Fox & Friends trotted out Alveda King, Martin Luther King’s right-wing niece, to suggest that Donald Trump’s initial response to the terror in Charlottesville was something her famous uncle would have said.
King, who unfailingly uses her uncle’s civil rights legacy to advance right wing talking points and bash Democrats was a natural choice for “State TV,” aka Fox & Friends, given that Trump was under siege from left and right over the weekend because of his dog-whistle to white supremacists about Charlottesville. It was time for a full, Trump-defense spin cycle.
As NewsHounds Ellen reported, Fox friend Pete Hegseth described Trump’s statement, which avoided mention of the white supremacists and blamed “many sides” for the violence, as “a unifying message.” On that same show, Alveda King did not need the encouragement she got from cohost Abby Huntsman to lavish praise on Trump. According to King, Trump’s message was very similar to her uncle’s oratory.
Huntsman began the segment with an MLK quote about non-violence. But she didn’t quote from the president’s “many sides” statement. After she introduced “Dr.” Alveda King (who received an “honorary” degree from Saint Anselm College), Huntsman lamented that people are waking up “unsettled” because of the events of the day before and “asking what happened.” She referenced MLK’s “words of wisdom, of unity, of peace during troubling times.” She “asked” King what her uncle would be saying, if he were still alive.
MLK-whisperer Alveda reminded us that she is a “Christian evangelist” and director of civil rights for the unborn (she works for Priests for Life, a radical, anti-choice Catholic group). She preached that racism and hatred are sins and provided more quotes from MLK about the necessity of tolerance. She claimed that he would “encourage us to cease fire, stop the violence.” She spoke about the sin of believing that one race is better than another – without mentioning that this is the core belief of the white supremacists who caused the Charlottesville violence - groups not referenced in Trump’s initial response.
Huntsman provided the VERY IMPORTANT FOX MESSAGE that Trump and MLK are brothers by another mother: “It’s a similar message that we heard from President Trump yesterday, just this message of unity, what we should stand for as Americans. What the American flag means, the symbolism of God and patriotism. That was his message yesterday.” (It was?)
She noted that Trump has been criticized because he “didn’t identify one group or another” and “not making this more one-sided” which, of course, it was. In setting up the propaganda narrative Huntsman asked if this “is fair.”
King said that while many people are upset, Trump, “in serving God and serving America, he’s got to speak to the hearts of everyone” which, according to King, is just like what her uncle did! (King wanted President Obama to call the “terrorist incidents what they really are” - but she doesn’t think it’s important for Trump to identify white American terrorism?)
Huntsman sent a shout-out to Confederacy supporters with her explanation that the situation stemmed from the removal of a Confederate statue which “some people say, it’s got to down, this represents hate” while “other people say, Look, this is just part of our history.” It’s a “history,” of course, based in slavery. King did acknowledge that the monuments belong in a museum and expressed the hope that we can “transcend” our differences.
Huntsman said that King’s “voice is so needed.”
Addendum: Right Wing Watch reports that Alveda King is also a "prelate of the council of POTUS Shield, a network of Pentecostal leaders who believe Trump was ordained by God and who are engaged in 'spiritual warfare' to protect his presidency."
Check out this Fox & Friends August 13, 2017 homage to Donald Trump who (who knew!) is continuing MLK’s legacy of peace and love!
Been listening to CNN pretty consistently over the past few days and really appreciate the extent to which they are trying to push back against anybody trying to justify what happened at Charlottesville. However:
1) nobody so far has noted that Fields seems to have driven his car into a crowd that was walking away from him. Cowardly doesn’t describe that adequately. Craven, perhaps.
2) although the President noted that some counter-protesters came with helmets, sticks, etc. he didn’t note that a whole lot more of the others were similarly equipped, plus firearms. Way I see it, the latter were in attack mode while the former were ready to defend themselves. That’s a ’uuuuuuge difference to me. Any, it bears noting that the civil rights movement won the “fight” by refusing to respond to violence with violence. Peaceful sit-ins and marches did a lot more to win hearts and minds. Violent responses to violence can lead to a civil war and the USA has already had one of those.
3) most of the goons (white supremacists, anti-semites, neo-nazis, etc.) reportedly came from out of town while most of the counter-protesters were locals. Translated, that means that outsiders were carrying the fight to insiders.
4) local police don’t seem to have done much to keep the situation under control and I saw the police chief hold his head down really low during the very first presser. Recalled the days when I saw KKK marches being escorted through town by a friendly local police chief and officers. That’s also before bedsheet-wearing folks had to show their faces but we’d usually be able to tell who was who by looking at their shoes.
When I was living in the USA during the late ‘50s, you couldn’t get your hands on a copy of anything written by Marx or any other communist philosopher. Further, people applying for a visa to visit the USA had to sign a declaration that they’d never been involved with communism. Although the USA had fought against Hitler alongside the Russians, neo-nazi groups were allowed to exist on the grounds that they had a right to free speech. Couldn’t get my mind around that one then, and still cant’t.
More interesting to me is watching Fox News fracture. Witness Laura Ingraham and Charles Krauthammer pull out the knives and go after each other on tonight’s “Special Report”. The topic was Trump going off script at Trump Tower today on the Charlottesville violence.