5 Right-Wing Idiocies This Week: O’Reilly Claims He’s Never Mean; Shows Clips of Mean Things He’s Said
1. Obama talks about poverty; Fox News: Stop being mean to us!
For some reason we cannot quite determine, Fox Newsians seem to forget that television is something that is saved. Archives and video clips of yesteryear, or just last week, can easily be located. So saying something, then denying that you said it, is not going to work in this medium.
This week, President Obama spoke at Georgetown University in nuanced depth about poverty in America. He talked about being a black man who grew up without a father. He was honest and witty and compassionate. And in passing, he mentioned that Fox News has a habit of demonizing the poor. Then he gave Fox a little plug: “The effort to suggest that the poor are sponges, leeches, don’t want to work, and are just lazy, if you watch Fox on a regular basis, it is a constant menu. They will find folks who make me mad, people who say, I don’t want to work, I just want an Obamaphone."
See, humor and honesty.
Fox was outraged: Megyn Kelly, Stuart Varney, Bill O’Reilly—ooh, so mad. How dare the president say something so mean about us, and yet something so provably true? (Again, reminder: there’s tape. There’s a record.)
Said Varney: “In my opinion, the president is spinning his own failed policies. The middle class is shrinking and the poor are trapped in this system, the president blames us, the honest messengers.”
Oh hahahahaha. Honest messengers! Stuart, you are a card.
Stuart and Fox’s contempt for poor people is amply documented. In one segment, for example, Varney called the U.S. the handout nation. To which one of the indistinguishable Fox blondes replied, "You’re not being mean to poor people!”
“I am," Stuart protested. “I am being mean to poor people.”
All right then. Some truthiness from the Varnster, for once.
He then pointed out that 99 percent of poor families have refrigerators. Summing up, he said, “The image we have of poor people starving, living in squalor...many of them have things. What they lack is the richness of spirit.”
Varney excels at the whole mean business.
Papa Bill O’Reilly was in his natural resting state of arrogant indignation. He rejected both Obama’s characterization of Fox News and New York Times columnist Charles Blow’s suggestion that Fox distorts poor people's narratives and O’Reilly calls poor people cruel names.
Not so, said O’Reilly, he merely calls poor people lazy and irresponsible, drug addicts and moochers. That’s not the same thing as calling them names. O’Reilly points out that what he actually said was: “True poverty is being driven by personal behavior, not an unfair economic system.” He suggests we have a war on irresponsible parents, rather than on poverty.
Great idea. Let’s declare war on poor people.
Oh, whoops, we already have.
But Fox’s most spirited defender was MSNBC’s dopey Joe Scarborough, who asked on the air: “What about this specific clip, calling people lazy, sponges and leeches, have you ever heard that on Fox News?”
Does Joe Scarborough even watch Fox News? We would certainly understand if he doesn’t.
2. Gavin McInnes lets his sexist freak flag fly.
Fox News darling, former bad-boy Gavin McInnes, managed to out-obnoxious Sean Hannity this week. Let us pause for a moment to honor and wonder at this accomplishment.
Hannity was all psyched to learn that a new “report” finds that, as senator, Hillary Clinton paid women staffers less than men. Hannity’s really hoping that’ll cost Hillary the chick vote.
His guest Tamara Holder seriously doubted the credibility of the report, saying: “Why do you believe the Washington Free Banana Peel, a far-right group that distorted the data? It’s just not true.”
Hannity disagreed. He likes the Washington Free Banana Peel, er, Washington Beacon.
But professional asshole Gavin McInnes thought all of that was beside the point. The point is that feminism has made women miserable and they are just happier staying at home. So it really does not matter what anyone pays them.
McInnes said, "But the big picture here is women do earn less in America because they choose to. They would rather go to their daughter’s piano recitals than stay all night at work, working on a proposal so they end up earning less. They’re less ambitious and I think this is sort of God’s way —this is nature’s way of saying women should be at home with the kids. They’re happier there."
This talk of God and stay-at-home moms could seriously eat into McInnes’ bad-boy cred.
Holder sputtered, “I hope that your viewers do not take you, sir, seriously,” she said. “Having a choice does not mean that you’re less ambitious and your comments are absolutely deplorable.”
Hannity laughed nervously.
Said McInnes, "Most women are happier at home. They are pretending that they like working and they’re not making money because they don’t stay all night at the office. They don’t go the extra mile. They don’t work all weekend."
Holder pointed out that she was not married, which was a choice she has made, and that she often works on weekends.
McInnes had a definite rejoinder for that: "You’re making a mistake! You would be much happier at home with a husband and children! …You just said you’re single, you don’t have a boyfriend. You’re what, you’re celibate…Look, you’re miserable. You would be so much happier with kids around you tonight. Imagine coming home, Mommy’s home!"
Hannity buried his face in his hands.
“You’re not funny,” Holder told McInnes.
“I’m trying to make you happy,” McInnes replied.
Hannity erupted in laughter. Not exactly where he expected his Hillary-bashing segment to go.
3. John Boehner thinks it’s dumb that reporters ask questions sometimes.
There are some things about the job of Speaker of the House that John Boehner really doesn’t care for. For instance, he hates stupid, irrelevant questions. One example this week was reporters who questioned the wisdom of the House Republicans’ vote to cut hundreds of millions of dollars for Amtrak on the very day when bodies were still being extricated from the wreckage of the train that derailed in Philadelphia. The nerve.
Boehner thinks it’s "stupid" to talk about underfunding possibly being the cause of the crash. To the reporter who asked the question he said, "Are you really going to ask such a stupid question?" He indignantly ended the press conference saying, "It's hard for me to imagine that people take the bait on some of the nonsense that gets spewed around here."
He’s right. Why would anyone believe such nonsense? Just because inadequate funding, and Amtrak's $21 billion backlog in maintenance and repair might have been wholly, or at least partially, responsible for the crash? And the increased $1.31 billion Democrats were asking for might help ensure that much-needed safety devices could quickly be installed throughout the Amtrak rail system? Is that all? C’mon, that’s crazy talk. So annoying.
Where do these reporters get off (the train)?
4. Rick Santorum knows what Bruce Jenner really is. He just does.
Everyone in the world has been anxiously awaiting Rick Santorum’s comments on Bruce Jenner’s revelation that he is actually a trans woman.
This week, the great Santorum spoke, and for a moment, he impersonated a reasonably sane person.
“If he says he’s a woman, then he’s a woman,” Santorum originally said when asked about the celebrity during a roundtable with reporters in South Carolina. “My responsibility as a human being is to love and accept everybody. Not to criticize people for who they are. I can criticize, and I do, for what people do, for their behavior. But as far as for who they are, you have to respect everybody, and these are obviously complex issues for businesses, for society, and I think we have to look at it in a way that is compassionate and respectful of everybody.”
Wow, it’s a whole new Santorum. Maybe we should give this Santorum fellow another chance.
Later, the presumed presidential aspirant clarified his stance in an interview with New Hampshire’s Concord News Radio.
“What I said was, I think you have to treat every person with dignity and respect, period. That’s the bottom line." So far so good. “And if Bruce Jenner says he’s a woman then I’m not gonna argue with him. I know what obviously and biologically he is. That doesn’t change by himself identifying himself.”
So Santorum himself has identified himself as the all-knowing knower of things biological. No transformation there.
5. Hateful right-wing pundits: Homosexuality was a factor in the Amtrak crash.
Homosexuality is the reason for floods, hurricanes, and of course, 9/11. You might as well tack on the Amtrak crash this week to its long list of accomplishments. When it came to light that the engineer on the train was a supporter of gay rights, and possibly gay himself, that was all the opening the haters needed. Anti-gay haters like Chuck C. Johnson and the editors of WorldNetDaily immediately jumped aboard that runaway train of thought, citing dubious statistics about higher rates of mental illness in the gay community.
Not to be outdone, the American Family Association's ever level-headed governmental affairs director, Sandy Rios, told her radio listeners that the engineer’s sexual orientation was probably “a factor” in the crash.
Rios said, per RightWingWatch:
“Now I am not saying, I am not inferring to those of you that are gay rights activists and like to monitor this show, I’m not inferring that this accident happened because he was gay, but I do think it’s an interesting part of the story and you can bet it would be edited out,” Rios said. She then suggested that the engineer could have possibly been “going through some confusion that has to do with the very core of who they are,” and mentioned the story of an airline pilot who “put his entire plane at risk because he had an emotional, angry outburst to something that happened,” which she says was related to hormone therapy he was receiving.
Rios added: “I don’t know, but I think it is something to be discussed and I think it’s a factor and I doubt you will hear it anywhere else.”
We wish we could ignore this dangerous nonsense. But we can't.