Welcome to Fox News and Billo's show, irony -
free filled zones. How does he do this with a straight face?
18-year old Penelope Soto was appearing before a judge on Monday for sentencing after being charged with possession of a controlled substance without a prescription. During the bond hearing, she had an angry exchange of words with the judge and flipped him the bird. The judge responded with a 30-day jail sentence for contempt of court.
Yes, Soto was disrespectful and deserved some punishment. But O'Reilly goes one step further in his analysis, saying that the judge wasn't just fed up with her behavior toward her, but the general atmosphere of disrespect everywhere in this country. He goes on to say that "many Americans simply are disrespectful and feel entitled to do whatever they want to do."
Then O'Reilly jumps the shark and the shark's mother with his pronouncement that "the reason there is an epidemic of disrespect in America is mainly because of the public school system." Citing the softening of the New York Schools discipline code, Billo claims "students can curse at their teachers and simply get a reprimand" as evidence that every public school in the nation is spawning rude, disrespectful kids.
What do New York School discipline standards have to do with a kid who went to school in Florida, anyway? I looked at some of the standards in Florida and it's clear that disruption, obscene gestures and/or obscene language are grounds for in-school or off-campus suspension.
Billo blames the Internet, too. I wonder if he was thinking of Todd Kincannon when he mentioned "troubled people [who] say the most horrendous things hiding behind their machines." Speaking of that, do you think he might admit that Erick Erickson's public condemnation of a Supreme Court Justice as a goat f*cking child molester might appear to be some disrespect toward the judiciary?
Let's talk about some other examples of disrespect. How about the public disrespect shown President Obama by hosts on Fox News? Like Sean Hannity, sneering and calling the president "The Anointed One"? Rush Limbaugh calling Sandra Fluke a slut? The public denigration of Hispanics on a near-daily basis? Do you think that might have raised some disrespect? How about the current NRA campaign to paint the president as someone to be bullied and harassed by the likes of Wayne LaPierre? Or the claim that everyone should carry guns because government is very, very bad?
Judges are a part of government, after all.
Billo blames everyone and everything-- schools, online conversation, social networks, television shows like Jersey Shore, and more -- without ever acknowledging the elephant in the room. The breakdown of society he predicts begins with people saying and doing things that break cultural norms. You know who those people are, Billo? That's right. Start with the teapartiers and the gun nuts, the nativists and the eliminationists. It's not public school that's causing the breakdown. It's adults behaving like uninhibited maniacs, inside and outside government.