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The FOX News Mainstream Media Hypocrisy

more from Hrafnkell Haraldsson
Tuesday, August, 23rd, 2011, 8:00 am

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Sean Hannity is among a multitude of conservatives upset about the way Rick Perry is supposedly being treated by the “mainstream media” (aka liberal media elite) even though the mainstream media isn’t treating Perry very harshly at all. In fact, the mainstream media has for the most part declined to mention Perry’s involvement with Christian dominionists. Completely absent is any mention of their presence at The Response on August 6, instead treating him like a main-stream candidate who will appeal to mainstream voters.

This was Hannity a few days ago:

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: He’s only been a candidate for five days but Texas Governor Rick Perry already has the White House and the mainstream media in a frenzy.

Now asked about a comment that Governor Perry made on the campaign trail, White House spokesman and propagandist Jay Carney told reporters, quote, “When you’re president or you’re running for president, well, you have to think about what you’re saying.” You know, like clinging to your guns and religion?

Plus, this coming from an administration whose vice president just weeks ago reportedly called members of the Tea Party Movement a bunch of terrorists.

And this, remember, is coming from a network that has been calling liberals terrorists on an almost daily basis since 2001 and as recently as 2009 asking whether “liberal media bias is a greater threat than terrorism.” It was Republican mantra for the entire Bush presidency that anyone disagreeing with Bush was a terrorist or a traitor, a mantra put into motion by Bush himself on September 20, 2001, when he said “Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists,” and finally enshrined into law in 2006′s torture bill, which as the New York Times said, offered “A dangerously broad definition of “illegal enemy combatant” in the bill could subject legal residents of the United States, as well as foreign citizens living in their own countries, to summary arrest and indefinite detention with no hope of appeal. The president could give the power to apply this label to anyone he wanted.” (And you wonder why Hannity, FOX News and Republicans in general hate the Times!)

But Hannity himself is a repeat offender. Obama was smeared as a terrorist on Hannity’s show in 2007; or there is Hannity himself giving Karl Rove air-time to accuse Obama of having ties to terrorists in 2008; and most noteworthy of all was Sean Hannity and Sarah Palin agreeing in the wake of Biden’s alleged terrorist remark that Obama himself is the real terrorist!

Watch the video from Mediaite:

What is really amusing about this is how Hannity misses Perry’s own attack on Ben Bernanke on Monday the 15th, when Perry used the word “treason”, an attack that earned an “idiot” label from former Bush treasury official Bruce Bartlett. Karl Rove also slammed Perry for using the “t” word with regard to Bernanke, whom, you will remember, also served under Bush. Rove’s remarks were as harsh as any criticism coming from the White House:

“It’s his first time on the national stage, and it was a very unfortunate comment. You don’t accuse the chairman of the federal reserve of being a traitor to his country and being guilty of treason and suggesting that we treat him pretty ugly in Texas — that’s not, again, a presidential statement … Governor Perry is going to have to fight the impression that he’s a cowboy from Texas. This simply added to it.”

It sounds as though if Perry has any real enemies at this point they’re not in the mainstream media but in the Bush camp. But you won’t see Hannity talking about that. He’s more interested in how “ProBama” the media is:

SEAN HANNITY: As for the Obama-mania media, well, they are doing some so-called vetting of Governor Perry. Now The New York Times is running a front-page series of stories about the latest entrant into the GOP race. And we check in at the Washington Post political page today where most of the day Governor Perry was the subject of all of the papers’ top headlines.

But look at what the New York Times says about Perry. This bit is from August 15, two days before Hannity’s whine:

Mr. Perry, a Methodist who regularly attends an evangelical megachurch near his home and hosted a large “Nation in Crisis” prayer rally in early August in Houston, is a natural candidate to appeal to his party’s religious right, as well as to parts of its small-government wing, including elements of the Tea Party movement.

How can Sean Hannity take umbrage at this? What in particular is inaccurate about the Times’ summation of Perry’s appeal? This is all factual. The Times also notes,

Mr. Perry is Mr. Bush’s direct successor as governor, and with his Texas twang and swagger, he can seem like a caricature of the former president. Voters trying to figure out what they think of Mr. Perry will invariably wrestle with their feelings about Mr. Bush, which, Republicans say, may become a potential liability if he makes it to the general election.

Again, this is spot on. Rick Perry himself dissed Bush in an effort to distance himself from him, as we noted here on PoliticusUSA the other day. Karl Rove took a shot at Perry’s words, saying exactly what the New York Times did, that Perry and Bush have a lot in common. Hannity, however, did not take a shot at Rove, only at the New York Times.

In fact, if you look at the New York Times coverage of Rick Perry you find discussions about Perry and the Tea Party, Perry and the state economy, Perry’s energy policies, but you don’t find any examination of Perry’s ties to the extremist Christian fringe.  It was left to Rachel Maddow on MSNBC to do that, but MSNBC also plays host to conservative extremist Pat Buchanan, so that hardly proves an MSNBC bias against Rick Perry or any other Republican candidate. Granted, on the 17th (the same day as the Hannity whine) CNN’s Jack Cafferty brought up the Daily Beast report that both Bachmann and Perry are “deeply associated” with dominionism but Cafferty is only asking what viewers think, not doing an expose or any fact-finding of his own; in the end, we’re not seeing as much about this issue as we should on mainstream outlets.

Moreover, the Daily Beast gave equal time to A. Larry Ross, who claimed that Christian dominionism is a myth. Sounds pretty fair and balanced to me – more so than FOX News, at any rate.

You do find a very positive review of Perry’s tenure in Texas from op-ed columnist Ross Douthat. It is difficult to see how any of the areas examined by the Times or any other MSM outlet could be seen as improper – after all, Perry is billing himself as a “jobs guru” so a look at his record with the economy and job creation is only to be expected. Paul Krugman, like Ross Douthat, an op-ed columnist but also an economist, laid waste to the myth of Perry’s economic miracle in Texas on August 14th but an op-ed piece is not an editorial and Krugman only balances out Douthat.

Three days after the Hannity Whine Hour, the Times did take a look at how Rick Perry as governor handed out state aid to his supporters – in other words, as the headline says, “Perry Mines Texas System to Raise Cash for Campaigns.” Republicans like to rail against the “Chicago machine” but they do everything bigger in Texas.

If you actually look at what the MSM has to say about Rick Perry, and at the New York Times in particular, it’s difficult to find any real bias against the Republican candidate.

SEAN HANNITY: And this is strange because I just don’t recall the liberal media looking that closely into then-Senator Barack Obama‘s background when he was a candidate.

Which is of course not true at all – the MSM was all over Barack Obama’s record and personal associations – past and present – in 2008. And they enjoyed it so much the first time around they’re dredging it up again.

HANNITY: First of all, they want kill Perry, they want to kill Romney, and so the media does all the bidding for the White House. They even edited NBC News as I’m sure you saw, you know, the comments that Perry made which were very innocuous, talking about, you know, the black cloud that’s handling over the economy and the country. Is that how desperate this is going to get?

Here is the violent language again, the lingua franca of the Republican political theology, where everything is about violence and killing and targeting and reloading.  No liberal media outlet or any other liberal I know is proposing to kill Perry or any other Republican, despite FOX Nation’s claim in 2010 that “Soros-funded film embraces liberal terrorists who plot to kill Republicans.”

And the White House having control of or even influence over the MSM, which is right-leaning, is hilarious. But if Rick Perry is going to disagree with 98% of our climate scientists and deny anthropogenic global warming, or call evolution “a theory that’s out there” or call people traitors then he has to expect to be questioned on it. Let’s face it: most of the things Rick Perry says or seems to believe are far, far away from the political and religious mainstream.  But apparently Republicans have decided to disagree with Oscar Wilde, that the only thing worse than not being talked about is being talked about. After all, anything anyone else says, no matter how friendly, isn’t going to be FOX News-approved.

 

The FOX News Mainstream Media Hypocrisy was written by Hrafnkell Haraldsson for PoliticusUSA.
© PoliticusUSA, Tue, Aug 23rd, 2011 — All Rights Reserved


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