Fox News Comes Out of the Closet

Fox News finally made it official. They are part and parcel of the Republican Party. They are now the largest donors to the Republican Governors Association, having given them $1 million dollars. They also employ three out of the top four Republicans in the Iowa Caucus Poll for GOP presidential candidates.

As I explain here, now that Fox News has come out of the closet, it's hard to distinguish where Fox News ends and the Republican Party begins:

But there is one more factor here. It's not just that Fox News has a point of view. Many publications and shows have a certain perspective as well, whether it's conservative or liberal. It's that Fox News does propaganda. What's the difference?

They don't just have a perspective, they have an agenda. And they drive that agenda until their political goals are met. So, they don't just do the so-called Ground Zero Mosque story on one or two shows randomly depending on the host's interests. They all do it. Their talk show hosts do the story. Their so-called news anchors do the story. They do it 24-7 until it spreads to the other cable news stations, and then thereby spreads into the whole media.

That's not a coincidence, that's a well thought out strategy. And it works like a charm. So, for example, people are confused as to why the Democrats always seem to get slammed in the summers. That's because Congress is in recess, there is a news void and Fox fills that void with whatever propaganda they have decided will incite fear and loathing at that time. So, last summer it was death panels and Tea Parties. This summer it's the "Ground Zero Mosque."

And next summer it'll be something else, but here are the elements I guarantee it will have - a story that is covered non-stop, an incendiary topic that gets people talking, something that either stokes fear and/or hatred and involves a charge based on almost no facts. That's the formula. Watch, come back to this article next August and you will see that's exactly what happened again. The rest of the media is putty in Fox News' hands. So easy to manipulate and control.

Don't get me wrong, this happens year around, too. It's just that the summer is their killing fields because of the dearth of other political stories.

And how about the poor Democrats that are the victims of this propaganda machine? They are so clueless and feckless that it's almost hard to feel sorry for them. You begin to feel contempt. Is anyone ever going to fight back against this machine? Do you people even know what's happening to you?

The longer the Democrats and the rest of the media treat Fox News as a legitimate "news station," the longer this will happen. And then everyone will sit around confused about how such a large percentage of the country could think Obama is a Muslim, or that ACORN stole the election for Obama or that Saddam Hussein was connected to 9/11. They will wonder how these demonstrably false stories could get so much traction. All the while as the Fox News propaganda machine hums in the background.

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Quick Hits

Some other items making the rounds today.

The Iowa Republican polled 399 likely Iowa Republican voters on their preference come 2012. Former Arkansas Governor and current Fox News talk show host Mike Huckabee finished on top garnering 22 percent while former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney finished second with 18 percent. Newt Gingrich, the former Speaker of the House from Georgia, finished "surprisingly well" in their view with 14 percent in third place. Sarah Palin finished fourth with 11 percent. Texas Congressman Ron Paul garnered 5 percent, while Pawlenty, and South Dakota Senator John Thune each received 1 percent. Former US Senator Rick Santorum garnered support in the poll but it did not surpass the one percent threshold. Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour and Texas Governor Rick Perry did not register any support in the poll. Twenty three percent of those surveyed remain undecided.

Not mentioned above is Gary Johnson, the former New Mexico Governor, much to the chagrin of Andrew Sullivan who today has a post on the libertarian-minded Johnson entitled A Man Who Deserves to be Viable in 2012.

Down in the Palmetto State, Alvin Green said he is not quitting the race even after his indictment on a felony charge of obscenity. The Chair of the Democratic Party in South Carolina, Carol Fowler, issued a statement calling for Greene to resign from the race.

A panel of three judges from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco has granted a stay preventing the resumption of gay marriages in California until at least the end of the year. The Ninth Circuit panel - Judges Edward Leavy, Michael Hawkins and Sidney Thomas - also expedited the case's appeal. During the week of Dec. 6, a separate, randomly selected panel of the Ninth Circuit will take up the request by Prop. 8 proponents to throw out Walker's ruling. More from the San Francisco Chronicle.

The Obama Administration is planning to expand opportunities for Americans to travel to Cuba, the latest step aimed at encouraging more contact between people in both countries, while leaving intact the decades-old embargo against the island’s Communist government, according to Congressional and administration officials. The New York Times has more on the story. This move is not likely to please many. On the right, any reapprochement with Cuba is too much. On the left as long as the embargo remains in place, it is just window dressing. Moreover, the US has no leverage to speak of. It is now Spain and Brazil that have been able to extract concessions from Cuba. In July, the Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos secured the release of 52 political dissendents held in Cuban prisons.

The Right Wing Reacts to the Overturning of Prop 8

Many of my fellow conservatives have an almost knee-jerk hostility toward gay marriage. This does not make sense, because same-sex unions promote the values conservatives prize. Marriage is one of the basic building blocks of our neighborhoods and our nation. At its best, it is a stable bond between two individuals who work to create a loving household and a social and economic partnership. We encourage couples to marry because the commitments they make to one another provide benefits not only to themselves but also to their families and communities. Marriage requires thinking beyond one's own needs. It transforms two individuals into a union based on shared aspirations, and in doing so establishes a formal investment in the well-being of society. The fact that individuals who happen to be gay want to share in this vital social institution is evidence that conservative ideals enjoy widespread acceptance. Conservatives should celebrate this, rather than lament it.

Theodore Olsen's wrote his heartfelt and moving op-ed making the Conservative Case for Gay Marriage earlier this year as he was preparing along with David Boies to argue the case against the California ban on gay marriage that had been approved by the voters with the passage of Proposition 8. The op-ed is, of course, a testament that many conservatives do recognize the gross injustice against gays and lesbians in denying them the civil right to marriage. As Mr. Olsen noted then "legalizing same-sex marriage would also be a recognition of basic American principles, and would represent the culmination of our nation's commitment to equal rights." Unfortunately, a large number on the right still do not yet concur with that view.

With US District Court Judge Vaughn Walker's historic ruling in the Perry et al v. Schwarzenegger et al that the ban on gay marriage violated the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, it's clear that very few conservatives are celebrating the landmark decision and many are doing much more than just lamenting it. The right's reaction has ranged from incredulity and disbelief to anger and outright hate peppered with the obligatory doses about judicial tyranny.

Randy Thomasson, the head of the Campaign for Children and Families and of an outfit called Save California, blasted Judge Walker for having "trampled the written Constitution, grossly misused his authority and imposed his own agenda, which the Constitution does not allow" in a statement. 

Tony Perkins, President of Family Research Council, compared the decision to Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that legalized abortion. "This lawsuit, should it be upheld on appeal and in the Supreme Court, would become the 'Roe v. Wade' of same-sex 'marriage,' " said Perkins. Perkins feared the ruling would overturn marriage bans adopted by dozens of states if it is upheld, a sentiment echoed by others on the religious right.

Perkins told CNN that he will work to make the ruling an issue in this Fall's midterm elections. "This is the age of the Tea Party, where you have people saying government is not listening," Perkins told CNN. "And here you have a judge saying seven million people (who supported California's Proposition 8 ) don't matter."

Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), who is out on his cross country bus tour in the defense of traditional marriage was incredulous and left gasping for words until it came time to beg for more money in order to fight the appeal.

Maggie Gallagher, president of the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy and a columnist for various conservative publications, called the decision "outrageous" and "an extraordinary moment." Gallagher told right wing radio talk show host Lars Larson, "here you have an openly gay judge, you can read the Constitution and you cannot find in it any endorsement  of the idea, our Founding Fathers created no rights to gay marriage." She added that the decision was "intellectually absurd" and that "what we're seeing is an outrageous exercise in judicial tyranny." She noted that the decision "will mean that gay marriage advocates will use our Constitution to impose gay marriage on all of us whether we like it or not" — a somewhat ironic choice of words echoing San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom's prophesy several years back.

There's more...

Huckabee Asks "Are We Now Living in the End Times?"

Former Arkansas Governor and 2008 GOP runner-up Mike Huckabee hosted Tim and Beverly LaHaye, two of the founders of the Moral Majority, on his Fox News program. LaHaye, an evangelical Baptist minister and a graduate of Bob Jones University, is best-known for the Left Behind series of apocalyptic fiction, which he co-wrote with Jerry B. Jenkins. As if the above isn't enough to disqualify Tim LaHaye from a public forum, he also has ties to the conspiratorial-minded John Birch Society and is the founder of the Institute for Creation Research but Mike Huckabee apparently thinks a man with such outlandish views is worthy of having them aired.

In the segment, Huckabee asks LaHaye if we are now living in the End Times? To which, LaHaye responds affirmatively and, of course, blaming Obama and the Democrats for such a development.

I'm confused. Isn't that what they want? If the End Times is the goal of Apocalyptic Christianity, you would think that they would be dancing in the streets though I understand that Baptists frown on dancing.

Republican presidential prospects in Iowa for 2012

The decision won't be final until the Republican National Committee's summer meeting in August, but it appears likely that the Iowa caucuses will remain the first presidential nominating contest in 2012. This week the RNC's Temporary Delegate Selection Committee recommended adopting a rule that would allow only Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada to hold primaries or caucuses before March 6, 2012. Click here to read the rule, which would also require all states that hold nominating contests before April 2010 to award their delegates proportionally, rather than through a winner-take-all system that is typical for the Republican Party.

So, Iowa will continue to be a frequent travel stop for Republicans considering a presidential bid. It's been six months since I last discussed the prospects of likely challengers to President Obama in Iowa. New speculation is after the jump.

There's more...


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