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FOX and Friends keeping last week's falsehoods alive for tomorrow

Reported by Chrish - September 23, 2008 -

This morning 9/23/08 FOX and Friends revisited a few talking points from last week, worked into "news" items chosen to allow them to revisit and drip, drip, drip the Kool-Aid. Specifically, they repeated the story that some women, offended by Oprah Winfrey's decision to not have candidates on her popular talk show until after the election, are boycotting her program and magazine, and the myth that John McCain does not use a computer because of injuries sustained as a POW.

It seems Oprah is popular in Saudi Arabia - that was the hook that allowed them to repeat the "boycott Oprah" talking point, which is another "poor Sarah Palin, why is everyone so mean to her" whine. As everyone outside FOX's clutches knows, Oprah announced when she publicly endorsed Obama that she would not host ANY candidates on her show until after the election. Any line of questioning of Sarah Palin would be criticized by one faction or another - those who want hard policy questions would be angry at a sweet softball interview, and those who want her fragile national persona preserved would cry about attacks should Oprah get tough. This whole charade is punishment of Oprah by the right for daring to use her considerable reach and influence to endorse a Democrat, period.

The McCain-is-so-severely-disabled-he-can't-use-a-computer myth, Steve Doocy's favorite, was revived because of comments made by Joe Biden to Katie Couric, which he later corrected - apparently at the behest of his campaign. The Friends (and later, guest Governor Tim Pawlenty R-MN) were enthused about Biden's original comments and mocking about his later retraction.

Biden, asked by Couric about the Obama camp's ad about McCain being out of touch, said "I thought that was terrible" and said he didn't know they were doing it - if he had, they would never have done it. Clearly uncomfortable, he said he didn't think "it" was intentional; they were trying to make another point.

The Friends delighted in telling viewers that Joe Biden's great honesty was "short-lived," and showed a statement he made "once he got in trouble" "with the boss:"

"I was asked about an ad I'd never seen, reacting merely to press reports... Having now reviewed the ad, it is even more clear to me that given the disgraceful tenor of Senator McCain's ads and their persistent falsehoods, his campaign is in no position to criticize."

Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade "analyzed," i.e. spun and summarized "in other words," that Biden "got yelled at" because [he] "was talking about something I don't know anything about."

Wrapping up and giving the true talking point, Alisyn Camerota said "Joe Biden is, you know, very honest and truthful until then he gets in trouble." That's a double edged talking point: Biden is portrayed as someone who will backtrack from the truth under orders, and Barack Obama (presumably "the boss") is demanding cover ups over honesty.

Tim Pawlenty's take was also to applaud Biden's "original candor" and said "the switch" was unfortunate, and proceeded to further misrepresent the ad by defending McCain's inability to use a keyboard without pain.

As long as we're rehashing talking points, let's not forget that disabled Americans are no longer limited by that kind of black and white thinking. There are thousands of devices that enable people with much worse disabilities than McCain's to use all manner of technology, and using his injuries as an excuse is a slap in the face to the disabled who fight daily for respect and equal treatment. His media fans are doing the dirty work for him, using his POW experience as an inappropriate sympathy play, and McCain should put an end to it. He has already admitted to being a Neanderthal as far as communications and says he is "learning." It's not an issue of disability, it's an issue of stubborn old man thinking, and that's what Obama's ad was saying.

It's unfortunate that Biden spoke about the ad based on media interpretation; hopefully he has
learned a lesson about the spin being put on things and will only go to the source from now on. Today's dishonest dissection of his comments "counts" as coverage of him so FOX can claim to be more fairandbalanced next month.