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Fox&Friends Promotes “Pro-life,” Anti-Obama, And Persecution Of Christians Theme

Reported by Priscilla - April 6, 2009 -

Fox New sure is giving a lot of coverage to the “controversy” surrounding Barack Obama’s invitation to speak and receive an honorary degree at the University of Notre Dame. So it's not suprising that Fox&Friends have picked up the propaganda ball and are running with it. As a propaganda outlet, Fox&Friends never fails to disappoint in that it carries the message of the conservative, religious, right wing in a crazy, clown car manner sure to win the hearts and minds of the conservative, religious, citizens in “Fox Nation” – judging from the coverage of issues, this country is quite exclusionary and very partisan. On March 24, Fox&Friends did an interview with Katie Walker of the American Life League. For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, the radical American Life League (ALL) is “a spin-off from the National Right to Life Committee with a more grassroots orientation. ALL is closely aligned with the Catholic Church and opposes birth control, stem cell research and euthanasia. ALL was an enthusiastic backer of the extreme anti-abortion tactics promoted by Operation Rescue.” Not only wasn’t the interview “fair and balanced,” it gave air time to a group that does not represent the mainstream of American Catholic opinion. But the Notre Dame “controversy” is an opportunity to denigrate Obama and the “Fox Nation” delivers the goods as seen in this interview, another interview done by Gretchen Carlson, and Laura Ingraham’s commentary on Fox&Friends.

“Fox Nation” is a website where Fox fans can vent their spleen about whatever troubles them and Fox sure wants them to know that this Obama thing is very troubling. On April 1st, it featured a headline that asked, “Is Obama targeting Catholics?” which linked to an article which in no way suggested that; but rather discussed how a New Jersey Catholic bishop had condemned Notre Dame for the Obama invitation. Words do matter and, in this case, the words were inaccurate and incendiary. But what else is new, in the “Fox Nation?” The Fox&Friends (which now uses the Fox Nation logo) interview with Walker added more incendiary commentary into the debate. Gretchen Carlson (Lutheran) said that the invitation “is sparking criticism now from Catholics across the country” to which Steve Doocy said “boy it is.” (Aided and abetted by Fox News, too). Doocy, (Catholic) said that this “controversy” was “the number one thing” at his church.To Carlson’s question of whether the students were “outraged,” Walker said that they were and talked about the Newman Society’s petition (she didn’t mention Randall Terry). When Carlson said that many of the students support Obama, Walker said that things are changing and that “President Obama has proven to be the most radically pro-abortion President in history. Since his election he has endorsed using our federal funds to fund abortion overseas. He is rescinding conscience protections, taking away our freedom of religion essentially.” (Walker lied. No federal funds go to overseas abortions; but funding has been restored so that clinics that do abortions can actually say that abortion is an option. The conscience protections are not being rescinded – only the draconian extensions proposed by the Bush administration under which a “pro-life” pharmacist could refuse to sell the morning after pill to a woman who was raped).

In another Fox&Friends segment, (April 3rd) Gretchen Carlson introduced the discussion between a Catholic priest and a Protestant minister by saying that the Notre Dame invitation has many Catholics upset. She agreed with the Catholic priest that Obama speaking at Notre Dame would be like having a holocaust denier speak at the Holocaust Museum. (The “holocaust” is used by the anti-abortion crowd as they compare legal abortion to the holocaust. This has drawn the ire of Jews as noted by Abraham Foxman, head of the ADL but this Catholic priest seems not to know that accused holocaust denier, Norman Finkelstein, spoke at Brandeis) Carlson asked if Notre Dame’s invitation was “prestige over principals.” Carlson than mentioned that she feels that “Christians are an easy target” and that “in this case, I find it a bit ironic that Catholics again are a bit of a target here, they’re not fighting back as much, lets say a Muslim cleric were asked to speak…” (What do Muslim have to do with Notre Dame?) She asked the Protestant minister, “why is so easy to target Christians?” (WTF?! What does this “controversy have to do with targeting Christians?”) and “for them not to fight back in this situation.” (WTF?!) When this gentleman spoke in favor of the decision (talked about how shouting too loud paints people into a corner), Gretchen didn’t smile. The Catholic priest got the last word in when Carlson, echoing Marsha MacCallum/Father Morris, said to the Catholic priest that she knew he was “for peace” but that “he didn’t want to give up the core values of what you believe." Suffice to say the Catholic priest got most of the interview time.

On another "fair and balanced" Fox&Friends Laura Ingraham, a Catholic convert, echoed the talking points of the Catholic Bishops and said that "these bromides about academic freedom don't cut at the heart of this issue." I wonder if there are any Fox pundits who support the decision?

Comment: In the coverage that I have been covering there has been little discussion about why there was no outrage about pro choice President Clinton speaking at Notre Dame and pro death penalty George W Bush doing the same. No talk about the convergence of Obama’s social justice and immigration views with that of the Catholic Church. There’s lots of talk about “core values.” In promoting the views of conservative Catholics and anti abortion Christians, in order to create a “wedge issue” among Catholics and remind folks in the “Fox Nation” about why they should hate Barack Obama, Fox News shows that its core values are questionable!