Rumor Has It

“Questions have been raised…”

This is the phrase uttered by Megyn Kelly today on Fox News. “Questions have been raised ” about White House staffers in connection to the Colombian prostitution scandal. “Now Senators are asking more questions about the White House advance team’s possible involvement.”

Yes. Questions have been raised. By Fox News. Just pull up the website. White House Counsel Clears Obama Advance Team in Scandal. As if the Advance Team had ever been accused of something and needed to be “cleared”? Secret Service Scandal Reveals Obama’s Leadership Deficit. This article implies President Obama should have immediately cracked down hard on the Secret Service, before any investigation was complete. Can you imagine  the outrage if the President had taken hard action and fired Panetta? Then we’d have article after article about President Obama’s abuse of power, his lack of appreciation for Secret Service, and his obvious contempt for this American institution that has done nothing but protect him.

The “Senators” asking more questions is really only one — Senator Grassley. He has written a letter in which he demands answers!  Grassley said that questions should be answered publicly in order for the White House to “set the record straight on staffers involvement.” What record? No on has been accused of ANYTHING! What exactly is it that needs to be set straight?

Last week on Fox it was the Silver Spoon saga. Steve Doocy incorrectly quoted President Obama as saying “unlike some people, I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth.”  He made this “mistake” while interviewing Mitt Romney, giving Mr. Romney a platform to “respond” to the perceived attack. The President did not say “unlike some people” and furthermore, a look back shows us the President is fond of  using the silver spoon cliche. In fact, he used it in 2010 and 2009 – long before Mitt Romney was the presumed Republican nominee. But Fox somehow manipulated this phrase into a news story story, spending multiple segments discussing it and essentially a producing a free commercial for the Republican candidate.

In December we got to hear all about the “War” on Christmas. In a country where roughly 78% of the population identifies themselves as Christian and where retailers count on sales through the entire holiday season to bring in  20-40% of annual sales,  Fox News would have viewers believe Christmas is in danger. The word “holiday” seems to be particularly threatening.  I find this ironic considering the word holiday is an inclusive word — not only for other religions, but also other, er, holidays. Retailers embrace the phrase as a marketing ploy. They start the “holiday season”  in September and run it though the New Year. More decorations, more cookbooks, more parties, more gifts…War on sanity, perhaps, but War on Christmas? Only on Fox.

Repeatedly since Mr. Obama became a serious contender for President, Fox has time and again stoked the “he’s not really a Christian” fire. In June of 2008, Brit Hume incorrectly stated that President Obama’s half brother said he would make a good President” despite his strong muslim background.” During the February 27 , 2008 edition of Fox & Friends, after a lengthy discussion on Barack Obama’s middle name, Gretchen Carlson acknowledged claims Mr. Obama was a Muslim were “rumors” — but neither she nor her co-hosts pointed out these rumor were false. It was E.D. Hill from Fox News who coined the phrase “terrorist fist jab” in the fall of 2008. Father Jonathan Morris stated in 2010 that Mr. Obama’s reasons for choosing his faith is “not how the average Christian in the United States” would put it. Gretchen Carlson again pushed the “is he or isn’t he” agenda, wondering if  people might find it “disingenuous” that President Obama mention God in a speech following the BP oil spill in 2010 because he “does not go to church on a regular basis.”

It never stops; in 2010 there was a full out attack on healthcare reform, distorting the bill into some sort of socialist takeover before it was even written. With regards to climate change and evolution, Fox is always there with a hard hitting “news” story which address the “controversy” about the topics — the controversy they  themselves are creating.

The result is astounding. Fox News has succeeded in its viewers becoming the least informed population among us, even more than people who claim to watch or read no news at all. In recent polling data, 79% of Fox viewers believed healthcare reform was going to result in a government take over of the entire system and 75% believed it would lead to a cessation in care for the elderly.  65% of Fox viewers were wrong about about the views that the scientific community has on climate change and 60% did not believe the climate is changing at all. 40% of viewers believed President Obama was a Muslim and 63% still questioned if  he was born in this country.

Fox News is not a news network. Instead, it is a robust propaganda machine for the conservative agenda. Fox News doesn’t  report the news; they create the story. All it takes is a whisper — a question “raised” and a new manipulation is born. Almost comical how easily the method is executed and absorbed by their millions of viewers. Almost.

If it wasn’t so damn scary.

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