They were breaking out the cake and candles as Fox News Shows Rare, Behind-the-Scenes Videos to Mark 18th Anniversary on Tuesday. It seems like only yesterday that Fox “News” was in its infancy, telling its first fibs to an credulous audience eager to believe. Now Fox “News” is all ‘growed up,’ a mendacious teenager old enough to vote and serve in the Armed Forces. Not that it would ever don a uniform. Fox “News” is content to cheer lead from the sidelines.
Fox “News” fights so many battles simultaneously: The War Against the IRS, Benghazi, Christmas, Fast and Furious, Affordable Care Act, Nutrition, and Illegal Immigrants, to name a few. Boiled down, it’s a never-ending War Against POTUS.
As last week ended President Obama fired back, leading to headlines like Fox News Hosts Are Furious Over Obama Dig and Fox News Left In Tatters After President Obama Levels Them With An Epic Truth Bomb from our own Jason Easley. Like the other times Obama has slapped around Fox, this played right into the channel’s “narrative of Conservative victimization,” something else its credulous audience is eager to believe.
The Fox “News” Fear-Mongering Industrial Complex launched The War Against The War Against Ebola this week. Eighteen years of a steady the-government-is-not-to-be-trusted drumbeat is now paying dividends, because it no longer seems crazy when Fox’s Chris Wallace Fear Mongers About Ebola Being Spread By Illegal Immigrants; or when avuncular Peter Johnson, Jr., Fox Analyst Suggests The Federal Government Is Holding Back Ebola Treatments. Even Loofah Lad went the full Ebola: O’Reilly Suggests Obama Won’t Protect U.S. From Ebola Because He’s Too Partial To Africans.
If there hadn’t been an Ebola crisis, Fox would have had to invent one.
Luckily, according to the Pew Poll: Americans Aren’t Buying Fox News’ Ebola Scare Tactics. So far, anyway. Which made Fox “News” ramp the fear-mongering to an Ebola-fevered pitch:
It got so bad that Miles O’Brien, PBS’ Science Reporter Slams Fox’s Ebola Coverage: ‘Level of Ignorance We Shouldn’t Allow in Media’. That’s why Kurtz Slams Media’s Ebola Panic, Glosses over His Own Network, is a punchline even if you don’t get the joke.
Speaking of ignorance: For the 2nd week in a row Survivor Elisabeth Hasselbeck distinguished herself with an Ebola performances: Fox News host gets embarrassed on live TV by a doctor over her Ebola comments. If I were a Fox & Friends segment producer (a job I performed on a Toronto morning show), I wouldn’t let her do any more interviews requiring critical thinking. She could stick to interviewing persecuted Christians. But then, you’d be left with Doocy or Kilmeade. It’s not like the Foxy Friends have a deep bench in deep thinking. Forget I mentioned it.
Wednesday’s had the best Fox “News” Folly of the Week. It happened on The Five (which I famously predicted would not last). But, like a virus, it infected the channel’s other shows. First, a history lesson: The Ambush Interview is a time-honoured tradition, as old as tee vee news. CBS’ Mike Wallace became known for being one of the earliest, and most persistent, ambushers. Bill O’Reilly, a student of television (if not actual facts), perfected the Ambush Interview by staying out of it. Loofah Lad is not brave enough to do his own dirty work. Whenever he wanted to nationally embarrass someone who disagreed with him, Jesse Watterswould be sent to harass them. Most notable was the Amanda Terkel ambush. When Terkel wrote an article for Think Progress excoriating O’Reilly for slut-shaming a rape victim who had been drunk, O’Reilly called out the cavalry. Watters and his crew stalked Terkel unseen for 2 hours, from Washington, D.C., to a town in Virgina. When she left her vacation hotel she was suddenly peppered with questions and chased down the street.
Skip ahead to the present: This week Conservative activist Jason Mattera employed the ambush interview to stalk Lois Lerner while she was walking her dog in her own neighbourhood. Cue the outrage machine: Fox’s The Five Piles on ‘Punk’ Conservative Activist for Harassing Lois Lerner. However, Sean Hannity had hosted Punk Mattera the previous night to give him an “Atta boy!” Therefore, The Five was implicitly criticizing Bill O’Reilly and Hannity.
BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE!!! During the segment, the lone, hapless, poor-excuse for a Democratic defender, Bob Beckel, threatened Mattera with physical violence. WATCH:
On Thursday Stuart Varney engaged in a little feces disturbing by hosting Mattera on Neil Cavuto’s Your World; in effect thumbing his nose at the show that follows. Yet, Jason Mattera to Fox: Why Is an Employee of ‘Most Trusted Name in News’ Threatening Me? is actually a fair and balanced question. Let’s face facts: Had a Right Wing bloviator threatened a Progressive activist with physical violence the Information Superhighway would be gridlocked by now. Other than Mattera, I hear crickets.
Outnumbered, is the newest & cutest Fox “News” infant. Like The Five, it’s a loud Outrage Machine. Also like The Five, it’s 4 against 1. But there’s a catch! It’s one lone man “Outnumbered” by 4 women. Hilarity ensues. Another similarity to The Five is how its is used as a bullpen for Fox “News” bullcrappers. Andrea Tantaros, aka The Tarantula, found herself a break-out performer with the crazies with her off-the-wall (and possibly calculated) The Five idiocy.
Slinging the bullmanure in the Outnumbered bullpen, is Gen X-er, Kennedy, who only uses one name because she’s a former-MTV personality, making makes her the perfect pundit. Then there’s Gen Y-er, Katie Pavlich, who claims to be a Daughter of the American Revolution, but she doesn’t look that old. Both are hoping to break into the Bigs with the type of crazy that made The Tarantula a player.
Pavlich offers Fox Host Claims The Rich Can’t Give More To Charity Because Of Obamacare, in which the little DARling says the rich’s Form Of Charity Is “Creating Jobs.” Not to be left behind, Kennedy challenges with Fox News Hosts Say Young People Shouldn’t Vote When ‘They Don’t Know The Issues’.
However, what does that say about tee vee hosts who don’t know the issues? It simply proves that while you can attract more flies with honey than you can with vinegar, manure is still the biggest draw. On the same day that it celebrated its birthday, Fox Takes Out Ad Touting Historic Ratings Victory 1 Year into New Primetime Lineup.
Headly Westerfield has been writing about Fox “News” for several years, first for NewsHounds under the nom de troll of Aunty Em Ericann, later for the Not Now Silly Newsroom. He’s also head clown at The Johnny Dollar Depreciation Society, a page of Fox “News” Snark on Facebook.
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