Patriotic Americans Must Speak Out Against FOX News Bullies
Reported by Ellen - November 2, 2006 -
Sean Hannity led another parade of chickenhawk bullies in a non-stop assault on combat veteran John Kerry and the Democratic Party on last night’s Hannity & Colmes (11/1/06). Hannity was joined by the non-serving Newt Gingrich and Senator Jim Talent plus two non-combat veterans who avoided the Viet Nam War, David Limbaugh and Rep. John Boehner. They were so relentlessly vicious in their attacks that they all but called for Democrats to be labeled as enemy combatants and sent to Guantanamo Bay. It was a sickening display of hate-filled partisanship which, though I loathe making this sort of comparison, I can only associate with Nazis. Unfortunately, the FOX News Democrats, Alan Colmes and Laura Schwartz, failed to recognize, much less confront such a frightening display of un-Americanism. With video.
The steady stream of maliciousness started with FOX News contributor Gingrich (videos of this double segment below). The non-serving Gingrich now fashions himself as a champion of the military. It seems his main service in that regard is smearing Democrats. Under cover of outrage at Kerry, for his “stuck in Iraq” faux pas, Gingrich said, “It’s clear that the Howard Dean, Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry wing of the Democratic Party has a visceral loathing for the American military and for, frankly, America as a country in the world. Their whole approach is to blame us for what, in fact, our enemies do.” Gingrich added, “I think it tells you how deep the sickness is in the left wing of the Democratic Party.”
Unfortunately, Colmes overlooked that statement and focused all night on the argument that John Kerry never insulted the troops and that Gingrich, et al. were “playing politics.” Which is true, but is only half the story about what’s going on here. It’s shameful and shameless hatemongering and nothing less.
Gingrich continued, “The fact is, if you look at John Kerry in '71, he was picking up every lie about America and American troops that everybody on the left was saying.” Hmm, wasn’t 1971 around the time Gingrich was still avoiding the draft? But nobody asked him about HIS service.
Then, as if he hadn’t smeared enough, Gingrich said that Democrats in power would lead to a nuclear attack on the US. Gingrich discussed the Santorum/Casey race and, after a quick swipe at Bob Casey for defending John Kerry, said, “The gap between Santorum and Casey on national security is a mile wide but I’m not sure that (Republicans) really convinced people of Pennsylvania that this is about the future of Harrisburg and Philadelphia and Pittsburgh and whether or not we someday lose a city to a nuclear attack by terrorists. I’m not sure that’s gotten through the way it should.”
Later, Boehner claimed he accepted Kerry’s apology. Boehner left the Navy after eight weeks of training, before he could be sent to Viet Nam, because of a bad back (though that doesn’t stop him from maintaining a six handicap at golf). But Boehner bragged about his support for the troops and called Viet Nam veteran Kerry and other Democrats “The blame America first crowd… They want to blame America for the terrorists coming here and attacking our country.”
That wasn’t enough vicious enough for Hannity. With his head slanted, his eyes squinted like a schoolyard bully, Hannity was ready to lie for the sake of more attacks. He barked, “(Kerry) has attacked the troops. He’s accused them of rape and all sorts of heinous crimes… Why are you letting him off the hook?”
Boehner didn’t want to go there so he went back to attacking his fellow Americans. “All the Democrats want to do is give up in Iraq and pull the troops out.” In fact, most AMERICANS want the US to end involvement in Iraq, as FOX News' own poll recently demonstrated.
But Hannity wasn't about to enlighten viewers as to that fact, "We report, you decide" be damned. He was in a lather and called it “so sinister” that Kerry had voted for the war in Iraq before he renounced it. Hannity then deliberately (or else out of incredible ignorance) distorted Kerry's criticisms of US tactics in Iraq, made last year. Hannity said, “The fact is, now he’s calling our troops in Iraq terrorists.” I hope everyone writes Hannity and FOX News and asks them why “the real journalism” network would allow a prime time host to spread false information on a national news network. Addresses below.
Boehner wrapped up his hate-fest by saying, “They want to say everything they can except we have to win… We’ll be fighting the terrorists here in America… We’ll be much less safe.”
The final panel included hate-merchant David Limbaugh and Democratic strategist Laura Schwartz. Limbaugh told Colmes that Kerry not only maligned the troops, he did so deliberately. Schwartz did a better-than-usual job but she came prepared with real debating points (not always a given with her) not a strategy to combat the hate-mongering. She ought to know better by now. She got in some good points about people wanting to vote out “this rubber stamp of a Republican Congress that has given the president these tools that have seemingly gone nowhere” but she allowed herself to be bullied into far too many of Hannity’s “yes or no” gotcha questions. Anyone familiar with the show could have predicted them. Why wasn't she prepared for them? When she finally wised up and put forth her own message, big tough Hannity couldn't take it. He interrupted her to talk to Limbaugh about Kerry’s “wimpy statement.”
“Kerry has a thing against the military,” Limbaugh sneered.
Schwartz gamely interrupted and spoke up. ”Absolutely I do not agree with that,” Schwartz said but she should have been more aggressive and should have told Limbaugh that he should be ashamed of himself for saying such an odious thing about a public servant and fellow American. Who the hell does he think he is?
Limbaugh said “You cannot accuse Americans of brutalizing these prisoners and committing torture in Guantanamo when they’re not. It’s outrageous. That’s what the Democrats are doing.”
But on FOX News, it's OK to accuse Democrats of almost anything.
I hope all Americans will rise up against these vile diatribes and demand that FOX News stop cheapening and coarsening political discourse for the sake of partisanship and ratings. Our very country is at stake. I highly recommend last night's Special Comment on Countdown as a warning that the kind of attacks fostered nightly on FOX News rip apart the very fabric of the country it purports to love. Keith Olbermann gets it. Why can’t Democrats get it, too?
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