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Laura Ingraham And “Fair and Balanced” Megyn Kelly Bash Harry Knox And President Obama

Reported by Priscilla - March 3, 2010 -

Megyn Kelly’s new show, “America Live,” is part of the Fox “news” block and as such it’s supposed to be “fair and balanced.” Right? Turns out not so much, as evidenced by Kelly’s interview with right wing, accused plagiarist, partisan Monica Crowley, during which Kelly and Crowley completely distorted a report about the necessity of sex education particularly in third world countries. But that wasn’t surprising given that the Christian right wing, for whom Fox News is a conduit, hates Planned Parenthood. Conservative Catholics, such as Bill Donahue and Brent Bozell, are now upset about one of Obama’s appointees to President Obama’s Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnership Program and are calling for him to be fired. So again, it’s not surprising that Fox News, which employs a conservative Catholic priest as a commentator, (the only clergy on staff as far as I can tell) would attack this man. Both Tucker Carlson and Bill O’Reilly voiced their negative opinion of Harry Knox. But they’re “opinion” shows so it’s all good. Megyn Kelly’s show, however, is part of (or so we’re told) the “news” block. Her hit piece on Harry Knox would suggest that the Fox News apologists need to redefine what’s news and what’s not.

Yesterday, Kelly set the tone immediately with her appeal to Catholic outrage: “Pressure is now mounting on President Obama to fire a controversial member of his faith based council advisory board.” She cited two Republicans, conservative Christian Congressman Mike Pence and conservative Catholic John Boehner, who are calling for Knox’s scalp based on his “repeated intolerant statements about the Catholic Church.” She quoted Boehner who called Knox a “Catholic bashing bigot.” She then introduced conservative Catholic convert Laura Ingraham for a “fair and balanced” discussion. (Ha!) Not surprisingly, professional Catholic Laura was sporting her great, big cross bling so that everyone would know what a good Christian she is. Kelly asked Ingraham to elucidate on what Knox said that was so objectionable about the Pope and Catholicism. Ingraham said that folks who listen to talk radio know who he is. (ROFL, they’re really getting the straight scoop from right wing hate media.) She said that Knox is one of the “top outrages” among Obama’s appointees. She named Van Jones and Dawn Johnson whom she described as a former “abortion rights advocate.” (Johnson’s appointment to Justice has been held up for almost a year because of her position on something that is legal in this country.) Ingraham said that Knox has been saying that the Pope “has been hurting people, in fact essentially killing people with his policies and views…” Playing the Muslim baiting card, Ingraham asked if he would still be in his position if he said something similar about the Prophet Mohammed. Kelly then referenced Knox’s connection to the Human Rights Campaign which “has been outspoken in its support for the rights of gays and lesbians." (Another group reviled by the Christian right). She said that he criticized the Catholic Church for not wanting to give communion to lesbians at their lesbian weddings without actually quoting him and then scored some propaganda with the comment that “ it isn’t a huge shock that President Obama would have a guy like this advising him." Ingraham, full of righteous Christian indignation, said that this is great disrespect to “the Holy Father” (not mine!) and as a Catholic, she takes her faith seriously. She joined the amen corner of other right wing Catholics in calling for Knox’s firing. Kelly said that the White House was standing by Knox.

Comment: Knox said that the Pope was hurting people – not killing them. But that wasn’t clear in Ingraham’s statement. Her comment about Mohammed was also a bit specious as the Pope is a living religious leader whose religious pronouncements impact on millions of people. His theologically based condemnation of condoms, especially with regard to AIDS in Africa, is denounced by many people in the medical field and non Catholic religious leaders. The pope is a mortal man and a leader of a sovereign nation. He shouldn’t be above criticism. What hasn’t been said, in any of the Fox discussions, is that Knox made the comment, which he stands by, before his appointment to Obama’s commission. He is not a government official and his statements (made before his appointment) are his own – not those endorsed by the commission. One could argue that Knox should qualify his comment by saying that while he respects individual Catholics, he still feels that the Pope’s comments are irresponsible. But that wouldn’t be enough because, for the religious right, the fact that this man is a gay activist is reason enough to attack him. Knox is entitled to his opinion; but in Foxworld, liberal, secular opinions are nowhere near as sacred as those of the Christian right – as evidenced by Kelly’s interview in which the propaganda validated three outrages of the conservative, Christian right – Henry Knox, gays getting married, and President Obama. The title of the video is “Great Disrespect To The Holy Father.” Now if that’s not “fair and balanced,” what is? Hopefully, in the interests of “fair and balanced,” Kelly will interview Knox or somebody who supports him. Ya think?

One more thing – When George W Bush’s “Special Counsel” at the OSC, "traditionalist" Catholic Scott Bloch, was under fire for discriminating against gays, Fox News didn’t seem to have the same interest – even when members of the gay Log Cabin Republicans called on Bloch to resign. After an FBI raid on his office, Bloch (who had been on a DOJ task force for Faith Based Intitiatives) did resign. Obviously, in Foxworld, not all outrages are created equal.