Cliven Bundy’s Racist (On Video) Rant Is Nothing New For Conservatives Who Praise Slavery

America’s most notorious welfare rancher and domestic terrorist, Cliven Bundy, has revealed more about himself and his repugnant ideology. In an interview with the New York Times (video below), Bundy volunteers a bit of his prairie wisdom concerning the plight of “the negro”:

“I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn’t get no more freedom. They got less freedom.”

Exactly! Because who wouldn’t prefer being chained up and forced to work for no pay while being beaten, raped, and traded like the cattle that Bundy grazes illegally on land upon which he is trespassing?

Cliven Bundy

Ever since the Bundy affair became a cause celebre for conservative politicians and pundits, Tea Party and militia types have been heralding Bundy as a patriot and a hero for threatening to shoot fellow Americans who were performing their duties as law enforcement officers. It was only a matter of time before his revolt revealed just how revolting he really is. As a result, many of the people who were lauding him yesterday are backpedaling as fast as they can to disassociate themselves from Bundy today.

Rand Paul called Bundy’s remarks “offensive.” Nevada Sen. Dean Heller condemned them as “appalling and racist.” Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus said it was “beyond the pale” and “100% wrong on race.” Not surprisingly, Bundy’s BFF, Sean Hannity, has yet to comment on this turn of events. While it is commendable that some Republican leaders found the moral gumption to denounce this overt expression of racism, it’s interesting that they had no problem with any of this when it was merely an articulated threat to kill federal agents while using women and children as human shields.

Unfortunately, this newly discovered discomfort with hate speech rings hollow when viewed in the totality of the conservative mindset. In October of 2012, I wrote an article on “American Conservatives Who Still Think That Slavery Was A Good Thing.” It unveiled ten prominent right-wingers who feel exactly the way Bundy does. The list includes conservative icons like Pat Buchanan, Michele Bachmann, and Ann Coulter, explaining why African-Americans were better off as slaves. Nobody was denouncing these racists for their hateful outbursts at the time. So it’s hard to accept that they are genuinely disturbed by these recent comments when the same rancid bigotry is so much a part of their political character. Here are the ten slavery advocates from the article:

1) Pat Buchanan
In his essay “A Brief for Whitey,” Buchanan agreed that slavery was a net positive saying that, “America has been the best country on earth for black folks. It was here that 600,000 black people, brought from Africa in slave ships, grew into a community of 40 million, were introduced to Christian salvation, and reached the greatest levels of freedom and prosperity blacks have ever known.”

2 & 3) Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum
Bob Vander Plaats, the leader of the arch-conservative Family Leader, a religious organization that opposes same-sex marriage, got GOP presidential candidates Bachmann and Santorum to sign his pledge asserting that life for African-Americans was better during the era of slavery: “A child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African American baby born after the election of the USA’s first African-American President.”

4) Art Robinson
Robinson was a publisher and a GOP candidate for congress in Oregon. One of the books he published included this evaluation of life under slavery: “The negroes on a well-ordered estate, under kind masters, were probably a happier class of people than the laborers upon any estate in Europe.”

5) Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson
Peterson is a conservative preacher who articulated this bit of gratitude: “Thank God for slavery, because if not, the blacks who are here would have been stuck in Africa.”

6) David Horowitz
Horowitz is the president of the David Horowitz Freedom Center and edits the ultra-conservative FrontPage Magazine. In a diatribe against reparations for slavery, Horowitz thought this argument celebrating the luxurious life of blacks in America would bolster his case: “If slave labor created wealth for Americans, then obviously it has created wealth for black Americans as well, including the descendants of slaves.”

7) Wes Riddle
Riddle was a GOP congressional candidate in Texas with some peculiar conspiracy theories on a variety of subjects. His appreciation for what slavery did for African-Americans was captured in this comment: “Are the descendants of slaves really worse off? Would Jesse Jackson be better off living in Uganda?”

8) Trent Franks
Franks is the sitting congressman for the 2nd congressional district in Arizona. As shown here, he believes that a comparison of the tribulations of African-Americans today to those of their ancestors in the Confederacy would favor a life in bondage: “Far more of the African American community is being devastated by the policies of today than were being devastated by the policies of slavery.”

9) Ann Coulter
Known for her incendiary rhetoric and hate speech, Coulter was right in character telling Megyn Kelly of Fox News that, “The worst thing that was done to black people since slavery was the great society programs.”

10) Rep. Loy Mauch
This Arkansas GOP state legislator has found biblical support for his pro-slavery position. He wrote to the Democrat-Gazette to inquire, “If slavery were so God-awful, why didn’t Jesus or Paul condemn it, why was it in the Constitution and why wasn’t there a war before 1861?”

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That was two years ago. Since then Tea Party types like Ted Nugent, Ben Carson, and Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson have joined their ranks. For Cliven Bundy to criticize African-Americans as lazy moochers on government subsidies while he is exploiting government subsidized land that he refuses to pay for, is monumentally hypocritical. And the right-wing enablers of his criminality should be ashamed of ever having supported him.

[Update] On his radio program today, Hannity finally weighed in saying that Bundy’s “comments are beyond repugnant to me. They are beyond despicable to me. They are beyond ignorant to me. [...] People who, for the right reasons, saw this as government overreach are now branded because of the ignorant, racist, repugnant, despicable comments by Cliven Bundy.”

So Hannity is more “pissed off” for the poor branded wingnuts (i.e. himself) who encourage terrorism, rather than the actual victims of racial hatred. What’s more, Hannity spent more time condemning liberals for a false equivalency on racism than he did rebuking Bundy.

Also, Bundy held a press conference of sorts wherein he actually doubled down on his offensive views regarding African-Americans and whether they might have been happier as slaves.

Bill O’Reilly Is Scare Mongering Over Millions Of Imaginary Illegal Aliens Voters

One of Bill O’Reilly’s favorite new attack themes is something that he calls the “Grievance Industry.” Apparently it is any person or group who registers a complaint against something that O’Reilly likes. For instance, racial discrimination or tax policies that favor the rich. It’s curious, though, that he would invent a disparaging way of looking at something that is protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution: “…to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” And the larger irony is that no one is more of a complainer than O’Reilly himself.

Bill O'Reilly

Take his latest Talking Points Memo segment wherein he makes a case for voter suppression via voter ID laws that do not address any actual problem. He begins with his boilerplate whining about how “the grievance industry believes that requiring an ID to vote is a right-wing plot to deny some Americans their voting rights.” He asserts that the push for voter ID is because of voter fraud, but like everyone else on the right who has beaten this path, he provides no evidence of the fraud that he alleges.

In an effort to belittle his opponents, O’Reilly says that the left denies that there is any voter fraud. That’s a lie. In fact the left acknowledges that there is voter fraud, but that it is on such a small scale as to be insignificant. And it doesn’t come close to justifying the imposition of obstacles to voting for millions of legitimate citizens.

Attempting to introduce some substance, O’Reilly cites an “investigation” into voter fraud in the state of North Carolina. The only problem with that is that it has produced precisely zero examples of any unlawful activity. The project was so flawed that when Dick Morris made the same reference to it as O’Reilly, PolitiFact slapped him down with a rating of “False.” They further pointed out that the data used was previously shown to be utterly unreliable. In Kansas they bragged that they had uncovered 185,000 potential cases of voter fraud. But all that came of it was fourteen referrals for prosecution and zero convictions.

O’Reilly then specifically made an allegation, which he portrayed as a fact, that “at least 81 North Carolinians voted in 2013 after they died.” But there is no evidence to support that claim either. In previous similar incidents there was always a simple explanation such as that the voters had cast absentee ballots and then died prior to election day.

O’Reilly then endorses a plan to put photos on Social Security cards and use those as voter identification. Critics of this proposal note that it would introduce serious privacy risks, a complaint that O’Reilly casually dismisses. However, Social Security cards have a unique purpose in our society and the prospect of making them a universal form of identification does expose people to a greater risk of identity fraud. Your Social Security number was never intended to a form of identification.

Perhaps the most outlandish assertion in O’Reilly’s rant was that “There are about 12 million illegal aliens in the U.S. who could vote without proper ID in place.” Oh my. That’s twice the margin by which President Obama beat Mitt Romney in 2012. So where all of these illegal aliens plotting to corrupt the American electoral system? There certainly isn’t any evidence of them having voted. And they’ve been around for many election cycles. It doesn’t even make any sense that people who are here without documentation would risk jail and deportation in order to cast a ballot for candidates who will not represent them.

The only reason that O’Reilly would even raise this phony issue is to fan the flames of bigotry that are already burning in the souls of his audience and much of the extremist right-wing that he represents. It is a reprehensible and irresponsible appeal to people who are predisposed to hate anyone different from themselves. And sadly, it is an appeal that will find agreement by viewers of Fox News despite the irrationality of the argument.

O’Reilly invented the “grievance industry” concept so that he could dismissively waive off any allegation of prejudice as something unwarranted, trivial, and/or fabricated. It’s his way of belittling those who make observations about the racism that still infects our society. But he is the best example that bigotry, in all its hateful glory, continues to be a problem that the goodhearted American people need to redouble their efforts to eradicate. And we could start with Bill O’Reilly.

Fox Nation vs. Reality: ObamaCare Is NOT Recruiting Undocumented Immigrants

Fox News has labored vigorously to establish its reputation as America’s whites-only cable news channel. Simultaneously they have distinguished themselves as the nation’s foremost purveyor dishonest and politically biased “reporting.” But every now and then they manage to score extra points by melding these two achievements into a single story. That goal was realized today by Fox’s community website, Fox Nation, with help from their disreputable pals at Breitbart News.

Fox Nation

Read Fox Nation vs. Reality for more documented lies from Fox World.

The headline declaring that “ObamaCare [is] Recruiting Illegal Immigrants” is absolutely, provably false. As is the content of the article that says in the opening paragraph that “Covered California–the flagship of state Obamacare exchanges–is recruiting illegal (“undocumented”) immigrants to sign up for the program, regardless of their eligibility.”

There is no truth whatsoever to that claim. But adhering to factual reporting has never been the mission of Fox News. It’s especially humorous that Joel Pollak, the BreitBrat author of the article, attempts to align his bogus assertions to Republican congressman Joe Wilson who, you may recall, shouted out “You lie,” during President Obama’s 2009 State of the Union speech when the President stated that the Affordable Care Act would not cover undocumented immigrants. Pollak believes that Wilson is due an apology based on his deeply misconstrued interpretation of a page on the Covered California website.

The shoddy news sleuthing by BreitBrat Pollak turned up a page that informed readers that they did not need to worry if they were “undocumented and want your family to enroll in health insurance. That was the spark that set fire to Pollak’s active imagination. Without wasting any effort on reading further or trying to understand the context, Pollak concluded that this was an attempt to enroll undocumented immigrants in ObamaCare, which the law explicitly prohibits. This is what the very first paragraph on the page actually said:

“According to the laws and implementing regulations, the information provided by individuals for coverage can not be used for purposes other than ensuring the efficient functioning of the insurance market (Covered California) or administration of the program, or to verify certain eligibility determinations including verification of the immigration status of these people.”

If Pollak had the comprehension skills to grasp this, he would have noticed two things: 1) The page is assuring applicants that the information they provide will not be shared with immigration agencies. And 2) That verification of immigration status will be a determinant condition of their eligibility.

The importance of the first item is to reassure people that an application will not result in an investigation or potential deportation. Many Latino families have mixed immigration statuses and they are sensitive to the possibility that their families could be separated. Consequently, they refrain from enrolling in benefits programs like ObamaCare. That means that many people who are actually citizens (i.e. children who were born here, or naturalized adults) would be deprived of services to which they are entitled because of their concern for other family members who may not be documented. This assurance allows them to apply without having to fear unrelated consequences.

The second item should be an assurance to bigots like Pollak that no undocumented immigrants would receive health care benefits under ObamaCare. It is an explicit declaration that citizenship is required for eligibility. And it is what makes Pollak’s assertion that illegal immigrants are being recruited regardless of their eligibility such a blatant lie.

It’s interesting to note that the Fox News Latino website does not have a story on this matter. Fox News Latino often takes positions that sharply contrast with those of the Fox News mothership. It is their way of trying to lure in the fastest growing demographic in the country without alienating them the way Fox News does. Although, there is a story that addresses the administration’s efforts to reach out to Latinos. And in that story they correctly point out the dilemma of mixed immigration status families who worry about separation, saying that “One big issue is that the law requires that those seeking coverage provide the immigration status of members of their household to determine eligibility.” That is what the page on Covered California is there for – to alleviate that concern.

It is remarkably dishonest and unethical to portray the information provided on Covered California as attempting to recruit undocumented immigrants to enroll in ObamaCare. Yet that is precisely what Breitbart and the Fox Nationalists did. And they did this despite the fact that the correct information was plainly in front of them on the same page. Therefore, it can only be assumed that they knew the truth and deliberately chose to ignore and/or distort it. But that’s the one thing that is not surprising about this. That is, in fact, standard operating procedure at Fox News.

Fox News Wants Some Examples Of Tea Party Racism They Say Does Not Exist. So…

Last Saturday more than 80,000 people in North Carolina gathered to march in protest of the Republican mission to strip minorities of their civil rights and gut the social safety net for low-income citizens. It was the largest protest march since the peak of the civil rights movement in 1965.

So how does Fox News cover this news-making event? By having Sean Hannity send an African-American Tea Party leader to ambush and embarrass the marchers. How else would Fox do it?

Fox Nation

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Hannity’s “correspondent” was David Webb, founder of TeaParty365, Fox News contributor, and Breitbart News columnist. Webb landed at the protest with a bag of questions that had nothing to do with the agenda for the march. He harangued the protest’s organizers with off-topic questions (the video of which cut out most the answers). Then he asked a few participants if they thought Obama is a successful president. Most answered correctly that he has been obstructed at every turn by Republicans committed to blocking anything he proposes, even if it was originally a GOP initiative.

However, the feature of the video was Webb asking marchers to give examples of racism by the Tea Party. This is the sort of ambush tactic that serves no purpose other than to create a negative impression of the respondents. First of all, Webb’s video showed him interviewing only four people out of the more than 80,000 who attended the march. Without the uncut footage we have no idea if there were forty others who supplied Webb with bona fide examples of Tea Party racism that he left on the cutting room floor. It’s easy to splice together just the remarks that make his point and discard the rest.

Furthermore, the respondents were not official spokespeople for the protest and they did not come prepared to have answers for Webb’s loaded questions. It’s unreasonable to expect that random citizens participating in a march to protest specific policies of North Carolina’s ultra-right Republican administration will be carrying documentation of Tea Party racism to an event that isn’t related to that subject. Yet that is precisely what was expected of the four victims of Webb’s inquisition. Fox Nation even placed a story about this at the top of their website with a sensationalized headline that implied that liberals as a group were unable to cite examples of bigotry in the Tea Party. Maybe they should ask more than four liberals before making such a ludicrous assertion.

That said, I wouldn’t want Fox News, Sean Hannity, and David Webb to be disappointed by not getting a substantive response to their inquiries. Therefore, they might want to look into the Tea Party agenda for evidence of racism. For instance, their reactions to the recent commercials for Cheerios (with a biracial family) and Coke (with a multilingual rendition of America the Beautiful) revealed a thinly disguised prejudice for anything not purely of Euro-Caucasian descent. Then there were the infamous Birthers whose allegations are inherently racist. The Tea Party’s opposition to social safety net programs is often portrayed as a response to the lazy moochers in the inner city they regard as the beneficiaries. Then there is their advocacy of voter ID laws that largely impact minorities, as well as seniors and the poor. And they continue to refer to undocumented residents as “illegals,” even if they broke no laws. The Tea Party’s legislative and social agenda is rife with this sort of bigotry.

For more evidence, note the frequency with which Tea Party leaders are caught saying out loud things that are overtly racist. For instance this Arkansas Tea Partier, or this one in California, or this former chairman of the Tea Party Express.

And if that isn’t enough, take a look at these images gathered from Tea Party rallies and websites:

Fox News - Tea Party Racism

Of course, Hannity and Webb would never address these examples that they disingenuously requested. Their intent from the outset was to let the question hang out there unanswered to leave the false impression the charges of racism were unwarranted. But any paying attention knows the truth about the Tea Party, and a little research confirms it. Too bad Fox News viewers will never see it.

MSNBC: Fire Phil Griffin And Rehire The Cheerios Tweeter

Remember way back about four days ago when Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, wet his britches over a tweet by someone at MSNBC that said that right-wingers would hate a new Cheerios ad that featured a biracial family?

The reaction from Priebus and the rest of the conservative throngs was to lash out at MSNBC and demand satisfaction for what they regarded as an insulting insinuation that there were racists in the ranks of the right. Priebus even threatened to boycott the cable network. Never mind that the tweet was thoroughly justified by the fact that right-wing racists actually did hate the very same biracial family when they appeared in a previous version of the ad. In fact, YouTube had to close off the comments on the video due to the volume of vulgar responses. That didn’t stop Priebus from throwing a tantrum and insisting on an apology.

In a classic demonstration of just how pusillanimous a corporate media weasel can be, the president of MSNBC, Phil Griffin, disgorged a sniveling apology and announced that the person responsible for the tweet had been terminated. It was an embarrassing supplication to conservative bullies whose outrage was transparently fake.

Coke - America

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Today we have additional evidence that Griffin’s knee-bending was uncalled-for. An ad for Coca-Cola aired yesterday during the Superbowl (video below) that featured Americans of various nationalities, races, religions, and cultures, all singing “America the Beautiful” in a rich tapestry of the languages that represent our country’s diversity. The response from conservatives to this heartwarming advertisement was predictably hostile. They lit up Twitter and Facebook with hateful messages vilifying Coke, as well as all Americans who do not fit the European, Caucasian mold favored by these bigots. Some of the more prominent feces-flingers were:

  • Todd Starnes of Fox News, who tweeted “Coca Cola is the official soft drink of illegals crossing the border.”
  • Tea Party ex-congressman Allen West, called the ad “a truly disturbing commercial,” because “the words went from English to languages I didn’t recognize.”
  • Michael Patrick Leahy of Breitbart News, who lamented that the “ad also prominently features a gay couple.” and somehow found a message in it that the U.S. “is no longer a nation ruled by the Constitution.”
  • Eric Bolling of Fox News, who objected to this use of a patriotic song saying “Don’t put it to ‘America the Beautiful.’ You used the wrong song.”
  • Armageddonist Glenn Beck, who inexplicably derived division from this ode to unity, saying “That’s all this is – to divide people.”

If anything exonerates the unjustly fired MSNBC tweeter, it is this parade of conservative xenophobes who validate the original message about right-wingers hating an ad that honors what really makes America beautiful: as the song says, brotherhood. And if anyone should be fired by MSNBC it’s Phil Griffin, the executive who didn’t have the balls to stand up for what’s right.

Republicans, Racists, And Boycotts, Oh My: And Why MSNBC Should Be Celebrating

When you preside over a political party that is the subject of frequent criticism for the racist rhetoric of its members and supporters, it might be a good idea to avoid bringing attention to that gaping wound of oozing hatred. But never let it be said that the leaders of the GOP are capable of recognizing a good idea.

The chairman of the Republican National Committee, Reince Priebus, went berserk today over a tweet by some anonymous social media intern at MSNBC. The comment that so furiously enraged him was a reference to a commercial for Cheerios that features a biracial family (video below). It is a sequel of sorts to a similar ad that played last year. Here is the offending tweet:

Maybe the rightwing will hate it, but everyone else will go aww: the adorable new #Cheerios ad w/ bi-racial family. http://t.co/SpB4rQDoAR

That was all it took to send Priebus into a frenzy over what he perceived as a deplorable insult directed at innocent right-wingers. His response was to announce that he would order a boycott of MSNBC unless its president, Phil Griffin, made a personal and public apology. He sent letters to Griffin as well as an open letter to “all Republican elected officials, strategists, surrogates, and pundits,” that said that he was “banning all RNC staff from appearing on, associating with, or booking any RNC surrogates on MSNBC,” and asking anyone affiliated with the GOP to join the embargo.

Fox Nation - Reince Priebus

And of course Fox Nation made this their top story.
Read Fox Nation vs. Reality for more tales from the loony side.

First of all, how would anyone know that a boycott had been initiated by the GOP against MSNBC? Most Republicans already refuse to go on the network simply because they know they will be challenged when they lie, unlike the friendly reception they get at Fox. But for the RNC chair to feign outrage over such a trivial tweet defies reason. The message conveyed by the tweet was simply that this heart-warming advertisement was likely to irk many conservatives whose intolerance for diversity is well documented. And where would the tweeter get an idea like that? Perhaps from the response that followed the release of the first Cheerios ad with the same biracial family. As reported at the time…

“A new Cheerios commercial that included an interracial family drew so many racially motivated hate comments on YouTube that the video-sharing website shut down the commercial’s comment section. [...] some of the comments made reference to Nazis, ‘troglodytes’ and ‘racial genocide.’”

With that historical perspective, why would anyone doubt that the same right-wingers who spewed such vile hatred at the ad’s charming family last year, would react any differently today? Conservatives who are offended by the tweet ought to look at their own confederates to understand why everyone else regards them as hardened bigots who would hate the Cheerios ad. It isn’t MSNBC’s fault that conservatives openly express themselves in such a thoroughly reprehensible manner. However, the behavior of the rightists when this ad’s first installment was aired justifies the sentiment in the tweet. For some additional evidence of the unbridled bigotry on the right, have a look at…

The notion that MSNBC would be a target of a boycott simply because they recognized the bigotry that is inbred into much of the American conservative movement is especially ironic when you consider that Fox News, the mouthpiece of the rightist agenda in the media, is so brazenly racist. It’s a network that regularly demonizes minorities as criminals or moochers. What’s more, Fox feverishly advocates public policies that are detrimental to minorities, such as voter suppression laws and slashing benefits for low income workers. If any news outlet should be boycotted for insulting broad swaths of the American public it should be Fox

Which brings us to the subject of hypocrisy by the infuriated right. There actually have been efforts to embargo Fox News and persuade Democrats to avoid appearing on the network. During the Democratic primaries in 2008, the Congressional Black Caucus successfully shut down a Nevada debate that was to be broadcast on Fox. The response by Republicans was that the Democrats were either misguided or cowards, and would be afraid to face our enemies if they couldn’t face Fox. Fox anchor Chris Wallace said that “the Democrats are damn fools [for] not coming on Fox News.” Do these criticisms now apply to the boycotters of MSNBC?

This isn’t even the first time that Priebus has floated the boycott balloon. Just last year he sent similar threatening letters to NBC and CNN because they had plans to produce films about Hillary Clinton. However, he didn’t make the same threat to Fox, who also had Hillary projects in the pipeline. It seems that Priebus is just itching for a boycott, unless the offender is his PR department (aka Fox News).

The pitiful part of this story is that MSNBC has already caved in to the demand for an apology. Phil Griffin issued a statement calling the tweet “outrageous and unacceptable,” which it certainly was not. Even worse, he said that he had “dismissed the person responsible.” That is a monumental injustice and overreaction. This merely proves that the network that conservatives like to demean as unfailingly liberal is just a facade that will collapse at the slightest whiff of controversy. It’s why MSNBC issues apologies every other week and fires people for little reason.

Fox News, on the other hand, is far worse when it comes to offending liberals and Democrats, but they will never apologize, nor do they correct their many “errors” of fact. But if MSNBC keeps bowing down to competitors who seek its destruction, they will remain a perennial loser and shed any credibility they hope to maintain. This silly boycott threat should be cause for celebration by MSNBC. It serves as an opportunity to remind people of why Republicans are correctly perceived to be racist. It relieves them of the burden of making excuses for why the GOP is not represented on the channel. And it allows them to focus on expanding their audience among the key demographics that are most likely to tune in.

What this all comes down to is that Priebus is throwing a tantrum to attract attention and donations. The tweet that started the whole thing was provocative, but perfectly justified. But that doesn’t stop the disingenuous onslaught of phony rage that turns into a ludicrous threat that no one will notice should it be carried out. We are witnessing a drama that is more painfully shallow than the typical reality TV tripe that consumes way too many hours of broadcast time. And, sadly, “Keeping Up With The Republicans” has even less reality in it than you’ll find over at the Kardashians place.

[Update: 1/31/2014] Fox News is cashing in on this controversy. So far they have featured it on The Five, Fox & Friends, and the Kelly File. Greg Gutfeld of The Five injected the mandatory Nazi reference by calling MSNBC a “one-stop shop for master-race-baiting.” And Megyn Kelly asserted that liberals have a “kneejerk instinct to accuse conservatives of racism.” In her segment that featured uber-rightist flame-thrower Brent Bozell, she went on to say…

“They [liberals] saw this ad and said, ‘Oh the conservatives will hate it because it’s a black man and a white woman together in a family.’

Wrong Megyn. They said “Oh the conservatives will hate it because that’s exactly the response they had to it when the first version of it came out last year.” What better evidence can you have of how someone will respond to something than their own prior response?

And this morning Fox’s media analyst, Howard Kurtz, called the MSNBC tweet “an outrageous and really disgusting message,” before excreting this BS:

“You do have to wonder about the culture there, and whether there is such a loathing for conservatives that things that are so clearly way, way, way over the line are somehow deemed acceptable.”

Once again I have to say ARE YOU FRIGGIN’ KIDDING ME? The outpouring of loathing by Fox of liberals (and African-Americans, and Latinos, and gays, and women, and the poor) is a daily – even hourly – occurrence. For Kurtz to say that with a straight face is proof of his total devotion to the dishonest promulgation of Fox’s propaganda, hate, and commitment to the corporatocracy they were invented to defend.

Fox Nation vs. Reality: Racists Don’t Like Obama Because He’s Black. Who Knew?

Trying to point out every occurrence of idiocy by Fox News would drive most people to an asylum. The quantity is just overwhelming and sometimes you have to let some truly mind-boggling treasures of dumbfuckery go by because there just isn’t enough time in the day. But not this one.

[Update: On Martin Luther King Day, Fox Nation decided to move this racially provocative article to the top of their web page with some curious modifications. See below.]

Fox Nation

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The race-baiters at Fox Nation have extracted a single sentence from an extensive (over 16,600 words) article in the New Yorker about President Obama. The obvious intent of this journalistic malpractice is to deliberately convey the false impression that Obama is playing both the victim and the race card.

Now, if this was all that Obama said, he would be unarguably correct. There is no end to the proof of racial animus that has been directed at our nation’s first African-American president. Many of his bigoted opponents barely disguise their racist tendencies. So Obama could not be faulted for observing something that is so indisputably true.

However, as you might already have guessed, that is not all that Obama said. Here is the full quote from the New Yorker’s article:

“There’s no doubt that there’s some folks who just really dislike me because they don’t like the idea of a black President,” Obama said. “Now, the flip side of it is there are some black folks and maybe some white folks who really like me and give me the benefit of the doubt precisely because I’m a black President.”

So does that sound like a victim or a realist? The New Yorker went on to note the evidence of broad based biases that are reflected in the national character.

“Obama lost among white voters in 2012 by a margin greater than any victor in American history. The popular opposition to the Administration comes largely from older whites who feel threatened, underemployed, overlooked, and disdained in a globalized economy and in an increasingly diverse country. Obama’s drop in the polls in 2013 was especially grave among white voters.”

Nevertheless, they quote Obama defending his critics and warning that their reservations about him should be judged on their merit, not on historical prejudices.

“I think it’s important for progressives not to dismiss out of hand arguments against my Presidency or the Democratic Party or Bill Clinton or anybody just because there’s some overlap between those criticisms and the criticisms that traditionally were directed against those who were trying to bring about greater equality for African-Americans.”

Despite the exceedingly tolerant tone of Obama’s words, the Fox Nationalists knew that their out of context fragment would inflame their audience. And that was their purpose. As evident in the comments on the Fox Nation website, the response was predominately negative and critical of Obama whom they accused of being a thin-skinned, racially motivated, whiner. So…mission accomplished Fox. You successfully riled up a rabble of dimwitted racists just as you hoped. Not that that’s a particularly difficult achievement given the substandard confederacy of dunces that you cultivate.

[Update} Not satisfied with ordinary, everyday race-baiting, the Fox Nationalists chose to take this bigotry-inciting article and boost it to the top of their web page. And notice the modifications they made to make sure none of their cognitively-challenged readers would miss the point: They colored Obama’s name and the word’s “I’m Black” a bright commie red. And they underlined the words “Don’t Like Me,” So happy MLK Day, from Fox News.

Fox Nation

Sarah Palin Joins The “Just Like Slavery” Teabernacle Choir

When republican critics get tired of calling President Obama a Muslim or a socialist or a Kenyan or a homosexual or a tyrant or a mad genius or an idiot figurehead or a Black Panther or a Wall Street lackey or lizard overseer, they generally just resort to comparing him to Adolf Hitler. However, lately a new unfounded and irrational insult has been working its way up the charts of the conservative hitlist, and has-been, half-term governor Sarah Palin is the latest to give it her rendition.

Palin: When that note comes due … and this isn’t racist … but it’s going to be like slavery when that note is due. We are going to be beholden to a foreign master.

Sarah Palin
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Palin was referring to the national debt, which she seems to believe is at risk of being sent to the International Collections and Captivity Corporation for redemption. While it was thoughtful of her to remind us that associating her remarks about the first African-American president with the historical scab of slavery isn’t racist, she nevertheless fails to grasp the intricacies of economics. But she does align herself with a growing congregation of noxious Tea Partiers who think that anything President Obama does that they don’t like is just like slavery. For instance…

  • Rush Limbaugh: Well over 50% of the American people don’t want [Obamacare]. And the Republicans are like ‘well we can’t do anything about it. The law’s the law, It’s the law of the land.’ Well, so was slavery one time, the law of the land.
  • Dr. Ben Carson: Obamacare is “the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery. [...] In a way, it is slavery, because it is making all of us subservient to the government.
  • Sen. Rand Paul: Basically, once you imply a belief in a right to someone’s services — do you have a right to plumbing? Do you have a right to water? Do you have right to food? You’re basically saying you believe in slavery.
  • VA Atty Genl Ken Cuccinelli: “The founders knew how bad [slavery] was. We have other things in this country today and abortion is one of them.
  • Former Rep. Allen West: He does not want you to have the self-esteem of getting up and earning, and having that title of American. He’d rather you be his slave.
  • NH Rep. Bill O’Brien: And what is Obamacare? It is a law as destructive to personal and individual liberty as the Fugitive Slave Act.
  • Glenn Beck: What do you think these federal jobs are all about? These federal jobs are not about helping anything. They are about getting people enslaved to the state.

Is this trend of comparing Obama’s agenda to slavery better than comparing him to Hitler? It’s a tough call. But many on the right may not mean it as an insult. There are some prominent conservatives who have publicly expressed their opinion that slavery was actually a pretty good thing. So perhaps this is just Palin’s way of complementing Obama.

The Anti-Latino Coverage Of D.C. Immigration Reform Rally By Fox News

Yesterday there was a large scale demonstration in Washington, D.C. in favor of immigration reform. Protesters included national immigration advocacy groups, labor unions, and members of Congress. The rally was reported online by Fox News Latino, a Fox web site that panders to Hispanic audiences. The article noted that rally participants, including House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, were seeking to advance a bill currently in Congress that “would tighten border security, get stricter on immigration enforcement and provide a path to legalization.” They led their report saying that….

“Thousands converged on the National Mall in Washington D.C. Tuesday to demand that Congress pass a measure that would overhaul the U.S. immigration system, and in particular, provide a path to legal status for undocumented immigrants.

“Capitol police also arrested scores of protesters, including eight members of Congress, who allegedly engaged in acts of civil disobedience as part of the rally.”

Despite the significance of the well-attended demonstration and the prominent participants, Fox News covered it in its own unique and characteristically bigoted way. Their only report on the rally did not address the issues at hand, but a peripheral matter that was more in keeping with their fixation on demonizing the Obama administration over the shutdown (or, as they ridiculously call it, the “slimdown”). Fox’s entire reporting on the rally was to note that it was held on the National Mall which they erroneously said was closed.

Fox News
For more Fox distortions of truth, see Fox Nation vs. Reality.

That’s it. Nothing about the eleven million undocumented residents currently living in the U.S., performing services, paying taxes, and contributing to the community. Nothing about those who were brought here as children and have broken no laws, yet live in a resident status limbo. Nothing about passing a reform measure that was the work of a bipartisan congressional legislative effort. And nothing about the substance of the rally itself. The only newsworthiness of the event, so far as Fox was concerned, was where it was held.

This is typical of the way Fox News insults their audience. They frequently misreport Latino news stories or fail to report them at all. Then they condescend to posting brief items on the Fox News Latino web site. It’s their way of pandering to the fastest growing demographic group in the nation (and the largest television market), while simultaneously maintaining their hostility to Latinos that the Fox News Channel diehards demand.

Fox Nation vs. Reality: Here’s How To Fear Monger About ACORN

After all these years, the right’s fixation on ACORN is still burning with the heat of a thousand white-hot suns – with an emphasis on the white.

Fox Nation

The chronic liars at Fox Nation posted an item that purported to quote Bertha Lewis, the former head of ACORN, as giving advice on “How To Put ‘Fear’ In The ‘White Man’.” However, Lewis did not say what the Fox Nationalists attributed to her. In fact, the text below the headline on Fox Nation proved the blatant misrepresentation by quoting Lewis in full. Her remarks to a meeting of the Congressional Black Caucus were merely a call for the African-American community to support immigration reform.

Lewis: For the first time ever in history, African-Americans outvoted white Americans. Oooh. That’s the fear of the white man. That could change everything. That’s why [immigration] should matter to us.

Lewis was plainly stating her opinion that engaged minority voters are something that already brings fear to white politicians and strategists. She was not in any way advocating the use of fear to intimidate whites or any political opponent. Yet that is precisely the false inference that Fox put forth with the mutilated quote they posted.

To the contrary, Lewis was simply noting that Republicans are already running scared. That is unarguably true, as evidenced by the extreme steps Republicans have taken to suppress voting by minorities and to redistrict them out of existence. Lewis noted that in a few years America will be a majority-minority nation, and that frightens the GOP. Even Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, said much the same thing in an election postmortem following their 2012 defeat:

Priebus: I didn’t need a report to tell me that we have to make up ground with minority groups [...] By 2050, we’ll be a majority-minority country, and in both 2008 and 2012, President Obama won a combined 80 percent of the votes of all minority groups.

The GOP has an ongoing obsession with ACORN, an organization that was dedicated to advancing minority participation in the democratic process. It was that focus on equal rights that made ACORN a target of conservatives in the first place. And despite the fact that it doesn’t exist anymore, and that multiple investigations never found any evidence of wrongdoing, the right continues to be preoccupied with its ghost. So much so that they disseminate fake quotations in order to make them look scary and dangerous.

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This is a tactic that will only serve to further alienate the constituencies that will eventually dominate the electorate. Even while the GOP recognizes the need to reach out to minorities, their actions prove that they really aren’t the least bit interested in including them in the American family. They would rather continue insulting and excluding them. Nice work, GOP. Let’s see how that works out for you in 2014 and 2016 and beyond.

More Anti-Latino Bias On Fox Nation

The Fox News community web site (and Fib Factory) Fox Nation, has a long record of insulting Latinos and lying about about issues that affect them. This was documented in my article last year: Fox News Flim-Flam: Conning Latinos For Politics And Profit. The marked difference between articles on Fox Nation, and articles on the same subjects by Fox News Latino demonstrate that Fox is deliberately trying to exploit Latinos, the fastest growing television market.

For instance, Fox News continues to refer to undocumented immigrants as “illegals” even when the person was brought into the country as a child and, thus, committed no crime. Many news outlets have abandoned the use of the term “illegal immigrant” because it is both inaccurate and insulting. Fox News Latino is among those who have officially banned its use. Fox News, on the other hand, uses it frequently. Fox is also a vigorous opponent of the Dream Act, that offers undocumented immigrants who were brought here as children, finish school or enlist in the military, and have no criminal records, the opportunity to become legal residents and eventually citizens.

Another example of Fox’s overt prejudice was displayed yesterday with an article on Fox Nation that announced that the “Amnesty Bill In House Collapses.” Of course, there is no amnesty bill in the House. There is an immigration reform bill that includes a pathway to citizenship after paying fines and meeting other rigorous conditions that may lead to eligibility for citizenship after some fifteen years. And since amnesty is a forgiveness of criminal behavior and a waiving of punishment, this bill is the opposite of amnesty. But this story isn’t about amnesty at all. It is about the breakdown of the legislative process. It was that angle that was addressed in the Fox News Latino article titled, “House Republicans Quit Bipartisan Immigration Group, Weakening Chance Of Legislation.”

Fox Nation
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Notice that the Fox News Latino article properly describes the substance of what took place without resorting to pejoratives, as opposed to Fox Nation’s version. The Fox Nationalists also didn’t bother to point out that the Republican exodus from the working group was based entirely on politics rather than on the best interests of the nation. Only in the Fox News Latino article was it pointed out that the GOP representatives who bailed on the reform effort said that “We want to be clear. The problem is politics.” They went on to admit that their objection is not to the substance of the law, but that it would be enacted under the administration of President Obama:

“If past actions are the best indicators of future behavior, we know that any measure depending on the president’s enforcement will not be faithfully executed. It would be gravely irresponsible to further empower this administration by granting them additional authority or discretion with a new immigration system. The bottom line is – the American people do not trust the president to enforce laws, and we don’t either.”

Contrary to the delusional claim by these Republicans, polls show that a significant majority of the American people back the President’s view on immigration reform. What’s more, it is idiotic to assert an opposition to a law due to who occupies the White House rather than the efficacy of the law.

But that’s just how the modern GOP works. Hating Obama takes precedence over everything else, including responsible governing, the economy, the welfare of Americans, even questions of military engagement. And you can always rely on Fox News to be right there advancing the obstructionist right-wing hatefest, because Fox doesn’t care anymore about the American people than the Tea-publican extremists in Congress.

NewsBusters Asks: Is Bank Robber Wearing An Obama Mask Racist?

For those not familiar with NewsBusters, it fancies itself as a conservative media watchdog whose mission is “Exposing and Combating Liberal Media Bias.” It is a subsidiary of the uber-rightist Media Research Center. And it is also one of the most prolific apologists for radical right-wingers and racists like Ann Coulter and Pat Buchanan.

Last week they outdid themselves by posting an absurd item about a bank robber in New Hampshire who wore a mask of President Obama during the robbery. NewsBuster’s Noel Sheppard made the Olympian leap from that incident to the Missouri rodeo last month when a rodeo clown wearing a similar mask went on a racially offensive rant.

NewsBusters
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This is a perfect demonstration of how clueless right-wingers are about their own racist tendencies. Sheppard clearly has no idea how offensive it is to perform an allegedly comical routine before hundreds of spectators that calls for grievous harm to befall the president of the United States. His organization ran numerous columns defending the rodeo buffoonery, just as racists of a previous era defended black-face performances.

However, where Sheppard really steps off the plank is when he attempts to draw a comparison between an obnoxious and insulting rodeo act and the criminal behavior of a bank robber. Sheppard seems to think the media has some responsibility to analyze the mind of the criminal for racial insensitivity. The problem is that Sheppard is apparently too stupid to grasp that the crook wasn’t making any kind of a political statement. He was merely trying to conceal his identity (in a spectacularly dumb way). Contrast that with the rodeo clown’s routine that openly baited the crowd to cheer for the President getting gored by a bull.

So what does a bank robber wearing an Obama mask have to do with a brazenly offensive performance by an entertainer? You’ll have to ask Noel Sheppard, because no one in their right mind could possibly connect those dots.

Fox News Commemorates MLK’s March On Washington By Promoting A Vulgar Racist

On this day fifty years ago, Rev. Martin Luther King led 250,000 Americans to Washington, D.C., and inspired the nation with his dream of freedom and equality. Commemorating that historical event, Fox News led their reporting with an obscure, three day old story about a thoroughly repulsive bigot who was discovered to be working for the Department of Homeland Security.

Fox Nation DHS

Ayo Kimathi was a mid-level office drone with no management authority or responsibility. His job was as a small business specialist in a unit that helps department clients procure items such as handcuffs, ammunition and guns. He was also the man behind an overtly racist web site that advocated violence and civil insurrection. When his supervisors found out what he was up to, they immediately put him on administrative leave pending further disciplinary action. On multiple occasions Fox has deceitfully said that the DHS approved of his web site, however, the approval was only granted because Kamathi misrepresented it’s content.

The web site was discovered by the Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization that studies and documents the activities of hate groups and works to expose the dangerous extremists amongst them. In the past, Fox News has disparagingly characterized the SPLC as a leftist operation that incites terrorist acts against conservatives. But on this occasion, Fox eagerly cites the SPLC’s reporting for one reason: The bigotry is that of a black man directed at whites.

Fox is only interested in racism when whites are the victims. On every other occasion Fox will portray the accuser as a race hustler who lacks any sense of personal responsibility. But the case of Kimathi is unique in that, while he is plainly prejudiced against whites, he is also fiercely opposed to President Obama whom he called a “faggot” and belittled as a “mulatto.” Setting aside his abhorrent contempt for Caucasians, Kimathi actually has much in common with the Tea Partying viewers of Fox News. In fact, many citizens of the Fox Nation have said the very same things about Obama. For instance…

Fox Nation Comment

By the way, if you haven’t read my ebook, Fox Nation vs. Reality you are missing out on an indispensable collection of documented dishonesty from the folks at Fox Nation.

Fox Nation Comment

So, in effect, Fox gets to whine about so-called reverse racism, while still disseminating a message of hate for President Obama. It’s a Tea Party Twofer. And in the comments attached to their story, the Fox Nationalists expressed themselves in particularly repugnant ways, including advocating mass murder:

Fox Nation DHS Comments

Despite this story having been published last Wednesday by the SPLC, Fox chose to feature it as their top headline today, the anniversary of King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Could there possibly have been a worse time to hype up an incident involving a lone crackpot with the only purpose being to inflame racial division?

That’s just the way Fox News operates. Rather than celebrating the achievements of one of America’s greatest civil rights leaders, or acknowledging the positive progress that has occurred over the last fifty years, Fox went for stirring up animosity and pandering to their bigoted audience.

RELATED NEWS (sorta): Glenn Beck also had something to say about this twisted freak at DHS. And as usual, it was wrapped in a cryptically insane conspiracy theory. Beck has connected the imaginary dots between Kimathi and the debunked nonsense about the DHS buying up all of America’s bullets so as to leave the citizenry unarmed and vulnerable to the jack-booted thugs of the federal government who intend to kill us all.

Beck gets pretty much everything wrong (naturally), beginning with his assertion that Kimathi “just happens to be the guy in charge of buying all of the weapons and the bullets for the Department of Homeland Security.” Of course, that’s an outright lie, but it makes for a hilarious video clip. See for yourself:

Still In The Dark: Fox News Continues To Misunderstand The Tragedy Of Trayvon Martin

When news broke about the brutal and senseless killing of Chris Lane, a young Australian studying in Oklahoma, there was universal disgust and sympathy. It was the sort of random crime that leaves everyone struggling to comprehend how it could occur. Everyone except Fox News, who immediately set out to politicize it to advance their racist agenda.

Fox News

Almost without hesitation, Fox News, as well as other right-wingers like Rush Limbaugh, Allen West, etc., began misinforming their audiences by falsely alleging that the attack on Lane was racially motivated. Not only is there no evidence to suggest that, but one of the three attackers was white.

Nevertheless, Fox and the rest of the conservative circus commenced to question what civil rights activists Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, as well as President Obama, had to say about the murder. This was an obvious and nauseating attempt to transform the tragic incident into a political issue. They asserted that there was a connection between Lane’s murder and the killing of Trayvon Martin by the overzealous neighborhood watch captain, George Zimmerman.

The absurdity of that comparison is evident to anyone who was paying attention to the Martin case. The reason that people were so infuriated was that Zimmerman had been briefly questioned and then released with no further legal accountability. The protests that erupted were aimed at securing justice: an arrest, an investigation, and if warranted, a trial. That’s what was missing in the Martin case, and that’s why people were speaking out about it.

In the Lane case, the perpetrators were identified quickly, arrested, and remain incarcerated awaiting trial. So justice is being served. It is proceeding in an appropriate manner without the need for the public to intercede. So what exactly do the folks at Fox News want Sharpton and Obama to say? Do they now believe that every crime ought to elicit a comment from the White House? Or is it just the ones that conservatives can spin as racially inflammatory?

The Fox News mentality is still trying demonize Trayvon Martin and to excuse the Florida authorities for failing to hold Zimmerman accountable in the early stages of the affair. They have no grasp that what incensed people was that a black teenager didn’t seem to deserve the respect or protection of the law. Chris Lane’s murder has been handled completely differently. The suspects were not sent home with a pat on the back. They are going to be subjected to the full weight of the legal system and to any appropriate punishment if found guilty.

Had that happened in Martin’s case it would not have been a national news story. And the only thing making Lane’s case a national story is right-wing media latching onto it in order to disparage their ideological foes. Lane is being used as a pawn in their game of race-baiting. This murder has nothing in common with Martin’s murder, and the rank exploitation of it demonstrates how utterly ignorant conservatives are about the core issues in the Martin case. It also demonstrates that conservatives are bent on inciting racial animus at every opportunity, whether there is justification or not.

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Bigots On Fox: Capitalist Pig On Fox News Lives Up To His Name

Jonathan Hoenig is the manager of the Capitalistpig Hedge Fund and a Fox News contributor who appears weekly on “Cashin’ In.” He routinely blurts out ignorant rants such as declaring that access to health care makes everyone a slave, or that kids would do better on the streets than in public school, or that Social Security should be scrapped.

On this week’s edition of the program (video below) Hoenig demonstrated that he is not above religious bigotry to make a dubious point and to slander a Democratic congressman.

Fox News
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During a discussion about the Inclusive Prosperity Act (aka the Robin Hood tax), a bill that would impose a fee of a fraction of a percent on certain financial transactions, Hoenig abandoned any pretense of debating the merits of the bill and instead decided to attack the bill’s sponsor, Keith Ellison, for his religious beliefs.

Hoenig: I don’t know if Rep. Ellison has read the Constitution. I know he is a practicing Muslim and in Sharia law, there is a prohibition against trading of derivatives, against speculation of any type. And so in my opinion you could make the argument this is even a little bit of Sharia creep here with the cracking down on trade, cracking down on the derivative trade, cracking down on wealth production.

The only “creep” here is Hoenig. His repulsive attack on Ellison’s faith is not only evidence of his ingrained hatred, but he makes no sense whatsoever on a financial basis. Nothing in the bill prohibits derivative trading or any other stock transaction. And in addition to generating billions of dollars, the nominal fee would produce a more stable trading environment that in recent years has become dangerously volatile.

The fact that Ellison is Muslim has nothing to do with the bill. It is co-sponsored in the House by 17 representatives who are mostly Christians (and at least on Jew). Hoenig is obviously not an expert in Islamic practices. Millions of Muslims invest in equities markets in the United States and around the world. That includes one Muslim named Al-Waleed bin Talal, a Saudi prince whose share of stock in the network Hoenig is broadcasting on is exceeded only by Rupert Murdoch and his family.

Furthermore, Hoenig’s snide curiosity about whether Ellison has read the Constitution only reveals his own constitutional illiteracy. Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution explicitly grants authority for the government to assess taxes and fees such as the one in Ellison’s bill.

This segment is the perfect capsulization of Fox’s abhorrent philosophy and mission. It illustrates both their overt contempt for anyone who is not a member of their preferred fraternity (in this case Muslims), and their kneejerk opposition to any tax measure that benefits the nation if it imposes even a tiny burden on the wealthy and greedy corporations whose rights they regard as superior to the people.

Hoening is just another ignorant and insulting cretin to whom Fox News provides a platform to disseminate hatred and disinformation. And that includes the program’s host, Eric Bolling, who was quick to agree with Hoenig’s dumbshit commentary.

Demonizing Trayvon: Racist Editorializing With Graphics On Fox News

On his Friday program on Fox News, Sean Hannity invited Martin family attorney Daryl Parks on to discuss the aftermath of the Zimmerman trial and verdict. The interview itself was uneventful, with Hannity arguing throughout that Martin was responsible for his own death. However, when Fox posted the video online it featured a cover photo and headline that had nothing whatsoever to do with the interview.

Fox News

The headline was a question, “How Should Trayvon Martin Be Remembered,” that was never asked or addressed in the interview at all. The entire segment was a rehash of the arguments presented in the trial and Hannity’s concurrence with the defense position. Where Fox came up with the notion that Martin’s legacy was relevant to the video is a mystery.

Nevertheless, Fox attached the unrelated headline to a photo that cast Martin in a decidedly negative light with a bullet hanging prominently over his face. That photo was also unrelated, and unnecessarily incendiary, as it did not appear anywhere the video. The purpose of this visual messaging was clearly to implant a memorial image of Martin as inherently violent.

After conducting a little research, I discovered the source photo that Fox had used. Their editors had cropped it to feature a close-up of Martin’s face and the bullet. But the original picture plainly shows that the photo was of a t-shirt being worn by someone attending a rally in support of justice for Trayvon. The bullet was an accessory worn by the rally participant and had nothing to do with Martin. Furthermore, contrary to the impression given by Fox’s biased photo editing, the t-shirt also had a message of peace and understanding: “It’s not a black or white thing. It’s a right or wrong thing.”

This sort of graphic editorializing is nothing new for Fox. Even specifically with regard to this story, Fox News had once posted a photo that they had deliberately altered to make Martin appear more sinister.

Fox News

The obvious racist intentions of Fox News literally scream out at you in both of these photo incidents. They are playing to the emotions of their audience that is predominantly white, with only 1.38% of their primetime viewers being African-America. And that’s why they believe they can get away with this sort of blatant prejudice in the guise of remembering Trayvon.

Race, Politics, And The Conservative Cognitive Breakdown

“The greatest hope that most Americans — including Republicans — had when Barack Obama was elected president was that the election of a black man as the country’s president would reduce, if not come close to eliminating, the racial tensions that have plagued America for generations.”

Fox NewsWhat strain of myopic lunkheadedness could have produced that appalling misunderstanding of racial politics? There is no one with a functioning brain who could ever have thought that just by electing an African-American president, racial tensions would be eliminated. That is such a shallow analysis of modern society that no amount of shame would be sufficient to heap on the author. The only explanation for expelling such an idiotic notion is that someone is looking for a contract with Fox News.

The quote above is the opening paragraph of uber-rightist Dennis Prager’s column in the National Review, and it demonstrates how acutely myopic conservatives are when attempting to grasp the complex issue of race. Prager is actually stunned that “The election, and even the reelection, of a black man as president, in a country that is 87 percent non-black — a first in human history — has had no impact on what are called ‘racial tensions.’” But where he got the idea that sending an African-American to the White House would weave some sort of magic spell over the country that would eliminate racism is simply incomprehensible.

What makes this even more dumbfounding is that the truth is readily apparent in so many aspects of our national profile. If anything, Barack Obama’s election exacerbated racial tensions in some constituencies. People who were predisposed to prejudice hardened their views. Borderline racists slipped across the line and succumbed to their latent bigotry. Amongst politicians and pundits, racial agendas became more aggressive and rhetorical attacks, both blatant and subliminal, multiplied. Shortly after Obama’s inauguration the FBI reported an unprecedented increase in the number of assassination threats. The most simple minded observer ought to have recognized that Obama did not win 100% of the vote, and that the nearly half of the electorate that voted against him contained the same amount of bigots as before the election.

Prager goes on to assert that “racial tensions,” which he dismissively puts in quotes, are actually the fault of African-Americans. He says that the notion is “a lie perpetrated by the Left.” He claims that the term is “a euphemism for a black animosity toward whites and a left-wing construct.” This effort to pretend that racism doesn’t exist, except in the minds of the victims, is commonly found among racists who seek to absolve themselves of any responsibility for the lingering hatred in American culture. According to Prager, blacks are just insufficiently grateful for the generosity shown them by the majority white population. After all, we let them have their president, didn’t we?

Prager has some company with Richard Cohen of the Washington Post whose column today made some equally lunkheaded assertions. His piece titled “Racism vs. reality,” was a defense of racism wherein he declared that he “can understand why [George] Zimmerman was suspicious and why he thought Martin was wearing a uniform we all recognize.” Cohen was referring to Martin’s hoodie, but he might as well have been referring to his skin, because Cohen’s premise was that there is justification for being suspicious of young black men.

Cohen berates politicians who fail to “acknowledge the widespread fear of crime committed by young black males,” noting that “We know them from the nightly news.” However, that widespread fear is largely a product of the distinctly biased representation of African-Americans on the nightly news (and all through the day as well on Fox News and other cable networks). Cohen’s argument relies on phony statistics that disparage blacks as being more prone to criminal activity when, for the most part, they are just more prone to being prosecuted and incarcerated.

Cohen closes by saying that “There’s no doubt in my mind that Zimmerman profiled Martin and, braced by a gun, set off in quest of heroism.” But then he adds that “The result was a quintessentially American tragedy — the death of a young man understandably suspected because he was black and tragically dead for the same reason.” Understandably suspected? Cohen is alleging that it’s perfectly OK, even understandable, to presume foul intentions just by the color of one’s skin. Isn’t that an outright admission of racism?

In a “Stand Your Ground,” “Racial Profiling” society, it is disheartening to see these kinds of opinions being expressed in mainstream media. The consequences of those combined concepts led directly to the tragedy in Sanford, Florida. And it proves that, contrary to Prager’s moronic rambling, there is much work to be done before racial tensions are eliminated. And it won’t happen because one person gets elected to office.

EXCLUSIVE: Fox News Signs George Zimmerman As Host: “Stand Your Ground” Premieres This Fall

Now that the jury has delivered a “not guilty” verdict for teen stalker/killer George Zimmerman, Fox News has taken a bold move to extend the ratings bonanza of the trial into the fall television season.

George Zimmerman
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Sources inside Fox News have confirmed that Zimmerman has agreed to host a nightly crime and social affairs program on the network that is set to premiere in October 2013. The controversial signing is consistent with Fox’s programming philosophy of exploiting the transient publicity of media spectacles by drafting the beneficiaries of inordinate press attention, despite a lack of experience or qualifications – e.g. Sarah Palin.

The preliminary format for the Zimmerman program is said to consist of segments analyzing breaking crime dramas such as murderous spouses, kidnapped sorority girls, celebrity arrests, high-speed police chases, and any stray rumors involving presidential sex scandals. Fox News contributor, and noted racist ex-cop, Mark Fuhrman, will have a regular spot on the panel segment to offer his expertise in undermining criminal prosecutions with racial epithets. In that respect Fuhrman, who famously extolled the virtues of the “N” word, shares common ground with Zimmerman who regards innocent black teenagers walking through his neighborhood as “fucking punks.”

Fox News CEO Roger Ailes welcomed Zimmerman to the network saying “We could not be more excited by having such a strong advocate of law enforcement on our team. George’s unique insight and commitment to safe neighborhoods and the preservation of the Second Amendment will connect with our audience and inspire Americans to stand their ground.” Ailes also said that Zimmerman will have a role on the Fox Nation web site where they specialize in flagrant lies, a skill Zimmerman has already demonstrated a knack for.

Zimmerman’s new colleagues at Fox are also anxious to work with him. Sean Hannity, who gave Zimmerman his first platform on cable TV, praised his keen instincts and predicted that his hair-trigger analysis and spin on reality will surprise many. Bill O’Reilly is looking forward to lunching with Zimmerman at Sylvia’s. And Geraldo Rivera lauded Zimmerman’s critical eye on fashion that he hopes will put an end to the trendy adoption of thug-wear that has resulted in so much unnecessary bloodshed.

Hoodies

The addition of George Zimmerman to the Fox lineup is a good fit to shore up both their editorial mission and their audience appeal. They are already receiving rave reviews from the NRA and the Tea Party. Throughout the trial Fox demonstrated an overt favoritism for Zimmerman and the prospects of his acquittal. Now, with his new assignment, he will make Fox the first and only network to feature a host who has actually snuffed out the life of an innocent American. And the icing on the cake is that the victim was black and almost certainly not a Fox viewer.

Zimmerman Verdict A Victory For Trayvon? Here’s Why.

This evening the jury in the trial of George Zimmerman returned a verdict of not guilty for the charge of murder in the second degree, and not guilty for the lesser included charge of manslaughter. Many will be surprised that the jury did not consider what occurred at least manslaughter given the fact that Zimmerman had pursued Trayvon Martin, who had done nothing wrong, and later shot and killed the teenager he had called a “fucking punk.” However, there is a reason to be grateful for the verdict and it is simply this: There was a verdict!

What people need to remember about this case is that there almost was no case. Immediately after the shooting, the Sanford, Florida police department abdicated their responsibility to conduct a proper investigation. They did not interrogate Zimmerman as a suspect. They did not interview witnesses. They did not collect evidence. They did not even test Zimmerman for drugs or alcohol. The police simply bought Zimmerman’s story, concluded that he had a right to shoot Martin under the “kill at will” law (aka “stand your ground”), and closed the case.

If there was any indication of racism, it was with law enforcement in Sanford. Their neglect of duty resulted in turning this local crime into a national drama. And eventually, justice was served when the people rose up to demand it, and the Republican governor of Florida agreed to appoint a special prosecutor who found that there was sufficient evidence to try Zimmerman. What’s sad is that it took a month for authorities to make an arrest.

Zimmerman - Martin
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That’s what this is all about. And now there has been a trial and the jury has spoken. It was not perfect by any means. The prosecutors failed on many levels to make a convincing case. The jury cannot be faulted for the shortcomings of counsel. But the very fact that a trial has been concluded when at the start of this whole affair it was not even considered, is a victory. Trayvon deserved to have his day in court, and while the decision is not the one his advocates had hoped, at least his killer was put before the bar of justice. That nearly didn’t happen.

And this is still not over. In a post-verdict press conference, the defense attorney said that Zimmerman would not have to see the inside of a courtroom again, but that is not true. There is a federal case pending for the violation of Martin’s civil rights. There will also likely be a civil suit for wrongful death on behalf of the Martin family. In the civil suit Zimmerman cannot decline to testify. There may be some interesting new evidence unveiled due to that alone. Also, a civil suit does not require a unanimous decision by the jury to find a defendant liable.

It should also be noted that the vile cretins who predicted race riots were, as usual, wrong in their presumption of bad behavior by disappointed citizens. Just the fact that scumbags like Rush Limbaugh entertained the notion is proof of their inherent racism. The unfounded fear mongering about violence, and even worse, the suggestion that everyone from civil rights activists, to liberals in the media, to President Obama, actually wanted an adverse verdict so that they would have an excuse to act out with wanton destruction, never panned out. But those who spewed such repulsive predictions will forever be stained as the bigots that they are.

I believe that Zimmerman should have been convicted of manslaughter, at least. I believe that the prosecutors dropped the ball in several instances, while the defense seemed more motivated and better prepared (except for that stomach-turning knock-knock joke). I believe that Trayvon deserved better than to have his killer acquitted and that justice failed him in that respect. But I also believe that, as Martin Luther King Jr. said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” And the fact that the people demanded and got a trial, after the law had brushed it aside, is a profound victory that should not be dismissed in the midst of these other defeats.

While there is much to regret in this outcome, it is important to remember that Zimmerman was not found innocent. When members of the jury come forward for interviews I expect that they will tells us that the state did not overcome the legal burden of reasonable doubt. And given the state’s poor case construction, I can’t say that I blame them. Prosecutors allowed their own witnesses to advantage the defense. They unnecessarily conceded much of the defense’s version of events (i.e. that Martin was on top during the struggle). They failed to offer a compelling story that explained what happened the night of the shooting. Zimmerman’s acquittal was due more to the inadequacy of the prosecution than to the status of the facts. A more aggressive, competent prosecutor could have got a conviction, but the absence of that is still not innocence.

Hopefully what people take from this is a more conscientious perspective of conflict resolution. I suspect that George Zimmerman will not pull out his gun so easily in the future. And anyone else in a similar situation should also think more than twice. While Zimmerman was not convicted, he did endure 16 months of criminal litigation, and his trials are far from over. I doubt anyone would want to go through that, particularly when another jury in another case might arrive at a different verdict.

And that’s what makes this verdict a victory. The fact that there was a trial and a verdict may help to prevent another tragedy such as the one that befell Trayvon Martin. We could not have said that if the Sanford authorities, who originally chose to do nothing, had their way. But the people’s voice was louder and we got the trial we demanded. And if we stay united and committed there will more and fuller victories to come.

Why Is The Fox Nation Rooting For George Zimmerman?

For the past week a murder trial in Florida has fixated the nation and the media. This sort of thing is not unusual as the past trials of Jodie Arias, Scott Peterson, Casey Anthony, and all the way back to O.J. Simpson have proved. What is unusual is the lengths to which Fox News has gone to cheerlead for the defendant.

From the very beginning Fox has sought to portray George Zimmerman as the victim who was only acting in his own defense. At the same time, they cast Trayvon Martin as a violent thug who must have been up to no good. Take a look at the graphic editorializing Fox engaged in early on:

Fox News Racism

In reporting on the court proceedings this week, Fox continued to demonstrate their overt prejudice in favor of Zimmerman. Nearly every commentator Fox put on the air found fault with the prosecution and managed to spin the witness testimony as beneficial to the defense. And the headlines at the Fox Nation Lie Factory tell the story that Fox is desperately trying to implant in the weak minds of their viewers:

  • Zimmerman Blockbuster: Witness Saw Man With ‘Lighter Skin Color’ Getting Pummeled ‘Ground And Pound’ Style
  • ZIMMERMAN PROSECUTION WITNESS IMPLODES
  • Zimmerman ‘Elated’ at Prospect That Trayvon Fight Was Recorded
  • Prosecutors ‘Must Have Had a Stroke’ Over Detective’s Testimony
  • AP: Trayvon Martin’s Legal Troubles Reportedly Covered Up By Police
  • GRETA: THE ZIMMERMAN PROSECUTION HAS A GIANT PROBLEM
  • Travyon Martin’s Friend Grilled By Defense

This parade of pro-Zimmerman analysis is reminiscent of last year’s election analysis on Fox, where every discussion leaned heavily in favor of a Romney victory. Fox irresponsibly led their audience to believe that President Obama was irredeemably unpopular and bound for defeat. Fox would only present disreputable polls that showed Romney ahead, while ignoring all the other surveys (including their own) that forecast an Obama victory. When reality set in on election day, Team Fox and the gullible dupes who watch the network, were dumbfounded at a result for which they were entirely unprepared.

The same thing is happening now with this trial. The obvious zeal that Fox is expressing for a Zimmerman acquittal is not incidental. It fits into their mission to demonize minorities. Try to imagine what Fox’s (or the rest of the media) reaction to this case would have been if the races were reversed. Do you think Fox would be defending a black man who had shot and killed an unarmed white kid walking home with Skittles and iced tea?

Zimmerman-Martin

The consequences of Fox’s disinformation could be troublesome. If Zimmerman is convicted, the response by the racially biased viewers of Fox will be shock and awe. Just like after the election, they will be unable to grasp how a jury had concluded that Zimmerman was guilty when everything they had seen on Fox News convinced them that he was innocent and that there was no chance of a conviction. Fox appears to be priming their viewers to rise up in outrage at a verdict they never saw as even a remote possibility.

On CNN and MSNBC there has been a much more balanced presentation of the court proceedings. When the prosecution flubbed an argument, it was reported as such, even on Al Sharpton’s show, despite the clear bias of the host. When a witness contradicted a defense assertion, that was reported as well. The reason for this is that unbiased journalists do not have a stake in the outcome. Liberals, from the outset, have only wanted justice to be done. They were appropriately disturbed at the start of this affair when Zimmerman was let off without an arrest or investigation. The protests that erupted were focused on those ends, not on railroading Zimmerman into jail.

Now that the people are getting their trial, the judgment of the jury ought to be respected. But That is not the tone that Fox is advancing. The hunger for absolution on Fox is palpable. They are convinced that a black youth with no record of violence or criminal activity initiated an unprovoked attack on a conscientious neighborhood watch captain. And until the jury rules, that is the position Fox is sticking with. If that isn’t racism, then what the hell is it?