Whiny Fox News Host Twists First Amendment to Put Hateful Spin on WI Protesters
Considering how much they value toughness and giving no quarter, it's remarkable how much wingnuts also value whining and whimpering (at least by members of their own tribe). Since at least the days of Nixon, playing the victim card has been a successful strategy for winning admiration on the right.
Via Glenn Beck's cesspool, here's a Fox reporter in Wisconsin sniveling his way to success. The self-pity starts at about 1:35.
MIKE TOBIN, FOX REPORTER IN MADISON: ... And you can still hear the passion in the crowd. 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, that 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.
GREGG JARRETT, FOX ANCHOR: 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 -- go ahead.
TOBIN: Now, that guy just hit me.
Is this true? Oh-so-conveniently, the camera on Tobin has cut away, so we haven't seen anything. Tobin is right about the profanity (the crowd is chanting "Fuck you, Fox!"), though the protester attempting to "shut down the communication" has actually merely put his hand over the camera lens. Now, I'm not an expert on the fine technical aspects of live television broadcasting, but I believe "communication" continues on a live feed even if there's temporarily a mitten on the camera. Or (see the rest of Tobin's whingeing report) if someone places a placard over the lens, or whatever else the protesters may be doing to make Tobin work for a living. Meanwhile, at least one protester urges the crowd to "stay peaceful," a plea that, as far as I can tell, is heeded, because if Tobin received so much as a mild shove, I'm sure he'd have done a subsequent report from a hospital bed right now, and it would be all over the right-o-sphere.
TOBIN: Now, that guy just hit me.
JARRETT: Go ahead.
TOBIN: Now, that guy just hit me, so, to just let you know.
JARRETT: All right, but -- but -- y'know -- why do they express such vitriol toward the media?
TOBIN: You know, I don't know what they intend to accomplish by it, but they definitely, as you can see, by covering up the cameras, they want to shut down the communication. They have an idea that there's going to be a diverse viewpoint -- they don't want to get it, they don't want to hear it, and they don't really take into consideration my reporting, or what I've done to this point.
Oh, boo freaking hoo.
And remember all the haters who said Lara Logan never should have let herself "become the story"? Apparently that admonition doesn't apply when you're a Fox reporter and people are mean to you in an utterly non-violent way. Tobin returned to the air to whine some more to Geraldo Rivera:
"One thing I think should make clear -- the people coming after us from every live shot here, these people hate," Tobin said. "These are people who don't respect diverse viewpoints. In fact, they're so afraid I'll present a diverse viewpoint, that's why they try to heckle me and shut down every live shot. They've made it clear, that what they want to make it harder for me to do my job. They are proud of that when they disrupt a live shot, when they really trample over the First Amendment rights or the First Amendment's obligations of a reporter...."
You know what, Mike? This has nothing to do with the First Amendment. The First Amendment says the government can't shut you down. That's it. In trying to set up a live shot in a crowd of demonstrators, you're on your own. You think you've been physically abused? Call a freaking cop. Otherwise, shut the hell up, whiner.
I will say, however, that this gets back to something I was saying on Friday. Is it harder, as Doug at Balloon Juice argued, to turn striking union teachers into the new "welfare queens" because the union workers are somewhat less likely to be non-white? Well, here's how you solve that problem, if it is a problem: you push these folks until they protest -- and then you declare their protest tactics subhuman. You force them to get loud and angry in order to be heard, then condemn the anger and the noise as animalistic. Simple.
UPDATE: More right-wing sniveling here.