Fox News Bloodlust: Crusading For A Pro-War President

Fox News radio host, John Gibson, embarked on a disturbingly hawkish fit of war mongering that was re-published today on the Fox News community web site, and Festival of Lies, Fox Nation. Gibson displayed his unabashed affinity for mortal combat with a screed that questioned whether an anti-war president should be trusted with war.

Fox Nation

The utter stupidity of that question was the basis for a rant that would only make sense to a confirmed sociopath. Gibson’s self-righteous indignation stemmed from a few sentence fragments that he extracted from President Obama’s press conference on the mess in Syria. Gibson was terribly upset that Obama said that “I was elected to end wars not start them,” and that “I’m not itching for military action,” and that “I’ve spent the last four years trying to reduce our reliance on military action.”

Hellfire and Damnation! It’s an abominable outrage, is what it is. Imagine that, a Commander-in-Chief who expresses a reluctance to unreservedly bomb the crap out of some uppity foreigners. Gibson wonders whether the President’s reluctance will result in a use of force that is hesitant, weak, and confused – which is an outright insult to America’s soldiers. He goes on to say that…

“The President’s resolve to stop the world’s worst actors from using the world’s worst weapons requires that he is willing, even ‘itching’, to act. His stated reluctance to act, his core mission to end wars not start them, stands in the way of taking his resolve seriously.”

Gibson is hankering for a president who is “itching” to start a war. And if that isn’t ludicrous enough, he offers as an example the cowboy antics of a former president, asking whether Obama “has enough George W. Bush in him to decisively use military force.” Apparently Gibson defines decisive as a determination to thrust the country into a decade-long quagmire that produced no benefit and didn’t even bring to justice the terrorist who was supposedly the instigation of it all. Obama, on the other hand, led the nation when Osama Bin Laden was killed, along with dozens of other top Al-Qaeda operatives. It’s pretty safe to say that the ghosts of those terrorist leaders do not doubt Obama’s resolve.

But even setting aside the failures and lies of the Bush administration’s conduct of war, Gibson has presented an utterly falsified version of recent history. Bush’s press secretary, Ari Fleischer, spoke about Bush’s pre-Iraq hesitancy saying “Nobody, but nobody, is more reluctant to go to war than President Bush….He does not want to lead the nation to war.” Bush himself said that “I don’t like war. War is the last choice a president should make, not the first.”

Do these admissions that Bush was not “itching” to go to war mean that his management of the military would be weak and confused, and that he should not be trusted? We will never know Gibson’s opinion of that because he will never address it. Nor will anyone else at Fox News.

However, an accurate historical account would note that, despite Bush’s pronouncements, he was, in fact, quite anxious to attack Iraq, even before 9/11. So the argument could be made that it was his craving for war that was a foretelling of the eventual disaster to which he subjected America and the world. Sincere reluctance would more likely result in a conscientious and well thought out plan.

So Gibson not only gets the history wrong, but his misrepresentation reflects a brutal, gung-ho attitude toward launching a deadly and dangerous conflagration in the notoriously unstable Middle East. Gibson advocates for expanding the mission of any Syrian strike to include eliminating Assad, but he fails to address what would be left after the fall.

This is the sort of hungering for war that characterizes right-wing, neo-cons. Interestingly, many on the right have abandoned their traditional hawkishness because they still hate Obama more than they love killing Muslims. But Fox News has generously provided Gibson this platform to lead a cheering squad for another conflict in the region. It’s a wholly ineffective and illogical effort, but that won’t make any difference to Fox’s audience who aren’t capable of, or interested in, doing the sort of research that proves Gibson is an idiot.

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Fox News Inspires KKK Threats

Just in case anyone still thinks that Fox News is merely an overtly biased right-wing mouthpiece for Republican issues and people, here’s a story of what trafficking in hate and lies can lead to in the real world:

“The white co-owner of a Palm Beach restaurant told her black employees they’d be fired if they voted for Barack Obama, and on the night of Obama’s victory, she wrote ‘KKK’ on their timecards and in notes she posted in the back of the restaurant.”

The owner of the restaurant claims that her actions were not meant to be taken seriously, but that is disingenuous at best. I cannot fathom how such behavior could be characterized as a joke. And in a startling attempt to defend herself, she sought to shift the blame:

“I think I got crazy with FOX News, watching too much FOX News.”

This is the sort of ugliness that is entirely predictable when you put unrepentant, racist provocateurs in the anchor seats of major television networks. It is what should be expected when those anchors invite other confirmed racists on their shows to affirm their repulsive views.

Throughout the past presidential campaign, Fox News led the rightist media in peddling racial hate. Let’s recap:

  • E.D. Hill: A fist bump? A pound? A terrorist fist jab?
  • Liz Trotta: [N]ow we have what some are reading as a suggestion that somebody knock off Osama …uh… Obama … well, both if we could.
  • Fox On-Air Graphic: Outraged Liberals: Stop Picking On Obama’s Baby Mama!
  • Bill O’Reilly: I don’t want to go on a lynching party against Michelle Obama unless there’s evidence, hard facts, that say this is how the woman really feels.
  • Bill O’Reilly: The question is: Did Martin Luther King really think of America as a bad country or a good country? Did he despise it the way Jeremiah Wright does? Or did he respect it? And that question is very difficult to answer precisely.
  • Bill O’Reilly: I couldn’t get over the fact that there was no difference between Sylvia’s restaurant and any other restaurant in New York City. I mean, it was exactly the same, even though it’s run by blacks, primarily black patronship.
  • John Gibson: Do your duty. Make more babies [or] Twenty-five years and the majority of the population is Hispanic.

Then there is also Sean Hannity’s close association with neo-Nazi Hal Turner and proud bigot Andy Martin. And Fox News “broke” the false story of Barack Obama attending a Madrassa in his youth. This lead to accusations of Obama being a Muslim that persisted throughout the campaign. Fox also led the charge against Rev. Wright with barely concealed racial overtones. This list could go on and on.

The bottom line is that when a concerted campaign of distrust and disparagement, focused on racial hatred, is part and parcel of a major news enterprise, only a fool would fail to anticipate that it would instigate behavior like that described above. Sadly, I don’t see it receding much as Fox News continues to engage in their repugnant brand of pseudo-journalism, and they continue to employ the worst offenders.

Update: It isn’t only Fox News that is inciting threats: Sarah Palin blamed by the US Secret Service over death threats against Barack Obama.

“The Secret Service warned the Obama family in mid October that they had seen a dramatic increase in the number of threats against the Democratic candidate, coinciding with Mrs Palin’s attacks.”

Jon Stewart: Scaring Conservatives With Comedy

The conservative thought model is dominated by confrontation. Rightists are obsessed with hostile imagery. Their loins tingle when one of their heroes utters threatening bromides from the safety of their TV studio. That’s why people like Bill O’Reilly are revered for being bullies. It’s why Bill Kristol and Norman Podhoretz get respect for their proposals to bomb Iraq or Iran or whatever imagined enemy is presently being demonized. It’s the reason that Fred Thompson and Mike Huckabee are cheered in debates for alluding to Iranians encountering virgins at the gates of Hell.

Conservatives love their wars and they love to pretend that they would all perform like Rambos were they to meet some vile terrorist in a dark alley. What’s more, they love to bash liberals as weak and insufficiently dedicated to the cause of eradicating the vermin encroaching on our otherwise tranquil paradise.

After 9/11 the cry arose that anything you do that is contrary to the rightist stance on national security means that “the terrorists will win.” Now that catch-phrase has been adapted for the media. Today, anyone who doesn’t kow-tow to propagandists in the press are pansies who would shrink from their duty to defend their country. What we have now is the equivalent of the old schoolyard taunt that my patriotic daddy can beat up your Islamo-fascist daddy. Some recent examples follow:

“The candidates that can’t face Fox, can’t face Al Qaeda.”
Roger Ailes, Chairman, Fox News.

“If The Times can’t take an argument with Kristol, how can it face down Al Qaeda?”
John Gibson, Fox News Host.

Notorious wankmeister Jonah Goldberg was a guest on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart a couple of days ago. The fearsome Stewart has apparently frightened some conservative warriors, because now they are complaining about the encounter and questioning whether any of their ilk should venture into Stewart’s lair considering the enormity of the risk. The National Review’s Mark R. Levin puts it this way:

“You have to make a calculation when you go on shows hosted by liberals like Jon Stewart. They are not going to allow you to actually discuss your book. Their audiences are prepped to laugh at whatever the host says and react negatively to whatever the author says. And when their writers aren’t striking, the host is armed with a bunch of jokes to mock the author. So, you have to weigh that against a couple of mentions of the book, and whether the entire enterprise is worth it.”

Oh my heavens! The audience is “prepped” to “laugh.” What dastardly evil could justify that kind of behavior during a comedy program? Levin’s colleague at the magazine, Kathryn Jean Lopez, is also afraid:

“Stewart generally winds up trying to make a joke out of you or your issues, or is just downright unfair. The best shows involve some sort of smart give and take. The Daily Show isn’t generally conducive to such a thing. You’re either in downright hostile territory, or you’re pretending to be something you aren’t – a comedian. It’s just not worth it.”

The bravado of the right seems to be showing some wear around the edges. What became of their zeal to cast Liberals into the pits of Hades? Where is that gung-ho bearing that inspired such feats of daring as shoving a candidate’s aide so that you can beg him to come on your TV show? It seems to me that the only real question here is:

“If you can’t face Jon Stewart, how could you possibly face Al Qaeda?”
News Corpse, Far-left Internet Smear Merchant