This morning’s Fox & Friends featured a segment that sought to examine the motives behind violent attacks on police officers like the one that just occurred in Dallas, TX. The premise of the discussion (video below) was essentially that there is a cultural trend that has led to a general disrespect for law enforcement resulting in direct attacks on the police. As evidence of that alleged disrespect, co-host Pete Hegseth cited the recent incident at a pool party in McKinney, TX, where an out-of-control cop brutalized a fourteen year old girl who had broken no laws.
The audacity of that association is almost too much to comprehend. The notion that a deranged adult who assaulted a police station with pipe bombs and gunfire from an armored van was the product of a societal breakdown of respect for authority is just plain idiotic. While all of the facts regarding the motives are not in, clearly this was not a case of bad manners or upbringing. And the suggestion that kids who were the victims of police abuse are emblematic of some sort of creeping epidemic of delinquency makes no sense at all.
This ludicrous juxtaposition was offered by Hegseth who introduced the segment by asking “Is growing anti-police rhetoric at all of this partly to blame for the situation [in Dallas]?” A question he answered himself saying that “It really does get to the question of respect for authority.” Right, because the problem with the guy who shot up the police station was that he never learned proper courtesy. One has to wonder why no one at Fox News ever connects the disrespect shown to members of law enforcement by Cliven Bundy’s Tea Party Militia in Nevada who threatened to kill federal agents and, in fact, did murder two police officers in Las Vegas, a story that Fox actively suppressed.
The panel Hegseth assembled consisted of three right-wingers who all agreed with his premise. Particularly disturbing was John Rafferty, a retired NYPD detective, who advocated a police-state tactic commonly used in places like Iran. He wants to arrest anyone who captures incidents of police abuse on video.
“If we walked down the block and I was shoving a camera in your face, harassing you for no other reason, you could be arrested. I don’t understand why these cops are being told not to arrest these people. We should be arresting them.”
Hegseth eagerly agreed with Rafferty that citizens should be denied their constitutional rights and incarcerated merely for documenting the bad behavior of the public servants whose salaries they pay.
On a side note, the fact that Hegseth is co-hosting Fox & Friends is notable in itself. While he has been a Fox News contributor for some time, his main occupation is as CEO of Concerned Veterans for America, a right-wing activist front group for the Koch brothers. By moving into the host’s chair, Hegseth is merging Fox News with the Kochs operation, a move that is all the more ominous considering that the combination of Fox News and the Kochs are usurping the functions of the Republican Party leading to the privatization of democracy by ultra-partisan billionaires and corporations.
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(h/t Raw Story)