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Tuesday, January 17, 2006
I like David Corn's work (disclosure: I link to his blog) but I disagree with his and other progressives' decision to go on Fox News and give legitimacy to this pro-GOP political operation. Doing this gives many uninformed and/or casual viewers the unwarranted impression that Fox News is a journalistic outlet. My view was underscored yesterday. Corn appeared on Fox's Your World with Neil Cavuto and it was surreal. The issue was the situation in Iran and Cavuto paired Corn with John Hagee--whom Cavuto called "an expert on Iran."
The problem is that Hagee isn't an expert on Iran or geopolitics; he's a complete whack job; I've been familiar with Hagee for over a decade--having watched his television show on the Trinity Broadcasting Network (run by Paul Crouch and his Tammy Faye wannabe wife Jan) in the 1990's (Hagee's fire-and-brimstone sermons are not as unintentionally entertaining as Jack Van Impe's show but they are less dry than Jerry Falwell's dour lectures). I have written about Hagee briefly in the past--he is the kind of person Richard Hofstadter was thinking of when he wrote The Paranoid Style in American Politics.
Hagee has several books that address foreign policy--the only one I was familiar with before today was Beginning of the End: The Assassination of Yitzhak Rabin and the Coming Antichrist. Here's a brief abstract of the book (which is kind of unnecessary because the title itself doesn't exactly indicate the basis for it was sober empirical analysis):
John Hagee explorers the eschatological implications of the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin and the peace process Israel is heading towards. Hagee continues with a long series of citings that show that Jesus is the Messiah and that he will come again. The last part of his book is dedicated to his interpretation of prophetic literature in the Bible. With his interpretation he creates a sequence of events that he believes will come to pass that will ultimately lead to the creation of a New Heaven, New Earth, and New Jerusalem.
It's scary that an international platform would be given to someone who believes that if a catastrophic nuclear exchange occurs then he and other true believers will be magically whisked into heaven (leaving people like me to remain on Earth to dodge the suddenly unmanned cars of born again drivers on their way to their reward).
What should Corn have said? I don't know. I only know what I would have said had I been in his position: "Having a raving loon like Hagee on to discuss deadly serious policy issues is just one more reason out of thousands not to trust Fox News."
Postscript: Cavuto's guest today is Ann Coulter. Go figure.
Update: Newshounds discusses Coulter's appearance.
UPDATE: Orcinus has more on Hagee. Also, Talk to Action has the scoop on Hagee's anti-Catholicism and the inaction of the Catholic League under William Donohue.