American Sniping II: The Hypocritical Right-Wing Attack On Jesus

Last week News Corpse published an article exposing the conservative guardians of virtue as hypocrites for their surreal denunciation of Hollywood as contemptuous of the film American Sniper. What makes their criticism absurd is that the movie was produced and distributed by Warner Bros., a big Hollywood film studio, and all of its major creative participants are familiar Hollywood figures. How conservatives can bash Hollywood for not appreciating this film is puzzling since Hollywood appreciated it enough to award it six Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Adapted Screenplay.

The absurdity is continuing this week as a Fox News host doubles down on the Tinseltown bashing (video below), but escalates the animus by adding a bit of deranged sermonizing into the mix.

Todd Starnes

Todd Starnes is Fox’s resident pearl-clutcher every time he imagines that some slight has been directed at Christianity, which he is convinced is the biggest victim of oppression since the Third Reich. His most recent remarks on American Sniper were incited by Michael Moore’s tweet:

“What Would Jesus Do? Oh, I know what he’d do — hide on top of a roof and shoot people in the back!”

Moore has become a target of the right for expressing his antiwar views (which he shares with Clint Eastwood), despite his long support for veterans. In response to Moore’s tweet Starnes leveled a vile and poorly thought out assault on Moore that included this mangling of Christian doctrine:

“I suspect Jesus would tell that God-fearing, red-blooded American sniper, ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant for dispatching another Godless jihadist to the lake of fire.'”

That is a sentiment that ought to make every good Christian wretch. In effect, Starnes is preaching that in order to win the praise of Jesus, one must enlist in battle and cause the deaths of other human beings. Since Jesus himself preached that “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God,” it’s hard to find any theological justification for Starnes’ war mongering. The example set by Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane and at Golgotha demonstrate just how far removed from the gospel Starnes is.

But let’s be clear, none of this is about God or faith. It is a blatantly political attempt to glorify war and celebrate a phony patriotism that exalts the militarization of society and the promotion of national (and religious and racial) supremacy. The purpose is to advance the agenda of the Republican Party and its Patriopathic obsessions. It’s an agenda of flag-waving, scripture-spewing, blood-lusting, Tea Partying, bigots who favor small government when it comes to meeting the basic needs of its citizens, but massively large government when it comes to imposing religious values and supporting wealthy corporatists, particularly in the defense industries.

Just as the wingnut critics knew nothing about Hollywood when throwing their puerile insults at an entire American industry (including thousands who voted to pay tribute to American Sniper), the same people know nothing about the religion they pretend to embrace. It’s as if they worship an image that might have been manufactured for a Hollywood horror film, rather than the teachings of a church that venerates peace and forgiveness.

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Obama’s YouTube Interviewers Smeared By Fox News Host With Smaller Audience

On MediaBuzz, the Fox News program dedicated to reviewing the press, anchor Howard Kurtz took another opportunity to belittle President Obama and the YouTube personalities that interviewed him following the State of the Union Address. This is apparently a sore spot for conservative media dinosaurs like Kurtz who think that it is “beneath the dignity of the office to be hanging out with some of these YouTubers.” As noted in a previous article, the jealously and hypocrisy of the entrenched conventional media was exposed by their arrogant dismissal of a forward-thinking politician who recognizes the value in relating to a new generation of Americans on their own turf.

But Kurtz wasn’t finished. He took his criticisms to his own Sunday program to lay into the President and the YouTubers again. This time he focused on a distinction between the YouTube personalities and mainstream entertainment programs on television saying that he is “fine with Obama going on Ellen, The View, Colbert, but isn’t this sort of like the low-rent district?”

Howard Kurtz vs. YouTube

First of all, it wasn’t too long ago that going on shows like Ellen was looked down upon in the same way that Kurtz is demeaning YouTube. Bill Clinton’s appearance on Arsenio Hall was widely mocked by the dino-press. The same is true when politicians began to take cautious steps onto late night shows like Leno and Letterman. In most cases they still complain that such appearances trivialize the political guest.

Secondly, for Kurtz to insult the YouTubers as “low-rent” displays a giant, family-sized bag of chutzpah. His program on the journalistic wasteland of Fox News has an audience of about half a million viewers. Fox News Sunday, pulls in about 1.3 million. But the YouTube trio who sat with Obama last week reach a much bigger audience. Hank Green’s Vlogbrothers has a YouTube subscriber base of 2.4 million. The flamboyant Glozell draws 3.4 million. And Bethany Mota pulls in a whopping 8.1 million people. That’s about four times the viewers of Bill O’Reilly.

In Kurtz’s MediaBuzz segment he ran a brief video that featured only a few moments of fun or silliness, and he implied that they were representative of the whole of each interview. That is a deliberate and bald-faced lie. Many of the questions asked of the President were as substantive and probing as any that the more “professional” reporters would have asked. For instance…

  • Hank Green asked Obama whether the issues he raised in the State of the Union were politically feasible. He also asked whether Obama’s policy of drone strikes would be viewed in retrospect as a misuse of technology.
  • Glozell addressed the issue of police relations with African-Americans. She also imposed on Obama to justify his initiative to reinstate diplomatic relations with Cuba and the Castros.
  • Bethany Mota began with a question that many of her generation are struggling with, making education affordable. She continued with questions about the Nigerian terrorist group, Boko Haram, which has not been getting the media attention that ISIS does, even though they have been at times more lethal.

It would be difficult for Kurtz to honestly find fault with these lines of questioning without condemning his own colleagues who have asked many of the same types of questions. But instead he chose to air some laugh lines and pretend that’s all that occurred. And his panel was no better. Jonah Goldberg of the ultra-rightist National Review whined that Obama “only likes to talk to people who think he’s awesome.” That will come as some surprise to Fox’s Bill O’Reilly and Bret Baier, who have both interviewed Obama. Either Goldberg has early onset Alzheimer’s or he is purposefully misleading. As for examples of profound inquiries by Fox News reporters, this morning Chris Wallace asked Obama’s Chief of Staff if because of the election results in November “Doesn’t the President need to scale back his agenda to work with Republicans?”

Really? So the President should abandon his principles and capitulate to a party that won a majority in the lowest turnout election in 70 years? And when did Wallace ever ask Republicans to scale back their agenda in 2012 or 2008, after big Democratic victories? In fact, one of the first things Wallace said after the first inauguration of Obama was to question whether he was actually president because Chief Justice Roberts flubbed the oath of office. Then GOP senate leader Mitch McConnell declared that his top priority was to make Obama a one-term president. And Rush Limbaugh said “I hope he fails.” Apparently no agenda scaling back was necessary for the Republican losers.

Before Kurtz maligns others as being in a “low-rent district” he should assess the value of his own property. What he will find is a petty, biased, plot of fear mongering and racism. It’s a tract that Fox News has spent years developing.

Free To Be Dumb: The Republican Iowa Freedom Summit Lives Up To Its Billing

This weekend Rep. Steve King of Iowa, who maligned immigrants as drug mules who “have calves the size of cantaloupes,” and supports dog fighting because laws that protect animal welfare are, “exactly what our founding fathers wanted to avoid,” hosted his annual Iowa Freedom Summit with a star-studded cast of prospective GOP presidential candidates. And Fox News was there to capture every thrilling moment.

Fox News

For some reason Fox thinks it is breaking news that Ted Cruz, Sarah Palin, and Rick Perry said mean things about ObamaCare. Their definition of “thrashing” must be “to mutter childish slogans and stomp your feet.” And they continue to ignore the fact that their calls to repeal it have failed repeatedly, including when the Supreme Court upheld it. Also forgotten is any mention of what they would replace it with as they throw millions of Americans off of their insurance plans.

The timing of this event couldn’t have been better as this week saw the advancement of several possible candidacies, including Sarah Palin and Donald Trump, both of whom were in attendance. Palin distinguished herself by posing with a sign that said “Fuc_ Michael Moore,” as part of her campaign to defend the box office hit, American Sniper. She addressed the same subject in her speech when she further demonstrated her grown up, Christian values by shouting “Screw the left in Hollywood.” Somebody might want to tell her that Hollywood is responsible for the movie she is defending. Note to GOP: She aint running.

The Donald was his typically arrogant, Narcissistic self. He insulted fellow Republican Mitt Romney (a no-show) saying that he would not be a good candidate because “he choked” last time around. He also raised the tender issue of Romney’s 47% remarks and said that his RomneyCare in Massachusetts was enough to disqualify him from further consideration. He also slammed Jeb Bush (another no-show) because of his name saying that “The last thing we need is another Bush.” He may get some agreement from Democrats on that. And of course, he bragged about himself. Even though there is little chance that he will enter the race, like every other time he has pretended to run, he is just promoting his own interests and image (like Palin).

Dr. Ben Carson took the stage to further prove that he must have have missed every class in college except brain surgery. He began by complaining that he doesn’t believe in taking healthcare and “putting it in the hands of the government.” Setting aside the fact that ObamaCare doesn’t do that, he expresses his preference for putting healthcare in the hands of greedy, soulless corporations. And he actually said that even if it worked he would oppose it. Um, OK. Then he declares that immigrants only come to America because it is so attractive. Therefore, he proposes that that be reversed. That might actually work. Make America less attractive and nobody will want to come. However, it’s a terrible campaign slogan, and besides, George Bush already tried that.

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The comedy extravaganza continues with featured guests like Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, Chris Christie, and Rick Santorum. The prospective candidates from the so-called “establishment” wing of the party (Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush, Rand Paul, and Marco Rubio) all declined to attend. That may cost them some Tea-fection when the race begins in earnest. But from this small glimpse into the nascent campaign season, it is bound to be a bountiful cornucopia of laughs. Just wait for the debates to get started.

The New York Times Peddles Phony ‘Megyn Kelly Moment’ In Fawning Profile

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Jealous Media Hacks Bash Obama’s YouTube Interviews (w/Video)

Anyone who doubts that the media has a powerful and influential impact on society and its forward progress is probably still trying to tune in radio broadcasts of The Lone Ranger. And part of recognizing that impact is paying attention to the ways that technology and evolving trends change how people interact with information.

The old guard is notoriously resistant to any disruption of their domain. So it is not surprising that staid, conventional media players are outraged and offended that President Obama has once again bucked their banalities to hobnob with more edgy communicators and reach out to a broader, more modern audience.

Obama YouTube Interviews

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Obama’s White House interviews with three YouTube stars is emblematic of the shift in media access. The lucky video hosts may not have journalism credentials, but they do have a refreshing sincerity and massive audiences. In fact, they reach more people than would be reached by traditional media. Hank Green’s Vlogbrothers has a YouTube subscriber base of 2.4 million. The flamboyant Glozell draws 3.4 million. And Bethany Mota pulls in a whopping 8.1 million people. That’s about four times the viewers of Bill O’Reilly on Fox News.

Nevertheless, the dinosaur newsers have been fairly unanimous in their condemnation of the President for granting these interviews. Fox’s media analyst, Howard Kurtz, called it “beneath the dignity of the office to be hanging out with some of these YouTubers.” Glenn Beck called it “truly obscene” and compared it to going on a burlesque show. The folks at RightScoop called their fellow vloggers “a bunch of idiot YouTube stars.” And just about everybody focused solely on Glozell, the most outrageous of the three inquisitors, virtually ignoring the substance of the questions overall.

Ever mindful of protecting their turf, many in the press complained that Obama was dodging “serious” reporters by staging these Internet affairs. They must have forgotten that he just did a full court press conference last month. And the questions asked at that event were no better than those asked by the YouTubers. To the contrary, the YouTube questions were often far more substantive and relevant to the lives of real people. What’s more, the biggest issue that emerged from last months press availability seemed to be the right-wing indignation over the fact that all of the reporters called on were women.

Another logical failing on the part of conservative critics is that despite their relentless harping about how the “lamestream” media is a useless and outdated institution populated by elitist, partisan, know-nothings, they bust cranial blood vessels when the President steps outside the bubble to dialogue with an alternative to the mainstream. Apparently they will only be satisfied if he agrees to sit down with Ann Coulter or Rush Limbaugh.

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Here is the White House video of all three YouTube interviews that has already been viewed more than 750,000 times.

High Schoolers Scorch Bill O’Reilly/Fox News For Lack Of Journalistic Ethics

Fox News has been proven repeatedly to be a purveyor of disinformation and outright lies presented as facts. Knowledgeable observers long ago ceased to take their reporting seriously. However, it’s one thing to be called out for shoddy journalism by experienced media analysts and news professionals. But when a high school class can demolish the highest rated cable “news” network with ease, the folks responsible should reconsider their career choices.

Fox News

Last July O’Reilly sent his stalker/producer Jesse Watters to Bennington, Vermont in order to malign the residents of the city and the state as liberal, pot smoking, ski bums. It was a purely vicious exercise in childish insults that had no news value of any kind. But it is the sort of mean-spirited filler that Watters has made his specialty. Watters is also the founder and editor of Fox’s community website, Fox Nation, mangling the truth is the primary objective. [Note: don’t miss this epic and hilarious take down of Watters by Stephen Colbert]

The students at Mount Anthony Union High School in Bennington happened to be studying journalism when they came upon this piece. So they used it as a case study to conduct a “professional integrity audit” based on the ethics codes of the Society of Professional Journalists. What they discovered was that O’Reilly’s program violated the ethics codes so many times they lost count.

The video produced by the students systematically took apart the Watters segment revealing O’Reilly, Watters, and Fox News to be blatant propagandists with no regard for journalistic integrity. In one short segment they found examples of stereotyping, distortions, manipulation, questionable sourcing, and predetermining outcome.

The students presentation was not what you would call polished. But, hey, they are high school students. They have plenty of time to sharpen their camera skills. The main thing is that the construction of their reporting and their adherence to high standards still makes them more watchable than the arrogant, blow-dried, FoxBots who stare down their noses at decent folks in small Vermont towns.

The video closes with the students articulating their conclusions based on a thorough analysis of the O’Reilly segment as it holds up to ethical scrutiny. The verdict was not something that a reputable journalist would relish:

“Based on our studies about the field of journalism, we have determined that you’re not practicing journalism. You’re practicing rank propaganda.” […]

“By watching Fox News, we have learned buckets about journalism – what to do and, more importantly, what never to do. It is our hope that Fox News can learn the very same from watching us.”

You have to admire their youthful optimism. It is unlikely that Fox will ever acknowledge the complete lack of ethics in their reporting. That’s mainly because they don’t regard it as a flaw. It is deliberate and in keeping with their mission to advance a partisan political agenda, even when it is merely ridiculing innocent victims of their juvenile pranks.

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Ben Carson Says: Judges Overturning Unconstitutional Laws Is Unconstitutional

The Nazi-baiting doctor currently on leave from Fox News, Ben Carson, who thinks that ObamaCare is “the worst thing since slavery,” has stepped in another pile of bull manure on his way to the Republican primary for president of the United States.

Ben Carson

Carson was interviewed by wingnut schlock-jock Steve Deace this week and was asked about his position on the recent court rulings overturning bans on same-sex marriage. His answer demonstrated a pitifully weak grasp of the Constitution and marks him as just another ignorant Teabagger spewing falsehoods and animosity toward those with whom he disagrees.

The issue that got Carson riled up was the spate of court rulings, many by Republican-appointed judges, affirming the right to marry without regard to sexual orientation. He began by praising the state referendums that explicitly imposed legal barriers to marriage for those of the same sex. According to Carson, such referendums should take precedence over liberties guaranteed by the Constitution. Presumably that would apply to states banning marriage between people of different races. But then he goes even further, advocating federal tyranny over the independent judiciary:

“Thirty-two states have indicated that marriage is between a man and a woman, and a few judges have come and overturned that. That, as far as I’m concerned, is unconstitutional, and Congress actually has oversight of all what they call the inferior courts, everything below the Supreme Court, and that’s where those overturns have come. And when judges do not carry out their duties in an appropriate way, our Congress actually has the right to reprimand or remove them.”

First of all, Carson’s assertion that it is unconstitutional for judges to overturn laws that they conclude violate the Constitution is pitifully stupid. Validating the constitutionality of legislation is a core function of the judiciary. This guy may have scored high marks in medical school, but he clearly knows nothing about law.

Secondly, Carson’s eagerness to appoint the Congress as overseers of the judiciary is both wrong and dangerous. This country was established with three separate branches of government and the Founders never intended for Congress to be able to “reprimand or remove” judges for anything less than a serious breach of ethics. Congress has no authority to impeach a judge because they don’t agree with his opinions.

To date, twenty-five states have had same-sex marriage bans overturned in the courts. That suggests a fairly mainstream school of legal opinion on the subject. Consequently, it would impossible to argue that all of those judges were guilty of some sort of ethical breach in arriving at their decisions. The Supreme Court just agreed to hear a case on the matter later this year.

The risk in Carson’s position is that it would would put every judge in legal jeopardy every time they issued a ruling that was adverse to some politician’s bigotry. On a policy level it is an unconstitutional intrusion on the independence of the judiciary. But on a personal level it reveals Carson’s ugly prejudices and a desire to oppress people who don’t adhere to his religious doctrine. And the Tea Party fruitcakes think this guy would make a good president?

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KNEE-JERKS: The Predictable Ass-Holiness Of Fox News And The GOP Post-SOTU

In a development that will surprise only a few mentally deficient cave dwellers, President Obama’s State of the Union speech was greeted by Republican politicians and conservative pundits with barefaced disdain. Naturally, Fox News took the lead in developing a hostile rapid response in order to provide the President’s foes with an easily referenced collection of attack themes. In fact, Fox was so diligent that their oppositional strategy was actually launched before the speech even began.

To set the scene, Obama presented a rosy picture of the nation after six years of his presidency. He spoke of the economic renewal that has created more than 11 million new jobs, reduced the deficit by two-thirds, and produced unprecedented private sector growth. He addressed many of the issues that have long been a part of the Democratic agenda including tax reform that eliminates loopholes for the rich and benefits the middle-class, enhancing opportunities for education, reducing our dependency on foreign oil and advancing the development and use of alternative fuels, Climate Change, equal pay for women, raising the minimum wage, Net Neutrality, and access to affordable and effective health care. And he noted that the successes of the last six years were achieved despite the fact that “At every step, we were told our goals were misguided or too ambitious; that we would crush jobs and explode deficits.”

So how did the right respond to these facts? By denying them, of course. And they topped that off with some distractions and ad hominem insults. The apparent primary line of attack from the right is to accuse Obama of not having heard the message sent by voters last November. However, if there was any message at all it was delivered so faintly that the President could be excused for not hearing it. It was the lowest voter turnout in 70 years. Sixty-two percent of Americans didn’t vote at all, and the Republican victories were achieved with about 20% of eligible voters. That’s not exactly a mandate.

The GOP complained that the American people want him to work with Congress. But their definition of that is to abandon his principles and capitulate to Republicans. Obama tried to work with the GOP for six years and was rebuffed at every turn. It’s ironic that Republicans demand that Obama pay heed to the election results when they so flagrantly ignored them in 2008 and 2012, even plotting to oppose everything he did from day one of his administration. Where were the Republicans insisting on respect for the decision of the voters when Mitch McConnell declared, on inauguration day, that his first priority was making Obama a one term president? And it should be noted that Obama enjoyed landslide victories with much larger voter participation.

It didn’t take long for one of the points Obama made in his speech to get rolled over by the Fox News editorial positioning. The President sought to inspire a more substantive relationship between the White House and Congress saying…

“There are a lot of good people here, on both sides of the aisle. And many of you have told me that this isn’t what you signed up for?-?arguing past each other on cable shows, the constant fundraising, always looking over your shoulder at how the base will react to every decision. […] A better politics is one where we debate without demonizing each other; where we talk issues, and values, and principles, and facts, rather than ‘gotcha’ moments, or trivial gaffes, or fake controversies that have nothing to do with people’s daily lives.”

The response to this by Fox anchors and guests was to embrace trivialization and fake controversies. Within seconds of the end of the speech, Bret Baier complained that Obama had not said the name “Al Qaeda” during the address. Of course, Obama did speak at length about terrorism and his administration’s commitment to “degrade and ultimately destroy” the enemy. The problem is that if you don’t specifically say “Al Qaeda” you are criticized for it. If you do say it you are criticized for not saying “jihad.” If you do say that you are criticized for not saying “Islamist.” If you do say that you are criticized for not saying ….. Well, you get the idea. Obama would have to make a list of every word the right obsesses over and make sure to stuff them all into every one of his speeches.

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The Fox News collective, and the Republican Party they serve (or is it the other way around) suffers from Oppositional Defiant Disorder: a persistent pattern of tantrums, arguing, and angry or disruptive behavior, generally associated with children. A perfect illustration of this is the way the Fox Nation website characterized a post-SOTU article by the Associated Press. Their headline was “AP Fact Check Obliterates Obama’s SOTU.”

Fox Nation SOTU

To be sure, the AP took a decidedly biased and negative tone, as the so-called liberal media usually does, but even so, they could not find substantive fault with Obama’s speech, much less obliteration. Here are the “facts” they allegedly checked:

  • Obama: At this moment – with a growing economy, shrinking deficits, bustling industry and booming energy production – We have risen from recession freer to write our own future than any other nation on Earth.
    — The AP’s analysis essentially concurred saying that “Job growth has been healthy. […] Inflation-adjusted median household income…is about 4 percent higher than when it bottomed out in 2011. […] Booming energy production is indeed a reality.”
  • Obama: I am sending this Congress a bold new plan to lower the cost of community college to zero.
    — This, of course, is not a refutable fact and the AP didn’t bother to refute it. They simply argued that Republicans in Congress will not be receptive to the plan. But that knee-jerk obstructionism has been the GOP stance ever since Obama became President.
  • Obama: We’ve set aside more public lands and waters than any administration in history.
    — The AP acknowledged that this is true saying that “Expansion of the massive Pacific islands monument puts Obama on top.”
  • Obama: Thanks to a growing economy, the recovery is touching more and more lives. Wages are finally starting to rise again. We know that more small-business owners plan to raise their employees’ pay than at any time since 2007.
    — Yes, said the AP: “A survey of small businesses by the National Federation of Independent Business does show that a rising proportion plans to raise wages.”

It appears that Fox News is confusing the concept of “obliteration” with the diametrically opposed concept of “nearly complete concurrence.” That degree of cognitive failure explains the antsy grumbling of FoxPods and the GOP who are distressed that Obama has not concluded that the last two years of his presidency are irrelevant and that he should work on his presidential library and let Republicans in Congress govern the country. And it also explains how they can insist that his speech was defiant and combative despite these closing remarks:

“If you share the broad vision I outlined tonight, join me in the work at hand. If you disagree with parts of it, I hope you’ll at least work with me where you do agree. And I commit to every Republican here tonight that I will not only seek out your ideas, I will seek to work with you to make this country stronger.”

It would be naive not to recognize that this sort of rhetorical communion is common in political discourse and is often insincere. But it was nevertheless an outstretched hand and the GOP ought to at least try to grasp it before they swat it down. But that would be totally out of character for a party that has made rancid animosity the hallmark of their tenure.

American Sniping: The Hypocritical Right-Wing Attack On Hollywood

This weekend the film “American Sniper” broke box office records for a January release pulling in more than $100 million. The film has been championed by conservatives as a tribute to Chris Kyle, the former Navy SEAL who was murdered by a fellow veteran suffering from PTSD.

American Sniping

Unfortunately, most of the chatter about the movie is unrelated to its content or quality. The obsessive compulsion by the right is focused on their imagined conspiracy by Hollywood liberals to demean the film and its allegedly pro-war message. The defense was led by Sean Hannity, who devoted an entire hour of his Fox News program to lionizing the film and those connected to it.

Lined up squarely in their sights is a favorite punching bag of the right, Michael Moore. The documentary maker tweeted that “My uncle killed by sniper in WW2. We were taught snipers were cowards.” While he asserts that his comments were misconstrued and that he had much praise for the film, the outrage from the political punditry, who had no more experience in combat than Moore, was swift and brutal. And it quickly escalated to a generalized attack on all of Hollywood.

The only thing conservatives like better than bashing President Obama as a gay, Kenyan-born, Muslim, socialist, is getting bug-eyed about the moral depravity and hopelessly leftist bias of Hollywood. But this example of the right’s anti-Hollywood fetish is particularly absurd. After all, American Sniper was made by Warner Bros., a big Hollywood movie studio. It was directed by Clint Eastwood, a legendary Hollywood icon. The role of Chris Kyle was played by big Hollywood star, Bradley Cooper. The film has received six Oscar nominations (including Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Adapted Screenplay) from the ultra-Hollywood elitists at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

What’s more, the film has received abundant praise from Hollywood figures like Rob Lowe, Dean Cain, and even Jane Fonda. Moore himself lauded the film as “awesome” and “superb.” The truth is that American Sniper has enjoyed unparalleled success and support from the very core of the Hollywood establishment that the right is so anxious to hate. But make no mistake, that disdain is purely political and has nothing to do with the movie.

Conservatives go into a knee-jerk attack mode whenever they feel there is an advantage to be gained by slamming Hollywood. They single out those whose opinions conflict with right-wing doctrine and carpet bomb the whole industry for their alleged sins. Never mind that there are many professionals in the biz who are outspoken conservatives (see the Friends of Abe). And the right still holds the distinction of having elected the only Hollywood actor (and union boss) to the presidency, Ronald Reagan.

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It’s ironic that the same week that wingnuts are defending Hollywood against allegations of racism for not recognizing the Martin Luther King biopic, Selma, they are condemning Hollywood for perceived slights to American Sniper. Apparently the good folks of Tinsel Town are not the least bit racist, but they are despicably antiwar. And loudmouth liberals like George Clooney are told to shut up, while so-called patriots like Jon Voight are invited to be keynote speakers at Tea Party conventions.

The hypocrisy is waist deep, but rightists are oblivious to it. They are too busy sniping at the objects of their animus to notice the all-to-apparent duplicity that oozes from their robo-raving. And the only thing that matters to them is landing blows against their enemies without concern for tarnishing the reputations of everyone in a business that is dedicated to entertainment, education, and free expression.

Hateful “Real” Americans Protest Muslim Conference Against Hate And Terror

This weekend there was a conference held in Garland, Texas by a Muslim organization hoping to address the negative stereotypes disseminated by the media and racist politicians. The event was met with opposition by a small band of protesters whose vulgar behavior illustrated the need for the conference in the first place. Not surprisingly, Fox News offered coverage of sorts by posting a link on their Fox Nation website to an article in the ultra right-wing Washington Times. The piece led with the headline “‘Stand With Prophet’ Event In Texas Draws Thousands Of Protesters.”

Fox Nation

The first problem with the story is that there were not “thousands” of protesters. The attendance was reported by media at the scene as being a few hundred, and that included people who were supporting the event.

However, much worse was the tone of the protesters who were overtly hostile to a group whose purpose was to renounce terrorism, repudiate violence, and seek harmony with their fellow American citizens. The conferees stated mission was to make clear that terrorists like ISIS and Al Qaeda are “enemies of Islam who are hurting Muslims and neighborly relations toward the world.” They were met with angry accusations that “You are not Americans. Don’t fly our flag,” and demands that “If they want to live their life like the middle east, they can go back to the middle east.” It’s unlikely that these malcontents would make the same demands to banish orthodox Jews or the Amish.

It is notable that the photo chosen to represent the allegedly patriotic protesters included one carrying a sign that said “Go home and take Obama with you.” Not only was this an exclusionary sentiment that falsely implied that America was not their home, it also revived the idiotic delusions of birthers who still can’t accept that Obama was born in the U.S.

The purpose of the conference, as stated on its website, was to “develop effective responses to anti-Islamic attacks, as well as to train young Muslims in media.” Clearly that is a goal that has been validated as necessary if the coverage of this event is any indication. The story was carried with the same negative slant, and false attendance estimates, by much of the conservative media. And the wretched prejudices expressed by the protesters proves that there is still a great deal of work to be done.

Hopefully cooler, less intolerant heads will prevail and citizens of all races, religions, and origins will be able to come together to defeat bigotry in all its vile forms. But that will not happen until media outlets like Fox are shamed into abandoning their own biases that serve no purpose other than to inflame the ignorant and empower racist, political demagogues.