Throughout the morning, Fox & Friends expressed dismay over how --and why -- President Obama's terrorism press conference yesterday was delayed by three and a half hours.
Looking visibly annoyed, Gretchen Carlson said she had expected to hear something "shocking" from the president but "did not hear anything new" and wondered, "Why was there that three and a half hour delay? The president was supposed to come out at 1 p.m. and give us this shocking revelation. And then he did, in fact, not come out until 4:30 p.m. Eastern time." Later in the show, Peter Johnson Jr. told Brian Kilmeade that it seemed like there was "confusion" at the White House because "first of all, it took them hours to get the president out there. They kept on pushing back the time of the press conference." They agreed that the delay was "strange and eerie," and Johnson added, "It's dysfunctional, it shows disorganization, it's not what the White House should be doing."
And then there was this:
Hmmm, it's funny that they seem to care so much about what Obama revealed or whether the press conference started on time. Because if you were watching Fox News last night, you wouldn't have been able to watch it in its entirety. They cut away from it a third of the way in to show Glenn Beck.
As you can read below, Sarah Palin has signed on to speak at the first ever Tea Party convention next month in Nashville. Also speaking to the Tea Party activists will be Joseph Farah from the discredited wingnut outpost WND, and who considers it to be a "personal privilege" to be " to be on the same bill with Gov. Sarah Palin." Indeed, WND is promoting the event as the "Palin-Farah ticket."
Farah, as Media Matters has tirelessly documented, is, among other things, an avowed gay and Muslim-hating conspiracy theorist who still clings to the whackadoo notion that Obama wasn't born in America. That's who Palin has agreed to share the spotlight with in Nashville next month. To date however, there's been no press reaction that I've seen or heard raising any questions about Palin's decision to hob knob so publicly with the likes of Farah. (CNN remains silent in this dispatch. As does Politico.)
With that in mind, I'm curious what the chattering class reaction would be if the tables were turned. What would the press response be, for instance, if Al Gore, just one year after leaving office, agreed to speak before a group of fringe activists and if he agreed to share the spotlight with a proudly anti-semitic, 9/11 conspiracy theorist? Do you think that might become a thing in the press? Do you think journalists would press Gore about the association and demand that he clearly articulate his thoughts about the anti-semitic, 9/11 nut who was being welcomed as a feature speaker alongside Gore at the frothing, partisan convention?
I don't think there's any doubt Gore would come under extraordinary media pressure if he ever agreed to be seen among fringe radicals. But will Palin? We'll see if the press holds her to the same standard, or creates a second one just for her.
UPDATED: David Weigel at the Washington Independent explains why the "Palin-Farah" ticket ought to be news [emphasis added]:
Two months ago Farah appeared on the same stage as Bachmann and other conservative House Republicans to promote WND's "pink slip" campaign against Congress, and political reporters pretty much ignored it. And WND has sponsored CPAC in the past. But CPAC has explicitly ruled out a "birther" forum at this year's event, and some Republican activists have called for conservatives to cut ties with the birth certificate and conspiracy-obsessed WND. And here you'll have Sarah Palin, giving her first political speech in months, on the same stage as Joseph Farah.
From Pat Buchanan's January 8 syndicated column:
"America is Losing the Free World," was the arresting headline over the Financial Times column by Gideon Rachman. His thesis:
The largest democracies of South America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia - Brazil, South Africa, Turkey, India - are all moving out of America's orbit. "(T)he assumption that the democracies would stick together is proving unfounded."
President Lula of Brazil has cut a "lucrative oil deal with China, spoken warmly of Hugo Chavez," hailed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on his election "victory" and honored the Iranian president with a state visit.
In the Security Council, South Africa sided with Russia and China in killing human-rights resolutions and protecting Zimbabwe and Iran. Turkey has moved to engage Hezbollah, Hamas and Tehran, and spurn Israel. Polls show anti-Americanism surging in Turkey. From trade to sanctions on Iran and Burma, India sides with China against America.
The ruling parties in all four were democratically elected. Yet, in all four, democratic solidarity is being trumped by an older solidarity -- of Third World people of color against a "white, rich Western world."
Given free, inclusive elections in Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt, there is a likelihood our allies would be dumped and leaders chosen who were committed to kicking us out of the Middle East and throwing the Israelis into the Mediterranean.
What, then, is the rationale for the National Endowment for Democracy to continue tax dollars to promote such elections?
When colonialism ended in East Africa, Indians were massacred. The Chinese suffered a horrible pogrom in Indonesia in 1965, when the dictator Sukarno fell - and another when Suharto fell. Picked clean, two-thirds of the 250,000 whites in Rhodesia when Robert Mugabe took power are gone. Half the Boers and Brits have fled Jacob Zuma's South Africa. In Bolivia, Evo Morales is dispossessing Europeans to reward the "indigenous people" who voted him into power. Chavez is doing the same in Venezuela.
Query: If democracy, from Latin America to Africa to the Middle East, brings to power parties and politicians who, for reasons religious, racial or historic, detest the "white, rich Western world," why are we pushing democracy in these regions?
Our forefathers were not afflicted with this infantile disorder. John Winthrop, whose "city on a hill" inspired Ronald Reagan, declared that, among civil nations, "a democracy is ... accounted the meanest and worst of all forms of government."
"Remember, democracy never lasts long," said Adams. "It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide."
Added Jefferson, "A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where 51 percent of the people may take away the rights of the other 49." Madison agreed: "Democracy is the most vile form of government."
The questions raised here are crucial.
If racial and religious bonds and ancient animosities against the West trump any democratic solidarity with the West, of what benefit to America is democracy in the Third World? And if one-person, one-vote democracy in multiethnic countries leads to dispossession and persecution of the market-dominant minority, why would we promote democracy there?
Why would we promote a system in an increasingly anti-American world that empowers enemies and imperils friends?
Is democratism our salvation -- or an ideology of Western suicide?
From DrudgeReport.com, accessed on January 7:
Former CIA officer Michael Scheuer has uncorked some whoppers on Fox News. In various appearances on the news channel, he has suggested that President Obama is guilty of treason, stated that White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel wants terrorists to attack the United States, and asserted that the Obama administration is "pro-terrorist." But his most outrageous remark came during an appearance last year on Glenn Beck when he said, "The only chance we have as a country right now is for Osama bin Laden to deploy and detonate a major weapon in the United States."
Despite such rhetoric, Fox News invited him again to appear -- this time on the January 7 edition of Special Report with Bret Baier:
Given his previous remarks, I'm left to wonder what he'd have to say not to be invited back onto Fox news.
From the GlennBeck.com store, accessed January 7:
After Fox News contributors spent several days criticizing the Obama administration's response to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's failed attempt to bring down a Northwest Airlines flight on Christmas Day, Fox News responded to the administration's January 7 press conference about its handling of the incident and by ... cutting away to Glenn Beck's attack on the progressive movement and its "hundred-year time bomb."
Fox showed only a third of the press conference. By contrast, MSNBC and CNN broadcast the entire press conference, which continued an additional 28 minutes after Fox cut away.
In the past two weeks, Fox News personalities have criticized the administration for being "off the stage" for several days after Christmas, claimed the administration was reluctant to acknowledge the war on terror, and speculated that the administration was diverting intelligence resources away from counterterrorism in order to spy on global warming. Moreover, Fox News has been on a mission to see Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano fired for her response to the incident, which made it puzzling to see the network cut away from Napolitano's remarks about the administration's response:
Eighty advertisers have reportedly dropped their ads from Glenn Beck's Fox News program since he called President Obama a "racist" who has a "deep-seated hatred of white people." Here are his January 7 sponsors, in the order they appeared:
Is Molotov Mitchell doing a little damage control? Two weeks after endorsing a proposed Uganda law that would permit the death penalty for homosexuality, the WorldNetDaily videographer has uploaded a new video in which he takes the some-of-my-best-friends-are-gay approach.
Mitchell begins by insisting that since he knows "the data" and "some of the scientists," as well as because "I have personally worked with ex-gays for years," he has concluded that "there's absolutely no evidence to support the gay activists' claim that same-sex attraction is genetic, and it's definitely not immutable." He adds: "When I say I'm against homosexuality, I mean I'm against a self-destructive lifestyle that is both unnecessary and dangerous."
The problem is that Mitchell isn't just "against homosexuality"; he favors the "abolition of homosexuality." He has not directly explained in his videos how he wants such abolition to occur, but his support for the Uganda law may be one possible clue.
But Mitchell then declares he has "gay friends." This leads to a story from his days of working in "actor circles," when he was confronted at a party by a "flaming homosexual" who asked him -- as Mitchell lapses into stereotypically fey, limp-wristed mannerisms and a lisping voice -- if he's going to hell for being gay. "I smiled, I looked him in the eye, and I said, 'Yeah, it looks like you are headed for hell.' "
He claimed this confrontational behavior went on for several weeks until a going-away party for the "flaming homosexual," during which, according to Mitchell, he was told by the "flaming homosexual" that "you're my only friend because you told me what I always knew." Mitchell then gets dramatic: "And then he started sobbing, and I grabbed him and I hugged him, and he just cried into my shoulder." Mitchell's lesson: "Faithful are the wounds of a friend."
Mitchell concluded: "Over the years, I've had lots of homosexual friends, and I've been straight with all of them about my aversion to their sexual lifestyle. A few have walked away, sure, but for the most part, they all stayed close, because they knew I really loved them."
If Michell wasn't mocking the kind of people who he claims he loves by busting out stereotypical imitations of them, we might think he was being genuinely sincere.
In one of the first posts on Andrew Breitbart's new website BigJournalism.com, radio host Ron Futrell purported to list "The Top Twelve Faux Media Scares of the Past Decade." A couple of the entries caught our eye. In one, Futrell spreads the tired myth that the world is cooling -- something scientists and statisticians could tell him is wrong. In another entry, Futrell goes after "asbestos insulation" as a "faux media scare." That one caused us to do a double take. How could concern over asbestos insulation be a "faux media scare"? Is BigJournalism actually advocating for people to forget the media hype and install asbestos in their homes and offices? Well, not quite. Futrell does acknowledge that you may not want to sprinkle asbestos "on your cereal in the morning," but he does present the link between asbestos and cancer as a matter for debate, labeling asbestos a "supposed carcinogen."
Outside of BigJournalism's world, the link between asbestos and cancer is well-known. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the EPA have determined that asbestos is a human carcinogen." In case you don't trust the liberal federal government and the WHO (who knows what kind of black helicopter plots those folks are involved in), the Utah Department of Environmental Quality also lists asbestos as a carcinogen. Even Fox News isn't on BigJournalism's side: Fox News senior medical editor Dr. Michael W. Smith has listed asbestos as a carcinogen.
Is it too early to say that relying on BigJournalism for your information may be hazardous to your health?