Monday, August 03, 2009

Inside the mind of a Fox News Democrat

Lanny Davis is one of the Democrats who frequently appears on Fox, his role being to make it seem like only shrill, "far left" ideologues (correctly) believe Fox News to be a Republican propaganda organ and that someone like Sean Hannity is a despicable fool who systematically spreads malicious misinformation. Case in point

Fox has made the right decision because Democrats are looking at Fox as a fair and balanced network. Certainly the way they covered the presidential campaign on the Democratic side was one of the reasons that caused me to want to be here at Fox and and having {Clinton campaign advisor] Howard [Wolfson] along side, ah, with people like Karl Rove, I think raises the level of Fox's dialogue
In his article explaining the way that Fox News Democrats are used to bash the Democratic party and liberals, Alex Koppelman wrote about Davis on the network

Other Democrats who are chosen to counter Fox's conservative guests and hosts often appear as enablers. They're on-screen to prove to viewers that even Democrats agree that a radical left wing dominates the Democratic Party, not to mention the media.

To see how this works, one needed only watch one segment of "The O'Reilly Factor," wherein Bill O'Reilly discussed, ironically, the cancellation of the Nevada debate. His guests were, it's true, both Democrats -- but they were Democrats who opposed the cancellation and supported Fox News. One, Lanny Davis, had had numerous run-ins with the faction of the party that favored killing the debate -- i.e., bloggers -- when he was closely involved in Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman's reelection campaign last year. Predictably, as soon as he spoke, Davis lashed out at his old foes, saying with some prodding from O'Reilly that "I'm inclined to give everybody the benefit of the doubt here, except the people that were calling for cancellation of the debate because they don't like Fox. I think that's the element of our party that wants to talk to only people that agree with us ... I disagree with this pressure from DailyKos and to cancel the debate, and I think anybody that took that pressure, including John Edwards, before this incident, ought to be ashamed of themselves." Davis later disagreed with O'Reilly on some small points, but it didn't matter: The larger point that O'Reilly was making, that the loony left had hijacked the Democratic Party, had already been conceded.

It's not the first time Davis has appeared on Fox as an enabler. Last February, when the right was attacking former Vice President Al Gore for making a speech in Saudi Arabia about American abuse of Arabs after 9/11, Davis turned up on "The O'Reilly Factor." He echoed the right's talking points about Gore, saying, "My problem with Vice President Gore's remarks is the location and the judgment that he should make such a speech in Saudi Arabia, of all places ... I think there is some value in our focusing on the few instances where we've made mistakes to apologize. But I don't think a former vice president of the United States ought to be in Saudi Arabia, of all places, to make such a speech."
Davis routinely reinforce the notion of a, to use Koppelman's phrasing, "loony left" base of the Democratic party that demands ideological purity. It is a consistent foil of his articles defending immunity for Bush lawlessness and promoting the bizarre notion that giving the Bush administration a pardon for torture is "hold[ing] people accountable to the rule of law," saying that such measures will anger the unreasonable ideological base of the party.

He's got a knack for promoting the Republican agenda. Here is one mind-boggling example of Davis endorsing Ted Olsen for Attorney General. And when Glenn Greenwald and others launched Accountability Now to promote primary challenge against Democrats who supported Bush lawlessness or plutocratic politics, Davis wrote a response saying that the group's mission was "the ideological cleansing of the Democratic Party - eliminating anyone who doesn't always meet their definition of liberalism on every issue." A statement obviously motivated by his support for his friend Joe Lieberman (having previously called critics of Lieberman liberal McCarthys), who despite Davis' attempt to talk up Lieberman's "liberal" credentials, voted again and again in favor of Bush's erosion of civil liberties and in favor of neoconservative war.

Yet when the School of Americas trained Hoduran military leaders removed the democratically elected Honduran president from his bed, forced him out of the country, put the media on lockdown, and installed a new leader with ties to the traditional business and military elites who have ruled Honduras as a repressive banana republic, Lanny Davis signed on as a lobbyist for the coup leaders and had the nerve to say that the coup was "about the rule of law" and

My clients believe that, looking back with the wisdom of hindsight, it could have been done differently that night that the army decided to whisk him out of the country. And I’m not afraid to say that, with the wisdom of hindsight, it probably should have been done differently. As long as those of you—and I know Congressman Delahunt shares that view—are also willing to share the distaste for a president that regarded himself as above the law—in every institution in Honduran society, from the Church to civil organizations, to business organizations, to the Liberal Party, to the National Party, to the Supreme Court and the Congress, every institution found this president as putting himself above the law—if those facts are stated by my friends on the Democratic side, where I am affiliated, and my friends on the Republican side, we can then look forward, as President Obama and Secretary Clinton want us to do, and not argue about past history.
So challenging Joe Lieberman in a primary for cheerleading a disastrous war and illegal and unConstitutional violations of the rule of law equals "ideological cleansing of the Democratic party" but an extralegal miliary coup removing a president from his country by force and that's fine with him.

Now let's say for the sake of argument Zelaya was acting illegally. Does that make it ok for what the military did? To answer that, consider this: George W. Bush was acting illegally when he authorized the NSA to spy on American citizens in violation of FISA; the Bush administration claimed extraConstitutional powers to void and ignore duly passed laws of Congress via signing statements - does that mean that it would be ok for the military to have kicked President Bush out of the country, censored the press, and picked a new president? Of course not.

It really, really rubs me the wrong way to see someone who offers apologetics for not holding the Bush administration accountable for its criminal behavior turn around and say that alleged illegal behavior in another country justifies the abrogation of constitutional process by a military coup as some kind of Orwellian method of protecting "the rule of law" - and really so when the people who broke the law are giving him money to say that.

See Ken Silverstein for more on the coup.

1 comment:

Left-wing Wacko said...

Its also worth remembering that all these Democrats and fuzzy liberal-ish commentators that appear on Fox News receive a paycheck from that organization.