The Obama White House’s war on Fox News has put the spotlight on the current president’s extraordinarily thin skin, especially considering that The One can count on the rest of the media to embark on such objective ventures as psychoanalyzing Rush Limbaugh’s audience. Those of us who actually bother to watch Fox regularly know that, despite their admittedly conservative slate of pundits, their hard reporting is solid and they employ more than a few left-wing correspondents, including Juan Williams, Susan Estrich and Bob Beckel (indeed, until NewsReal shed light on his extremism, FNC even employed Marc Lamont Hill). But the Left’s long-standing caricature of Fox as a right-wing propaganda outlet becomes even more empty when we take a trip down memory lane and take a closer look at some of Fox’s more prominent personalities.
On law & order, homeland security, religious freedom, media bias, and other issues, Bill O’Reilly is a valuable ally of conservatives, but he refuses to be identified as such, presenting himself as an independent populist who refuses to endorse political candidates and commonly stakes out a “pox-on-both-their-houses!” stance on partisan battles. He believes in global warming, has a long-standing habit of bashing oil companies over gas prices, and his judgment on Barack Obama during the campaign was quite favorable:
On the foreign policy front, Obama has convinced me that he is tough but cautious. He rose up quickly because he vehemently opposed the Iraq war. But now I see a man who understands the victory that has taken place in Iraq. I don’t believe he wants to screw that up. I could be wrong.
After going mano-a-mano with Obama on television, I am also persuaded that he is a sincere guy-that he wants the best for all Americans. He’s an ideologue, but not a blind one. He understands that his story is incredible, and, I have come to believe, he is grateful to the American system for allowing it happen.
Shepard Smith, Fox’s lead news anchor, has a long (and sometimes colorful) liberal record. He has dismissed as “preposterous” the idea that media bias contributed to anti-Bush and pro-Obama sentiment, objected to describing the public option as a government takeover of healthcare, defended candidate Obama’s position on Israel, demeaned skeptics of mankind’s contribution to global warming, defended the infamous Homeland Security Department report on “right-wing extremism,” and, on a Fox webcast in April, blew his top over Bush Administration interrogation techniques, screaming, “I don’t give a rat’s a** if it helped; we are America! We do not f***ing torture!”
Last, but not least, who can forget Fox weekend host and war correspondent Geraldo Rivera? Rivera is one of the most vitriolic racial demagogues and amnesty apologists in the business, dismissing legitimate concerns about illegal immigrants committing crimes as fear-mongering for ratings, and infamously expressing a desire to spit on the “vile, hateful” Michelle Malkin in 2007. Rivera enthusiastically supported Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination to the Supreme Court, and most recently, he jumped on the bandwagon to smear Rush Limbaugh as a race-baiter who has “gotten lots of laughs at the expense of black people.”
The White House and the Democratic Party enjoy a media at their beck & call, and as we see, the stereotype of Fox news as an RNC mouthpiece just isn’t true. But because a network with true ideological diversity dares to employ pundits opposed to leftist dogma and report on the administration’s ugly side, they must be destroyed. Remember when dissent was the highest form of patriotism? Those were the days…