Fox News Cannot Separate Itself from the Giffords Shootings

Fox News president Roger Ailes, in an interview with Russell Simmons, said that any attempts to connect his network or the tea party to the Gabrielle Giffords shootings are “bullshit.” He thinks that “both sides” are responsible for the hate rhetoric that has pervaded the country since 2000.  Nice try, Ailes, but it’s not going to work.  Anyone with an objective mind knows that Fox News has been responsible for the heated rhetoric.  (Granted, anyone who watches Fox News would not normally be associated with an “objective mind.”)

And how does Ailes explain why Fox News, not that long after the shootings, had an interview with a tea party “leader” who said, erroneously, that Loughner was “obviously a left wing anarchist” and that the “left” is “revolting” and “disgusting” if it tries to associate the tea party with the Giffords shootings.

Certainly, Fox News is more responsible than other other media for the hate rhetoric.  I won’t deny that what Ailes refers to as the “other side” has also contributed to the rhetoric, but there is no possible way that Ailes can deny that Fox News has been, by far, the major offender.  And, as for the “other side,” one way of looking at it is that the “other side” would never had used any hate rhetoric at all but for the fact that they had to (finally) respond to the bile coming from Fox News.

In fact, Ailes, himself, in the interview with Russell Simmons, acknowledges that Fox News has been responsible for the heated rhetoric since he says that “I told all of our guys, shut up, tone it down, make your argument intellectually.  You don’t have to do it with bombast. I hope the other side does that.”  Fox News cannot now try to disassociate itself from the shootings.






Rush Limbaugh ‘loves the women’s movement’

Rush Limbaugh,  no friend to progressive thought, feminism, or intellectual discussion, told Fox News earlier today that he is “a huge supporter of women.” Limbaugh was being questioned about his role in judging the Miss America pageant, and whether or not it was “appropriate,” given the fact that he does not have a reputation of supporting women.

Denying the accusation, Limbaugh replied that he is a is a supporter of women, just not feminism. In defense of his argument, he said:

“I love the women’s movement — especially when walking behind it.”

Oh, Rush. Not that I expected anything more constructive or intelligent from the man who also said that feminism “was established to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream.” It seems that for Limbaugh, the only noteworthy characteristic a women can have is based on her looks.

Although to be fair, his comment isn’t entirely incongruous with the purpose of the Miss America pageant. I’d love to hear an argument that posits that Miss America, Miss Universe, and the like are productive at much else besides objectifying and reinforcing harmful beauty standards. Yes, they provide scholarships, but these scholarships are awarded based on physical characteristics, which only reinforces the concept that women should be judged and rewarded based on beauty. In fact, I believe Rush is exactly the type of audience these pageants are designed for– people who see women as little other than beautiful objects or poised dolls. Swimsuit and gown competitions serve to titillate, and question-and-answer sessions are a source of ridicule. The whole production reeks of pre-feminism gender standards. Not to mention the scary child pageantry spin-off reality shows like Toddlers & Tiaras or Little Miss Perfect.

Rush’s comment is just one more in a long list of examples of the dysfunctional valuing of women in society.

Off Topic: Jon Stewart Makes His Strongest Attack on Fox News

It’s no secret that Jon Stewart hates Fox News and repeatedly attacks them.  But I think that his strongest attack yet came on Thursday night’s show, when he spent a full 11 minutes attacking them.  You can tell that he is really into this.  It’s strong.  Jon Stewart

Here is the link to the full episode.  The attack on Fox starts at approximately the one minute mark and goes to about 12 minutes.

And, whether or not it was a coincidence or planned, Wanda Sykes is the guest.  She has a new Saturday night talk show on Fox starting on November 7.  You might want to hear her defend herself for being on Fox by saying that she is on the good Fox (entertainment) and not on the bad Fox (news).