Archive for March, 2010

Right Wing Media Bias

March 24, 2010

We hear so often a canard that there is a liberal bias in the media. Supposedly, Fox News is telling us the unbiased truth so that we can make up our own minds. My republican Evangelical friends listen to, forward, and repeat stories from Fox News all the time. In the majority of Tulsa’s public spaces with a television to help us pass the time, I’m talking about McDonald’s or the doctor’s office or what have you, Fox News is what is spewing forth from the boob tube.

It’s time for a reality check. A new Harris poll shows that there is actually a right-wing bias in the media. Lies and distortions of truth that cause a disconnect from objective reality have been repeated uncritically in all the major news organizations so many times, that they have become facts for a significant portion of Americans.

The Harris poll that will be released tomorrow will contain some interesting revelations. We have to wait a day for the full story, but Harris released a preview of some of the ways that a right-wing media bias has permeated the American consciousness. It turns out that the lying liars of Fox News are doing a pretty good job. Check this out:

  • 67 percent of Republicans (and 40 percent of Americans overall) believe that Obama is a socialist. That’s a lie. Hugo Chavez is a socialist, Obama is not and has never been a socialist.
  • 57 percent of Republicans (32 percent overall) believe that Obama is a Muslim. Another lie that’s been refuted so completely and thoroughly that it boggles the mind to think that it’s still repeated.
  • 45 percent of Republicans (25 percent overall) agree with the Birthers in their belief that Obama was “not born in the United States and so is not eligible to be president.” Here’s where it starts to get scary. Nearly half of all Republicans believe a conspiracy theory about Obama. It’s a conspiracy theory, people, like the one about the Bush administration causing 9/11 to push their agenda forward. It’s a lie.
  • 38 percent of Republicans (20 percent overall) say that Obama is “doing many of the things that Hitler did.” When anti-abortion/pro-life radicals compare legal abortion to the holocaust, it allows them to sanction the murder of abortion doctors in the name of God in order to prevent more deaths. If there is a widespread belief that Obama is doing the same things Hitler did, then it won’t be long until extreme right-wing Republicans justify the assasination of our duly, freely elected President of these United States in order to prevent some kind of imagined social holocaust.
  • 24 percent of Republicans (14 percent overall) say that Obama “may be the Antichrist.” I threw this one in for fun. I’m actually surprised that only 24 percent of Republicans think that way about Obama. It’s probably because World Net Daily, back in 2008, told them specifically that the Antichrist wasn’t Obama, but somebody just like him instead.

Unfortunately, the full results of the poll, which will be released in greater detail tomorrow, are even more frightening. It turns out that high percentages of Republicans believe that President Obama is “racist,” “anti-American,” “wants the terrorists to win,” and “wants to turn over the sovereignty of the United States to a one-world government.”

Painting Obama in these terms raises the spectre of the Spanish Inquisition. Republicans and their Evangelical allies seem to be moving towards a position that anyone or anything anti-American should be suppressed and silenced, even if it requires violence to do so. That’s what Inquisitions are for, to violently purge the heretics from our midst.

That brings us to one final poll result. It turns out that a significant percentage of Republicans also believe that Obama is a “domestic enemy” as set forth in the Constitution. If you google the search phrase “domestic enemy constitution” you’ll find that Obama has company in this regard. It turns out that Nancy Pelosi, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, and even the Southern Poverty Law Center are considered “domestic enemies” by the lunatics who are no longer just on the fringe.

To my fellow Evangelicals, I have only one thing to say. You claim to pray daily for our President. Do you really want him to be assassinated by some right-wing extremist who thinks of him as a socialist, racist, muslim, fascist, terrorist, domestic enemy? Your failure to denounce “extremism in the defense of liberty” is a vice. Do you really want to have the political violence of the 1960’s repeat itself? Unless you turn off Fox News and start praying for Obama’s safety and protection, you’ll reap the consequences of right-wing media bias in a way that no one who’s a Christian wants to see.

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1 Trillion Dollars — Are You Kidding Me?

March 24, 2010

One of the most oft-repeated talking points I’ve heard in the last couple of days revolves around the cost of healthcare reform. An e-mail showing you what 1 trillion dollars looks like in dollar bills is designed to make you incensed that anyone would propose such a huge government program/takeover. How dare our representatives spend 1 trillion dollars on healthcare reform? The e-mail goes on to encourage me to throw the bums out when they come up for re-election.

My initial response was kind of knee-jerk. We know that there are two great commands in the Bible. Love God and love your neighbor as yourself. Extending healthcare to 47 million uninsured people is an example of loving your neighbor. We were sad that so many Christians we know preferred to keep our broken healthcare system just the way it was by putting pressure of fellow Christians to not support the bill. All 5 representatives from Oklahoma (4 Republicans and 1 Democrat) voted Nay on the bill. Our position is that we will now be working to vote them out, especially John Sullivan.

But the more I thought about it, the madder I became.

When George W. Bush and the Republicans passed tax cuts that by and large benefitted only the richest Americans (in the meantime the middle class was losing buying power and economic prosperity compared to the upper classes), they did so knowing that they were borrowing from Social Security and running up a projected 10-year deficit of $2.3 trillion dollars (http://www.commondreams.org/views04/1022-26.htm). The assumption was that real estate speculation and financial services profiteering would go on forever, thereby erasing the projected deficit.
 
Now the greatest recession since the Great Depression has wiped out all of the savings and tax revenues counted on to pay for the Bush tax cuts and we’re left with 1 trillion dollars of deficits caused directly by the Bush tax cuts.
 
Who would Jesus spend 1 trillion dollars on? Helping the rich get richer or helping the poor, the bankrupt, and the unemployed get health insurance?

Proverbs 19:17 One who is gracious to a poor man lends to the LORD, And He will repay him for his good deed.

Matthew 10:42 “And whoever in the name of a disciple gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.”
 
Matthew 25:40 “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'”

I’m so disappointed in my fellow Evangelicals. This one is a no brainer.

The End of America

March 23, 2010

This post will cover random thoughts about the hysteria surrounding the passage of healthcare reform. My fellow Evangelicals are in a tizzy now that it has passed. I’m hoping my words will add to their distress.

The more things change, the more they stay the same

“Write those letters now. Call your friends, and tell them to write them. If you don’t, this program I promise you will pass just as surely as the sun will come up tomorrow. And behind it will come other federal programs that will invade every area of freedom as we have known it in this country, until, one day . . . we will awake to find that we have socialism. And if you don’t do this, and if I don’t do it, one of these days, you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children, and our children’s children, what it once was like in America when men were free.”

Who said this? John Boehner? Glenn Beck? Rush Limbaugh? Multiple Tea Party protestors? This quotation is from an LP vinyl recording entitled “Ronald Reagan Speaks Out Against Socialized Medicine.” The 19-minute recording featured a 2,000-word, 11-minute, impassioned address by Reagan and was produced in 1961 to foment opposition to Medicare.

Right before the passage of the historic health care reform bill of 2010, John Boehner said, “This health care bill will ruin our country. It’s time to stop it.” I imagine that he’s about as prophetic as Ronald Reagan was on Medicare.