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Wednesday, 20 April 2011 03:24

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Published in Analysis

BUZZFLASH NEWS ANALYSIS
by Jeffrey Joseph

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The recent speech given by President Obama highlighted the suffering of Louisiana and the rest of the states bordering the Gulf, so one would expect most national news to cover that particularly injured area of the Gulf. Many on FOX did find it appropriate to comment on the oil spill and President Obama’s comments on it, mostly to come to BP’s defense, but leave it to FOX not to forget Arizona, one of its continued favorite subjects for its willful misinformation, to create controversy out of thin air to add to those already plaguing the state.

FOX hosts have shown time and again an uneasiness with the proximity Arizona has with the nation of Mexico. Whether deriding ethnic studies or creating horribly biased juxtapositions to make Latino protesters of the recent Arizona immigration legislation look violent compared to noticeably whiter Tea Party crowds, FOX regularly incites fear of the neighboring nation. Playing on that fear, America Live host Shannon Bream and FOX Nation coupled to create a new controversy about a strip of land near the border because, as Bream put it, “A massive stretch of Arizona now off limits to Americans — critics say the administration is, in effect, giving a major strip of the Southwest back to Mexico.”

Published in Analysis

BUZZFLASH NEWS ANALYSIS
by Jeffrey Joseph

With the continually growing disaster of the BP oil spill in the Gulf, the ramifications have and will continue to affect a wide swathe of people. Accordingly, many have asked a lot of questions as to why the president and BP have not yet stemmed the flow of oil, some questions valid, others leaning closer to strange and unfounded conspiracies. Leave it to Glenn Beck to make the most outrageous claim, though, suggesting that the reason President Obama has not yet resolved the issue links to directly to the president’s refusal to meet with BP CEO Tony Heyward because, as Beck believes, the president must be a racist.

Beck threw around a couple of ideas for why President Obama had not met with Tony Heyward, each lacking much support. At first Beck insinuated that President Obama simply relished having the spill in suggesting, “The president is using the BP oil spill crisis to jam cap and trade right down your throat. That’s why he compared it to 9/11.” Next, Beck implied President Obama would not meet with a BP executive because “maybe it’s a typical capitalist.” Before long, he went in for the most ludicrous accusation available:  “He’s a white CEO. Maybe that’s it.”

Published in Analysis

BUZZFLASH NEWS ANALYSIS
by Jeffrey Joseph

No matter how many times FOX continues to repeat its “fair and balanced” slogan, its continued choice to hire unabashedly conservative contributors like Sean Hannity, who wanted to know if he could now physically threaten the president, and infamous GOP operative Karl Rove prove that the network’s concept of “balanced” needs retooling. Despite, and most likely because of, the obvious slant their contributors hold, FOX continues to have people like Rove comment on the news as if he can dispassionately evaluate politics, even when he has shown capable of contradicting his own stances within minutes on the air, all for the sake of the political attack.

Published in Analysis

BUZZFLASH NEWS ANALYSIS
by Jeffrey Joseph

Some of President Barack Obama’s comments have elicited surprise and selective outrage from members on FOX who have complained he had apparently shown too much emotion shortly after complaining he had not shown enough. Even so, few could have anticipated the response from Sean Hannity where he sought to find out if he now has the right to make physical threats against the president.

Hannity recently held a panel discussion on President Obama’s comment that he meets with so many people “because they potentially have the best answers, so I know whose a** to kick.” Democratic strategist Steve Murphy defended the comment as appropriate and presidential since “the thing that he’s got going for him, more than anything, is the stature he projects.” Hannity, making clear that he still held a grudge against the president for suggesting he could send a supporter to debate Hannity and that the supporter would, in the the debate, “tear him up,” then asked if Hannity could now say, “We ought to send someone to kick Obama’s [beep].”

Published in Analysis
Wednesday, 09 June 2010 08:26

FOX and a Flip-Flop Mentality

BUZZFLASH NEWS ANALYSIS
by Jeffrey Joseph

Laura Ingraham has recently shown how her vigor for criticizing President Obama and his policies has grown so strong that in her complaints, she ends up disagreeing with herself. If Ingraham worked as a sole “blind ideologue” on the network, FOX News might have retained some credibility. Unfortunately, as Sarah Palin and the FOX & Friends hosts show, FOX contributors can sometimes hardly take a breath before contradicting their stances depending on what they feel most obviously attacks the president and the left.

In lieu of the incredible environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, one might expect an adamantly pro-oil personality like Palin to hide for fear of public excoriation. Palin took quite the contrary approach, now telling the world that “unless government appropriately regulates oil developments and holds oil executives accountable, the public will not trust them to drill, baby, drill.” She wrote as much on a Facebook post, setting herself apart from any obvious pro-oil stance as if some other political figure originated the “drill, baby, drill” chant in the first place.

Published in Analysis

BUZZFLASH NEWS ANALYSIS
by Jeffrey Joseph

The continual destruction of life in the Gulf of Mexico has certainly warranted a fair amount of outrage that the nation could allow something of this magnitude, what President Barack Obama referred to as “the greatest environmental disaster of its kind in our history,” to occur. Indeed, the growing wake of the spill has created plenty of blame to go around. Yet some commentators along the lines of Laura Ingraham have seized on the opportunity to blame the president more for political reasons than for any genuine assignation of blame as evidenced by the confusing and contradictory complaints about the president.

An occasional fill-in host and otherwise guest of The O’Reilly Factor, Ingraham appeared opposite Bill O’Reilly to discuss the disaster late last week. O’Reilly suggested the issue had become a political one, as criticisms fell in different directions almost entirely along ideological lines, but Ingraham contended President Obama was “treating this like a political problem [and] that’s part of his problem.” She felt he had not taken the issue seriously enough, yet when O’Reilly mentioned Obama going down to the coast again, Ingraham argued, “Yeah, he’s going down tomorrow, but there’s still not a sense that this is a serious approach.” Her attack continued against Ken Salazar, Janet Napolitano, Eric Holder, and apparently even Paul McCartney since Ingraham demanded the president “have as much passion in tackling this issue as he did last night when Paul McCartney was serenading Michelle [Obama].” She sarcastically continued, “But I have to look at the bright side because at least Michelle was having fun.”

Published in Analysis

BUZZFLASH NEWS ANALYSIS
by Jeffrey Joseph

Part of FOX’s success certainly comes from its oft-repeated, though easily refuted, claim as a paragon of journalistic integrity compared to the rest of the “lamestream” media it so despises. Too bad for FOX that their contributors most vociferously criticizing the rest of the media, people like the Glenn Becks and Sarah Palins of the network, so frequently prove they have no idea what they’re talking about in their attacks.

Beck spent a segment dedicated to showing video of the Israeli attack on the aid flotilla in Gaza, footage that shows the people on board the ship fighting back against the soldiers — with clubs. Proceeding from the footage, Beck insisted “besides FOX, nobody seems willing to show that,” next implying a mass-media conspiracy against Israel as responsible for hiding the footage.

Along came Jon Stewart to the rescue, illustrating how Chris Matthews’s Hardball had shown the same video on MSNBC at the time of Beck’s show, but also how MSNBC, CNN, CBS, NBC, ABC, and even PBS, among other networks, all showed the exact same video within the twenty-four hours preceding Beck’s show. As Stewart put it, “This can mean only one of two things:  Mr. Beck lives in a cloistered world of paranoid delusion that is impervious to a priori evidence that contradicts his world view or [...] Glenn Beck has become so powerful that his wise words can now be acted upon retroactively.”

Published in Analysis

BUZZFLASH NEWS ANALYSIS
by Jeffrey Joseph

While spinning from one conspiracy theory to another like a rogue whirling dervish, Glenn Beck stated that he could not comprehend how “we’re not having real conversations” in the political world. Asking such a question on a network so blatantly biased and vitriolic as FOX News, Beck ignored his own and his colleagues’ culpability for the superficial and hyperbolic political conversations left in the U.S. today.

Beck exposed his limited self-awareness in recently trying to uncover the “media-created villains.” Some of those “villains” certainly must include ACORN, exposed by Beck’s former friend James O’Keefe, who later had to plead guilty to charges in an illegal scheme to pose as telephone repairers to gain entry into Senator Mary Landrieu’s offices. As O’Keefe faced charges, his exposé on ACORN unraveled as largely the product of deliberate misinformation and outright lying. After putting O’Keefe on the air and uncritically spreading his story about ACORN, Beck, like so many others on FOX, came to the defense of O’Keefe immediately after the arrest but now have basically abandoned him and the crusade he helped begin.

Published in Analysis

BUZZFLASH NEWS ANALYSIS
by Jeffrey Joseph

Considering the exceedingly hyperbolic rhetoric that comes out of Glenn Beck’s mouth, from claiming a Jewish social justice worker used “exactly the kind of talk that led to the death camps in Germany” to telling his Christian listeners to leave their churches, he makes it hard for a reasonable person to agree with any of his sentiments. Yet, with all his misguided rhetoric, one plea Beck repeats that actually makes some kind of sense involves demanding that people keep the families out of political fights. Beck would earn more credit for the assertion — if only he were not so obviously hypocritical about it.

Just last week, Beck went on the air and mocked Malia Obama’s level of education in an attempt to criticize President Obama’s response to the BP oil spill. Doing a derogatory impression of Malia, Beck asked his co-host Pat Gray, pretending to be President Obama, “Daddy? Daddy? Daddy, did you plug the hole yet? Daddy?” Beck went on to ask, through his Malia voice, “Why do you hate black people so much?” Beck, who never attained a college degree himself,  reiterated the initial comment with an extra dig at Malia, saying, “‘Did you plug the hole yet, daddy?’ Is that’s their — that’s the level of their education, that they’re coming to — they’re coming to daddy and saying ‘Daddy, did you plug the hole yet?’”

Published in Analysis
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