Fox News contributor Brit Hume, not normally a flame thrower, is on some kind of racial crusade against President Obama accusing President Obama of being overly partial to African American concerns. Not surprisingly, pal Megyn Kelly, was full of approval.
On Monday’s America’s Newsroom, Hume accused President Obama of “not telling the truth about black lives.” Meaning, that in Hume’s not-racist, totally-concerned-about-black-welfare opinion, Obama should be scolding African Americans (like Fox often does), not validating their concerns.
I believe Hume’s rants started on America’s Newsroom on Monday, July 11:
HUME: I think the thing that I would fault the president on is, he isn’t telling the truth about black lives and how they’re lost, and where they’re lost. I’m not the first one to point out that the streets of Chicago are a killing field in some areas. Black-on-black violence, gun violence, mostly, gang violence. The death count out there is tragically high. The president almost never says anything about that. Instead, he is aroused by these incidents where blacks are killed by white police officers. And at each turn, when one of these episodes occurs, he does not fail to mention the—what he considers the persistent racism in this country. It feeds the idea upon which the whole Black Lives movement is based that we’re in an epidemic of white police violence against black victims, often unarmed, many times innocent, shot down in cold blood, and there’s enough video evidence from individual cases to provide some momentum and some impetus for that idea.
But if you drill down into the statistics and you look at the number of whites, Hispanics who are killed, versus the number of blacks who are killed, in the context of crime situations, it turns out that there’s nothing disproportionate about the number of blacks who are killed by police, and so I—and I think that, though, that that myth, that there’s this epidemic of white police violence against blacks, has taken hold in this country. The president has, to some extent, fostered it, and when you see something like what happened in Dallas, I don’t draw direct connection between that guy who shot all those people and President Obama. But I think it would be a—go a long way, if he were to use his credibility and his enormous megaphone as president to try to put some of these myths to rest.
Notice how Hume cloaked his attack on Obama as truth-telling about black deaths, as if African American welfare was his real concern? Someone at Fox News liked Hume’s attack so much, he repeated it that evening on Special Report. Only this time, it was more “Obama too black” and less pretense about concern for African Americans.
HUME: In Dallas, Tuesday, President Obama will be trying to calm racial tensions that his own behavior has done much to aggravate. From his denunciation of the Cambridge, Massachusetts, police as acting, quote, stupidly in the arrest of black Harvard law professor Henry Lewis Gates—they didn’t, to his assertion that the motives of the Dallas cop killer are unclear, they aren’t.
The president has consistently chosen to see things through the eyes of an aggrieved black activist rather than of a president of all the people. He has not failed to speak out whenever a black is killed by a white police officer, but has said next to nothing about the continuing slaughter of blacks by other blacks in the streets of Chicago, Baltimore, and other cities.
He has made his sympathy for the Black Lives Matter movement obvious, and never mind that the whole premise of the movement seems to be fallacious.
Kelly, who has long openly admired Hume - to the point that there were rumors of an affair, later rather persuasively denied – also admired his latest sortie into race baiting. She hosted him on The Kelly File last night so that Fox’s prime time viewers could also appreciate him.
HUME: But I, like you, was struck by the turn that he made and especially by that last comment that he made that you showed on the air where he said that it would be easier for a teenager to get a Glock pistol than to get a gun or even a book. Now, that’s nonsense. But it was in furtherance of the agenda that he was talking about, about spending in the inner cities, about gun control and all the rest of it. And I was frankly disappointed that he chose to go in that direction. The president has a problem in the sense that he, to him I think, racism in America has a white face, never a black face. That’s why you heard him say in the aftermath of the hideous murders of the policemen in Dallas that we might never be able to untangle the motives of the shooter. The shooter’s motives were perfectly clear. He said in his conversations with the police that he wanted to kill police, and he wanted to kill white people. I’m not saying the president would deny that that’s what he said, but the president’s reaction to it suggests that he glosses over these sorts of things the same way, Megyn, that when it comes to the hideous violence against blacks, black-on-black violence in cities like Chicago and Baltimore and others, the president has been virtually silent on that issue, though far more black lives are lost in that way than are ever lost to incidents involving police shootings.
Watch this shamefulness below, via Media Matters, from July 11 and 13. Transcripts, lightly edited, are also via Media Matters.
Expect a lot more of this ugliness as coming together in compromise or agreement is the last thing Fox would ever want for our country or their ratings.
It’s clear that Hume is simply following the same debunked talking points as everyone else, only trying to give them an avuncular “elder statesman” spin. The problem with that approach here is that Hume doesn’t have the experience or gravitas of an elder statesman, since most of his career has been spent repeating Fox News talking points and lines of the day.
I believe there is a two-pronged reason for the constant venom coming from Fox News at President Obama these days. The first is their very real panic now over the trainwreck of having Donald Trump as the GOP candidate – something that has already tanked their convention and has the potential to cause significant losses for them in November. In what I can only describe as impotent rage, they are flailing away and stomping on the floor – in a manner that resembles a child throwing a huge tantrum.
The second prong has to do with the hatred they’ve had for this president since he became a realistic candidate for the office. From the moment that President Obama was elected, Fox News happily followed the Rush Limbaugh/Newt Gingrich/Karl Rove line of “I hope he FAILS!” Since that didn’t happen, and since President Obama had the temerity to be re-elected in spite of all their attacks over the first 4 years, now they’re attempting to trash him as he completes his second term. This time, it’s more about writing a false first chapter in the history books about the Obama presidency. The intent is to plant an impression in right wing viewers that the last eight years, as O’Reilly angrily put it, saw absolutely no progress or accomplishments of any kind, or as Hannity would tell you, saw only disaster and apocalypse for the country and the world. The fact that these statements are nonsensical does not matter to Roger Ailes. He just wants to put them on the record and hope that this manufacturing and repetition of “facts on the ground” will let the right wing establish this as the history of our times.
It’s something they’ve already had some success with regarding Hillary Clinton. For 25 years, she’s been smeared by the right wing, sometimes on a daily basis. She’s been accused of nearly every crime we can conceive, and when she’s dismissed or disproved those smears, she’s been accused of lying about it. Is it any wonder that the right wing now crows about how they can point to polls showing that “most people distrust her”? (They never mention that most of the people responding yes to that question are in the right wing/GOP group that hated her from the beginning.) The real success for Fox News here has been with more gullible voters, and sadly with many Sanders supporters who don’t realize they’re repeating right wing propaganda from the 90s. To Fox News, this is a huge win, and one they’d like to repeat with the legacy of President Obama.
Which leads to a new wrinkle in Fox News and Republicans sucking a certain NRA appendage. Cleveland where the Republican convention is being held is an open carry state. So why the resistance no AR-15s [and any other gun] on the convention floor and at all Trump rallies? 😉