Off His Meds: Bill O’Reilly’s Lunatic Rant That Only “Lunatic Fringe” Are Racist

Bill O’Reilly has a long history of refusing to acknowledge reality. He has adamantly denied that there are any homeless veterans in America. He has refused to accept that Christians are a privileged majority. And now he is staunchly insisting that racism is a nearly non-existent problem that is only represented by what he calls the “lunatic fringe.”

Bill O'Reilly

On last night’s episode of “The Factor” {video below) O’Reilly pressed that point until the veins on his forehead nearly burst. It was a vivid display of rancor, mostly aimed at his guest, Fox News contributor Kirsten Powers. Considering that Powers is generally a weak version of a Fox liberal, O’Reilly’s assault seemed grossly overplayed. He shouted, interrupted and barked orders at Powers as if she was his…slave? And all because Powers made the absurd claim that “racism is a serious issue in this country, and I don’t know why you are so unable to see that.”

Frustrated with Powers’ reasonableness, O’Reilly shifted to his other guest, wingnut pundit Monica Crowley. She was much more accommodating to O’Reilly’s forced perspective as she asserted that America’s enemies like ISIS and Russia are trying to take down the country from the outside, while the “left” is trying to take it down from the inside. This elicited some audible sighs from Powers which O’Reilly simply could not abide. He admonished her saying that “You’re snortin’ out there and I want you to knock it off.” That’s because only O’Reilly can interrupt people rudely, which he did repeatedly to Powers. Then he sought to brag about how magnanimous white folks have been over the years:

O’Reilly: O’Reilly: We are trying to overcome the legacy [of racism]. How? Laws, civil rights legislation, fast track, entitlements, affirmative action. I mean, how many more programs can we have?

O’Reilly didn’t specify what legislation he was referring to, and he also didn’t mention the recent dilution of landmark civil rights laws by the right-wing Supreme Court. However, he did include fast track in his list, which has nothing to do with civil rights. Nor does entitlements, which are available for, and mostly received by, white citizens. Then O’Reilly contends that any racism in America is just the “lunatic fringe.” To which Powers responds…

Powers: No, it’s not the lunatic fringe. There are actually a lot of people in this country who are racist. And you just refuse…I really have to wonder, how many black friends do you have?
O’Reilly: (ignoring the question) Most Americans are not racist. They’re not. If you think most Americans are racist I’m ashamed of you.
Powers: First of all, I didn’t say most Americans are racist.
O’Reilly: You just said it.

Actually, as the video shows, Powers did not say that most Americans are racist. But that didn’t stop O’Reilly from shouting her down with his false allegation. And he continued to repeat his characterization of America’s racists as a trivial minority, despite the fact that there are over a thousand hate groups in the country and race-based crimes are committed every day. Certainly O’Reilly doesn’t have any personal experience with racism. After all, he’s the guy that went to Sylvia’s Restaurant in Harlem and was surprised that “There wasn’t one person in Sylvia’s who was screaming, ‘M-Fer, I want more iced tea.'”

This is just the most recent demonstration of the severe psychological defect that O’Reilly is suffering from. He is a bully and and liar and a purposeful distorter of reality. His sickness even extends to his supposed friends and colleagues, like Powers.

Despite how obviously wrong he was in this argument, he will neither acknowledge it nor apologize. That’s just the way tyrants and emotional terrorists operate. It may get him ratings, because there are enough meatheads in the Fox demographic who enjoy this sort of manufactured melodrama, but it doesn’t give him any credibility or dignity as a TV pundit or a person.

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Update: O’Reilly defended his lunatic rant the following night with claims that the far left is advancing a narrative that all of America is awash in white supremacy. Of course, that is not what anyone on the left (far or otherwise) is saying. They are simply acknowledging the reality that there are some white supremacists in America, along with other garden variety bigots. O’Reilly goes on to glorify Fox News and lament the lack of fairness in the rest of the media because brazenly racist, wingnut websites like Daily Caller, Breitbart, WorldNetDaily, and Newsmax, don’t get enough attention. He says “You want a war, you got a war. I’m not gonna sit here anymore and take this garbage.” Something tells me he is gonna sit there, like he always does. He’s just gonna bitch about it louder.

WTF? The Childish Fox News Reaction To Obama Saying Nig…. Um, The N Word

President Obama spent an hour in Marc Maron’s garage to record a podcast with the popular comedian (full audio below). They discussed numerous subjects including politics, climate change, family, and media. And given that the tragic massacre in South Carolina was just a few days earlier, it would have been surprising if they had not also talked about race and racism in America. But leave it to Fox News to inflate a trivial segment of an hour-long interview in order to insult the President and distract from the other important issues that were being discussed.

During the portion of the interview that dealt with race (@46:25), Obama spoke movingly about his personal experiences and the broader context of race relations in America. At one point he said…

“The legacy of slavery, Jim Crow, discrimination in almost every institution of our lives, you know, that casts a long shadow, and that’s still part of our DNA that’s passed on. We’re not cured of it. And it’s not just a matter of it not being polite to say ‘nigger’ in public. That’s not the measure of whether racism still exists or not. It’s not just a matter of overt discrimination. Societies don’t overnight completely erase everything that happened 2-300 years prior.”

Oh lordy me. Pass the smellin’ salts Martha. The President uttered the unmentionable, and the inevitable demise of Western civilization will surely follow. Everyone knows that in adult conversations you have to spell naughty words rather than communicate with other grown-ups in a manner that reflects intellectual maturity. Because if you say the “F” word, or the “N” word, or the “X” word (don’t ask), no one will know that you really mean a word with more letters that will cause your ears to seal up. Responsible adults know to always speak as if you’re addressing children or others with stunted emotional development (or, as it turns out, Fox News viewers).

It’s notable that conservatives suddenly find this word so objectionable as an expression of hatred and division, yet they don’t have any problem with the official banner of hateful dividers, the Confederate flag.

Obama Confederate Flag

The reaction by conservative media to POTUS dropping the “N” Bomb was swift and stupid. Taking the lead, of course, was Fox News, where their early morning gabfest, Fox & Friends, accused Obama’s language of being beneath the dignity of the office of the presidency. Saying “‘N’ word” is so much more dignified. And besides, Fox News has declared that racism is over so there is no need to even bring the subject up anymore, much less use controversial language.

The Curvy Couch Potatoes, Steve Doocy and Elisabeth Hasselbeck, both speculated that Obama might also use the word in a State of the Union address because, in their cartoon brains, whenever someone uses a word in one venue, it will then be used everywhere else: State of the Union, United Nations, The Tonight Show, PTA meetings, etc.

Throughout the morning (and afternoon and evening) the editorial mandate on Fox News was to keep repeating this non-story that involved a five-second blip from an hour long interview. Perhaps the most strikingly obtuse opinion was rendered by Fox contributor Deneen Borelli, who called Obama the “Rapper-in-Chief,” and said that “He has really dragged in the gutter speak of rap music. So now he is the first president of rap, of street?”

Really? Borelli’s attempt to equate a substantive discussion of race, wherein the President made thoughtful remarks about lingering problems, with the provocative creative license exercised by rappers, is beyond ludicrous. Apparently she would also blanch and\or giggle at the words breast or penis if a doctor used them in a medical context, because in her mind it’s the same as if they were used in a dirty limerick.

On Fox News and elsewhere, Obama was accused of using the word as a “grand distraction.” The absurd hilarity of that charge rests in the fact that it is only the right-wing media that is using this to distract. They plucked the sentence fragment out of a long, in-depth interview and ignored everything else that was discussed. As an indication of just how fixated they were on Obama’s use of this word, they completely missed what he said about Fox News:

Obama: There’s this big gap between who we are as a people and how our politics expresses itself. And part of that has to do with gerrymandering and SuperPACs and lobbyists, and a media that is so splintered now that we’re not in a common conversation. And the fact that if you watch Fox News you inhabit a completely different world with different facts than if you read the New York Times. And that becomes self-reinforcing. And there’s a profit both for politicians and for news outlets simplifying and polarizing.

Fox News Obama Maron

Ordinarily, when Obama invokes Fox News, the network takes immediate and prolonged offense, even if it isn’t due, as is the case here where Obama also cited the New York Times. Regardless, Fox generally strikes back viciously and condemns Obama for trying to belittle or intimidate the alleged “news” channel that spends most of its time demonizing him. So for Fox to give this allusion a pass shows how seriously they were overwhelmed by the power of the “N” word’s utterance. Or at least it shows how seriously they are committed to using this to bash the President.

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Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
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[Update:] This afternoon the governor of South Carolina announced that she would back a plan to remove the flag from the grounds of the state capitol. She said that it was time to show that state property belongs to all South Carolinians. That’s funny, because all the South Carolinians who have been offended by the Confederate flag for decades never bothered these southerners until a white, racist brandishing the flag murdered nine African-Americans in a church. Let’s see how the other states that feature or allow the Confederate flag respond to this.

Hostile Pastor On Fox News Says Charleston Church Massacre Due To “Rising Hostility Against Christians”

Last night there was another of the sort of tragedies that are becoming painfully common in modern America. The Emanuel AME Church, an historic African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina, was attacked by an openly racist gunman who managed to take the lives of nine innocent people before fleeing into the night. This morning police in North Carolina apprehended Dylann Storm Roof, the alleged perpetrator.

Despite the readily available facts from police and witnesses, Fox News immediately went into a defensive posture to mitigate any speculation that race might have been the motive in the crime. The general editorial viewpoint of Fox News is that racism ceased to exist when President Obama was elected. Never mind that his election brought out the racists at Fox who questioned his birth, his faith, his patriotism, and accused him of deliberately inciting racial violence and riots.

Fox News has also been a critic of studies that show that America is far more at risk due to threats from right-wing, domestic terrorists than from foreign extremist Islamic groups like ISIS. Just the mention of such studies brings outrage from offended rightists who are desperate to avoid seeing the truth. However, the incident in Charleston affirms the studies and reinforces that fact that there have been many assaults perpetrated by rightist individuals and groups, but not a single successful attack by ISIS. Yet which of these does Fox News work so hard to make people fear?

Fox News

The Charlston whitewash began with the first Fox News program in the morning, Fox & Friends, where they hosted wingnut pastor E.W. Jackson to discuss distort the story. Jackson was introduced by Steve Doocy who was taken aback because “extraordinarily, they called it a hate crime.” Doocy didn’t bother to explain just what he thought was extraordinary about it, but Jackson went into some further detail:

“We’re urging people to wait for the facts. Don’t jump to conclusions. But I have to tell you that I’m deeply concerned that this gunman chose to go into a church, because there does seem to be a rising hostility against Christians across this country because of our biblical views. And I just think that it’s something we have to be aware of and not create an atmosphere where people take out their violent intentions against Christians.”

So after cautioning everyone not to jump to conclusions, Jackson leaped ahead to suggest the utterly improbable notion that a white man firing randomly into a congregation of black parishioners was actually an assault based on religion and not race. He propounded this theory even though there were already reports that the shooter had announced his his racist purpose before he began shooting, saying that he was there “to shoot black people.”

Of course, the Curvy Couch Potatoes readily agreed with Jackson and commended him on making a good point. But if this weren’t bad enough, Jackson continued to interject something else that was on his mind:

“And I would mention one other thing very quickly, and that is I would urge pastors and men in these churches to prepare to defend themselves. It’s sad, but I think that we’ve got to arm ourselves.”

No one should be surprised that Fox News would seek to advance their pro-gun agenda after another mass murder by another crazed gunman. It’s what they did after the massacres at Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, Aurora, Colorado, and elsewhere. Shilling for NRA-theists is an inbred trait at Fox News. However, it is disturbing that in this case they chose Jackson as their mouthpiece since he has a history of advocating an avowedly militant philosophy. Earlier this year he spoke at the National Press Club to denounce marriage equality. He declared that gay marriage was contrary to God’s plan and pledged that Christians “will give our lives standing for the truth.”

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Considering the hostility that Jackson and his peers have for those with whom they disagree, and his determination to fight to the death against what he considers sinful, it would be inviting tragedy to put guns in the hands of people like him. He’s already aching for a war and he believes that he and other Christians are the oppressed victims who are justified in taking up arms. Talk about a recipe for disaster.

Free Speech At Fox News: Offensive To Muslims OK – Critical Of Police No Way

A few weeks ago a well known Islamophobe and professional instigator, Pamela Geller, held what she pretended was a contest to “Draw the Prophet Muhammad.” In reality the affair had nothing to do with art or free expression, but was a deliberate attempt to incite violence.

Geller’s hate-fest was praised as a courageous expression of liberty by sympathetic bigots at Fox News. They regarded her repugnant message as patriotic and celebrated the death of the two idiots that Geller was successful in provoking into senseless violence. But if you want to know what the same Fox News blowhards who revere Geller really think about free speech, just keep watching and they will reveal their true disgust for the First Amendment when it protects speech that they don’t like.

Fox News Free Speech

Last week Eric Bolling delivered a commentary about an art exhibit by students at a New Jersey high school. The exhibit was called “Law Enforcement – Police Brutality.” It was a subject chosen by the students and was open to, and included, opinions from all sides of the debate. Bolling, of course, focused solely on the work that was critical of the police, and he was not shy about expressing his desire for censorship.

Bolling: OK, I get the idea of free speech but … hey, teachers at Westfield would you put up an art exhibit showing teachers abusing students? I don’t think you’d do it. Nor should you have done this. I’d like to see that thing taken down.

Judging by this comment it is not particularly clear that Bolling really does “get the idea of free speech.” These students have every right to express their own opinions of significant current events that affect their communities. Suppressing the artwork they produce is a clear breach of those rights. But hypocrites like Bolling continue to expose themselves as having variable principles that permit freedom only to those with whom they agree. This is illustrated best by what Bolling himself said a couple of weeks prior in defense of Geller and her hate exhibit.

Bolling: Free speech is protected no matter how inciting it may be. We’re becoming too politically correct. We worry that offending Muslims somehow overrides our won Constitutional rights.

It should surprise no one that Bolling never suggested that Geller’s exhibit should be “taken down,” nor that he never stood up for the students’ free speech “no matter how inciting it may be.” To Bolling and his Fox News cohorts, Geller’s anti-Muslim bigotry makes her a standard bearer of American virtue, but the students’ concerns about abuse of power by law enforcement makes them snotty little delinquents who should be neither seen nor heard.

On a side note, why is Fox News so obsessed with demeaning high school students? Check out this previous attack on students in Vermont after they defended their state from disparaging remarks by a Bill O’Reilly producer.

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Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Icing on the flake: The following day, Bolling responded to criticism he received for his overt hypocrisy. In his whiny, self-defense he insisted that he is a stalwart proponent of free speech and all that he meant to convey was that he also had the right to say that he didn’t approve of the student art show. However, there a couple problems with that “clarification.” First, he didn’t say that he didn’t approve, he said that he would like to see it taken down. Second, he never acknowledged that critics of Geller’s phony exhibit also have a right to disapprove. He still regards them as anti-free speech, once again proving that his rights are legitimate and everyone else should shut up.

Glenn Beck On Michelle Obama: “She Is Encouraging Rioting In The Streets”

Remember Glenn Beck? Remember that guy who used to rant about caliphates and Agenda 21 conspiracies and presidents who hate white people? I know it has been a while (like maybe twenty or thirty minutes), but if you can reach back in your memories to that time that Glenn Beck was dispensing certifiably insane lectures on the end of civilization, you may be interested to know that he’s still doing it.

Glenn Beck

Yes, even though Beck has undergone revelations that such nonsense was destructive, he still persists. Even though he has apologized and claimed to have had epiphanies showing him the evil of his ways on at least two occassions:

June 7, 2013: For any role that I have played in dividing, I wish I can take them back.
January 22, 2014: I think I played a role, unfortunately, in helping tear the country apart.

And even though he claimed that his “craziness” was the product of his diseased mind:

November 11, 2014: I had begun to have a string of health issues that, quite honestly, made me look crazy. And, quite honestly, I felt crazy because of them.

The lunacy continues in the bowels of his Texas studio where today he unleashed some of his most vicious rhetoric to date aimed at First Lady Michelle Obama.

The impetus for this flow of vitriol was Obama’s inspirational commencement speech at Tuskegee University in Alabama (video below). It was a well-received address that began with uplifting praise for “all of you will take your spot in the long line of men and women who have come here and distinguished themselves and this university.” She continued with heartfelt personal stories of how she and her family were subject to many of the same hardships that African-Americans, and other oppressed minorities, have suffered due to prejudices that were ingrained in the culture of a nation divided by race.

Despite these hardships, Obama assured the students that this country holds great promise for them and that they must never give in to bitterness or cynicism. She used the example of the famous squadron of Tuskegee Airmen who distinguished themselves in World War II:

“Now, those Airmen could easily have let that experience clip their wings. But as you all know, instead of being defined by the discrimination and the doubts of those around them, they became one of the most successful pursuit squadrons in our military. They went on to show the world that if black folks and white folks could fight together, and fly together, then surely — surely — they could eat at a lunch counter together. Surely their kids could go to school together.”

Obama also spoke movingly about some of the outright bigotry that welcomed her and the President into national politics:

“Back when my husband first started campaigning for President, folks had all sorts of questions of me: What kind of First Lady would I be? What kinds of issues would I take on? Would I be more like Laura Bush, or Hillary Clinton, or Nancy Reagan? And the truth is, those same questions would have been posed to any candidate’s spouse. That’s just the way the process works. But, as potentially the first African American First Lady, I was also the focus of another set of questions and speculations; conversations sometimes rooted in the fears and misperceptions of others. Was I too loud, or too angry, or too emasculating? (Applause.) Or was I too soft, too much of a mom, not enough of a career woman?

“Then there was the first time I was on a magazine cover — it was a cartoon drawing of me with a huge afro and machine gun. Now, yeah, it was satire, but if I’m really being honest, it knocked me back a bit. It made me wonder, just how are people seeing me.

“Or you might remember the on-stage celebratory fist bump between me and my husband after a primary win that was referred to as a “terrorist fist jab.” And over the years, folks have used plenty of interesting words to describe me. One said I exhibited “a little bit of uppity-ism.“ Another noted that I was one of my husband’s “cronies of color.” Cable news once charmingly referred to me as “Obama’s Baby Mama.”

“And of course, Barack has endured his fair share of insults and slights. Even today, there are still folks questioning his citizenship. “

However, the lesson from this that Obama conveyed to the students was expressed in her realization that “if I wanted to keep my sanity and not let others define me, there was only one thing I could do, and that was to have faith in God’s plan for me. I had to ignore all of the noise and be true to myself — and the rest would work itself out.”

The overwhelming theme of the speech was victory over adversity, and the benefits of being true to oneself and committed to a path of harmony, service, and success, personally and professionally. But somehow Glenn Beck got a very different message. He castigated Obama for failing to solve all problems associated with race relations (video here if you have the stomach for it). He said that “they could have changed race relations forever. But they took us back to the 1960’s on grudge politics.” Of course, he never explained how the Obamas could change everything forever, or how they turned back the clock, but validating anything he says has never been a part of his shtick.

Beck was disturbed that Obama spoke about the very real tribulations faced by victims of prejudice. He surely would prefer that she had ignored such unpleasantness. But worse, he accused her of exacerbating racial strife and being ungrateful for the progress that has been made. He insisted that she had no right to lament the difficulties that she endured, and which many still endure, because her husband was elected President with votes from white people. In Beck’s world, progress means that all transgressions, past and present, are irrelevant. The only thing you should feel now is gratitude for the benevolence of all the white people who made your success possible.

According to Beck it is white, conservative, Christian men who are the victims of discrimination today. Somehow, in his severely warped brain, he believes that African-Americans who talk about the real strains of bigotry are self-absorbed whiners, but the beleaguered Caucasians of America have righteous grievances of social injustice. And if that weren’t delusional enough, he lashed out at Obama for fomenting violence and deigned to speak in her voice:

“The worst thing you can do is riot in the streets. She’s saying the opposite. ‘I know what you feel because I felt it, and even I’m the President’s wife and I still feel invisible. I feel like we’re not being heard. So I’m not only validating your feeling, I’m here to tell you it is happening.’

“And that’s why people are rioting in the streets. She is encouraging this kind of behavior.”

For Beck to pretend that he has any concept of what Obama has gone through in her life is repulsive in the extreme. But more importantly, his attack on her misses the whole point. She is speaking for millions of Americans who have suffered at the hands of bigots. And she is telling them to have faith in themselves and their ability to prevail through hardship. Beck played some clips of Obama’s speech, but never any of those where she told the students that their future was in their hands and that they can succeed with a positive outlook.

The fact that Beck came away from this with the notion that Obama was advocating violence and rioting is the best possible evidence of his overt animosity and inbred hatred. It affirms precisely what Obama was talking about. It affirms all of the worst that can be attributed to bigots like him. And it demonstrates that his prior testimonials that he has seen the light and doesn’t want to be a divisive figure anymore, doesn’t want to tear the country apart, were all lies. But then, we knew that already. He has never stopped being a hate mongering spokesman for the worst elements of our society, and it’s fair to assume that he never will.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Slander vs. Pander: How Fox News Exploits Bigotry Against Latinos For Political Gain

This week Hillary Clinton revealed some details of her platform on immigration. She expressed support for a pathway to citizenship and a policy that…

“…treats everyone with dignity and compassion, upholds the rule of law, protects our border and national security, and brings hard-working people out of the shadows and into the formal economy so they can pay taxes and contribute to our nation’s prosperity.”

That is a position that most recent polling shows is favored by most Americans. This puts the Republican Party in a bind of their own making due to their long-standing opposition to Latino issues and to what they falsely call amnesty. And as if to exacerbate that problem, Fox News weighs in with a dishonest and cynical approach to journalism that tries to cut both ways.

Fox News

On the the Fox News Latino website, Fox posted a report on Clinton’s policy address with a headline reading “Hillary Clinton makes deportation protection, path to citizenship central to campaign.” That’s a fairly straightforward description of the remarks Clinton made and treats the subject seriously and without prejudice.

Now lets travel over to the Fox Nation website to see how they covered the same story. Their headline reads “Hillary Clinton Vows to Expand Obama Amnesty to More Illegals.” That begins by lying about the Obama policy which contains nothing even resembling amnesty. For the record, amnesty is a “general pardon for offenses,” however, the Obama doctrine is one that contains considerable prerequisites for eligibility and takes years to satisfy.

More offensive is the use of the term “illegals” to describe undocumented residents. Most reputable news agencies have banned the use of the word as an epithet that does not properly describe the subjects it is insulting. Fox News Latino is among those who have banned the term. But Fox News and Fox Nation use it routinely.

What is happening here is something that News Corpse has documented in the past. Fox News is attempting to pander to Latinos, the fastest growing demographic group (and voter bloc) in the nation, by treating issues that affect them in a more balanced way on their Latino-themed website. At the same time, Fox is resorting to their standard stance of overt prejudice on their main outlets so as not to alienate their bigoted audience that is clamoring for an electrified border fence with a fiery moat stocked with alligators.

This is a cynical attempt to con the Latinos segregated on the Fox Latino site into believing that Fox News has their interests at heart. But a quick look at the rest of Fox News reveals that their bias is openly on display. This phony media strategy is also an effort by Fox to repair the damage that Republican candidates do to their electoral prospects by maligning a critical community of voters. The GOP cannot win a national election without a substantial percentage of the Latino vote, and if the candidates are too beholden to their Tea Party constituency to show these voters respect, Fox has taken on the responsibility of cleaning up their mess.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Fox News must think that Latinos are pretty stupid if they believe that they will fall for this ruse. In the end Fox will not only fail to lull the Latino community into compliance, they will earn their enduring distrust. After Obama’s reelection in 2012, the Republican Party did an exhaustive study of what went so horribly wrong. One of the main conclusions was that the party failed to reach out to minorities and women, and that they would have to improve upon that in the future. Since then their outreach programs have mainly served to drive more minority voters away, except when they weren’t ignoring them completely. And the fact that Fox News still finds it necessary to engage in this sort of duplicity is proof that the party continues to fall behind in the race to represent all of America.

Muhammad Cartoon Contest In Garland, Texas Had Nothing To Do With Free Speech

First things first: Freedom of speech is a cherished liberty among all Americans and most citizens of the rest of the world. It is the bedrock upon which all other freedoms rest. Preserving it is critical for civilized societies to exist. And it must be honored for all speech, especially that which is regarded as unpopular or offensive.

That said, in the practice of defending free speech we must be able to distinguish between actual expressions of genuine thoughts and beliefs, as opposed to cynical exploitation aimed at inflaming emotions and inciting violence. Just as shouting “fire” in a crowded theater when there is no fire is not protected speech, staging events meant to cause harm is not an excusable act under the First Amendment.

Hypocrites who pervert the notion of free expression need to be called out. They are often easy to spot. They complain bitterly when they are not allowed to malign and insult others with impunity. And while they insist that any derogatory speech directed at their heroes be condemned and suppressed, they outright lust for words and pictures that offend those whom they don’t particularly like. That’s how they can justify support for blatantly repulsive speech against Muslims or other enemies of right-wingers, but the slightest perceived slur aimed at Christians or other conservatives is an abomination. [Just ask the Dixie Chicks and the casualties in the War on Christmas]

Cletus Free Speech

The affair in Garland, Texas was advertised as “The Inaugural Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest.” But lest anyone mistake it for a legitimate exercise in free speech, the facts about its organizers and purpose must be known.

The event was a project of the American Freedom Defense Initiative, a virulent anti-Islamic operation that has been been identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group. It is run by notorious Islamophobes, Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer. Geller & Co. have often produced media-centric events to promote an overtly bigoted agenda, of which the event in Garland is just the latest example.

To underscore the evil intentions behind this gathering, note that the venue chosen was the very same venue where Muslims held a conference in January of this year with the stated mission of making it clear that terrorists like ISIS and Al Qaeda are “enemies of Islam who are hurting Muslims and neighborly relations toward the world.” That event was heckled by right-wing protesters who apparently object to peaceful Muslims who repudiate terrorism.

Geller admitted that she picked this site as a response to the previous, pro-peace event put on by area Muslims. Which also raises the significance of the fact that the Garland community has a growing Muslim population. Consequently, holding an openly hateful event in such a community is purposefully provocative.

So can this rightly be called a “free speech” event when the primary activity is an alleged “art” contest that the producers know will be inflammatory; the site was chosen as a deliberate poke in the eye; the community is home to those the organizers wish to offend; the guests include international anti-Islam activist Geert Wilders; and the participants are professional hate mongers? Wouldn’t it more more correct to call this a deliberate provocation intended to incite violence?

There was obviously no intent on the part of Geller and her hate brigade to engage in a sincere public discourse. It is far more likely that she got exactly what she wanted when a couple of would-be terrorists showed up with guns blazing. Sadly, what isn’t being reported in the media is that the leaders of the broader Muslim community at large condemned the shooting and expressed unreserved support for the free speech rights of Geller et al. They also counseled other Muslims in the area to refrain from even showing up to protest the event, in order to preserve the peace. In that effort they were successful as there was no onsite protest. The only alleged Muslims who showed up were, unfortunately, the gunmen.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

It’s really too bad that there are people like Geller whose sole purpose in life is to create chaos and disharmony. And it makes it all the worse that they twist cherished principles like freedom of speech to incite violence. It is also too bad that there are idiots who will take the bait and give the hate mongers what they yearn for. Yes, Geller is just as entitled to free speech as anyone else. But she is coming awfully close to that line where she is shouting “fire” and hoping that innocent people get trampled.

Racists At Fox News Whine About Being Called Racists By Obama (Which He Didn’t Do)

The repugnant race baiters of the right have made it their mission to define anyone who alleges racism as instigators of civil disorder, promoters of racial division, and, in a display of epic hypocrisy, as racists themselves. It doesn’t matter how obvious the occurrence of bias, it can’t possibly be credible to the bigot apologists who believe that racism ended when valiant white saviors freed the slaves a hundred and fifty years ago. And these racism deniers came out in force following Obama’s appearance at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner.

WHCD Obama/Luther

Leading the pack are the hate-mongers on the Fox News community website, Fox Nation, where they recently featured a story about why “We Must Destroy ‘The Black Community'” With a headline like that it hardly matters what the substance of the article says (it argued, wrongly, that there is no need for any communities of commonality), the point is made to an audience that eats up openly hateful messages. They have abandoned their dog whistles for bullhorns.

In a continuance of this ugly messaging, Fox Nation served up another headline reading “If Only President Obama Weren’t Black.” The author is Erick Erickson, one of the most hostile promulgators of prejudice in the media, and a Fox News contributor. The opening paragraph of the article, that is ostensibly a critique of President Obama’s comedy routine at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner, says…

“Over the weekend, most of the worst people in the world gathered together in Washington, D.C. as a circle of jerks to sing each other’s praises. Sadly, there was no Samson to tear down the columns and collapse the roof on the Philistines of Washington. But there was a President of the United States willing to make jokes about the ‘F-word’ and an Imperial Court to worship him.”

Notice how Erickson begins the paragraph by making a sexual reference to “circle jerks” (slang for group masturbation), and ending with his sudden, and oh-so moral, offense to Obama making jokes about the “f-word.” Erickson is the cretin who once called retiring Supreme Court Justice David Souter a goat-fucking child molester,” so we know his objections to profanity are sincere.

The thrust of this article is Erickson’s contention that Obama “assume[s] the opposition to him is because of his race.” But nowhere in the article does Erickson provide evidence that Obama holds that view. The entire premise stems from the part of Obama’s address where Keegan-Michael Key portrays Luther, Obama’s anger translator. It is important to note here that the character is NOT Obama’s “black” anger translator. However, that adjective was inserted by Erickson to color his tirade against the President. It is his attempt to fuel the racist stereotype of the angry black man.

For the rest of the article Erickson rattles off a list of political issues that he asserts are unpopular, and then he infers that Obama regards them as such because of his race. Everything about that is flat out wrong. Many of the issues (e.g. a nuclear deal with Iran, ObamaCare) are not unpopular at all. And to the extent that a minority of Americans may oppose them, Obama has never suggested that their opposition was racially based. That is an invention of the right and of Erickson’s own bigotry. Erickson goes on to declare that…

“If only President Obama weren’t black, maybe he would realize that people don’t dislike him because he is black, they dislike him because he is a self-absorbed ass.”

There’s some more proof of Erickson’s moral superiority and objection to profane incivility. But more to the point, by suggesting that Obama’s perspective would be different if he were not black, Erickson is contradicting his whole premise. He is, in fact, asserting that being black is inherently significant and has a critical impact on the affairs at hand. So his argument that race shouldn’t enter into it is in tatters by his own admission. And, by the way, Erickson’s theory is that Obama would have a much better assessment of the matter if he were white, because, you know…

While Obama himself has not blamed racism for the opposition he has faced for the last six years, it has always been a primary motivator of many of his critics. The birther controversies, the allegations of Muslim faith, the false associations with Black Panthers and other radicals, the talk of reparations, the accusations of treason and complicity with our enemies, and the depictions by Tea Party signs of Obama as an ape or tribal witch doctor, are just a few of the representations that have flooded the anti-Obama mediasphere.

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The Fox News racists are so obsessed with the notion of being called out for their racism that they are now inventing occurrences of it. No, the President did not inject racism into this discussion. But yes, his critics, like Erickson are profoundly racist. And the advice that I keep giving them (though they never seem to listen) is: If you don’t like being called a racist, stop being racist. It really is that simple.

Senate GOP Tweet: Lincoln Was Assassinated. America Is Forever Indebted

Anyone who has used social media for twenty minutes has seen unfortunate miscommunications that can result in unintended embarrassment or worse. Sometimes they are caused by typos, sometimes by poorly thought out ideas, and sometimes by unmanaged anger. It remains to be seen what caused this disturbing comment by the official Twitter account of the Senate Republicans:

“150 years ago today the first Republican president, Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. America is forever indebted.”

Lincoln Assassinated

Was this simply a cringe-worthy mistake? Did the author of this tweet intend to say that Lincoln’s assassination was something that deserved the gratitude of the American people?

The worst kind of rhetorical mistake someone can make is one that reinforces the most negative impressions that are already present. The Republican Party has long struggled with charges of racism, and for good reason. They have opposed many of the landmark reforms to civil rights laws. They advocate policies on social welfare, taxes, voting, employment, housing, etc., that are invariably detrimental to minorities and other victims of discrimination. They defend outright demonstrations of prejudice by law enforcement and private citizens. They have been caught fraternizing with unsavory characters associated with known hate groups. In many cases they have been discovered to be members of those groups themselves.

Speeches and signs at Tea Party rallies have too often expressed blatantly racist sentiments. Too many Republicans have articulated messages that coincide with segregationists, secessionists, and the neo-confederacy that Lincoln fought to eliminate. It is difficult ignore these instances of GOP support for, or tolerance of, such distasteful opinions. The primary media outlet for the right, Fox News, is rampant with expressions of racism from both on-air personalities and viewers.

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And that is what makes this tweet so troubling. While there is a good chance that it was merely a case of extremely bad grammar, it also represents the true feelings of many people on the far right, many of whom hold positions of influence in politics or the press. It also doesn’t help that the tweet features a statue of Lincoln that has its own controversy. They could have used the famous Lincoln Memorial in the National Mall, but instead chose the Freedman’s Memorial in Lincoln Park that depicts a supplicant black man in a loin cloth and chains kneeling at Lincoln’s feet. That is hardly an image that projects emancipation.

So does this tweet mean that the Senate Republicans are racists? Not by itself. But it does express, whether intended or otherwise, a way of thinking that has dogged the GOP for decades. And even after the posting of this tweet produced hundreds of responses calling attention to the ugly, but obvious, interpretation, it remains online without clarification or apology. That is a message in itself.

White Supremacists And Fox News Join To Suppress Academic Freedom

The cable “news” network that is number one with racists has become a partner with some of the most vile white supremacist organizations in a campaign to intimidate and malign a college professor in Arizona. Fox News was the first national media outlet to condemn a course at Arizona State University called “U.S. Race Theory & the Problem of Whiteness,” and their hostility has inspired a crusade of bigotry.

Fox News

The course itself is a non-controversial exploration of race and the privileges of the majority. It is not, as Fox News characterizes it, an attack on white Americans. Part of the purpose of college is to get an expanded perspective of the world and to challenge preconceptions. However, Fox attacked this class based on nothing more than its name. They did no investigation into the actual curriculum. Having been alerted to the issue by an extremist right-wing organization, Fox’s Elisabeth Hasselbeck led the outcry by stating on Fox & Friends that the class was “unfair and wrong.” She provided no support for her criticisms.

Subsequent to the “reporting” on Fox, the professor involved became the target of an organized campaign of hate. USA Today reports that…

“According to university records recently obtained by The Arizona Republic, assistant professor Lee Bebout has received dozens of hostile and hate-filled e-mails about the class, and Tempe police say the instructor suffered harassment when fliers were distributed on campus and in Bebout’s neighborhood with ‘Anti-White’ printed over a photo of Bebout, who is white.”

Beginning on the day the segment aired on Fox, Bebout began receiving hate mail and threats that contained overtly violent rhetoric. For instance, one letter said “I look forward to your suicide,” and another wrote “I’d enjoy seeing you swing from a light pole.” The fliers were labeled “National Youth Front,” which describes itself as a “youth organization dedicated to the preservation of all White people.” Further escalating the imminent risk of harm, Bebout’s photo was posted on white supremacist websites along with those of his family, his contact information and other personal details.

Hasselbeck’s segment on Fox & Friends featured an interview with Lauren Clark, an ASU student who did not enroll in the class. Clark is also a representative of a group called Campus Reform, whose mission is to expose liberal “bias and abuse on the nation’s college campuses.” It is a project of the ultra-rightist Leadership Institute (LI). Other alumni of LI include Karl Rove and James O’Keefe. Their funding comes from a narrow cabal of conservatives including the Heritage Foundation and the Koch brothers.

Clark alleged that the course was inappropriate because it “suggests an entire race is the problem.” How she came to that conclusion without taking the class, or ever talking to the professor, can be easily explained by her obvious ideological prejudices. In truth, the class is described by the university in a statement that says that it…

“…uses literature and rhetoric to look at how stories shape people’s understandings and experiences of race. It encourages students to examine how people talk about — or avoid talking about — race in the contemporary United States.”

This is precisely the sort of discourse that enriches the academic experience and benefits students. But Fox News distorted it to turn it into a racial controversy. They did this without the slightest bit of research or factual basis. They supported their false assertions with the help of a representative from an openly biased organization who was equally uninformed as to the facts. And the result was a campaign of threats and intimidation aimed at the Arizona school and the teacher by national white supremacists.

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This was a foreseeable series of events thanks to Fox News and their openly bigoted agenda. It was something that could easily have been avoided with a little research. But Fox never conducted an investigation, never sought to get a response from the school or Prof. Bebout, and never disclosed the biases of their Koch brothers-funded guest. In short, they did none of things that an actual journalistic enterprise would do. Is anyone surprised?