When I grew up in the evangelical ghetto good manners about all things sexual were the gold standard of both my evangelical upbringing and our ideas about what it meant to be a conservative. The thought that abuse of women, and sexually predatory antics would be defended by conservatives would have been as unthinkable as imagining Russian Communist leaders extoling the virtues of capitalism.
Had a 1950s or 1960s version of Bill O’Reilly or Roger Ailes (the former Fox News chairman) manifested in the news having sexually abused women, the right—and the religious right in particular—would have led the nation in loud angry denunciations.
Not anymore. What’s the “conservative” response been to the rash of Fox News-sexual predators? Silence.
“Fox Breaks Ties With Host Bill O’Reilly” was all the bastion of conservative “values” (rooted mostly in Roman Catholic-style pro-family tradition) the National Review could manage. As for Breitbart they rose to try and make sexual predation all about politics with “Activist Left Gets Monster Scalp.”
In other words Bill O’Reilly’s problem was that he’d been a victim of liberal activists.
Aren’t conservatives pro-decency anymore?
Then again with 81 percent of white evangelicals as the most solid Trump-voter bloc (other than KKK members) how can evangelicals lead in a rallying rejection of sexist behavior toward women from conservative media personalities and outlets? Their president is an unrepentant “P——grabber” who bragged he could do what he wanted to women because of his celebrity status.
A core value of conservatives like my preacher dad and missionary mom used to be their emphasis on personal responsibility and moral culpability.
After all a belief in a literal hell was part of the deal for the likes of woman abusers. Conservatives like my old friend William F. Buckley (Dad and him used to have tea together from time to time) said that a good society depended on people taking responsibility for their actions. For Buckley or my good personal friend the late Congressman Jack Kemp, every policy solution began and ended with each person acknowledging his or her personal responsibility.
Yet I see little to no admission of moral error from O’Reilly nor from Fox News. O’Reilly blamed others, and his victimization. He used to mock liberals as the “whiny left” when it came to blaming society for crimes by–say–black youths. O’Reilly said his “departure” was not his fault but the cost of being a media personality.
William F. Buckley or someone like Tom Brokaw or Anderson Cooper are high-profile media males, and they have never been dogged with multiple sexual harassment accusations… and nor for that matter was the much-hated and hounded President Obama. And you know that if there had been even a hint of such behavior the right wing media would have redoubled its 8-year effort to lynch the first black president.
Ailes too never took responsibility for the rotten culture he created and sustained. And Fox News’ corporate rape-culture has not changed. It took them years to do anything about their in house molesters.
The fact is that American conservatism is anything but moral, conservative or even decent. It is sexist, violent, abusive and hates women.
Fox News’ embedded misogyny isn’t the exception. It is the rule. Period. And this Fox News leering brand of male libido-rape-culture “conservatism” must be exposed and then destroyed- mercilessly.
Please WATCH my video commentary on the sexism of the evangelicals… HERE