When European immigrants started coming to our shores in the 19th century, news media was used to spread toxic rumors about those who, according to the resident nativists, posed a real threat to the real American way of life. Among those who fear and loathe immigrants, not much has changed since the days of the anti-immigrant Know Nothing party except for a much greater media exposure in Fox News which has taken on the role of media mouthpiece for real American xenophobes. While Fox has consistently smeared "illegals," its anti-immigration agitprop has reached an all new low with the recent flood of undocumented children at the Texas border. In reprising the old school rumors about how immigrants spread diseases, Fox has given good Christian bigot and serial liar Todd Starnes a platform from which to spread the same kind of old school bile.
It should go without saying that Todd Starnes, with his lies and manipulation of facts, is not exactly a reputable journalist. Even a Christian writer called him out for lying about the supposed "war on Christianity." The US Air Force, no less, was able to prove that his persecuted Christian story was a complete fabrication. But being exposed for his oftentimes anonymously sourced lies is no problem for Starnes who, in the service of right wing propaganda, continues to spread his toxic bile which, in this case, is ugly as it's directed towards children whose lives are much harder than a "duck dynasty guy living in a Miley Cyrus world."
On July 2nd, Starnes published an article which started with conspiracy: "A government-contracted security force threatened to arrest doctors and nurses if they divulged any information about the contagion threat at a refugee camp housing illegal alien children at Lackland Air Force Base." Starnes then quoted anonymous camp workers who claimed that diseases are running rampant at the camps and that they had been ordered to remain silent about the conditions which include scabies and lice that could be seen "climbing down" the hair of immigrant children (a strange assertion given that head lice are very small). Starnes quoted more anonymous sources who feared reprisal if they exposed this information.
On July 7th, Starnes appeared on Fox & Friends where he upped the propaganda ante with a tale of tuberculosis "rearing its ugly head" at the camps. Steve Doocy framed the message when he reported about "health scares at the border" as the chyron cleverly framed Fox Fact: " 'Border' line emergency: Starnes, tuberculosis found at refugee camps." (Oh, so the kids are refugees?) Starnes quoted his "sources" who told him that the numbers of TB cases are growing. The accompanying chyron: "Sickly scare, major health issues at refugee camps growing." Doocy got conspiratorial with his suggestion that this bogus epidemic is why a congressman wasn't allowed to visit the camp and why cameras aren't allowed."
Doocy upped the fear factor with a question about whether the disease is drug resistant. Starnes then quoted Fox News medical misinformer Dr. Marc Siegel, who said that this strain of the disease is common in Central America and "is the worst kind." Starnes brayed about the government's "shroud of secrecy" and how his sources have been "threatened" if they speak out." The chyron played the fear card: "Close living quarters, tuberculosis spreads quickly in tight areas." Starnes suggested that because the camps are guarded by armed guards, that proves that something bad is happening. After reading a statement from HHS, Starnes quoted his "well placed sources" who say that policy isn't being followed. Doocy brought home the propaganda bacon: "You make it seem like a great, big emergency room."
Later that day, Starnes told the same scary story to Hannity whose opening chyron was "Tuberculosis spreading at camps among illegal immigrants." Starnes inadvertendly revealed the Fox propaganda phrase for the day with his comment that his "sources" say it's "one giant emergency room." He claimed his sources say the TB cases are "staggering;" but it's being "covered up."
According to the Baptist (?!) running the Lackland camp, things are under control with the most common problems being "fever, headache, upper respiratory colds and ingrown toenails." The AP reports that there have been only three confirmed cases of TB which, according to a pediatric specialist, is not highly contagious and thus, "should not raise concerns among the general public."
Talk about know nothing!
If Marc Siegel doesn’t know of these distinctions and that MDR and XDR do not exist in the Americas, his license should be yanked. 1 percent of cases of TB in the Americas are drug-resistant, which means only that standard state-of-the-art TB meds aren’t enough, but it’s still eminently treatable.
The irony is that the Central American countries these folks are coming from have more effective vaccination programs for all these diseases, and particularly TB, than we have in the U.S. And indeed, it’s not an easily communicable disease.
Are these people still living in the 19th century or what?
That anybody would make partisan political hay out of this horrible disease makes me sick to my stomach.
Sure, his ass and his hands are the only sources he has.
The vermins that run around the Fox “News” floors spread the disease of racism daily to homes across America.
The third-rate senior producers and producers are 100% responsible for all content that is aired at this worthless network. Nothing will change until Nixon trainee Ailes retires from this “news” network. Given what we know, it could be coming down the pipeline.
Toddy is no Christian. Demons like him will wind up in the hot place with the Horned One. If he thinks he is a good “christian” he’s in for a rude awakening.
Aging Hannocchio is another one of those cafeteria Catholics who won’t see the Pearly Gates in the afterlife. His soul will end up in the hot place, too. Given his sordid history, and background, the odds of him going to Hell is 100% guaranteed.
The Stop Hannity Express has a new name for Hannocchio. We will call him Photo Op Hannocchio. Never letting a crisis go to waste.
NOTE TO MASSES
Avoid Toddy if he sneezes on you. Those germs spread diseases.
I may not get to listen to Hannity’s bullshit today (at 3pm Eastern), but I can imagine his opening rant:
“Folks, I’m back in New York after my holy mission to the Rio Grande to secure the border. I got UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL — did you all get that? I’ve been repeating UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL dozens of times a day for the past week.
“Anyway, I got the word directly from my good buddy and fearless reporter Todd Starnes, and I promptly told Governor Perry and that thousands of these illegal children have ‘tuberculosis, scabies, and lice so bad you can see them running down their faces.’
“The guv said, ‘Sean, you better get yourself right on board that patrol boat and do what you can to prevent these horrible diseases from infecting God-fearing Texans and Americans.’
“Of course, as you all know, our worthless president Obama refused to actually go the border, saying he didn’t want to stage a photo-op, which he claimed wouldn’t solve anything.
“Folks, this is the worst crisis to his our sacred land since 9/11. What kind of low life would even think of staging a photo-op?”