Category Archive 'Fox News Conversions'
22 Oct 2009

Disturbing Irony

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Bill O’Reilly actually made an eloquent statement with some intelligent points this time.

“Something very disturbing about the Obama Administration fighting harder against Fox News than the Taliban.”

2:45 video

Hat tip to Jim Hoft via the News Junkie.

21 Oct 2009

White House Attacks on Fox News

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It’s strange to see a presidential administration openly attacking a news organization for criticizing them and, in a country whose mainstream media is notorious for its liberal partisanship, White House characterizations of Fox News as being somehow unique in “having a perspective” produced gales of laughter in some circles.

Open fights between incumbent presidents and the press have not typically worked out favorably for the first. Remember Richard Nixon? So why was the sophisticated and professionally skilled Obama administration doing this?

The Politico explains, it’s all about containment. They are advancing a rationale the MSM can use to marginalize Fox News, so that the establishment liberal media can pretend to righteousness while sitting on stories Fox is covering which are disadvantageous to the Obama Administration and the left.

A White House attempt to delegitimize Fox News – which in past times would have drawn howls of censorship from the press corps – has instead been greeted by a collective shrug.

That’s true even though the motivations of the White House are clear: Fire up a liberal base disillusioned with Obama by attacking the hated Fox. Try to keep a critical news outlet off-balance. Raise doubts about future Fox stories.

But most of all, get other journalists to think twice before following the network’s stories in their own coverage.

“We’re doing what we think is important to make sure news is covered as fairly as possible,” a White House official told POLITICO, noting how the recent ACORN scandal story started because Fox covered it “breathlessly for weeks on end.”

“And then you had a couple days of breast-beating from The Washington Post and The New York Times about whether or not they were fast enough on the ACORN story,” the official said. “And it’s like: Wait a second, guys. Let’s make sure that we keep perspective on what are the most important stories, and what’s being driven by a network that has a perspective. Being able to make that point has been important.”

To some media observers, it’s almost the definition of a “chilling effect” – a governmental attempt to steer reporters away from negative coverage – but the White House press corps has barely uttered a word of complaint.

That could be because of the perception among some journalists that Fox blurs the line between reporting and commentary – making it seem like not the most sympathetic victim.

Fox denies its news coverage is slanted, and even White House aides say the network’s top correspondent there, Major Garrett, is a straight shooter. But in its non-news hours, Fox mixes in a steady diet of criticism of President Barack Obama by its prominent conservative commentators Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck. It’s a formula that works for Fox, with the highest ratings in cable news. …

(F)ormer Fox News Washington Bureau chief Brit Hume seemed to be reveling in the attacks by Obama’s aides.

“This is an effort in effect to quarantine Fox News and to discourage other media outlets from picking up on stories that originate here,” Hume said on “The O’Reilly Factor.” “My guess is it won’t work….Look at Glenn Beck, he’s having a field day with this.”

Their intellectual dishonesty is breathtaking, but I don’t think this is really going to work. The MSM already thought Fox News was illegitimate, and was already happy to spike any inconvenient news stories it thought it could. The MSM will only pick up a story damaging to the left (examples: Monica Lewinsky, ACORN tax fraud advice) when it has already achieved a kind of critical mass which makes it impossible not to cover it. Only the New York Times has the arrogance to bury anything it doesn’t like anytime.

28 Oct 2008

Fox News’ Megyn Kelly Beats Up Obama Campaign’s Bill Burton

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The Obama Campaign responded to the release of the WBEZ 2001 Obama “redistribution” radio broadcast by issuing a statement blaming “the all too common alliance of Fox News, the Drudge Report and John McCain.”

Fox News’ Megyn Kelly responded by inviting Barack Obama’s National Press Secretary Bill Burton onto Fox News’ America’s Election Headquarters.

Fun to Watch!

7:01 video

Via Newbusters.

10 Jul 2008

What Else Did Jesse Jackson Whisper, and Why?

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Jesse Jackson’s whispered desired to “cut off (Barack Obama’s) n*ts” for “talking down to black people” about (something) “faith-based,” recorded and broadcast by Fox News,

0:22 video

would seem to be a response to Obama’s July 1st Zanesville, Ohio speech, in which he proposed creating a “Council for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.” But how is that “talking down to black people?”

The Reverend Jackson’s anger seems more likely to have been in response to Obama’s June 15th Father’s Day speech, in which he referred to half of all black children living in single parent homes, and urged black fathers to set an example of excellence and not “just sit in the house and watch SportsCenter.”

Obama proposed more ambitious educational goals.

You know, sometimes I’ll go to an eighth-grade graduation and there’s all that pomp and circumstance and gowns and flowers. And I think to myself, it’s just eighth grade. To really compete, they need to graduate high school, and then they need to graduate college, and they probably need a graduate degree too. An eighth-grade education doesn’t cut it today. Let’s give them a handshake and tell them to get their butts back in the library!

Obama also advocated placing greater emphasis on empathy and kindness and less upon machismo.

The second thing we need to do as fathers is pass along the value of empathy to our children. Not sympathy, but empathy – the ability to stand in somebody else’s shoes; to look at the world through their eyes. Sometimes it’s so easy to get caught up in “us,” that we forget about our obligations to one another. There’s a culture in our society that says remembering these obligations is somehow soft – that we can’t show weakness, and so therefore we can’t show kindness.

But our young boys and girls see that. They see when you are ignoring or mistreating your wife. They see when you are inconsiderate at home; or when you are distant; or when you are thinking only of yourself. And so it’s no surprise when we see that behavior in our schools or on our streets. That’s why we pass on the values of empathy and kindness to our children by living them. We need to show our kids that you’re not strong by putting other people down – you’re strong by lifting them up. That’s our responsibility as fathers.

Jesse Jackson would be living in a state of spectacular denial if he thinks the problems Obama is referring to don’t exist, and his response seems to manifest a hypersensitive racial chauvinism surprising even for him… unless this whole affair was merely a calculated ploy intended to give Barack Obama a “Sister Soldjah moment.”

Headline:Enlightened New Multi-racial Leader Offering Change Denounced by Bitter Old-School Race-Baiter.

Matt Drudge quotes Bill O’Reilly boasting that he held back even more rich material.

We held back some of this conversation… we didn’t feel it had any relevance to the conversation this evening. We are not out to get Jesse Jackson. We are not out to embarrass him and we are not out to make him look bad. If we were, we would have used what we had, which is more damaging than what you have heard…

Oh yes, that Bill O’Reilly is a principled idealist. He’d never do anything unethical, like surreptitiously tape and then broadcast Fox News guests’ private statements. Except, whoops! he just did.

O’Reilly’s not an Obama supporter, so he wouldn’t be intentionally collaborating in “staging Sister Soldjah,” but he is dumber than a bootjack, and even Jesse Jackson is sufficiently smarter to be able to dupe him.

Perhaps Jesse Jackson’s stage whisper was intentional, and the clueless Mr. O’Reilly unfortunately got cold feet about exposing the best parts, featuring even more colorful terms and touching upon sensitive racial animosities, and all we got was an abridged, tepid, and bowdlerized version of what could have been a fine and memorable dramatic performance.

31 Mar 2007

Fox News Special Report ‘Socks, Scissors, Paper: The Sandy Berger Caper’

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Fox News:

Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va., is charging a cover-up by the Justice Department in connection with the 2003 theft and destruction of top secret documents by Clinton National Security Advisor Sandy Berger. Davis also told FOX News that he is not convinced that Berger was not acting under direction from the Clinton Administration.

“I’m not convinced that he was acting alone,” Davis said. “They could have well said, ‘Sandy, do you remember that document way back — that I wrote to you … We can’t get this into the record. This is gonna make us look terrible.’ ”

Davis’ comments came in a FOX News special, “Socks, Scissors, Paper: The Sandy Berger Caper,” to be broadcast on FOX News Channel on Saturday, March 31 at 9 p.m. EDT. The program is hosted by David Asman.

Read the whole thing.

Sounds “fair and balanced” to me.

12 Mar 2007

Democrats Redeploy

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From Scrappleface:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV, said today that the Nevada State Democrat Party’s decision to pull out of a scheduled presidential debate co-hosted by Fox News is “actually a strategic redeployment, not a cut-and-run retreat.”

“There’s no reason to put our brave Democrat presidential candidates in harm’s way,” Sen. Reid said. “We were lured into this debate due to faulty intelligence, and the prudent thing to do is redeploy.”

The majority leader who initially backed the Fox News debate, said he began to question the intelligence that drew him to support the contest when he read the following joke made by Fox News Channel Chairman Roger Ailes at an industry awards ceremony:

“And it is true that Barack Obama is on the move. I don’t know if it’s true that President Bush called Musharraf and said, ‘Why can’t we catch this guy?’

Sen. Reid said, “I cannot condone mocking the intelligence of a sitting president in time of war.”

The Democrat presidential hopefuls will redeploy to a casino on the Las Vegas strip for a non-partisan debate co-hosted by MoveOn.org and The New York Times.

03 Sep 2006

Mark Steyn on the Fox News Conversions

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Mark Steyn does a superb job of contemplating the moral aesthetics of the Fox News conversions.

Did you see that video of the two Fox journalists announcing they’d converted to Islam? The larger problem, it seems to me, is that much of the rest of the Western media have also converted to Islam, and there seems to be no way to get them to convert back to journalism….

The moment the men were released, the Western media and their colleagues wrote off the scene as a stunt, a cunning ruse, of no more consequence than yelling “Behind you! He’s got a gun!” and then kicking your distracted kidnapper in the teeth. Indeed, a few Web sites seemed to see the Islamic conversion routine as a useful get-out-of-jail-free card.

Don’t bet on it. In my forthcoming book, I devote a few pages to a thriller I read as a boy — an old potboiler by Sherlock Holmes’ creator, Arthur Conan Doyle. In 1895 Sir Arthur had taken his sick wife to Egypt for her health, and, not wishing to waste the local color, produced a slim novel called The Tragedy of the Korosko, about a party of Anglo-American-French tourists taken hostage by the Mahdists, the jihadi of the day. Much of the story finds the characters in the same predicament as (the two Fox News journalists): The kidnappers are offering them a choice between Islam or death. Conan Doyle’s Britons and Americans and Europeans were men and women of the modern world even then:

“None of them, except perhaps Miss Adams and Mrs. Belmont, had any deep religious convictions. All of them were children of this world, and some of them disagreed with everything which that symbol upon the earth represented.”

“That symbol” is the cross. Yet in the end, even as men with no religious convictions, they cannot bring themselves to submit to Islam, for they understand it to be not just a denial of Christ but in some sense a denial of themselves, too. So they stall and delay and bog down the imam in a lot of technical questions until eventually he wises up and they’re condemned to death.

One hundred ten years later, for the Fox journalists and the Western media who reported their release, what’s the big deal? Wear robes, change your name to Khaled, go on camera and drop Allah’s name hither and yon: If that’s your ticket out, seize it. Everyone’ll know it’s just a sham.

But that’s not how the al-Jazeera audience sees it. If you’re a Muslim, the video is anything but meaningless. Not even the dumbest jihadist believes these infidels are suddenly true believers. Rather, it confirms the central truth Osama and the mullahs have been peddling — that the West is weak, that there’s nothing — no core, no bedrock — nothing it’s not willing to trade. In his new book The Conservative Soul, attempting to reconcile his sexual temperament and his alleged political one, Time magazine’s gay Tory Andrew Sullivan enthuses, “By letting go, we become. By giving up, we gain. And we learn how to live — now, which is the only time that matters.” That’s almost a literal restatement of Faust’s bargain with the devil:

“When to the moment I shall say
‘Linger awhile! so fair thou art!’
Then mayst thou fetter me straightway
Then to the abyss will I depart!”

In other words, if Faust becomes so enthralled by “the moment” that he wants to live in it forever, the devil will have him for all eternity. In the Muslim world, they watch the… (conversion) video and see men so in love with the present, the now, that they will do or say anything to live in the moment. And they draw their own conclusions. It doesn’t matter how “understandable” (the journalists’) actions are to us, what the target audience understands is quite different: that there is nothing we’re willing to die for. And, to the Islamist mind, a society with nothing to die for is already dead.

02 Sep 2006

Debating Chestless Modernity

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David Warren reflects gloomily on the case of the two Fox News journalists who recently converted to Islam at gunpoint, contrasting the denoument in this case with the heroic example of the captured Italian security guard Fabrizio Quattrocchi, and making reference to a famous comment by C.S. Lewis.

The degree to which our starch is awash is exhibited in the behaviour of so many of our captives, but especially in these two. They were told to convert to Islam under implicit threat (blindfolded and hand-tied, they could not judge what threat), and agreed to make the propaganda broadcasts to guarantee their own safety. That much we can understand, as conventional cowardice. (Understand; not forgive.) But it is obvious from their later statements that they never thought twice; that they could see nothing wrong in serving the enemy, so long as it meant they’d be safe.

I assume they are not Christians (few journalists are), but had they ever been instructed in that faith, they might have grasped that conversion to Islam means denial of Christ, and that is something many millions of Christians (few of them intellectuals) have refused to do, even at the cost of excruciating deaths. Christianity still lives, because of such martyrs. Not suicide bombers: but truly defenceless martyrs.

You don’t necessarily have to be a Christian, to be Western. Two years ago, an heroic Italian captive, Fabrizio Quattrocchi, asked to make whimpering statements as part of the video of his execution in Iraq, ripped at his hood and instead declared, “This is how an Italian dies!” to his contemptible captors. He must have upset them: for they shot him instead of sawing off his head. In making his stand for human dignity, he also turned one of their propaganda videos, into one of ours.

But Quattrocchi had three friends, who all successfully begged for their lives. And the two Fox journalists, whom I will not stoop to name, begged for their lives even though, in retrospect, their lives probably weren’t in danger…

Men without chests, men without character, men who don’t think twice.

I think Warren is not as clear as he might be in the way he expresses his personal discomfort with that event, because it is easy to (I think, mistakenly) read him as blaming the journalists personally for failing to conform to expectations of conduct with which, it is obvious, they were unfamiliar.

The forcible conversion to the Islam, the utter capitulation to the will of the enemy, of, if not Christians, still representatives of our formerly Christian civilization was an excruciating moment, but it was obviously not the two journalists who were dishonored. They were by their own lights behaving with good sense and appropriate pragmatism. It is we, as citizens of the former Christendom, who are humiliated and dishonored by the failure of our contemporary civilization to supply the sense of human dignity necessary for men to feel an obligation to behave differently in such circumstances, by the inescapable recognition of just how far we have all fallen.

If one reads the C.S. Lewis quotation, from The Abolition of Man, chapter 1, which David Warren is alluding to, it should be perfectly clear that neither Warren, nor Lewis, is condemning the journalists themselves.

I have chosen as the starting-point for these lectures a little book on English intended for ‘boys and girls in the upper forms of schools’. I do not think the authors of this book (there were two of them) intended any harm, and I owe them, or their publisher, good language for sending me a complimentary copy. At the same time I shall have nothing good to say of them. Here is a pretty predicament. I do not want to pillory two modest practising schoolmasters who were doing the best they knew: but I cannot be silent about what I think the actual tendency of their work. I therefore propose to conceal their names. I shall refer to these gentlemen as Gaius and Titius and to their book as The Green Book. But I promise you there is such a book and I have it on my shelves…

We were told it all long ago by Plato. As the king governs by his executive, so Reason in man must rule the mere appetites by means of the ‘spirited element’. The head rules the belly through the chest—the seat, as Alanus tells us, of Magnanimity, of emotions organized by trained habit into stable sentiments. The Chest-Magnanimity-Sentiment—these are the indispensable liaison officers between cerebral man and visceral man. It may even be said that it is by this middle element that man is man: for by his intellect he is mere spirit and by his appetite mere animal.

The operation of The Green Book and its kind is to produce what may be called Men without Chests. It is an outrage that they should be commonly spoken of as Intellectuals. This gives them the chance to say that he who attacks them attacks Intelligence. It is not so. They are not distinguished from other men by any unusual skill in finding truth nor any virginal ardour to pursue her. Indeed it would be strange if they were: a persevering devotion to truth, a nice sense of intellectual honour, cannot be long maintained without the aid of a sentiment which Gaius and Titius could debunk as easily as any other. It is not excess of thought but defect of fertile and generous emotion that marks them out. Their heads are no bigger than the ordinary: it is the atrophy of the chest beneath that makes them seem so.

And all the time—such is the tragi-comedy of our situation—we continue to clamour for those very qualities we are rendering impossible. You can hardly open a periodical without coming across the statement that what our civilization needs is more ‘drive’, or dynamism, or self-sacrifice, or ‘creativity’. In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.

Unfamiliarity with C.S. Lewis has undoubtedly led numerous commentators on the left astray.

Jules Crittenden, Glenn Greenwald, Newsblog Steve all take the discussion to the level of schoolyard taunts, jeeringly demanding that Warren go get martyred himself forthwith, or shut up. TBogg offers a mocking cartoon.

The left has the basic problem that it doesn’t understand that a point of view more complex than materialist utilitarianism is even possible.

Conservative Jon Swift comments cynically, but does supply an interesting collection of links, of which I thought the best were from Debbie Hamilton and Vanishing American.

No one, of course, can say with certainty what he would do in a situation of duress similar to that of the Fox newsmen, but some at least hope they would behave differently.

27 Aug 2006

Fox Journalists Released After Gunpoint Conversion

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Michelle Malkin provides (as usual) an excellent link collection, including video.

I find it rather depressing to live in a time in which everyone seems to think that it’s perfectly acceptable to change one’s convictions under duress.

Depkafile:

On the face of it, conversion to Islam would appear to provide a painless escape device for any hostage who happens to fall into fundamentalist terrorist hands. After all, once free, the hostage can always revert to his real faith or non-faith. It is hard to blame the two Fox News journalists, the American Steve Centanni, 60, and the New Zealander, Olaf Wiig, 36, for taking that path on to buy their way out of an uncertain fate at the hands of Palestinian terrorists — especially as they later reported they were forced to make the gesture at gunpoint.

and the poltroonery does not stop there. Depkafile reports:

Various Palestinian middlemen were used by British agents at the request of the US to bring the Fox journalists home. They worked out a convoluted deal which entailed their public conversion to Islam, an anti-American harangue on air and a six-figure cash ransom paid under the table to Dughmush to fund his terrorist militia’s operations in Gaza. While the first two parts of the ransom were publicly aired, the third part will no doubt be vehemently denied. But the face remains that a terrorist chief who freelances for at least three fundamentalist terrorist organizations walks free with a strong incentive to develop his profitable hostage-taking business.

For Israel, the fate of Gilead Shalit, whom Hamas kidnapped from sovereign Israel in a cross-border assault, is left up in the air. Israel did not link him to the two Fox journalists; Hamas did. The Americans, the New Zealanders and the British worked fast to separate the two abduction episodes. Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert, who says he does not sleep at night for worrying about Shalit and the two Israelis in Hizballah hands, did not take advantage of the subsequent abductions of Centanni and Wiig to have him included in the package for their release. He must have known that the two journalists would not have been released without the say-so of the Hamas group holding the Israeli soldier. This was a card Olmert did not play.

All that remains to be found out now about this shabby episode is the size of the rake-off the Palestinian warlord Dughmush has handed over from his ransom to Shalit’s Hamas abductors.

No wonder the wogs have no respect for the West.

26 Aug 2006

Fox News Journalists Kidnapper ID’d

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Zakaria Dughmush’s photo did not come from Google

Mossad-mouthpiece Depkafile is dishing out the dirt on the Fox News kidnapping. The not-always-reliable Israel-based source claims:

Palestinian warlord Zakaria Dughmush kidnapped the Fox News journalists on behalf of Hamas.

The Hamas team which abducted Israeli soldier Gilead Shalit on June 25 sought to ease the pressure for his release by staging a more spectacular snatch. For this reason, they hired Zakaria Dughmush and his masked men to capture the two Fox News journalists in Gaza City on Aug. 14.

Although their fates are intertwined, the American Steve Centanni, 60, and New Zealander Olaf Wiig, 36, are not being held in the same place as Gilead Shalit. The Fox journalists are thought to be hidden in Gaza City by the gang which kidnapped him, while Shalit is in a Hamas team’s hands, either in Rafah or Khan Younes in the southern Gaza Strip.

DEBKA-Net-Weekly’s exclusive sources on Aug. 25 identified the kidnapper as Dughmush, a former follower of the late Jemal Semhadana, head of the Palestinian Popular Resistance Committees who was killed in Rafah by rockets fired from an Israeli warplane on June 8, 2006.

Semhadana was the first Palestinian terrorist to attack Americans. He staged the bombing attack of October 15, 2003 on a US embassy convoy from Tel Aviv as it drove past Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip.

Three American security officers died in that attack.

After Semhadana’s death, his PRC fragmented into several small militias, one of them led by Dughmush, a rabid fundamentalist who set up base in Gaza City. He was adopted by Hamas, but also draws funds and weapons from al Qaeda and Hizballah elements working together in the Gaza Strip.

Our counter-terror sources reveal that Dughmush was handed the contract to kidnap one or more Americans by the abductors of the Israeli soldier when their efforts to negotiate a prisoner swap broke down. Hamas ended up refusing the quid pro quo of a promise by Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert, already deposited with Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, to release 600 Palestinian prisoners. They held out for a simultaneous trade and then withdrew from the talks.

They turned to Dughmush when pressure built up to end the episode from many quarters, including the Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniya, the Egyptians and the head of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas.

Because neither set of abductors wanted Palestinians branded as kidnappers of Americans, they invented a group no one had heard of, calling it the Brigades of the Holy Jihad. This phantom group released a communiqué and videotape Wednesday, August 23, demanding the release within 72 hours of Muslim prisoners in American jails. The deadline was up Saturday noon with no word from the abductors.

Nothing had been said about the fate of the captives if the deadline was not met.

With three hostages in hand, the Palestinian terrorists expect a higher price for their release, such as a large number of Palestinians held in Israel and possibly the United States as well.

DEBKAfile adds:

Mahmoud Abbas and Ismail Haniya both know exactly who kidnapped Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig. They are embarrassed enough to go through the motions of protesting the abductions, but not enough to take real action to put a stop to the Hamas scheme of holding the two Fox journalists hostage to raise the ante for the Israeli soldier.

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