Fox News’ hiked-skirt brigade of Outumbered cohosts offered a mostly fact-free attack on the Obama administration for not labeling Islamic State violence “genocide” against Christians. This, from many of the same people who attacked a guest for condemning violence at Donald Trump rallies five days ago. Updated.
As The Washington Post explained, whether or not to label as “genocide” the actions of the Islamic State, especially toward Christians, is complicated, has big ramifications and has become quite partisan.
But rather than providing the information and letting the viewers decide (as Fox pretends to do in its “we report, you decide” motto), we got a “fair and balanced” panel of five conservatives and one supposed liberal, all spouting the same opinions.
The introduction, from cohost Harris Faulkner, stressed anti-Obama talking points from the get-go:
FAULKNER: The Obama administration will likely miss tomorrow’s Congressionally-mandated deadline for whether to declare ISIS’ attacks on Christians “genocide.” The Associated Press is reporting that. But there is pressure on the Obama White House right now. This week, the House unanimously passed a bipartisan resolution agreeing to label it genocide. The administration has resisted using that word in the past, as you know, saying the issue is not as clear cut as it may seem.
There was no explanation of why the issue is not clear cut. We merely got a clip of White House spokesman Josh Earnest saying, “Applying the label of genocide as a policy matter is one that has significant legal implications. And that is why there are attorneys at the State Department who have now, for quite some time, been closely examining the use and application of that term. …The president has already ordered aggressive, robust action to try to protect religious minorities who are in the crosshairs of ISIL fighters."
She left out the part where Earnest said, “(W)e continue to be concerned about religious minorities in that region of the world, including Christians, and we’re going to continue to take steps to try to protect them even as the legal work about a genocide designation continues.”
Instead, Faulkner continued, “All of this coming as the ISIS savages have just released this chilling new video which shows Bibles and other Christian literature being tossed into a huge bonfire.”
And just in case you didn’t get the message, Faulkner read the U.N. definition of genocide and announced that ISIS' actions are "the very definition of genocide!”
The show’s #OneLuckyGuy was attorney and Roger Ailes' reported stand-in, Peter Johnson, Jr. He added, “It’s the definition of weak, incompetent government, too. How many people will die as a result of this genocide until this White House makes up its mind as to the legal implications?”
The one liberal, Fox News contributor Julie Roginsky, somehow missed or chose to ignore the astounding partisanship under her nose. She didn’t just agree with the panel, she was so enthusiastic to do so, she interrupted Johnson's suggestion that the Obama administration is complicit with genocide in order to agree with him. “Can I actually jump on that? Because you are so right,” Roginsky said. She cited the American failure to stop the Holocaust and asked, “How do you not see what’s going on here. …We can never say, Never again,’ and not mean it.”
I don’t mean to denigrate either Roginsky's opinion on the subject nor, especially, her feelings about genocide. And she has done a decent job of advocating for liberal opinions, sometimes. But I do fault her for giving Fox a pass on its obviously self-serving, selfish and limited “morality” on the subject. For one thing, as The Washington Post article makes clear, a “genocide” label does not necessarily mean a change in policy.
More importantly, this is much of the same group of Fox cohosts that turns its back on Middle East (think Muslim) refugees. This is also the same group that, just a few days ago, couldn’t stand to even listen to a colleague denounce violence at Donald Trump rallies. You may recall that cohost Andrea Tantaros snapped, “What does that matter?” when the subject of Trump thuggery arose then. That’s the same “moral” Andrea Tantaros who, in 2013, urged her radio show listeners to “do me a favor” and punch an Obama supporter “in the face.”
“Punch” Tantaros now complained that the Obama administration won’t label the violence as genocide because “You’d have to speak out on a moral basis and we have a White House that is operating on one that is political.”
I don’t know whether the Obama administration should label the Islamic State’s actions as genocide or not. One thing I do know, this discussion added nothing to the discourse on the subject except more partisan divisiveness. It’s a shame that any Democrat would have helped Fox do it.
Watch it below, from the March 16 Outnumbered.
3/18/16 UPDATE: A commenter below took me to task for calling this a partisan issue when the House of Representatives voted unanimously to call the violence genocide. I took my information from a February 24, 2016 Washington Post article, linked to above, which says:
The topic has been partisan, and heavily charged in every direction, with questions about whether the U.S. favors or ignores Christians (or Muslims, among others), and whether using such a powerful label would inevitably force a change U.S. policy in Iraq and Syria. Would it mandate more military action? A change in refugee policy that would open the U.S. doors to many more thousands of religious minorities fleeing ISIS? And if so, which faith, or faiths, would get preference?
However, the commenter is correct that the House subsequently voted unanimously to designate the crimes "genocide." Without spending a lot of time on just how partisan the issue was and whether or not it is now, I think my larger point stands, which is that Outnumbered used a complicated subject to score political points against the Obama administration with a panel of non-experts who all had the same opinion.
Joshua martin aka Anonymous sounds a lot like a faithful Fox News watcher to me … but, then, my opinion should be taken as being just as valid as any unilateral declaration by anybody.
By that, I mean that it’s not up to the USA to decide what is genocide and what is not.
To my mind, Trump is headed towards the same goals of the the likes of Mussolini and Hitler: he’s ramping up the hatred and anger, feeding the desire for a “strong man” to “keep me safe”, etc. His end goal is to win total control of the wilfully ignorant masses who laugh and cheer as they march towards a society where all dissent shall be verbotten/prohibito (aka forbidden).
Read more at http://www.newshounds.us/fox_hosts_clamor_for_isis_genocide_label_while_condoning_trump_violence_031616#yB4ij0OqQb6A0RW2.99