Sunday, March 12, 2006

Fred's Freudian Slip

I sometimes find myself watching one of Fox News' "buried" pundit programs ("buried" because stuck in one of the forgotten, unwatched slots: 5 p.m. Saturdays. The name of the show is The Beltway Boys. It features Fred Barnes. I might say that it features Fred Barnes and Mort Kondracke, but Mort's presence is neglible, he is so cowed by the far right wing views of Barnes. (In fact, in case you've failed to notice -- and the documentary movie, Outfoxed certainly noticed -- Fox systematically hires unattractive, nerdy, unlikeable, or ineffectual persons to be the fall guys and stooges for its mainstream crypto-fascist commentators. Hannity and Combes has its Combes, and The Beltway Boys has its Kondracke, just to name a couple. (Of course there are major exceptions: Bill O'Reilly will brook no regularly appearing liberal dissent, no matter how mealy-mouthed, on his dictatorial, monomaniacal program, probably because no one wants to sign on knowing they will have to play the stooge, their every pronouncement subjecting themselves to being characterized as a "pinhead" -- itself an abhorrent, insensitive epithet, since actual pinheads are victims of congenital defects; in a word, a type of mongoloid.)

If I bother to examine my motives for even watching The Beltway Boys, I find it appeals to my sadistic streak; that is, I enjoy watching Kondracke -- the dummy liberal -- squirm. I like to see how far Kondracke will go to carefully, painfully, almost pathologically, avoid any direct disagreement with Barnes. This past Saturday (03-13-06), Barnes made a bizarre comment that either completely slipped Kondracke's notice, or else the latter simply let it slide, possibly (again confirmed by Outfoxed) fearing the network's retaliation. (At Fox News, you tow the line or you move on. Certainly gives falsity to their claim of fairness and impartiality!) Barnes treated the TV audience to a photo of George Bush embracing a foreign dignitary by placing his palms on the man's cheeks. Never mind that in most of the world's countries, this would go unnoticed. In fact, men in most countries feel no shame but rather closeness of friendship when touching each other -- even hugging and kissing, on the cheek at least. (For all their notorious macho, it is only apocryphal that the Mexicans invented the abrazo to prevent the other guy from drawing his six shooter.) Why should they not be as forward as women toward each other? They're secure in their self image. They know who and what they are.

Barnes took issue with the photo, blurting, "What's he DOING there? If he tried that with me, I'd knock him out!" Kondracke let it go. Strange, since he has, in the past, voiced quite tolerant attitudes toward gays. If it had been a true debate (as rare as hen's teeth on Fox), he might have pointed out that Barnes's outburst showed nothing so much as how insecure Barnes is about his own sexuality. Freud had a word for it: "projection." It's the imparting to others traits one dislikes in oneself. The incident suggests that Barnes might have repressed homosexual traits and that he acts macho-straight to ward off his (mostly imaginary) suggestions he might be a homo himself.

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