Country Legend Merle Haggard Calls Out The Lies Of Fox News

In an interview with Rolling Stone about receiving the Kennedy Center Honor for lifetime achievement, outlaw country legend Merle Haggard reflected on meeting President Obama. He blasted “the media,” for making up and spreading lies about Obama, “It was also nice to meet Obama and find him very different from the media makeout. It’s really almost criminal what they do with our President.” It is obvious that Haggard was talking about Fox News.

When asked by Patrick Doyle of Rolling Stone about the highlight of the Kennedy Center Honors Haggard talked about meeting both former President Clinton, and President Obama. Haggard said of Obama, “It was also nice to meet Obama and find him very different from the media makeout. It’s really almost criminal what they do with our President. There seems to be no shame or anything. They call him all kinds of names all day long, saying he’s doing certain things that he’s not. It’s just a big old political game that I don’t want to be part of. There are people spending their lives putting him down. I’m sure some of it’s true and some of it’s not. I was very surprised to find the man very humble and he had a nice handshake. His wife was very cordial to the guests and especially me. They made a special effort to make me feel welcome. It was not at all the way the media described him to be.”

When asked what is the biggest lie out there about Obama, Haggard answered, “He’s not conceited. He’s very humble about being the President of the United States, especially in comparison to some presidents we’ve had who come across like they don’t need anybody’s help. I think he knows he’s in over his head. Anybody with any sense who takes that job and thinks they can handle it must be an idiot.”

Now where could Merle Haggard have possibly ever gotten the idea that Obama is conceited? The myth of Obama’s arrogance is the favorite personal attack that Fox News uses against this president.

Here is Sean Hannity calling Obama arrogant:

Here is Karl Rove on Hannity also calling Obama arrogant:

Then we have Charles Krauthammer discussing Obama’s arrogance on Special Report with Bret Baier:

We can safely conclude that Merle Haggard either got the idea about Obama’s conceit from watching Fox News, or that the people who Haggard talks to everyday informed him about Obama based on what they had seen on Fox News. Many people have written about Haggard defending Obama, but to me Haggard’s surprise when he met the real Obama demonstrates both the power and the spread of Fox News’ misinformation.

Merle Haggard is a white man in his 70s with a GED. He is the base audience for Fox News. I thought his comments about what Fox News and right wing media are doing to Obama were right on the money. The misinformation and lies that they are spreading about this president on a daily basis is almost criminal. The problem is that Fox News is not only misinforming the 2 million people that tune in every day. They are also misinforming all of the people that the Fox News audience talks to. A mass media misinformation campaign becomes a grass roots campaign as viewers individually spread the inaccurate information and character attacks on Obama via word of mouth.

Merle Haggard by his own admission was a Republican up until 2007, and in a Time interview, he described himself as a born again Christian who turned away from Bush, but is not a liberal. Haggard said, “I supported George W. I’m not exactly a liberal. But I know how that Texas thing works, who those oil folks are and what they wanted in Iraq. I’m a born-again Christian too, but the longer I live, the more afraid I get of some of these religious groups that have so much influence on the Republicans and want to tell us how to live our lives.” Haggard supported Hillary Clinton in 2008.

The Fox News message seeps into the entire culture. This is what many on the left don’t understand. When Americans who don’t follow politics hear this misinformation about Obama from friends, relatives, neighbors, or co-workers, they don’t know any better and they accept the information as truth from a personally trusted source. I wish more people could have the same experience that Haggard did. They need to see the disconnect for themselves between the lies on Fox News and the truth about the President of the United States.

The truly vile part of this attack on Obama is the underlying racial component. Notice that Fox News likes to call the President arrogant and conceited. These terms are euphemisms for uppity. The message from Fox News is that Obama is an arrogant and conceited black man who doesn’t belong in the White House.

The story here isn’t just that Haggard defended Obama, but that we got to see one man’s reaction to being deceived by a right wing media/Fox News message. I have a feeling that Haggard’s anger at being lied to by the right wing media would be echoed by many other Americans if they could be reached with the truth. Countering the attacks and misinformation of Fox News is the challenge that President Obama, his supporters, and every single American who care about truth must face in 2011 and beyond.

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89 Replies to “Country Legend Merle Haggard Calls Out The Lies Of Fox News”

  1. Excellent break down of the power of misinformation and the way it seeps into our culture. His experience of meeting the President was heart-warming and I agree that anyone who thinks they can handle that job or know what to do all of the time isn’t smart enough to have the job. The underlying racist element of Fox’s talking points is blatantly obvious to anyone who’s spent even a few weeks working in the South or has family from the South, where they still cling to the belief that black people while respectable aren’t equal and should show deference to whites.

  2. Mr. Haggard is spot-on.

    But the problem goes further than Fox news…our U.S. fourth estate have found fact-checking affecting their bottom line — they make more money publishing the lies, and keeping the “soap opera state” rolling along.

    Welcome to Huxley’s _Brave New World_, where political discourse is just another entertainment channel.

  3. Interesting how the charges of “arrogance” seem to come from the most arrogant Republicans.

    I have always thought Merle Haggard seemed like a down-to-earth guy, one of those “real” Americans – but this time really a real one – that the right is always going on about. But he had a rare opportunity most FOX News listeners unfortunately won’t have – meeting the president.

  4. I would like to know more closely what Fox’s Stuart Varney means when he makes reference to “What President Obama has done to us with health care.”

    Firstly, what health care coverage does Varney have, and how has it been impacted by the health care reform laws?

    Secondly, what does Varney have to say about Deamonte Driver, a 12-year-old American who in 2007 died of a tooth infection when nobody would treat him for want of insurance?

  5. Merle Haggard once did a song called the working man’s blues. This is a gentleman that knows about working men. We need more people like Merle Haggard to speak out. He’s a man that a lot of Southern people look up to, at least the older people. And they are the ones most susceptible to the Fox news line of BS.

    I think we need to take control back of our media by withholding our viewing. I almost think that anyone that watches Fox news has to be living on Valium. If the media we are watching is not giving us what we should be getting then stop watching. Of course this will only affect CNN and MSNBC as Fox news viewers are not allowed to stop watching. But if we can affect those two news medias baby between them we can find someone who will speak out against Fox

    By the way I don’t want to get it to get around that I know Merle Haggard songs.

  6. Merle Haggard is a very important endorsement, one that Obama should wear proudly.

    Let’s remember it was Haggard who wrote classic songs like “A workin’ man can’t get nowhere today” and “workin’ man blues,” and posed for an album cover as a construction with a lunchpail, waiting for a bus.

    Just read these lyrics: Talk about topical in today’s economy! He might as well have written the anthem to the Tea Party grumblings.

    “It’s a big job just gettin’ by with nine kids and a wife
    I been a workin’ man dang near all my life
    I’ll be working long as my two hands are fit to use
    I’ll drink my beer in a tavern,
    Sing a little bit of these working man blues

    I keep my nose on the grindstone, I work hard every day
    Might get a little tired on the weekend, after I draw my pay
    But I’ll go back workin, come Monday morning I’m right back with the crew
    I’ll drink a little beer that evening,
    Sing a little bit of these working man blues

    Hey hey, the working man, the working man like me
    I ain’t never been on welfare, that’s one place I won’t be
    Cause I’ll be working long as my two hands are fit to use
    I drink a little beer in a tavern
    Sing a little bit of these working man blues

    Sometimes I think about leaving, do a little bummin around
    I wanna throw my bills out the window catch a train to another town
    But I go back working I gotta buy my kids a brand new pair of shoes
    Yeah drink a little beer in a tavern,
    Cry a little bit of these working man blues

    Hey hey, the working man, the working man like me
    I ain’t never been on welfare, that’s one place I won’t be
    Cause I’ll be working long as my two hands are fit to use
    I drink a little beer in a tavern
    Sing a little bit of these working man blues
    Yeah drink a little beer in a tavern,
    Cry a little bit of these working man blues

    He also wrote “Okie from Muskogee” which is pretty much a conservative anthem.

    So when Merle Haggard says Fox News is junk, and Obama’s a good man, I hope it will resonate. If I was Obama I would offer this guy a spot on the campaign trail down the road…

  7. It’s funny the assumption is that a “white man with a GED in his 70s” would only watch and get info from FOX, or that Merle Haggard relies on handlers to inform him of current events. His only having a GED does not make him ignorant, it makes him a very common example of his Generation not being able to finish High School because of finances, geography or lest the author forget the Vietnam Draft, all of which Mr. Haggard experienced.
    The Author would be well served to have done any research on Haggard, as he has NEVER espoused neo-con views in his music, personal life or causes he’s supported. He is an ardent supporter of Marijuana legalization, and was a vocal critic of the Vietnam War he served in.
    This was less about Haggard’s epiphany, and more about the informed stereotype of Haggard because he is an older, white, Country Music Star.
    Had any research into the man been done, you would have found a salt of the earth, Ex-Vet activist who has always called for Government and Personal accountability, not a FOX neo-con robot.
    “Okie From Muskogee” was satire. Always was. Sloppy work at best by you Author, sloppy indeed.

  8. @ laffo

    With all due respect, i think you missed my point. I never that wrote Mr. Haggard was a neo-con, or about his personal politics at all, if he has any. I think that you would be wise to do a little research yourself. Mr. Haggard fits in to the Fox News demo. My pointing this out is different than saying that Mr. Haggard supports anything. People of a certain age are more susceptible to the Fox News message. What’s wrong with pointing that out? Would you disagree that Fox News is the primary television source for attacks on Obama?

    The entire point of the piece is that people who don’t know any better can be victim to the Fox News messaging without realizing it. Mr. Haggard got the idea that Obama was conceited from somewhere? Nowhere did I call Haggard a Fox Newsbot or neo-con. Those are your words, not mine, but after rereading my post, I could see why you might have thought what you did, so I clarified what I was saying. Thanks for the comment.

  9. I don’t get it – how do you jump to an assumption that he got his idea about Obama from Fox News? No where does he actually mention Fox News. This is about as bad as it gets – a truly pathetic piece.

  10. Not to mention the stretch to also call them racist – because we all know that conceited and arrogant are racist terms. This article is wrong on so many levels its almost amusing.

  11. Nice article!

    For many years, Merle Haggard owned a ranch just outside Bakersfield, CA. Bakersfield was the stopping point for many Dust Bowl refugees. Once called Nashville West, it was fertile country music ground for people like Haggard and Buck Owens. Today without the country music element, it is one of the most conservative, religious, and undereducated cities anywhere in the country. This is the kind of place that already was full of prejudice and misinformation before Fox came along to channel it.

    The remarkable thing to me is not that Haggard knew the FoxFacts about Obama but that he was able to shrug off the whole false scenario so easily when confronted with new evidence that didn’t match the old. Seriously, some people would rather die than give up their world views. Good for Haggard, and may there be many more like him.

    *my dad grew up in Bakersfield, so I saw and heard the history of the town throughout my childhood and even drove by the ranch.

  12. You missed my point, you don’t have to watch FOX to have heard the Right refer to Obama as arrogant ant conceited. At no point in your article did you reference the MANY causes that Haggard has been instrumental in over the years. You painted the Man with a broad and incorrect stereotype whether you see that or not, as someone who gets his info from only FOX or lackeys, which he himself, never said. I have seen plenty of clips from neo-con pundits and conservative politicos on The Daily Show, as could anyone, just as a small, simple example.
    I stand by my initial post.
    You distilled a complex, wise, responsible American Artist into a shallow stereotype.
    Don’t agree, or blame it on me “not getting the point,” but don’t deny at no point in your article do you actually address or consider Haggard’s real and
    very well documented politics that directly counter the mindset that “scales have fallen from his eyes.”

  13. @Josh

    Where else would he get the idea? Merle Haggard as a touring musician is not sitting around reading the Internet or listening to talk radio all day. In the music business and on the road the TV is always on. Fox News is the most watched cable network. I am not saying that Mr. Haggard supports or regularly watches Fox News but that he could have seen or someone who does watch FNC could have told him that Obama is conceited. Fox News is the biggest cable news net, so to deny the probability that the message was delivered through Fox no matter how is got to Haggard is to deny reality.

  14. @laffo

    After reading your initial comment, I clarified the sentence that I believe you are referring to. The article was not trying to portray Mr. Haggard as right winger, but he did pick up an incorrect view of Obama that has been prominently pushed by Fox. If you read the Rolling Stone interview, Mr. Haggard himself said that his biggest surprise was that Obama wasn’t conceited like the media said he was. Fox is the outlet with the largest reach pushing that argument. The article wasn’t about Haggard’s politics, but the fact that a good man somehow got the false idea that Obama was conceited. That was where I was coming from.

  15. I understand the article, what the writer is saying is this, according to demographics, the majority of the “Fox” audience would fit into Mr. Haggards demographics. I always thought it was silly when I would watch the “Tea Party” rallies, and here them talking about taking away “Welfare” and the very people at the rally are the ones that receive Social Security, Medicare, and other forms of “Welfare”. I think what Americans don’t understand is that these programs are part of “Welfare”. But then again, anytime Fox does a story about it, they show the file footage of groups of minorities standing in line, so the assumption i guess is that only minorities receive Welfare.

    Too bad that in our modern times of information, the truth is drowned out by money and misinformation. Thanks for the informative article!

  16. I’m sorry Jason, but it seems to me that you are assuming that Merle Haggard, being a white southern american country music singer with a G.E.D. (which I also am, country music being a hobby), was ignorant of the misinformation spread by FNC in the first place. It seems to me rather that he is simply stating what he and many others in the south have felt about the political doublespeak by FNC all along.

  17. @jacob,

    I’m sorry, but I think that you are making the assumption that I am assuming something. I am not assuming anything about Haggard. I was mentioning that a certain demographic is more susceptible to the Fox News type of messaging. This is a fact that has been proven in study after study. The post was not an assumption about Haggard or his politics. It was about the power of messaging, and how it can impact a person’s views without them even being conscious of it. If he was simply stating what he felt all along why was he surprised when he met Obama?

  18. Funny how all of you are missing the point that Roger Ailes’ Fox News machine is strategically spreading misinformation about our nation that is absorbed in a mostly white middle class. Sounds like something a traitor would do…. and is doing!!!!

    How can people make informed decisions when the information is tainted by Rupert’s Taint?

  19. Why would you even answer the idiot who is missquoting everything you wrote? I loved your article and I am middle aged with a mother who is 72 that never shuts off Fox New. I figure Fox alone will get him reelected due to the fact they give him all the publicity he needs they never shut up about him. I have always been told publicity is what counts good or bad.

  20. I have always thought Mr. Haggard was intelligent, sensible, and possessed of integrity. I too found the insinuation that his GED somehow presupposes gullibility to be offensive.
    A degree does not guarantee an ability to think for oneself, nor does a GED mean a person watches FOX and falls for the lies they tell.
    I’m a woman pushing 60, with a GED and two college degrees as well. If I had the talent Mr. Haggard has I would not have bothered with college, and still would have been able to make up my own mind concerning the President.
    It is true that FOX ( I dislike calling their drivel news ) poisons the grapevine and taints opinion, however your chain of facts and logic is supposition.
    Your case would have been stronger had you mentioned other possible sources, as FOX is not the only negative media. What about Clear Channel with Premiere Radio Network polluting the air with Rush Radio 24/7 ?
    People with a certain mindset of any age are more susceptible to the “FOX” style of agenda and that can happen at any age. You could have stated that truck drivers are more likely to listen to Rush Radio, but that would still be unsupported.
    I do not believe your point was missed, but the GED and age commentary was immediately distracting. Whether Mr. Haggard fits the FOX demo or not, he did not name FOX specifically.
    I personally believe your point is good and that it could be strengthened by referring to negative media and then giving a few examples such as FOX or Rush Radio.

  21. “Little Old Ladies” have a bad rep. I think they are different then “Little Old Men.” Just my opinion – and now I’m off to do some surfing to see if I am right.

  22. So, a little help from the online dictionary:

    adjective self-important, vain, arrogant, stuck up (informal), cocky, narcissistic, puffed up, egotistical, overweening, immodest, vainglorious, swollen-headed, bigheaded (informal), full of yourself, too big for your boots or breeches I thought him conceited and arrogant.

    Adjective: Self-important; arrogant.

    Taking liberties or assuming airs beyond one’s place in a social heirarchy. Assuming equality with someone higher up the social ladder.

    and from Urban Dictionary:

    Word used by racist old white Southerners to refer to any black person who looks them in the eye. Usually followed by ni**er.

    “That uppity ni**er is not working in the cotton field like he should be.”

    I rest the case of what Fox means by uppity. Thank you for using your online dictionary.

  23. I have to agree with the author that false news is being spread all over. I am not sure if it is Fox alone but the regular media is not negating many of the Fox’s lies.
    I am 72, white and live in California. The other day I waited in line for the ‘brown bags’ (food for seniors with a certain income) when another lady about 80 kept complaining about Obama and ‘Cap and Trade’. I doubt that she watches Fox but somehow Obama has gotten a bad rap from many sources.

  24. @Sarah

    Can you be conceited or arrogant without out being a racist? Did FNC ever call Obama uppity or are you just assuming that is what they meant by arrogant and conceited as did the author? Fox news has only been mentioned by the author of this piece and never by Merle – isn’t the author guilty of the same thing you are accusing FNC of – spreading misinformation?

  25. Just because Obama was nice to him?..What did he expect Obama to do, punch him in the mouth?..If the jobs so tough why did he take it on….He was going to bring home the troops, he was going to do all sorts of stuff…What did he do..SFA..Kissing up to Obama because he greeted him nicley and overlook Obama the puppet makes Merle a bought IDIOT!

  26. Back when Okie came out, I took the song seriously. Everyone I knew did. Maybe Merle didn’t mean it that way, but it became an anthem for the same folks who supported blowing Vietnam into the stoneage and loved seeing students at Kent shot dead. It was seen as a spit in the face of the anti war/pro civil rights folks. The lyric reflected an attitude that seemed to descend from the old Confederacy. Since that time, Merle has developed a much softer image, and we have all come to appreciate his sense of humor, integrity, as well as his talent. I really don’t know the original intent of Okie. I just know how it was received at the time.
    As for Fox, Clear Channel, World Net, Newsmax, Gannon, Booth, and so on, they are all guilty of vile news broadcast and misinformation. That is what sells. It is just like Okie. If you make stuff up that tugs at one’s base emotions, people buy it.

  27. What is REALLY funny/SAD is how all of you are missing the point — this write-up is completely based on lies and misinformation. (The exact thing your are accusing FNC of doing) The title is misleading, Merle never mentions Fox News, the terms arrogant and conceited now mean you are a racist apparently — can you be arrogant and/or conceited without being a racist?

  28. 1. Did FNC call Obama uppity?
    2. Can you be arrogant/conceited without being a racist?

    Do you know the definition of a racist?

  29. Do you also agree that the author is taking part in spreading false news as the article is a complete sham and is only based on assumptions made by the author?

  30. Well said. I’ll re-write comments that I made to an earlier story.

    Lovers of Fox News who blindly and mindlessly praise the “fair and balanced” mantra are the ones who fuel the kind of silly rhetoric that we have on cable TV news (news??) or should I call them the cable-opinion-shows-that-pass-themselves-off-as-news.
    It’s puzzling to me but just a little honest independent research by Fox Lovers would reveal massive factual failings. Fox is a so called news bureau that borderlines on out and out dishonesty in some of their stories.

    Fox will subtlety integrate REAL news events and actual news sources with illegitimate facts and wrapped in false commentary. They do this as a matter of routine. It is geared towards achieving an economic or a political end all at the expense of viewer comprehension.

    At Fox the economics are reflected in their weekly viewership ratings. The political is reflected in the pundits and the talking heads that they hire. Viewer comprehension is a sacrificial lamb.

    These rabid “fair and balanced” supporters of Fox News are the ones that I am most concerned about. They are the ones who sometimes kinda understand and who sometimes kinda “get-it”. But in a high percentage of times, they shamelessly get it WRONG. They seriously lack the capacity to perceive this character flaw. But when they do eventually figure it out and finally “get-it”, then I definitely want them on my side. Because they are going to be some psss’d off people, instead of mindless Fox shepple.

    BTW, on the other end of the spectrum, I am not an overzealous MSNBC fan either. As a matter of fact I’m currently on a self imposed all-things-MSNBC-strike since the mid-term elections. That is because of the endless repetition, the unwarranted attacks on the POTUS and the over the top sarcasm that they pass off as analysis (also the David Shuster, K.Olbermann situations have something to do with that). I may go back to watching selective MSNBC programs after the 1st of the year. In the meantime, thank God for Sarah Jones, CSPAN, Amy Goodman, the BBC and the Black Media.

  31. Really? You don’t know the answer to either of those questions? You should.

    1) Yes.
    2) What does that have to do with the price of tea in china?
    3) I am well aware of the definition of racist. And and all of the dictionaries agree. How about you? Let’s hear your definition.

  32. So, you are ignoring the very clear line in the comment where I trace a direct line from conceited, arrogant to uppity VIA dictionary definitions? Wow.

  33. Any chance we could get Haggard’s impressions of Bush 43 upon meeting him? Maybe he might find Bush 43 isn’t the dimwitted, confused chimpanzee or neo-Nazi that much of the media made HIM out to be?

  34. Why are you censoring comments that don’t agree with your article? You are worse than FNC – spreading misinformation and not posting comments that call you out on it. Liberal Media at its best. You know you messed up – just admit it and recall your article. No where did Merle mention Fox News and Fox News has not called Obama uppity. Do the right thing.

  35. People on fox who have called Obama arrogant off the top of my head:

    Rove, Murdoch, Kristol, John Stossel and that’s just for starters. Then there are all of the GOP congressmen who followed this talking point nicely. Then Limbaugh joined in. Then Weekly Standard, the Daily Caller, Jonah Goldberg and Ben Shapiro. Then it bleeds on down:

    “Obama’s arrogance hits new heights, with no limit in sight,” “Obama’s Insufferable Arrogance Caused Olympic Fail,” “Obama’s Christmas Tree Decked With Mao Balls, Arrogance and a Drag Queen?” “Barack Obama: Narcissist-in-chief.” Goldberg, “it’s apparently not racist to call Obama arrogant anymore.” (oh, but they didn’t know…they didn’t know…) Flopping Aces compared Obama’s ego to Fidel Castro’s. “Obama the arrogant race baiter sees the job of Republicans when they take the majority to bow to him,” Ken Taylor at RedState. “Obama the Snob,” former Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson. Cal Thomas that “Obama’s egoism dominates his politics.” When Your Ego Is So Large That You Can’t Admit Defeat,” scoffed Sons of Liberty. “This ego maniac probably doesn’t even know that elected officials are in Washington to represent their voters interests,” said Weasel Zippers, “not to push his far-left Socialist agenda.” “All so the Arrogant One can see the Festival of Lights?” thundered Zipline Conservative.”New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg apparently believes President Obama ranks up there on the arrogant quotient,” said Glenn Beck (this smear started by Murdoch but denied by Mayor Bloomberg). Obama was an “American Narcissus.” “TO INFINITE NARCISSISM AND BEYOND!” “Obama’s Claiming More Power Over Americans Than King George III,” “he’s just a complete narcissist,” “Malignant Narcissist REVEALED!.” Also, the variations, “Obama trips over his ego in Asia,” “It his ego that has scared us so much,” “his enormous ego has taken a bruising,” “Vanity, all of Obama is Vanity, saeth anyone who’s ever known him… I think we should call his Presidency: ‘The Audacity of Ego’.”

    The same went for his wife: “Michelle Obama — As Arrogant as Barack,” “Arrogant delusional the First Frump Michelle Hussein Obama,” “Arrogant Michelle Obama Bashes America at USC,” etc.

    Gosh I’m just gob smacked. Where could Merle have gotten the idea that some people think the President is uppity? Golly gee. I don’t know what narcissistic and arrogant mean but they can’t mean uppity. And gosh, don’t you know, racism is what the President does to white people. Oh, gee, I’m so confused:-)

  36. You’d got that right. The job is over everybody’s head, but President Obama is our best choice.
    Nevertheless, haggard is still a racist mess.

  37. President Obama term isn’t over. He has done more for our nation than the last simpleton administration. We all know who’s the idiot is. GAFL.

  38. @ Alexander D. Mitchell IV

    Ask and you shall receive. I don’t know if Haggard met Bush, but he did support Bush at one time, and according to a 2007 Time interview, he is not a liberal, “I supported George W. I’m not exactly a liberal
    But I know how that Texas thing works, who those oil folks are and what they wanted in Iraq.

    I’m a born-again Christian too, but the longer I live, the more afraid I get of some of these religious groups that have so much influence on the Republicans and want to tell us how to live our lives.”

  39. Obama has not only been called “uppity,” but has also been accused by Glenn Beck of having a “deep seated hatred of white people.” His wife has been characterized unfairly as an angry black woman, with her words about being really proud of her country for the first time being taken completely out of context. Their very real professional accomplishments have been derided as the result of “affirmative action” and tokenism by many people who follow FOX Noise. There is no question in my mind that all this is by design. They are some of the very people who want his presidency to fail, regardless of the fact that his failures would be the whole country’s.

    I applaud Merle Haggard for not hesitating to call out FOX for its flagrant dishonesty in its portrayal of this president. However, FOX is aided and abetted when the rest of the media fails to do its homework by pointing out this smear job. Anyone who watches FOX or knows anything about the way they operate is either being dishonest or just plain clueless if he or she claims that they haven’t said the things accurately attributed to them in this article.

  40. the people who say Fox news did not call Pres. Obama arrogant are the people who listen to Fox and take everything they say as gospel without even listening.

    Sometimes you just have to show them

  41. Terms like arrogant and “uppity” are code words from Whites stating Blacks do not “know there place”. Black Men and Women in power are always branded with these terms. This is America at its best/worst. Hopefully one day we will be beyond this nonsense.

  42. Where did anyone say anything about people being both conceited *and* racist?!
    You’re missing the point entirely.
    I don’t understand why you keep asking this question when the article nor anyone here is discussing racist people being conceited (or not).
    Merle said that he disagrees with the media that President Obama is conceited based on having met him.
    The author of the article points out that Faux News has called President Obama conceited on various occasions so it seems more than likely that this is where Mr. Haggard got his original assumption about the President.
    As Sarah Jones points out, historically speaking, “conceited” and “arrogant” are euphemisms for “uppity” when applied to African Americans…it’s not really much of a stretch that Faux News is thinly veiled racist.
    However, NO ONE has said that conceited people are always racist…???
    I can’t believe I even had to spell all of that out for you.

  43. Well at least he hasn’t took the country into two wars we cannot win, run up a staggering deficit which makes us have to beg other countries to do trade with us and made this country a laughing stock like bush did. Carry on watching Faux News and keeping your head buried in the sand you fool while the rest of the world tries to recover from the shit bush and his cronies have spread around the globe..

  44. I don’t think anyone is arguing the fact that he has been called arrogant by Fox News and others –

    1. Fox News shouldn’t even be mentioned in this posting as Merle did not reference them. the author and those commenting are making a leap due to their dislike for Fox News and all that is not liberal.

    2. Arrogant / Conceited = uppity – how can you know that anyone who has called the president arrogant really mean uppity. I know people are wanting to play the race card badly when it comes to Obama – but come on

    3. Merle Haggard has NOT, I repeat, has NOT called out Fox News.

  45. Nothing like a blanket condemnation of an entire region of the country to open up communication and understanding…., eh Sara?

    I happen to live in a small town outside of Atlanta and this constant characterization of southern whites as ‘banjo playing miscreants’ must be the only way some others in the country have of bolstering their own egos…., makes’em feel they have someone ‘THEY’RE’ superior to, I suppose.


  46. MMmmmm….., though I like Merle, I have to disagree about his ‘Vet-ness’…, he ain’t; but he IS an ex-con…..


  47. As a native Texan, growing up in the 50s-60s South, I find it rather amazing that the Okie from Muskogee actually made this transition. Merle is one of the most stereotypical examples of “white men of a certain age” from the South -severe lack of education, yet managed to become successful due to talent.

    The fact that Merle actually recognized what Faux Noise does on a 24/7 basis shows that the LIES and HATE of the Rethuggery Obstructionist Party of Teabagging Fewls runs deep in rural America. Good for Merle, he is still learning…something so many need to do instead of just accepting anything that is barked out from the LIARS, BIGOTS and RACISTS that permeate the airwaves at Faux Noise and Hate Radio.

    The great DISCONNECT in America is not only the lies of Faux Noise and Hate Radio, but the never-ending tragedy that most Americans do not pay attention to anything outside of their tiny world and simply accept whatever “some guy said” as FACT.

    Last summer during the great HC townhells/riots – an acquaintance of mine asked me if I was for HCR – he knows full well that I am a “left wing loon” and his response was so rote it was embarrassing to hear – he actually said to me, “it will put the government between you and your doctor” – I looked up at him and said, “I know for a fact that you are on Social Security Disabilty, do you NOT THINK the government is involved in your HC?” He looked down and said meekly, “yeah, I know” – I asked him WHY he was promoting the BS from Faux Noise – his response, “I’m a republican and that is what we believe”. When I asked why he was a republican, being that he had been a blue collar union truck driver, he said “that is how I was raised”.

    So, there is the TRUE FACE of Merle and his compadres – “it was the way I was raised”. Never once do these people think for themselves and it keeps our country behind the rest of the World.

    Ignorance and intolerance are our greatest enemies.

  48. Because the people using that term did not use it about Presidents who displayed an undeniable arrogance, for one. And because many of those people are playing a game of racial division, as made obvious by many facts over and over again. Southern strategy is being employed by Fox News and the Right Wing talking point outlets. They don’t stop at black people. Look at the Muslim hate and fear campaign. It’s a commonly accepted political strategy being deliberately employed to stoke fear and resentment in a certain audience.

    And guess who Fox’s audience is?

    Why are they engaging in character assassination based on character traits that are common in all presidents (and I’d be willing to bet less common in this one due to his upbringing) to make their case against him?

  49. Duncan,

    I grew up in Dallas, college in Austin, have lived in New Orleans, New Mexico, Oregon and now in a tiny RURAL community north of Nashville.

    That is the ACCURATE description of the rural South. The South has the highest drop-out rate, the highest teen pregnancy rate, the highest illiteracy rate, the highest domestic violence/drug/alcohol/abuse rate – what part of this is NOT TRUE?

    Granted, as a city girl from Big D – I do not have the same ideas and thoughts as those who grew up in this little burg in rural Tennessee, but the VAST MAJORITY of rural Americans in the South have the mindset so aptly described by Sarah Jones.

  50. Shiva,

    We were pot-smoking teenagers in Dallas when Okie from Muskogee came out and in those days we thought Merle was the typical “hick from the sticks”.

    Now Faux has taken up with the cokehead Larry Gatlin, who has been run out of Music City, USA for his druggy ways – anytime Gatlin is on Stupannity’s show, it reinforces the stupidity of the south – one thing about these C&W people on Faux Noise – MOST of them do not join in the Hate machine being promoted – they are trying to sell records to the masses – and Faux Noise for some reason believes everyone in country music is some sort of bigot. It gets to be embarrassing for them and Stupannity tries to egg them on to say things they simply REFUSE to say. The arrogance of morons like Stupannity is one of the problems with the media – the Know-Nothings with the microphones and shoutovers of anyone who does not tow their Rethuggery line of BS.

    If the MSM or even CNN and MSNBC would continuously call out Faux Noise LIES on a daily or hourly basis – people might get some actual information regarding what is actually happening in this country. Until they do, we are regressing. The Democratic politicians should also call them LIARS – quit using nice words – the Haters don’t understand nice words like “disingenuous” or “misspoke” – they do understand the words like LIES, LIARS, and if the media would then EXPLAIN what is going on – a little education might be the result.

  51. A blanket condemnation? No. A truth. I’ve lived all over this country and I can tell you for a fact that in the South racism is handled in this manner. There are racists all over this country and each region has its own way of expressing their racism.

    I happen to love the South for many reasons, but I’m not going to pretend this isn’t true. You only have to listen to the representatives from GA and SC to glean this truth. Where else have you lived? How did you perceive racism in those areas?

  52. BeeEss,

    ROFLMFAO, no way Okie from Muskogee was satire – it was the true feelings of many rednecks at that time – now, what Merle did bring in along with Loretta Lynn, was a new generation of listeners to country music. Most of us in Big D did not grow up on country music – we were hippies, smoking pot, doing what the rest of our generation was doing – but, there was something new in country music about the same time – Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, Ray Wylie Hubbard (‘Redneck Mother’ was the satire of Okie from Muskogee), Rusty Weir and Jerry Jeff Walker (‘London Homesick Blues’), Allman Brothers and the original Lynyrd Skynyrd.

    In the early 70s, Austin became Home of what was then called Progressive Country and more people started listening to Merle and Loretta.

  53. Sorry dear but I grew up in Little Rock and have lived in the South all of my life from the ’40s on and if you’re seeing what Sarah is characterizing it’s only because that’s what you WANT to see.

    The idea that the South has not progressed far beyond what it was is a self serving fantasy promulgated by folks who, like I said, have to have SOMEONE to feel superior to and on whom to pass judgements.

    I can guarantee you that if a white person in Smyrna, GA (where I live) exhibits a ‘special’, ‘privileged’ air about themselves towards an African American or any other minority they will quickly get a dressing down by the offended party…., I can by dog, dang it guarantee you that, dear.

    The days you describe are over.


  54. Cassandra,

    Thank you for the information – regarding country music – as a resident of Music City, USA for the past ten years, Nashville is LIBERAL and country musicians who live here are GENERALLY LIBERAL.

    The rural areas are of the “old rural South”.

  55. Smith,

    That is EXACTLY what Faux Noise and Hate Radio means when they say “arrogant” or “conceited” or “elite” – I am actually quite surprised none of them have slipped and used either “uppity” or the N-word – it would easily roll off any of their slimy, racist tongues.

  56. Duncan,

    So EXPLAIN how it is that Georgia has elected the FEWLS they have in Congress?

    Rural Georgia is NO DIFFERENT than any other RURAL AREA in the South.

  57. Al,

    I salute your correctness. Perhaps some of the people who are commenting are younger than Okie from Muskogee glory days. They have not seen in real life, “Colored Only” or “Whites Only” signs on bathrooms and businesses. They have not been in fear of being “DRAFTED” – the military to them is “someobody else’s job”.

    Younger people do not know what it was like pre-Roe v. Wade or during the Cuban Missisle Crisis – it is impossible to take what is presented on the History Channel and think it was a small group of people protesting against the Viet Nam War or a small group of hippies that were the counter-culture.

    Personally, I would ENJOY watching the youth of today get out in the streets and PROTEST the Wars – they won’t because they have no skin in the game.

    I grew up in the turmoil of the JFK assassination, Henry Wade, the DA of Dallas County sending boys off to war for possessing one joint – he gave them a choice of 30 years in Huntsville or Viet Nam – DA Wade is also the Wade of Roe v. Wade – most people do not even realize that Jane Roe HAD the baby.

    Social issues have been distorted due to lack of participation by the youth of America – they really should start paying attention before the rightwing starts removing the rights we fought for – they always claim Obama is taking away liberty – they are WRONG – the Rethugs are all for taking away personal rights and liberty when it fits their evangeliban purposes and their LIES for greed and blood for oil.

  58. Besides growing up in Little Rock across the street from LRCHS and having my first year in high school in 1957 at that school, I’ve lived in Greenwich Village, San Francisco and spent time while in the army in Seoul, Tokyo and Saigon.

    I’ve experienced and witnessed racism from and towards all races in all of those places. I’ve experienced prejudice from both white and black New Yorkers based on my admission at being from the South. You’re correct, Sarah; there IS indeed prejudice and racism all over, not just this country, but the whole world and I, for one, am pretty sick and tired of the white southerner being singled out. It’s an indication to me that the speaker is stuck in the past and can’t see the forest for the trees and you’ve just done it again.

    You really think you have some special sense of analysis and that you alone are able to judge all others. Within my little neighborhood, Sarah, there are folks who didn’t get past junior high school living next door to mixed race couples and the entire area has ‘souped up’ wonderfully since I first moved here 23 years ago; it was almost completely white then but now there’s a swirling mass of blacks, whites, browns and even a few yellows…., MMmmmm……, makes for a delicious stew!!!


  59. Southern strategy? Racial division?

    Lets see — anytime someone disagrees with a liberal or Obama, they are a racist. Wasn’t it Obama that called America arrogant? Where is your outrage there?

    Back to the topic at hand:

    How can you agree with publishing an article titled “Country Legend Merle Haggard Calls Out The Lies Of Fox News” when he in fact does not mention Fox News at any point. The author an your self are making your own assumptions that is where he must have got his information due to the hatred you have for Fox News. Then you take it one step further and call them racist because they have an opposing view. I am not standing up for Fox News or anything they have said – i just feel that it is wrong for you and/or the author to put words in someone’s mouth or to make assumptions about where they receive their information based on your personal biases.

  60. Duncan, I don’t think that’s a fair accusation. I clearly said there was racism all over the country.

    I think you have a chip on your shoulder about this issue given the South’s history but the facts are the facts. I’m not going to accommodate that by denying what is an obvious fact.

    The racism there is no better or worse than anywhere else, but it does have a certain tone and the history and the current rhetoric to back it up. If you don’t like this, I’d suggest you write Congressman Wilson, Sen De Mint, or Sen Chambliss. I’d also suggest you ask them to stop flying the confederate flag and holding secessionist balls and pretending the civil war wasn’t about slavery. That would be a start to not being racist, to owning up to the history, and to not burying ugliness in smug condescension.

  61. So all FNC reporters and right wing radio talk show hosts are racist? Or is it just all white right wing reporters/talk show hosts that are racists?

    Could you please provide some proof of racism from these people (legitimate request) – I am not trying to stand up for FNC, but also curious as to how they got brought into this article when Merle never mentions them — i would be very curious to see actual statements made by these “racists”

  62. Thank God I didn’t listen to people like you when I cast my vote for president in November 2008. If you were POTUS, the country would be worse off than it is today. I’m sure you could have waved your magic wand on January 20, 2009, after your inauguration ceremony, and made all the world right again.

    Anyone who doesn’t know how messed up this country was after 8 years of GWB has been out of touch for quite some time. Anyone who expects ONE person to “deliver” them from their troubles is a nut. Anyone who thinks it is so easy to reverse 30+ years of bad republican policies is truly delusional. Anyone who has watched the republicans (and some democrats) in D.C. obstruct, obstruct, and obstruct the president and has the nerve to complain about what the president “hasn’t” done is being dishonest. Anyone who doesn’t check what the president has accomplished for him/herself has a malfunctioning brain taken over by what “they say” about the president.

    Why don’t you provide the real reason for your hatred/mistrust of President Obama?

    You’re a coward who cloaks the real reason for your attitude in accusations of “what” President Obama “hasn’t” done, and I’m calling you out. Put up or shut up. I’m sick of people like yourself who run your mouth but have no real inside, behind the scenes understanding of politics, and who is NOT a member of Congress, is NOT the president, and is NOT a member of the president’s staff/cabinet.

    If in your eyes the job of being POTUS is so easy, throw your hat in the ring for the race in 2012.

  63. Don’t expect an answer, Sarah. They have none. None of the Pox defenders who have shown up here want to admit the true source of their animosity, without reason, toward President Obama. As a black American and one who lived under segregation, I KNOW the source of their animosity.

    “Arrogant” is coded language meant to “put a black person in his/her place.” I’m 58 years old, and I’ve heard it used this way numerous times to refer to myself and other black Americans who some whites think “no longer know his/her place in this society,” simply because we’ve worked hard and achieved some semblance of the American Dream.

  64. Joe Wilson yelled “YOU LIE” at the president and his state relected him.

    And Duncan is here saying there’s no racism in the south? How about the state senators there with pictures of Obama wearing a muslim outfit and claimin he is a terrorist on their STATE official website.

    Maybe Duncan should go ask cDonnell to stop declaring april confderate history month.

  65. I’m sorry – just calling someone arrogant is not racist. I am sure there is a context where it can be racist – could you please provide an example where FNC is calling Obama uppity or arrogant in a racist context? Again — not standing up for FNC – don’t care for them – but still not going to accuse a person of being racist when it is not warranted. The term has been thrown around way too much incorrectly.

    While we are on the subject of answering questions: Can anyone have an answer to why none of you have issue with the author named this article “Country Legend Merle Haggard Calls Out The Lies Of Fox News”when Merle never mentions FNC? Isn’t this the exact thing you are accusing FNC of doing — spreading misinformation?

  66. how is “You Lie” racist? What about the pictures of Bush as a Monkey and/or dressed as Hitler? Where was your outrage there? It goes both ways you know –

    Do you think there is no racism in the North? Do you think racism only goes one way?

  67. I would be very interested in seeing a quote/video/etc of FNC/talk show host calling Obama uppity. I am not talking about other words that you translate into meaning uppity, i want to see/hear someone calling him uppity. If it exists, i will be as outraged as his strongest supporter.

    BTW — he didn’t hesitate to call out FNC because he didn’t do it. He never mentions FNC by name

  68. Smith, for someone who repeatedly says he isnt defending Fox News you sure are doing a heavy job of it. You have lost your audience and have now become borhing.

  69. Believe what you will – I personally think a lot of the opinion shows on FNC are ridiculous – but what does that matter

    But as you are unable to answer any of my legitimate questions, you resort to calling me “borhing”. Thank you much for proving my point.

  70. I dont need to answer your questions. You seem incapable of drawing the lines out. There is only one place that denotes Obama as conceited, arrogant etc etc. Catch on.

  71. Well…, Eykis, I guess they elect the same FEWLS as places like Arizona has for Governor and a few other places both you and I could name but it’s obvious: the populace of fools outnumber the good guys!!


  72. Great job, Smith. You took these libbies to school, every one of them. They didn’t learn anything, of course, but your logic destroyed their arguments fully. Kudos to you, friend.

  73. Scott wins Most Deluded Comment I’ve seen tonight!!!

    Share it w/ Smitty, who seems to believe ALL news outlets marvel in pushing the Arrogant Myth/Meme.
    Early on there was almost a point – it COULD be possible that Merle’s driver/drummer/fav waitress/cousin/whoever fed him all the BS is a Rush listener who doesn’t have a tv.

  74. He’s not my president. You Americans haven’t got a clue that Obama was chosen for you. You still believe you vote these guys in. No wonder it’s a piece of cake that you are losing any freedoms you might still have left. As for watching faux news? All your news presenters are told what to say. None of them can freely speak because if they do, they lose their jobs. You people were bought and sold long ago and are too dumb to even recognize it.

  75. Would you have said McCain was “chosen” if he had won instead? Contrary to your assertions, we have the choice to vote or not, and more of us chose Obama. Every day McCain and Palin provide more and more reasons why rejecting them was the wise thing to do. They are a pair of sore losers who have absolutely no clue. Their loss has made both of them bitter, hateful people who offer no solutions to our myriad problems.

  76. Head meet desk! OUCH

    I was stunned when I posted this that the ONLY sentence those RWNJ’s commented on was this – “I think he knows he’s in over his head.” Obviously they can’t understand/think.


    IS IT…..

    THE ILLUMINATI???!!!!!11!!!ELEVENTY???!!!!

    ::rolls eyes::

    No, wait, I know – it’s the human-skin-wearing Reptoids, isn’t it?

    No, no, don’t tell me – let me guess….

    Robot-Bodied Atlantean Lemur Mages?

    Face Spiders?

    Justin Beiber?

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