It’s hard to imagine two more contradictory news items.
Last Saturday, Fox News’ Trish Regan “exposed” in somber tones the shocking parallels between Venezuela, a crumbling Marxist kleptocracy, and Denmark, one of the glossier, most affluent and least corrupt countries in the world.
Regan opened her commentary piece with clips of anarchy in Caracas, then segued slickly to, “But you know, something is rotten in Denmark.” I’m not making this up.
On Tuesday, The Economist ranked Denmark’s capital Copenhagen at No. 9 on its list of the world’s 10 most liveable cities for 2018, part of the annual Economist Intelligence Unit Global Liveability Index. The 10 most liveable list includes shitholes, to use Trumpian rhetoric, such as Vienna, Osaka and Sydney. Caracas was somehow missing.
Regan was using Denmark to call out a few on the American Left, most notably Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Both advocate the U.S. embracing a 21st-century European-style socialism where citizens pay taxes and in return get government services including healthcare and education. Oh, and the streets are actually paved.
“We’re talking about a tax rate … a federal tax rate of 56 percent!” Regan wailed. “Everyone in Denmark is working for the government!” (For the record, the top post-World War II marginal tax rate in the U.S. was more than 90 percent for years under Presidents Truman and Eisenhower.)
Cars in Denmark are taxed “and no one wants to work,” Regan added. Danes don’t graduate college till they’re 40 because they’re paid to go university. Citing an unnamed “Denmark expert,” Regan claims all Danish graduates want to open “cupcake cafés.”
“Denmark, like Venezuela, has stripped people of their opportunities! Is that the direction we want to go in?”
Well, actually, yes. It is if you believe those wild-eyed Marxist-Leninist purveyors of fake news over at The Economist.
The EIU Liveability Index data shows that Copenhagen and the other nine cities on the list (which of course doesn’t include a single city in the United States) have:
• virtually no crime
• terrific healthcare
• world-class culture
• zero corruption
• fantastic infrastructure
Needless to say, the Danes are livid about Regan’s remarks. Well, as livid as Danes ever get.
Bloomberg quoted Danish Finance Minister Kristian Jensen as tweeting:
So Danes don’t want to work? 11 places better than U.S. in OECD statistics! We are working much more than Americans and at the same time ranking as the world’s best in work-life balance. You should come to Denmark if you dare to be confronted with the facts,” Jensen said.
And of course, he put a smiley face at the end of his tweet. Seriously.
Jensen misses the point completely: ‘Murica don’t need no stinkin’ facts. The GOP base is into revealed truth, and only Fox News reveals what’s really going on (wink, wink).
Regan is not a stupid woman. She’s a product of two elite schools – Philips Exeter and Columbia University. She studied opera in Graz, Austria and worked at Goldman Sachs, according to her Fox News biography. She’s married to an investment banker who works for – gasp! – Rothschild, that symbol of the international Jewish conspiracy Trump’s AltRight buddies are always going on about. She’s completely cognizant of the fact that nothing she’s saying is true.
But Regan is doing really, really well working in the propaganda matrix that pumps money feeding the Trump Base, which ecstatically embraces every crumb of crazy. The Base desperately wants to believe that “socialism,” even Christian Socialism as in Denmark, turns countries into Revelations-worthy pits of Hell.
They don’t want to know that their own infrastructure is crumbling. That Trump didn’t have the largest inauguration crowd in history. That they are working for minimum wage and no benefits while Danes are guaranteed livable wages. That they’re paying the taxes the 1-Percent avoid. That more than 80 percent of Danes are middle class while less than 60 percent of Americans are middle class.
That many, many other countries including Denmark provide a far superior quality of life for their citizens than the U.S.
For those of us who actually live in Europe, we know this is an almost laughable continuation of the American Far Right’s bizarre and sustained efforts to alienate our historic European allies. To do their part, Fox News has to constantly reassure the base the Home of the Brave is the only free country in the world.
Denmark: bad. Weak, multicultural cupcake socialists.
Russia: good. Strong leader, Christian and white.
I think there must be a bullet-point to-do list deep in the bowels of Fox News’ Manhattan HQ (I’ve always wondered why Fox News is in NYC, not in , say, Topeka, Kansas) with:
• Ridicule France
• Attack Germany
• Criticize Sweden
• Mock Belgium
Personally, I couldn’t care less what Fox News viewers think. But it really does disturb me that so many smart people at the conservative news outlets such as Fox who know the truth are willing to – let me just say it – be media whores for Trump.