Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Channeling the Minutemen

There's always been a kind of Bizarro World quality to Fox News -- you know, up is down, right is wrong, true is false -- which no doubt contributes to its role as a font of Newspeak.

But on a recent Fox News Watch broadcast, James Pinkerton raised the art to a new zenith as he painted a picture of poor, put-upon Minutemen being negatively portrayed by the media:
PINKERTON: The media like brown people, but they like black people more. And so, therefore, the -- when Jesse Jackson and his -- some of these people are starting to worry about immigrants cutting away jobs from African Americans, that's one thing. But what they really dislike, of course, is white people. And so --

HALL: Oh, Jim. Oh, please. Please.

PINKERTON: -- in that sense, the -- the racial typology -- brown, black, white -- was visible there, and I think --


PINKERTON: I stand by it completely, in terms of the way the Minutemen were covered on this coverage. And anybody can watch --

GABLER: The Minutemen got a favorable article on the front page of The New York Times.

PINKERTON: The Minutemen get slammed --


Well, it's hard to tell what Pinkerton meant by "this coverage" exactly. But if he was talking about Fox News' coverage of the Minutemen, then he appears to be ingesting powering hallucinogens before watching. Maybe Ibogaine, or something like that.

Because really, Fox News' handling of the Minutemen has been so pronouncedly biased in their favor that it's nearly impossible to find any negative coverage there.

The most obvious case in this regard is the coverage provided by Sean Hannity, including a recent segment touting their fence-building project. Past coverage included a fawning interview with Minuteman leader Chris Simcox and a visit from Hannity on the "front lines" in Arizona.

Then there's Bill O'Reilly, who likewise promotes the Minutemen as a group of sincere citizens. And in general, the coverage on Fox uniformly is indistinguishable from Minuteman propaganda.

It's not, however, simply on Fox that this is the case. CNN, particularly under the leadership of Lou Dobbs -- who openly avowed his explicit support -- has done perhaps as much as Fox to promote the notion of Minutemen.

Then there's MSNBC, which has been not quite so ardent but certainly as largely favorable in their coverage of the Minutemen. Tucker Carlson has been their most fervent defender, calling them people "who have taken up arms for the land they love," and had a softball interview with cofounder Jim Gilchrist. Joe Scarborough hosted Simcox for an interview that did bring up the issues of extremism and racism in the Minutemen's ranks, but largely took Simcox's denials at face value. And on Hardball with Norah O'Donnell, a Minuteman spokesman appeared as a "conservative" talking head and was never asked about anything in the way of extremism.

And that's just on cable TV. Likewise, the general coverage of the Minutemen in the press has been neutral to positive, with warm write-ups in various organs.

In contrast, it seems that the only coverage of the Minutemen's footsie games with white supremacists and neo-Nazis, and their infiltration by same, as well as the proliferation of bigots with violent attitudes within their ranks, can be found at the SPLC Intelligence Report or in a handful of obscure news accounts. Certainly, you heard or saw little about it on Fox.

Maybe he was watching Bizarro Fox.

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