It is true that BDS has struck some pretty smart guys -- Bill Moyers ranting about a ``right-wing wrecking crew'' engaged in ``a deliberate, intentional destruction of the United States way of governing'' and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, whose recent book attacks the president so virulently that Krugman's British publisher saw fit to adorn the cover with images of Dick Cheney in a Hitler-like mustache and Bush stitched-up like Frankenstein. Nonetheless, some observers took that to be satire; others wrote off Moyers and Krugman as simple aberrations, the victims of too many years of neurologically hazardous punditry.
That's what has researchers so alarmed about Dean. He had none of the usual risk factors: Dean has never opined for a living, and has no detectable sense of humor. Even worse is the fact that he is now exhibiting symptoms of a related illness, Murdoch Derangement Syndrome (MDS), in which otherwise normal people believe that their minds are being controlled by a single, very clever Australian.
Chris Matthews: ``Would you break up Fox?''
Howard Dean: ``On ideological grounds, absolutely yes, but ... I don't want to answer whether I would break up Fox or not. ... What I'm going to do is appoint people to the FCC that believe democracy depends on getting information from all portions of the political spectrum, not just one.''
Some clinicians consider this delusion -- that Americans can only get their news from one part of the political spectrum -- the gravest of all. They report that no matter how many times sufferers in padded cells are presented with flash cards with the symbols ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, PBS, Time, Newsweek, New York Times, Washington Post, L.A. Times -- they remain unresponsive, some in a terrifying near-catatonic torpor.
The sad news is that there is no cure. But there is hope. There are many fine researchers seeking that cure. Your donation to the BDS Foundation, no matter how small, can help. Mailing address: Republican National Committee, Washington DC, Attention: psychiatric department. Just make sure your amount does not exceed $2,000 ($4,000 for a married couple).
Charles Krauthammer is a 1987 Pulitzer Prize winner, 1984 National Magazine Award winner, and a columnist for The Washington Post since 1985.
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