web analytics
October 31, 2014 / 7 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Phil Donahue: American Pestilence


Phil Donahue was just such an adult: Outwardly a mature, married man with several children, but inwardly a shallow bucket longing after the empty cliches and sham pieties mouthed by scruffy, sandaled “flower children” and ignorant dormitory “revolutionaries” living off generous allowances and trust funds.

An eager imbiber of the waters of New Consciousness, an avid believer in any hip nostrum expounded by the lead singer of that week’s hot rock ‘n’ roll band, Donahue was emblematic of a phenomenon that swept the country in the late Sixties and early Seventies: the utter intimidation of the white establishment ruling class by its young.

This surrender of the culture to a small but extremely vocal segment of the population would change America in a manner so profound that the American MIAs who returned home from Vietnam in 1973 could barely recognize the nation they’d left behind just a few years before; as one of the repatriated soldiers lamented, “Everything is different — the way people dress, the way they act, even the way they think; this is not the country I once knew and loved.”

Phil Gets a Talk Show

It was during this time of great social ferment that Donahue began his career as a television talk show host in Dayton (over the years he would move the program from that relatively small Ohio city to more impressive zip codes, first in Chicago and later in New York); thanks to syndication, the program would eventually be carried to stations across the country and Phil even found himself appearing on covers of national magazines, toasted as a man of uncommon talent and rare intelligence.

Perceptive viewers noticed a change in the show’s tone sometime in the mid-Seventies: Yes, Donahue could still be counted on to provide a forum for serious discussion of substantive matters, but such exercises in integrity became more and more infrequent as the host’s fascination with all things abnormal grew at an astonishing pace.

Not that this was this by any means an objective fascination — something like, say, an anthropologist’s dispassionate study of social and cultural curiosities — that drove Donahue; no, this was an all-out fixation (shared by the legions of liberals of that era who raised the white flag at first sight of the onrushing counterculture) on the notion that objective truth is nonexistent and that therefore all philosophies, religions and lifestyles are equally valid or invalid.

Even more insidious was the manner in which Phil would approach, and reproach, any member of his studio audience who dared question the ethos that permeated the show.

Far from trying to browbeat dissenters, Donahue employed an essentially theatrical approach made all the more effective by its subtlety; he was, in fact, nothing less than masterful in the sly use of the raised eyebrow, the rolling eyes, the imploring voice.

In short order his audience was trained to instinctively recognize those responses that pleased Donahue and those that triggered his facial contortions, and soon it was commonplace for sweet little old ladies in the studio to raise their hands and deliver themselves of the sort of New Age psychobabble guaranteed to warn Donahue’s liberal heart.

And thus was born on the Donahue show that peculiar sport of liberal one-upmanship that is now such a staple of television talk programs as audience members battle it out to see who can come off looking the most tolerant; of course, any discerning viewer watching at home knows — absolutely, positively knows — that those sentiments in no way reflect what the speakers are really thinking as they behold the representatives of whatever “alternative lifestyle” is being championed on that particular day.

However disingenuous the responses from the studio audience, they served Donahue’s purpose by strengthening the message of non-judgmental open-mindedness (to the point of empty-headedness) pushed so relentlessly on his show; even the most independent-minded viewer could not help but be influenced by the day-in, day-out exposure to the sight of nice, polite, salt-of-the-earth Americans genuflecting before people who in a saner, less politically correct time would have been scorned, without guilt, as freaks and misfits.

Politically Correct Before The Term Existed

Donahue’s enthusiasm for behavior once considered out of the mainstream was of a piece with his politics, and one need only consider the haste with which liberals like Donahue embraced a values-free rhetoric and an anti-American worldview to understand how and why mainstream liberalism lost its way.

Racism, specifically white racism, was one of Donahue’s consuming passions — a worthy concern to be sure, but Donahue assuaged his own feelings of racial guilt by routinely conjuring up a vision of a racist America so hellish and detached from reality that it no doubt prompted even such accomplished practitioners of the race hustle as Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton to snicker with contempt.

About the Author: Jason Maoz is the Senior Editor of The Jewish Press.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Phil Donahue: American Pestilence”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Yehudah Glick on the Temple Mount.
Yehuda Glick’s Condition Stabilizing, “He Was Very Lucky” (1:00 PM)
Latest Indepth Stories
Which glass has the poison?

The White House wanted to defame Netanyahu, undermine his reputation, impugn him & his policies

Adolf Hitler and the representative of the Palestinian Arabs, the Mufti of Jerusalem, Amin al-Husseini, December, 1941.

Palestinian anti-Semitism in 2014 is more extreme and mainstream than German A/S in the 1930s.

Sheldon Silver

Woven deeply through it all is the Jewish obligation to fight injustice.

Cravatts-Richard--new

Only in the inverted world of academia would Jewish professors denounce the AMCHA Initiative report.

Many poskim were and are adamant about the responsibility of every individual to vote.

Individuals who may have been abused are the “clients” in need and receiving care and protection.

An accomplished Torah scholar and ardent adherent of Bobov chassidus, he was renowned for his self-effacing dedication and skills as an international lawyer and law professor

The fact that the United States government after World War II sought to take advantage of the expertise of German scientists, even those known to have contributed to the Nazi war effort, is well known and largely accepted as having been necessary for America’s national defense. (Wernher von Braun is perhaps the most famous and […]

The New York State comptroller manages the state’s $180.7 billion pension fund, audits the spending practices of all state agencies and local governments, oversees the New York State and Local Retirement System, reviews the New York State and City budgets, and approves billions in State contracts and spending.

Rabinovich is the author of several popular books on Israel’s wars, including The Battle for Jerusalem, The Yom Kippur War, and The Boats of Cherbourg.

To say he was beloved because of the way he loved his students does not sufficiently capture the reality.

The birth I speak about is to give birth to ourselves, to our full potential.

The extreme hypocrisy, contempt & vulgarity of the attacks indicate more than a policy disagreement

More Articles from Jason Maoz
Comptroller DiNapoli celebrates Sukkot with Crown Heights Jewish community leaders at the sukkah of Rabbi Chanina Sperlin of the Crown Heights Jewish Community Council.

The New York State comptroller manages the state’s $180.7 billion pension fund, audits the spending practices of all state agencies and local governments, oversees the New York State and Local Retirement System, reviews the New York State and City budgets, and approves billions in State contracts and spending.

Front-Page-102414

While not all criticism of Israel stemmed from anti-Semitism, Podhoretz contends the level of animosity towards Israel rises exponentially the farther left one moved along the spectrum.

When you grow up in a home where your parents went through what my parents went through, you realize that life has to be meaningful. You have to be there for other people.

“It’s a lousy column and a dishonest one,” Halberstam wrote. “So close it. Or you will end up just as shabby as Safire.”

Wye would be seen to have set the groundwork for the creation of a Palestinian state

These are not necessarily the best all-around biographies or studies of the individual presidents listed (though some rank right up there), but the strongest in terms of exploring presidential attitudes and policies toward Israel.

The Clintonan “engagement” liberals remember with such fondness did nothing but embolden Arafat and Hamas and Hizbullah as they witnessed Israel’s only real ally elevate process ahead of policy.

What really makes one wonder about the affinity felt by certain Jews for Grant was the welcome mat he put out for some of the country’s most pernicious anti-Semites.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/front-page/phil-donahue-american-pestilence/2002/10/04/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: