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Bill O'Reilly says there's an intense culture war in the US so it must be true.

Reported by Chrish - March 8, 2006

"War, war, war. This war talk's spoiling all the fun at every party this spring. I get so bored I could scream!"

Bill O'Reilly has declared war on culture, and he's got the ratings to prove it. In his Talking Points Memo this evening 3/8/06 the big headline was "Culture War Showdown" (not to be confused with the ubiquitous "Iran Nuke Showdown") and O'Reilly emphatically declared that it's a for real war.

Even though some "far-left journalists" will deny it, he insists there is an intense culture war across the USA. Allow me to interpret. By far-left, he means anyone who is non-Bush-promoting. The culture war means that there are people who are not homogenized exactly like his target audience and we must be assimilated - all 297,500,000 of us.

What is the culture war all about? The (alleged) Christmas, Pledge of Allegiance, and Ten Commandments controversies, plus "the battlefield" contains issues like gay marriage, euthanasia, "unfettered" abortion, and legalized narcotics.

On one side are traditional Americans, often conservative, who believe the country was well-founded and no big changes are needed. On the other side are secular progressives, often very liberal, who believe the US is a flawed country and a drastic overhaul is needed.

Interpretation: The War on Christmas was /is an annual marketing ploy to rally the religious right and keep the fear-fires burning through the cold winter months. IIRC, Christmas happened, Santa came, sales were up (it is, after all "the big commercial holiday"). The Pledge of Allegiance reference to God and the display of the religious Ten Commandments on public property are relics of the fifties, the religious right's favorite decade, one instituted to thumb our collective nose at the "godless" Communists and the other to promote a movie, for crying out loud.

The other issues are all personal matters that, in a free country, would be decided in private without government or neighborly interference. His accusation that liberals want to change America and that the far-right is fighting to preserve it is totally backwards. The far-right may want to regress to the fifties, when women and minorities knew their place, a man was king of his castle, and kids were seen and not heard, but they are vigorously pursuing change in the structure of the government, making the executive more powerful and rescinding rights and liberties.

Which brings us to the real target of his Memo: an ad (check it out) which both aired on television and appeared in print (the hated New York Times, sneer) that targets high profile far-right leaders for being associated with criminal lobbyist Jack Abramoff. The ad was placed in the Times by The Campaign to Defend the Constitution (DEFCON, I love it), and to his credit the TV commercial is shown in its entirety. But, after it runs he asks "The question is, who's behind the ads and are they true?"

In the Times ad The Tides Center and The Fenton group are named as sponsoring the ad. Here's how Mr. No-spin put it: "In the small print NYT ad The Tides Center is named. This is a San Francisco group that has ties to George Soros and other far-left financiers. The Fenton Group is also involved. This is a DC-based communications operation that has represented "people like" Cindy Sheehan and the radical group MoveOn. So while "The Campaign to Defend the Constitution" sounds good, it's really just the same old far-left suspects doing what they usually do, attacking the opposition in the culture war. "

Wow. If that's no-spin can you imagine if he tried to demonize the ad sponsors through buzzwords and guilt by association tactics??

Now that the faithful are suitably frothy, he asks the only question that matters: is it true?

Well, yes, Ralph Reed "did do work for Jack Abramoff and was well paid - there's no doubt about that." O'Reilly doesn't dare tell his audience that darling Ralph has acknowledged taking $4 million dollars - $4,000,000.00 from Abramoff. The "folks" know well-paid from filthy riches.

O'Reilly grants that Sheldon's Traditional Values Coalition may have received a $25,000.00 "donation" from Abramoff's client, eLottery. Today, TVC could not supply The Factor with additional information, which is "not good." Well Bill, here is some additional information, and here's some more.

The Factor can't find evidence that either Dobson or his Focus on the Family received money directly from Abramoff, and the entire next segment was a forum for Dobson to righteously defend himself. Although that Dobson did campaign for Abramoff's client he (and Ralph Reed) claimes to have been duped. There are contradicting statements but as The Nation puts it, "While Abramoff cooperates with federal prosecutors, his former Christian-right surrogates have abstained from coming clean about their relationship with him. Acknowledging willing collusion with a disgraced casino lobbyist would be suicidal among their followers. But there are also risks in casting themselves as useful idiots in Abramoff's game. Such a tactic would reveal the "pro-family" movement as just another gear in a sordid Republican political operation. What did Dobson know and when did he know it?"

O'Reilly concludes that the ad is at least partially true, with the possibility that the other two have been smeared. He will, of course, continue to investigate.

The following segment, as noted earlier, was devoted to Dobson defending himself. O'Reilly seems to urge him to sue the ad creators and Dobson characterizes it as slander but par for the course. They frame the entire segment around the perception of culture wars, and wouldn't you know? O'Reilly is writing a book on the subject.

Prepare yourselves: any dissent from, opposition to, or difference in opinion, religion, and mannerisms from the white-bread coalition will be cannon fodder for the latest phony war, and just like his gurus in the Bush administration, O'Reilly will be profiting from it.

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