FOX News took out a full page ad in today's Washington Post braying about the channel's obsessive coverage of the Tea Party protests in Washington D.C. this past weekend. The ad reads, "How did, ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, and CNN miss this story?" Well, as Huffington Post's Jason Linkins points out, they didn't. By Jason's count, CNN ran no less than 14 reports on the Tea Party rally, beginning at approximately 7:00 a.m. During the same time, MSNBC broadcasted four reports on the Tea Parties.
But let's remember that the facts don't matter. It doesn't even matter how many people showed up to the Tea Party protests. Citing "a university," Glenn Beck claimed that 1.7 million people had attended the rally. Of course, Beck couldn't remember the name of the school: "We had a university, I think it's University of -- I don't remember which university it is -- um, look at the pictures. And you know, they can do body space and calculate, 1.7 million, that crowd was estimated."
Oh. Okay. Meanwhile, ABC pegged the attendees at 60,000 to 70,000 individuals even though they never covered the protests, according to FOX.
It seems the country is operating with two sets of "facts" right now: the "facts" broadcasted on FOX, and the "facts" broadcasted on the mainstream media. This isn't to say the quality of the mainstream channels is good -- it's not -- but FOX has really left the stratosphere. ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, and CNN are certainly guilty of over-reporting celebrity stories, behaving as shills for corporate interests, all the while snuggling up too closely to the politicians they should be objectively monitoring. However, FOX does all of these things, and then stokes its audience's delusions of persecution on top of the terrible "news" coverage the network injects into their brains.
And their audience is delusional. FOX viewers are consistently told by various anchors, but especially their weeping, bipolar messiah, Glenn Beck, that the government is trying to take their freedom. Beck is the guy who told his terrified audience that the Obama administration was setting up concentration camps when, in reality, the camps were being set up by the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA). Regardless, Beck claimed they would be used soon for mass imprisonment of American citizens with right-leaning political views.
The truth is that this small, fringe, frothing-at-the-mouth tribe is using their misguided beliefs, and baseless lies, to persecute the majority of sane constituents. Glenn and his ignorant army have caused several of Obama's aides to be demoted or resign over fairly trumped up charges. First, Glenn successfully led the charge against Van Jones. Rather than engage with Glenn's army, the Obama administration failed to protect Jones, who resigned. Score one for the crazies, who let's remember, are very, very persecuted by their new President.
Next, Glenn unsuccessfully tried to repeat the character assassination on Cass Sunstein. After the Jones witch hunt, Glenn and company accused Sunstein of "organ harvesting" because Sunstein proposed a way to increase participation in organ-donation programs. Currently, programs require potential givers to opt in, but if these programs were "opt out" (everyone is automatically enrolled and would have the option to choose not to participate) participation would theoretically grow. So either Sunstein had a clever idea to save thousands of lives, or he wants to harvest organs. It's one of the two, and what you believe depends if you're living on Planet Earth, or Planet FOX.
The fringe mob is constantly pressuring the majority to change their stances in the spirit of bipartisanship even though the right wing never gives up anything during the pragmatic love fest. While the adults discussed end of life counseling on Planet Earth, the crazies screeched about death panels on Planet FOX. While the adults discussed health care coverage for all (even undocumented immigrants), Joe Wilson shouted, "You lie!" from the bleachers.
The consistent response to these baseless smears from the Obama White House has been to cave to the whims of the mob. And yet FOX continues to brainwash its audience into believing they're being deeply persecuted. By whom? Them. That's the ongoing mantra: They're trying to take your freedom. They want to change America. Them. The Right is always losing even when they're winning, according to FOX. The Right is always persecuted even when Democrats keep capitulating to the demands of a frenzied, uneducated panic squad.
When the truth no longer matters, it's time to worry. The Tea Party protesters got their media coverage, and even if they don't feel as though they received enough attention, then they are now only beginning to understand a fraction of what anti-war protesters felt during the lead up to the Iraq invasion. We were trying to stop a war. The Tea Party protesters are trying to stop poor people from receiving affordable health care. Those are the facts. Don't look for them on Planet FOX.
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