Believe it or not, Fox News is defending President Barack Obama - now that they can use him to attack Rev. Jeremiah Wright and the Chicago Teachers Union. Rev. Wright spoke critically about Obama at a Martin Luther King event held by the union and this is big news on Fox.
I believe that every prime time show discussed Wright tonight, but I only have video for On The Record, The O'Reilly Factor and The Kelly File. Naturally, we heard that "G** D*** America" clip we heard ad nauseum during the 2008 campaign. But the funny thing was how both O'Reilly and On The Record pegged its news story around Wright's criticism of Obama. And not because it gave Fox an excuse to "ask" if that criticism was justified, either.
Well, maybe they did so because Fox got the bonus of using Wright to criticize another favorite target, a teachers union. "Why in the world would the Chicago teachers' union invite such a controversial speaker to their event today?" Greta Van Susteren asked on On The Record. Then she played footage of producer Griff Jenkins trying to ambush (and humiliate) Wright. So obviously, Fox sent Jenkins to the event for the express purpose of looking for an opportunity to malign Wright.
The Wright line that was quoted over and over: “King said, ‘I have a dream.’ Barack said, ‘I have a drone.’”
Still, Jenkins got in a racial dig. He said the audience was “treated to a diatribe about the government - their government - that Rev. Wright says is based on racism, militarism and capitalism.”
“He said pretty incendiary things about President Obama,” Van Susteren said. “Did he say anything at least complimentary or anything good about President Obama? Show any, sort of sense of admiration for him or that he thought he’d done a good job for anything?”
No, said Jenkins. He made a point of sneering that Wright had also criticized Abraham Lincoln and the Constitution, among others.
But in case you thought Van Susteren’s respect for President Obama was in any way meaningful, she followed the chat with Jenkins by bringing on Fox News contributor Allen West. This, just one day after West posted on his website the following jaw-dropping, racial attack on President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder:
This is my clear and succinct message to white Americans. How long will it be before “you people” realize you have elevated someone to the office of president who abjectly despises you—not to mention his henchman Holder. Combined they are the most vile and disgusting racists—not you.
Not that Van Susteren let her viewers in on West’s incendiary comments. Instead, she said about Wright's comments, “These are particularly wicked,” without a trace of irony. Even worse, Van Susteren prodded West to revisit the bad old days and opine on whether Obama “knew (Wright) was saying some of those things” that are now so infamous. I’m sure you can guess the answer. But let me just say that West used that opening to also throw two of Fox's fave boogeymen, Saul Alinsky and Louis Farrakhan, into the mix.
On The O’Reilly Factor, the discussion got hijacked by a feisty guest who took issue with Bill O’Reilly calling Wright “anti-American.” But O’Reilly also framed his discussion by saying, “Wright used the speech to bash President Obama.” Then, after O’Reilly reiterated the “dream/drone” line, he asked his guest, “This kind of harsh on President Obama, isn’t it? ...When you hear a guy like Wright oversimplifying the drone situation... how do you react?”
On the Kelly File, Megyn Kelly broke with the pattern. She seemed more interested in race baiting over Wright than in saying anything on President Obama’s behalf. She gave an inkling as to why she recently insisted that Santa is white as she made a point of highlighting some Rev. Wright chestnuts that had a particularly racial quality. She said mockingly, “I do disagree that Jews control the flow of worldwide information and oppress blacks... that the U.S. education system was designed by whites to miseducate blacks by malignant intent, as he’s claimed.”
Michael Skolnik, editor in chief of globalgrind.com, did a great job challenging her on her race baiting. He told her that there are people who agree with Wright, that he has a congregation of 10,000 and that “he is not some preacher who’s preaching... to a street corner to five people.” Skolnik added that while he is not defending Wright, “I think it is important that we have a discussion about the issues he brings up instead of dismissing him as crazy. That’s easy to do.”
Well said, Mr. Skolnik. But don’t hold your breath waiting for an honest discussion of those issues on Fox News. Not unless they find it politically expedient for some reason - when pigs fly.
I do think that all these shows monitor very, very carefully what their particular audience likes— I think there are now overnight Neilsens with ratings in 10 or 15-minute blocks, so they know by next morning what’s getting the eyeballs.
No competent editor or producer in his right mind would pound the same stuff and have the same guests on the same topics every night just on the basis of news judgment. Really, what other possible reason could there be for the frequency of Donald Trump’s appearances on Greta, or Rick Santorum’s weekly or more before he actually ran and they had to tighten that up a little bit? Greta has clearly long been bored by Trump, but there he is again. And is there anybody on the planet more boring and predictable than Trump, Santorum or Allen West, a long-time favorite of hers, whom she doesn’t seem to take very seriously, either?
Btw, I take it that “Obama care” is losing some traction with Fox viewers since it’s no longer A number 1 topic every night on every show— which is kind of interesting.
But there’s still an unslaked appetite for Benghazi! Benghazi Benghazi!, so they go back to that as often as they possibly can.
Don’t these on-air people have any self-respect at all?
As for tonight, as I tweeted earlier, it’s a wonder Fox isn’t worried about boring their viewers to death with Benghazi if they think they’ll be making this Issue No 1 between now and Election Day 2016. Sheesh.
Oh, no, he was busy helping Lil Lindsey Graham screech lies about what — wait for it — Susan Rice said about Benghazi! Benghazi! Benghazi! (don’t they bore themselves with this over and over again?), and Jim Jordan and those weepy Tea Party women who are so terribly scared because the IRS asked them some extra questions.
Then he went on to a primetime CBS sitcom that does pretty raunchy explicit sex jokes that has Brent Bozell all upset (oddly, Hannity was ho-hum about it), at which point I got bored and switched away.
The third-rate senior producers and producers at this fraudulent “news” are amateurs. A high school class studying broadcast news can run a better program.