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Methinks Fox Doth Protest Too Much

Reported by Ellen - September 16, 2007 -

It is abundantly clear that Fox supports the war and as such, they treat those who oppose the war with contempt. This theme was easily seen in last night’s (September 15th) Big Story during which Julie Banderas' choice of topics just reinforced the Fox meme of anti war/Bush protest as being downright un-American.

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Banderas led off with a report on yesterday’s anti-war demonstration in Washington DC. She didn’t talk about what the anti-war protestors were saying; but, rather, focused on “police in riot gear armed with weapons.” Prominent in the film footage was a banner, held by counter demonstrators (Gathering of Eagles and Free Republic), that said “treason” in large letters. (Comment: so it’s just not liberals who use the term in a public manner?) Intrepid cub reporter, Griff Jenkins (famous for his dogged pursuit of the judge who filed a lawsuit after a laundry lost the judge’s pants), walked into the crowd of “die-ins” and asked leading questions, based on right wing talking points, to an attractive young woman (resembled a young Joan Baez) who answered articulately and succinctly. Q: “What are you doing here?” A: “Standing in solidarity with the American people. Q: Do you feel that the troops are fighting to protect your freedoms and fight against Al Qaeda?” A: “They are fighting and dieing for nothing. This happened 40 years ago and we are experiencing history all over again. I’m just doing what I read about in my history books and practicing my first amendment.” Q: Do you believe that General Petraeus was telling the truth or do you agree with the Betray Us ad that he’s a traitor?” A: General Petraeus is a coward. He speaks for nobody but himself. He does not speak for us but for war profiteers. He’s betrayed us and he’s not our general.”

Jenkins noted that arrests were being made because the police “weren’t messing around.” To Banderas' question about the presence of many “college kids,” Jenkins responded that it was like a party atmosphere with protestors “teasing the cops and wanting to get arrested.”

Comment: Fox was able to use this piece to vilify anti-war protestors without discussing the substance of the message. The Petraeus ad was brought in to reinforce the perception that it was supported by, those whom Fox wanted to show as, left wing, violent radicals. Dissent, for Fox, is shown as seditious and those who practice it are painted as out of the mainstream. For Fox, it’s just another wedge issue to keep Americans divided.

The Petraeus ad is, for Fox, part of this ongoing attempt to demonize those not in lockstep with Bush. Banderas did a short piece about how the American Conservative Union is asking the Federal Election Commission to investigate whether the “discount” constituted a violation of campaign law. She informed us that the next MoveOn attack will come in the form of denouncing President Bush. Not surprisingly, Banderas asked if MoveOn had “gone too far.” She showed a graphic of Rudy Giuliani’s ad which, unlike the Fox graphic of the Petraeus ad, showed the script below the banner. She mentioned that Hillary Clinton is associated with MoveOn and asked Fox correspondent Julie Kurtz if Clinton has disavowed the ad which has caused a “firestorm.” (Comment: Fox just can’t get enough of the Petreaus ad “firestorm” which they helped to create and fuel.)

Fox loves to bash “liberal Hollywood” and in keeping with that, Banderas did a piece on the James Brolin “Happy 9-11” episode. Obviously, Brolin’s comments were offensive, inappropriate, and incredibly stupid. However, in describing his reaction, DJ “AJ” said “I hope his house doesn’t catch on fire, in the near future, because I’m not sure that he might get a quick response.” DJ “Chaz” noted that Brolin didn’t apologize, he just laughed.”

Comment: As stated, the Brolin comments were terrible; but Fox’s hypocrisy is glaringly obvious. Where was the outrage over illnesses suffered by 9-11 workers after the government told them the air was safe? Where was the outrage over the 9-11 firefighters who didn’t have the right communications equipment? And FYI, AJ, for you to imply that firefighters would politicize their response time is also pretty offensive. Firefighters are not too pleased about Giuliani; but if his house were burning, they would (as selfless public servants) respond in a timely manner. But (and now I’m getting agitated) where was the outrage over Ann Coulter’s remarks about the 9-11 widows whom she denigrated by saying, "These broads are millionaires, lionized on TV and in articles about them, reveling in their status as celebrities and stalked by grief-arazzis. I've never seen people enjoying their husbands' deaths so much." When Coulter is asked about these types of comments she just laughs. Fox’s outrage is very selective. And BTW, Banderas ended the show with some shots of “things getting ugly” and lots of “screaming and shouting” at the demonstration.