Home Store In Memoriam Deborah Newsletter Forum Topics Blogfeed Blogroll Facebook MySpace Contact Us About

"Culture War" Heats Up on Special Report

Reported by Nancy - January 3, 2006 -

Jim Angle was still substituting for anchor Brit Hume on Special Report last night (1/2), but the program was in classic Hume style. One particular interview epitomized the fearmongering & instant rewriting of history that characterizes so much of the misinformation on FNC, including alternate versions of reality, Nazi analogies (which are apparently okay when spouted by fascists), Europe-bashing (with particular emphasis on France, of course) & promoting the Bush/neo-con agenda of eternal war.

At 6:27pm (ET) Angle read a teaser: "a warning to the West not to overlook danger signals from radical Islam."

At 6:32pm Major Garrett interview Tony Blankley, editorial page editor of the Washington Times, about his book, "The West's Last Chance: Will We Win the Clash of Civilizations?"

Blankley said that "that element of humanity" believes they have a clash with us. Garrett asked about Osama bin Laden, whom Blankley dismissed as "only a symptom," going on to say that it's a "historical fact ... that Islam is in ferment." Garrett brought up the ritos in France (& Special Report immediately began showing video of same while the interview continued). Blankley smugly claimed that those who said the riots weren't related to radical Islam were seeing things through a "prism of political correctness" & "didn't want to look at the problem" although even he admitted that "poverty [played an] important role."

Blankley said French youths who rioted were manipulated by radical Islam "the way the Nazis manipulated the youth of Germany in the '20s & '30s" & bemoaned the "appeal of radical & violent ideologies."
He said there is "increasing radicalization of 2nd & 3rd generations" & gloated that he had "quoted" Thomas Friedman (whom he described a "the liberal columnist of the NYTimes") by using an "anecdoate" from Friedman's book about how French youth told Friedman that "we all admire bin Laden, we all think of ourselves as Muslims first, French second, & we all admire suicide bombers."

Garrett then asked "Is Europe capable of defending its culture?" Blankley claimed that the West had a "long half century of peace & prosperity" after WWII but "new danger" requires us to structure our theory
& posed the question "Do you want your children .... ot live in our civlization vs OBLaden's civilization?" Blankley was optimistic that our "instrinct for self-rpresevation" will win out.

Garrett suggested that "not every Muslim wants to be an insurgent" but Blankley immediately discounted even that milquetoast appeasement. He cited "polls from the Guardian" (which he described as the "leading left-of-center newspaper in Britain") that, according to him, in the "fall of 2004" showed that "1 in 10 supported the idea of terrorism against the British government ... another 30% opposed it but would't turn in a coreligionist ... & 60% would prefer to live under sharia law rather than British law."

Apparently realizing that he hadn't yet touted the Bush/neocon agenda, Garrett invited Blankley to "bring it home" & Blankley obliged. He said the US has a "long tradition of being able to give the President more powers," that Bush "needs those powers" & theat we "need a Congressional declaration of war." He alluded to Roosevelt in WWII & to Wilson in WWI, & claimed that we need to give Bush such "powers" in order "to minimize the chance of attacks getting through." He said that Bush "can't even get the PATRIOT Act [sic]" re-authorized "without it getting watered down" by GOPs. Garrett asked about border security, & Blankley said we need to have a "debate" on war & the nature of the threat because that "would ultimately generate support for it [war]." His final claim was that "most people just aren't thinking about the magnitude of the danger."

The interview lasted until 6:41pm, or approximately 9 minutes, which is slightly longer than the average.

Comments: This follows hard on the heels of a number of FNC programs touting the "culture war" -- including Hume's special, "Religion in America: Church & State" (see also here & here), a "special edition" of Special Report that followed that, & a series of reports filed last week by Greg Burke about Christianity under attack in Europe. Apparently, if Fox can't convince viewers that there's a culture war here at home, they'll do anything to convince them that there's one going on somewhere else.

Viewers were not informed that the book was published in Sept 2005 (so it's hardly "new") by Regnery, one of the most reactionary publishing houses on the planet. Viewers were informed that Blankley had been press secretary to then Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (GOP) but not that he had held this post for 7 years & not that he had been a speechwriter for Reagan (GOP) before that. Details like that might cause viewers to wonder about Blankley's agenda.

Only another reactionary would describe the equally reactionary Tom Friedman as a "liberal columnist."

There was, of course, no one to "balance" Blankley's opinions. So much for the FNC tagline.

Of all the outrageous & ridiculous comments made by Blankley, my personal favorite is the assertion that the West had a "long half century of peace & prosperity" after WWII" -- excuse me? The Cold War? The Korean conflict? The Vietnam quagmire? The resurgence of hate groups & reactionary militias in the US? Terrorists like the Red Brigades & the Baader-Meinhof gang in Europe & Japan? Munich 1972? The Achille Lauro? Lockerbie? And that's just off the top of my head. Blankley must have been living on some other planet for that "long half-century" because it sure doesn't describe what was happening on Planet Earth.

If you'd like to complain to Fox about this, email: special@foxnews.com

NOTE TO READERS: Please stay on topic (this interview, Fox's calll for eternal war, Fox's war on America). O/T comments will be deleted. Thanks.

ADDENDUM: Links to nowhere fixed at 4:21pm (ET)