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Fox News Panics at People in the Streets

Reported by Judy - May 6, 2006

Nothing sends Fox News into a panic like the sight of people in the streets. Whether they are American immigrants peacefully marching for changes in immigratio laws or French young people throwing rocks over a new law that would let employers fire them for no reason, Fox News' reporters and anchors automatically assume that the rabble are at the gates and the end of upper class privilege as they know it is near at hand.

The right to peacably assemble is one of the most frightening rights embedded in the U.S. Constitution to such people. It has its roots in 15th and 16th century Europe, formed a key part of the groundwork for the American revolution, and has been a part of important social movements in this country from then on, including efforts by lower classes to earn the right to vote in the early 19th century, the press for women's rights in the early 20th century, the right of workers to organize, the rights of African Americans to full civic participation, and the efforts of young people to end the Vietnam War and the draft in the 1960s.

Seeing masses of people in the streets scares the bejeebers out of the American power structure -- so much so that a regular response was to turn loose American soldiers on the people in the streets. What they fear is a loss of control -- their control.

So it was no surprise to hear Neil Cavuto in "Cavuto on Business" on Saturday (May 6, 2006), open his show with over-hyped speculation regarding the immigration rallies, "Is it only a matter of time before it turns violent?" as the screen put the same fear in writing, "Illegals waging war on America?" The guest was Jack Wheeler, of tothepointnews.com, who has been making the rounds of right-wing shout shows claiming that Mexican Americans are plotting to reconquer the American southwest and return it to Mexican control.

Wheeler claimed that "illegal immigrants from Mexico are different from illegal immigrants from other places" (gee, we've never heard that about immigrants before) and that they "are taught since childhood" that the southwestern U.S. belonged to Mexico until it was taken from them in 1848, which of course is simple fact but something anti-immigration people like to forget. According to Wheeler, teaching the Mexican-American War from the point of view of Mexicans is dangerously subversive, even when it's done in Mexico. Does he really expect Mexican schools to teach American history the way the right-wingers in this country want it taught?

Wheeler made little progress with his fear of a new Mexican conquest of the southwest among the Wall Street Republicans on the panel. Jim Rogers, author of Hot Commodities, could barely conceal his disdain for Wheeler.

"What are you talking about? Their children and their grandchildren are as American as you are, and certainly as American as I am and I’ve been here for 400 years," Rogers told Wheeler.

Mike Norman, host of Bizradio Network, rejected as "ludicrous" the idea that Mexican immigrants are plotting armed conflict against the United States.

"These are not Muslim terrorsts, despite what you hear from Jack that they are here to overthrow America," he said.

Norman and Rogers know well enough that they could count on George Bush to impose martial law if the crowds ever did get truly unruly. He'd just declare another one of those "wars with no end and no visible enemy" and off he'd go.

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