, Newburyport, MA

April 11, 2013

Wake up to what Fox News is doing

Newburyport Daily News

---- — To the editor:

A recent letter to the editor shows the kind of rhetoric now becoming distressingly familiar. Here are a few “facts” presented:

“Obamacare” will create a trillion more in taxes.

Obama’s support of Egypt is contrary to his support of Israel.

Global warming is only a normal cycle of the earth’s (and the sun really does revolve around the earth – which is indeed flat!)

Obama uses global warming as an excuse to reduce coal use and “nix” new factories so more jobs will be lost.

The Obama administration is spending billions to study sex life of snails and the genitalia of ducks.

Sequestration (actually a Republican creation) is Obama’s “temper tantrum” in his attempt to “bully” Republicans and turn “public wrath” against them.

Illegals and criminal are released from jail and of course, out comes that old saw, “how long can we arm ourselves,” meaning, “They’re coming to get our guns!”

There’s little point in looking into the veracity of these claims. Fox News hardly cares about that anyway. But look at it all. It’s a rant, all aimed at discrediting the current administration in any conceivable way. No solutions, no ideas for a better way, no leadership for the future, just if Obama’s doing it, it must wrong and is probably devious.

When a Michelle Bachman supporter called Obama “a Kenyan and a Muslim” — both myths created by the far Right — instead of correcting her, Ms. Bachman, an elected official, hugged her. Michelle Bachman certainly knew these things were not true, but she just as certainly did not mind others believing it. This is the gist of Fox News reporting. Much is not true, and certainly much of what is implied is not true, but in view of their overall aim — discrediting Obama — anything they can get you to believe is fair game.

There’s a dark side to this rhetoric. It has created and fed a paranoia. The number of “patriot” militias has exploded. There is increasing talk of preparing for “invasions of U.N. troops” and “Second Amendment solutions.” Recent conversations with Kansas conservatives show their openly favoring such an idea. “Where’s Lee Harvey when you need him,” one said. Let’s not forget, John Wilkes Booth believed he was a patriot and acting in the country’s best interest. Fox News may not be willing to go this far, but they continue to stoke the kind of thinking that well may lead someone to decide a gun may really be the best way to solve all our problems.

Alex Bellinger