Fox News Attacks Biden for Joining the March to Honor the 58th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday

It must getting awfully difficult for Fox News to manufacture new outrages involving President Biden. Day after day of inventing pseudo-scandals where there isn’t a hint of misconduct or controversary is clearly over-taxing the feeble minded propagandists at Fox News.

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Fox News, Joe Biden, Fake News

Following a weekend that featured Donald Trump speaking before the Conference of Political Ass Clowns (CPAC) also posed a challenge for Fox News in trying to surpass the Olympic-grade gormlessness of Trump and his flunkies, including Don Jr, Kari Lake, Lauren Boebert, Matt Gaetz, Marjorie Taylor Greene, and the MyPillow guy, Mike Lindell. And they couldn’t possibly come up with anything more asinine than Trump’s own preposterous proposal to award Pulitzer prizes to Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, and other Fox hacks.

RELATED: Trump Pitches Perverse Proposal to Give Pulitzer Prizes to the Loud Boys (Only) of Fox News

Consequently, the stable geniuses at Fox came up with a story line that smacks of racism and disrespect for the troubled history of civil rights in America. Pretending to cover a march in Selma, Alabama commemorating the 58th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, Fox published a story on their website titled, “Biden urged to ‘choose more worthy allies’ after marching with Sharpton in Selma.”

The article ignored entirely the importance of the event being observed, focusing instead on some pitifully weak criticisms that rested on irrelevant assertions of guilt by association. It began…

“President Biden is being urged to “choose more worthy allies” after marching with the Rev. Al Sharpton in Selma Alabama on Sunday. Biden marked the 58th anniversary of Selma’s “Bloody Sunday,” where activists chanted for voting rights as they crossed the historic Edmund Pettus Bridge.” […]

“Biden shared the stage in Selma with Sharpton, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, the Rev. William Barber II, Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Ala, and Martin Luther King III.”

The remainder of the article found some tenuous fault with Biden for “choosing” to participate in a memorial march with Revs. Sharpton and Jackson, who Fox asserted were anti-Semitic based on remarks made forty years ago.

The first problem with Fox’s framing is that they could not find any evidence of antisemitism by either of the Reverends in this century. And those that occurred decades ago were disavowed and apologized for. The second problem with Fox’s contrivance was that Biden didn’t choose the participants in this event. And surely icons of the civil rights movement like Sharpton and Jackson would be expected to participate.

What Biden was responsible for were his remarks at the event. He gave a stirring speech that promoted the advancement of civil rights and voting rights (full text here, and video below). These were topics that Fox News studiously neglected. Biden said in part…

“I come here in commemoration — not for show — Selma is a reckoning. The right to vote — the right to vote and to have your vote counted is the threshold of democracy and liberty. With it, anything is possible. Without it — without that right, nothing is possible. And this fundamental right remains under assault. The conservative Supreme Court has gutted the Voting Rights Act over the years. Since the 2020 election, a wave of states and dozens — dozens of anti-voting laws fueled by the Big Lie, and the election deniers now elected to office.” […]

“In January, I signed the Electoral Count Reform Act to protect the will of the people and the people transferring the — and the peaceful transfer of power. But we know that we must get the votes in Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Freedom to Vote Act. I’ve made it clear I will not let a filibuster obstruct the sacred right to vote and the right of any other right that flow from there.”

It wasn’t just Fox News who failed to honor this anniversary. After all, they literally regard equity as evil. However, the leaders of the Republican Party that Fox speaks for were also noticeably absent. That’s because they have no interest in showing respect for this part of the nation’s history. In fact, they even regard the teaching of it – i.e. Critical Race Theory – as an affront to their perverse notion of patriotism, even though they admit that they don’t know it means. And not surprisingly, this racially offensive fish stinks from the head…

RELATED: Trump on ‘The Blacks’: His Critical Race Theory Op-Ed Advocates Compulsory Ignorance

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Republicans Admit It’s Over For McCain

Republican strategists Mike Murphy and Peggy Noonan were interviewed today by NBC’s Chuck Todd. At the conclusion of the segment a hot mic overheard them expressing a somewhat more pessimistic view of the election than is generally acknowledged. The conversation centered on the qualifications of McCain’s VP pick, Sarah Palin. [A rush transcript of is included below]

On substance, I couldn’t agree more with the comments of these loyal Republicans speaking honestly amongst themselves. However, I do have a problem with the manner in which this became public.

A couple of months ago, Jesse Jackson was caught making disparaging remarks about Barack Obama. He also was picked up by a hot mic in the studios of Fox News. I had some harsh criticism for the Fox insiders who released the tape:

“Television news studios are not places where recordings are made accidentally. It is, of course, what they are designed for. So people invited inside for appearances ought to be aware that tapes are rolling and mics are hot. But they should not be expected to keep their mouths shut from the time they enter the building until they drive off the lot. They ought to be permitted to have private conversations without fear that they will end up on the evening broadcast.”

I have the same complaint with the release of this video. If someone makes a speech wherein they say something embarrassing, it is fair game. But in-studio guests (or in this case, outdoor remote guests) need to be given extra leeway because they are micced the whole time they are there and the producers have total control of the environment and the product.

As much as I like to hear Republicans declaring McCain’s candidacy over, I cannot approve of those who brought it to light.
Contine reading

Jesse Jackson Learns About Fox News

Politics in the Age of Information is markedly different from past eras. There is almost no expectation of privacy, and practically nothing can be said in confidence. What’s more, everything, no matter how astute or embarrassing, is preserved in perpetuity. Just ask former Senator George “Macaca” Allen, or President George “major-league asshole” Bush, or now, Jesse Jackson. Jackson was unknowingly recorded making disparaging remarks about Barack Obama to another guest while waiting to be interviewed for a segment on Fox & Friends:

“Obama is talking down to black people…I want to cut his nuts off.”

Jackson apologized for the comments even before they were broadcast. But the larger issue here concerns the nature of public dialog in the 21st century. These developments can have both positive and negative consequences. It certainly introduces a new level of transparency into campaigning and governing. And it requires a greater degree of attention be paid to extemporaneous remarks. Unfortunately, it will also inhibit the sort of candid commentary that often tells us more about someone than canned speeches will. But are there limits to what can be ethically revealed in situations where the speaker presumed the conversation was private? If there are, you can be sure that Fox News will ignore them.

In most of the instances of loose-tongued public speakers, a third party in attendance produces a personally made recording of the controversial moment. Barack Obama’s comments on bitterness, faith and guns, were made at a closed meeting of donors. President Bush, in the example above, was speaking privately to Dick Cheney. The difference between these events and today’s slip by Jesse Jackson is that Jackson’s remarks were recorded in the studios of Fox News.

Television news studios are not places where recordings are made accidentally. It is, of course, what they are designed for. So people invited inside for appearances ought to be aware that tapes are rolling and mics are hot. But they should not be expected to keep their mouths shut from the time they enter the building until they drive off the lot. They ought to be permitted to have private conversations without fear that they will end up on the evening broadcast.

Jackson was speaking in an obvious whisper when he was waiting to be interviewed. But Fox News chose to record and release the comments that were so unmistakably intended to be private. Since it is impossible to walk into a studio that has no recording devices, Fox has just declared that anything you discuss with anyone while in their facilities is fair game. You could be talking to your mother on your cell phone and see it later that day on Hannity and Colmes.

By setting this standard, Fox is, in effect, daring people to come into their studios and not get caught on tape. Can you stay utterly silent before and after your conversations on the air? Can you refrain from speaking to colleagues or telling them something important while waiting on the set?

I have long advocated that Democrats and progressives should stay off of Fox News simply because there is no benefit to appearing there. But now there is another reason to stay away. The ethically deficient so-called journalists at Fox will screw you over if you give them the opportunity. And that is exactly what happened today. In a brazenly obvious play for ratings, the recording of Jackson’s statement was even held as an exclusive for Bill O’Reilly’s O’Reilly Factor.

In his Talking Points O’Reilly boasted that he would not speculate as to what was on Jackson’s mind, as others might do. Then, in the following segmented, he proceeded to speculate as to what was on Jackson’s mind (saying that Jackson was probably referring to Obama’s speech on fathers in African-American families). Even worse were the implications he floated as he ostensibly bragged about how fair he was being:

“I want to tell the audience, and I want to tell you, that we held back some of this conversation, and we did that because we didn’t feel it had any relevance to the conversation this evening. We are not out to get Jesse Jackson. We are not out to embarrass him and we are not out to make him look bad. If we were, we would have used what we had, which is more damaging than what you have heard.”

Although O’Reilly is not out to make Jackson look bad, he wants you to know that he has even juicier ill-gotten eavesdroppings that he is just too virtuous to reveal – but not so virtuous that he won’t tell you that he has it, so your imagination can start churning. O’Reilly once threatened Democrats who declined to appear on Fox News by warning that…

“If you dodge us, it is at your peril.”

It seems that engaging them is at least as perilous. This is exactly what can be expected from O’Reilly and Fox News. And anyone who ventures there and winds up pulling knives from their back, gets what they deserve.

Update: As it turns out, it was a staff member of Fox & Friends that found Jackson’s remarks and sent them to an O’Reilly producer. The Fester then jumped at the chance to hype this for his show.