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Shannon Bream Reports On Time Magazine Constitution "Controversy"

Reported by Priscilla - June 24, 2011 -

Frequently, when Fox "News" and "opinion" needs to arm their pitchfork carrying audience with yet another "outrage," they frame whatever they're covering as "controversial." Issues related to persecuted patriots and persecuted Christians are the most common "controversies" when, in reality, they're not all that big of a deal in the reality based community. Perhaps, in describing some innocuous as controversial, Fox is hoping to generate controversy in order to maintain that carefully cultivated wedge that Fox uses to divide Americans. Yesterday, on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," the new Time Magazine article, about the relevance of the Constitution was the basis for an interesting and measured discussion that spanned a number of issues. On yesterday's Fox "news" show, America Live, it was a shout out to the Tea Party, a subtle slam on Time Magazine, an opportunity to advance the right wing reaction to the article which supposedly promotes the idea of evil big government, and an platform for proud virgin and right wing talk show host, Ben Ferguson, to freak out. Thankfully, the liberal guest was rational because otherwise the only "controversy" would have been about Ben Ferguson's hold on reality!

Shannon Bream reported on the article, in this week's Time, which is titled "Does the Constitution Matter?" Not surprisingly, this article in the evil, librul Time is causing some agita on right wing blogs like "The Daily Caller" and "Newsbusters." Bream, a blonde former beauty queen and holder of an undergrad degree from the Christian conservative Liberty University, claimed that the article was "creating a lot of controversy." She quoted Time Managing Editor Richard Stengel, the author of the article, as saying "If the Constitution was intended to limit the federal government, it sure doesn’t say so." Naturally, she didn't read the rest of the quote which references how Article I, section 8 of the Constitution is a "drumroll of congressional power." As she introduced her guests, Sally Kohn, of Movement Vision and Ben Ferguson, the chyron read "Time Article on Constitution, Creating Controversy." Bream wanted Kohn's take on Stengel's comment considering that "we have checks and balances." Kohn explained that the genius of the Constitution is that it can "grow and change." The Time article discussed this aspect of the Constitution, among other thing, but the Fox chyron reinforced the Fox message that this evil, librul article was promoting the evil, librul notion that the Constitution allows for unlimited government: "Stengel: Constitution Was Not Intended to Limit Federal Government." Kohn quoted James Madison who said that one need to look at the Constitution in context. Ferguson claimed that the Constitution is about "values" that haven't changed. Notwithstanding that the article doesn't claim that the Constitution is obsolete, Ferguson claimed that when people say it's obsolete, "that's when we get in trouble."

The table was set for the Tea Party when Bream cited how the focus of the Tea Party is about how we should "return" to the Constitution." While the article does assert that the Tea Party "has an almost fanatical obsession with the Constitution," Bream seemed to infer otherwise when she asked Kohn if she is" one of those people who think the Tea Party is exploiting or misusing the Constitution." Kohn, very deftly, said that we should be grateful to the Tea Party for reminding us of the importance of the Constitution. That's when Ben started getting agitated when he continued his blather about those who think the Constitution is dead - a point which is not made by the article. When Kohn said that she doesn't know anybody who says that the Constitution is dead, Ben yelled "anybody who criticizes the Tea Party says they take it too literally." She, deftly, responded that "taking a document too literally as reading it in 2011 as though it's the 18th century is different from saying it's an obsolete document." Ben shouted "Are you saying they should not read it on the floor of the House of Representatives...that it's a waste of time." She tried to explain that in reading the document, we need to take into consideration the times we live in.

Comment: Tom Brokaw was part of the Morning Joe discussion. Ben Ferguson is no Tom Brokaw. But it was fitting that Ben Ferguson defended the Tea Party as his incoherent ranting was just so - ah - typically teabag!

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