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Charlie Reina Headshot

O'Sannity, Can You See?

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Is anyone surprised that Tennessee gunman Jim Adkisson's favorite authors include Bill O'Reilly, Michael Savage and Sean Hannity?

Does anyone wonder how that trio of self-righteous gasbags will explain this away? Or if they even can see that they might have some explaining to do?

This would be the perfect time to get pious about the effects of popular culture on morality. You know the drill: write, sing or talk about sex and teenagers will start fornicating in the school parking lot; speak out against racial inequality and blacks will forget that they've never had it so good; promote non-conformity of any kind and society will collapse like a house of cards.

But to flat-out blame Adkisson's actions on the venom those three guardians of American values spew out daily to an audience of millions would be dishonest. To claim that their relentless scapegoating of gays, immigrants, the disabled, and liberals of all stripes forced Adkisson to open fire inside a (secularly progressive?) Unitarian church would be hypocritical.

In other words, we would be lowering ourselves to their level.

So let's just wait and see how O'Reilly, Savage and Hannity deal with the Tennessee killings. Now that the spotlight is on them, I think they've got some soul-searching to do. They have made careers of falsely accusing those whose lifestyles or politics they oppose and causing their own brand of societal mayhem.

Admitting mistakes is gender neutral, but if you're male it's the manly thing. Will any of the O'Sannity trio step up and do what a man should do? Stranger things have happened, but I'm not holding my breath.