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Fox&Friends Don't Know Much About History

Reported by Priscilla - September 24, 2008 -

As I have frequently noted, there are certain “themes” that permeate Fox News. Lately, the republican/conservative-as-viciously-persecuted-by-liberals is all the rage. Poor Sarah Palin is being persecuted by the media. Poor smear merchants Stanley Kurtz and David Freddoso’s appearances on a Chicago radio station were preceded by e-mails and phone calls from Obama supporters which, according to the “The Grapevine” (September 16th), was a result of the Obama campaign urging Obama supporters to demand that the appearances by cancelled. That the Obama e-mail did nothing of the sort was lost in propaganda. (and we know that Fox fans would never send e-mail, including death threats, to those whom Fox deems anathema - see furor over Bill O’Reilly’s coverage of a lecture on sex and drugs given in Boulder Colorado). But the latest bit of “woe is me” involves Rush Limbaugh who is quite upset about a Spanish language Obama ad. Not surprisingly, Fox is reinforcing the poor, poor Rush meme. Not surprisingly, some at Fox are hijacking history in their attempt to defend him.

During the two mornings, last week, that I reviewed Fox&Friends, the pals and the crawl discussed the recent Spanish language Obama ad which used several Limbaugh quotes to show how people connected to McCain malign Hispanics. Friday’s (September 19th) show was very instructive in revealing the kind of bizarro world interpretation that Fox gives to issues. The group discussed the ad which quotes Limbaugh as saying that “Mexicans are stupid and unqualified” and telling them to “cierra tu boca” (“shut your mouth”). They then, in an agitated manner, talked about how poor Rush said, in a Wall Street Journal article, that he was taken out of context. They said that the ad associated Rush with McCain and “everybody knows” that McCain and Limbaugh are poles apart on immigration. So far so good, the fact check groups pretty much agree on these points. But what was amazing was how the fiends (whoops “friends”) used the ad to smear Obama and Hispanics by making it look like Obama and Hispanics are racists and in so doing created their own alternate version of reality and history.

The group agreed that this ad was playing “the race card” and asked, indignantly, “do we need that kind of high pitch rhetoric in this campaign?” (Comment: Hannity’s diatribes about race and the mistreatment of whites by blacks aren’t high pitched rhetoric? The constant playing of the Jeremiah Wright tape wasn’t high pitched?) Peter Johnson, who was substituting for Kilmeade said something that was just so outrageous that it’s difficult to write about it: “Rush says that this is akin to the old segregationists.” Doocy’s response was equally outrageous: “That’s right.”

Comment: First, Limbaugh’s racially offensive comments are legendary. He referred to Los Angeles mayor Villaraigosa as a “shoe shine boy.” He once told an African American caller to “take the bone of your nose.” He claimed that blacks can’t swim. He did a parody song “Barack the Magic Negro.” But offensive as these things are, they pale in his statement about Obama and Hispanics being “akin to old segregationists.” I guess poor Rush doesn’t remember that the “old segregationists” didn’t allow blacks to vote, attend the same schools, use the same water fountains, and eat at the same lunch counters while brutally beating and killing those who attempted to change the system. Perhaps he thinks that “strange fruit” had something to do with citrus. Maybe he doesn’t remember the violence and bloodshed done to American citizens all in the name of segregation. I guess he doesn’t remember the names of Medgar Evers, Emit Till, the little girls killed in the Birmingham church bombings, and so many others who met their end at the hands of “old segregationists”. And it looks like Steve Doocy doesn’t either. Only in the alternate universe of Fox News can the language and issues of Civil Rights be appropriated by those whose bigoted views aren't that different from the "old segregationists."

BTW, for a great take on Limbaugh’s “out of context” check out John Ridley’s article.