Home > Arguments From Intimidation > The War on Fox

The War on Fox

Here is Howard Dean blaming Fox News for the Shirley Sherrod incident and calling them racist.  When asked the question “are you aware that Fox News never mentioned Sherrod before she was fired” Dean refuses to answer and instead claims that she was “about to be on Glenn Beck” which is a flat-out lie.  Meanwhile, when an MSNBC commentator invites someone on who “disagrees with them completely” you get a lively debate like this one.  (Notice how he says that Obama’s surrogates such as the Democratic National committee should deal with these issues and notice who was the chairman of the Democratic National committee until last year.)

If you haven’t read it, you must read The Argument From Intimidation.  Then notice the language they use–scorpions, liars, sleeze-artists, smear-artists, clowns–and understand that what Maddow is describing in the case of the birther issue and calling for more of is exactly this tactic.  Now I am not a birther, but one can’t help but wonder why the administration doesn’t just release the long-form birth certificate that the guy in that clip was asking for.  I suspect that the reason is that they relish the opportunity to make their opponents look like racists.  In a stunning bit of hypocrisy, here is Maddow in another rant about Fox News causing the Sherrod controversy saying

“Fox News continually crusades on flagrantly bogus stories designed to make white Americans fear black Americans, which Fox News most certainly does for a political purpose, even if it upends the lives of individuals like Shirley Sherrod, even as it frays the fabric of the nation and even as it makes the American dream more of a dream and less of a promise.”

and then following it up by declaring that what really matters is the facts.  But there is not a single fact in the above quote, it’s all hyperbole, and the entire segment is really about making Bill O’reilly look like a jerk for calling her “madame.” In fact, when she talks about Glenn Beck and Van Jones, she never actually says that any of the claims that Beck made were untrue, she just implies that they are.  In fact, she never addresses the simple fact that O’reilly was trying to point out, namely that Fox News never mentioned Shirley Sherrod until after the administration had fired her.  This seems like an important fact in this debate does it not?  In fact I challenge you to find any clip anywhere on MSNBC mentioning this fact (in order to avoid playing the same game as them I will say outwardly that you might be able to, I actually wish you would try.  I don’t watch them that regularly but I haven’t seen it.  Just for fun here is another gem where they revive the old “vast right-wing conspiracy” language).

The response by the White House to the birther issue that Maddow is such a fan of, is not based on fact.  I think that in that case the facts actually are on their side but they didn’t just release the proof and let the facts speak for themselves.  Here is what Hayworth is saying in the clip they show from his radio show:

“Questions continue, and until president Obama signs his name and in fact has the records revealed, the questions will remain.”

Is there an endorsement of “birtherism” in there?  What I see is a request for facts.  For the record, I have no idea whether  Hayworth is a birther or not, but this quote doesn’t make him one, it just makes him someone who wants a direct answer to a question.  But they put his picture next to two nut-jobs and say that they’re the same.  Similarly when the man asks Robert Gibbs for the same thing, he is laughed at and his question ignored. 

Instead of taking a clear stand and relying on the facts, they chose to impeach the character of those who questioned the facts.  They are actually demonizing the act of questioning the facts!  You may think it doesn’t matter because it’s a stupid issue but what happens if someone comes out and accuses the administration of something that actually is true?  They are creating a climate where questioning the facts doesn’t get you simple answers it just gets you called a racist and a wingnut.  They are establishing a pattern of arguing only with the character of their opponent while simultaneously claiming that it’s the facts that matter.

  1. July 26, 2010 at 4:00 am

    Good post. It is sad the tactics that are now being used to thwart genuine debate.

    • Free Radical
      July 26, 2010 at 5:34 am

      Thanks Slamdunk, I agree it is sad but once we know their game, it won’t work on us. We just have to keep seeking the truth and spread it as much as possible.

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