Anyone wondering why the Fox Business Network is not doing very well could find the entire answer in this one segment from yesterday’s Lou Dobbs Tonight. It was an interview in which Dobbs called on resident psychiatrist Dr. Keith Ablow to explain President Obama’s recent remarks about the Supreme Court. It’s crazy enough that such a segment would be aired on a business show. But even more ridiculous were Ablows’ conclusions: that Obama has “some contempt” for the U.S. Constitution and the Supreme Court because his family abandoned him and “let him down” “again and again and again.” Host Lou Dobbs ate it all up.
We reported in February that Fox Business recently revamped its lineup after more than four years of dismal ratings. The changes, as Brian Stelter in the New York Times noted, seemed to be an effort to make the network less “overtly political.”
If that’s the case, then you have to wonder why Dr. Ablow would be allowed anywhere near an FBN studio. He’s got quite a history of coming up with “diagnoses” that just so happen to coincide with right-wing talking points. For example, he recently concluded that Obama administration policies are “making some of my patients sicker” because extended unemployment benefits cause “major depression.” Ablow has also pronounced Media Matters’ David Brock “a very dangerous man” and Chaz Bono the victim of a “psychotic delusion.” Not that he ever seems to have examined either of those two.
Nor has Ablow examined Obama, from what anyone could tell. But that didn’t hold him back from telling Dobbs the details about the “obvious explanation” for Obama’s recent barbs directed at the Supreme Court: his “contempt for that branch of government.”
Obama, according to Ablow,
“is egocentric and believes that any form of authority, perhaps other than that vested in himself is untrustworthy, particularly the long-standing authority of branches of government associated with the United States. That’s literally the most obvious explanation.
Now why? Well here is, after all, a man for whom nobody came through, right? His father abandoned him. His mother let his grandparents raise him. His grandmother intimated that she was afraid of men of his race. So he’s predisposed to say, ‘Oh, those guys at the Supreme Court? Baloney! You can’t trust them. Trust me. Only me.’”
Instead of challenging such a far-fetched, unsubstantiated supposition, Dobbs, swallowed it completely and asked for more.
And Ablow gave more.
“People sometimes don’t want to believe the obvious. I connect the dots for a living… So why can’t it simply be that the President has a certain amount of contempt for other branches of government. Therefore, by the way, if he can’t embrace the folks who have been installed for life to interpret the Constitution, he therefore, by extension, has some amount of contempt for the Constitution but that’s no surprise… Guess what, this president wants all power centralized so that people can’t make their own decisions. Because people in his life, when they decided things for themselves, they let him down. Again and again and again.”
Video below via Media Matters.
(3/9/20 update: Video no longer available)
It’s one thing for a psychiatrist to be brought in by the police for advice and profiling but everything that’s done there is understood to be a professional OPINION (and even when asked to be a witness in court, it’s understood that his “testimony” is only a professional opinion—an opinion that can be challenged by the “other side”) but Ablow is NOT being asked for help in a criminal case. What he’s doing violates professional medical guidelines and he should have his license revoked and his ability to practice psychiatry barred until he provides evidence that he’s taken additional classes in medical ethics.