How Fox Distorts The News

Right wing outlets such as Fox  frequently resort to taking comments out of context or distorting quotations to attack liberals. Fox was caught in one of their more blatant attempts at this.

Fox ran a story in which they quoted Joe Biden  saying, “The fundamentals of the economy are strong!” After the segment, Martha MacCallum said, “All right, well the mantra for the weekend is clear, looking at what was said over the course of the shows on Sunday.”

The quotation from Joe Biden wasn’t from this week, or even from any time when he was actually in office as Vice President. It isn’t even an actual quotation of his own view but was a clip of Biden quoting John McCain in September:

Ladies and gentlemen, I believe that’s why John McCain could say with a straight face as recently as this morning and this is a quote, “the fundamentals of the economy are strong.” That’s what John said. He says that “We’ve made great progress economically in the Bush years.”

This one was so blatant that not even Fox could try to defend their actions. They admitted to the error and apologized today.

Quote of the Day

“We are cooling. We are not warming. The warming you see out there, the supposed warming, and I am using my finger quotation marks here, is part of the cooling process. Greenland, which is now covered in ice, it was once called Greenland for a reason, right?”

Michael Steele, discussing global warming. (Hat tip to Andrew Sullivan who ran this with the title Dumb and Dumber).

Glenn Beck Spreading Bircher Conspiracy Theories

Glenn Beck has previously showed some interest in the John Birch Society, but he is now increasingly sounding like he is one of them. David Frumm, who is seriously interested in restoring the credibility of conservatism, asks What is Going On At Fox News? He is shocked by this comment from Beck in which he sounds like a Bircher by imagining a conspiracy with Obama planning a totalitarian takeover:

We are a country that is headed towards socialism, totalitarianism, beyond your wildest dreams. I have to tell you: I’m doing a story tonight that I wanted to debunk – these FEMA camps – I’m tired of hearing about them – you know about them? –  I wanted to debunk them. We’ve now for several days done research on them.  I can’t debunk them! If you trust our government, it’s fine. If you have any kind of fear that we might be heading towards a totalitarian state: look out. Buckle up. There’s something going on in our country … that ain’t good.

Frumm also reports that Beck is distributing Bircher literature:

The audience for Beck’s Friday night special were each given copies of two books. One of them was Cleon Skousen’s Five Thousand Year Leap. Skousen, who died in 2006, is one of the legendary cranks of the conservative world, a John Bircher, a grand fantasist of theories about secret conspiracies between capitalists and communists to impose a one-world government under the control of David Rockefeller.

There’s always been a market for this junk of course. Once that market was reached via mimeographed newsletters. Now it’s being tapped by Fox News.

It is always good to see when some conservatives are repulsed by the extremism dominating the conservative movement. Unfortunately there are certain to be many other conservatives defending Beck.

Obama to Meet With Evangelical Groups

Barack Obama is meeting with evangelical groups next week. CBN News reports:

The Brody File has learned that conservative Evangelical groups will meet with the head of the White House Faith-Based Office NEXT Tuesday March 24th. The meeting was originally schedueled for this Tuesday but it was postponed today by The White House.

Concerned Women for America and the Family Research Council will meet with Joshua DuBois, the man who leads the administration’s office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Wendy Wright, the president of CWA reached out to the Obama administration and they responded by inviting CWA and some of these other conservative Evangelical groups to The White House. The meeting plans to focus on the need to reduce abortions in the country and on responsible fatherhood programs. Also present at the meeting will be Tom McClusky, Senior Vice-President of the Family Research Council as well as representatives from the Christian Medical Association and Care Net, a pro-life Evangelical pregnancy crisis group.

Wendy Wright from CWA sends the following via email to The Brody File:

“The Obama administration says they want to be inclusive and represent all Americans. The White House faith-based office is now tasked with reducing the number of abortions – something that pro-life groups have very good experience in accomplishing. Pregnancy resource centers and regulations on abortion have a terrific track record in helping women choose alternatives to abortion. Funding abortion or abortion providers is one of the worst things that could be done. What the government funds, we get more of. We hope to begin a dialogue that results in policies which actually work, not just financially benefit certain interest groups like abortion providers.”

Brody concludes:

Say what you want about White House policies as it relates to social issues like abortion but look, I’ve been covering this religious team over at The White House for a few years now. I don’t think there’s any question that they are sincere in engaging conservative minded Evangelicals on the abortion issue not to mention other important topics too. They are not shy when it comes to ‘breaking bread” with the so-called “other side”. It’s refreshing to see. Whether it can lead to some middle ground remains to be seen but the effort is a valiant one.

Considering the fundamental disagreements, I agree it remains to be seen whether they can come to any middle ground. I also applaud the effort. This is a welcome change after a president who avoided contact with those holding any views other than his own. I can’t imagine a similar meeting between George Bush and groups such as The American Civil Liberties Union, Planned Parenthood, or Americans United for Separation of Church and State.