Fox's animosity toward President Obama is relatively well-known. This week, for example, it has manifested itself in attacks over Obama's official European tour, with Fox hosts smearing the president as a drunk and suggesting he is impervious to the suffering in the Midwest. In fact, not a week goes by during which Fox isn't inherently engaged in undermining the president, his administration, or his policies. Michelle Obama, on the other hand, has proved to be somewhat less of a target.
Yet when Fox does turn its "fair and balanced" machine toward her, it inevitably results in asinine attacks that would leave any fair-minded viewer puzzled. In February, for instance, Fox News figures took issue with the first lady's promotion of breastfeeding. (They criticized her even though Fox News' own Sarah Palin promoted Breastfeeding Awareness Month as Alaska governor.) Last week, the network went after her for inviting "vile" hip-hop artist Common to a poetry event at the White House. And for months, Fox personalities assailed Michelle Obama's efforts at reducing the alarming childhood obesity rates.
Today's attack, though, may dwarf all these others for its absurdity. Referring to Michelle Obama's meeting with schoolgirls in England, Fox Nation stated: "Michelle Gives Schoolgirls Weird Relationship Advice":
The Fox website directed readers to a Daily Caller article -- whose headline didn't include the word "weird" -- reporting on advice the first lady imparted to middle-school girls during her trip to the University of Oxford.
Fox Business host Lou Dobbs claimed that the E-Verify program, which allows employers to automatically check the immigration status of newly hired employees through government databases, is 99 percent effective, and argued that the government should make it mandatory because "it works." In fact, federal government studies show that the program has errors and can lead to discrimination.
Following the day-long freakout by Fox over hip-hop artist Common being invited to the White House for a poetry event, Fox was finally confronted by a guest who exposed the right-wing media's abject hypocrisy over the issue. Fox's supposed outrage apparently stems from Common lyrics it views as "controversial" and his association with Rev. Jeremiah Wright, President Obama's former pastor. Common, who is from Chicago, has said he's known Wright since he was a child from attending Trinity Church there.
But when guest Keli Goff, a political analyst and contributing editor for TheLoop21.com, pointed out during tonight's On the Record that conservatives have embraced artists like Kid Rock -- whose offensive lyrics haven't kept Sarah Palin from praising him -- Fox's outrage was exposed for what it is: selective and decidedly hypocritical.
During a segment about the Common invitation, guest host Martha MacCallum said the invitation was "disturbing on a lot of levels." She then claimed that in some of his lyrics, the rapper talks about "glorifying the killing of policemen," among other things, and asked: "Why would we want to do this?" Goff disagreed with MacCallum's characterization, saying that Common "is one of the good guys in hip-hop," "known for not putting the misogynistic lyrics out there," and that he is "politically conscious."
Goff's words echo the sentiment expressed by a Fox News reporter in an October 2010 report on FoxNews.com. As we pointed out earlier, Fox News reporter Jason Robinson lauded Common's music as "very positive" and noted that he is known as the "conscious rapper." But MacCallum wasn't buying it. She claimed that inviting Common wouldn't "bring respect to the White House" or "elevate people." She added: "This is no Robert Frost. This is no Maya Angelou -- this moment that is happening tomorrow night. ... How can you possibly compare these lyrics to the works of these people and say that we're elevating?"
MacCALLUM: When you have an opportunity to teach children about, you know, poetry, right? This is something they already know, you know what I'm saying. This is their world in many cases. They're familiar with this. Take it a step higher for them. Teach them about something that they don't know. Missed opportunity, in my opinion.
Goff then replied:
GOFF: Can I just say, from this line of reasoning, the Pope wouldn't be welcome in the White House because he's presided over one of the biggest pedophilia scandals in American history, right? From that logic ... people shouldn't be welcome that you think have presided over offensive ideas. Willie Nelson is a Kennedy Center honoree. He's been convicted of drug abuse, multiple drug possessions, multiple times.
MacCallum, who earlier had suggested she was offended by the White House's invite because of Common's supposedly offensive lyrics, repeatedly called this logic "absolutely ridiculous."
In September 2009, conservative radio host Tammy Bruce came up with a scenario in which she claimed she would change how she viewed President Obama. She said she would look at Obama "differently" if Osama bin Laden were captured or killed during his presidency. At the time, Bruce's animosity toward the president and his family was well documented. Indeed, she had spent the months since his inauguration denigrating Obama, his policies, and his supporters. On one such memorable occasion, she said of the first family: "We've got trash in the White House."
But on September 17, 2009, she told Bill O'Reilly:
BRUCE: [I]f we captured Osama bin Laden and Zawahiri and the one-eyed Sheikh, the three stooges over there in Pakistan somewhere -- if Barack Obama captured those guys or killed them, I would be looking at this man slightly differently.
She then followed up in predictable fashion: "But ultimately it comes down to his inability to govern and the fact that he seems to have, it seems to me, some malevolence towards this country which is unabated."
But since news of bin Laden's death, there's been no hint that Bruce has changed her views even "slightly." She has repeatedly tweeted variations of an argument that Obama did not deserve any credit for bin Laden's death. At one point, she even wrote: "Ok I'll give Obama credit -- he's a master at putting people out of work. Why stop at bin Laden?"
Following President Obama's statement calling for lawmakers to set aside their differences and "harness" the "same sense of unity that prevailed on 9/11" to "confront the many challenges that we still face," right-wing media figures rejected the call, with Fox News' Laura Ingraham suggesting it was a "political" ploy and a "trap." In 2003, however, Ingraham repeatedly attacked progressives for supposedly "eroding our national unity."
In the wake of President Obama's decision to approve the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, right-wing media are claiming that the call was in direct contradiction to Obama's foreign policy positions. In fact, as a presidential candidate, Obama promised he would take action against terrorists in Pakistan if "President Musharraf won't."
Right-wing media continue to attack President Obama over his speech announcing that U.S. forces had killed Osama bin Laden in a firefight. These attacks even include people saying that Obama should not have made the announcement himself.
In the wake of President Obama's announcement that Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden has been killed in Pakistan, Media Matters looks back at conservative media who attacked his commitment to fighting terrorism. Since his election in 2008, right-wing media figures have repeatedly suggested that Obama is weak on terror and that he is not serious about defending America from terrorism threats.
The gall of this right-wing media is literally quite astounding at times.
Following weeks of intense racially charged attacks on President Obama and their nonstop promotion of the birther myth, conservative media are today incensed at what Donald Trump had to endure at Saturday's White House Correspondents' Dinner. They complain that "Trump didn't get to respond" to the "attack[s]" by the "two antagonists" -- presumably, President Obama and SNL's Seth Meyers.
Jim Hoft's Gateway Pundit blog blared: "Boorish Obama Attacks Trump Repeatedly at Media Dinner While He Is Sitting in the Room." The post that followed read:
It was beat up on Trump night...
It took Obama about 10 seconds before he attacked Donald Trump at the White House Correspondents' Dinner Saturday night. Of course, Donald Trump was sitting in the room and did not have an opportunity to respond.
How sad... He also attacked FOX News.
Allahpundit at HotAir.com congratulated Trump for showing up at all "knowing what was in store." He continued:
[B]ut to his credit, he turned out and took his lumps -- stone-faced, as the crowd around him roared. It was kind of him to provide a designated target for the evening: The days of comics speaking hijinks-y truth to power by ripping on the president to his face a la Colbert and Bush ended abruptly in January 2009, of course.
Allahpundit went on to criticize Meyers' "nasty shot at O's opponents."
Ace at the Ace of Spades blog wrote:
I thought, dumbly I guess, that Trump would actually get to go to the dais and speak. Wouldn't that make it more interesting? You know the guy is going to get ripped; wouldn't it be more interesting to let him give the "rebuttal" as they do in a roast?
I'm not even talking about fairness -- I'm talking about entertainment value, which this yearly paean to Obama's aweomeness could surely use.
So you have two antagonists here and you could have a bit of a show but no, of course you set it up so it's Obama goofing on Trump, and then Seth Meyers goofing on Trump, and the liberal audience galing in (somewhat forced, I-agree-with-you-so-I'm-laughing laughter at Trump, and Trump just sitting there.
Trump didn't get to respond until a phone call on Fox & Friends.
Not sure why Trump went under those circumstances.