In the delusional, bizarro world of the right wing, President Obama is providing lots of free stuff to lazy, criminal black and brown people in order to buy their votes. The newest iteration of this paranoid and racist right wing narrative is a viral video, released by Drudge and reported on the Fox website, that shows a black woman who claims to have received a free phone from the president. Since then, the right wing sites have been awash in commentary about free "Obama Phones" being distributed, to the poor, by the administration. This has been a topic on Fox Nation and the Fox News website. (Term used with quote marks) The reality is that while there is a program for free cell phones for low income folks, started under George W Bush, there is NO SUCH THING AS AN "OBAMA PHONE and the whole thing appears to be a hoax which has been around, in e-mail form, since 2009. But that doesn't seem to be a problem for Fox & Friends which provided Steven Crowder with a platform for advancing this bogus narrative.
Yesterday, Dave Briggs began the hoax narrative with his comment that "a government run program that provides free cell phones is raising a few eyebrows yet again and it turns out that one of the president's donors, along with the world's richest man, are getting even richer from the so called Obama phones."
Fact Check - He's referring to Carlos Slim who, according to Fox News, is "supplying cell phones to the poor." However, Trac Phone, which Slim has a 98.2% ownership of, has issued a "fact sheet" on behalf of its Safelink Wireless service which provides service for low income families as part of the Federal "Lifeline" Program which began in the Reagan administration and IS NOT DIRECTLY SUBSIDIZED BY TAXPAYER MONEY but rather the Federal Universal Service Fund which paid for by telecommunications companies. They describe the Lifeline program which DOES NOT INCLUDE PHONES.
He then tossed to the ever righteous and no longer virgin Steve Crowder who is not a political pundit but a so called comedian playing a pundit on TV. The chyron advanced th hoax: "Politics Going Mobile, Company Called Out For Free "Obama Phones." Crowder further advanced the hoax with claims that Mr. Slim is profiting off of these non-existant "free phones." The chyron reinforced the lie: "Can You Hear Me, Dem. Donor Supplying 'Obama Phones" to Poor." Crowder accused the president of preferential business practices which include "doling out free phones."
Briggs further advanced the bogus narrative with his comment about how this is troubling because "an Obama donor is profiting from a program" and asking "why more hasn't been made of that." (Uh, because it isn't true?) Crowder didn't know but claimed that this program allows people "to vote in their own self-interest." He screamed, twice, "no one deserves free phones." (Uh, they're not getting them.) But then came the piece de resistance with his non sequitor that if you're a Christian, you can't vote for Obama." (WTF?) This was followed by the arguably racially biased comment that the only people who will be voting for Obama are those "who want more free stuff." (Like those folks whom Romney addressed at the NAACP conference?) He concluded with the statement that because Obama has put people in poverty, "a free phone might sound mighty nice to them."
The Trac Phone fact sheet was put out in response to what has been promoted on various media outlets including Fox News. The narrative is bogus and yet another example of misinformation being promoted on Fox & Friends. Wonder if they'll correct it? I'm not holding my breath!
And BTW, as the Forbes website deconstructs this myth, Fox can't blame the librul media!
One more thing. If you get an e-mail from the tedious cretin who sends you viral crap about Obama as a Marxist, Muslim, Kenyan dictator who wants to rule the world, just send them this.
If all you wanted to do was provide information try doing so with less anger and spite. In your first post, your fists and feet are already flailing in fury. We’d never met you before, so why should we believe everything you say? You do your research and we do ours, then we discuss … hopefully without throwing out a barrage of insults.
It would also help if you could present your case in a more orderly manner. While trying to understand what you’re saying, I constructed the following timeline.
First, the LIFELINE program was created by the Reagan administration to make sure the elderly and the disabled who live alone could call emergency services if needed. Under the first program, people paid a modest $20 a month for limited-service landlines. In fact, the recipients had an income (pension or disability).
Second, in 2005, the Bush administration started providing the same categories with cellphones instead of land lines, and there was a modest fee. Again, the recipients had an income.
Third, the Obama administration expanded coverage to all recipients of welfare assistance and at no cost to them. The assumption is that the rest of us are covering those costs: am I right in thinking that it is this that makes you angry? Personally, I think that that was a good idea and I’ll now proceed to tell you why.
I was about 25 years old when the first program was started under Reagan (who was pretty old, himself, at the time). My closest friend from high school and university years worked with the local welfare department. She told me often that long-term jobless people were missing out on job opportunities because they couldn’t be reached by phone. She was sad that the LIFELINE program didn’t cover them, too. She was also worried that their situation could worsen if – as some mean-minded were suggesting – people with a working vehicle should be ineligible for assistance. In fact, the jobless in our area (essentially rural central Florida) lived in the boondocks where there is no public transport.
What I’m getting at is that – even then – people who didn’t have a phone had little chance of getting a job. If they didn’t have a car, they weren’t able to get to their place of work. Already then, it made sense to help them become “reachable” and able to keep a job.
My friend, the social worker, also told me time and time again that most people on welfare were ashamed, more than willing to do public service in exchange(but the laws of that time were against “welfare for work”. I don’t believe that human nature has changed much since then. Steven Crowder has been hired to ratchet up the hatred among the mean-minded, between the “haves” and the “have-nots”.
PS: Could be wrong, but I don’t believe for a moment that you are a Democrat.
Lifeline isn’t a tax, it’s a cross-subsidy.
It’s an HDA/FCC affair.
The 2011 overhaul conducted by the FCC was in response to fraud- the funding was to re-work elligibility.
Tim Griffin lied about this when he presented his case to end the subsidy altogether.
Theola’s article talks about how Griffin lied, while discrediting her points.
Her link to the 2013 budget did the same thing.
Fox News is still pushing the lies, without telling anyone Griffin has been discredited.
By the way, Theola… I like how anyone who disagrees with you has to be “left-wing” and “unable to research their own facts,” while you make more of a fool out of yourself by the post. You can’t acknowledge our points, you won’t stop discrediting your own- It’s just sad.
Of course, you’re an insider so you obviously feel that you have some additional inside information. Maybe you do….but perhaps none that goes any deeper than Newsmax, Fox or Drudge.
You’re just not convincing anyone here…and there’s no chance of convincing you. It’s Monday Night Football. Enjoy the election!
You seriously can’t make this stuff up- but a greater source of material, I will never find.
Today I published a new entry in my popular series: The Fox “News” Spin Cycle âº Episode 21 âº http://notnowsilly.blogspot.com/2012/10/the-fox-news-spin-cycle-episode-21.html
With all my love,
This is an easy read….that directly addresses the issue you mentioned.
So — Raygun and Bush started the program . . . but it’s still called an “Obama Phone.”
Kinda like Obama is to blame for Operation Fast and Furious — even though that program began in the Dumbya misAdministration as Project Gunrunner . . . right, Theola?
Didn’t see an LifeLine expansion there, either.
Maybe I should just take your word for it?
Here’s my point. You haven’t proved that statement. The link you provided says nothing of the sort, which is why I suggested that you read it carefully. You’re the one coming here and making claims…..it’s up to you to provide the support for those claims.
God, I wish I could remember where I read that, but it’s almost like this election’s theme. The right claims something Obama does is corrupt or “thug-like,” and the next day, their accusations are in their version of it… but no one can find it in Obama’s.
Low Information Voters will believe anything they that reinforces their hatred. If Fox and the rest of the propaganda crew told the truth, they wouldn’t believe it quite so readily.
You really need to carefully read your link.
So….you’re really proud of innovating the term Obama phone?
Why am I not surprised?
Idea was that poor people needed phones and cars in order to be able to find and keep a job. Perfectly valid then, even more valid nowadays. Should, however, be associated with a good program for skills upgrading.
Nobody here is questioning the existence of the program. From your link:
“In 2005, Lifeline discounts were made available to qualifying low-income consumers on pre-paid wireless service plans in addition to traditional landline service. Lifeline is part of the Universal Service Fund.”
How cunning of President Obama to retroactively set up the Obama phones in 2005 so that George Bush would have to take the blame for such a dastardly program!
Of course, you already knew that, didn’t you?