To The Fox News Network: Sean Hannity & Bill O'Reilly Disgrace the Journalism Profession; Their Anti-Obama Agenda is Shameful
The gatekeepers at Fox News network like to boast that their news is fair and balanced: that’s bullshit. I think it is fair for me to say that Fox News network has an obvious right-wing slant that they don’t even try to disguise. And that’s okay to a point, since it’s their business. But when it comes to electing the next president of the USA, human decency should dictate that some level of fairness be considered when the principals are being reported on; and relative to how they are scrutinized and treated. Fox News network has been trying to destroy Barack Obama’s candidacy for quite some time now and it is time to stop this obvious vendetta. The world is watching.
Take the latest media craze: Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright; the former pastor of the church Barack Obama has attended for the past twenty years or so. Sean Hannity has been pushing this story for months; he has had help from the likes of Bill O’Reilly and others in the Fox family. Fine. Both Hannity and O’Reilly work for the network and are part of this anachronistic and almost all-white news club, which is flaunted everyday by those who are totally insensitive to the demands for fairness, equality and social justice, from people who are non-white. This insensitivity is the disgrace of America’s political right. It exposes them for what many of them really are: people who feel that humans who aren’t white (Caucasian) are inferior.
No one can accuse me of condoning the divisive aspects of some of Rev. Wright’s statements; I find them rather unfortunate and in some instances divisive. His choice of words in expressing his outrage at US foreign policy and such, are in some aspects: reprehensible. His analysis of various events and happenings (like HIV/AIDS) is troubling. His mind-set seems one filled of anger and venom; somewhat surprising for a Christian pastor. But this former marine- who grew up in the time of Jim Crow laws- is entitled to his first amendment guarantee of freedom of speech. This is the point to my column here: right wingers, white conservative types and those who carry water for them, are hypocritical when it comes to freedom of speech issues. They offer no sympathy, compassion or sensitivity for Wright- as a product of the racially oppressive days of Jim Crow- but give free passes to white ministers, televangelists, preachers, supremacists and demagogues, when it comes to freedom of speech issues and some of the similar things they say.
There have been countless right-wing preachers who have said things as ludicrous as Wright, but Hannity and O’Reilly won’t play these atrocious comments; why? Because they don’t want to conflate, given that they want a clear path to their vicious objective. They play Rev. Wright’s comments over and over and over and again; why? Because they know it undermines Barack Obama’s chances of becoming the first president of this country, who wasn’t a Caucasian male.
I suspect that Barack knows all this, and maybe that’s the reason why he avoids Fox News network like an STD. In retaliation, their journalists and announcers in turn get more vicious with their anti-Obama agenda. Continually running the Wright tapes is nothing short of fear-mongering; even an imbecile knows what this is all about. Attach Obama to someone who can be perceived as a hater of the US government and it adds credence to the “Muslim” smears; the “jihadist-mole” theories; the “anti-Christ” e-mails; and the “stop Obama at all costs movement”. It isn’t even subtle anymore. It isn’t even about political competition anymore: it is now about destroying another human being.
Why do right-wingers in the USA demonstrate this palpable hate, akin to that of some black militants and nationalists? At least black nationalists and militants have an excuse (reasonable but not allowable): they were victims of real oppression, terror, murder, genocide, inequality, injustice and the like. What is the reasonable excuse that whites can proffer?
If Hannity, O’Reilly and all the others at Fox News network do what real journalists do, they would research Obama’s speeches, writings, interviews and conversations, in order to prove or disprove whether or not he held similar political views to Rev.Wright; that’s Journalism 101. Rev. Wright is a friend, that’s all. Someone so close that you consider them family. Obama has likened him to an old uncle. We all have old uncles who come to family events and embarrass us. Either they talk too much or sing too loud. Sometimes they say things that shouldn’t be said: like dirty old family secrets. Other times they get drunk and obnoxious; sometimes they even fight, cuss and carry on. But do we disown them? No; we love them and forgive them over and again; sometimes we don’t invite to some events if we could get away with it. This is the Christian way. This is the way most supposedly religious people treat others; no matter what religion. This is about family and loyalty. It is about compassion and redemption. It is about humanity.
Look, did white Americans stop purchasing the records of Frank Sinatra because he loved to hang out with his mafia buddies? Did they ever punish Babe Ruth for all his indiscretions; moral, racial, social and otherwise? Do they hate JFK for all his extra-marital dalliances; or Bill Clinton and his runaway zipper, for that matter? In this country people are redeemed and forgiven; especially after they show some contrition. Barack Obama has renounced and denounced the statements attributed to Rev. Wright; what else do you want him to do?
Barack Obama is as responsible for Wright’s political views, in the same way that all Americans who are anti-war pacifists are responsible for George Bush junior’s reckless War in Iraq. In some countries (like France) all Americans are hated and despised for this war: is this fair? If my brother goes out and kills someone, should I be charged for murder because of my close association with and my relation to him? This whole thing is so ridiculous it isn’t funny. It is ludicrous beyond belief. Should the whole Republican congressional delegation be called racists for making Trent Lott speaker? After all, didn’t he have deep relations with members of the Klu Klux Klan (wasn’t he one)? And shouldn’t all white Americans be condemned when they put a Klansman on the Supreme Court like they did before? We know the murderous history of the Klan don’t we? I could go places with all this that would make your mind spin; but I won’t; I hope I made my point.
Journalists shouldn’t have a political agenda: that should be left up to bloggers, pimps and hookers. Journalists should at least try to be fair and impartial as best as they humanly can. Look, preachers like Pat Robertson, Rev. Francis Schaeffer, Rev. Billy Graham and many others, have called for God’s damnation of America and even for the violent overthrow of the US government, many many times. Even presidential candidate Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee sees the hypocrisy in all this and has the guts to speak out like he did recently; that was impressive.
Right wing preachers have called for selective law-breaking; death to abortion doctors; the bombing of abortion clinics (including the killing of innocent people); direct disregard for education laws in regards to teaching “creationism versus evolution”; viciously threatened and religiously cursed those who supported “gay rights” and “same-sex marriage”; and have made all types of inflammatory remarks on issues that run counter to their religious beliefs. Whether it was perceived witchcraft, prayer in school, the issue of abortion, gun control, state rights, race, affirmative-action, busing, you name it; right wing preachers have spent almost four hundred years saying outrageous things right here in this country. These are facts. Most of them have been given free passes; why? Because in this country, we have always allowed for freedom of speech- once it isn’t yelling fire in a crowded cinema when there isn’t a fire.
In recent times, many of these preachers have ended up at the White House on invitations from presidents Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan and George Bush (both). They have also had invites from vice-presidents Dan Quale and Dick Cheney too. Whether it was lunch or dinner; whether is was to (in) formal balls or regal galas; right-wing evangelists and politically conservative preachers have had their links to the White House, to Republican senators and congressmen/women, and to local republican politicians in every state. At times many of them were close spiritual advisers; other times they wore both hats (Mike Huckabee). This is not to say that some democrats weren’t similarly exposed; it’s just that for the most part, the republicans are more attractive to them, as a political party.
Fox News network has yet to vet most of these right-wing religious types; why? Because they would never embarrass them; they have utility as it relates to the network’s larger agenda: disseminate- as best as possible- right wing and/or conservative views/positions and such, in order to proselytize. It is about socio/political engineering to a large extent. It is the bridge between media, politics and religion; another area of hypocrisy for right wingers. In many of these right-wing churches things are said on any given Sunday, that are eerily similar to what Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright said every now and again in his church. Everybody knows this: including the so-called journalists at Fox News network. Politicians of all ilks sit in the pews hustling votes. They say nothing. Many of them return again and again.
John McCain has been endorsed by a pastor from Texas who has made some very scurrilous remarks about the Catholic Church (amongst other stupid things he has said), and yet McCain calls him a close spiritual adviser. Hillary Clinton was endorsed by a minister who called Barack Obama’s mother: (white) “trash”; she has yet to renounce and/or denounce him. The tapes on both of these individuals are out there for all to see; where is Fox News? This is so hypocritical it isn’t funny.
Near every day for the last few months, both Hannity and O’Reilly have spread their hate of Barack Obama via these Wright tapes, and now the death threats against Barack have grown multi-fold. Security around Obama has had to be increased since this Rev. Wright story has been pushed through copy-cat mediums. If something happens to Obama, I wonder if these journalists know that they will be held responsible by many. They keep castigating the man because of things the pastor said; as if Obama is responsible for Wright’s positions on whatever issue he feels like speaking on. Is it fair to castigate a candidate for what his/her pastor says? Especially when you know full well that the candidate doesn’t hold those views; given all the speeches he has made over the years, and given all the things he has written over the years. Don’t forget the hundreds of interviews where he has never articulated anything even close to his pastor’s views.
On Sean Hannity’s website last week, a commenter said that he/she was glad that the Rev. Wright story had blown up in mainstream media, since it guarantees that even if Obama is elected president: “he will be assassinated in office”. This is the type of human scum that Sean Hannity attracks with his daily venomous diatribe against Obama. Does hannity understand what he is doing?
Then today, Ann Coulter –that right wing political whore nut job- has the gumption to say that she is tired of hearing about race issues. The human credentials of many of these right wingers are under question folks. We need to check some of these people’s DNAs when they say things and behave in ways that are indifferent to human suffering. Are they living in this country? Are they living in this world?
Whites who were looking for an exit strategy from voting for a black man for president (Obama), have been given their cheap racial excuse, by the likes of Hannity, O’Reilly, Coulter and company. This is why the ruckus of Rev. Wright has been pushed like a nickel bag of crack. It serves a political and racial purpose. Do you really want to tell me that white America is so afraid of this minister? Do you really think that most Americans are not respectful of the man’s right to his foolish political views?
Barack Obama is betting on the decency of all Americans, but sometimes I wonder if he has made the right bet; I could only hope he has. This gem of a human being (Barack Obama); this gem of an American man, gave on last Tuesday, the most brilliant speech on race ever given in this country since Martin Luther King’s: “I have a dream speech”. And within hours it is torn apart from limb to limb, ostensibly without appreciation for its natural beauty, its elegance and scholarship. Sometimes I feel Barack is too good for this country; given its racist history.
At this moment in time and history, America is being given an opportunity to heal racial wounds. It is also being given a window of opportunity to try to reconcile racial wrongs. And what better a vehicle through which this could all be done, but by a man born to an African father, and to a white American mother; a mulatto. A man who is neither white nor black: but both black and white. A man with relatives living on at least four continents; a man with relatives of all shades, religions, hues, races, ethnicities, nationalities, shapes, sizes and creeds; it’s almost as if God is at work here people. Would we seize this moment?
What is even more unfair in all this, is the fact that Wright’s church has done (and continues to do) countless good deeds in the Chicago area. It is part of a group of churches where the majority of members are white. His church also has many white congregants. He has done good work in the areas of health, HIV/AIDS, job training, education and so on. These remarks that they play over and over represent less than one percent of his speeches over the last twenty years or so. They were aberrations not the norm. They project like this is what he talked about every Sunday; not so. Would they play speeches where he praised America? Nope; that doesn’t fit their agenda of discrediting Obama and pushing up his negatives, as they try to stop him from becoming the next president of this country. They are glaringly trying to bring him down since he is too audacious as a mulatto. They don’t even get his race right: yes, he is a mulatto. He is neither black nor white; he is both black and white. I must repeat this over and over so it sinks in eventually.
The shame of the human race is in seeing people not as humans but as something else with a different racial identity. When will we ever learn? Barack Obama is a piece of all humanity: that’s his beauty. Forget that he is intellectually brilliant for a moment; he has a piece of all of us: that is even more profound. This doesn’t make him perfect: it makes him human- in a world where the majority of people are not racially pure anymore. Think of this for a minute as you sip thorough your Beaujolais.
The further hypocrisy of Hanitty and O’Reilly is that they have both spent lifetimes, listening to other whites make all types of disparaging (and racist) remarks about black people. How do I know this? Simple: America is a very racist country with a sordid racial history; and countless studies have shown this for years. There is no way that either of these two individuals could have escaped hearing racist remarks from friends and relatives that they have yet to disown. And yet, I have never heard any of these two saying, that they have denounced or renounced any friend, relative, associate, acquaintance or co-worker, for making racist, anti-American or inflammatory statements; how come? They must have heard them many times in racist America; and yet, they try to impose that standard on Obama but not on themselves; how high-handed is that? How hypocritical is that?
They want Obama to completely disassociate from Wright, but they brook racism all around them everyday without speaking out. They are nothing but fucking hypocrites. I dare them to bring me on one of their shows to dispute this. I dare them to respond to this column.
Republicans like to talk about Ronald Reagan as this great president, who in modern times took democrats and turned them into temporary republicans; but look at what Reagan did to start off his presidential run in 1979. He made his ceremonial announcement in Philadelphia, Mississippi. For those who don’t know what this town represented, I will give you two words: “Mississippi Burning”. There are tens of thousands of cities and towns in the USA, but Ronald Reagan chose a town with a profound history of racial intolerance as a symbol; it was also a message so subliminal even a third grader could get it. This is a town where the Klu Klux Klan flourished; a town where Swerner, Chaney and Goodman were murdered. Two idealistic young white-Jewish college students from New York City, coming down during summer break to help register black voters, during the dog days of Jim Crow. They were viciously killed alongside their black comrade in the civil rights struggle. The insensitivity of most white Americans to racial injustice is murderous.
Are we now surprised that in this day and age we still have towns like Jena, Louisiana? Networks like Fox don’t help the cause; they in fact help to keep us from moving to higher heights as humans. They are not about real change, thus Barack Obama becomes an enemy: he challenges their very rubric.
This white racial hypocrisy must be exposed whenever it shows up; we are at that juncture again in the history of this country. Racism will perpetuate if good people stay silent. Too many people have stayed too silent for too long. The only other republican who has spoken sensibly on this issue has been Bay Buchanan (Pat’s sister). Her brother meanwhile cannot see the double standard even if you lend him ten pairs of spectacles. On an issue surrounding free speech like this one is, republicans are contradicting (as they usually do no most issues). Maybe some of them will catch themselves in time, before further damage is done to the party’s long term chances of survival. The more the demographics of this country changes, the more this party comes closer to being rendered obsolete.
We all need to remember that Bill O’Reilly once went to Sylvia’s Restaurant in Harlem, and was amazed to find that black people were dining with etiquette, decorum and sophistication. He said that he expected to be hearing expletives being used by blacks when ordering their dishes; looks like he didn’t expect knives, forks and other cutlery either; he was surprised to find what he did: dignity. This statement from O’reilly himself was quite revealing to many in the black community, in that it showed the unconsciousness of most white Americans, as it relates to their racial predisposition toward blacks. Too many whites see blacks as unsophisticated and inferior. Too many whites say nothing when they see all the top jobs in their firms held by whites. When they see business loans go to white firms and not to firms owned by people of color. When they see public resources go to white areas and not to communities of color in greater need. When they see justice dispensed by race, ethnicity, nationality and/or color, but not by deed. When they see boards and commissions where non-whites aren’t seated. Most of them- an overwhelming number – stay mute when confronted with these realities. But guess what: they are up in arms because a black pastor could dare to conclude that some of America’s policies have been murderous, and that the country is run by greedy elites. Gimme a break.
Sean Hannity is a catholic; did he stop attending that church after extensive pedophilia was uncovered amongst priests? Did he stop sending his children to Catholic Church after the many thousands of people of both sexes, were deemed to have been abused by priests and nuns? Most of the abuse was sexual in nature, but did people keep their kids from going to mass, catechism, Sunday school, communion or confession? And yet they are saying that Barack should have kept his kids away from this church; away from friends and relations, as if the church never offered other services besides Wright’s absurd rantings. And as if this is all Wright preached about. I dare Fox News network to play other tapes in their entirety, and also to play tapes other than the snippets serving their vicious cause. Wright- like most of us- is an imperfect human being; but he is no monster like most of these talking-heads make him out to be. Some of what he said was nonsensical and ridiculous, but he has the legal right to say it. If his utterings were so bad, how come he isn’t charged with treason or sedition?
With nothing objective to go on beyond the fact that someone Barack has associated himself with for years has some warped views, pseudo-intellectual Sean Hannity now accuses Barack Obama of being anti-Semitic, anti-white, and anything else but a son of God. That’s the hateful vicious side of Sean Hannity, because the idea of a black man becoming president is so troubling to him. Could this be racism? As I have said many times: most racists are unconscious about their racism.
Today we see many whites on Fox trying to hold Barack Obama up to some totally unrealistic standard, for not throwing his pastor under the bus. We also see that polls are suggesting that this is hurting Obama’s chances of being our next president. It seems as though Rev. Wright doesn’t have the right to express his stupid opinions; wow! These are the same white people who everyday in America tolerate and contribute to the racism, hate, discrimination (in every sphere of human endeavor), double and triple standards, indecency, ostracism, inequality, injustice and inhumanity, that blacks face. For this obvious hatchet job on Obama, Sean Hanitty and Bill O’Reilly need to be terminated. If they aren’t fired, then blacks, other people of color and whites of goodwill, need to boycott Fox News network, and/or the advertisers who patronize their services. Hypocrisy must be exposed at every opportunity; let’s take this opportunity.
Stay tuned-in folks; as you could see my pen is smoking again.