Conservative media began politicizing the first case of Ebola virus diagnosed in the United States almost immediately, speculating as to whether the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) could be trusted to contain the virus considering its ties to the Obama administration and about Obama's own role in the diagnosis.
In a press briefing July 19, President Obama responded to the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the killing of Trayvon Martin, saying, "Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago...the African-American community is looking at this issue through a set of experiences and a history that - that doesn't go away." Right-wing media figures responded to the president's remarks with attacks.
During President Obama's January 16 speech on steps he supports to stem gun violence, conservative media figures responded with vitriol on Twitter and on the radio. A sampling:
Rush Limbaugh: Speech Is "The Children As Human Shields Show"
Fox News Radio Host Todd Starnes: "Freedom Ends. Tyranny Begins."
After Secretary of State Hillary Clinton accepted responsibility for the security of diplomats in the wake of the deadly attack on a U.S. consulate in Libya, members of the right-wing media launched a series of sexist attacks, calling her a "doormat" and a "battered woman."
Right-wing media have attacked the Obama administration's policy change allowing some young undocumented immigrants to remain in the United States as "amnesty." In fact, the policy change is not amnesty, a term shown to produce negative reactions, but deferred action that only lasts for up to two years, subject to renewal.
UPDATE: In a subsequent post on her blog, Bruce wrote that she was being snarky and sarcastic in her tweet and defended Fox for being "willing to hire an openly gay women before anyone else in television." She added that she had been told she would never guest host O'Reilly because of her sexual orientation by "a friend of mine" and that she has "never even asked to host the Factor (or any other show at Fox), and no one at Fox ever told me I couldn't."
Longtime Fox News contributor Tammy Bruce tweeted yesterday that she's been told she'll never guest host The O'Reilly Factor because she's gay. Bruce did not specify whether she had received that message from the network's personnel, but replied favorably to a fan who responded to her tweet by criticizing the network.
Bruce is a conservative radio show host who regularly appears on The O'Reilly Factor with host Bill O'Reilly. According to Nexis, Bruce most recently appeared on the program's April 6 broadcast with guest host Juan Williams.
Bruce is openly gay, a fact she's noted on The O'Reilly Factor. A biography posted on WMAL, which carried her radio show (the program now streams "exclusively at TalkStreamLive"), states that when her radio show "debuted in Los Angeles in 1993, she was the first openly gay woman in the country to host a show on a mainstream talk radio station."
Bruce's comments came in response to a follower who told her she needs "to fill in for O'Reilly sometime." Bruce replied: "I'd love to fill in for O'Reilly, but I've been told it will never happen because I'm gay. Go figure..."
Several followers responded to Bruce's tweet with criticism of Fox. One follower tweeted: "Tammy, so sorry to hear that! You've always been an intelligent and thoughtful commentator. Bad on Fox :-)" Bruce replied: "Thanks @gutsy9 I appreciate the support :)"
Messages to Bruce seeking clarification and comment were not returned. Fox News also did not return a request for comment by posting time.
This week, the right-wing media began its annual fake "War on Christmas" campaign, freaking out about a bogus Obama "Christmas tree tax." Here's what to expect from right-wing media during the next six weeks.
Days late to the artificial war on Christmas trees, Fox News contributor Tammy Bruce is accusing President Obama of displaying "contempt for Christianity" by levying a tax on Christians that she says is rooted in Muslim tradition.
On November 6, the U.S. Department of Agriculture approved a plan initiated by tree farmers during the Bush administration to levy a fee on large tree farmers. The assessment was intended to fund a marketing campaign promoting fresh Christmas trees. Media conservatives quickly launched a false attack on the Obama administration, which subsequently announced that the industry-backed fee would be put on hold.
Bruce dismissed the undisputed fact that the fee was sought by tree growers, modeled on similar USDA initiatives including the "Got Milk?" and "Beef: It's What's for Dinner" campaigns. Pointing to the innocuous fact that the Obama administration has issued decrees honoring the Muslim holiday, Eid al-Adha, Bruce instead argued that the "checkoff" fee -- sought under a 1996 farm act -- is further evidence that Obama is "pandering to Muslims" while showing "contempt for Christianity":
Oh sure, the Fed is saying it was a marketing fee for the Christmas tree "industry," to supposedly improve the image of the apparently much hated and dreaded tree. The fact is it was a tax meant to fund a board appointed by a federal agency targeting one religion and one religion only -- Christianity.
There is a precedent for this -- in the Muslim world it's called the "Jizya" -- a tax levied on non-Muslim citizens in the Islamic world, allowing them to practice their religion while being "protected" by the Muslim state.
In our case, it seems more like an atheistic federal government looking for tribute by those pesky Christians who dare to think there is a higher authority than the permanent political class.
Bruce's vitriolic screed is being promoted at Fox Nation as evidence of Obama's "War on Christianity."
The conservative media today attacked the Obama administration by attempting to link them to the Food and Drug Administration's decision to phase out "over-the-counter asthma inhalers containing chloroflouorocarbons (CFCs)." The Weekly Standard published a piece by Mark Hemingway headlined "Obama Administration Set to Ban Asthma Inhalers Over Environmental Concerns," which claimed that the "Obama administration would rather make people with Asthma cough up money than let them make a surely inconsequential contribution to depleting the ozone layer."
But it turns out that the FDA was simply following through with plans put in place when George W. Bush was president.
Remember how Obama recently waived new ozone regulations at the EPA because they were too costly? Well, it seems that the Obama administration would rather make people with Asthma cough up money than let them make a surely inconsequential contribution to depleting the ozone layer
Hemingway went on to cite an Associated Press article that explains some details of the inhaler ban, but Hemingway must not have read the AP article too closely. That's because the AP reported that "[t]he FDA finalized plans to phase out the products in 2008" when Bush was president, not Obama. From the AP article:
The FDA finalized plans to phase out the products in 2008 and currently only Armstrong Pharmaceutical's Primatene mist is available in the U.S. Other manufacturers have switched to an environmentally-friendly propellant called hydrofluoroalkane. Both types of inhalers offer quick-relief to symptoms like shortness of breath and chest tightness, but the environmentally-friendly inhalers are only available via prescription.
From the September 19 edition of Fox Business' America's Nightly Scoreboard:
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From the July 29 edition of Fox Business' America's Nightly Scoreboard:
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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?"
Conservative media figures have criticized President Obama's upcoming visit to Ground Zero after the killing of Osama bin Laden as a "political victory lap." Glenn Beck called the planned trip "disgusting," "obscene," and "grotesque."
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.
From April 13 posts to Tammy Bruce's Twitter account: