Photo of Frank L. VanderSloot
Frank L. VanderSloot
(Melaleuca Inc.)
On the show that Bill O'Reilly still dares to refer to as a "No Spin Zone," the high priest of propaganda accused the Obama campaign of "political terrorism" Tuesday. That ought to have brought the Department of Homeland Security rocketing into action. Except that the act O'Reilly equated with terrorism was the web posting of the anti-gay record of his guest, Frank VanderSloot. The Idaho billionaire, who made his fortune from his company's sales of eco-friendly cleaning products, serves as Mitt Romney's national finance committee co-chair.

O'Reilly has a long-standing habit of lowering the bar of what's acceptable for his side and raising it for what's acceptable for anybody who disagrees with him. But this latest effort exceeds even his finest previous efforts on that front. The KeepingGOPHonest website simply told the truth about VanderSloot. He's a bigot. An extremely nasty bigot, as explained by my colleague Joan McCarter a few months ago. But he's a really, really rich bigot. And even a multi-millionaire like O'Reilly needs to suck up to billionaires.

So O'Reilly, who demonstrates his innate fair-and-balanced nature by having an average of seven Republican guests for every Democratic guest he interviews on his show, just spouted the terrorism line without asking a single question about the accuracy of the posting that laid out VanderSloot's record on LGBT matters. That record includes:

• Buying billboard space to attack Idaho Public Television for running a documentary on teachers discussing gay and lesbian issues in age-appropriate ways.

• Going to war with the independently owned Idaho Falls Post Register newspaper and a reporter for its six-part exposé on the Mormon church's cover-up of its role in recommending as Scoutmasters men who were pedophiles. The attack included "outing" the reporter as gay, which led to threats and his partner of five years being fired from his job.

If O'Reilly were a reporter, he'd want to let his viewers know this information even if it meant he couldn't with a straight face say that Democrats had "slimed" and "smeared" VanderSloot.

But, of course, O'Reilly isn't a reporter. His job at Fox isn't to expose, it's to conceal. In VanderSloot's case, O'Reilly isn't the only one engaged in that process, as David Shere at Media Matters pointed out Monday. Neil Cavuto, Greta Van Susteren and Megyn Kelly have all taken note of so-called attacks on VanderSloot while ignoring what they are actually about. Thus the truth-tellers become "terrorists" and the liars become victims.

Just one more example of the upsidedownism that characterizes virtually everything on Fox News.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Tue May 15, 2012 at 12:14 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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