REPORT: Emerging Culture of Paranoia
Obama Derangement Syndrome epidemic on conservative airwaves
Summary: Conservative media have directed their violent, doomsday, and anti-intellectual rhetoric at progressives in power, and specifically at President Obama, whom fake populists in conservative media depict as a threat to their audience's very way of life.Â
In recent months, the violent, doomsday, and anti-intellectual rhetoric that has long been a staple of conservative media has taken a notable turn in at least three significant ways: previously confined to the right-wing media fringe, the rhetoric is now a constant across the full spectrum of conservative media; it is louder and meaner, with conservative media figures appealing overtly to feelings of anger and paranoia in their audience; and it is focused, tied to the specific political aim of undermining the Obama administration and the Congress.
None other than David Horowitz notes "an interesting phenomenon on the Right, which is beginning to cause me concern": "the over-top-hysteria in response to the first months in office of our new president." Horowitz calls this "hysteria" "Obama Derangement Syndrome."
Indeed, the rise of anti-government speech -- and the explosion of anti-Obama rhetoric -- on right-wing radio, Fox News, and among conservatives in other media outlets tracks directly with the arrival of the new administration and its broad efforts to address the myriad and interlocking problems confronting the country. Rather than engaging in substantive policy analysis and critique, the Glenn Becks, Sean Hannitys, and Rush Limbaughs of radio and television insult their audience with simplistic attacks on Obama and his administration's initiatives.
Far from informing the public, Beck, Hannity, Limbaugh, and numerous others on Fox News and elsewhere launch attacks at Obama, progressives, and their policy proposals with accusations of any one or more "isms" that bear no relationship to reality or even to each other.