Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Goat Herders' Kids Know About Foxes. Hillary, Not So Much.

UPDATE, SUPER TUESDAY, FEB. 5 2008: Hillary Clinton -- who attended Fox News' tenth anniversary party, for whom Rupert Murdoch threw a campaign fundraiser, and who's the only leading Democratic Presidential candidate violating the informal boycott of Fox News' slanted talking head shows -- now is challenging Obama to debate her -- on, surprise, surprise, Fox News. (Hat tip: Kos.)

Take money from the man who helped smear your husband and urged his impeachment; give aid and comfort to neoconservatives' main propaganda outlet by appearing on it, helping it appear "fair and balanced"; and now challenge your more progressive opponent to a debate moderated by conservatives who secretly have reasons to support you, on the ultimate conservative home ground. That's really helpful to the party, Hillary. You're really standing on principle. I'm so glad to hear you say that you're a progressive who will challenge the Washington establishment and how this campaign is all about ideas, not your greed for power. Murdoch bought a hell of a lot of Senator -- and maybe President -- for his money!


One recurring theme on media- oriented liberal blogs (and some Air America shows) is the need for Democrats to simply decline to appear on Fox News' talking head shows. Fox slants these supposedly "fair and balanced" discussions against the Democrat in everything from the questions posed, to interrupting and playing "gotcha" with Democrats more than with Republicans, to the time the hosts and producers allow each guest to speak, to the post-discussion post-mortem.

You can't win in that setup -- so the best remedy is to go on strike, ie, for ALL Democrats to simply refuse Fox's invitations. Fox can't even pretend to be "balanced" if the left scale is empty, can it? All there'd be is some conservative bloviating into empty air, which the network knows drives viewers away in droves. Imagine "Hannity and Colmes" without that milquetoast Colmes pretending to represent the best the left can offer, and you see what I mean.

Now, middle-rank Dems fighting for their political lives are likely to seize any opportunity to get airtime, so the boycott isn't likely to be absolute -- but the front-ranking ones, at least, should be able to muster the backbone to "just say no", right?


Fox's flagship Sunday-morning talking heads show is Chris Wallace's "Fox News Sunday." For some indication of how conservative that show is, recall that before Wallace, Tony Snow anchored it -- before leaving to become Bush's press secretary.

Of the three leading Democratic Presidential candidates, two have declined to appear on "Fox News Sunday" -- but the third accepted.

Any guesses who's who? Might it, perhaps, be the candidate who attended Fox News' anniversary party and (separately) been thrown a fundraiser by Rupert Murdoch? You know, the one who voted for the Iraq war and still has never recanted, who started her (oops - gender-based spoiler alert!) campaign already "running to the middle"? (And by "started her campaign" I'm referring to the day after this candidate's husband passed his expiration date -- I mean, was elected to his final term -- and she began planning her own ascension to the throne.)

You guessed it: Hillary Clinton has appeared on "Fox News Sunday." Barack Obama and John Edwards, to their credit, haven't, and poor Chris is all upset about it:

“I think the Democrats are damn fools [for] not coming on Fox News,” Wallace said. “And my guess is that once you get a nominee, they probably will come on, because they know that we get a lot of voters they are going to need if they are going to win the election.”

o far, Wallace has interviewed Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton, Joe Biden and Chris Dodd and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson; both Sen. Barack Obama and former North Carolina Sen. Edwards have declined.

I will admit -- being fair and balanced and all -- that Hillary whupped Wallace's butt in that interview. But still, the fact that she even appeared gave Wallace a chance to put up biased graphics about the cost of health care and to underscore the "Democrats always raise taxes" meme etc., and, again, allowed the network to promulgate the false perception that it delivers serious news rather than propaganda.

So isn't "who appeared on Fox" a trivial thing? Sure. But one that nicely illustrates what the candidates stand for, as well.

P.S. to Lucretia, per her comment to an earlier post: I was a Deaniac, too. I'm not head over heels in love with Obama: there are plenty of posts here like this one wishing he hadn't supported Lieberman over Ned Lamont in the Connecticut primary, or meddled in other Democratic primaries. And I like Edwards in many ways, especially his consistent support for working stiffs. But I believe that Democrats, given the option to nominate a woman or a minority for the first time, probably won't nominate another Southern white male, which makes Obama the only person positioned to block Hillary. And my bottom-line position -- which I came to reluctantly, because I think she's more just self-serving than a true Vichy -- is simply ABC: Anyone But Clinton. If it's Edwards rather than Obama, great -- just so long as Edwards and Obama don't split the anti-Hillary vote and hand the nomination to her.


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