Fox News Channel amplified its crusade against the president this week, implying that the same administration that killed Bin Laden and much of al Qaeda's leadership, and the same administration that boasts a considerable record of killing terrorist operatives with targeted attacks using an escalating number of drone strikes is apparently composed of terrorist sympathizers who are only concerned with enabling and sympathizing with the "jihadis."
The network's mission on this front is to engage in a Southern Strategy-style campaign to exploit conspiracy theories around the president's name and background in order to confirm the paranoia of Fox News' viewers who believe the president is connected to al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood while spearheading the effort to usurp the Constitution with Sharia law. Actually, the Fox News approach is more or less the "lite" version of unmitigated cage-crapping on the extreme right: Alex Jones and his cult recently accused the president of being the official leader of al Qaeda.
In its most recent manic episode, however, Fox News suggested that the president and his attorney general, Eric Holder, care more about preemptively thwarting hate crimes against Muslims than condemning perpetrators of the Boston Marathon bombing.
Some background. During a speech to the Anti-Defamation League, an organization that's committed in part to preventing hate crimes, Holder spoke about the Boston Marathon bombing and then, naturally, segued into a section about preventing hate crimes against Muslim Americans in the wake of the tragedy -- a kneejerk and deadly reaction we've seen too many times before. Among other things, Holder said:
"I also want to make clear that - just as we will pursue relentlessly anyone who would target our people or attempt to terrorize our cities - the Justice Department is firmly committed to protecting innocent people against misguided acts of retaliation."
As you can plainly see, Holder is with the terrorists. At least, that's what Fox News wants its people to believe. In a FOX NEWS ALERT! HOLY SHIT: JIHAD! segment the other day, Megyn Kelly asked one of her guests the following question -- a question that wasn't a question at all, of course, but a statement about Holder's obviously outrageous condemnation of attacks against innocent people:
"Um. Jay [Sekulow of the American Center for Law & Justice], if you take those remarks and put them on paper and just disconnect them to the Boston marathon bombings they're not controversial at all. But to have the attorney general of the United States get up and focus on backlash against Muslims?!"
Kelly continued by reporting that she's unaware of any attacks against Muslims since Boston, so why on earth would Holder mention something that hasn't even happened?
Two things on this point. First, Raw Story's Eric W. Dolan pointed out: "Following the Boston Marathon bombing earlier this month, frequent Fox News guest Erik Rush called for all Muslims to be killed. Three days later, a man assaulted a Muslim woman in Boston and screamed, 'Fuck you Muslims! You are terrorists!'" Second, what's wrong with being proactive and attempting to prevent further anti-Muslim crimes? Kelly would clearly prefer that Holder wait and to warn people against hate crimes after the crimes have already happened. So how many people, according to Kelly's requirements, are supposed to be stalked, beaten or killed before it's okay for the top law enforcement official in America to say something about it?
Later, Kelly brought in anti-Muslim flamethrower Michelle Malkin clearly because the network hadn't sufficiently featured enough bigotry at that point and decided to go to 11. Malkin, for her part, endorsed an earlier anti-Holder rant by human-sinus hybrid Mark Levin, and continued by saying that Holder should've praised the "restraint" and "fairness" of the American people for not resorting to terrorist attacks against Muslims -- the technique, Malkin said, that "jihadis" used against Americans. Put another way, Malkin is proud of the fact that Americans evidently don't resort to terrible violence against "jihadis" (except that we've been at war against jihadists for 12 years now).
Yep. Holder spoke to a hate crimes group and condemned further hate crimes. Shocking! This is a massive controversy inside the Fox News bubble, worthy of a FOX NEWS ALERT: COMMENCE PANTS-POOPING! and several segments in which a team of bug-eyed weirdos ridicule the attorney general and, by proxy, the president of for defending American citizens who happen to be (or appear to be) Muslim -- a religion, like all the others, that's protected by the First Amendment.
Nevertheless, the following Holder remark attracted the harshest rebuke from Kelly, Malkin and Levin:
"America rejects bigotry. We reject every act of hatred against people of Arab background or Muslim faith. America values and welcomes peaceful people of all faiths -- Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu and many others. Every faith is practiced and protected here, because we are one country. Every immigrant can be fully and equally American because we're one country. Race and color should not divide us, because America is one country."
Whoops! Correction. That wasn't a Holder quote. It was spoken by President Bush on April 30, 2002, and no one at Fox News Channel or the conservative entertainment complex criticized him for it because, among other reasons, any such criticism was considered to be a treason-worthy trespass during the months following 9/11, according to, well, everyone. Fact: President Bush condemned violence against Muslim Americans and defended the Islamic faith on at least 25 different occasions between September 17, 2001 and the end of 2002.
Meanwhile, hate crimes against Muslim Americans increased dramatically throughout the last 12 years in spite of remarks from Bush, Obama and Holder. Contrary to Kelly's anecdotal observations, law enforcement is correctly worried about retribution against Muslims for more than just Boston, but for Boston plus 9/11 and other attacks. So, yes, anti-Muslim violence is real. In December, a man named Sunando Sen was waiting for a subway in New York City when an assailant shoved him onto the tracks where he was struck and killed by a train.
The culprit, Erika Menendez, later confessed to the police, "I pushed a Muslim off the train tracks because I hate Hindus and Muslims... Ever since 2001 when they put down the Twin Towers, I've been beating them up."
Sen was an Indian immigrant and wasn't even Muslim, but he made the deadly error of looking like one. Is Holder supposed to wait for more of these tragedies to occur and only then use the FBI and other agencies to prevent further attacks? Within the frightened walnut-sized lizard-brains of Kelly, Malkin and Levin, yes -- Holder should wait until after more attacks happen before condemning them. And what does that say about these Fox News anti-Muslim fire-eaters? We have to seriously question whether they'd prefer to see Muslim Americans targeted by vigilantes like Menendez, and therefore we have to seriously question whether Fox News is contributing to anti-Muslim hate crimes by demanding that our government turn a blind eye.
By way of an epilogue, the day after Fox News denied the existence of anti-Muslim violence, a cab driver in Virginia was allegedly beaten by a man who was shouting the following epithets:
"If you're a Muslim, you're a [expletive] jihadist," the passenger says. "You are just as bad as the rest of them."
The video ends with a blur of motion and audio of Salim asking, "Why are you punching me? Sir, why are you punching me?"
The passenger replies: "You're a [expletive] Muslim."
The cab driver, Mohamed A. Salim, is an American Iraq War veteran who also served at Guantanamo.
Cross-posted at The Daily Banter.
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