It’s probably too negative to suggest that all is lost when it comes to the November elections. But right-wing media is rife with hate speech, lunatic theories abound and misinformation is the coin of the realm for a distressingly large segment of the electorate.

The rants of Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin and a host of other radical miscreants continue to surface as if they were serious news. But often ridiculing them just seems to make supporters distrustful of the very news sources that strive to observe journalistic principles. Glenn Beck warns of a possible “Reichstag moment” when events would precipitate a fascist takeover of the country. In better times such claptrap would be dismissed as the ravings of a troubled mind, but these are not better times, and people, far too many of them, are mesmerized by the false prophets of doom who fill the airwaves and newsprint with hysterical nonsense disguised as concern for the nation’s well-being.