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Genius Laura Ingraham Solves the Country's Economic Woes: Less Regulation and Wealth Creation!

Reported by Julie - December 13, 2009 -

I posted earlier tonight on Laura Ingraham’s segment Friday night (12/11/09) on the O’Reilly Factor, in which she hosted two African American guests . . . If you haven’t read my previous post, I’ll bet ya dollars to donuts that one is a “token,” speaking the Fox News talking points in lockstep with the right. Eenie, meenie, miney, moe . . . Reverend Eugene Rivers and Democratic strategist Tara Dowdell – which one will it be? With video.

Ingraham kicked off the segment by talking about the "heated dispute" between black lawmakers and President Obama (which is largely inaccurate - they said "they are satisfied that President Obama is seeking to provide greater economic assistance to African American communities") and questioning why the President continues to have high approval ratings among African Americans: “. . . With really 34.5% . . . unemployment rate . . . for black men 16-24, shocking figure, why is he still getting the high ratings of approval, if the unemployment is so much higher among African Americans than the rest of the country?” As if that’s something new; in 2003, which, if memory serves, was during the Bush Administration, the unemployment rate among African Americans was twice the national average. And in November 2005, again, under Bush, white unemployment remained steady while black unemployment rose to “record levels,” according to JobBank USA. Despite Ingrahams efforts to paint unemployment among African Americans as an Obama thing, history, unlike Fox, doesn’t lie.

Rivers said that “the black community loves Obama as the polling numbers indicate,” but said that “a year from now, if the numbers are similar to what we have now you’re going to hear a very different tone coming from the black community . . . the black community is going to give the President probably another ten months and then he’s gotta do something or he’s gonna lose his base . . . .” First of all, although it wasn’t striking, unemployment actually went down a tick in November, which was cited as “welcome progress.” Secondly, Rivers seems to be a little too eager to think that black voters will abandon President Obama in “ten months” – it’s condescending for this elitist who went to Harvard to make such a statement, as though, first, the black community hasn’t noticed the obstructionist tactics of the right which have stood in the way of President Obama reaching his goals, and second, the black community hasn’t noticed that unemployment isn’t unique to their communities.

Ingraham directed her next question to Dowdell – and it will soon become clear which of the two guests were brought on to echo the Fox News talking point.

Said Ingraham, “If, as the Reverend said, a year from now we’re still looking at these historically high rates of unemployment in the African American community will we see further erosion of black support for the President?”

Dowdell conceded that high unemployment numbers will be a challenge for the President “with all of his constituencies. However I do reject the notion that President Obama isn’t doing anything for the black community or just our larger society . . . as it relates to . . . creating economic opportunity . . . African Americans, more than most people, do understand that change takes time . . . Obama has done a lot, he’s put a lot of federal funding that creates a win-win.”

I guess we now know who the Fox talkie is – I previously posted on the good Reverend’s, uh, checkered past and ties – financial and otherwise -- with the Bush Administration.

Ingraham sneered, “How has that created jobs? We’ve seen little to no true job creation by the so-called stimulus. The TARP bill now is being used to . . . fund mortgages being held by people who are unemployed . . . so how is that creating jobs . . . We’re putting money back in a situation that is gonna fuel more of the economic problems that we had in the first place . . . ?” Ingraham apparently failed to see why keeping people from being homeless should not be a top priority of the Obama Administration – and the “economic problems that we had in the first place” were created by her guy, Bush.

Dowdell calmly responded, “With respect to the stimulus in particular -- a lot of the stimulus is taking place over a longer period of time, but it has in fact stopped the pain, it’s stopped the bleeding . . . Our economy was falling off a cliff . . . right now our economy is stabilizing, that’s due in large part to President Obama’s leadership . . . .”

Rivers disputed this, arguing, “If you go into any black neighborhood . . . there’s a lot of bleeding and a lot of pain . . . .”

“I would argue that pain would be . . . .” I believe she was going to say “worse”, but Rivers cut her off, saying, “We shouldn’t exaggerate what the President’s done . . . in north Philadelphia, in DC, in south side of Chicago, there is enormous pain . . . .” Now we know what his role on this segment was.

Ingraham, believing herself to be oh-so-clever, snidely said, “I have this novel idea, it’s kind of crazy . . . when you make America the #1 place for wealth creation and business development and hiring in the world by giving people incentives to hire, i.e., tax breaks, tax credits . . . .”

Dowdell broke in to say, “One-third of the stimulus was taxes,” which Ingraham ignored.

“Getting the regulation off business’ back, and stop demonizing wealth creation in this country, if you do that, guess what, everybody gets jobs, everybody benefits.” Well, let’s see – in February of this year unemployment was up to 7.2%, higher than expected (too soon into the presidency for the right to begin blaming President Obama), which was a result of the Bush years, of lack of regulation, of outsourcing of jobs and lack of trade regulation. Before President Obama had even taken office, unemployment had reached a 16-year high. So what’s Ingraham talking about, anyway? This whole “getting regulation off business’ back” stuff killed the economy, and despite her pie-in-the-sky revisionist history, unemployment soared under Bush, a guy who no one could ever accuse of demonizing wealth.

Dowdell, politely but firmly pushing back, said, “I actually do business in Jersey City, Newark, Harlem, and many of the cities that the Reverend referenced . . . I can speak as a small business owner to some of those policies . . . and a lot of the federal funds that are going into these cities are actually helping to create jobs and while they may not be creating jobs as quickly as we’d like, because we do live in a society where everybody wants it all and they want it now, the reality is these things are taking effect – but we elected a President, not a magician . . . we also should not condemn him when he has made efforts.”

Ingraham couldn’t resist one last jab.

“Tara, I’m just glad those districts in New Jersey actually exist, because some of the districts that are getting apparently money and creating jobs didn’t actually exist at all.”

Ingraham ought to remember the old adage about people in glass houses before she takes swipes at erroneous reporting (and in the case of money being given to non-existent districts, the White House has attributed it to “human error”). After all, it might take a whole segment for her to make note of Fox News’ many, many examples of so-called “human error” that resulted in, for example, video attributed to wrong events – beginning with Hannity playing a clip of a well-attended September 2009 tea party rally and representing it as a November 4, 2009, rally which was sparsely attended, and followed by Greg Jarrett attributing video to a Sarah Palin book signing crowd, when it was really a vice-presidential election rally. Then, of course, we have Fox News’ hosts’ “oops” moments with doctored video, such as when Martha MacCallum played a doctored video clip of Joe Biden and presented it as a statement that Biden never made. Control room problems, ya know. Ingraham, herself, became a topic for Media Matters for using doctored video to smear Al Gore – she claimed he financially profited from his climate change work, but left out the portion of the video stating that he gave all of the money he earned to not-for-profits. And was it human error, by the way, when a Fox News host (naming no names – oh, okay, Gretchen Carlson) conducted, as reported by Priscilla from News Hounds, a “gushing interview” with Derek Jeter without disclosing that her husband is Jeter’s agent? Fox management apparently had a little talk with Carlson – you know it’s gotta be over the top when Fox has an ethical objection to something its talkies do.

Ingraham really sticks her foot in it, because she tries to be funny and she tries to be clever, but what always shines through is her mean-spirited, bitter partisanship, rooted in jealousy, like the girl not invited to the cool party. As always, I beg for O’Reilly to return quickly whenever she guest hosts. But in this one short segment, Ingraham managed to insert racial divisiveness, hypocrisy, revisionist history, bias, a right-wing wish list . . . well, I could go on, but I guess we can leave it at plain old rotten reporting, which is just another day at Fox News.