Sunday, January 18, 2015

Little Rupert's Fox: The Taste Of Goebbel's Underwear

We Are So Sorry We Have Lied Again 

Rightist commentators behave very much like a variety of sad, aging former Hollywood actors and actresses, trying for another thirty seconds of limelight.

Whatever the reasons, these actors engage in bad behavior or make a remark resulting in some level of media focus (depending on circumstances, generally as "filler"), and for a while, their name is back in the news.

This may be followed by talk show appearances, coverage of court proceedings, even 'Celebrity Rehab'. Depending upon how their personal issues resolve, a book could result, or even film or television work. America is supposed to be the land of reinvention and second acts.
But among certain Rightist pundits in our culture, the cycle is familiar:  The 'commentator' (or, 'entertainer'), already known for making incendiary comments, delivers yet another over-the-top public remark which seems calculated to drive an average human to ask, what, exactly, is wrong with this person?

Depending upon how incendiary the comment, for a few news cycles the Rightist pundit has captured the public's attention. They're still capable of 'motivating the base' and provoking a nation whose population, they believe, is generally misled and stupid, and which rejects their superior values.

This is followed by talk-show appearances, another book (these incidents generally seem to occur just as the pundit is about to release one), more paid speaking engagements, etc., etc.

It's about getting attention by "acting out", a formula known to the ancients, and most two-year olds. In this case, it's also connected with "making money".

Not long after the Parisian terror attacks ended in a hail of gunfire, Little Rupert Murdoch's Fox 'News' broadcast interview segments with  Fox commentator Steven Emerson declaring that the English midlands city of Birmingham was a "totally Muslim city", where sharia law was enforced and non-Muslims were unwelcome.
 “In Britain, it's not just no-go zones, there are actual cities like Birmingham that are totally Muslim where non-Muslims just simply don't go in... Parts of London, there are actually Muslim religious police that actually beat and actually wound seriously anyone who doesn't dress according to Muslim, religious Muslim attire.”
Emerson added there were sharia courts in Birmingham “where Muslim density is very intense, where the police don't go in, and where it's basically a separate country almost, a country within a country”. He said that the British government did not “exercise any sovereignty” there.  The Fox fembot anchor, Jeanine Pirro, responded that "it sounds like a caliphate within a particular country".

Having shat upon the British, Emerson moved on to the French. The city of Paris, he claimed, had similar "no-go zones", Muslim ghettos which resembled parts of Afghanistan or Iraq and where sharia law was supreme. They also claimed that a poll taken of French Muslims showed 69% of them supported ISIS.

French television immediately reported, and responded to, these broadcasts. The 'no-go' zones were all in relatively upper-middle class and even exclusive Paris districts; the popular French cable program, Le Petit Journal (a satirical critique of news and current events), sent film crews into these areas to interview people on the street.

Those interviewed were asked whether the neighborhood they stood in was like Afghanistan or Iraq; whether it was under the control of Sharia law, etc.  In almost every case, the people paused for a moment before responding -- as if to say, Are you kidding me? Is this a trick question? Told about Fox's claims for their neighborhood, several interviewees (God love them) immediately responded, 'What? That is stupid.'

Le Petit Journal turned Fox's claims into a joke. Responses from others -- the British Prime Minister and French Foreign Minister primary among them -- forced Fox to issue retractions and apologize four separate times for broadcasting so huge and obvious a set of lies.

Last week, Rupert treated the world at large to his opinions after the terrorist attacks in Paris -- which were no different in spirit from these broadcasts:  Maybe most Moslems [sic] peaceful, but until they recognize and destroy their growing jihadist cancer they must be held responsible. And, Big jihadist danger looming everywhere from Philippines to Africa to Europe to US. Political correctness makes for denial and hypocrisy --  an appeal to the lowest common denominators of suspicion, fear, racism and intolerance.

The Fox broadcasts about Birmingham as a separate, "Muslim only" city and no-go zones in Paris are perfectly aligned with the worldview Murdoch pushed via Twitter. The fact that they were lies doesn't appear to bother him in the least.

And, these lies were being pushed as police raids this past week in Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and elsewhere disrupted what was reported as a series of planned attacks by an apparently extensive terror network across Europe.

Obligatory Cute Small Animal Photo In Middle Of Blog Rant

It's not the first time Little Rupert's media has broadcast something they knew was false. It's One Dog's Opinion, but Fox News is just a cartoon network, a parody of the truth rather than fact, and any of his News Corporation media properties only outlets for popular forms of right-wing sewage.

We have a choice, as citizens and individuals, over how we respond to questions of our security, and of freedom of expression and religious belief.  Murdoch and his media empire want us to be frightened of the future, suspicious of each other, and to reach for a weapon at the slightest provocation -- or, vote for right-wing politicians as surrogates who will do that for us.

Murdoch and his media will push lies to support that agenda. That's what just happened this week, in case you were wondering.

One other thing I wonder: what about News Corporation's shareholders? Do they care that the product their investment produces is essentially bullshit? Does truth matter to them? Or do they think, so long as they can make a dollar out of it all, who cares?

I've said before: You can consume whatever it is Little Rupert wants to sell. Just don't blame anyone but yourself if it tastes like you're sucking on Josef Goebbels' underwear.

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