While Bill O'Reilly was quick to claim that the left wing media was exploiting the Newtown tragedy for political purposes, Fox News might be exploiting it in order to promote their conservative Christian agenda. Fox's Mike Huckabee used his Fox platform for using this horrific incident to promote the religious right's views on God having been "removed" from schools and public life. Other Christian pastors, who have appeared on Fox after the tragedy, spoke mainly about faith and connecting with God with little attention given to guns and gun violence in America. As such, by emphasizing religion over the very real political issue of gun violence, Fox seems to be in synch with the GOP whose silence, except for arming teachers, has been deafening. So in addition to religious exploitation, is Fox also guilty of politicizing the tragedy?
Fox has hosted a parade of conservative Christian figures (Joel Osteen, Rev. TD Jakes, Rev. Rick Warren) as well as a number of appearances by official Fox priest, Fr. Jonathan Morris. Fox & Friends hosted a doctor who claims to have visited heaven. While he spoke of how the affected families should take comfort knowing that their children are in heaven, Gretchen Carlson broke down in tears. Carlson also wept while Mike Huckabee, during a discussion of the tragedy, whined about how persecuted Christians need to man up.
The discussions have centered on evil and the importance of faith and prayer in dealing with the tragedy. Mental health issues and guns were only tangentially mentioned. Earlier this week, Fox fave, Cardinal Timothy Dolan preached on the spiritual ramifications of the shooting without mentioning guns - despite the little known Catholic Bishops' policy in support of gun control. Frank Cocozzilli, of Talk To Action, asks if there is "a quid pro quo between America's Catholic Right and today's secular Right, one that accepts a tacit agreement that if the Church is helped prosecuting its culture war agenda the current hierarchy will not interfere with the prosecution of a dog-eat-dog economic agenda, one that extends to the unfettered sale of assault weapons." Given Fox News' full support of the bishops (of which Dolan is the head) position on the HHS birth control mandate while ignoring the concerns of some bishops, priests, nuns about the Paul Ryan budget, the answer appears to be yes.
Are these sermonettes providing spiritual guidance or emotional manipulation? Are they avoiding the gun issue? As Talk to Action's Bill Berkowitz states, in his article "The Religious Right's Shameful Exploitation of the Newtown Massacre," "it is the moral imperative of our leaders -- secular and religious -- to respond to this latest tragedy as a call to action." As he says of Mike Huckabee and others in the religious right who are using the shooting to promote their own agenda while ignoring the real problem of gun violence, "they should be ashamed of their callous response to the pain of others." Ya think!
That man came off as delusional to a point where most of us over here would start running and screaming for help if we ever saw him nearby with a gun. It’s this sort of nastiness that fuels anti-Americansim, not envy as some would have one believe. Most European countries and quite a few others in Latin America and Asia, as well as Australia, enjoy comparable levels of well-being without having regressed to a largely fictitious frontier mentality. Some years ago, we had a discussion on this blog on several historical studies that had demonstrated how rare gun-ownership had actually been until after WW2. People had a rifle for hunting but money was too scarce for expensive toys like handguns. Films have never reflected the reality of pioneer life (my granny was one)
Guns are perceived as instruments. Shucks, there are more regulations on toys than on guns in certain states. More kids are killed by guns than by the toxic plastic used to make look-alike toys but the USA regulates toys.
Lapierre kept on referring to cops and other categories who undergo special trained to make sure they look before shooting, and the guns of those categories are registered. He then morphed smoothly to talk about individual gun owners who are not trained nor registered. He’s comparing apples and hand grenades in order to fuel the quivering fear that boosts gun sales. That so-called press conference by the chief mealy-mouthed spokesperson for the gun-makers was flabbergasting, appalling.
I have to keep coming to sites like this one to remind me that there actually are thinking people who are not slaves to the almighty dollar. The occasional person incapable of entertaining anything that does not corroborate the Word of Fox News faith (viz. Vacuous Offkilter, Joshua Hathaway and that man who torched the mosque) reminds me of the reason I spend so much time here.
BTW, the mosque-torching man TOLD THE COURT that he had done it because "he’d learned all he needed to know about Muslims from FoxNews. Nobody put the words in his mouth. That was his defense!