From America:

If ever I were to write a historical novel about witch-hunting, I would spend 99% of my research time watching Fox News. It could be relabeled Witchhunt 24 Hours – not because they slander innocent people, but because of their aesthetics.

Nowadays "witchhunt" means an unjust attempt to railroad an innocent and usually helpless person. But are theatrics involved that do not require the person actually be guilty. The show is just as exciting if the witch is a real witch. Witchhunting, and Fox News, is beyond justice and injustice. They are about News as High Drama.

The moment I got to the US, some American nut was arrested in Thailand for confessing to the killing of a little girl ten years ago named JonBenet. Ten years ago, the case was all over the media. It was one of these weird tabloid cases that are perfect for a cheap crime show: rich family that refused to talk to the press, which made them seem guilty and a little girl who they dressed up in adult costumes and sent around to beauty pageants. Not to mention: No real evidence that pointed to anyone but the rich Mom and Dad. It was a perfect and perfectly weird case. It was never news, it was always reality TV meets CSI.

Now this guy in Thailand showed up and the case reopened.

The first lesson: The witch is a star in reverse. A star you love to hate, like Hannibal Lector was the true star of Silence of the Lambs. The film Seven was never about justice and protecting victims, it was about witnessing horrible and disgusting crimes. This wanna-be JonBenet-killer was distant, pasty-faced, buttoned-up, clearly out of touch with reality, married twice to underage girls and the author of poems to JonBenet proclaiming his undying love to her and cold cold cold. A scriptwriter could not have invented a weirder and more ghoulish villain. He was designed by God to have his own Pederast Reality Show – "How Long Can I Resist Little Girls?" – and Fox News, like the witchhunts of yore, is reality TV.

Second lesson: It's all about the adrenalin. If you're a witchhunter, your goal is to keep the adrenalin boiling at its highest point as long as possible. There is no dramatic arc: you boil things as hot as they will go and keep them at a boiling point for as long as you can. It's like a sexy girl torturing her shy, inhibited neighbor by constantly wearing the shortest skirts possible. She can never go out in curlers, she can never be seen without red hot lipstick, never. You can’t let up for a minute. Fox News is constantly whipping its audience into a frenzy, never letting up, not for a second, turning everything that comes within grabbing range to their purpose. When there was no new news, these guys would report what the would-be killer had for breakfast. They would get experts on to discuss everything that had been discussed years ago. The will discuss the lack of news. They will discuss the discussion. Never let up, never let anything more important compete. The witchhunters must have been the same way. Everyday they must have been in the streets. If it rained, they asked if this was another of the witch's tricks; if it stopped raining, they asked if this was another of the witch's tricks. You have to create a wall of adrenalin and keep everyone in it 24 hours a day.

That's Fox News. It's 24 hours outrage. If it's not a would-be killer it's the terrorists or the Democrats letting down their guard and getting us all killed. People say Fox is a Republican tool, but the truth is: They would do the same thing for the Democrats if the Democrats had the material. The only agenda they have is keeping their audience in a constant state of excitement. They don't care about politics, they care about TV – in this case, Reality TV at its best – a kind of Reality TV that has not been done this well since the McCarthy Era, the Third Reich and the witchhunts of the 17th century. Aesthetically it's brilliant. If it were put on the stage, people would declare it a masterful dissection of the dark side of the human soul. I am full of admiration.


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