In his appearance on Bill O'Reilly's show, Fox News strategic analyst Ralph Peters again showed how much he cares about American lives. While attacking President Obama's comments on Libya, which he called "mega wimpy," Peters dismissed the administration's reasons for refusing to call for Moammar Gadhafi's outright ouster, saying U.S. concerns for the safety of Americans living in the country are "pure spin."
This isn't the first time Peters has shown blatant disregard for the safety of Americans abroad. In 2009, Peters suggested that the Taliban kill a U.S. soldier it had captured if it turned out the soldier was a deserter.
Tonight, discussing the worsening violence against government protestors in Libya on The O'Reilly Factor, O'Reilly agreed that Obama's response to the situation there "is beyond wimpy," adding: "Gadhafi is a terrorist. He's a killer. Everybody knows it. So the moment that Libya went up, if I were president, I would've said not only do we want this guy out, we want this guy in Guantanamo Bay." He then stated; "We asked the White House this, and this was their response. They didn't come out against Gadhafi in the beginning because they wanted to get all Americans in Libya out of there. And they felt that if they had attacked Gadhafi verbally, that Gadhafi would have sent his thugs to kill Americans." Turning to Peters, O'Reilly asked: "You say?"
PETERS: That's pure spin. Gadhafi knew and knows that if he touched an American, that's the excuse we need and we'd be in there. Even Obama couldn't stop himself from sending in air strikes, special ops, marines, whatever. And so, that's just another red herring because this is -- it's -- Obama is a very smart man, but he's Hamlet -- always wringing his hands: "To be or not to be." And we need a president who makes decisions, who takes firm stands. And he needed to say today, if not much sooner, Gadhafi's government has lost all legitimacy. Gadhafi must go.
In an episode dedicated to vilifying Planned Parenthood, Fox News' Glenn Beck highlighted the organization's historical ties to Margaret Sanger -- a proponent of some forms of eugenics -- and stated: "I believe one thing is true: A bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Period. You need to know the roots of the this tree." However, Beck previously promoted a group that was founded by John Tanton, who has also been associated with eugenics and remains on the group's board today.
During his Thursday night show, Glenn Beck expressed a fair amount of outrage over "pictures and signs and videos that are dominating the protests [in Wisconsin]: comparisons of the governor with Hitler, Mubarak -- claims that he is a dictator." He went on to praise Michelle Malkin for "thankfully ... focusing her attention" on that. In a series of posts on her blog, Malkin attacked "union thugs" for calling Gov. Scott Walker " 'the dictator' governor, 'Hosni Walker,' and 'Mubarak of the Midwest.' "
Beck also aired a clip of President Obama saying, "I think it's important not to vilify" state workers, and asked: "Is it important to point out that we shouldn't vilify the people that are comparing the governor of the state to Mubarak?"
But here is Beck from two weeks ago, comparing Obama to a dictator:
BECK: Did anybody notice the remarkable statements from the president last week where the president was saying, look, as long as people are peacefully assembling, they have a right to speak and the government should listen to them. All of -- when he's saying that, all I can think of was the speech where he's walking around going, "And they're carrying tea bags," and mocking the American people.
And then, while they're pushing for an Internet kill switch for the president, that does not have judicial review -- in fact, it specifically says courts cannot review the decision. While they're pushing for that in our own Congress on Friday, he's telling Mubarak, anybody who tries to control the Internet and television and radio, that's a sign of a dictator. Come on.
In the wake of Weekly Standard editor and Fox News contributor Bill Kristol calling out Glenn Beck for his "hysteria" over Egypt, prominent conservatives have been choosing sides.
Beck has responded by lashing out at critics -- including telling people that call him "crazy" because of his New World Order theory to "go to hell" -- and wrongly insisting that articles in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal have proven him right.
This weekend was not a particularly good one for Team Beck - as we noted, Bill O'Reilly and several Fox News guests directly contradicted Beck's Egypt theories on Friday night.
During his regular "At Your Beck and Call" segment, O'Reilly challenged Beck, going so far as to say "I don't see it," and adding that "there's no evidence that says I'm not right."
But while prominent conservatives distanced themselves from Beck's incoherence, Beck found solid support from a couple attendees at CPAC.
WorldNetDaily's Jerome Corsi, whose love for conspiracy theories leads him to say things like Obama "has stolen the identity of a natural born citizen" and is "using someone else's Social Security number," said that he and WND have "supported Glenn Beck" and that "Glenn Beck is right on it." Corsi referenced a piece by fellow WND writer Aaron Klein, in which Klein wrote that he was "compelled to join Glenn Beck's side":
Fox's purported business expert Eric Bolling routinely advances falsehoods about climate change, airing views and hosting guests that reinforce skeptics' claims that global warming "is just a big scam." Bolling, "once one of the biggest individual traders of oil and energy futures," also regularly pushes offshore drilling on-air.
A few nights ago, Bill O'Reilly got into quite the tizzy over praise Arabic network Al Jazeera is receiving for its coverage of the Egypt protests. Desperate to push his theory that Al Jazeera is "anti-American" and "anti-Semitic," O'Reilly got so worked up he ended up screaming at guest Alan Colmes over it.
The exchange started like this:
O'REILLY: I just ran a Talking Points Memo that backed up, all right, with four specific things that this is an anti-Semitic, anti-American network, and I could do 40 of them.
COLMES: What you said, those were people on the network as guests. That wasn't --
O'REILLY: There is no counter --
COLMES: That wasn't editorializing by the network.
O'Reilly then blew a gasket:
O'REILLY: Why don't you grasp this? And I'm getting a little mad at you. Grasp this! There's no counter on it! You got it? There's no counter on it!
But as Colmes rightly noted, the statements O'Reilly lifted to make his point were made by guests, not by the network or its journalists. During his "Talking Points Memo," O'Reilly included comments from Iraq cleric Muqtada Al-Sadr, former Guantánamo detainee Walid Muhammad Hajj, and Ibrahim Alloush, a Palestinian-Jordanian journalist and professor. He added that his show "could provide hundreds, hundreds of examples of anti-Semitism and hate-America rhetoric displayed on Al Jazeera." O'Reilly then called praise for the network, "totally absurd," saying: "Any fair-minded person who follows Al Jazeera knows it's anti-American and anti-Semitic."
Indeed, the distinction between editorial and news is one Fox News itself has taken pains to point out when critics accuse it of advancing a certain point of view.
It's only a few weeks into 2011, but I feel I must nominate Fox Business' Stuart Varney for what could turn out to be the most inane statement of the year by a conservative host. During an interview with Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli on the February 3 edition of his show, Varney advanced the notion that Cuccinelli's investigation into climate scientist Michael Mann, a former University of Virginia professor, has no bearing on the "argument about whether there is global warming or not." This claim doesn't pass the laugh test -- not even a little bit. As I detailed a few weeks ago, the only reason Mann is under attack is because skeptics (falsely) assert that he tampered with data to support the case for global warming.
On the show, after pressing Cuccinelli on whether he "was going after" Mann, Varney stated: "This is not an argument about whether there is global warming or not -- obviously not." Varney added: "That's not part of the debate here." Cuccinelli replied: "Correct."
In fact, the whole investigation is about trying to discredit the science behind global warming.
In recent weeks Fox has repeatedly promoted skeptics' view that "there is no global warming," dismissing the extensive body of evidence supporting the scientific consensus on climate change. Meanwhile, congressional Republicans are drafting legislation to prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.
In the wake of protests in Egypt, right-wing media have compared President Obama to corrupt Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who has ruled that country as a police state for 30 years. Conservative media have long accused Obama of being "anti-Democratic" and a "dictator."
Conservatives, ever desperate to disprove the science behind global warming, have latched on to Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's baseless investigation into climate scientist Michael Mann and his work at the University of Virginia. As the Washington Post reported, Cuccinelli is "demanding that the University of Virginia turn over a broad range of documents" from Mann, a former professor at the university, "to determine whether he defrauded taxpayers as he sought grants for global warming research."
Democrats in Virginia's General Assembly responded to Cuccinelli's investigation by proposing several measures to limit the power of attorneys general to issue civil subpoenas, including to public universities, citing "government intrusion" into academic and private life.
Jim Hoft, who continually amazes with the inanity of his attacks on progressives and the president and his wife, charged that Democrats are moving to "block" the investigation of what he called "manipulated global warming junk science data." He further alleged of climate change: "We all knew it was a scam." Fox Nation claimed that Democrats "are panicked over 'Climategate' probe," and right-wing blog Weasel Zippers, who asserted that "Mann was knee-deep in ClimateGate," wrote of Virginia Democrats: "It's almost like they're trying to hide something."
There at least three basic problems with conservatives' defense of Cuccinelli's investigation: (1) The so-called "Climategate" scandal that forms the basis of Cuccinelli's investigation is based on distortions and misrepresentations and does not cast doubt on the science behind climate change; (2) the Democrats' proposal to limit Cuccinelli's powers would not bar him from pursuing a lawsuit against Mann and UVA if he could prove there really was fraud; and (3) Cuccinelli's use of his subpoena powers to attack Mann and the university run the risk of chilling academic freedom.