised as a news network. The research and documentation are extensive and compelling.
For that reason, Fox News has mounted an unprecedented attack on Media Matters in advance of the book’s release. [Note: Actually it's not so unprecedented. Fox set the precedent itself last year with a sustained campaign to do tangible harm by tacking an article to the top of the Fox Nation web site with a headline that read "Want to File an IRS Complaint Against Media Matters? Click Here..."] In the week prior to publication of The Fox Effect, Fox News broadcast no fewer than a dozen derogatory segments across all dayparts and on their most popular programs, including The O’Reilly Factor, Hannity, Fox & Friends, etc. It was the sort of blanket coverage usually reserved for a natural disaster, a declaration of war, or a lewd TwitPic of a politician. The attacks never contained any substantive argument or even example of error on the part of Media Matters. However, they are brimming with the most nasty form of personal invective imaginable.
The basis for the Fox News broadcasts was a series of articles by the Daily Caller (TDC), the conservative web site of Tucker Carlson, who just happens to also be on the Fox News payroll. The gist of the story, as described by TDC, is that Media Matters is manipulating news organizations, coordinating messaging with the White House, and struggling to cope with the “volatile and erratic behavior” of Brock, whom TDC alleges is mentally ill. TDC never reveals from where they got their psychiatric credentials, nor when they had an opportunity to examine and diagnose Brock. Likewise, they never reveal where they got any of the other information for the allegations they make against Media Matters as every source is anonymous.
Media analysts have universally condemned TDC’s reporting. Howard Kurtz interviewed author Vince Coglianese on CNN’s Reliable Sources and assailed the absence of any evidence to corroborate the allegations of his anonymous sources. Coglianese could not even confirm that events alleged in the article ever occurred. He laughably argued that the absence of a denial from Brock was evidence of guilt, rather than a simple disinclination to raise the profile of a poorly written article. Jack Shafer wrote for Reuters that “the Daily Caller is attacking Media Matters with bad journalism and lame propaganda.”
Media Matters was created to document conservative media bias and work to implement reforms that would produce more balanced reporting. Yet, Fox is confused by the fact that Media Matters’ research is cited by progressive organizations and publishers. The grunt work of aggregating video and other reporting is appreciated by those who use Media Matters materials. Much of it is provided without any editorializing. The right has always been fearful of any entity that would simply record their disinformation, nonsense, and hostility, and then hold them accountable for it. But they have yet to criticize NewsBusters or their parent organization, the Media Research Center, despite the cozy relationship they have with Fox News. Brit Hume, the former managing editor of Fox News, however, was abundantly grateful:
Hume: I want to say a word, however, of thanks to Brent [Bozell] and the team at the Media Research Center [...] for the tremendous amount of material that the Media Research Center provided me for so many years when I was anchoring Special Report, I don’t know what we would’ve done without them. It was a daily buffet of material to work from, and we certainly made tremendous use of it.
Joining in on the assault is the Fox Nation web site that is engaged in a relentless barrage of critical articles with disturbingly insulting and hyperbolic headlines. For instance:
Is Media Matters’ David Brock A ‘Dangerous’ Man?
Were Media Matters Donors Duped?
Inside Media Matters: Founder Believed to be Regularly Using Illegal Drugs, Including Cocaine.
But even those paled in comparison to what Fox News was posting on the screen graphics that accompanied their broadcasts:
MEDIA MATTERS’ MONEY: David Brock is an admitted drug user
THE MONEY BEHIND THE MACHINE: David Brock committed to a quiet room
A LIBERAL INFLUENCE: Brock spent time in a mental ward
Note that the subjects of the broadcasts were financial in nature. Fox was reporting on TDC’s discovery that Media Matters donors were largely progressive individuals and foundations (not exactly what one would call a scoop). However, Fox News appended assertions as to the mental stability of Brock, which had nothing to do with their topic. It was merely an opportunity for them to take swipes at a perceived enemy. And this mud-slinging occurred during what Fox regards as their “news” programming, not the evening hours that they designate as the opinion portion of their schedule.
In order to cement the impression that David Brock is a mental defective, unfit to lead any organization or to be given serious consideration, Fox News brought in their resident psycho analyst, “Dr” Keith Ablow. As a part of the Fox News Medical “A” Team, Ablow appeared on the air in a segment that painted Brock as seriously disturbed and even dangerous:
“If you are filled with self-loathing you will see demons on every street corner because you project that self-hatred. [...] He’s a dangerous man because having followers and waging war, as he says, or previously being a right-wing hitman, this isn’t accidental language. It’s about violence, destruction, and he feels destroyed in himself.”
This diagnosis was an invention by Ablow who has never examined Brock, or even met him. That in itself is a violation of the American Psychiatric Association’s Principles of Medical Ethics, something Ablow does not need to concern himself with because last year he was compelled to separate himself from the APA due to ethical “differences.”
If Fox News wants to engage in “remote” psychiatry they ought to at least be fair and balanced about it. However they pointedly make no mention of the reported paranoia of Fox News CEO Roger Ailes. No mention that he was cited as the reason that the NYPD provided police protection for the Fox headquarters at a cost of $500,000 a year to the people of New York. No mention of the obsessive fears described by Tim Dickinson in a Rolling Stone profile:
“Ailes is also deeply paranoid. Convinced that he has personally been targeted by Al Qaeda for assassination, he surrounds himself with an aggressive security detail and is licensed to carry a concealed handgun. [...] Murdoch installed Ailes in the corner office on Fox’s second floor at 1211 Avenue of the Americas in Manhattan. The location made Ailes queasy: It was close to the street, and he lived in fear that gay activists would try to attack him in retaliation over his hostility to gay rights. (In 1989, Ailes had broken up a protest of a Rudy Giuliani speech by gay activists, grabbing demonstrator by the throat and shoving him out the door.) Barricading himself behind a massive mahogany desk, Ailes insisted on having ‘bombproof glass’ installed in the windows – even going so far as to personally inspect samples of high-tech plexiglass, as though he were picking out new carpet.”
I really have to wonder if even the Fox News audience is so intellectually comatose that they wouldn’t recognize the feverish anxiety gushing from Fox in advance of the Media Matters book. A tree stump would notice that they are laying it on awfully thick. So the obvious question is what are they so afraid of? And the answer is that Fox News can no longer hide from their reputation as a dishonest purveyor of slanted propaganda and tabloid trash on behalf of a right-wing agenda and the political operatives who advance it and benefit from it.
The Fox Effect is a thoroughly documented investigation into the inner workings of both the organization and its principle managers and backers. It peels away the layers of the conservative cabal that has so effectively poisoned the public discourse on many significant issues. And like the fraudulent Wizard in the city of Oz, Fox wants us all to pay no attention to the man behind the curtain (Roger Ailes), or to the curtain (Fox News), or the corporation that controls it all (News Corp). And to that end Fox has embarked on a massive smear campaign to destroy the credibility of the book, its authors, and the organization that produced it. But Media Matters has already succeeded. As noted in the book’s epilogue:
“Fox News will no longer be able to conduct its campaign under the false pretense that the network is a journalistic institution. There is heightened awareness in the progressive community and in the general public of the damage Fox causes.”
The Abominable “Doctor” Keith Ablow, part of the Fox News medical “A” Team, published an article on FoxNews.com with his insights into the mind of Media Matters founder, David Brock. Suffice to say that ducks would be offended by referring to this character as a quack.
The article sported the headline: What’s Eating Media Matters’ Founder David Brock? It purported to be a psychological profile of Brock and an attempt to explain what Ablow perceived as Brock’s hostile motivations. Ablow, whose dubious ethics resulted in the severance of ties with the American Psychiatric Association, began his column with a disingenuous disclaimer saying that…
“David Brock is not one of my patients. I have not interviewed him, and I would never hazard a diagnosis of him.”
First of all, it needs to be noted that Ablow frequently “hazards” diagnoses of public figures despite never having examined, or even met, the subject. And hazard is just the right word for it. He has offered an utterly deranged psycho analysis of President Obama, as well as perverse praise of Newt Gingrich, specifically citing his history of serial adultery as a positive character trait that would make him a better president.
However, Ablow’s disclaimer falls flat when just a few paragraphs down he says this:
“A sailboat adrift, in danger of capsizing, looks for the strongest wind to keep it moving. Direction matters little or not at all when drowning is the other option. Brock would seem to be captaining such a ship-of-self. [...] his own self-loathing might be unbearably palpable.”
Somehow Ablow doesn’t consider that to be a diagnosis. Neither does he regard his later comments comparing Brock to “despots and dictators and even cult leaders” to be outside the bounds of remote analysis. And to top it off, Ablow concludes his unprofessional and ethically offensive ravings by prescribing advise to Brock that he…
“…take those steps necessary to uncover those demons from the past he has denied, for they are now quite visible to those of us who have the proper lens to see them, and they will not be denied forever.”
So while Ablow began by declaring that he wouldn’t “hazard a diagnosis” of Brock, by the time he finished he had delivered not only a diagnosis, but a prescription as well – a prescription replete with demons who will not be denied. Frightening, isn’t it?
Fox News has launched a massive effort to counter what they must fear is an effective, critical examination of the network and its principles. They have already aired more than a dozen stories so far on their most popular programs, including the O’Reilly Factor and Hannity. Friday morning’s broadcast of Fox & Friends featured a Steve Doocy interview of Tucker Carlson. Doocy could not even mention Brock’s name without appending a pejorative. For instance, “David Brock, an admitted drug user…” or “David Brock, an admitted liar…” And take a look at the on-screen graphics they used
Note that the subject of this interview was an alleged expose of the donors to Media Matters. So it was a financial story that had nothing to do with Brock’s mental status. But even from a financial perspective, the story was a bust. Apparently Doocy was astonished by the shocking revelation that a liberal media watchdog group was supported by liberal donors. It must have taken a pretty sharp reporter to uncover that scoop. But the really good news was disclosed by Doocy himself when he revealed at the end of the segment that…
“Finally, this has been such an explosive series that you’ve had at the Daily Caller, exposing what these people at Media Matters are doing, and yet, aside from a few blogs and the Fox News Channel, it really hasn’t gotten much traction in the mainstream media, which floors me.”
Poor Steve and Tucker. Nobody likes their hollow and brazenly biased smear campaign enough to help them to disseminate it. They must be awfully depressed. Maybe they could schedule some time with Dr. Ablow to try to get to the root of their depression. Actually, it wouldn’t require much of a commitment in time because of Ablow’s unique ability to diagnose patients without even having to meet with them.
As I documented yesterday, Fox News is maniacally desperate to destroy the reputation of Media Matters before their book, The Fox Effect, is released next week. The latest evidence of their desperation: Four more articles on Fox Nation for a total of twelve in just three days.
There have also been four more segments broadcast on Fox News (two on Fox & Friends, one discussion on Happening Now with Jon Scott, and one featured on America Live with Megyn Kelly) for a total of nine in three days. This may be the most reported story on Fox News. That shows that the priority of crushing Media Matters far outweighs little things like the just-released White House budget, Iran’s nuclear program, the presidential election, or the turmoil in Syria and the Middle East. Fox can’t be bothered with any of that when there is a book coming out that is about to blow the lid off of their pseudo-news, GOP PR scam operation. And speaking of the GOP, according to Steve Doocy they have their priorities twisted as well:
“Some congressional Republicans are now looking at Media Matters tax-exempt status – that’s right, they get it – more specifically, why [Media Matters founder] David Brock’s liberal web site is allowed to use your tax dollars to attack Fox News Channel.”
It’s nice to know that Republicans in congress are working hard on the issues that matter to the American people. And, of course, none of this is coordinated. The congressional activity, the investigation by The Daily Caller (run by Fox News contributor, Tucker Carlson), the massive coverage of the story by Fox, and the imminent release of an anti-Fox book. It’s all just an incredible coincidence. It must be – Fox News said so:
A Fox News spokesperson told Mediaite on Tuesday afternoon that, “there is absolutely no coordination with the Daily Caller,” and they have “no idea what Tucker’s motivation is in on the timing of this.”
Well that settles it. Because Fox News wouldn’t lie. They might construct totally fabricated stories that advance their ideological agenda, but they wouldn’t lie. They would spread rumors that smear their perceived enemies, but lie? Never. They would even host disreputable psychiatrists whose ethical lapses precipitated their separation from the American Psychiatric Association as they did with Keith Ablow, who managed to invent a diagnosis of David Brock without ever having met him:
“If you are filled with self-loathing you will see demons on every street corner because you project that self-hatred. [...] He’s a dangerous man because having followers and waging war, as he says, or previously being a right-wing hitman, this isn’t accidental language. It’s about violence, destruction, and he feels destroyed in himself.”
I really have to wonder if even the Fox News audience is so intellectually comatose that they wouldn’t recognize the feverish anxiety gushing from Fox in advance of the Media Matters book. A tree stump would notice that they are laying it on awfully thick. So the obvious question is what are they so afraid of? I guess we’ll find out next week.
The Republican Party has long sought to position itself as the party of family values. They fiercely defend what they call “traditional” marriage. They are the epitome of the faithful, sacred, one-man, one-woman, Till Death Do Us Party.
Except when it is politically inconvenient.
With the Republican primary race settling down to a two man contest between Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, the GOP Defense Squad (aka Fox News) is jumping out in front of a potentially devastating calamity.
By now most voters are aware that Newt Gingrich is an abhorrent slug who has cheated on multiple wives and divorced them when they were ill. He even engaged in a tryst with a young woman on his staff while he was leading the effort to impeach Bill Clinton for having a tryst with a young woman on his staff. The argument made repeatedly was that a public servant who could not be trusted to keep his marital vows, could not be trusted with the responsibility of leadership – that character matters.
Now that a Gingrich primary victory is being perceived as plausible, the martinets of virtue are coming forward with modified tenets of behavior that not only absolve Gingrich of his sins, but cast him as paragon of principle and morality.
This unexpected and unseemly turn of events is exemplified by Rush Limbaugh who related a story to his radio audience that expressed sympathy for Gingrich as the victim in his marital woes, and praised his open infidelity as “a mark of character.” But no one can come close to the Fox News editorial by alleged psychiatrist Keith Ablow titled, “Newt Gingrich’s Three Marriages Mean He Might Make A Strong President – Really!”
Ablow is the resident Fox News psychiatrist and a co-author of a book with Glenn Beck. Ablow’s treatise on the merits of infidelity commence with the assertion that the whole affair is just a creation of the media that is “trying to castrate candidates for the prurient pleasure of the public.” It’s a position that appears to defend promiscuity. How dare the media expect pious politicians to live the chaste lives of the little people they govern? Our leaders, Ablow implies, must not be rendered impotent by standards of conduct that need only apply to peasants – and Democrats. Then Ablow condescends to dictate the import of these events to the peons who populate the Fox family:
“I will tell you what Mr. Gingrich’s personal history actually means for those of us who want to right the economy, see our neighbors and friends go back to work, promote freedom here and abroad and defeat the growing threat posed by Iran and other evil regimes.”
What a relief. Ablow will tell us the meaning of it all, which saves us the trouble of having to think for ourselves. And the first thing he wants us to know is that the age-old dogma of conservative politics – that character matters – is a myth:
“You can take any moral position you like about men and women who cheat while married, but there simply is no correlation, whatsoever — from a psychological perspective — between whether they can remain true to their wedding vows and whether they can remain true to the Oath of Office.”
Ablow, of course, is directly contradicting Gingrich himself, and the standard Gingrich set while he was trying to impeach Clinton. But Ablow is not deterred. He then lays out a five-point justification for how a serial adulterer is better able to make America stronger:
1) Three women have met Mr. Gingrich and been so moved by his emotional energy and intellect that they decided they wanted to spend the rest of their lives with him.
2) Two of these women felt this way even though Mr. Gingrich was already married.
3) One of them felt this way even though Mr. Gingrich was already married for the second time, was not exactly her equal in the looks department and had a wife (Marianne) who wanted to make his life without her as painful as possible.
4) Two women — Mr. Gingrich’s first two wives — have sat down with him while he delivered to them incredibly painful truths: that he no longer loved them as he did before, that he had fallen in love with other women and that he needed to follow his heart, despite the great price he would pay financially and the risk he would be taking with his reputation.
5) Mr. Gingrich’s daughters from his first marriage are among his most vigorous supporters. They obviously adore him and respect him and feel grateful for the kind of father he was.
Seriously! Those are Ablow’s five points verbatim. I’m not making this up. See for yourself. Now, let’s look at them one at a time:
1) Ablow thinks that it is a measure of a man’s greatness that multiple women have agreed to marry him. By that standard we should elect Larry King or Dog the Bounty Hunter president. Both have been married more times than Gingrich. And Ablow might also look into the multiple marriage proposals received by men in prison, including rapists and murderers. Is Ablow endorsing their candidacies?
2) In Ablow’s professional opinion, as a psychiatrist, if the woman is a home wrecker it further validates the virtue of the adulterous man. I’m sure that’s documented in psychiatric journals and textbooks.
3) If the home wrecker is hot (according to Ablow), and the man is not, then he must truly be a great leader. Obviously Ablow is unfamiliar with the romantic successes of repugnant rich and/or powerful men. I refer Ablow to billionaire oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall (married to Playboy playmate Anna Nicole Smith) and Henry Kissinger (who said that “power is the ultimate aphrodisiac”).
4) Ablow regards the fact that Gingrich told both of his sick ex-wives that he was dumping them as evidence of honesty and moral strength. But Gingrich was hardly honest while he was engaging in his affairs for years before he got around to telling his spouses. And he was hardly moral for abandoning them when they were in need. The best that could be said for Gingrich is that if he were president he might tell us about his crimes and improprieties in office years after his term was over.
5) It’s funny how people like Ablow never mention Gingrich’s gay daughter sister, Candace, when they are making a point about family harmony.
Finally, Ablow offers his psychoanalysis of Gingrich in his closing paragraph:
“So, as far as I can tell, judging from the psychological data, we have only one real risk to America from his marital history if Newt Gingrich were to become president: We would need to worry that another nation, perhaps a little younger than ours, would be so taken by Mr. Gingrich that it would seduce him into marrying it and becoming its president. And I think that is exceedingly unlikely.”
First of all, to what psychological data is Ablow referring? He has never examined Gingrich or his family. This is another in a series of irresponsible and unethical psychiatric appraisals conducted by Ablow. He has previously published his deranged opinions about President Obama and Media Matters founder, David Brock. In both of those cases, as here, Ablow is in violation of the American Psychiatric Association’s Principles of Medical Ethics (Section 7.3), which state:
“On occasion psychiatrists are asked for an opinion about an individual who is in the light of public attention or who has disclosed information about himself/herself through public media. In such circumstances, a psychiatrist may share with the public his or her expertise about psychiatric issues in general. However, it is unethical for a psychiatrist to offer a professional opinion unless he or she has conducted an examination and has been granted proper authorization for such a statement.“
Why this hack hasn’t had his license revoked is a mystery. Setting that aside, clearly Ablow intends his closing remarks to be a joke, but there are some very real concerns embedded in it. Gingrich’s loyalty to others is a fragile thing. While he may not leave America for a younger, prettier country, he certainly cannot be depended on to pursue the interests of this nation if they are in conflict with his own personal interests. He was ousted from his Speakership and his House seat due to the pursuit of his personal financial interests. And he has a long history of taking political positions that advance his electoral prospects. Add to that his selfishness with regard to his marital history and you have a picture of man who is morally, if not literally, treasonous.
The conclusions by “Doctor” Ablow are an obvious attempt on the part of Fox News to whitewash Gingrich’s past. If Ablow thinks that three wives and two extramarital affairs (that we know about) enhance Gingrich’s qualifications to be president, then what about a candidate with five or six wives and a membership in the Swingers Club?
The logical extension of Ablow’s theory would put Charlie Sheen atop his list of America’s best presidential aspirants. [Come to think of it, would Sheen be any worse than Perry, Bachmann, Trump, Cain, Gingrich, etc.?] And this is what the Republican Party is passing off as family values in the 21st century. Now if they could just get Sheen to come out against abortion and declare war on Iran, they’d have themselves a real dream candidate.
[Update] The good news is that Ablow is getting pummeled in the press for his idiocy. Even his own network has called his article “asinine” and “pandering slop.” Although it was just on their overnight comedy show Red Eye.
There is a lot of nonsense on Fox News. After all, this is the network that employs Dick Morris and Sarah Palin. It’s the network that brings in people like Jon Voight, Victoria Jackson, and Ted Nugent, to discuss serious matters of government and finance. But there may be no other Fox contributor that comes even close to the delusional lunacy of Dr. Keith Ablow.
Lou Dobbs hosted a segment of his Fox Business Network program that sought to explore President Obama’s identity crisis, wherein Ablow offered his typically twisted analysis of Obama’s psychological defects. The excrement that spews from his lips is so utterly perverse that I think I’ll just let it speak for itself:
“When you don’t have a core you’re able to slip the binding of your own existence and play other presidents.”
“Where’s the fire? Where’s the leadership? Why can’t we get anything done? Well, what if there’s nobody inside there other than the guy on GQ magazine on the cover?”
“If you go through enough abandonment, which this president has, if you are disenfranchised, you can cut yourself off from those feeling of rage and fire. That is all you can do to not disintegrate.”
“That’s why we’re adrift, Lou. Because there’s nobody in the White House, not really.”
“This is a president who captured the White House but considers himself different than us. OK? Quite different. And not sure at all that he liked us.”
“The whole reason the Birther movement came up is because people were flummoxed. They couldn’t figure out how can you be President of the United States and seem not to like the citizenry of the United States?”
“The answer is he doesn’t hate us. He simply isn’t there to hate or love. Because, guess what? Long ago he severed himself from all core emotions.”
There you have it. Obama is a phantom president whose own lack of emotion caused right-wing extremists and Tea Partiers to doubt his citizenship. And Ablow put forth these baseless theories in an embarrassingly childish performance that was peppered with repeated interruptions and pleas for attention.
Ablow is fond of pretending that he can psychoanalyze people who he has never examined or even met. That is a sign of certain quackery reminiscent of “doctor” Bill Frist’s pathetic attempt to diagnose the terminally ill and vegetative Terri Schiavo. What’s more, Ablow is in violation of the American Psychiatric Association’s Principles of Medical Ethics (Section 7.3), which state:
“On occasion psychiatrists are asked for an opinion about an individual who is in the light of public attention or who has disclosed information about himself/herself through public media. In such circumstances, a psychiatrist may share with the public his or her expertise about psychiatric issues in general. However, it is unethical for a psychiatrist to offer a professional opinion unless he or she has conducted an examination and has been granted proper authorization for such a statement.“
Ablow’s unethical hackery fits well on the Fox airwaves, and his credentials suit the requirements of the so-called “news” network that has proudly cast off any semblance ethics. He is the co-author of a book with conspiracy schizoid Glenn Beck, who has tried his own hand at psychoanalyzing the President as well – with hilarious results.
It shouldn’t surprise anyone that characters like this fill the schedule on Fox. Notwithstanding how easy Fox makes it look, it really is difficult to come up with consistently demented lies and insults of the “quality” that Fox has maintained. So perhaps we should cut them some slack if they have to resort to lowlifes like Ablow on occasion just to avoid having dead air.