8 Crazy Fox Freakouts About the Olympics
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At this point, it should go without saying that Fox News is a propaganda arm of the GOP, but it also serves a larger ideological purpose. Every day, the cable net stokes the Right's intricate and comprehensive narrative of victimhood and oppression – a narrative that has become central to modern American “conservatism.”
On Fox, there seems to be no end to the indignities its mostly older, white Christian audience must bear. From uppity women who refuse to accept their place and “heterosexist” gays trying to impose their “agenda” on conservative children, to the African American community's casual reverse-racism and the grave insult of characterizing neo-Nazis as members of the far-right – everyone, it seems, is out to destroy their “way of life.” And all with the willing complicity of scientists, scholars, and of course, the media.
So now we come to the 2012 Olympics, which, if you haven't noticed, is absolutely full of foreigners. And it gets worse: foreigners, apparently, don't share the American Right's love of America (or, apparently, Israel)! Also, too, there are an awful lot of dark-skinned people – all in all, it's just one unacceptable insult after another.
And it didn't start with the lighting of the torch. If you'll recall, back in 2009, the network launched a series of attacks on Barack Obama for the high crime of trying, and ultimately failing, to win a bid to bring the Olympic games to Chicago.
But back to London. While normal people like you and I have been enjoying the games – or at least bitching about NBC's coverage of same – the folks at Fox News have been detailing the horrors that are the modern Olympic games.
Here, then, are some of the lowlights.
1. OMG, Socialist Propaganda!
Before the first shot was even put, there was ample reason to take offense. First, Fox Nation got a case of the vapors when it posted a story headlined, “London Protesters March Against ‘Capitalist’ Games,” and then it turned out that the whole country hates capitalism because included in the opening ceremonies was a nod to Britain's National Health Service, which probably has death panels and is like an ugly offspring from a union of Stalin and Mao.
2. Not Enough Jingoism!
Perhaps Fox's overarching problem with the games was best summed up by right-wing satellite radio host David Webb, when he said...
What we're seeing is this kind of soft anti-American feeling, that Americans can't show our exceptionalism. And frankly, if they are offended about us showing our exceptionalism, then they have that right and I don't care. And neither do most Americans. We've also lost over time that jingoistic feeling.
Oh, no! We've lost that jingoistic feeling and it's gone, gone, gone. That raises the obvious question of whether Webb knows what "jingoism" means.
Who knows? But, for the record, Merriam defines it as: “extreme chauvinism or nationalism marked especially by a belligerent foreign policy.” One would think we have sufficient quantities of that, thank you!
3. There's No Jingoism in Pink
That bit of wisdom was part of a larger freakout because gymnast Gabby Douglas – the adorable flying pixie with the strength of 10 men – had the nerve to wear a pink leotard instead of decking herself out with the Stars and Stripes. And other athletes even wore yellow, which might be the flag of surrender or something.
There was a proud moment at the Olympics yesterday when 16-year-old Gabby Douglas won a gold medal in gymnastics. The crowd went wild with cheers – though we’re not hearing the chants of "USA, USA" that we’ve heard in some Olympics gone by.
It's true, there were far fewer chants of USA! USA! during the London Olympics than there were in Atlanta or Los Angeles. We can't figure out why!
And some folks have noticed that American athletes’ uniforms don’t carry the Stars and Stripes look as much as they had in past years. The famous flag-style outfits worn in years past replaced with yellow shirts, gray tracksuits, pink leotards. So how do we show our patriotism at the games?
4. Too French!
Everyone knows that only gay people and the French (but I repeat myself) wear berets. Real Men, and Americans (again, redundant) wear cowboy hats!
At least according to Fox and Friends' lead moron Steve Doocy, who asked, “Should the American team be wearing a beret? Why not a baseball cap? Why not a cowboy hat like when we went to Calgary?”
Media Matters flagged a similar "point" made later on Fox Radio:
On... Kilmeade & Friends, guest host Peter Johnson Jr. and Fox News anchors Martha MacCallum and Bill Hemmer also mocked the U.S. Olympic team for having a "French" uniform.
Johnson Jr. wondered: "Is this the American team or the French fashion team?"
Hemmer asked: "How about a baseball hat? How about a cowboy hat? How about no hat?"
MacCallum replied to Hemmer: "I had the same reaction. I was flipping through the paper this morning and I was like, 'What the heck is this? It looks like a French flight attendant.' Nobody looks good in a beret, OK? Show me people who look good in berets. You know, it's very rare. I think no hat would look better."
This is undeniably true.
5. Blah People Doing Their Blah People Gang Dances
On CNN, Serena Williams seemed so normal, telling Piers Morgan that she was so happy to win gold that she just spontaneously broke out into a little dance. No harm in showing one's joy in victory, right?
Not for the folks at Fox. They got Fox Sports columnist Jason Whitlock to go after Williams, which insulated the network from any semblance of racism as he's an African American.
What Serena did was akin to cracking a tasteless, X-rated joke inside a church. It wasn’t quite as bad but it was in the same ballpark of the idiot sportswriter who decided to channel Andrew Dice Clay on Twitter the night Jeremy Lin channeled Allen Iverson.
Serena deserved to be criticized and she should’ve immediately apologized. Wimbledon isn’t the place to break out a dance popularized by California Crip gang members. She knows it. That’s why she got embarrassed when asked by reporters to reveal the name of the dance.
6. Michelle Obama Wants to Give Everyone a Gold Medal Because of Collectivism
Another troubling thing to the readers of Fox Nation, infamous for its KKKommenters, is that Michelle Obama said something horrible to children.
Speaking at a “Lets Move” event... First Lady Michelle Obama excitedly revealed to the crowd of children that she would be traveling to London for the 2012 Summer Olympic games.
The First Lady reminded the children participating in the event, held at American University with British Prime Minister David Cameron’s wife, Samantha, that the Olympic games were not just about “which country wins the most medals.”
“(T)he true spirit of the Games isn’t confined to just the two weeks of competition in the summer. It’s not just about who wins the gold, right? You’ve heard that before. It’s not just about who wins the medals, right?” said Obama, according to a transcript of her remarks.
“That’s not what the Olympics are about,” she continued. “Instead, the Olympic Games are about commitment, right? It’s about determination, and, most importantly, it’s about teamwork — teamwork, right?”
Determination, commitment and teamwork – what an obviously horrible message to send to America's youth. Fox Nation readers offered the following ratings on this story: 54 said it was “offensive”; 258 called it “obnoxious”; 30 found it “crazy”; 9 said it was “scary” and it struck 13 (presumably left-wing bloggers looking in the fever swamps for some easy fodder) as “inspiring.”
7. Who Knows What Will Happen?
Here's an odd bit of fury-bait. A Fox opinion piece first debunked the rumor (reported by Reuters) that American athletes would “dip” the flag as they walked by the Queen during the opening ceremonies, and then goes on as if it hadn't just done so.
These excerpts appeared in the same order as they did in the original:
A controversy is brewing over whether the United States might break tradition and dip the American flag at the opening ceremony for the London Olympics. However, the American Legion said to do so would not only violate the U.S. Flag Code, but would also be un-American...
But later a spokesman for the USOC sent Fox News a statement Blackmun’s comments and calling the Reuter’s report “not accurate.”
“We have made an official recommendation to the athlete, not to dip the flag,” the spokesperson told Fox News. “We have also spoken to the athlete advisory committee and they are in agreement. Furthermore, she has accepted the recommendation and does not plan to dip the flag.”
“End of story,” the spokesman wrote. “Period.”
NO! That's not the end of the story for Fox!
Mike Buss, deputy director of the American Legion, said it is a very big issue.
“No disrespect should be shown to the flag of the United States,” he said reading from the U.S. Flag Code. “The flag should not be dipped to any person or thing.”
He said he believes dipping the American flag at tonight’s ceremony would be un-American.
“There are many patriotic Americans who would say it is a big deal,” Buss told Fox News. “You don’t dip the United States flag to honor other countries.”
Buss said it’s the law – federal law – although there are no civil penalties for breaching flag etiquette.
“The bigger issue is people don’t understand there are rules and regulations for proper display of the flag,” he said. “Maybe the USOC didn’t realize this is an issue.”
8. Oh, Noes – Taxes!!
Easily duped, Fox viewers were outraged when the network picked up a post by Grover Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform claiming that American athletes were taxed up to $9,000 on their gold medals! For shame, the moochers sucking from our noble job creating athletes this way.
This is not true, but that didn't stop Fox from throwing a poutrage at the way we treat these noble -- if unpatriotic and beret-wearing -- athletes. And that outrage was put to good service, pushing a bill offered by Senator Marco Rubio, R-Florida, that would exempt Olympic athletes from paying any taxes on bonuses they grab for winning medals. Forbes called the idea “Gold Medal Stupidity,” but didn't even mention that a savvy agent could structure an endorsement deal for, say, Lebron James in such a way as to make a good chunk of it an “Olympic medal bonus” and give him a huge tax-free windfall.
This being the Silly Season, of course, Barack Obama came out in favor of the exemption, a rare bit of bipartisanship touted, of course, by Fox.