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

An Interview Gone Wild

Reported by Chrish - March 11, 2007 -

Note: Guest blogged by Priscilla

In between all the tabloid material such as a baby kidnapping, American idol, stabbings at a super market, and an enraged SUV driver “wreaking havoc with Mall pedestrians” (turns out the SUV was driven into a closed Mall), Julie Banderas did manage to work in some politics on The Big Story Weekend 3/10/07.

Banderas reported on Bush’s trip to South America and how “every step of the way, anti-American Hugo Chavez is intent on bashing President Bush with protests.” What she didn’t mention was that the Brazilians, on their own, mounted large and vociferous demonstrations that had nothing to do with Chavez. But as Chavez is the right wing enemy of the Fox state, he will be blamed, by Fox, for all that is wrong in this hemisphere. (Comment: move over Bill Clinton)

Later in the show, Banderas did a “talking heads” segment with liberal Rob Thompson and conservative Mike Gallagher that could been have a skit on the Gong Show. The issue was the recent disclosure that the FBI has improperly used the Patriot Act to obtain business, financial, and other records on thousands of Americans. Banderas began with a clip of Bush stating that these problems will be addressed. The chyron read “criticism of FBI is just but Patriot Act is necessary.” Banderas “explained” that the FBI improperly used the Patriot Act to get information on numerous Americans thought to be suspected terrorists. What she didn’t add was that the “audit also concluded that the FBI had for three years underreported to Congress how often it used national security letters to get customer data.” The improper and illegal use of provisions under the USA Patriot Act has troubled even Republicans in Washington.

Banderas asked Mike Gallagher if the “Patriot Act went too far?” Predictably, Gallagher said “not at all” and proceeded to describe those who oppose the Act as those who “bash Bush and his efforts to win the war on terror” and the “slippery slope crowd who are convinced that the Patriot Act is one step away from gulags.” He noted that “for the rest of us we know that mistakes were made but their (FBI’s) intentions were noble because they are trying to keep us safe.” He added that it “isn’t all that big a deal.” (Comment: Excuse me but spying on citizens without the necessary legal framework is certainly a “big deal.”)

Rob Thompson then expressed his feeling that this is a “crime against all Americans” and the “idea that we are being spied on is abhorrent. Banderas responded with classic coherence: “OK. But we’re also being spied on by Al-Qaida cells all over this country so if Al Qaida is spying on us, somebody’s gotta spy on us as well in order to protect us from them.”

Banderas then took two calls from, predictably, those who support domestic spying. After Dave from Texas spoke about how he agreed with the Patriot Act (comment: no outrage about the issue of the FBI activity) Thompson said “it’s a wonderful thing, Dave, I don’t mind being spied on day and night to see if I’m a criminal. I know I’m not a criminal – at which point Banderas said “maybe you’re not a criminal Rob, I’m not sure.” Dave added that “this man might not be a criminal but he talks like a left wing loon.” Before Banderas went to Mary Jane from Georgia, who said that she didn’t care about domestic spying because she has nothing to hide, Mike snorted loudly and his snort sounded a little like, uh, flatulence. Banderas looked startled and said “who made that noise?”

Gallagher, who didn’t admit to making the noise, said that “most of us are law abiding citizens and we understand that the Patriot Act is trying to keep us safe.” To his question of what the government’s motives are, Thompson responded that it is “political” and that “we have a constitution that is non-political and which the president chooses to bend at his leisure.”

Comment: That people like Julie, Mike, Dave, and Mary Jane have “no problem” with presidential abuse of power is what really is frightening because, as is noted by conservative republican John Dean in his book “Conservatives Without Conscience,” it is the beginning of the slippery slope to fascism. Fox is America’s “Big Brother” network and “patriotic” right wing commentators like Gallagher don’t seem to be aware of Ben Franklin’s wise adage: “Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.”

Note: Guest blogged by Priscilla