Bill O'Reilly already laid down the law at Fox -- namely, that protesters chanting "Fox News Lies" are obviously a bunch of hatemongers trying to shut down other voices. And so that was the storyline all weekend whenever Fox reporters tried to do live broadcasts from the Madison protests.
This mainly involved correspondent Mike Tobin and weekend
lamestain anchor Gregg Jarrett, who could barely contain themselves over the supposed "incivility" of the Madison protests. When the chant went up Saturday, Tobin tried to minimize them:
TOBIN: Now, once again, they're chanting about Fox News -- which as we all know is really a diversion from what's going on here.
Jarrett then went on to cite a phony Rasmussen poll supposedly showing most respondents disapproving of the legislators staying out of town to fight Gov. Scott Walker's union-busting schemes -- without mentioning, of course, the polls showing strong public disapproval for Walker's actions as well.
Gee, we wonder why the crowds were chanting as they were.
It continued Sunday:
TOBIN: And you can still hear the passion of the crowds. The heckling is starting up again, the hate that you get from these demonstrators. You can see it in their faces. You can see the passion. But they all come back to the same thing every time.
I was getting the business from a teacher yesterday -- there he goes, he wants to shut down the communication. A teacher was giving me the business yesterday, and the teacher told me she hates me, because it makes her feel good. That's the situation out here, Gregg.
JARRETT: You know, Mike, I hate to put you into this situation, because you're being surrounded there, and yeah, you're being heckled, and there is profanity and vulgarity.
TOBIN: That guy just hit me.
JARRETT: Go ahead.
TOBIN: Ah, that guy just hit me. So to just let you know.
JARRETT: All right. But -- but -- you know -- why do they express such vitriol toward the media?
Memo to Jarrett: Fox News is neither synonymous with nor really even representative of "the media", especially as far as this crowd is concerned. Because the folks in Madison know -- and are giving voice to -- an important truth: Fox News is not a news organization, it is a propaganda organ.
That truth is embodied, in fact, by the way Fox has consistently tried to smear the crowds in Wisconsin as "hate-filled" and violent -- when in fact the opposite has been largely true, particularly compared to the vitriol we saw at Tea Party rallies against health-care reform that were whipped up by Fox News the year before. Digby has a fine sample of this, but you can see it just in these segments as well.
And then Fox expects the very crowds that it is smearing before national audiences to sit still and let them smear them freely on-air? Sorry, fellas, but the real world doesn't work that way -- though you'd like it otherwise in your alternative universe, no doubt.
Moreover, this isn't a diversionary issue: The crowds understand the importance of Fox's relentless propaganda in advancing the war against the nation's unions that the Right is undertaking. Indeed, they know that Fox is a major cornerstone of this war, because it entails convincing working-class people -- much of Fox's audience -- to take sides against their own best interests. The Madison protesters understand that the messaging war is being won because the Right has a powerful propaganda organ whose success is dragging not just the national dialogue but the rest of the media (the Beltway Villagers especially) rightward with them.
Good on them. And the less whining we hear from Fox reporters, the better.You made your beds -- now sleep in it.