Fox and Friends?

I’ve been reading comments lately about how all the TV news media are alike, that there’s no difference at all no matter which news you watch. While I know that all TV news is focused on ratings, and some decisions are going to be based on what people “want” to hear about [egregious examples—Michael Jackson, Lindsay Lohan], I still believe there is one very big distinction that can be made. Only one news company—Fox News—pays attention to some of the most significant stories that the others ignore.

Back during the 2008 campaign, every one of the other sources—CNN, MSNBC, NBC, CBS, and ABC—practically coronated Barack Obama before the election had taken place. In some instances, they were his personal cheerleaders. In almost every instance, they neglected his background, his associations, and all the warning signs that were blatantly obvious. What did they choose to focus on?

It was as if they couldn’t stand the idea that an average “Joe,” so to speak, had challenged the new messiah.

Currently, nearly all of those same organizations have avoided all in-depth analysis, or even any mention, of the following stories:

  • Elena Kagan’s radicalism
  • NASA’s new “mission” to make Muslims feel good
  • The pro-rationing beliefs of the recently appointed Medicare and Medicaid administrator Donald Berwick
  • How the Department of Justice allowed the New Black Panthers off the hook legally even though they intimidated voters at a polling station in Philadelphia

Those are only the first few that come to mind. Yet Fox has covered all of these very important developments. Anyone depending on those other news organizations for information will be ignorant of these happenings.

But what about Fox’s penchant for hiring blonde bombshells? That’s another criticism I’ve heard. First, it’s simply a fact of life that viewers will be more inclined to look at people who are easier on the eyes. Yes, it is true that hiring good-looking people may help ratings. That’s human nature, and everyone in TV who makes hiring decisions will take that into account.

Yet that criticism makes a judgment about a person based solely on outward appearances. All factors must be taken into consideration. If the good-looking news anchor or reporter is a dimwit, then the accusation has merit. If, however, that person is someone like Megyn Kelly of Fox News, the accusation is without credibility. Kelly is a lawyer, and anyone who has ever watched her program with any sense of fairness would have to admit she has a sharp mind and tackles all subjects and interviews with an eye toward getting the truth.

The criticism also loses ground even more when one considers Fox’s evening lineup of programs. Who are the “stars”? Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, and Sean Hannity pull the biggest ratings. Not a blonde bombshell amongst them. People watch those programs because they believe they will get a perspective that is sorely missing from those other networks.

Now, does this mean I like everything Fox News does? Of course not. No news organization gets an A from this professor on every exam. But the difference between Fox and all those other networks is startling—in the ways I have outlined above. Without Fox, there would be no TV news that provides a distinct voice. All the others melt into each other.

You want fair and balanced? Fox comes closer to it than any of its competitors.

Anticipating some degree of disagreement over my analysis, I find it necessary to say: I am in no way connected with Fox and receive no financial compensation for saying these things. I’m also not a blonde bombshell.

The Silence of the Media

I thought summer was supposed to be a slow news time. Not with this administration. I’m beginning to think that bloggers will never run out of material with these people in charge.

Take the NASA administrator Charles Bolden, for example. In an interview with Al Jazeera, Bolden told a startled world that when Obama took office, he gave NASA a new task—to help develop better relations with the Muslim world. Uh huh … and what does this have to do with space? He also said that he sought to help Muslims “feel good” about their contributions to science. So now NASA is a promoter of pop psychology?

This might be even more amusing except for the fact that only Fox News seems to be talking about it. If you rely on the other networks, you won’t hear about this lunacy [lunacy … lunar … I guess that fits].

Then there was the appointment of Donald Berwick to run Medicare and Medicaid. First of all, Obama made this appointment as a special “recess appointment” since Congress is now out of town. This allowed Berwick to avoid going through congressional scrutiny to get the job. And scrutiny is what he would have received.

You see, Berwick is a convinced socialist [that sounds rather redundant in this administration] who believes wealth must be redistributed from the wealthy to fund healthcare. He said he loves the British healthcare system and wishes the United States would have gone the same direction. He favors the idea of the government making decisions on who should receive care. In case you’re not sure, that means healthcare rationing.

Of course, this story is on all the news outlets … oh, wait a minute. No, it’s not there. You might say the NASA news and the Berwick appointment are alike in one way: the mainstream media doesn’t consider either story to be a story worth covering.

That’s almost as alarming as the stories themselves. At least in America there are still alternative news sources. As long as we don’t go the Venezuela route, hope remains. My hope is in change this November.

Hubris Personified

Let’s highlight three astounding examples of hubris today—people who believe they know everything and/or they try to remake themselves without anybody noticing. Well, it’s not working; people are noticing.

Our first example is Helen Thomas. If you haven’t heard about her fiasco, you’re probably not watching any news at all. The video of her telling Jews in Israel to “get the hell out” and go back to Poland or Germany has burned up the internet. The firestorm led to her resignation as a political commentator.

She is of Lebanese descent and has a hatred for the nation of Israel. She also once described President Bush as the worst president in American history. Well, you can have that opinion, but her manner of stating it was similar in nature to her hatred of Israel.

I’ve never understood why she was treated like royalty. Yes, I know the press has no problem with fellow liberals, but she was always beyond the pale. She had the prime seat in the White House press room and was always shown deference in all administrations. This, in spite of the fact she was, without fail, rude, argumentative, and sanctimonious. Her resignation was only about 50 years too late.

Of course, she will always have friends.

Then there’s Florida governor Charlie Crist, who renounced the Republican party and decided to run as an independent for the Florida Senate seat, thereby turning the race upside down and making it more difficult for Marco Rubio, the candidate who fairly and squarely beat Crist for the nomination [at least in the polls; Crist didn’t want to face that vote in August].

Yesterday, an alert Rubio campaign drew attention to a major change on Crist’s campaign site: his page featuring his pro-life stance had been silently removed. Now that Crist is an independent, he is trolling for Democratic votes. Consequently, he can’t be viewed as pro-life. He’s hoping to get the pro-choice Republicans and independents, plus a good number of Democrats. This is the man who says he’s running on principle. About the only principle I see here is the principle of wanting to win regardless of how many switches he has to make in what he claims to support. The man has no core.

President Obama is always good for a comment, almost on a daily basis. A couple of days ago, he was giving a speech at a high school graduation. What he said was quite fascinating.

I’ll give you the key sentences: “Don’t make excuses. Take responsibility not just for your successes, but for your failures as well. … It’s the easiest thing in the world to start looking around for someone to blame.”

Oh, like President Bush?

Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to His disciples, saying, “The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses; therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things and do not do them.”

Is more commentary really necessary?

Arrogance: Where It Leads Us

On Tuesday, President Obama met with Senate Republicans to discuss immigration and border security. By all accounts, it was not a productive meeting. Republican senators did not let the president off the hook with respect to his policies and the manner in which he pushes them—without GOP input.

According to reports coming out of that meeting, Obama tried to lecture the Republicans on the issues, only to be challenged on his views. He does not like being challenged. One participant wrote on a pad as Obama was talking, “thin-skinned,” as he watched the president get more agitated as the meeting progressed. Don’t they know he has the answers for everything? Don’t they know he is the answer?

All of those photos that show him with his chin up, as if he is above the rest of the human race, are not flukes. They are not accidents of the lens or deliberate attempts to make him look bad. Instead, they capture the essence of the man.

Obama likes to play the victim card—broken family, mixed race, etc. Yet few have been as privileged as he: getting a full ride to Harvard Law School; serving as editor of the Harvard Law Review while writing virtually nothing; receiving praise as a community organizer, working primarily with those who agree with him on everything; never having a strong opponent for the races he has won [and winning some of those by employing the skills of others to discredit opponents so they have to drop out of the race]. He has, to a great degree, led a charmed, unchallenged life.

Who else in the history of American politics has ever made statements like these:

We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.

This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal [spoken when his nomination for president was assured].

Now, there might a  lot of people who think such things, but few are brazen enough to say them out loud. No matter how he tries to couch those phrases within lines talking about his humility, there is little doubt which part of the quote he believes the most.

This overwhelming arrogance is what makes the policies even harder to swallow. I disagree with the policies anyway, but when they are combined with that “know-it-all” attitude, their destructive nature rises to an even higher level.

Another issue has come to the forefront that points to his unwillingness to be challenged: press conferences. He hasn’t had one since July 2009, nearly a full year ago. This is unprecedented. I’m not the greatest fan of the current press corps because most of them have been Obama apologists. Yet now they are being shut out.

Perhaps it has something to do with what occurred at that last press conference. That’s when he made the off-the-cuff remark about the Cambridge police acting stupidly when they arrested his friend Louis Gates.

You see, you can’t rely on a teleprompter at a press conference. The dangers of going off-script are legion.

It has taken nearly a year for the press to get a little perturbed about the state of things. One has to wonder how long they would have allowed President Bush to go without speaking to them. My distrust of the mainstrean media is so strong that I really don’t believe they will ever turn on him, no matter how they are treated. And I think he knows that, and it’s why he has decided to shun them. They may be rejected lovers at the moment, but they will always come back to him in a pinch.

[Note: after writing about the press conference issue, I read where Obama is going to hold one today—apparently it was becoming too much of an issue. We’ll see how “open” he is this time.]

Ultimately, he is in the position of president to do one thing—increase the power of the federal government over the lives of citizens as much as possible. I believe he is quite single-minded in that pursuit.

It’s one thing to talk about creating jobs, but it’s quite another to get the government out of the way so they can be created. Jobs have been added, to be sure, but not where they need to be:

Meanwhile, USA Today reports,

Paychecks from private business shrank to their smallest share of personal income in U.S. history during the first quarter of this year. . . . 

At the same time, government-provided benefits — from Social Security, unemployment insurance, food stamps and other programs — rose to a record high during the first three months of 2010.

What is the strategy—have so many people dependent on the government that they won’t ever want to change the setup? Don’t dismiss that possibility. No, make that a probability.

Hypocrisy . . . and Its Cure

Most of the time I focus on a specific issue or person, but there are times that a certain theme applies in many situations. One theme that is always present, it seems, is hypocrisy.

Jesus had a lot to say about a class of people called the Pharisees. He spared no words in pointing out instances of hypocrisy in their lives. We have our own Pharisees today, and they exist on both ends of the political spectrum [witness the recent resignation of Republican congressman Mark Souder for an adulterous relationship]. I will point out hypocrisy no matter who is involved. In fact, I have a special interest in exposing it among conservatives because if it is allowed to proliferate, it will undermine any progress for reversing the current definition of “hope and change.”

It’s almost too easy, though, to highlight the hypocrisies of the current administration. They abound.

This is one of the most blatant. While Obama rails against “special interests” on the other side of the political divide, what about his connections? There’s nothing exaggerated in this cartoon.

He’s been particularly keen on blaming former President Bush for nearly everything that has gone wrong on the economic front. In a speech last week, he stridently proclaimed that he wasn’t going to hand the keys back to the party that wrecked the economy. While the Bush people have a lot to answer for, their guilt pales in comparison to Obama’s.

That looks like more than a ditch. Suddenly the ditch doesn’t seem all that bad.

Then we have the friends of the administration doing their share. Take, for instance, the comment from Hollywood leftist Woody Allen:

I thought all media types were in favor of freedom? They certainly want it for themselves when they make films that cross the line morally and politically. Apparently it’s just fine to take complete control if the one in charge wants to accomplish their goals.

Hypocrisy is rank among those who currently hold congressional seats. They’re a little concerned about keeping those seats. To what lengths will they go?

Some people do need to get a real job. Anyone who has spent most of his adult life in elected office needs to find out what it really means to earn a living.

Some politicians, though, are brazen to the point of incredulity. Richard Blumenthal, running for the Senate from Connecticut, has finally been called out for his statements about serving in the armed forces in Vietnam. It turns out he never went to Vietnam at all; he used all the deferments he could muster to stay out of the service, then finally got a plum post stateside where the chance of being gunned down by a Vietcong bullet was less than miniscule. Yet even after his blatant lie was trumpeted, he had the nerve to claim he simply misspoke and that those who had caught him in the lie were the real villains.

The heart of man is evil. Only a regenerated heart will change that. The only real regeneration comes via a restored relationship with the Creator. That restored relationship is available to all, but only through repentance and faith in the One who died that we might live anew.

More on Holder, Radical Islam, and Profiling

Yesterday, I wrote about Eric Holder’s amazing confession: he never even read the Arizona illegal immigration bill that he was so bitterly criticizing. After writing it, this very appropriate cartoon surfaced, so it’s worth sharing.

Even a fictional conversation can contain a lot of truth. Actually, I believe Holder has read the Constitution; he just has a different take on it—that it should be ignored.

Incidentally, it’s now a matter of record that Janet Napolitano, director of Homeland Security, former governor of Arizona, and another critic of the new law, hasn’t read it either. Is this our comic relief for the week?

I also noted in the posting yesterday that in an appearance at a congressional hearing, the Republican questioner couldn’t convince Holder that radical Islam should be clearly identified as a threat. Holder refused to acknowledge it without multiple conditions. Perhaps his attitude is captured in this:

Who’s the real coward?

Speaking of radical Islamic terrorism, remember how eager the media was to pin the Times Square bombing attempt on someone connected with the Tea Party? It was a severe disappointment when the perpetrator turned out to be . . . well, a radical Islamic terrorist. Yet when it comes to the mainstream media, it’s difficult to dissuade them.

Maybe profiling is the answer after all.

No, that’s not what I meant. But I wouldn’t be surprised if it became reality.

The Real Threat?

I would find it even more amusing that the mainstream media and their philosophical allies are  disappointed the Times Square bomber isn’t a member of the Tea Party if it weren’t so disturbing. They don’t see the real threat right in front of them.

Their whole scenario just blew up before they could indoctrinate their subjects fellow citizens.

Meanwhile, Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano is on the case.

Reinforcements are always available in the person of a certain ex-president.

I repeat: it would be amusing if it weren’t so disturbing.