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“Fair And Balanced” FOX News Continues High-Tech Lynching Of Obama With Karl Rove Posing As Neutral Pundit

Reported by Ellen - March 18, 2008 -

Hannity & Colmes continued its witch-hunt Obamathon last night (3/17/08) with an unfair, unbalanced line-up of three Republicans: Karl Rove, Dick Morris and Larry Elder; and one Democrat, Willie Brown, on hand to discuss Obama and his pastor. Even worse, Brown shared his one segment with Elder while the highly partisan Rove got the top two segments, unopposed. Morris got two segments and was unopposed as well. Rove was presented simply as “FOX News Contributor, the architect” without any indication that the only architecture Rove ever designed was for Republicans. Not surprisingly, Rove used the segment to smear Obama further under cover of neutral anaylsis. With video.

The discussion began with excerpts from Sunday’s services from Obama’s church, Trinity United Church of Christ, in Chicago. FOX News sent its cameras there “to get reactions,” Sean Hannity said. But interspersed with the clips of the choir singing and the current pastor making benign comments welcoming the media, FOX News edited in some of the controversial remarks of the now-retired Rev. Jeremiah Wright. It was a deliberate attempt to make it seem as though Wright were speaking there, that his controversial statements were part of the ongoing services and to provide a more inflammatory picture than the one the producers apparently found in real life.

Furthermore, the producers tried to bait the parishioners into speaking against their church. One was asked, “The Reverend said for members not to speak to the media. Are you comfortable with that?” Nearly all responded “no comment” to FOX News. Given the non-stop smears coming from "We report, you decide" FOX News, the restraint of the attendees was, in itself, a testament to their Christianity.

“This is really damaging,” Rove told a gloating Sean Hannity. “(Obama said) if elected president he would make a top priority bringing people together in a spirit of unity to achieve great things. It really raises questions about his commitment to that unity.”

Hannity, the white supremacist sympathizer with a dubious history on racial issues, quickly began with his usual race baiting: “In the book 'Dream from my Fathers,' (sic) (Obama) actually quoted (Wright’s) Audacity of Hope speech which became his second book, Karl, and in that speech, the phrase ‘Where white folks greed runs a world in need.’ How does he explain that away?”

“There are lots of things that Rev. Wright has said that are hard to explain,” Rove replied. Then he again reminded the viewers of some additional examples of Wright’s statements.

“Now let’s withhold judgment ‘til (Obama) says what he says tomorrow but thus far it’s been pretty damaging,” Rove said, in a brief attempt at being even-handed. Then, still feigning impartiality, Rove added a new attack on Obama. “The smart thing he has done, he’s moved quickly to deal with it. He also did something very smart on Friday. While all this bad news was out there, he picked up the phone, called the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times and said, ‘Those interviews you’ve been wanting to have with me about Rezko? As long as I’m gonna have a day with lots of bad news, let’s get the rest of it over. So I’m going to give you those interviews and it’s going to become aware (sic) that I had a deeper, longer, more significant relationship with Rezko than I’ve been heretofore been willing to acknowledge.’”

Yes, I’m certain that’s just what Obama said.

Rove added, “And he did it on a day when there was so much bad news, it largely got buried.”

Kirsten Powers was substituting for Alan Colmes. She got about two minutes with Rove compared to Hannity’s 3 ½ minutes. Powers did a much better job than when she has previously guest hosted but she essentially offered one meager talking point: “So far (Obama) has said that he finds these comments to be horrible… what more do you think he needs to say?” Then she sat back and let Rove continue criticizing Obama.

Had Powers taken any initiative, she might have pointed out that it was more than a little ironic for the likes of Hannity and Rove to be complaining about someone else being divisive. She could have also discussed John McCain’s spiritual advisor, Rod Parsley who is at least as controversial and critical of the US as Wright.

And Powers could have brought up an article on The Huffington Post the day before by Frank Schaeffer:

When Senator Obama's preacher thundered about racism and injustice Obama suffered smear-by-association. But when my late father -- Religious Right leader Francis Schaeffer -- denounced America and even called for the violent overthrow of the US government, he was invited to lunch with presidents Ford, Reagan and Bush, Sr.

Every Sunday thousands of right wing white preachers (following in my father's footsteps) rail against America's sins from tens of thousands of pulpits. They tell us that America is complicit in the "murder of the unborn," has become "Sodom" by coddling gays, and that our public schools are sinful places full of evolutionists and sex educators hell-bent on corrupting children. They say, as my dad often did, that we are, "under the judgment of God." They call America evil and warn of immanent destruction. By comparison Obama's minister's shouted "controversial" comments were mild. All he said was that God should damn America for our racism and violence and that no one had ever used the N-word about Hillary Clinton.

…Was any conservative political leader associated with Dad running for cover? Far from it. Dad was a frequent guest of the Kemps, had lunch with the Fords, stayed in the White House as their guest, he met with Reagan, helped Dr. C. Everett Koop become Surgeon General. (I went on the 700 Club several times to generate support for Koop).

Dad became a hero to the evangelical community and a leading political instigator.

By the way, please join me in asking Reverend Al Sharpton to reconsider including Hannity in the upcoming commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King’s death.