October 27, 2009

Bill O'Reilly is still all worked up about the White House's "war" on Fox -- which, actually, he says he hopes end soon. Yeah, I'll bet he does. I'll bet a lot of people at Fox are not happy that we are having this national conversation right now and kicking over all kinds of rocks.

You never know what turns up when you start looking at Fox's record, do you?

What angered O'Reilly was Joe Klein's recent column in Time, which really was a classic piece of Village excrement (a la Sally Quinn) about how silly the Obama White House is to stand up to Fox. Along the way, of course, he offends O'Reilly by writing this:

Let me be precise here: Fox News peddles a fair amount of hateful crap. Some of it borders on sedition. Much of it is flat out untrue.

But I don't understand why the White House would give such poisonous helium balloons as Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity the opportunity for still greater spasms of self-inflation by declaring war on Fox.

If the problem is that stories bloated far beyond their actual importance--ACORN's corruption, Van Jones's radical past--are in danger of leaching out of the Fox hothouse into the general media, then perhaps the Administration should be a bit more diligent about whom it hires and whom it funds.

If the problem is broader--that Fox News spreads seditious lies to its demographic sliver of an audience--the Administration should probably be stoic: the wingnuts will always be with us. The best antidote to their garbage is elegant, intelligent governance. The next-best antidote is occasional engagement: I thought Obama came away from his O'Reilly and Chris Wallace interviews much the better for it. (Though you don't want to sit down with a thug like Hannity or a weirdo like Beck.)

Now, understand: The Fox-bashing here is simply classic Villager ass-covering, so that Joe Klein can go back later and say, "See? Both sides are mad at me. I must be right!"

Nonetheless, it outrages O'Reilly, who not only devotes a whole Talking Points Memo to "refuting" the Klein column with an even larger dose of flatulence, but then brings on Bernard Goldberg to chew it over some more:

Goldberg: But when you start throwing words around like sedition. I mean, who exactly at Fox News is inciting a rebellion against the government?

Not that we're much interested in defending Joe Klein, but this was too silly not to take note. So we've provided Bernie with some handy reminders just who at Fox News has indeed been inciting rebellion against the government -- some of it by outright, straight-on incitement (see the tea parties for more of this), and some by fear-mongering. Enjoy.

UPDATE: I remembered this morning that, while not on Fox, Rush Limbaugh has touted the idea of a military coup against Obama.

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