And why? And what is their spin?
In my travels around nursing homes and apartments there’s always the glowing hearth of a big TV, usually tuned on to news. Several times I’ve heard a newscaster say some really bizarre things, like plaintively moaning about how the ‘death tax’ will bankrupt the heirs of folks whose remaining assets are a stack of food stamps and a needlepoint Kleenex box cover. Then I realize it’s not news, it’s the 700 Club. (this is not a hypothetical)
This will come as a shock to you, I know, but there’s now pretty much incontrovertible evidence that FOX News is little more than a propaganda unit of the GOP, a leaked e-mail in which Fox News’s Washington managing editor Bill Sammon issued a memo directing his news staff not to use the phrase “public option.”
Instead, Sammon wrote, Fox’s reporters should use “government option” and similar phrases — wording that a top Republican pollster had recommended in order to turn public opinion against the Democrats’ reform efforts….
Sources familiar with the situation in Fox’s Washington bureau have told Media Matters that Sammon uses his position as managing editor to “slant” Fox’s supposedly neutral news coverage to the right. Sammon’s “government option” email is the clearest evidence yet that Sammon is aggressively pushing Fox’s reporting to the right — in this case by issuing written orders to his staff.
So reporters were ordered to use language mandated by a ‘top Republican pollster’ when ‘reporting’ the news? I think there is little difference between Fox and the 700 Club ‘news’. They share some audience, and a willingness to use religion for profit and political gain.
Now, more than ever, you have to consider the source. Sites like ours are openly partial. News monopolies like Fox, that pretend to be objective while taking direction from political operatives are a form of air pollution, and have to be filtered.
In a stunning exclusive, the New York Times reports that “it is official: Barack Obama is the nation’s first black president. A White House spokesman confirmed that Mr. Obama, the son of a black father from Kenya and a white mother from Kansas, checked African-American on the 2010 census questionnaire.” The Times noted that “Mr. Obama could have checked white, checked both black and white, or checked the last category on the form, ‘some other race,’ which he would then have been asked to identify in writing.”
Conservative pundits immediately criticized the President’s actions. Radio host Rush Limbaugh grumbled that “it is clear that Obama has disowned his white half. He’s decided he’s got to go all in on the black side.” Glenn Beck asserted that “this president, I think, has exposed himself as a guy, over and over and over again, who has a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture.” The Fox News host then concluded, “This guy is, I believe, a racist.” His comments were echoed by Mark Williams, a radio host and prominent leader of the Tea Party movement, who described Mr. Obama as “our half white, racist president.”
Philip J. Berg, an attorney who brought suit against the President challenging his citizenship, declared that “this proves that Obama is a fraud, a phony and…has put forth the biggest ‘HOAX’ in the history of our great nation. He’s made it plain that he identifies most with his African heritage. Why would he do that unless he were, first and foremost, an African?”
More moderate conservatives accused the President of political gamesmanship. “He’s wooing black and minority voters in an election year,” complained an unnamed G.O.P. spokesperson. “He’s trying to show up the Republicans just because they haven’t had an African-American in Congress since 2002. How is that fair?”
Wall Street reacted with massive selloffs, although shares of gunmakers Smith & Wesson and Sturm, Ruger & Co. rose sharply. Sporadic rioting was reported in rural Idaho and Texas.
In ancient times the Democrats and Republicans actually worked together on a bill for campaign finance reform. Recent events show that we still have a long way to go. If I were a Republican donor I would not be pleased to know that my money was being spent on some tacky ‘Young Eagles’ party.
If one of the old buzzards wants to take some of the young eagles to a strip club, there’s no one to tell him it’s a bad idea. Your donation to the party of family values at work.
It’s worth noting that the buzzard got reimbursed $2,000 for the excursion but got way more than that in business from the GOP. A relationship worth examining– if they care to turn rocks over.
But the Democrats can’t enjoy this too much. There must be some discomfort as both parties spend huge energy in playing up to donors. This time it was the Repubs. Tomorrow it could be the Dems, although Michael Steele does seem exceptionally tone deaf and addicted to perks.
The voracious appetite for money in American politics will continue to grow unless we are able to get some real campaign finance reform. We all have an interest in reining in this corrupting force.
Senator John McCain, of the bipartisan McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform bill, might want to rethink his pledge not to cooperate with the Democrats on anything anymore, because cleaning up our process is putting our ‘Country First’.
UPDATE: The RNC fired a junior staffer, saying she’d been warned before about this kind of thing. So this was not the first time?