Recently, former Fox "News" anchor Brit Hume expressed concern about Tiger Woods, noting, "Whether he can recover as a person I think is a very open question." Then Hume offered this bit of heartfelt advice:
The extent to which he can recover seems to me depends on his faith. He is said to be a Buddhist. I don't think that faith offers the kind of forgiveness and redemption that is offered by the Christian faith. My message to Tiger is, 'Tiger, turn to the Christian faith and you can make a total recovery and be a great example to the world.
Yes, what better source (with the possible exceptions of the repellent Janet Parshall, the uber-smug John Gibson, and animatronic dominatrix Ann Coulter) of religious counsel than the former managing editor of Fox "News"?
At such moments, when one of the Republican Party's chief propagandists espouses advice about the soul, you can almost hear the ghosts of Moliere and Mark Twain smacking their foreheads and laughing. You can also sense, all across Fox Nation, viewers' heads nodding, as the faithful who used to think (and probably still do think) of George W. Bush as "a good Christian man" find their most cherished "value" confirmed.
Hume suggests, with his tired basset-hound eyes radiating wisdom and pity, that that most piously invoked and highly prized facet of one's being (i.e., one's "faith") is a function of conscious will, that one can jump from religion to religion simply by deciding to, the way one might change cellular services. ("You see, Tiger, the Buddhist 3G network just doesn't offer the kind of comprehensive coverage that you get with Christianity. With Christianity you enjoy no dropped calls to God, no dead spots in your future immortality. And our basic plan includes forgiveness and redemption! So why not switch? Operators -- real operators, the kind who know how to herd the flocks of the ignorant and fleece them for all they're worth -- are standing by. You don't even have to change your mobile number.")
I don't know about you, but I'm very concerned about everyone recovering as a person -- and by "everyone" I mean, "mainly Brit Hume." You kids are too young to remember, but at the start of his career, Hume was an assistant to Jack Anderson, a muckraking journalist who labored day-in and day-out to expose the crimes, frauds, lies, and other symptoms of Washington politics regardless of party. Anderson practically invented investigative journalism. And get this -- he was a Mormon! Nine kids! He thought holding the powerful to account was a sacred duty. What a kook!
Go here for the interesting info that Anderson was once targeted to be poisoned by Nixon's henchmen. Now that's "cred," and Hume was one of his field investigators.
But look at Hume today: morally bankrupt, unable to serve his masters in a manner to which he had become accustomed, and reduced to offering come-to-Jesus advice, on television, to celebrity golfers.
He has, in other words, arrived at a point exactly the opposite of that of Tiger Woods -- who, Hume says, "will recover as a golfer" but not necessarily "as a person." Hume, on the other hand, cannot recover as a person until he recovers professionally.
Therefore my message to Brit is: Brit, when you worked for Jack Anderson you really were doing the Lord's work. Then, well, you went astray. You ended up -- as if you need me to tell you! -- shilling for warmongers, pandering to corporatists, and disseminating lies practically every darn day in the cause of death, destruction, cronyism, ignorance, corruption, and ineptitude. All of which is a fancy way of saying, you became managing editor of Fox "News." And as such, you effected a complete repudiation and betrayal of your younger, more admirable self.
I don't think dispensing religious counseling to superstar athletes offers the kind of forgiveness and redemption that is offered by a full and honest break with Fox "News," the Republican Party, and the forces of evil for which you have been so dependable a servant for so many years. I therefore conclude my message to Brit with, Brit, confess your sins for what the rest of the world (except for the partisans and the idiots) knows they were. Admit, once and for all, th --
You know what? The hell with it. Never mind. I was going to offer you a chance to make a total recovery and be a great example to the world, but it's too late. You've done too much damage -- to journalism, to our national politics, to the idea of truth, to the United States of America. Stick with the Christians. Those people will let you get away with anything.
Cross-posted at What HE Said
Follow Ellis Weiner on Twitter: www.twitter.com/EllisWeiner