Recently, while interviewing Senator Bernie Sanders about healthcare, CNN's Wolf Blitzer quoted Karl Rove and then asked the Senator for his opinion. Sanders' response was one I've been hoping to hear from somebody for years. Enjoy it with me.
"Oh, my goodness. Well, I mean, the credibility of Karl Rove, who was Bush's guy for eight years, leaves something to be desired. In my humble opinion, George Bush will go down in history as one of the worst presidents we've ever had. And he was advised ably in that regard by Karl Rove. So, what Rove says isn't terribly important to me."
Thank you, Senator Sanders. You said what so many others in the public eye have had the opportunity to say, but have not.
Even if we set aside the lustrous job titles Rove's had over the years, certainly at this point in time his opinions have less value than ever. He's never been elected to anything. And, thankfully, he's not on the public payroll any longer. He's on Rupert Murdoch's payroll now. He's been hired as a Fox consultant. Apparently, that means that if the usual Fox talking heads can't find a way to put the current administration in a bad enough light, they call Karl.
When Rove gives an "in depth" interview to a fawning Sean Hannity, don't listen. When he's sharing his "expertise" with his falsely objective acolyte, Bill O'Reilly, don't watch. Karl "The Architect" Rove never designed anything other than a way to help elect George Bush and Dick Cheney. For that alone he should be too ashamed to show his face in public. But, of course, that's why Fox loves him. So, come on, let's all join hands and ignore him.
And while we're at it, let's identify a few other false prophets who should be ignored until they go away.
Dick Cheney's no longer the president so there's no good reason to listen to him. He won't go away on his own, but we can encourage him by not paying attention. We can opt to quit listening to his fear mongering and watching his sneering platitudes. And if you want to know where not to look, go no further on the dial than where he appears the most often. Fox.
Liz Cheney's never been elected to anything either. Oh, yes, she did have a job in the State Department that coincided with her father's tenure, but shouldn't that tell us something? Now she's out there being paid attention to by a media so starved for experts that she's become one. Don't fall for it. She's not an expert. She's her father's daughter and that's all she is. And where does she appear the most often? Fox.
Newt Gingrich is no longer the Speaker of the House. In my opinion he's merely a wannabe candidate for President in 2012. He has absolutely no power unless we keep regarding him as if he does. Personally, I think he's a hypocritical political opportunist and I don't care about his thoughts on anything. Please join me. But if you disagree, tune in to the network on which he appears the most often. Fox.
Let's also use our remotes to send the message that the opinions of the likes of Tom Delay, Rick Santorum, David Vitter and the ever-smarmy Rudy Giuliani are not news. (That's right, Rudy, your political career's at the point where you don't even rate your own paragraph in this little blog post.) The opinions of these people don't matter. It's no surprise that Fox keeps talking to them, but we don't have to participate.
Yet Fox is popular. No doubt about that. But make no mistake -- they're not an objective news network. At best, they're a conduit for conservatives. At worst, they're purveyors of hatred toward liberals. Just look to whom they turn for expert opinions. To paraphrase the esteemed Senator from Vermont -- what they say isn't terribly important.
(And before you point it out, allow me -- the more liberal networks like MSNBC have their pundits, too. Some have served, others only comment. To be sure, they strain their words through their own opinions and biases. But you know what the difference is? They don't lace their comments with fear and hate.)