As the dedicated and accomplished propagandists that they are, Fox News can be relied upon to twist facts and manufacture falsehoods to advance their extreme right-wing agenda. But sometimes they jump so far over the line of decency that it’s hard to imagine how anyone can take them seriously.
Today on America Live, anchor Megyn Kelly interviewed the parents of a Navy SEAL who was killed in a helicopter crash two years ago in Afghanistan. Other than another request to launch an inquiry into the circumstances of the crash, there was no new information related to that event that might have made this interview newsworthy. It seems that the only reason that Kelly brought these grieving parents back on (they were interviewed on Fox eight months ago) was to give them, and Fox, an additional opportunity to bash President Obama. And that’s precisely what they did. The father, Billy Vaughn, began his discussion with Kelly by saying…
“Our military’s slogan – it’s called ‘relentless pursuit of the enemy.’ And I’ll tell ya, I don’t know where it came from, but it makes just about as much sense in what it’s referring to as ‘the Affordable Health Care Act.’” [Insert rimshot here]
It seems inappropriate, to say the least, to inject an unrelated ObamaCare zinger during a discussion about one’s son who was killed in the line of duty in a war zone, and about whom you are supposedly grief-stricken. That sort of blatantly political jab diminishes the sobriety of the moment and reeks of disrespect. But Vaughn didn’t stop there. During the interview he repeatedly and deliberately displayed the tattoo on his left forearm reading MOAON AABE (translation: Come and Take Them), which amongst other things is the motto of the United States Special Operations Command Central, but is also a phrase that has been adopted by the radical right in America and the gun lovers of the 2nd Amendment movement.
Lest there be any confusion as to Vaughn’s leanings, he also told Kelly that, in regard to his view of the inquiry into his son’s death, “Government is doing nothing. They sympathize with the enemy.” That’s a fanatical sentiment that was also expressed by his fellow grieving father at a press conference yesterday who said that “The U.S. government and many high-ranking military people own more credit for the shoot down than the Taliban.” This is Trutherism on a smaller scale.
The first barrel of hypocrisy from Fox is loaded with raw bullshot. While the grief of these parents is beyond question, the motives of Fox are not. For several months Fox anchors, and Republican guests, have been belittling the testimony by the families of the slain children of Sandy Hook. They have accused them of exploiting the massacre for political purposes. They have disparaged them as props of the White House. They have even sought to outright dismiss anything they might say with the outrageous claim that they are psychologically impaired by their grief and, therefore, unfit to render an opinion. Yet somehow those same mental deficiencies have not prevented a steady stream of victims from parading through the Fox News studios to deliver tirades against the President.
The second barrel of Fox-pocrisy was the blast of faux outrage over the assertion that the Obama administration’s recognition of SEAL Team 6 for their heroic mission to dispense with Osama Bin Laden was a betrayal of the unit’s anonymity. That came as Kelly prompted Mrs. Vaughn to describe how she believed the administration put a target on her son’s back. However, the White House never revealed the names of the team members, only the unit, which was not a particularly well-guarded secret to begin with. On the other hand, it was Fox News who outted an actual SEAL Team 6 member who participated in the Bin Laden raid. Afterward, his life, the lives of his family, and the lives of his SEAL comrades were threatened by Islamic jihadists.
Hypocrisy is a common byproduct of the Fox news grinder. But this feat of squeezing two hyper-hypocrisies into a single story is an accomplishment that only extraordinarily adept prevaricators should ever attempt. And that pretty much leaves the field to Fox News.