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Monday, March 10, 2003


Fox News according to The Simpsons
For those of you who missed last night’s episode of The Simpsons, Krusty the Clown, running for Congress as a Republican, debated his opponent on Fox News. When the Fox News cameras showed Krusty, the American flag was behind him; when it panned to his Democratic opponent, the old Soviet flag was in the background and devil’s horns were superimposed on him:

Fox News Announcer: Welcome to Fox News, your voice for evil. Tonight, we’ll be interviewing the top two candidates for Springfield’s 24th Congressional district. For the Republicans, beloved children’s entertainer, Krusty the Clown. And for the Democrats, this guy.

Democratic Candidate: I have a name.

Fox News Anchor: Yes, I’m sure you do, comrade. I do appreciate your being here. You’re usually so mired in sleaze, it must be an effort to come down to the studio.

Krusty: May I say something?

Fox News Anchor: Certainly, Congressman.

Democratic Candidate: He hasn’t won yet

Fox News Anchor: You make a very adulterous point. We’ll now conclude this debate with a Krusty campaign commercial.

Some might think this was an outrageous lampoon. Actually, Fox News is an outrageous lampoon of itself. On yesterday’s Fox News Sunday, Brit Hume blasted Helen Thomas for her lack of “neutrality.” This from a man who during the aftermath of the 2000 election was an apologist for the thugs/operatives who stormed the Miami-Dade vote-counting center. Jake Tapper put it well in Down and Dirty: The Plot to Steal the Presidency:

...[T]here’s an immediate attempt by the Republican Party, and their media allies, to pooh-pooh any acknowledgement whatsoever that the mob was hostile and tried to be intimidating and clearly played some role—if only as an obstacle, or as a last straw—in stopping the hand recount. “In my life I have never found anything more frightening than a mob of young Republicans,” joked Fox News Channel’s Brit Hume on Sunday, November 26 [2000]. “They had on light green corduroy pants, and they’ve got little green belts with little frogs on them, and little pink shirts and everything. And I don’t know about you, but those Republican preppies just scare the daylights out of me.”

Tapper reported extensively on the thuggish activity of these GOP operatives in Down and Dirty. Some people thought my recently expressed view of the right—“the hard right is not to be trusted; it is to be discredited and defeated”—was a bit too harsh. Perhaps it is. Progressives can benefit from allying with Fox News—that is, if they are willing to be mascots. David Talbot gave evidence of this: “Years earlier, when hunting for a liberal punching bag to pair with Sean Hannity, Ailes had tried out a tough Salon writer. He apparently punched back so effectively in his audition that Fox picked bespectacled milquetoast Alan Colmes instead. Fox likes its liberals soft and chewy, the better to eat them, my dear.” Soft and chewy liberals like Colmes, Juan Williams, and Lis Weihl go along to get along as “balance” on Fox News.
Later today, the journalistic misconduct of two Fox News Analysts—and what you can do about it.

UPDATE: Here's the YouTube video:


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