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And they didn't like tha

2017-06-14 14:08:02 | 日記




And they didn't like that, and they cut off the interview. And I've been told since, I'm on a no-fly list at Fox News to the point, where once a Fox News producer sent me a note saying, hey, Mr. Ricks, I saw you write about this thing in Foreign Policy, could you come on the show and discuss it? And I wrote back, look, I'm willing to do it. But you should first check with your public affairs shop because I believe I am banned. And he wrote back, and he said, yeah, I checked. Thanks for the heads up. And I didn't go on. I wasn't invited on. GROSS: You must be wondering what's going to happen at Fox News now, especially after the death of Roger Ailes. RICKS: I think there's a special place in hell for Roger Ailes, for Sean Hannity and for Bill O'Reilly. I think they introduced a feeling of thuggishness into American discourse. And ultimately, I blame that on Rupert Murdoch, who I think has done more to poison American political life than any single person since Jefferson Davis. GROSS: You wrote a column nearly three years ago for Politico that was headlined "Why Am I Moving Left? I Used To Be Right Down The Middle, But America's Changed And So Have I." You wrote this when you were in your late 50s. So what do you mean when you said you were moving left? RICKS: I had a lot more faith in America 25 years ago than I do now. I thought we were moving generally in the right direction. I thought we were handling race better than we had in the past. I thought we were confronting some of our historical flaws better than we had. And I thought the American middle class was really moving AND getting its just desserts. It was doing well. Since then and after 9/11, I have seen the American government panic in response to 9/11. I've seen us go to war on false premises in Iraq. I have seen us go backwards on race in America, especially since Trump has been elected. People now feel it's OK to say racist things and other things that used to be seen as too extreme to be in polite new-lights company.

And also, income inequality has really become a huge problem in America that we're not facing. And we have seen basically the middle class not move forward economically in about 30 years while the top 1 percent of this country has been making out like bandits. And I see, ultimately, our political system stymied and not able to deal with any of these questions, I believe, because of campaign finance - has basically made Congress unresponsive to the American people and more responsive to the interests of the top 1 percent. It struck me in the election that no matter whether Trump won or Hillary Clinton won, Goldman Sachs would win. And they have. GROSS: I want to quote something that you write in your book "Churchill And Orwell: The Fight For Freedom." And again, this is a book - it's a kind of dual biography and looking at how their political views evolved and how it was reflected in their writing and their hatred of both fascism and Stalinism. So you write (reading) the fundamental driver of Western civilization is the agreement that objective reality exists, that people of goodwill can perceive it and that other people will change their views when presented with the facts of the matter. So I'd like you to talk to how that reflects on Churchill and Orwell and how that reflects today. RICKS: That's the last line in the book.

And if - I'm glad you read it because if there's anything I have to say I learned from this experience of reading and re-reading thousands upon thousands of words by Churchill and Orwell over the last three and half years, it's that. That's my conclusion - that this is the essence of Western society and, at its best, how Western society operates. And it's - you can really reduce it to a formula. First of all, you need to have principles. You need to stand by those principles and remember them. Second, you need to look at reality to observe facts and not just have opinions and to say, what are the facts of the matter? Third, you need to act upon those facts according to your principles. GROSS: Tom Ricks, thank you so much for coming back to FRESH AIR. RICKS: You're welcome. I love it. GROSS: Tom Ricks is the author of the new book "Churchill And Orwell: The Fight For Freedom." He writes the blog The Best Defense for Foreign Policy magazine. After a short break, TV critic David Bianculli will review the new reboot of "Twin Peaks." This is FRESH AIR.

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