Thursday, January 18, 2007

Do O'Reilly Viewers Have Stockholm Syndrome?

MediaMatters--Bill O'Reilly

They must if they continue to watch a man who so horrifyingly judges a 14 year old boy who was abducted at age 11. How else to explain anyone's continued devotion and fidelity to his show when he clearly is a bitter, angry and misanthropic person? Maybe they are afraid to leave him? Maybe they have convinced themselves they love him because he has hammered into their psyches that he is "looking out for" them? Maybe because they have seen what he does to the reputations of people he doesn't like and who don't (unlike our obsequious friend Greta Van Susteren did here) kiss the ring and tell him he is right about everything?

To attribute adult intentions, skills and knowledge to an abducted 11 year-old child is asinine at best and wantonly cruel at worst. It is no secret that child predators control children by threatening both themselves and their families. The neighbors in the apartment building often heard shouting, crying and whimpering from the apartment. There seems little doubt what the abductor was doing to that child, physically and psychologically. We have an little place called Guantanamo (that I think Billy O thinks is fantastic) that is designed to inflict just that kind of psychological hell on adults. So he's incredulous that it would work on a kid? Yeha, the kid was "free." But he was also 60 miles from home, obviously a victim of some terrible abuse at the hands of his captor, and no doubt in fear for his own and his family's lives.

This whole story makes me crazy because it's one more instance of "logical, rational" people judging others when they have no frickin' idea what they are talking about. They should be so lucky that their children are never put in such a position and then judged to have "wanted it" because they didn't have, as Billy O called them, "survival skills." F*&^ you, Bill O'Reilly. I'd like to see how you'd react to a 300 pound man physically violating you for 4 years and then having some right wing a-wipe telling you wanted it and liked it because you happened to have done what you had to do to live through it without getting killed (or, as you had been told, your family killed). You'd be a broken shell of a human at your advanced age, never mind being 14.

I think this cruelty after the fact occurs for two reasons: 1. People do not understand psychological torture techniques, they don't understand why an abused woman would stay with her husband, don't understand why kids don't just run away, and don't understand how physical violence mirrors psychological violence. 2. They want desperately to believe that it would not, could not, will never happen to them or their kids. If you can tell yourself that this boy was a willing participant, that he wanted it or consented to it, then you can convince yourself that your child, that your family are safe. If you teach them "survival skills" they'll never be abducted and abused. If you blame a 14 year old boy for unspeakable acts against him, then you never have to wrap your mind around the fact that violence, kidnappings and child abuse are sometimes random acts perpetrated on random kids, and that it could happen anywhere to anyone...even YOU.

So, what say we leave this kid alone? And what say we take Billy O's advice and use our survival skills (in this case, our basic human intelligence and sense of decency) to escape the malevolent hellhole known as The O'Reilly Factor.

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