Trending on the Fox News (s)hit list is the "Obamaphone" which seems to be on the same level as Muslims and "illegal immigrants." As a propaganda bête noire, it's perfect as it combines Fox's patented Obama bashing with their disdain for "welfare" programs used for those with black and brown skin - groups which are also part of their enemies list. Never mind that the poor and the elderly get to use their free 120 minutes to, say, call the doctor or emergency workers. According to Fox it's all about those disgusting, lazy "takers" ("welfare queen" redux) who make life so miserable for godly, white conservatives who were outraged, last October, when Matt Drudge released a video of an African-American who claimed to have a free "Obamaphone." (Technically - "Life Line") The video went viral and not surprisingly, Fox & Friends was there to promote the right wing "outrage" as well as play the race card. Just in case you've forgotten about this patented Fox outrage, Gretchen Carlson got those outrage juices flowing on this morning's Fox & Friends during which she interviewed right wing journalist, Nolan Finley, about this wasteful give-away to lazy, dark skinned moochers.
That Fox & Friends has taken a page out of Pavlov was evident in the segment's opening which, in playing to the racist fear and loathing of its audience, featured the aforementioned African-American talking about her free "Obamaphone" and how Obama should be reelected. The chyron was "Hang Up Already." Now that everybody was salivating with racist and anti-Obama outrage, the demure Gretchen Carlson, reported on how, when the video "went viral," it "forced the Obama administration to respond that the Life Line program was started by President Reagan; but what they didn't say was how much it has expanded now under President Obama." A graphic was shown of the increase in *"tax dollars" being spent on the program. She noted that while there is a lack of "outrage" (Fox favorite word) at the White House, "many Americans are fed up." (Oh, and who might they be, Gretch?) As she introduced her guest, Nolan Finley, editorial page editor of the Detroit News, the chyron set the Fox lesson: " 'Obamaphone' Bust, The Case for Defunding Lifeline Program."
Carlson informed the viewers that costs have "blossomed" because "we're now talking cell phones" and when the blessed Reagan started the program it was just land lines. Finley noted that even though it expanded under Bush, it is expanding with "all the other welfare programs during the Obama years." He claimed that it is "estimated" that 41% go to those who ineligible and that "it is riddled with fraud, riddled with waste." Gretch reinforced his point, "41%, come on, Americans hear that and think, 'how can you stand by and allow this to continue." What he didn't say is that after this problem was discovered, the FCC reported that new verification procedures have saved billions.
He talked about how a writer, from the conservative National Review, got three of these phones. (The writer talked about her experience on Greta's show, earlier this month). Just to make sure that you're still outraged, the chyron read "On Your Dime, Taxpayers Footing Bill for 'Obamaphones'." Reinforcing the "welfare" takers meme, he asserted that "once the federal government starts spending money on an entitlement there is no killing it, no matter how wasteful and fraudulent it turns out to be."
Gretch wanted to know "what do we do as taxpayers." He recommended that there be no tax hikes "until programs like this are scuttled." Hammering home the "moocher" motif, the chyron read "Phone Freeloaders, 1.3M Active Lifeline Subscriptions." He claimed to have documented massive entitlement fraud. Her eyes wide, Gretch said that it would be easy to determine 'Obamaphone' fraud as opposed to other programs "where you know fraud is going on." Despite government information to the contrary, Finley claimed that the Obama administration hasn't done anything about waste and fraud.
So are ya outraged yet? If not, you're probably not watching Fox & Friends!
*Another Fox & Friends lie - "the phones are paid out of the Universal Service Fund through a fee assessed to telecommunications providers."