Fox News: Leading The Obama Smear Campaign? genre: Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation & Video-Philes

Fox News likes to pretend that their reporting is fair and balanced. Unfortunately, the more they fear that the Democrats might defeat their beloved GOP, the more they exhibit their bias and serve as a shill for the party.

The degree to which their bias is evident took an exponential leap since Barack Obama became the presumptive Democratic candidate. In fact, it didn't take E.D. Hill long to infer that the "pound" (fist bump) Barack and Michelle exchanged could be interpreted as a "terrorist fist jab" (see the video clip below). Now I don't know about anyone else, but I knew what Barack and Michelle were doing the instant I saw it...and I am still trying to figure out exactly what a "terrorist fist jab" looks like.

Granted, had Barack and Michelle simultaneously raised and shook semi-automatic rifles in the air, I would have connected that with terrorists...but the gesture I witnessed couldn't be remotely associated with "extremist" body language.

As if that weren't enough hyperbole, Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly invited Michelle Malkin, a pillar of partisanship, to join her in a discussion on the efforts of a number of conservatives to make Michelle Obama an issue in the upcoming election. The Fox News modus operandi is to amplify any item they can find to raise doubt about those they oppose.

In this segment, Kelly opens the piece with a pointed and misleading segue when she states, "Well Michelle Obama is back in the news". In my opinion, the statement is an effort to infer that this report is a follow up to, or an extension of, the prior negative publicity on the Senator's wife. The truth of the matter is that Michelle Obama had neither said or done anything to draw the attention of the media.

In fact, Kelly proceeds to reference an anti-Obama documentary (that I doubt most voters have ever heard of) that is being compiled by a conservative group...that will "reportedly include" the clip of Michelle Obama commenting that she is, for the first time in her adult life, proud of America. So what we have is a piece designed to allow Fox News to reexamine any and all of the negative publicity that Michelle Obama has garnered.

Ah, but it gets even better. Throughout the segment, Fox News inserts taglines into its blue banner that are nothing short of inflammatory and one is, in my estimation, flat out racist. This use of taglines is a Fox strategy that happens all the time...and when challenged, it is defended as nothing more than the network repeating the statements made by others that are, of course, relevant to the discussion (according to Fox). Yes, they maintain plausible deniability...but I doubt an objective media/journalism critic would view the tactic as little more than purposeful and pungent propaganda catapulting.

With that said, I took the time to compile four still shots from the video to highlight the Fox New strategy (see the graphic below). The first derogatory tagline states, "Outraged Liberals: Stop Picking On Obama's Baby Mama!" Again, pardon my cynicism, but there's nothing accidental or uncertain about the insinuation delivered by this tag. The following four entries are the definitions one will find at Urban Dictionary for the term "baby mama"...and none of them are remotely complementary.

In fact, the racial overtones are palpable and it's clear they are intended to remind the viewer that the Obama's are African Americans...and thus connectable with all of the negative cultural stereotypes that might lead a voter to question the prudence of placing them in the White House.

1. baby mama

The mother of your child(ren), whom you did not marry and with whom you are not currently involved.

Oh her? She ain't nothing to me now, girl, she just my baby mama. So, can I get your number?

2. baby mama

A term used to define an unmarried young woman (but can be a woman of any age) who has had a child. As mentioned before in another definition, most of the time it is used for when it was simply a sexual relationship, compared to ex-wife or girlfriend. Usually this has a negative connotation, a lot of baby mamas are seen as desperate, gold digging, emotionally starved, shady women who had a baby out of spite or to keep a man. Sometimes they may act like this because of missed child support payments, unfulfilled promises by the father, or convenient sex by the father. Either or both may exist in any situation.

Joe didn't have any relationship with that chick, she was the "other woman" who ended up being his baby mama.

3. baby mama

single mother of a child

4. baby mama

Basically a woman you had a child or children with who you didnt marry and or no longer involved with. Usually associated with hoodrats and trailer park bitches.

The second tagline states, "Malkin Calls Michelle Obama's Bitter Half", which I suspect is again a reference to the Michelle Obama comment noted above. I believe it is also intended to invoke the rumored video that has been discussed on the internet for the better part of the last two weeks...a video that has curiously never been released for public viewing. As the story goes, according to a friend of a friend who saw the video, Michelle Obama is on tape railing against the the handling of a number of issues in America...all delivered with a notably racial bent. During the exchange, Kelly and Malkin discuss the possibility of other "unsubstantiated" internet rumors.

The other two stills I've included in the graphic were photos of Michelle Obama that were overlaid during the dialogue. While relatively innocuous, they represent images of Obama that I've never seen and that depict her differently than what one would expect to see if one had been watching the primaries. Whether there is any purpose in Fox News using two pictures in which she has a distinctly different hairstyle is open to debate.

Not long ago, "I wrote a similar piece called "The River Rafting Of Barack Obama", a title intended to invoke the swiftboating of John Kerry": At the time, the issue was Reverend Wright and a video that had appeared on YouTube designed to connect Senator Obama with the imagery of "the militant black agenda". In that posting, I speculated that backroom operatives in the GOP would do their best to capitalize on any such incidents. I was right as to intention...but little did I know that the messenger would be none other than Fox News. What a shameful development.

Still Shots From The Fox News Video


Fox News Video: Malkin On Michelle Obama

Fox News' E.D. Hill On The Obama "Terrorist Fist Jab"

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» Fox News: Leading The Obama Smear Campaign? from
While it was to be expected that some would seek to portray Barack and Michelle Obama in a bad light, I doubt anyone really thought Fox News would be leading the pack. First they invoked the “terrorist fist jab”, and now they’ve outdone themselves with... [Read More]

Tracked on June 12, 2008 1:13 AM

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