Thursday, May 07, 2009

Are there any views too extreme for Fox News?

A couple of nights ago, Pamela of Atlas Shrugs, an extremist bigot with an affinity for European crypto-fascists, made her second appearance on Fox News (the first on the late night Red Eye, the second on the primetime Hannity show.) Visiting her blog, hysterical hatred for all things Muslim ("Islamofascist"), Democrat ("Dhimmicrat" or "Democrap") and "liberal" leaps off the page at you. A recent post compares President Obama to Idi Amin, another calls him a "jihad sympathizer." One below that one describes 'another treasonous action by the seditious "commander in chief".' All members of the news media that aren't Fox News, AM radio, or the Washington Times and other such disreputable publications are considered communists.

There are so many heinous views expressed on her blog, so many paranoid and delusional conspiracies that are promoted on a regular basis that it is literally overwealming trying to figure out where to start describing her views. Here's a typical example, in which she speculates that President Obama had someone murdered to hide the fact that he's not a US citizen. Really, this is someone who by comparison makes Sean Hannity look like a genius and Ann Coulter the voice of measured reason. Yet here she is being promoted by Fox News (and having previously been granted an interview with the United States ambassador to the U.N.) as someone who has something constructive to add to political discourse.

I was going to ask that short of a flat out fascist, is there anyone too extreme for Fox News, but this post yesterday from Glenn Greenwald reminded me that even that bar isn't too low for Fox. Greenwald was writing about certain individuals complaining about curtailment of free speech who don't seem interested in free speech so much as they are concerned with speech privileges for themselves.* Which led me to recall Fox News having brought on Holocaust denying white supremacist Paul Fromm as a "free speech activist."

While there are many individuals and groups that think the prosecution of Steyn harms free speech in Canada — including PEN Canada and the Canadian Association of Journalists — Fox News correspondent Steve Brown chose to interview a decidedly odd source: Paul Fromm, who was very sparingly identified on the broadcast as a “Free Speech Activist.” That’s a pretty weak, not to say completely misleading, description of Paul Fromm. As anyone who lives in Canada or who has access to Google should know, Fromm is Canada’s most notorious extremist, whose views form a trifecta of hate: he’s a white supremacist, a Holocaust denier and an anti-Semite. And he’s got a history of extremism a mile long.
I find this disgusting. The ACLU are free speech advocates, an organization that defends free speech rights regardless of the source. Paul Fromm isn't interested in free speech, he doesn't believe in free speech. He believes in a speech privilege for himself, a privilege he would deny to the others that he would persecute were he able to. That's what Holocaust denial is about for someone like Fromm, it's a final assault on the victims of the Holocaust, a last attempt at denying them their humanity by denying their existence so that future such horrors might become achievable.

And you know what the most sickening bit is? Here we had Fox News bringing on a fascist with ties to David Duke and other white supremacist organizations, presenting him as a mainstream political activist, a promoter of "free speech," while Fox News routinely demonizes the ACLU for its genuine free speech activism. In a truly insidious segment of the late but still noxious 1/2 Hour Comedy Hour which demonstrated Fox News' own contempt for free speech, the ACLU was ridiculed for defending the free speech rights of white supremacists.

So to recap: defending the free speech of extremists = bad (if you're the ACLU.) Normalizing the anti-free speech hatred of extremists as "free speech activism" = good (if you're Fox News.)

*Greenwald might have made his point stronger had he mentioned that the supposed champions of free speech have previously favored criminalizing an American free press and/or criticism of the Bush administration, which he has written about extensively. See the archives of the original Unclaimed Territory at blogspot for posts on either.


malcontent said...

You neglected to note that Pamela and her Tits of Doom provide necessary balance to the notorious panty flashing of Gretchen Carlson.

Without Pamela's ominous cleavage, Fox would only have Fair rather than Fair & Balanced.

Keeping dirty old men with authoritarian impulses glued to the boob tube has a carefully structured approach after all.

Hume's Ghost said...

To be honest with you, I find the derogatory remarks that are often made about her breasts to be distastefully misogynistic.

There may be some degree of hypocrisy on my part since I'm perfectly content to describe Megyn Kelly as the "Barbie Bill O'Reilly."

malcontent said...

I suppose it is a common trap to notice how a pretty lady can mesmerize male egos while purporting to be vehicles for information.

Pam goes well beyond the norm into the realm of seducer however.

Read this interview of John Bolton for an idea of just how much of an ego fluffer she really is.

The authoritarian worship and false victimization gives me cavities just reading it. It drives me to perjorative.