Bill O’Reilly Lies About “Dumb” Air Force Decision To Deny Flyover Of Christian Festival.
Reported by Priscilla - July 12, 2009 -
If Fox News has an important right wing issue, that they feel needs reinforcement, it is frequently covered on several programs. Their frequent denigration of ACORN is an example of how this theme is reinforced on the Fox shows and on Fox Nation. During the presidential campaign, Rev. Wright and Bill Ayers provided an abundance of “riches” for day and evening news on Fox. The Sotomayor appointment received quite a bit of coverage on Fox. Last week, Republican Senator Jeff Sessions, who has questions about Sotomayor’s “bias,” got a lot of face time on various Fox "news" shows. But the meme that evil libruls are out to destroy good Christian America, is part of the very fabric of Fox News’ “culture war” in which Fox&Friends and Bill O’Reilly are the storm troopers for preserving “traditional” values against the onslaught of heathenism. Gretchen Carlson took up the torch earlier this week, on the Air Force flyover brou-ha-ha, and passed it along to America’s “traditionalist” daddy, Bill O’Reilly. Did he run with it? Yes, he did!
O’Reilly interviewed two liberals about the recent Pentagon decision to deny an Air Force fly-over of the God&Country Festival because it was seen as an “endorsement” of religion. Despite the presence of two liberals, Bill did get to work in the perfunctory Christian right talking points which had already been articulated by Gretchen Carlson earlier in the week. If the filming of this segment was done on the same day, July 9th, there was an abundance of information about this story – but Bill either didn’t read it or chose to ignore it. O’Reilly started off by asking liberal radio talk show host, Leslie Marshall, if she has noticed a “growing secularism” in the federal government (right wing talking point #1). She responded that she didn’t vote for Obama for him to be religious. Bill then provided his description of the situation: “Every year these people have a festival, for God&Country, like what’s on the money” (Carlson said the same thing. As I noted, in my earlier post, this didn’t happen until 1957). “So the Air Force, out of respect, for the people of Idaho, they send a couple of planes over, everybody waves the flag. But now you can’t do that because under President Obama” (Carlson said the same thing) “no way can you do that, that’s dumb, Leslie.” (right wing talking point #2 and a total misrepresentation of the situation). Bill laughingly repeated “it’s dumb” when he turned the discussion over to radio talk show host Warren Ballentine who laughingly snapped back with “what you’re saying is dumb.” Ballentine said that Obama wasn’t going to be connected to any religion to which Bill, voice getting louder and more antagonistic, asked “what religion is in Idaho at the festival?” Ballentine responded that “it was a religious event.” O’Reilly said (Big Lie) “It wasn’t a religious event. It’s a God and Country festival.” He continued to lie and lurched into bizarro world when he said that it wasn’t “sponsored by any religion. “God is on your money, you take it every week when you get paid. You don’t object to God on the money. You’re taking the money, Warren. This is dumb. " (So, ah, taking money related to this issue how???)
Bill’s “Talking Points” was more bloviation about Obama’s secularism. According to Bill, this secularism is demonstrated by the Air Force decision which, according to Bill, is "a great example of how secularists disrespect people of faith.” He lied again when he said “But to diminish spirituality by denying the folks in Idaho a flyover is simply stupid. There is no specific religion in play at that festival.” He then made the preposterous statement that “The USA has become the strongest, most prosperous country on earth largely because of its Judeo-Christian traditions.” (Uh, Bill, the Constitution is a secular document. And our strength is a result of the labor of diverse people with diverse traditions.) And don't ya love when an accused sexual harasser talks religion!
Comment: As propaganda, this was quite effective. Bill kept the message clear and simple with no tedious counterpoint. At least Gretchen Carlson read a comment from the Air Force, which was very clear about the non endorsement of religion. Bill didn’t. But Bill tried to say the blame lies with the “secular” Obama. (Memo to Bill: our president isn’t supposed to be the pastor in chief). But Bill told a great, big, whopping lie when he said that the Festival wasn’t a religious event. As I noted in my earlier post, the event was to promote the “good news of Jesus Christ.” Perhaps Bill doesn’t know that there are some, in this country, who don’t share the fundamentalist views of this organization. One assumes that Big Daddy would be apoplectic about a fly over of a festival not sufficiently Christian. To Bill’s question of “what religion is in Idaho at the event,” we have the director of the festival saying that “it’s as Christian as they get.” (If Bill had read the linked article on his website, he would have known that!) But in Bill’s world, separation of church and state is “dumb.” Jefferson is rolling over as we speak.
Fun Fact: Per the Idaho Statesman: "Actor Chuck Connors founded the festival, originally called the God and Country Rally, in the 1960s to honor the belief that America was founded on Christian principles and faith in God." The "Rifleman" - who knew!