On Wednesday’s (2/15) Fox and Friends, Steve Doocy and Dr. Keith Ablow behaved like stoned college kids with a copy of the DSM IV as they proceeded to diagnose Media Matters chief David Brock, the bête noir of Fox News. In the course of their analysis, the TV insta-shrink and the Clown on the Curvy Couch managed to stigmatize the mentally ill, insult adoptees, and violate medical ethics. With video.
Dr. Ablow is Glenn Beck’s psychiatrist buddy. Doesn’t that tell you everything you need to know? He is also a partisan (R) hack with political ambitions, tailor-made for the Roger Ailes Smear Machine. Ablow is trotted out on a regular basis to add that oh-so-important Air of Authority to Fox News smears, negatively “analyzing” such notables as Bill Maher, Chaz Bono, Jenna Lyons (the J Crew exec who committed the unpardonable sin of painting her son’s toenails on camera) and President Obama. This isn’t the first time Ablow has attacked David Brock, either – as a matter of fact, this segment wasn’t much more than an updated rehash of Ablow’s July 5, 2011 appearance.
What was shocking to this viewer was the casual way in which the topic of mental illness was tossed around. Responding to Doocy’s prompt that Brock has “a history of mental issues”, Ablow proceeded to rip Brock apart under the pretense of offering an objective professional opinion. Among the chyrons was one which read, “David Brock’s Background – 2001: MM Founder Admits Mental Breakdown”.
Excusing himself by saying “By the way, I haven’t examined this guy – he’s not my patient”, Ablow – who has claimed to be able to diagnose from a distance - spent the next five minutes, aided and abetted by Doocy, characterizing Brock as a dangerous and potentially violent and destructive individual who is “in a panic for adulation”, “filled with self-loathing”, “self-hating”, “doesn’t want to be on this planet to begin with”, “destroyed within himself”, “dangerous”, “feels unloved and unloveable” and is “paranoid”.
I have news for you, Keith (I can’t bring myself to call you “Doctor” since you don’t conduct yourself like one). First of all, no reputable therapist EVER offers a casual diagnosis of a public figure for mass entertainment, any more than s/he would violate an individual patient’s right to privacy by divulging the contents of a private session to the client’s buddies over coffee. As a matter of fact, what you do on a regular basis on Fox News is more than likely, as NewsHound Priscilla explains here, in direct violation of The American Psychiatric Association's Code of Ethics (sec.7,3) .
Secondly: According to the CDC, published studies report that about 25% of all U.S. adults have a mental illness and that nearly 50% of U.S. adults will develop at least one mental illness during their lifetime. That number more than likely includes people you work with, people you love, many of your loyal viewers, and members of the Fox News staff – and you, Keith, a supposed professional psychiatrist, reinforced the stigma which attaches to mental illness, in order to score petty political points, by casually associating mental illness – which can range from depression to anxiety disorders to schizophrenia - with dangerous and violent behavior when the fact is that research supports the view the mentally ill are more often victims than perpetrators of violence; mental disorders are neither necessary nor sufficient causes of violence; and major determinants of violence continue to be socio-demographic and economic factors. These conclusions, from a 2003 study published by the World Psychatirc Association , have been corroborated by a number of surveys of the literature on mental illness and violence. There is no direct, unmediated association between mental illness and violence. Don’t pretend you don’t know this, Keith. You should be hauled before the board of the APA to explain yourself. UPDATE: That won't be happening. I just discovered that Keith Ablow resigned from the APA in September 2011 after he was criticized for his crusade against Chaz Bono and the transgender community.
One other note about Keith Ablow. One of his criteria for diagnosing David Brock as being “dangerous” is the fact that he changed political allegiance, which supposedly demonstrates instability and a search for approval. Funny thing about that. Keith Ablow supported and donated to John Kerry in 1998; since then he’s explored the possibility of running for Kerry’s seat as a Republican.
Full video of the segment below, full of rich pickings. Have at it in the comments section, folks.
A little, reputable birdie told me last night that there is a legal move in the works to have Ablow’s license revoked.
With all my love,
Watch parts 2 & 3 to see how this BS infiltrated RW politics and destroyed democracies globally.