Ah, sandy shores, blue water, and…liberals?? Well, doesn’t sound like a bad vacation spot to me, but our friends over at Fox News made the trip to the startling, new liberal bastion of America: Hawaii. No relaxing here. Oh, there was so much investigative journalism to be done! Interviews to be conducted! They even managed to find one conservative willing to speak to them who wasn’t their standard rich old dude. “Journalist” Jesse Watters in a segment of “Watters’ World,” shown on Fox New Channel’s The O’Reilly Factor, traveled out to Hawaii to determine what makes this state so liberal, when conservatives have apparently always thought of it as being so conservative (maybe because the state reminds them so much of their tax shelters in the Cayman Islands).
So many liberal evils to be examined, where to begin? Topics of interests included abortion, prostitution, marijuana, and government handouts, but the two I found the most entertaining were their take on state income tax and trends in Asian voting.
Let’s start with this little gem: an 11% state income tax?! Of course Fox managed to skew the numbers, like they always do, in an effort to keep the conservative reality bubble from popping. Watters claims outright and without citing sources that the state income tax is 11%. Yes, Hawaii’s state income tax is 11%, but this rate is specific to individuals making over $200,000 per year and couples making over $400,000 per year, while the median household income on the Island is just $59,609. As always, they are only partially right, and as always, the only people for whom this information could be correct are their top 1%-er friends.
Speaking of minorities, I don’t know if you all remember, but white people are becoming THE minority in America. Yes, even the white-sand beaches couldn’t prevent this state from getting overrun by unwelcome former-minorities, like native Hawaiians. Watters manages to combine Hawaiians with Hispanics and, curiously, California liberals, into the bastions of non-white Americans imposing their questionable morals and foreign cultures on the defenseless white minority. And as usual, misinformation and straight-up stupidity abounds on the O’Reilly Factor. According to the latest US census statistics (last taken in 2010), for the state of Hawaii people identifying their race as “white alone” numbered 337,000, making the white population second only to those self-identifying as “Asian alone” (525,000). Even native Hawaiians only constitute 135,000 members of the population. Oh Bill, even if America becomes unrecognizable to you, at least you’ll have good company with fellow old racist white guys (maybe Pat Robertson?) at the raisin ranch someday.
While Watters’ “field work” was entertaining enough, old Bill was generous enough to give us the real zinger of the night, a statement so glaringly insulting you don’t even need to conduct a Google search to fact-check him. In what I guess he thought was a compliment (the back-handed kind, but who’s counting?), O’Reilly manages to marginalize a huge sub-set of Americans by characterizing all Asian-Americans as “industrious and hardworking” (and therefore) “not liberal by nature”.
Really Bill? Do all Asians work in rice paddies or have trouble speaking English? And do you really think they’re all loyal Fox viewers? In a testament to just how wrong he was, there was an immediate outcry in the Asian-American community, spearheaded by Rep. Colleen Hanabusa of HI. I love that Hanabusa is able to so eloquently attack two egregious comments head-on, namely, lumping all Asian Americans together as industrious and hardworking and simultaneously excluding all liberals from this type of group. Fabulous, the way they’re able to so easily draw their conclusions on over a million people, isn’t it?
But it seems they are unable to help themselves. Fox News must skew the numbers because without them they would have no news to report. They have to fabricate their own frightening reality because the reality that the rest of us are experiencing just doesn’t fit in the Fox Universe. Their unbelievable, contrived statistics are the only things keeping their reality afloat; they are really all they have to work with.