I have never been a fan of Bill O’Reilly, neither his politics nor his attitude, which is apparently needlessly abrasive both on and off air.
I’m not a fan of his pro-war positions and if even half of what he is accused of is true, I find him to be a disgraceful husband, father and man.
But the incident raises questions which transcend Mr. O’Reilly personal circumstance. They also transcend the internal politics at Fox News.
In recent decades, America has witnessed the growth of a culture where anyone can accuse anyone else of just about anything and no matter how absurd, no matter how unsubstantiated, no matter how out of character the accusations are, prominent professionals and media outlets, will take the accusations seriously.
As I wrote previously,
“The combination of social media rumours, greedy lawyers, disgraceful liars in the PR industry and professional victims within ear shot of all of the above, means that many people are correctly going numb to such sensational accusations, because many are simply baseless”.
When people take baseless and unsubstantiated accusations seriously, it is often a matter of following the money and many people in the aforementioned professions continue to make a lot of money out of false accusations. Many also attain fame to accompany the fortune.
But what beyond money, has pushed people in a broadly wealthy society to lower themselves to the level of bringing serious and seriously false accusations against others?
There are three things that have pushed society towards this dangerous and unethical new reality:
1. Poor Educational Influences
The standards of American education are appalling, but not just due to a decline in literacy and numeracy. Schools are increasingly miserable and even violent places.
A good educational environment is one that not only teaches children how to read, write and do mathematics, it is also one that teaches kids a vocational trade, teaches manners and how to be a respectful citizen, one that exposes the young to sport, music and proper art and overall, one that does not treat students like prisoners who somehow deserve a punitive existence.
Schools where grim, vengeful and at times wicked teachers abuse children whilst depriving them of the social and professional skills required in later life, will in fact produce the same kind of people that come out of a prison.
When a young person is deprived both of the skills needed to live a decent life and the joy that ought not to be crushed inside a young person, is it any wonder that such people grow up to be criminals, thieves, rapists, drug addicts, drug dealers, prostitutes or pimps?
Schools should be about elevating kids from their environment, no matter how morally impoverished this environment is.
Economic poverty is no excuse. All you need is a cheap football to keep kids active in sport and these days, all one needs is Youtube in order to listen to a piece of music by Tchaikovsky or Beethoven. Sport and the arts is not as expensive an endeavour as many pretend that it is and even if it was, it would still be worth it.
If kids are not shown that there is life beyond the pangs of confused youth, they will grow into confused, violent, abnormal and immoral adults. They will become the future false accusers, future whores and future rapists that the next generation will have to deal with.
2. Lack of Family
There is not now, nor has there ever been a suitable replacement for a strong family. This means not only a good mother and father, but also a supportive extended family.
Family is the first place where a young human being learns the most basic values that will shape his or her entire future. If parents fail a child, then that child will grow into an adult that will fail society.
One when sees crying and screaming children,running wild like animals without parents instilling into them the most basic manners, this is the same child that will shout accusations and cry crocodile tears in later life. Children who aren’t prevented from being little vandals and destroyers of other people’s hard work, will go on to become greedy at best and physically abusive at the most dangerous end of the spectrum.
The mainstream media has encouraged the break-down of strong family units. It has replaced the family with a whole lot of nothing.
Society is now paying the price.
3. Public Figures Normalising Immorality
Bill Clinton is the most prominent guilty man when it comes to normalising immoral, disgusting and harmful behaviours. Clinton’s exploits are widely known, so too is the fact that he was a two-term American President.
However dangerous and indeed evil prior US leaders had been, when it came to one’s moral conduct in daily life, Bill Clinton’s very public displays of immorality subtly implied that one can lead an immoral life and cause actual harm to others and still achieve the most visibly powerful position in America.
In other words, if POTUS can be a prevented, immoral, abusive adulterer; ‘so can we all’.
In the years since, pop culture has become ever more complaint in promulgating the idea that immoral behaviour is normal.
If pop music, advertisements and Hollywood all venerate men who are violent, thuggish and mean spirited whilst simultaneously encouraging young women to act like prostitutes, vagrants and substance abusers; it is no wonder that western culture has arrived at the low position it is currently in.
The vicious circle of harlotry, abuse, indulgence in drugs, false accusations, lies, dishonesty and disloyalty is pervasive throughout the media. It sends the wrong message and every subsequent generation only exaggerates these trends.
Bill Clinton and his ilk should never be allowed to grow old gracefully in the public eye. They should be named and shamed as often as possible.
Bill Clinton in particular set the United States on a collision course with cognitive moral dissonance, wherein immoral behaviour was no longer attributed to failed actors in a Los Angeles gutter or old prostitutes dying of a horrible disease in an filthy flop-house. Instead such scenes and such attitudes were associated with the Oval Office and to paraphrase Ronald Reagan, it ‘tricked down’.
This is what has led to a world where the worst false accusations are taken seriously and where actual depravity is not only tolerated but often praised.
Is it any wonder that those living in the west are increasingly looking to outside influences to find the moral compass that the west long cast out to the open sea?
Russia too struggled with the immorality of the 1990s, but Russia has slowly but surely overcome this dark decade. When will the west catch up?