For quite awhile now the loonies of right-wing punditry land have had a pretty free hand in telling lies on their opponents with little consequence. But no less than the president of the United States is now challenging the veracity of Glenn Beck and Fox News and friends.
The White House responded Wednesday on its blog to charges Beck and others have made regarding Obama’s attempts to gain an Olympic bid for Chicago. White House blogger Jessie Lee wrote on a post titled “Reality Check: Trying to Turn a Point of Pride Into a Moment of Shame” that the Olympics were once a point of pride and unity for the country but …
” … once again Fox News’ Glenn Beck program has shown that nothing is worthy of respect if it can be used as part of a partisan attack to boost ratings.”
In the words of some long forgotten barfly who sat in the bar stool next to me in Jim’s Lounge back during my Navy days in Gulfport, Miss.: “You got that right!”
Obama’s folks are no longer playing nice and letting completely absurd untruths to slide by. The White House Blog post noted:
“RHETORIC: BECK SAID VANCOUVER LOST $1 BILLION WHEN IT “HAD THE OLYMPICS.” Glenn Beck said, “Vancouver lost, how much was it? they lost a billion dollars when they had the Olympics.” [Transcript, Glenn Beck Show, 9/29/09]
“REALITY: VANCOUVER’S OLYMPICS WILL NOT TAKE PLACE UNTIL 2010. Vancouver will host the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games from February 12 – 28, 2010 and March 12-21, 2010, respectively. [Vancouver2010.com, accessed 9/29/09]”
You can read the rest for yourself and see how the Obama administration has a whole new ballgame under way in dealing with even its most powerful critics.
Obama has snubbed Fox more than once lately and his avoidance has been nothing if not matter-of-fact.
More thoughtful pundits say Obama is making a mistake not talking to the large audience watching Fox News. But the fact is, his electoral base is not the typical Glenn Beck watcher. Plus, Fox has become increasingly even in its overall news coverage — forget talk shows like Beck, O’Reilly and Hannity — more biased toward the right. The ads Fox took out falsely claiming other news outlets avoided covering the events of the recent Tea Partyista’s march on Washington are just some of the more blatant examples of the cable channel heading toward a dominant role as a right-wing propaganda tool.
I am happy for this boldness towards Fox and demagogues such as Beck. Their lies do nothing but obscure information the people need about their government. Likewise, it becomes more difficult to govern and to be governed.