With no new scandal bait emerging over the weekend for Fox News to exploit, they may consider this a slow news day. But in the 24/7 world of cable news the show must go on. Consequently, the editorial team over at Fox was forced to scrape up some chum for their ravenously disgruntled audience. And this is what they came up with:
The Clinton Suck-Up
There’s a new book that contains flattering remarks about Hillary Clinton by Gen. David Petraeus. He says that “she’d make a tremendous president,” and sites as an example of her qualifications a reason that is certain to rattle your average Foxie:
Petreaus: “Like a lot of great leaders, her most impressive qualities were most visible during tough times. In the wake of the Benghazi attacks, for example, she was extraordinarily resolute, determined, and controlled.”
Uh oh. A respected general who was revered by the right, and even solicited by Fox News CEO Roger Ailes to run for president in 2012, has high praise for Clinton and her handling of Fox’s favorite anti-Clinton cudgel, Benghazi. Fox’s response was to rush John Bolton into the studio for his reaction. Bolton seemed a bit confused as he struggled to find the meaning of this development. He eventually settled for claiming that Petraeus must have made a mistake or that he was sucking up to Clinton. That was about the best they could do on short notice as they sought to walk the fine line between their reverence for Petraeus and their hatred for Clinton.
Trapped In ObamaCare
If Clinton and Benghazi are Fox’s favorite punching bags, ObamaCare is a close second. They have spent countless hours trying to sabotage the program and frighten their viewers from participating in it. This morning they brought in Fox Business anchor Melissa Francis to discuss what they called an “ObamaCare Coverage Gap.” In reality what they were describing were people whose income fell below the threshold to qualify for ObamaCare subsidies.
Originally these people were supposed to become eligible for Medicaid, but last year the Supreme Court issued a ruling that made that provision voluntary in each state. It is in mostly Republican controlled states where they declined to take advantage of the billions of federal dollars available to expand their Medicaid programs. As a result, the low income residents of those states have been left without any coverage at all. So the coverage gap that Fox attributes to ObamaCare is actually the fault of GOP governors and legislatures who were more interested in scoring a political blow than they were in the well being of their citizens. For some reason Fox left that detail out of their report.
The Olympic Terrorist Bombing
On Fox News Sunday this weekend, the Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, Mike McCaul (R-TX), discussed his concerns about terrorism at the Sochi Olympics and said that “There’s a high degree of probability that something will detonate, something will go off.” This is a concern that has been articulated by many people, especially after a couple of actual terrorist bombings in southern Russia. But few officials have gone so far as to say that it is “probable.” [For the record, the last terrorist bombing that occurred during the Olympics was in the United States at the games held in Atlanta. The bomber was a right-wing extremist upset by socialism and abortion. Before being caught he bombed a couple of family planning clinics.]
Which brings us to the appearance this morning by Fox contributor Ralph Peters. For those who are unfamiliar with him, he has a long record of vile commentary that includes advocating torture and accusing President Obama of seeking “common ground” with Al Qaeda. Asked to respond to McCaul’s prediction, Peters went on a bender of his own. After agreeing that the risk in Sochi is real, Peters offered some praise for how the Russians handle these sort of affairs.
Peters: “Sometimes a heavy hand and brutality works. [The Russians] don’t do stop-and-frisk, they do stop-and-frisk and beat the hell out of you. And you know what? It’s brutal, it’s ugly, and sometimes it works.”
Obviously Peters approves of the exercise of brutality. And this is not the first time he has said so. He believes that American soldiers should use the same tactics that are used against them by enemy forces and terrorists. In his view there is no place for preserving the values and humane principles that most Americans revere. And by repeatedly inviting Peters onto their network, Fox News is just as bad.
That’s how the morning went at Fox News. It was fairly typical and filled with the sort of lies and animus that is characteristic of the network. No doubt they will escalate their hostile rhetoric as the day proceeds. The morning crew is setting a pretty high bar for the prime timers, O’Reilly and Kelly and Hannity, to clear later today.