The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Wednesday, January 10, 2007

"Fatwa of the Week" was spoken for...

Speaking of the right's partiality for totalitarianism, and having recently written about their reaction to electoral defeat-- which has been to become even more extremist-- I give you this:

Forget Keith Olbermann's "Worst Person In The World" contest — it's now been completely upstaged by a new Sunday contest on Fox: Sean Hannity's "Enemy of the State" award. Last night, Hannity's new Sunday night program aired for the first time, and from here on he'll award his "Enemy of the State" prize — a term originating with ancient Roman dictators placing bounties on rivals — on whatever red-state abortionist, anti-war activist, or run-of-the-mill Democrat who has attracted Hannity's ire that week. Imagine Hannity in that famous Twilight Zone episode, as the ranting Chancellor putting to death the old librarian portrayed by Burgess Meredith, and you'll get the idea. So who won the first "Enemy of the State" prize last night?

As a reader of Andrew Sullivan's blog asked: Who doesn't immediately associate that phrase with Communism or Nazism?

I suspect the answer is that Hannity's fans have that association, too. It takes me back to my musings on liberal and conservative humor. Olbermann's title is laughably over the top-- no one would take seriously the assertion that Bill O'Reilly is literally the most vile human being on the face of the earth. With the knockoff segment 'Enemy of the State,' I suspect Hannity is trying to achieve the same effect. But in true right-wing form, instead of amusing hyperbole, they go with a phrase that not only suggests treason, but does so in the context of murderous purges throughout history. What a knee-slapper, huh?