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  • elk_1l elk_1l May 26, 2014 7:00 PM Flag

    OT: THE FAKE PATRIOTISM OF FOX NEWS

    What the right doesn't get about Memorial Day.

    Salon / By Paul Rosenberg | May 26, 2014

    Memorial Day — or Decoration Day, as it is also known — is a day of remembrance. But what, exactly, are we remembering? That is a question worth pondering this Memorial Day weekend. But first, to get warmed up, here’s an easier one: Which of these is not like the others?

    (A) On Memorial Day, 1983, President Ronald Reagan attended a summit meeting in Williamsburg, Va., with leaders of the industrialized democracies, while Deputy Secretary of Defense W. Paul Thayer laid a wreath at Arlington Cemetery during the Memorial Day ceremony.

    (B) On Memorial Day, 1992, President George H.W. Bush attended a wreath-laying ceremony in Kennebunkport, Maine, where he also made brief remarks at an American Legion hall, and played a round of golf, while Vice President Dan Quayle laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery.

    (C) On Memorial Day, 2002, President Bush George W. Bush attended a ceremony at the Normandy American Cemetery in France.

    (D) On Memorial Day, 2010, President Barack Obama attended a Memorial Day ceremony at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Elwood, Illinois, while Vice President Joe Biden participated in the customary wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery.

    THE ANSWER, OF COURSE, IS “D” — AT LEAST IN THE FOX NEWS UNIVERSE. RIGHTWING MEDIA FIGURES QUICKLY ATTACKED OBAMA FOR “TRAMPLING ON TRADITION” AND SHOWING HIS DISRESPECT FOR VETERANS AND THE MILITARY, as Media Matters reported at the time. On his radio show, Glenn Beck said, “I am sick and tired — sick and tired — of people believing the lie that this administration has respect for the police or has respect for the soldiers of our country. I’m tired of it.” RedState blogger Erick Erickson tweeted:

    Obama skipping the Tomb of the Unknowns this weekend for Chicago is offensive. Chicago can wait. The Commander-in-Chief has a job to do.

    Then the next day, “Fox & Friends” devoted an entire segment to pondering Obama’s unprecedented insult, with host Brian Kilmeade, historian (with a tenuous grasp on recent history) Richard Miller, National Review’s Andrew McCarthy and former Harry Reid aide Penny Lee discussing Obama’s planned activities for Memorial Day, with chyrons framing the story, “Trampling On Tradition?”, “Offensive To Soldiers?” and “Memorial Day Miss-Out?”
    MEDIA MATTERS COMMENTED ON THIS FARCICAL CHARADE AS WELL, POINTING OUT JUST HOW PRECEDENTED OBAMA’S ACTIONS WERE, DESPITE CLAIMS TO THE CONTRARY:

    If the thrust of the attack is that this “breaks tradition” and is therefore possibly “offensive” to soldiers, then conservatives either need to abandon this talking point or embrace the idea that several of their Republican heroes also hated the troops.

    BUT THAT’S NOT HOW THE NOISE MACHINE WORKS, WHICH ERICK ERICKSON DEMONSTRATED ON TWITTER YESTERDAY.

    OBAMA SKIPPING THE TOMB OF THE UNKNOWNS THIS WEEKEND FOR CHICAGO IS OFFENSIVE. CHICAGO CAN WAIT. THE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF HAS A JOB TO DO.

    Neat trick, eh? This is evidence Obama hates the military because conservatives like Erickson have previously questioned Obama’s “support for soldiers and belief in American Exceptionalism.” Basically, Obama hates the military because conservatives claim Obama hates the military. That’s CNN-quality analysis right there.

    BUT THE POINT OF CITING ALL THE ABOVE IS NOT TO DWELL ON HOW CONSERVATIVES DEMONIZE AMERICA’S FIRST BLACK PRESIDENT, MANUFACTURING EVIDENCE AGAINST HIM OUT OF THEIR OWN PROJECTED HOSTILITY TOWARDS HIM. THIS IS ALL A PART OF SOMETHING MUCH BROADER PICTURE — AN OVERALL POISONING, SO TO SPEAK, OF EVERYTHING PRECIOUS TO THEM THAT ESCAPES THEIR CONTROL. We get a hint of this broader picture from another Media Matters post noting how the rightwing media has accused Obama of waging war on all sorts of cherished American holidays: Hanukkah, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Veterans Day, Memorial Day, Easter, Ramadan, Halloween.

    Media Matters has been following the imaginary “War on Christmas” since its inaugural campaign in 2004. In a typical entry, on November 29, 2012, Media Matters noted:

    Fox News demonstrated the fundamental hypocrisy of its claim that progressives are engaged in a war on Christmas by expressing outrage at Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee because he uses the term “holiday tree” rather “Christmas tree” to refer to the tree that will adorn the statehouse during the holiday season. However, minutes later, Fox announced that it would host its own “holiday wish list” segment.

    Weeks later, just days before Christmas, they reported:

    BILL O’REILLY’S ANNUAL FIGHT AGAINST THE MANUFACTURED “WAR ON CHRISTMAS” HAS BECOME A REVERED HOLIDAY TRADITION OVER AT FOX NEWS. JUST LIKE LAST YEAR, IN DECEMBER O’REILLY HAS SPENT MORE TIME ON HIS SHOW DISCUSSING THE “WAR ON CHRISTMAS” THAN ACTUAL MILITARY CONFLICTS. AS USUAL, EVENTS O’REILLY IDENTIFIED AS A UNIFIED “WAR ON CHRISTMAS” WERE ALMOST ALWAYS ISOLATED INCIDENTS FROM AROUND THE COUNTRY, USUALLY PERTAINING TO CONCERNS OVER SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE OR EFFORTS TO MAKE HOLIDAY CELEBRATIONS MORE INCLUSIVE.

    Of course, the idea of defending purely Christian holidays is fundamentally absurd, considering how impure they are in the first place. Easter is basically a spring fertility festival (rabbits, eggs, get it?) and Christmas as we know it is similarly syncretic (as a very unhappy Christian explains at length here). BUT BEYOND THE ABSURDITY IS THE RIGHT’S POISONOUS ILL-HUMOR — EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE OF THE GOOD FEELINGS PEOPLE NATURALLY BRING TO THESE CELEBRATIONS. ……

    Sentiment: Strong Buy

 
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