Fox News' outrage at President Obama’s critical remarks about their network is becoming hysterical. It’s not a simple matter of their being pissed at his criticism. No, the President is trying to shut them down. He’s going after the First Amendment just as he went after the Second. And he’s sending the country down the tubes because without a free Fox there is no free America. So, at least, said “legal analyst” Peter Johnson Jr., appearing on Fox and Friends for the second morning in a row.
We have previously noted that Johnson is also Roger Ailes’ personal attorney, and speculated that he might be acting as a stand-in for Fox's chief. Since Johnson also appeared on Hannity last night, and maybe on other shows as well, I speculate that he's speaking for Ailes in this case, and that the F&F segment was part of a Carefully Orchestrated Outrage Strategy.
Brian Kilmeade fed Johnson the appropriately sensational opening lines: "After going after the Second Amendment, President Obama, unhappy with freedom of speech, is going after the First Amendment.” Indeed he is, agreed Johnson, as the chyron shouted FIRST GUNS, NOW FREE SPEECH. “The imperial Presidency playbook is open." The First Amendment is "seriously in doubt,” he added, when the President embraces those that echo his talking points, and brands anyone who seeks to “foster debate” as an “enemy of the state.” GOING AFTER FREE SPEECH, the chyron hollered.
Of course he would, said Kilmeade, right on cue. Obama’s got all the Democrats and all the mainstream media and even a few scared Republicans in his camp – “everyone but Fox and Rush apparently.” BIAS ALERT, the chyron screamed.
Johnson then took Fox's outraged-victim message out to the stratosphere. Obama is not just criticizing Fox; he’s threatening the free press that is the bulwark of our democracy. “Ask Thomas Jefferson,” pontificated Johnson. “Ask Alexis de Tocqueville (I might, gentle reader, but they are both sort of like – ahem- dead. Died without having heard of Fox News, poor guys.) “Look at our history. Without a free press, there is not a free America. Without a free Fox, there is not a free America.... Fox is doing its job. ‘Fair and balanced’ means something, especially in a media that’s in the tank across the board, and the President does not like that.”
Doesn’t it make you sleep better at night, gentle reader, knowing that Fox is standing all alone (except for Rush of course) between you and that imperial dictatorial bully in the White House? After this, I expect that Obama will shut the network down and throw all its staff in the slammer. That's what imperial dictators generally do.
(though the liberals get the papers too; maybe the papers should have to have half-and-half too? The New York Times would have to fire half their staff and hire Ann Coulter AND Sean Hannity just to have a shot at balancing it out.)
So, in your deluded hallucinations, those two clowns speak for conservatives.
Cheebuz… Bill Buckley is doing donuts in his grave.
Let’s say a debate gets three segments of airtime, totalling… let’s say 27 minutes. nine minutes each. Let’s say that one segment is just a republican- they could or would only book the Republican. The next two segments they book both, but the Democrat feels they can say their peace in only three, while the Republican talks the other six both times.
In minutes, this seems disproportionate, but the Democrats felt they only needed six of the 18 minutes they were given in the bi-partisan panels. When ABC, CBS, CNN, C-SPAN, MSNBC and NBC Nightly News have panelists from both sides on, they do that. Interruptions are rare, no one tells a guest to shut up, no one cuts the mic, there are no insults, one side isn’t ignored while they patiently wait on a rebuttal, and the time they give is their choice, with the only limit being the total time given to the segment overall.
That is the Fairness doctrine still in action almost 20 years after it was abolished, and conservative media is the only group that doesn’t still follow it as common courtesy. In fact, your insistence that it’s censorship answers my second question nicely, even through your obvious attempt to duck it. That would be hell on earth for Fox News to show that much respect to anyone… but if the other networks evened out (which yes, I would approve of), they don’t have as far to go working on it. Their partisans aren’t as severe, and even MSNBC has their fair share of non-partisans, which is more than I can say for Fox, who only let’s a couple hosts occassionally be fair on one or two segments out of a whole week of broadcasts.
Which brings me to the first of my follow-up questions: Even by your bullshit definition of the doctrine, how is it censorship? Left, right and independent all get equal time. The channel does 9 hours of commentary a day, they can divide it into three hours for hosts of each leaning. On every channel- they don’t like ____ for “x” view, they can go to ____. They don’t like any of them, they can reflect on why.
Oh, I forgot- It’s censorship because the view you don’t agree with gets to talk, too.
If I told you once I told you a thousand times.
The problem with wingnut media is they make their living by flinging out sht and scaring their sheeple.
If Fox and the wingnutz actually reported news, we couldn’t complain.
But when we call them to their face for what they are, LIARS, then they get up set.
BTY, genius. You were here and are demanding to know who funds this web site and WHY we complain about the lies spread by Fox.
We told you. Fox loves to depict President Obama as this Marxist, socialist, Leninist, Kenyan, mooselin, far left Chicago thug radical who engineered his ascent 50 years ago because he hates white people.
And you want us to listen to that crap.
So if you want half the radio to go liberal you have to also agree that half the tv AND Newspapers have to also have a rebuttal to every political view point. Sounds peachy. Having the government tell people what they can and cannot air on radio, tv and newspapers. Sounds familiar. Sounds like something that happened before years ago that didn’t end well. What was that?
But ill answer your questions in a different way.
Suppression of free speech: Say a radio station has 24 hours of conservative talk radio. The Fairness Doctrine will force them to air at least 12 hours of liberal view points. What does that do? It takes away that stations right to air conservative view points for those 12 hours. The Fairness Doctrine takes away their right to air conservative view points when they want to. Thats violating their Freedom of speech. They should be able to broadcast what they want when they want. Thats whats so great about this country. But the Fairness Doctrine takes away that right.
Im not really sure what your second question is but Ill assume its about how conservative radio exploded and liberal radio died. Thats the free market. The radio stations started playing what the public wanted to hear, not what the government wanted them to hear. The reason liberal radio fails is because the majority dont want to listen to it. If they did then the script would be flipped and Liberals would dominate talk radio.
Now answer my question: If you think the fairness doctrine is a good thing then shouldnt it also be applied to the TV media? Shouldnt MSNBC, NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN etc all have to dedicate half of their news shows to conservative view points? Shouldnt Rachel Maddow have to cut her show in half and allow the other half to be a conservative rebuttal? Same with all liberal shows on TV. If you support a Fairness Doctrine in radio shouldnt it also apply to television?
In case you haven’t noticed, we kind of don’t care about ratings- except when there’s a good case to believe that the way Fox News is acting may be tied to a decline.
As Rachel Maddow put it: Spongebob gets higer ratings than almost any show out there. Does that make it the most accurate portrayal of the ocean?
Oh, and don’t assume anything gets high ratings because people “like it”- Fox News gets a lot of it’s ratings from chain sponsors having their TVs locked to it. People from areas with large numbers of offended demographics petition for them to change it to sports or family programming all the time.
What the Fairness Doctrine would do is force conservative radio to air liberal view points. Should the government force MSNBC to provide an opposing view point everytime Lawrence Odonnell or Rachel Maddow say anthing negative about Republicans? Should the government force this very website to publish an opposing view point to everything thats posted on here? Because thats what the so-called “Fairness Doctrine” does. It forces opposing view points onto people who have already chosen NOT to listen to them.
And yes, conservative radio did take off when it was abolished. Because radio was no longer shackled with having to air something that the majority of the listeners didnt want to listen to. I should have the freedom to listen to conservative radio and ONLY conservative radio if thats what i want to do. The government should NEVER tell me what I have to listen to OR that I HAVE to listen to an opposing view point.
Liberals have the same opportunity that Conservatives have on radio. The majority of the people CHOOSE to listen to conservative radio and CHOOSE NOT to listen to liberal radio. Forcing someone to listen to your viewpoint is WRONG.
The only reason the left wants it reinstated is to silence Conservative talk radio. Thats it.*
Ok, I’m going to bite on this one by asking two questions:
1) Here is the legal definition of the Fairness Doctrine.
How about showing me where it says conservative free speech will be limited by it? A station can still be liberal or conservative overall, they just have to present enough of the opposing view to constitute an informed opinion of the other side.
“The doctrine that imposes affirmative responsibilities on a broadcaster to provide coverage of issues of public importance that is adequate and fairly reflects differing viewpoints. In fulfilling its fairness doctrine obligations, a broadcaster must provide free time for the presentation of opposing views if a paid sponsor is unavailable and must initiate programming on public issues if no one else seeks to do so.”
2) Directly related- Do you know the circumstances of the veto against the fairness doctrine in 1987? Regan ran a veto against it when it was renewed and about to be promoted to permanent law. Around the time of the veto, his approval was falling fast:
Shortly after he did this, what happened? Opposing viewpoint guests vanished from shows with right-wing hosts. AM radio like Limbaugh began their signature rants.
Leftists and moderates didn’t do that; conservatives did. Can you tell me how popular they were before 1987? Speak up, can’t hear ya.
Ok, I’ll answer for ya… not even on barnyard value. They couldn’t sell without being trash hosts, they couldn’t be trash hosts while it was intact. All a self-fulfilling prophecy for Ronald Reagan to go out on a high note.
Oh you’re hysterical with all your tinfoiled hat nonsense about life inside the right wing bubble. Seriously, you should take your act to a comedy club and try it out with the audience. I’m sure they’ll be very responsive.
The only reason the left wants it reinstated is to silence Conservative talk radio. Thats it. The left hates the fact that conservative radio is highly popular but very few want to listen to the left. You cant compete when its actually fair so you want to put in a law to limit free speech; but only conservative free speech.
Conservatives didnt shut down liberal talk radio. Liberals shut down liberal talk radio. No one wants to listen to it. You cant force yourselves on people. If people didnt want to listen to conservative radio they wouldnt, and you guys wouldnt have this problem. The fact is you want to force the so-called Fairness Doctrine on people and force them to listen to something they dont want to and supress what they do want to listen to.
Which leads you to calling those people names and insulting them because they dont want to listen to your viewpoint.
And the hilarity of it all is while you claim to want this “Fairness” and want both sides to be heard you all band together to try to take down the one conservative news show thats out there and want it to just be liberal news shows only on TV.
Its a neat little trick that you guys do. If someone on the right says something you dont agree with accuse them of spewing hatred, racism and bigotry, even when thats completely untrue.
All I see on here is hatred. From the name calling to the insults to the comments about people who were viciously attacked “getting what they deserved”. But its the right thats putting all the hatred out there.
You people arent true liberals. True liberals want open debate from all sides. You guys want to hear one voice proclaiming the greatness of one side and want to shut down anyone or anything with an opposing view point.
A true liberal would support FOX News right to provide their viewpoints in opposition to all the other News opinions. True liberals would want voices from the right to be heard as much as the voices on the left.
You guys arent liberals. You’re sheep bowing to the Democrats wishes.
Of course, there’s also the fact that most of the talk radio brigade had NO journalism credentials. If they’d attended college, that was where most of them got their limited amount of “news experience” (usually by working at the college radio station as DJs where their work consisted of playing records and hosting events). BUT, they’d “worked in radio” so that was all they needed.
Journalism has suffered a great blow from the corporate entertainment complex, but Fox has driven the propaganda nail into journalism’s coffin. I hope journalism will be reborn from this mess one day, but it will need to take a different form from televised information, something less corruptible is needed.
Here’s what the President said proving that both Rush and Fox only want to make money by creating outrage.
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.
I think John Boehner genuinely wanted to get a deal done, but it was hard to do in part because his caucus is more conservative probably than most Republican leaders are, and partly because he is vulnerable to attack for compromising Republican principles and working with Obama.
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.