A must read today is Johann Hari’s shrill profile G. Gordon Liddy. After learning all about Liddy’s fascination with Hitler and Nazi-like fascination with ruthless will-power. After listening to Liddy rant in New York’s Penn Station, Hari concludes:

I’m not sure how much of this I can take. I am becoming desensitized to his madness; I haven’t even furrowed my brow for the past five minutes. Does he really mean this stuff? And what’s better — if he is spewing all this hate for effect, or if he really means it?

But this is how Hate Radio works in America. It numbs you to far right positions; it makes the most depraved politics banal and commonplace. So Ann Coulter talks affectionately of “the benefits of local fascism” and nobody blinks. Michael Savage describes Lindy England as “an American hero“ and tells gay listeners, “I hope you get AIDS and die,” and we simply avert our gaze. Even a mad criminal like G. Gordon Liddy is accepted as a normal part of the political furniture. Republican politicians appear on his show happily and nod along to his far-right patter.

[ADDED 8.1.2006]