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“Mum’s The Word From The Professional Bloviators”: Fox Newsers Suddenly Quiet When Their ‘Hero Cop’ Revealed To Be Fraudster

It was a narrative perfectly suited for Fox News’s conservative commentariat. Too bad it was total bullshit.

Three assailants allegedly shot and killed Lt. Joe Gliniewicz, a wholesome small-town cop and Army vet known locally as “GI Joe”; a 30-year veteran of the force; a married father of four; a local hero.

His death had to be part of an ominous trend of societal menaces murdering law officers in cold blood, supposedly fueled by President Obama’s “anti-cop” rhetoric and the Black Lives Matter movement. Several Fox Newsers were quick to make that connection just as Fox Lake, Illinois, police set out to find the three perpetrators Gliniewicz mentioned over the radio just before he died.

While the news of GI Joe’s death broke nationwide on Tuesday, Sept. 1, Fox’s resident quack doctor Keith Ablow sat on the set of the network’s Outnumbered show and lamented how the president has “inflamed racial discord in this country and put a target on the backs of American police officers,” using the recent murder of a Texas deputy at a gas station as a jumping-off point.

“This is not the only incident of this,” conservative firebrand Andrea Tantaros interrupted, teeing up co-host Sandra Smith to introduce the Fox Lake incident. “This is happening time and time again,” Fox & Friends First’s Ainsley Earhardt chimed in. “This is a dangerous place for the country to be,” Liz MacDonald fretted before Tantaros pivoted back to the role of Black Lives Matter rhetoric in cop slayings.

Hours later, primetime star anchor Megyn Kelly interviewed Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke—an all-too-frequent Fox guest who seems to spend more time bashing black activists on TV than actually, you know… sheriffing. Clarke willfully linked Gliniewicz’s death to how President Obama has “breathed life into this anti-cop sentiment” with his “inflammatory rhetoric.”

That same evening, a cocksure Clarke told Fox Business Network host Lou Dobbs that he has been to Fox Lake and knows that Gliniewicz is one of the town’s “finest,” gunned down while “engaged in self-initiative policing, the best policing there is.” He added: “War has been declared on the American police officer.” On Twitter, the lawman continued: “Time to take to the streets to counter Black LIES Matter. Fox Lake, Illinois.”

And on the morning of Saturday, Sept. 5, Eric Bolling used his weekly Cashin’ In monologue (titled “Wake Up, America!”) to connect Gliniewicz being “blown away in cold blood” to a “crisis” of law enforcement officers being killed, in part because President Obama has failed to publicly state that “Blue Lives Matter.”

Flash-forward to this Wednesday when Fox Lake police officials revealed that Gliniewicz’s death was actually a “carefully staged suicide.” As it turns out, the longtime lieutenant had been laundering thousands of dollars from his department’s youth program for his own personal spending on gym memberships, porn websites, and mortgage payments. There were no assailants; GI Joe shot himself rather than face the consequences.

Have any of these Fox pundits corrected the record or issued mea culpas for their rush to connect this twisted story to their political narrative? Wednesday’s edition of Outnumbered, with Tantaros among its hosts, went without a single mention of the news their own network aired just an hour before. (The show did, however, spend an entire segment bashing film director Quentin Tarantino for his remarks against police brutality.)

As for Sheriff Clarke, he spent all day Wednesday tweeting not about “best policing” Gliniewicz’s complete betrayal of his peers, but instead about, yep, “cop-hating” “prick” Quentin Tarantino.

And Eric Bolling? His daily talk show The Five—which frequently gripes about Black Lives Matter—made no mention of Gliniewicz. Don’t hold your breath for a correct-the-record monologue from him this Saturday either.

Of course, it should be noted that Fox’s straight-news reporters—namely Mike Tobin, Shepard Smith, Happening Now, and the network’s cut-in anchors—reported the story, from the start, as a continuing investigation, without tying it to racial tensions or anti-police violence. The way it should be done.

And when they reported the story’s bizarre developments on Wednesday morning, they did so with entirely straight language. But mum’s the word from the professional bloviators.

 

By: Andrew Kirell, The Daily Beast, November 5, 2015

November 7, 2015 Posted by | Black Lives Matter, Fox News, Law Enforcement | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“Have Only Themselves To Blame”: If The GOP Had Settled The Immigration Issue, It Wouldn’t Have A Donald Trump Problem

You cannot overstate how embarrassing Donald Trump has become for the GOP. The party of Lincoln and Eisenhower is getting pantsed by a tacky reality TV star and Clinton Foundation donor who tweeted that Jeb Bush likes “Mexican illegals because of his wife.” A man who has repeatedly made can’t-lose enterprises like casinos and New York real estate go bankrupt has the gall to get off the phone with his party’s chairman and tell the media, “We’re not dealing with a five-star Army general.” The Republican leadership even confesses that it is paralyzed by this crazy right-wing challenger whose last presidential run began by quitting the GOP for the Reform Party, with the explanation: “I really believe the Republicans are just too crazy right.”

But the truth is that Republicans have only themselves to blame. Trump’s success in the polls is not just a matter of spectacle. Republicans have let the issue of illegal immigration simmer for two decades. And rather than pick a course and stick to it, the party has done a series of head fakes. That has allowed Trump to ride this issue, more than any other, into the top tier of early polling.

During election season, Republicans typically campaign as get-tough, border-patrolling Minutemen. “Complete the danged fence,” John McCain growled in a 2010 campaign ad, while invoking the specters of drug smugglers and home invasions. After the election, however, Republicans draw close to The Wall Street Journal editorial board and try to come up with less damning euphemisms for amnesty. And ensconced in office, they lecture other Republicans, as John McCain did in Time magazine last year, saying that without comprehensive reform and a path to citizenship (read: amnesty) the party is doomed.

This is the party’s style on other issues as well. The drawl disappears on Election Day. George W. Bush won re-election in 2004 on a tide of Evangelical votes, then spent all of his political capital failing to pass a privatization of Social Security and a comprehensive immigration reform bill. Neither featured heavily in his campaign, and they both died.

No wonder, then, that a certain breed of Republican primary voter is taking a shine to Trump. Whatever can be said about the substance of Trump’s utterances, the tone of sneering populist contempt never varies. His political strategy is to go on permanent offense by being perpetually offensive. To voters accustomed to the Republican head-fake, the man with the fake-looking head has a certain kind of integrity. Yes, he’s an ass. But at least he’s always that way.

The GOP knows that immigration is a powerful issue. But the party has avoided the chance to do something about it for two decades. A restrictionist position single-handedly saved the career of California’s Republican Gov. Pete Wilson in the 1990s. The issue fueled the Buchanan insurgency that nearly derailed Bob Dole’s nomination in 1996. At that time the issue even threatened to split off some Democrats. Former Texas Congresswoman Barbara Jordan’s commission on the issue called for reducing even legal immigration levels. “Credibility in immigration policy can be summed up in one sentence: those who should get in, get in; those who should be kept out, are kept out; and those who should not be here will be required to leave,” she said.

Alternating between fear of current restrictionist voters and cowardice before future Latino voters, the GOP has never said anything so clear as Barbara Jordan. Instead the issue has been ceded to populist media figures like cable television’s Lou Dobbs, talk radio’s Michael Savage, and the one-woman anvil chorus, Ann Coulter. It has been transformed from a normal policy question that every nation faces to a hotheaded insult directed south of the border.

Donald Trump is just the latest of these media figures, but unlike the rest he has the money and the lack of self-awareness to run for office and unburden himself about it. But the GOP could have avoided this by settling the issue one way or the other.

Had the GOP taken the hint after Gov. Wilson’s re-election, and worked with Democrats like Barbara Jordan, they could have taken the issue off the field for a generation. A decade later, they had the chance to do the same again when George W. Bush pushed for comprehensive reform. The public’s fury over the war in Iraq and a stalling economy were coming to hit the party anyway, and anger from the conservative base over Bush’s reform would have made little difference in 2006 and 2008.

Instead the party did nothing. And now it reaps the whirlwind of Trump’s hot air.

 

By: Michael Brendan Dougherty, The Week, July 13, 2015

July 17, 2015 Posted by | Donald Trump, GOP, Immigration Reform | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

“Let’s Talk About ‘Black On Black’ Crime”: African-Americans Long Oppressed By What Might Be Called “America On Black” Crime

OK, fine. Let’s talk about “black on black” crime.

That, after all, is where the conversation seems to inevitably turn whenever one seeks to engage a conservative on the American habit of shooting unarmed African-American boys and men. So it was exasperating, but nowhere near surprising, to see former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani go there last week on Meet the Press.

Asked by host Chuck Todd, during a discussion of the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, about the fact that African-American communities like that one are often served by snow-white police departments, he offered some perfunctory words about the effort to produce more representative cop shops. But then Giuliani took a sharp turn off topic and into the brambles. “I find it very disappointing,” he told Todd, “that you’re not discussing the fact that 93 percent of blacks in America are killed by other blacks. … I would like to see the attention paid to that that you are paying to this.”

There followed a sharp exchange with another panelist, author and professor Michael Eric Dyson, which produced this parting shot from the mayor: “The white police officers wouldn’t be there if you weren’t killing each other.”

Somehow, he managed not to call Dyson “you people.” In nearly every other respect, Giuliani’s words reeked of a paternalistic white supremacy unworthy of a former mayor of America’s largest city — or even a sewer worker in its remotest Podunk. But again, this has become the go-to “reasoning” for those on the right — Sean Hannity, Lou Dobbs, Rush Limbaugh — when asked to give a d–n about the killings of unarmed black boys and men.

That formulation is false for multiple reasons.

In the first place, being concerned over the shooting of unarmed black men hardly precludes being concerned over violence within the African-American community. Giuliani and others suggest a dichotomy where none exists.

In the second place, they ignore the obvious: When black people commit crimes against black people, they face prosecution, but when police officers (or certain neighborhood watchmen) commit crimes against black people, they face getting off with little if any punishment.

In the third place, what exactly is “black on black” crime?

Do black people kill one another? Sure they do. Ninety percent of black murder victims are killed by black assailants.

But guess what? White people kill one another, too. Eighty-three percent of white victims are killed by white assailants. See, the vast majority of violent crime is committed within — not between — racial groups. Crime is a matter of proximity and opportunity. People victimize their own rather than drive across town to victimize somebody else.

So another term for “black on black” crime is “crime.”

But there is crime and there is crime.

Redlining, loan discrimination and predatory mortgages have stripped generations of wealth from the African-American community. What is that if not robbery?

The Republican Party practices policies of voter suppression. That’s the assault and battery of African-American political rights.

Mass incarceration criminalizes the very existence of black men and boys. That’s the rape of equal justice.

Unarmed people are killed by those who are purportedly there to protect and serve them and the “just us” system looks the other way. That’s the murder of basic human rights.

It is touching that Giuliani and others are so concerned about black-on-black crime. But African-Americans have also been long oppressed by what might be called “America on black” crime.

When do you suppose they’ll be ready to talk about that?

 

By: Leonard Pitts, Jr., Columnist for The Miami Herald; The National Memo, December 1, 2014

December 2, 2014 Posted by | Black Americans, Criminal Justice System, Rudy Giuliani | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“Worst Socialist Ever”: Republicans Ought To Be Awfully Impressed With President Obama

In 2004, a Bush cabinet official said job creation and GDP numbers matter, but “the stock market is … the final arbiter” of economic success.

If that’s true, eight years later, Republicans ought to be awfully impressed with President Obama.

Through Friday, since Mr. Obama’s inauguration — his first 1,368 days in office — the Dow Jones industrial average has gained 67.9 percent. That’s an extremely strong performance — the fifth best for an equivalent period among all American presidents since 1900. The Bespoke Investment Group calculated those returns for The New York Times.

The best showing occurred in Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first term, when the market rose by a whopping 238.1 percent. Of course, that followed a calamitous decline. When his term started, the Dow had fallen to one-fourth of its former peak. In 2008, the year before Mr. Obama took office, the Dow declined by roughly one-third.

In the last half-century, the president who’s overseen the strongest performance on Wall Street was Bill Clinton. The second best? Barack Obama, easily.

As we talked about in April, this also suggests Obama is the worst socialist of all time. A soaring stock market, record high corporate profits, private sector job growth … it’s almost as if the president didn’t listen to Karl Marx at all.

All joking aside, I don’t consider major Wall Street indexes a reliable metric when it comes to measuring the health of the economy. Indeed, it’s not even close.

But here’s the kicker: Obama’s detractors do consider major Wall Street indexes a reliable metric when it comes to measuring the health of the economy.

As long time readers may recall, the Wall Street Journal ran an entire editorial in early March 2009 arguing that the weak Dow Jones was a direct result of investors evaluating “Mr. Obama’s agenda and his approach to governance.”

Karl Rove and Lou Dobbs made the same case. So did Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Fred Barnes. For a short while, it was one of Mitt Romney’s favorite talking points, too. Even John Boehner got in on the larger attack.

I don’t think a strong stock market is necessarily proof of a robust economy, but I also don’t think the right should have it both ways. If a bear market in 2009 is, in the minds of conservatives, clear proof that Obama’s agenda is misguided and dangerous, then soaring Wall Street indexes shouldn’t be dismissed by those same detractors as politically irrelevant.

 

By: Steve Benen, The Maddow Blog, October 22, 2012

October 23, 2012 Posted by | Election 2012 | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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