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Oops, She Did It Again

Reported by Ellen - March 27, 2009 -

Guest blogged by Julie

We just got rid of Laura Ingraham as a guest host, and here she is, back like a bad penny, as a guest. With video.

On tonight’s O’Reilly Factor (3/26), O’Reilly built suspense by asking viewers, “Is Miss Laura frightened? I am.” I got frightened thinking of listening to Ingraham, but beyond that I managed to keep my hands from shaking.

O’Reilly first buttered Ingraham up by saying, “You make your living researching public policy,” then went on to ask for her take on the economic situation.

Ingraham stayed committed to the right-wing party line by invoking the “control spending . . . truly cutting government spending” line. Ingraham went on to say that on her radio show she tries to “stop the madness in Washington.” She admitted that the Republicans’ counter-budget proposal was “disappointing,” but she of course didn’t disappoint: She took a swipe at President Obama for “flacking” on Leno and in town hall meetings to promote his economic plan.

Calling Newt Gingrich a “brilliant man,” O’Reilly enumerated the Republican free-market point of view, which is basically cutting capital gains taxes and reducing corporate tax from 35% to 25%. A sad old story with a very sad ending -- for them.

Ingraham railed about President Obama’s Citizen of the World speech in Berlin, and blathered on that Europe is now saying “no” to the President and his plan, because it‘s too socialist even for those wild-eyed liberals.

The “socialists are trying to rein us in!“ Ingraham indignantly cried. However, if Ingraham was referring (she didn’t specify) to the recent comments by the Czech prime minister, Mirek Topolanek, the current president of the 27-nation bloc who recently labeled President Obama’s emergency stimulus package “a way to hell,” Miss Laura needs to do a little more work on that research thing.

As the New York Times reported on March 25th, Topolanek’s comments were embarrassing to many Europeans who don’t think the Czech leader represents a European consensus -- in other words, he doesn‘t speak for them. In fact, Topolanek got slapped down for his comments by many, including the German leader of the Socialist group in the European Parliament, Martin Shulz, who told Topolanek, “You have not understood what the task of the E.U. presidency is,” and described his comments as “not the level on which the E.U. ought to be operating with the United States.” Katinka Barysch, deputy director of the London-based Center for European Reform, said that Topolanek had undermined a consensus that was carefully forged at last week’s European Union summit meeting in Brussels. “The E.U. had made some progress towards a coherent position,” Ms. Barysch said. “He has undermined that.” A senior European Union official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the embarrassing nature of the issue, said everyone hoped to de-emphasize the trans-Atlantic dispute over fiscal policy. “We don’t think we need it, we don’t think the world needs it and we don’t think it makes sense,” the official said. And British prime minister Gordon Brown said there was “far more agreement” among world leaders than recent reports suggested. (A Czech spokesman later walked back Topolanek’s comments, claiming that he meant to say that the European Union would be on the way to hell if it increased its own spending too much, rather than predicting that the United States was doomed.)

What’s even more embarrassing for Ingraham is that Topolanek’s own governing coalition collapsed on Tuesday when the Czech opposition party, which favors bigger increases in domestic spending during the slump, won a no-confidence vote on his leadership. (You're in it together, dear: You just got a no confidence vote on your reporting, too.)

I wish I could say I was through with Ingraham, but considering how Fox News loves Brittany Spears, here’s an “Oops! I did it again“ moment. Ingraham had some inaccurate words to say about AmeriCorps, too, which is a “vehicle for political agendas... on the left.” The Senate today voted 78-20 to triple Americorp’s budget, which will cost $6 billion over five years. Although this bill had widespread support on both sides of the aisle (hence the 78-20 vote), and will create five groups to help poor people, improve education, encourage energy efficiency, strengthen access to health care and assist veterans, according to Ingraham -- and we’ve seen the accuracy of HER reporting -- this bill will be used to make service mandatory, complete with uniforms, education, campuses, an “indoctrination” of young people. Ingraham claimed that the bill is designed to place more “liberals” in education, to encourage people to “do what Obama did” and “work for an Acorn."

Heavy sigh. Laura, honey, try to stay with me now: President Obama didn’t work for Acorn. And considering that, on the campaign trail, President Obama pledged to encourage national service in our youth, why is this such a shocker? (Is it perhaps because he’s the first President in eight years to actually do what he says he will do? Or maybe it’s because Americorp’s programs actually help poor people and veterans, anathema to "pro-American" Fox News.)

Ingraham, as usual, had a swing and a miss for accuracy and a swing and a miss for fair and balanced and a swing and a miss for being a real reporter, but she hit it out of the park in pushing the right-wing Foxette anti-socialist Let’s-Not-Help-Poor-People party line.

And at least she didn’t call anybody fat.