This week's New Yorker cover satirizes the far right's view of Mr. and Mrs. Obama, using all the false stories that have been thrown around (Barack is a Muslim, Michelle is a terrorist, the "fist bump" is a signal of black rebellion) and locates all of it in the oval office.
If you are a sophisticated audience, like most New Yorker regulars, this is satire that makes the conservatives look silly.
Unfortunately, to the great mass of unsophisticated Americans, the huge audience of Fox News and Rush Limbaugh and the like, this is going to be promoted as a confirmation of fact.
One wishes it hadn't been done. But there it is. So far, Obama has refused to comment.
Perhaps next week we can have a satirical image of McCain in an old folks home, armed to the teeth and assisted by Holy Joe Lieberman, plotting out attacks on an Iranian map... Under The LobsterScope
This morning I was pleasantly surprised to read an article that had Fox TV News as the subject. In this particular article by David Carr, "When Fox News is the Story" (New York Times, July 7, 2008), I read how Fox News responds to bad press from other news outlets. The way that Fox responds to what it deems as damaging to its image, was a real eye-opener. Since I do not write very many articles that would capture the attention of Fox TV, reading about how other journalists deal with Fox when they circle their wagons, so to speak, was fascinating.
I had always thought that the best way to stop calling attention to a situation that could be damaging to one's reputation was to ignore whatever drew attention to you in the first place. The logic behind this was that once you called attention to whatever damaged you in the first place; you gave that particular bit of information credibility, and at the same time keeping people's attention on the damage to your reputation by the very act of defending yourself. It appears that Fox does not subscribe to that view of how to defend your credibility. In a very well written piece, Carr describes how Fox goes on the offensive as soon as a threat to their integrity surfaces. I can understand why Fox is so particular about maintaining their credibility; they are so biased towards the right wing of the political spectrum, their objectivity is indeed suspect much of the time.
One particular example of Fox slanting the news is how they defended themselves from an article that they believed was biased towards the news channel. Jacques Steinberg wrote a piece about how CNN was catching up to Fox in the ratings. Mr. Steinberg tried to reach Fox for a comment and they ignored him, while at the same time complaining to his bosses that he hadn't tried to call them for a comment on his story. This apparently was an attempt to discredit him as a journalist by not allowing Fox to comment. They also ran a story of their own, calling Steinberg an "attack dog" for his boss, Steven V. Reddicliffe, and running a picture of Steinberg that had been altered to make Steinberg appear in Carr's words; "In a technique familiar to students of vintage German propaganda, his ears were pulled out, his teeth splayed apart, his forehead lowered and his nose was widened and enlarged in a way that made him look more like Fagin than the guy I work with." Carr also described how the German's often used this technique during World War II in photos. "Media Matters" in a critique of Fox, ran two photos, one real and the one that was altered of Mr. Steinberg, this is one reason that I subscribe to their newsletters.
On Thursday, Fox News's John Gibson had former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton on his radio show. They discussed Obama's foreign policy. Bolton charged that "the best outcome" of an Obama presidency would be "a replay of the Clinton administration," meaning "more embassy bombings" and "more World Trade Center attacks":
GIBSON: The Obama team is going back to some of the old complaints about the war and the war on terror...that the left has been articulating for a long time now, and not really coming up with anything new.
BOLTON: Yeah I think honestly that's an optimistic view of it, that it will simply be a replay of the Clinton administration. It will simply have more embassy bombings, more bombings of our warships like the Cole, more World Trade Center attacks. That would be the best outcome from that perspective.
Have a listen:
Gibson failed to ask and Bolton declined to mention that the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon occurred during the Bush administration, while Bolton was serving in the Department of State.
"Fox has always treated me with respect and given me a chance to express my point of view," Davis says of the network that the Democratic candidates refused to grant a debate out of concern that it favors Republicans. He will be a frequent guest, along with such Fox stalwarts as Karl Rove and Newt Gingrich.
A relentless surrogate for Hillary Clinton, Davis says, he felt "ganged up on" during appearances on the other cable channels. He says that Clinton was "demonized" by MSNBC's Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann, and that CNN's primary-night panels were tilted toward the Obama side.