So a president gives an interview to The New Republic and does some pushing back on Fox News' 24/7 efforts to undermine his presidency – and Fox News goes off the deep end with exactly the kind of behavior he called them out for. Last night, Sean Hannity and two Fox News contributors helped hype the hysteria as they argued that Obama is targeting the First Amendment and trying to create a “state run media.” All because Fox has been “the only media organization on this planet that has delivered fair and balanced coverage” of that enemy of the Constitution, AKA Barack Obama. But you know what? I think Fox sees very clearly that the real danger is not any kind of threat to stifle Fox but to make it irrelevant.
Let's start with what Obama actually said because it bears very little resemblance to what the Foxies said he said. Much has been made of this passage in which Obama mentions the media as an obstacle to establish a working relationship with Republicans:
If a Republican member of Congress is not punished on Fox News or by Rush Limbaugh for working with a Democrat on a bill of common interest, then you'll see more of them doing it.
The Foxies are screaming that that signifies some kind of war on Fox, free speech and any media outlet that doesn't kowtow to him. But in reality, Obama was saying something far more dangerous to Fox: He was urging Republicans to ignore it for the public good. Here's the larger context of Obama's remarks:
And I think if you talk privately to Democrats and Republicans, particularly those who have been around for a while, they long for the days when they could socialize and introduce bipartisan legislation and feel productive. So I don't think the issue is whether or not there are people of goodwill in either party that want to get something done. I think what we really have to do is change some of the incentive structures so that people feel liberated to pursue some common ground.
One of the biggest factors is going to be how the media shapes debates. If a Republican member of Congress is not punished on Fox News or by Rush Limbaugh for working with a Democrat on a bill of common interest, then you'll see more of them doing it.
...The same dynamic happens on the Democratic side. I think the difference is just that the more left-leaning media outlets recognize that compromise is not a dirty word. And I think at least leaders like myself—and I include Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi in this—are willing to buck the more absolutist-wing elements in our party to try to get stuff done.
...I think the issue is that we have these institutional barriers that prevent what the American people want from happening. Some of them are internal to Congress, like the filibuster in the Senate. Some of them have to do with our media and what gets attention. Nobody gets on TV saying, "I agree with my colleague from the other party." People get on TV for calling each other names and saying the most outlandish things.
In other words, the president is calling on people to roll up their sleeves and get to work instead of grandstanding in the media and letting the media dictate the agenda. And he's calling out Fox because it has been such a spectacular failure for Republican politics lately.
Don't tell me that Sean Hannity and every other talking head at Fox News isn't aware of that as they feigned outrage over the phony “threat” to the Constitution.
With an opening commentary that reached new highs (or lows) of hypocrisy, Hannity lobbed one phony-baloney attack after another, all the while pretending to be a legitimate political critic – and blaming Obama for the acrimony:
So, what's his next target? The First Amendment, of course. According to the Anointed One, the reason why he's failed on the economy, failed to create jobs, failed to rein in radical extremism abroad is because some of us have dared to speak out against his agenda.”
...In other words, forget about that little thing called Freedom of Speech, differing views. Instead, he wants any, all opposing voices – to be, what? Silenced? Now that includes the opinions you hear on this program and watch every single night. What the president fails to understand is, he is the reason why, in large part, Washington's divided. It's his rhetoric that is responsible for polarizing the country. And for the past four years, the Fox News Channel, frankly, has been the only media organization on this planet that has delivered fair and balanced coverage of his administration. That's why he doesn't like it.
If Hannity believes what he said, it merely makes him the world's biggest hypocrite rather than the world's biggest ignoramus. Because if Hannity doesn't know that “fair and balanced” Fox has taken every opportunity to slime President Obama – either as a traitor, a foreign pretender, a Muslim, a racist, a socialist and nearly anything else the hosts can think up as an insult – then he seriously needs to start paying more attention. To his own show, if nothing else.
In fact, right then and there, Hannity concluded his tirade by saying, “Sorry, Mr. President, we're gonna continue to do our part to save America from your radical agenda.”
Yeah, that's showing 'em who's fair and balanced! And for more of the same, Hannity trotted out two like-minded guests: Andrea Tantaros and Peter Johnson, Jr. Then the hate fest really began.
Roger-Ailes mouthpiece Johnson offered up his own hard-to-believe outrage:
The president won the election but he didn't win America. And so now he's taking on the Second Amendment big time... Now the president is saying, 'Listen, do it the way I do it or I'm going to come down your pipe. Do it the way MSNBC does it, do it the way a poodle journalist, do it the way a faux journalist whose only mission in life is to suck up to the President of the United States, who get their talking points from the White House...(mocking Obama's words about the “institutional barrier” that blocks the will of the people) Sean, you know what the institutional barrier is? The United States Constitution. And so people at home should be afraid because they say, 'Am I not allowed to watch Fox any more?' 'Am I not allowed to listen to Rush or Sean?' 'Am I doing something that's un-American?' In doing so, you're not.
After Hannity laughably complained that Obama can't handle “a smidgen of criticism, from my perspective,” Johnson continued:
This is an opportunity for a lot of Americans – and it's more than 50% of Americans, Sean – who say the First Amendment means something... The Second Amendment means something. So there's one strike on the First Amendment, there's two strikes on the Second Amendment, third strike, are we out?
Johnson is an attorney. Do you think he really views this as an asssault on the Constitution? I'll report and let you decide.
Tantaros, for her part, said she thinks Obama is “very insecure” and that the only two things standing in Obama's way are Fox News and talk radio. “This is rules for radicals,” she sneered gleefully. According to her, Obama wants “state run media! ...The Communist Chinese are praising him! Look, I agree with Peter. A majority of the country supports the Constitution while the president has contempt for it... Anyone who just wants to give the other side, get out of the way of this government.”
Then they all gave themselves a rousing pat on the back, vowed that they are not afraid and will fight on!
Go right ahead, guys. It's been working out so well for you lately.
Video below via Media Matters.
“So what’s his next target? The First Amendment, of course.”
There, not a question but a statement. Not wondering if Obama is attacking the First Amendment, but stating that he is, as if it’s a fact. That already oversteps the bounds of even an “opinion” journalist, as it makes no attempt to delve into context nor grasps even an iota of humility that the so-called journalist might not be speaking the word of God Himself.
“According to the Anointed One,”
Didn’t have to go too far for that, huh? Poor Hannity’s really got his panties in a twist, hasn’t he? In his endless efforts to paint liberals and the left-wing in general as lunatics, he constantly refers to Obama as “the Anointed One”, as if we literally saw him as the Messiah. But clearly that’s not divisive at all, to paint over half the country (as evidenced in the recent election) as tongue-wagging morons. Let’s move on.
“…the reason why he’s failed on the economy, failed to create jobs, failed to rein in radical extremism abroad is because some of us have dared to speak out against his agenda.”
Don’t even know where to begin on this one, but I suppose we can start with his continuing to state opinions as facts without any context whatsoever. I would say that as far as most Americans are concerned, Obama has NOT failed on any of these points. It doesn’t matter, of course, because it’s FAR easier to make up a barrage of lies than it is for someone to pick through the facts and refute each one of them. By the time they’ve finished with those, you’ve already told a hundred more and rendered their efforts fruitless. But here again, we have a Fox talking head making himself out to be some kind of heroic figure, who in the face of fierce opposition, was the only one brave enough to stand tall.
The idea that it takes bravery, when by their own calculations they trounce all the other networks in ratings, is something like laughable, only more pathetic. When by your own admission, your voice is the loudest, then who exactly is this implacable foe you’re standing up against?
“…In other words, forget about that little thing called Freedom of Speech, differing views. Instead, he wants any, all opposing voices – to be, what? Silenced? Now that includes the opinions you hear on this program and watch every single night.”
Yes, Sean, forget about Freedom of Speech. It would be too easy to touch on the hypocrisy of someone wailing about Freedom of Speech while simultaneously lambasting another man for the crime of speaking his mind, but how addled can his brain truly be? To draw the conclusion that Obama, by mildly suggesting that Republican politicians focus more on running the country than whether or not they have the support of Fox News, is somehow trying to stifle Fox’s ability to broadcast BS 24/7…I can barely wrap my head around that one. It’s to such a mad extreme it borders on the comical.
But it plays perfectly well into Fox’s perpetual victimhood, whereby they seize on every opportunity, no matter how slight or nonexistent, as “proof” that they’re the underdog, that they’re being muzzled. So far they’ve managed around 1500 consecutive days of Obama bashing without being silenced, and yet if you believe them, they’ve somehow danced on the razor’s edge this whole time.
“What the president fails to understand is, he is the reason why, in large part, Washington’s divided. It’s his rhetoric that is responsible for polarizing the country.”
Oh yes, it’s definitely Obama. Obama, for four straight years, has been out there all day every day, publicly blasting Republicans left and right. Saying flat out that conservatives hate their country, are not even legitimate citizens, that conservative ideals are a sickness, a disease in need of a cure. He, the man himself, has literally stood at his podium and told a little less than half the country that they don’t matter…oh wait, it was someone else who said that.
“And for the past four years, the Fox News Channel, frankly, has been the only media organization on this planet that has delivered fair and balanced coverage of his administration. That’s why he doesn’t like it.”
The only way for Hannity to say this without his head exploding in a puff of non-logic, is that either he truly believes that ‘fair and balanced’ means a relentless onslaught of constant attack against your ideological opponents (making him an inconceivable idiot) or he gives out this narrative for the money and the ratings (making him a disingenuous worm). I’m leaning towards the latter.
Of course kkklannity doesn’t believe it. But he knows that his mindless sheep believe it and they’ll repeat it. That’s what matters the most.
What is most disturbing in this clip is Hannity’s statement, “and for the past four years the Fox News Channel frankly has been the only media organization on this planet that has delivered fair and balanced coverage of his administration.” In all seriousness, is it truly possible that he believes this?
The Pres made excellent points in his speech. It is hard to avoid the fact that continuing to promote the meme that Obama is not a legitimate president is about the most divisive thing you can do to a country. But if you avoid that issue and just scream a lot a few people may not notice that you are dead wrong, Hannity.
Yep. And that formula has worked so well for FoxGOPTV and the GOPigs.
I had a conversation with my Aunt the other day. She said “Obama is evil! He’s taken away so many of our liberties!” I asked her what liberties Obama has taken away. She said “A lot!” I asked her to name one. She said “Well! I can’t name any off the top of my head, but he’s taken away close to a hundred!” I pressed her…name one. Just name one liberty Obama has taken away from us. She said “I don’t know but it’s been a lot!” I asked again to name one, just one liberty Obama has taken away. I said “Surely if he’s taken away a bunch you’re able to name just one.” Well, needless to say, she couldn’t name one out of about a hundred. She quickly changed the topic.
Yes, I have called her a mindless FoxGOPTV sheep to her face. She didn’t take too kindly to that but it’s the truth.
I would tend to agree with Ellen. These talking heads at FOX “news” know damn well that Obama is not taking away any of their rights. Obama dares to ask that the GOPers work together with the Dems and quit being intimidated by FOX “news”, its right-wing commentators, the Limbaugh types, etc. and what does FOX do? They decide to purposely misrepresent his words. There’s no need to discuss what Obama really said as it’s much more comfortable for the FOXies to simply gin up the phoney outrage in order to make it look like Obama is coming to steal our rights. (eyeroll)
FOX “news” can’t risk the possibility that some GOPers might stop taking their cues from them and Limbaugh (even though the GOP probably should because the way FOX “news”/Limbaugh handled the past election was an epic fail and a total miss when it comes to their talking point that America is supposedly a center-right country). FOX “news” realizes that their brand was damaged by the results of this past election and they know that they can’t afford to be seen as irrelevant when it comes to direct influence on the GOP politicians/policy. Unfortunately for FOX, they’ve already lost some of the regular folks (as I happen to know a few right-wingers who feel that they were duped by FOX “news” during the last election. I can’t imagine that these are the only FOX viewers who feel this way).
As to Hannity’s push that FOX “news” is “fair & balanced” and that it’s all those other media outlets who are biased, well, what can I say except that Hannity is delusional (as are F&F, BOR, etc. who also tout this idea). With regards to 3 Euphemisms for a Penis, he ought to be ashamed of himself for putting out such hogwash and hyperbole.
Btw, Democrat Mary Landrieu is also in hot water for daring to call out FOX “news” (over their reporting on spending). This morning the F&F stooges were outraged, I say, outraged! LOL!
Every single day since Obama announced his candidacy in 2008, the FoxGOPTV pukes have done nothing but lie about him and take every opportunity to smear him and his family. It hasn’t been President Obama who has polarized the country, it’s been the FoxGOPTV pukes. Anyone who believes otherwise is definitely a brainwashed FoxGOPTV sheep.
And FoxGOPTV has been polarizing the country ever since Wrinkled Old Rupy MurDick squeezed the idea of Fox “news” out of his wrinkled old ass.
The Stop Hannity Express learned today that the Tea Party is planning a huge rally February 23, Day of Resistance .223, in cities across the nation.
This particular group is the most extreme segment of the Tea Party. If you think the Tea Nuts are crazy, you should see this new crop of crazy people.
These same people, not only going after Democrats, they are targeting the likes of Karl Rove, and his friends at Fox “News” Channel, Hannocchio, and the GOP.
Coming down the pipe.
1. The Tea Party targets Hannocchio.
2. The Tea Party turns against Karl Rove and the Republican Party.
3. Fox “News” receives unsettling news.
4. Republican Party’s popularity on the decline.
5. Republican’s own members turn against them.
6. Hannocchio caught between a rock and hard place.
Grab a chair and some popcorn. This is one show you don’t want to miss.
NOTE TO HANNITY
Your association with Karl Rove is costing you ratings.
“According to the Anointed One, the reason why he’s failed on the economy, failed to create jobs, failed to rein in radical extremism abroad is because some of us have dared to speak out against his agenda.” (Note especially, the bolded phrase.)
“What the president fails to understand is, he is the reason why, in large part, Washington’s divided. It’s his rhetoric that is responsible for polarizing the country.”
So, Seannie-poopoo, it’s the “rhetoric” of “the Anointed One” (your words, remember) that’s been polarizing but you have been the model of decorum? There’s only one reaction that comes to my mid:
(I was about to add, “Who says that conservatives aren’t funny” when I realized that Seannie-poopoo wasn’t trying to be funny. A comic book company called Bongo Comics publishes several “Simpsons” titles. One of them is “Bart Simpson Comics”* and in the current issue, there’s a story where Lisa decides to become a prankster after winning an award at an April Fool’s “Prank Fair.” At one point, she’s studying how to be funny and she’s got one note that reads “Me + falling down = TRAGIC” and below that is “You + falling down = FUNNY.” I’d say that pretty much sums up Seannie-poopoo’s unintentional hilarity. If he realized the stupidity of his words, he’d realize what a tragic figure he is. Since he doesn’t, however, we’re all given permission to think of him as the Fourth Stooge.)
*Actually, the proper title is “Simpsons Comics Presents Bart Simpson” but “BSC” is so much easier.
In 2006, prior to the mid-term elections, Sean Hannity was dispensing his advice if you didn’t want to utter the words “Madam Speaker Nancy Pelosi”
You want to know what his gold nugget was, his pearl of wisdom.
What would Ronald Reagan do?