Gut Check: Intervention
When I watch that really depressing TV show Intervention, it’s only to feel better about myself. It’s one of the great benefits of television: it’s personal therapy that elevates self-esteem quicker than a pep talk from a noxious life coach.
If I’m feeling down, I watch Intervention. If I’m feeling really down, then it’s Hoarders. If Hoarders cannot make you feel better about your lot in life - then you might be hopeless. Which, at that point, it’s time to watch Hardcore Pawn.
Hardcore Pawn is an amazing show for one severely disturbing reason: it’s helped to introduce what I now call “city-billies.” See, for the longest time, we've poked fun at the rural folk, referring to them as hillbillies. They’re the gap-toothed inbred freaks who fry squirrels and poop in buckets down by the creek. Deliverance immortalized them - now they’re the butt of every lazy, lame joke about the south. We call ‘em rednecks.
See the recent, stupid study done by Movoto, which lists the most redneck cities, based on number of Walmarts and lack of education. They’re able to commit this sort of lame BS, because, well, no one cares. Essentially, a real estate brokerage firm just whispered, "You don't want to move here," regarding some of America's major cities. Imagine if they had substituted "redneck" with something else.
Funny thing is, hillbillies and rednecks are fewer and farther between. But there are a crapload of city-billies.
City-billies are what’s left in dying cities with diminishing populations. They’re the people left behind... the people who can’t leave. They’re the folks that liberals say they want to help, as they pack up their Subarus and get the hell out of Dodge (or in Hardcore Pawn’s case, Detroit). Hardcore Pawn is a thirty minute tour of the city-billy life: the constant line of assorted folk selling everything from broken computers to beat-up construction equipment in the sprawling pawn shop, reminding you that every city targeted by the helping hand of government ends in abject misery.
Back to Intervention. In case you don’t watch, it’s that show that follows a family as it prepares to intervene on behalf of a drug or alcohol addicted relative. While watching, you notice how families enable much of the self-destruction by simply letting it occur. It’s usually because one parent (the mom, most of the time) fears the addict will reject her if they attempt to get him to stop snorting or shooting or guzzling. So she lets him continue doing his bad stuff, while she looks on, in tears. “Poor moms,” is all I keep thinking when I watch Intervention.
I do not blame the kin entirely for the junkie's behavior. But I blame families in part for not cutting the cord and letting the addict reap the consequences from his own selfish decisions. A junkie survives on a relative’s love, fear of rejection, and money. But it is only when the junkie is forced to live by his own decisions that he can actually rebound and become a better person.
And so while some junkies live, Elvis died. No one had the balls to shout, “Stop," which is why he ended up full of bacon, booze, and pills, a whale beached in a bathroom.
And this Elvis syndrome is, oddly enough, happening again right now, politically. I saw this same enabling behavior happen in the last five years, as the media fulfilled the role of the hopeless mom to the self-indulgent Obama Administration. And now, this week, the chickens have not only come home to roost, they’re freebasing in the garage. The family is fed up.
As I mentioned yesterday on The Five (it features five people, at 5 pm, on FNC), our national hive of hacks are really nothing more than the Memphis Mafia, the folks who protected Elvis Presley through his worst excesses, until his particular administration ended on a toilet.
But why did the media become so much like this mafia? This behavior is caused by a deep desire to be liked and to be perceived as cool.
In fact, the media are so desperate to be liked by Obama that they are willing to overlook anything unseemly. When I look at the multitude of scandals, I cannot blame the President. My disgust is reserved for the media who let him wander so far off the reservation--because they love him more than their own principles. They love him, because they want him, really, to love them back. And the sad thing is--he really doesn’t care. He’s so aloof; it makes them only love him more. This is unrequited love, among wonks.
Here is a simple fact: a liberal president operating with a liberal media leads us to a really unpleasant place--populated with programs, policies, and principles that are woefully inept and corrupt. Obamacare, Benghazi, the IRS scandal, Pigford, and weird euphemisms for terror like "workplace violence" and "self-radicalization"--this isn't a comedy of errors, it's a tragedy of horrors. There is no guard rail anymore when you’ve got the left monitoring the left.
Which is why what is perceived as cool often ends in failure.
Cool gets a pass, even if the cool thing is incompetent. For questioning the competence of the cool puts the spotlight on you, which you don’t want. If you raise the possibility that whatever the media deems cool is troubling, you inevitably end up being mocked by the cool kids. See Saturday Night Live's spoof on the Benghazi whistle-blowers just days ago. We live in a time where the hip kids think it's funny to smear those who simply want answers to the most obvious questions. Like, why did four people die, and the administration blame it on a video? I guess, if you have a team of writers and a week to play with it, you can make that funny, too.
Nobody wants to be mocked by the cool kids. SNL makes it clear that if you step out of line, the velvet rope becomes a noose of ridicule.
The media had sold its soul for a version of heaven on earth, which to them is nothing more than acceptance by someone they adore. The deal came down to one simple thing: finally, I am cool, and I will be liked. I cannot give that up, even if it means I must ignore things I would have aggressively pursued if the culprit were an old white Republican.
Look at the IRS scandal: the Tea Party was singled out, because you could single them out. This is a group that never broke a window but only broke ranks. So while a peaceful group gets targeted, terror tots like Bill Ayers get tenure. And why is that?
It’s simple: a climate created by the media, by academia, and by the Administration, made it acceptable.
How much more does a liberal media type need to reconsider his own biases?
Jon Stewart should be so ashamed of this administration, he might finally add the "h" to his first name.
Like I said, this is the Elvis Syndrome. Metaphorically speaking, the media has let Obama have too many fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches. They have enabled him right into his own destruction.
But judging by our President’s demeanor, it’s really no big deal. Unlike Elvis, he’s got an excellent metabolism.
It comes down to a simple question: who decided to go after the Tea party? Something tells me the same person who pushed the Tea Party as a target also pushed the anti-Muslim video. It's the same person who sees Ft. Hood as workplace violence, and views America as a bigger problem in the world than its vile enemies. It’s the same guy everyone thinks is cool; the same guy everyone wants to be near. It’s the same guy who makes you feel good about yourself, as long as you agree with him, and don’t rock the boat.
He’s the guy you’re happy to enable, even as others pay the price.
Greg Gutfeld is a mainstay on Fox News as co-host of The Five and the host of Red Eye. He's also the NY Times best-selling author of The Joy of Hate: How to Triumph over Whiners in the Age of Phony Outrage.
For more from Greg check out his official site or follow him on Twitter.