September 12, 2014

Let me get Greta out of the way first. She wants every Democrat who voted for Obama because they believed he would end the crazy unending cycle of war in the Middle East to "get over it because ISIS is a real threat."

Greta is afraid. Very afraid. Greta is media. Remember that, as I travel with you down the rabbit hole that is Ron Fournier's narrow little mind.

Shrugging gracefully, Fournier says "the American public sees [ISIS] as a real threat. Why?"

Of course, he's glad to answer that. "The White House likes to say it's the media, that we're hyping it. The public doesn't really trust the media. I think we have a marginal impact on the public's fear."

Please. Fox News spends 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, stoking the public's fear about everything from health care to extremists in the Middle East. Only someone who has completely lost his ability to reason capably could possibly appear on Fox News to claim the media has nothing to do with stoking fear.

It was the beheadings, don't you see? Fournier points out that "obviously it was the beheadings of these two very brave American journalists that had a lot to do with the public's fear."

Well, yes. Of course that was a brutal and tragic call to attention for Americans, though our media has a unique ability to ignore the fact that there have been journalists beheaded from other countries, too and those countries didn't go batshit crazy over it. Maybe because they didn't have screeching harpies on Fox News hyping it day after day after day?

Lucky for us, Fournier gets to the heart of the matter finally, when he says "I think they see weakness in the President." That's Fox Theme #2, right behind lazy. If he's not lazy, he's weak. And Fournier, who is known for his Really Stupid Columns calling for the President to lead while simultaneously claiming the President can't lead is the perfect messenger for that. He even used the word "dither," channeling Karl Rove and the gang.

And of course we get the "JV team" tossed out there. Hey Ron, I'll bet you've forgotten this little gem, coming from the Bush administration in 2007:

In March, he was declared captured. In May, he was declared killed, and his purported corpse was displayed on state-run TV. But on Wednesday, Abu Omar Baghdadi, the supposed leader of an Al Qaeda-affiliated group in Iraq, was declared nonexistent by U.S. military officials, who said he was a fictional character created to give an Iraqi face to a foreign-run terrorist organization.

Lookie there! No JV Team, just a non-existent fictional character created to give an Iraqi face to things. That was the Bush administration's take on ISIS. You know why they had that impression? Here's why:

An Iraqi actor has been used to read statements attributed to Baghdadi, who since October has been identified as the leader of the Islamic State of Iraq group, said U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Kevin Bergner.

Bergner said the new information came from a man captured July 4, described as the highest-ranking Iraqi within the Islamic State of Iraq.

He said the detainee, identified as Khalid Abdul Fatah Daud Mahmoud Mashadani, has served as a propaganda chief in the organization, a Sunni Muslim insurgent group that swears allegiance to Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda.

That was your boy, Ron.

Here's the deal. Despite CIA claims of ISIS being 31,000 strong, it's a regional, not an international threat. And it's up to the region to deal with it. If Ron and his compatriots would pay attention without immediately coughing up objections to everything, they might have heard Obama say that, too.

As a regional threat, it's up to the neighbors to sweep up the mess and deal with it. We can help, but we're not stakeholders. Other countries are.

Still, I can't help but wonder if the Bush administration had "led" in a trustworthy way and stayed the hell out of Iraq and Afghanistan, whether Ron Fournier would even have a job at all, much less one where he pretends what he says and does has on Fox News has no impact whatsoever on public opinion.

As much as I wish that were true, the fact is that he knows damn well what he says matters to old, fearful Fox News viewers who lap up the fear like it was a platter of warm milk.

Can you help us out?

For nearly 20 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.