Once again, Fox News celebrated Martin Luther King Day by trotting out his niece, Alveda King, to distort his legacy and pimp divisive, right-wing talking points.
The hate-filled (but devout Christian) Pete Hegseth began the propaganda fest on Fox News Primetime (spoiler: It’s propaganda, not news). He informed us that on MLK Day, the Democrats “lied about the state of democracy and slandered Republicans in order to unconstitutionally federalize the election” – a slanderous and fact-free claim about the proposed Democratic voting rights bill. The message was underscored by the nice banner: “Democrats and Joe Biden Use MLK Day To Push Radical Agenda.”
Against a backdrop of a visual with images of Martin Luther King, Jr. President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the words “Exploiting a Legacy,” Hegseth opined that these people (He used Trump’s nicknames, “Sleepy Joe” and “Crazy Nancy”) are “on the wrong side of history.”
Referencing a popular right-wing distraction, Hegseth smirked and said that the Bull Connor, Jefferson Davis, and George Wallace examples of racism invoked in Biden’s recent Atlanta speech were all – OMG – Democrats – a fact duly recognized by politicians and scholars who point out that historical party affiliations mean nothing as the values of each major party have changed. There was abundant irony when Hegseth, who lies for a living on a network based on lies, opined that “facts don’t matter to the left” and added that, in its opposition to facts, the left is distorting MLK’s legacy.
Hegseth introduced “Doctor” Alveda King (her “doctorate” was an honorary one, from a Catholic college.) He praised MLK, Jr. as “an amazing man who did so much for this country” and launched into more propaganda points: “When you look at what Dr. Martin Luther King did, his actions, his deeds, the movement and what Democrats are saying which is federalizing elections, saying that certain people can’t vote (?!), what do you make when they attempt to tie the two together?”
King immediately got on the propaganda train with her claim that Democrats are trying to “stir the emotions of the American people once again and get them fearful, upset, and frightened.” (Sounds like what Fox News is all about!)
She asserted that she wants to see every American vote counted and referenced the “America First Policy Institute” (a dark money right-wing group run by former Trump aides, one of whom is Fox's Larry Kudlow) which she is working with in order to achieve “election integrity.”
King again alluded to “scare tactics” which, she said, include CRT and vaccines – topics that do inspire fear and loathing in certain white, conservative circles.
She also claimed, without specifics, that CRT “stirs race baiting” and that schools should teach that CRT is racist. Her litany of anti-liberal rhetoric included commentary on “defund the police,” a concept that she considers to be “ridiculous.”
As is customary for Ms. King, who works for Priests for Life, a group of radical, anti-abortion Catholic priests, she got in her perfunctory anti-choice talking points, claiming that the American family, American women, and American wombs are “under siege.”
Hegseth wanted to know why Democrats use the word “equity” (a word hated by the white, right-wing) when MLK used “equality” and why they push the 1619 narrative when King said, “we need to make the principals of 1776 accessible to everybody." He asked if Democrats, “when they push humanism and godlessness” realize that MLK appealed to faith and God. He wondered if Democrats realize that the left has rejected much of MLK’s legacy. The banner throughout the piece was "Democrats Exploit King's Agenda For Political Gain." It was yet more irony in an interview that was all about exploiting MLK's legacy for right-wing political gain.
In closing, Alveda King did her usual spiel about how her uncle wanted everybody to live together. She claimed that the left just doesn’t want to address how her uncle wanted everybody to be kind to one another, an admonition not followed by Pete Hegseth, that’s for sure. Her comments about how her uncle wanted Americans to stand for truth and justice seemed out of place on a TV network that stands for neither.
This propaganda piece could not have been any more blatant. In claiming that the Democrats and the left are ignoring King’s legacy, Hegseth and King ignored MLK’s fight for civil and workers’ rights. The ignored the harsh words that MLK had for those who, aided and abetted by Fox News, seek to maintain the system of white supremacy that is endemic in our society. I have no doubt that if he were around today, the man who said that “White Americans must recognize that justice for black people cannot be achieved without radical changes in the structure of our society” would be reviled by Fox News.
Check out the distortion and lies below, from the January 18, 2022 Fox News Primetime.
Fox “News” is despicable.
Sometimes it’s a shame I’m an atheist, because I’d like to believe there’s a hell waiting for these people.
In reality, angry Right Wingers openly hated MLK during his lifetime. They attacked him as what they considered to be a dangerous rabble rouser. They cheered when police attacked MLK and his fellow marchers with dogs and fire hoses. They decried MLK as a communist and traitor when he had the temerity to criticize the US attack on Vietnam. When MLK was murdered, Right Wingers took grim satisfaction – in the same way that disgraced former Fox personality Bill O’Reilly did when his screeds led to the vicious murder of George Tiller.
Angry Right Wingers have no credibility when they try to take MLK Day for themselves. It would be far more credible if they were to instead spend the day in quiet, remorseful atonement.
Specimen 1 is of the common or garden bigot genus, a creature that has never given serious thought to anything, but who ‘feels’ his unreconstructed chauvinistic mindset is just common sense and renders himself incapable of absorbing actual facts that threaten his self-certainty. Extreme examples of the sub-species laud war criminals and become impervious even to humane concerns about fellow bigots as they monetise their toxic ‘common sense’ through complicity with propagandist organisations. Although predominantly a male domain, the common or garden bigot category includes many biologically female examples, notably Ignoramus Ingrahamus and the permanently pickled Hysterium Pirroae.
Specimen 2 is of a subspecies that has been known and observed for millennia, the subjugated creature that takes the side of the oppressor. While they accept that their rewards are ‘crumbs from the rich man’s table’, they figure that at least they can garner an outsized portion of the aforementioned crumbs for themselves, given that almost all their fellow oppressed creatures are too proud to meekly submit. Those familiar with Harriet Beecher Stowe’s 1851 novel will recognise the character ‘Uncle Tom’, nowadays a term defined by Merriam Webster as: (disparaging) a black person who is over-eager to win the approval of whites (as by obsequious behaviour or uncritical acceptance of white values and goals). Modern day examples include Candace Owens, ‘Diamond and Lace’ and that prize prick who ran against Gavin Newsom in the recent California Governor’s Election.