Thursday, March 31, 2011

The War on Fox

Media Matters has announced that it has redefined itself. It will no longer pretend to be a general media watchdog exposing right-wing bias in the mainstream news media. Now it is devoted mainly to taking down Fox News. An early shot in their new guerrilla war on Fox is the release of a clip from a Fox executive admitting that he found speculation that Barrack Obama is a socialist "far fetched" but ran it anyway because of pressure from above. That was written up in a Washington Post piece here under the title "Another major blow to Fox's credibility".

This is a story where what you take away from it depends on what you bring to it. If you dismiss any notion that Obama is a socialist then this is confirmation that Fox's top brass was trying to twist the news.

Before we go any further, we need to ask if there was any reason to believe that Obama is a socialist. If there is no evidence then Fox was lying. If there is evidence then the executive in question was wrong and the Fox brass was right.

There is evidence that Obama had strong socialist tendencies and they come from an unimpeachable source - the President himself. His father was a communist and, even though he had no contact with Barry jr, the President looked to his father for his identity. His first book, "Dreams from my Father" is about Barry jr's search for his father and a black identity. Obama refers to Frank Marshall Davis as a mentor. Davis was a long-time member of the Communist Party USA and wrote for a communist paper. In fact, he was notorious enough that Obama did not list Davis's full name in his book. Obama describes his college days thus:

To avoid being mistaken for a sellout,I chose my friends carefully. The more politically active black students. The foreign students. The Chicanos.The Marxist Professors and the structural feminists and punk-rock performance poets.We smoked cigarettes and wore leather jackets. At night,in the dorms,we discussed neocolonialism, [the socialist, anti-colonialist revolutionary] Franz Fanon,Eurocentrism,and patriarchy. When we ground out our cigarettes in the hallway carpet or set our stereos so loud that the walls began to shake, we were resisting bourgeois society's stifling constraints. We weren't indifferent or careless or insecure. We were alienated.

He was a member of communist and socialist organizations in college.

Obama's time as a community organizer is well-known but most people are not aware that the whole concept of community organizers came from Saul Alinsky, another communist.

There is no question that Obama was a communist in his late teens and early 20s. This is all a matter of public record and the President's own words. It is also a matter of record that he soured on Alinsky and community organizing. The big question is how much of that ideology does he still retain?

During the campaign he made an analysis of the Bill of Rights where he called them incomplete because they did not allow for redistribution. His off-the-cuff remarks to "Joe the Plumber" also showed that he was in favor of redistributing wealth.

So when Fox carried speculation that Obama is a socialist, they had good reason to wonder. Media Matters is disseminating some fibs of their own by ignoring Obama's history.

As an opening shot against Fox, this one fell short of the mark. People who already hated Fox will see it as further justification for their feelings. Fox's supporters already know that it was and continues to be a valid question. Neither side is likely to be moved by this revelation.

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