Fox News Hideously Twists Loretta Lynch’s Inspiring Message As Calling For ‘Blood and Death’

Former Attorney General Loretta Lynch broke many barriers during her tenure as head of the Justice Department. Not the least of which was being the first African American woman to hold the position. She has been a committed advocate of civil rights for decades. And she has always supported peaceful, legal efforts to advance the cause.

Loretta lynch

That makes the recent headlines in the right-wing media all the more troubling. Lynch recorded a video message (posted below) upon leaving the Justice Department when President Obama’s term as president expired. It is an inspiring appeal to all Americans to continue the struggle for equal justice under the law. The brief statement serves as a reminder that the fight for equality has “never been easy.” Here are her remarks in full:

“I know that this is a time of great fear and uncertainty for so many people. I know it’s a time of concern for people who see our rights being assailed, being trampled on, even being rolled back. I know that this is difficult. But I remind you that this has never been easy.

“We have always had to work to move this country forward to achieve the great ideals of our founding fathers. And it has been people, individuals, who have banded together. Ordinary people who simply saw what needed to be done and came together and supported those ideals who have made the difference.”

“They’ve marched, they’ve bled and yes, some of them died. This is hard. Every good thing is. We have done this before. We can do this again.”

It seems hard to believe that anyone could find fault in that positive message that exalts American values. But conservative bigots and their media outlets would not be deterred from doing just that.

The ultra-rightist, conspiracy theory website, WorldNetDaily, took the lead with an article that heinously misrepresented Lynch. They maliciously turned her words into a call for blood and death. WND clipped the part where Lynch honored those who sacrificed so much to bring about equality and gave it a new and hateful meaning. They headlined their story “Loretta Lynch: Need more marching, blood, death on streets.”

Obviously Lynch was not advocating for more blood and death. That’s an interpretation that can only be made by a blindly partisan and deliberately dishonest bigot. She was saluting heroes from the past who advanced the cause of liberty. People like Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, whose mission was always one of peaceful protest. The violence came from the opponents of equal rights for all.

After WND published their hit piece it circulated throughout the right-wing echo chamber. Most prominently, it was featured on the Fox News community website (and lie factory), Fox Nation, with the same headline. And it didn’t stop there. The wingnut network embraced this slanderous theme. It was also published on a variety of right-wing sites including Alex Jones’ Infowars, the Gateway Pundit, and the Drudge Report.

This is how the alt-right, white supremacists distribute their hate-speech. And it isn’t a coincidence that all of these outlets are on Donald Trump’s favorites list. His presidency has emboldened the worst elements of our national character. When Klan groups openly celebrate the election of Trump, someone they regard as one of their own, it should set off alarms. But Trump’s tepid response to his most fervent and vile followers continues to serve as encouragement to the racist right. And the smears against Lynch are just the latest examples of how committed bigots will distort reality to further their mission of hate.

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Civil Whites March: Fox News Whines That Liberal Media Cut Bush Out Of Selma Ceremony

This past weekend marked the 50th anniversary of one of the most iconic events in America’s history. In 1965 hundreds of protesters organized a march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama to demand an end to the institutional racism that kept African Americans from exercising their right to vote. The marchers were met on the Edmund Pettus Bridge by state troopers who beat them with nightsticks, trampled them horses, assaulted them with water cannons, and left many of the peaceful marchers severely injured.

John Lewis, now a U.S. congressman, was among those who suffered at the hands of the segregationist southern establishment. The televised images of the brutality directed at the marchers played a significant role in elevating the civil rights crisis to a national priority.

So how did Fox News choose to cover this historic commemorative occasion? This morning on Fox & Friends the Kurvy Kouch Potatoes devoted the whole of their Selma segment to complaining about a photo that appeared in the New York Times. Later, the ladies of “Outnumbered” did the same thing. The photo in question was of President Obama walking arm-in-arm with some of the figures who participated in the original march fifty years ago, including Rep. Lewis. But the Fox crew completely ignored the cultural importance of the event in order to play out their obsession with being victims of the “liberal” media.

Fox News

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Dispensing with any discussion of the state of civil rights in the intervening years, Fox focused on their allegation that former president George W. Bush had been deliberately cropped out of the photo that appeared in the New York Times. To them this was further evidence of how the liberal media distorts the news and robs conservatives of their rightful place as champions of civil rights.

There are two small problems with that characterization. First, the Times did not crop the photo at all. They printed the entire photo that had been supplied to them. The photographer had quite reasonably framed the photo to put President Obama in the center, thus missing Bush who was far off to the side. Other photos were taken of the event that show Bush, however, in order to reveal the whole front line of the march, the picture would have either consumed the entire width of the paper or been reduced so that no one could have been recognized.

The second problem is that the notion that Bush is an indispensable component of any photo of a civil rights march is ludicrous. In his eight years as president, Bush attended only one of the annual meetings of the NAACP. His Justice Department investigated the organization with an aim to remove its tax-exempt status. He opposed affirmative action and other legislative remedies to racism. And he appointed Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts who wrote the majority opinion striking down provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that was a direct result of the original march in Selma.

Why the Fox regulars regard Bush as being entitled to a place of honor at this march is a mystery. But even worse is the fact that they would feature this phony assertion of liberal media bias to the exclusion of any substantive reporting on the issues that led to the march in 1965 and the importance of its 50th anniversary this weekend.

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This is typical of Fox’s perverse editorial stance on civil rights issues. On their Fox News Sunday program they hosted Kimberly Strassel of the Wall Street Journal (another brick in Rupert Murdoch’s media empire) who complained that Obama called for renewal of the Voting Rights Act. Just to be clear, she was against talking about voting rights in a speech commemorating an historic march for voting rights. Also notable is that Fox News failed to mention that not a single member of the current leadership in Congress attended the anniversary event in Selma.

And yet, Fox found time on multiple programs to gripe about a non-story concerning the cropping of a photo that never happened. That’s what Fox regards as newsworthy. And everybody knows that civil rights begin with exalting white Republicans who never did a damn thing to advance them.

Rand Paul States The Obvious: The Republican Party Brand Sucks

Every now and then a politician will surprise people by saying something that is manifestly true. However, they often only resort to that strategy when it is also unarguably obvious or they have an absurd explanation for why the truth is what it is.

Sen. Rand Paul (KY-Tea Party) made just such a pronouncement yesterday while on the campaign trail for his Kentucky colleague, Mitch McConnell. The glaringly evident observation that Paul issued was that “The Republican Party brand sucks.”

Rand Paul

No, really? Who knew? Well, pretty much everybody except for GOP chair Reince Priebus and most of the cult-bound viewers of Fox News. Notwithstanding all of the media pouncing on President Obama’s low approval rating in recent polls, his 41% looks awfully good compared to the GOP’s ranking down in the low teens. So it’s understandable that Paul would seek to provide a tortured interpretation of reality to explain the public’s distaste for his party. And apparently it’s all the fault of colored folk.

Paul: For 80 years African-Americans have had nothing to do with Republicans. Why? Because of a perception. The problem is the perception that no one in the Republican Party cares.

Indeed there is a perception among African-Americans (and Latinos, and women, and gays, and youth, and seniors, and workers, and the poor) that Republicans don’t care about them. But it is a perception based on political reality. The GOP’s policies have been aimed straight at the heart of Americans who are not wealthy or otherwise privileged. When Republicans oppose raising the minimum wage, and cutting social security, and advocating tax reform that puts more money in the pockets of the rich while incentivizing corporations to send American jobs overseas, there will be a perception resulting from such deliberately harmful legislative practices.

What’s more, if African-Americans have had nothing to do with Republicans for 80 years, it may have something to do with the fact that throughout all of that time the Republicans have tried to suppress them by opposing the Civil Rights Act, and the Voting Rights Act, and other measures aimed at insuring a more equal society. Even today the GOP has been fiercely fighting to impose obstacles to voting for minorities and other citizens they fear will vote against the GOP. Why on Earth would any of these disenfranchised Americans have a positive perception of Republicans?

Paul, it should be noted, is specifically among those who have advocated for policies harmful to African Americans. In an epic debate with Rachel Maddow he argued his position against parts of the Civil Rights Act, although he later denied he ever took such a position. This disparity is certain to come up again should Paul enter the primary for the GOP nomination for president in 2016, as many expect that he will.

So it is small wonder that the Republican Party brand sucks. It is more surprising that anyone might still hold it in high regard. But for Paul to carry this message as if he were positioned to fix the branding is ludicrous. And the notion that the GOP’s problems are merely related to perceptions, rather than substantive differences with their historical and current platform, is really just another example of why the party is so out of touch.

Obama Paranoia Strikes Deep

“Get ready for an unprecedented government assault upon the First Amendment. President Obama will be at the heart of it.”

These are the words that open an article in the ultra-rightist Human Events by notorious kook, Jack Thompson (more on him later). The article is another in a series of hysterical rants from conservative Chicken Littles who fear that Democratic leadership is intent on restoring the “Fairness Doctrine” which they believe will sweep their heroes (Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck, etc.) from the airwaves. This despite the fact that Barack Obama himself is on record opposing its reinstatement. But that doesn’t stop Thompson from building a delusional case for how Obama has devised an insidious plot to stifle right-wingers with an even more destructive attack on free speech.

Thompson leads his argument with this frightening passage from a speech by Charles Benton of the Benton Foundation:

“[O]ur number one national communications policy priority must be the eradication of racial and gender discrimination in media and telecommunications. Our shared goal: seeing the day when all Americans possess the tools to compete in commerce, to contribute to and enjoy the fruits of democracy, to receive unbiased and uncensored news and information, to create our culture.” [Emphasis by Thompson]

The Benton Foundation is a private institution that “works to ensure that media and telecommunications serve the public interest and enhance our democracy.” As illustrated in the quote above, their mission is one that most Americans would enthusiastically support. However, Thompson tries to turn it into something scary with creative italics. His attempt would be even more ludicrous had he included the next paragraph from the speech:

“In our democratic society, we are constantly on the outlook for undue influence by the government on our communications. But we should be equally vigilant to make sure that a handful of powerful people or companies do not dominate our discourse either.”

Is this really something that Thompson thinks conservatives should recoil from? He continues by trying to demonize the concept of “localism” which calls for the FCC “to gather information from consumers, industry, civic organizations, and others on broadcasters’ service to their local communities.” If Thompson is opposed to this, one wonders from where he thinks the FCC ought to get information. Politicians? Missionaries? Astrologers? He further disparages localism by associating it with the latest conservative buzz word for bogeyman, “community organizer.” What is most perplexing is that Thompson really expects anyone to be troubled by the agendas outlined above. But, sadly, there will be plenty of troubled readers who will buy Thompson’s snake oil.

Thompson’s most disturbing argument against localism comes with a reference to one of the right’s favorite new fright-makers, Rev. Jeremiah Wright. However the connection is as fragile as Thompson’s grasp of reality. In 1967, the United Church of Christ’s Office of Communication participated, with the NAACP and residents of Jackson, MS, in a challenge to the broadcast license of WLBT. For the record, Wright was not associated with the UCC at that time – he was not even a minister. In fact, he was wrapping up his service as a Navy medical technician assigned to the team caring for President Lyndon Johnson. It was not until 1972, after returning to college and earning two masters degrees and a Doctorate of Divinity, that he became pastor of UCC’s Trinity Church.

But it is Thompson’s characterization of the WLBT challenge that is truly disgusting. He calls WLBT “a Southern station [that] was not covering the civil rights movement fairly.” The truth is somewhat more unsavory than that trivialization. The book Changing Channels – The Civil Rights Case That Transformed Television,” by Kay Mills, describes what really happened with a little more detail and accuracy. Mills wrote about the situation in an article for the National Archives:

WLBT, which had gone on the air in 1953, employed no black people, either on camera or behind the scenes, although its audience was more than 40 percent black. The station also did not cover the black community in the same depth as it covered news about the white community, and it broadcast the Sunday services of only a local white church and none from black churches. Its station manager editorialized on the air against the admission of James Meredith to the University of Mississippi in 1962, arguing that states, not the federal government, should determine who could attend their schools and colleges.

The case against WLBT was a hard fought matter of principles that endure today. Prior to this victory, which was argued before both the FCC and federal courts, the only people who could bring these sort of challenges were those with “an economic stake in the issue or people who could claim electrical interference from broadcasters’ signals.” This case provided the first ruling that permitted citizens to take action against broadcasters who failed to serve the public interest. It was the first time that regulators were forced to listen to citizens and not just the broadcasters and corporations.

WLBT was an egregious violator of the Fairness Doctrine rules in effect at the time. Its management was overtly racist. And they repeatedly resisted efforts to be more responsive to their viewers and the community at large. The battle against WLBT produced a profound victory that was aided by historic figures like Medger Evers, Thurgood Marshall, and Warren Burger. It is this example that Thompson chose in order to whip up opposition to Obama and an expired doctrine that Obama does not support.

Thompson is so fixated on roiling the waters that he would denigrate one of the most significant events in the civil rights movement to further his ignoble ends. Therein lies the seeds of his madness. Jack Thompson is a well known nutcase. He has a long history of feuding with a variety of people and institutions. He has been a crusading critic of pornography and violence in video games, advocating what amounts to censorship. And when his nuisance suits were quashed, he whined about being discriminated against for his Christian beliefs. Eventually, he was permanently disbarred from practicing law in Florida for making false statements and attempting to humiliate, embarrass, harass or intimidate litigants and other lawyers. None of this, however, keeps Human Events from making Thompson a regular contributor.

[Update: It has just been revealed that Kevin Werbach, a co-chair of Obama’s FCC transition team is an avid gamer. This should set up an epic battle between him and anti-gamer, Thompson.]

The Culture Warriors on the right are shameless in their brazen assaults on someone who has not even taken office. Yet somehow Obama is orchestrating an end to the First Amendment. The current state of the economy is already being referred to by the Hannitized as the Obama recession. If he chooses an aide or cabinet appointee with experience, he is said to have abandoned his promise for “change.” But if he names someone new from outside the beltway, he’ll be accused of being irresponsible.

The message is clear: The Martinets of Conservatism want you to hate Barack Obama – and they want you to start NOW!