Fox News’ Gretchen Carlson revealed her disdain for poor kids while hosting a totally “fair and balanced” discussion about Bernie Sanders with a conservative and a Clinton-backing liberal who smeared him as, essentially, anti-American.
In a discussion on The Real Story, Carlson opened the segment by asking “What is fueling the rise of Senator Bernie Sanders as a real challenge to Hillary Clinton?” and “Why do so many young people want to elect a socialist?”
For answers that would make Sanders look bad, Carlson hosted two Sanders critics.
It was no surprise that conservative guest Katherine Timpf would call Sanders’ proposals “a disaster” but it’s hard to imagine what Democrat Jessica Tarlov thought she’d gain by saying, “Our generation has not felt the full thrust of the responsibility.” Or, “This is such a deep challenge for Hillary Clinton to be able to paint him as unrealistic without offending him or his voters and saying, ‘You guys are a bunch of dummies if you think this is going to happen.’”
Carlson, of course, took her own swipes at Sanders: “We have fought wars!” she exclaimed. “Men and women have died in this country to fight against communism and many of these same principles, quite honestly - Katherine, I mean, it’s astounding.”
Tarlov did not point out that Sanders is not a communist.
Timpf called Sanders’ proposals “horrifying” and “terrifying.”
“The populist message works,” Carlson said fearfully. “Where he said, you know, poor people should be able to go to college free, like rich kids. Free? …If that’s actually true, quite possibly their parents worked incredibly hard to be able to pay for them, the full ride to go to college!”
Carlson was suggesting that poor kids don’t deserve a free education and that if they can’t afford college, it’s probably because their parents didn’t work hard enough.
But rather than call out Carlson’s insinuation, Tarlov went after Sanders again, with the kind of attack that must have warmed the heart of the Fox News producer.
“The most dangerous part of this – and I say this as a very strong liberal and as a supporter of Hillary Clinton - that this is completely anti- capitalist which is foundational to what makes America great, not to sound Trumpian at all,” Tarlov said.
Timpf called it a “ridiculous” narrative that conservatives hate poor people that Democrats “have been getting away with for so long.”
And yet Carlson had basically just thumbed her nose at those who can’t afford college and Tarlov either didn’t notice or deliberately gave her a pass on it.
I’ve got nothing against Democrats and liberals vigorously debating Clinton’s and Sanders’ policies and platforms – just about anywhere but on Fox News. And I don’t mean to be harsh on Tarlov who seems like another nice, likeable, go-along-to-get-along Fox News Democrat that Fox seems to have an endless supply of. But if anybody thinks that Tarlov wasn’t a Fox News patsy in this segment, then I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.
Watch it below, from the February 12 The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson.
Where I have problems with his material is when he and his listeners take a distinctly smug approach to this. It’s the same kind of thing you hear in fundamentalists of all religions – the notion that one group feels they are somehow superior to others, and it’s despicable no matter who does it.
The notion that the student should be held at fault for wanting to get the best education s/he can is deeply offensive. If someone is a serious student and wants to put in the work to learn and get a good degree, it is not appropriate for the right wing to tell them they are foolish to do so.
That said, I should qualify the idea just a bit. Not everyone necessarily needs or wants to pursue a higher education degree. For some people, getting a degree is like buying a certificate of attendance. For others, college is something they’ve been tracked into without really having any idea why they are attending. And for some, a college education doesn’t give them anything that really boosts their understanding or helps them in their lives. For example, as noted before, Bill O’Reilly would have done better to have simply attended a trade school or just apprenticed somewhere. Nothing he’s done in a career going back to the 70s has indicated that he got very much from his B.U. degree. (To be fair, it doesn’t look like Howard Stern got much out of it either…)
There was a great article by Helaine Olen in 2013 about Dave Ramsey that summed up this philosophy quite well: “1. Purge yourself of debt; 2. Live on cash; 3. Pretend economic trends don’t affect you; 4. Blame yourself when they do.”
There’s a part of the thinking that’s intrinsically correct. Yes, people should save more money. Yes, people should live within their means and not go into outrageous debt. Yes, it’s a problem for someone to max out their credit cards on a bunch of stuff they don’t need and then decide not to pay the bill.
But the notion that kids from middle class households should forego an education because the schools have jacked up the costs? That’s complete nonsense. For myself, I attended UC Berkeley with the help of grants on most of the years, and a single loan for my final year, which was paid a year after I graduated. Were I to be trying to attend UC Berkeley today, I would have been forced to go to community college for 2 years (while working more than full time) and only go to UC for the final 2 years, thus cutting my college experience in half and preventing me from being able to do any of the plays or productions that would make the foundation of the career I have today.
Years ago, the UC system was extremely inexpensive and you could get through it, as I did, with pretty much no debt and a good education. Nowadays, the money has increased so much that it’s priced many high school graduates out – unless they go neck deep into debt that they can’t pay back. Unless they do as Ellen is noting – take a job that pays more somewhere else, potentially away from the work the person really had wanted to do.
One small example: A doctor in a rural area recently told me he that he has trouble attracting doctors to his family practice group because other medical groups in bigger communities offer much more money. He said he gets recruitment letters offering him signing bonuses of $200,000. He said he can’t offer that. But when you graduate from medical school with that kind of debt, it makes a rural or low-income practice that much less attractive and thus makes it that much harder for poor and rural communities to have access to care.
And it’s not like this doctor is poor. He probably earns a good $100,000 a year or so. But if you’re 25 or so and dealing with even more than that in debt, that pales in comparison to elsewhere.
But for this occasion, you have a Hillary supporter and a right winger both bashing on Sanders for the socialism angle. I guess that’s a palate cleanser…
The whole argument of saying that the rich kids deserve to go to college is one that comes more from right wing and evangelical thinking – the same kind of thing you hear every day on right wing radio like the Dave Ramsey Show. The idea is that virtuous and smart people don’t borrow money. So no student loans because they’re dumb and because, well, you know, good people don’t do that kind of thing. So if you don’t have the money to pay for college, your kid doesn’t go. Or maybe s/he goes to community college and works full time to pay for it. Because nobody cares what school you went to, right? (In this Bizarro version of the world, one supposes that there is no such thing as an Ivy League, and all colleges are identical…)
At the same time, there was an interesting moment in Bill O’Reilly’s show last night, where he admitted that in the British system, he would not likely have been allowed the opportunity to go to college. By O’Reilly’s own admission, he was “a thug” at that age. (Some things don’t change, do they?) And he would have been rerouted to something more appropriate for him, like a trade school. And frankly, that would have been a better career track for him. But it’s interesting to think that the British system would have provided the same result Fox News is touting as a good idea for ours.
There are a lot of banks that require minimum daily balances to have free checking accounts or unlimited access to ATM or debit card use. In my case, I’d opened a checking account some 30 years ago and had been paying a small fee (initially 10 cents and would eventually rise to 25 cents per check) to cover the cost of “processing” checks, but ATM use was largely free. About 10 years ago, I started noticing that I was getting hit by a small charge (IIRC, about 25 cents) for ATM and debit card usage—even with my own bank’s ATMs—after about the 3rd use each month (and the charge applied to EVERY transaction after that 3rd use). Now, at this point, I was using checks to pay most of my bills and using my debit card to pay for groceries so I was typically “paying the bank” $2 to $3 a month just to use MY money. It was also about this time that the bank stopped returning my checks with my monthly statement—all I’d get was a photocopy of the checks (to save the bank postage costs!—even as I was paying them a fee to “process” the checks; and the bank gets a presorted business mailing rate which can reduce their postage rate and adding 5-8 checks wasn’t going to increase their costs that much; figure 25 cents per check for 5 checks is $1.25—that much postage at the time was good for some 5 or 6 ounces; even today, it’s more than enough for a 3-ounce envelope).
So, I went to a local branch and found out there was an option for me to get COMPLETELY free checking and unlimited ATM/debit card use—which costs me absolutely nothing (provided I keep a minimum average daily balance—if my balance drops below that one day but is above it the other days, there’s no cost; and it’s a fairly low minimum—something like $5).
Of course, how long might I have continued paying these checking account fees if I hadn’t wondered why I was being charged for using my ATM—even as businesses were encouraging the use of ATMs?
Problem is anyone with an IQ over 2 digits realizes silly bait click articles weaving Yellen fantasies are the source of this bulls—t. I think it was the Japanese central bank who introduced negative interest rates but if you get beyond the headlines they only affect new deposits by banks at the central bank.
Not only is Japan not America but Yellen’s recent Congressional testimony was hardly alarming or fodder to feed the sort of hysteria Forbes and his sycophantic employees are exhibiting.
Of course the reality is Yellen’s testimony hinted at future rate hikes and my local Fed president here in Richmond went public full speed ahead on interest rate hikes.
Not that truth and facts ever got in the way of Fox News’ right-wing bills**t. 👍