As the economy sputters along, trying to find it's way out of the ditch dug by George W. Bush and his Republican allies in Congress, Fox News is trying to find new ways to blame Obama for our hardships and to deny him any credit for good news. And just when you thought that it couldn't get any more blatantly biased, Fox News rises to the occasion.
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For several weeks, Fox has used the phrase "Obama Bear" to describe the stock market when it heads down. At the same time they refer to it as a bear market rally when it goes up. So it should come as no surprise that on the April 18, broadcast of Fox's "Bulls & Bears," the host, Brenda Buckner, ups the ante by opening the show with this:
"Call it a tea party rally. Wall Street's sure partying, up six weeks in a row. The bulls came out about the same time these guys started to shout, saying no to big government, big taxes, and big bailouts. Will that keep investors saying yes to stocks?"
In an absurd flight from logic, Buttner is asserting that the Fox-sponsored, Republican rallies last Wednesday played a role in the market's performance for six weeks prior to their even being held. Buttner then asks guest Eric Bolling whether it is a coincidence that "the market comes back the same time Americans fight back against big government." Of course, he obligingly agrees that's the case, despite the absence of any shred of evidence that Wall Street gives a damn about the plaintive wailing of a bunch of tea bag waving, anti-tax, gun-toting, evangelical, Glenn Beck disciples, who still can't accept that they lost last November. So Buttner continues with her obsequious line of questioning with this one for Gary B. Smith:
"I mean, part of the tea party was having voices heard. For so long, all we were hearing about was nationalizing banks and socialism and all that. Just having this out there, does that help Wall Street? Does that help the bulls?"
Once again Smith exuberantly concurs, without foundation, that the very existence of the tea parties is what is helping to steer us clear of "this socialist path" that America is on in his twisted imagination. Whereupon Buttner turns to her third guest, Ron Ianieri, to inquire as to whether the voters will kick the bums in Washington out when the next elections roll along. Considering the sustained positive polling for Obama, and the concomitant collapse of support for the right, this question seems to be rooted more in her fervent yearning for such an end, than in reality. And this is where it gets dicey. In answering the question, Ianieri wandered off the reservation:
"My only problem is, is that although I'm very happy to be an American, and I really am touched by this patriotism, it's got absolutely nothing to do with the market rally -- nothing."
At this point you might think that someone didn't get the morning memo. And you would be right. In fact, as Ianieri was completing his comments, he was interrupted by Tobin Smith who frantically asked...
"Did you get the name of the post here we're doing?"
Ianieri replied that he did, but it was too late. The cat was already out of the bag and halfway up the neighbor's tree, chewing on a nestfull of baby robins. The day's proscribed message had been muddled. The directive to switch from branding upticks on Wall Street as bear market flukes to Tea Party rallies had been thrown off track for a revelatory moment.
The rest of the segment was more of the same and Media Matters has the video. I only wish someone could come up with the "name of the post" that Smith was talking about. I'm sure it would be enlightening. Not that we didn't already know that Fox News distributes talking points to their hosts and commentators. But we rarely see them admit it so openly on the air.