There was a strange outbreak of sanity this week on Fox News. Well, not an outbreak. One case. Shep Smith made an impassioned statement about how Ebola hysteria is counterproductive, and Americans should not be swept up in it. "Do not listen to the hysterical voices on the radio and the television or read the fear-provoking words online,” he urged his viewers. “The people who say and write hysterical things are being very irresponsible."
Whoa, Shep. What are you saying? Sowing fear and panic is your network’s bread and butter. This is heresy.
One day we may really have something to panic about, Smith continued. And we’re not going to ready for it. We’ll have spent all our panic chips. “We're not gonna panic when we're supposed to and we're certainly not gonna panic now," Smith pleaded. "We have to stop it."
Fortunately, this outbreak of somewhat inarticulate reasonableness was contained. The rest of the Fox News team donned their Hazmat suits and ratcheted up the crazy, irresponsible fearmongering and Obama-blaming. Good ol' Rush Limbaugh sagely did the manly thing and mocked Shep Smith, calling him a sissy. “Shep Smith was crying so much during his reporting from New Orleans in Hurricane Katrina his mascara was running,” Limbaugh said. “But we need to dial it all back here.”
All is right once again in the right-wing conservoverse, where sanity proved to be an isolated case.
2. Dr. Keith Ablow: Obama has it in for us; that’s why he’s trying to give us Ebola.
Reality seldom impinges on the world that Dr. Keith Ablow, a member of Fox’s “medical A-team,” is creating in his own head. In this world, President Obama hates America and that’s why he isn’t protecting Americans from the Ebola virus by closing the border.
Ablow explained all this on Fox radio this week, that Obama thinks of himself as a “citizen and a leader of the world” who has no affinity for any particular country “perhaps least of all this country because he has it in for us as disappointing people. People who’ve been a scourge on the face of the Earth.” Ouch.
Ablow said that "as a psychiatrist," this is his professional and considered opinion. He cannot even believe the suggestion that his views on Obama being un-American and loving people in Africa more than Americans could possibly be construed as racist. He is shocked, shocked I tell you. “I would say the same thing if he was from Luxembourg,” he said.
Well, that ought to settle it.
In fact, Ablow is so unracist that he graciously offered to treat the president, whom he called, “Our patient in chief.” Ablow would love the opportunity to sit Obama down and explain to him why he hates America so much, and why this is a problem. “It’s psychologically difficult to defend and protect a country that you have it in for,” he said.
Clearly a doctor with deep compassion.
3. Donald Trump: The president is a ‘psycho.’
Blowhard businessman Donald Trump has not been able to get any of his blatantly racist birther theories or other accusations to stick against the black man who has taken over the White House by being elected, twice. But Trump, who counts excessive germophobia among his charming traits, is particularly worked up about this Ebola thing. Ever the nice guy, he opposed allowing Ebola-infected American doctor Kent Brantly back into the country for treatment in Georgia a while ago, because maybe Trump would catch it in New York. And of course, Trump favors the travel ban from West Africa that conservatives are calling for. Because, of course he does.
Trump also loves to tweet, and can always be counted on for his usual thoughtfulness in that medium. “I am starting to think that there is something seriously wrong with President Obama's mental health,” Trump tweeted this week. “Why won't he stop the flights. Psycho!”
Sure hope Trump runs for president again. He can always be counted on to lift the level of the discourse.
4. Laura Ingraham thinks Africa is a country... (oh, yeah, and that Obama wants Americans to die).
The right cannot get over the fact that Obama will not impose a travel ban. They are, ahem, borderline fetishistic about America’s borders, and about the fact that people, especially dark-skinned people, can go across them.
But no one beats Laura Ingraham for obsession about borders. Like Dr. Ablow, Ingraham has a full-blown alternate universe in her head that she thinks explains Obama’s refusal to impose a travel ban on people from West Africa. “The WHO is admitting it botched its efforts to contain the Ebola outbreak in Africa,” the xenophobic talker said on her show this week, “Yet Obama keeps citing ‘experts’ in his opposition to a travel ban. We can’t have it because it’ll make matters worse…for who?”
Ah! There’s the rub, Obama hates us. Ingraham claims that the left even admits this, when it is being honest. “If a few Americans have to die to make Africans’ lives better, that’s what has to happen,” was her version of Obama’s and the left's position. “We owe a great debt to other countries, including Africa, and if that means Americans have to die, we just have to die.”
This is all kinds of wrong and crazy, but we’ll just note that in Ingraham’s alternate universe, the Dartmouth-educated ranter thinks Africa a country.
5. Louie Gohmert: Infected nurses are evidence of the Democrats’ war on women.
Texas tea partier Louie Gohmert chatted with Glenn Beck this week and brought his unique spin to the Ebola story. Gohmert called CDC director Tom Frieden the leader of the “Democratic war on women nurses!”
Oh, burn! See what he did there? Everyone’s always saying it’s the Republicans who are waging a war on women, just because they are trying to take reproductive choices away from us and deny us equal pay for equal work. Well, take that Democrats! Louie Gohmert’s got your number.
When Beck asked Gohmert how he was, Gohmert seemed a bit stumped.
"As far as I know, I’m okay. But do any of us really know for sure?" (Because the CDC is lying to us, of course. Get it?)
Well, actually, Louie, some of us do know for sure if you are okay. You should see your doctor, because your stupidity is metastisizing.
6. Scott Brown: Ebola would never be happening if Mitt Romney were president.
Former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown has already greatly added to the Ebola conversation by cautioning Americans about Ebola-infected terrorists coming over the Mexican border.
Now the New Hampshire Senate hopeful wants to remind America that Ebola would never have happened if his boy Mitt Romney were president.
“Gosh can you imagine if Mitt was the president right now?” Brown asked. “He was right on Russia, he was right on Obamacare, he was right on the economy. And I guarantee you we would not be worrying about Ebola right now and, you know, worrying about our foreign policy screwups.”
Gosh! That is so true! Because nothing ever bad happens when Republicans are in the White House. 9/11 attacks don’t occur (under Bush), we don't start stupid wars in Iraq (Bush), and AIDS doesn’t become an epidemic (under Reagan). Because Mitt would have waved his magic Ebola wand, and everyone would be safe.