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Fox News Jihad Against Obama

Reported by Ellen - November 9, 2010 -

Fox News' obsession over President Obama's remarks about "jihad" during his trip to India perfectly epitomizes one of the ways it spins and distorts the news for its partisan purposes. Rather than discuss the substance of Obama's trip or what he accomplished there or his record on the war on terror, Fox News took what would have been an unremarkable soundbite for any truly fair-minded examination and blew it up into an unfounded suggestion that Obama is soft on or overly sympathetic to Islamic terrorism.

The "jihad" remark was discussed repeatedly last night and was the focus of Bill O'Reilly's Talking Points that open every O'Reilly Factor show. O'Reilly acknowedged, "To be fair, Mr. Obama has attacked Al Qaeda ferociously, and is not backing down from the Taliban in Afghanistan." But that paled in Fox newsworthiness to this one remark. O'Reilly also said, "Whenever, whenever the president is faced with the world-wide problem of jihad, Mr. Obama delivers platitudes... I'll submit to you that most Americans don't want that kind of presentation... We need to combine the platitudes with straight talk about the danger in the Muslim world. The U.S.A. avoided the jihad issue for decades. And finally 3,000 people wound up dead on 9/11." You can read O'Reilly's entire statement, with all his comments about Obama in context, here.

The Hannity show echoed the same phony controversy. "Why couldn't he just say, 'jihad killed 3,000 Americans'?" Sean Hannity asked Newt Gingrich, as if that were an important aspect of Obama's record on the war on terror.

Gingrich, who is a potential 2012 candidate, of course jumped into the opening Hannity had just provided. Gingrich said, "It's really bizarre. I think this administration is in such total denial about who's trying to kill us and what their motives are that it's dangerous to the country. And the president today, in this particular performance, was following up on this continuous denial... You cannot get this administration to understand who (Islamic jihadists) are... I've described (the administration) as having a fantasy foreign policy... It's a psychological problem of the modern left... of which Obama is a representative, cannot deal with the reality that there's evil in the world." Gingrich called Obama's words "contortions" that were "delivered in a pleasant way by a man who's desperate to avoid telling you the truth." Project much, Mr. Gingrich?

As Media Matters noted, Obama's remarks were virtually indistinguishable from public comments repeatedly made by President Bush. But I don't remember seeing any big concern on Fox News when the same ideas came out of Bush's mouth.

In addition to defining "jihad" as a holy war on behalf of Islam as a religious duty, Merriam Webster offers an alternative definition as "a crusade for a principle or belief."

It's clear that Fox News is waging its own jihad against President Obama.

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