On the latest episode of The Trews, British comedian and activist Russell Brand discussed the crash of a Germanwings plane and the media’s rush to blame it on the suicidal captain.
He engages in a dialogue with a Neil Cavuto monologue in which the Fox News host speculates about the pilot’s motivations.
“In a way,” Brand says, “this is the perfect Fox News story, because there’s no way of knowing for certain what were the motivations — and in that gap of ignorance, there’s room for tremendous fear and great propaganda.”
After Cavuto links the pilot’s actions to ISIS fighters and Adolf Hitler, about whom Brand says, “you know, some work’s been done on the subject of Hitler, and it turns out that at that anti-Semitism was widespread and German nationalism was on the rise because of social and economic conditions.”
“So in a way, Adolf Hitler is a good example — one lone madman cannot personally be responsible for a genocide. He requires the correct conditions, and the correct conditions were created as a result of the First World War, widespread anti-Semitism across Europe.”
After discussing at length how much Fox News benefits from having a Hitler-like figure to blame in order to avoid having to address the larger social conditions that make such a person possible, Brand addresses how convenient it is for Fox to be able to pin responsibility for atrocities on mental illness.
“If you try to think,” Brand says, “‘Why did this nutty pilot nuttily crash his plane into a mountain?’ then it’s really hard to come up with answers, let alone solutions.” He then discusses how suicide is now the biggest killer of young men in Britain, and how half of Americans have dealt with a serious bout of mental illness.
“Why are we living in a time of a mental illness plague?” Brand asks, then answers his own question, saying “the reason Fox News can’t be honest about what causes mental illness is because Fox News is what causes mental illness.”
“Fox News is the propaganda machine of modern capitalism that tells us that the way to solve our problems is through purchasing and buying things — by identifying ourselves with our roles as consumers, and not as participants or members of society.”