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Whose side is the American right on?

Day of Departure Protest in Tahrir Square

I haven’t watched Fox’s coverage of Egypt (because I watch *actual* news) but let me guess what’s going on there: The Muslim Brotherhood is stirring up trouble, they’re going to take over the country, they’ll be an immediate threat to Israel, there will be chaos and looting, rending of garments and tearing of hair, the blind will lead the deaf, oil prices will spike, the Imams will call for jihad and all is lost, LOST, I say.

People who watch Fox, well watch Fox as their primary news source, since many of us are *forced* to watch that garbage in doctor’s offices and auto repair garage waiting rooms, are a certain kind of person.  They’re conservative, older, on limited incomes, religious and scared of their own shadows.  Fox has made them scared of their own shadows.

But what is the right wing noise machine trying to say about what’s happening in Egypt?  From all reports that I have read and first hand accounts (read Nick Kristoff in the NYTimes and here’s his latest from Tahrir square.) and every picture that I’ve seen, the protestors come from every socio economic background, every religion, they are of both genders and while many are young, the crowds today show a lot of middle aged people as well.  This is a popular and committed uprising against a brutal, undemocratic regime.  Is it the position of the right wing that supression of democracy in a country like Egypt, a country that hasn’t seen an honest election in 30 years, that has a violent and intimidating secret police and that has beaten up and detained international journalists and human rights workers, that this government and the person who refuses to leave are OK, respectable heads of state that we should do business with??

Is that really what the right is saying?

I guess it is.  Rush Limbaugh is on the case of the beaten and detained journalists:

LIMBAUGH:  Ladies and gentlemen, it is being breathlessly reported that the Egyptian army — Snerdley, have you heard this? The Egyptian army is rounding up foreign journalists. I mean, even two New York Times reporters were detained. Now, this is supposed to make us feel what, exactly? How we supposed to feel? Are we supposed to feel outrage over it? I don’t feel any outrage over it. Are we supposed to feel anger? I don’t feel any anger over this. Do we feel happy? Well — uh — do we feel kind of going like, “neh-neh-neh-neh”? I’m sure that your emotions are running the gamut when you hear that two New York Timesreporters have been detained along with other journalists in Egypt. Remember now, we’re supporting the people who are doing this.

My mom has two sayings. “Beauty is skin deep but ugly goes clear to the bone” and “The sexiest thing in a rich man’s pants is his wallet”.  Everytime I think of Rush, those two sayings pop into my mind.

Rush doesn’t seem to be at all concerned that an executive from Google was disappeared a few days ago without a trace.  He isn’t bothered by the fact that a Swedish journalist has been brutally stabbed, no one knows where he is and his producers have report the following ominous message:

… when his producer called him for another report from Tahrir square two hours later “a voice in Arabic answered and said Bert was being held. Then the connection cut,” producer Robert Wiström told SVT.

According to a Swedish translation posted on SVT’s website, the voice said:

“Your man is being held by the military. You sons of whores, if you want him back you will have to come get him. Your man is held by the Egyptian government. He is alive and awake.”

Yes, Rush is a Mubarek thug sympathizer.  Fox news is probably also not too keen on this recent turn of events.  Because, let’s think about it: If Mubarek leaves, Israel will be forced to deal with a new Egypt.  And while this new Egypt may not want to go to war, it’s likely to start issuing demands for things that Israel probably should have started to do earlier, like no more settlements in the west bank.  And if Egypt goes, so may Jordan, and Syria.  It could get very messy.  And Israel might have to start acting like a good neighbor instead of the tough kid on the block with a gigantic bodyguard.

Fox wouldn’t want that, especially if there’s no strong religious flavor to the uprisings.  But why would younger people living under repressive governments want to win a giant victory only to turn over their power to a bunch of regressive religious mullahs like they have in Iran?  The flavor of this revolution seems closer to the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the Soviet Union than to the Iranian Revolution.  In Egypt and Iran, the dictator had to go but there is no Ayatollah Komeini leading in Egypt.  A mid-east revolution without religious overtones would undermine Fox’s whole raison d’etre.

Americans used to support the overthrow of brutal regimes.  We turned into the fall of the Berlin Wall and cheered them on.  But Rush doesn’t want that.  Egypt is just the kind of government Rush likes: bleak, secretive, undemocratic and intimidating.  It carts away journalists and other witnesses.  Rush *likes* that.

But Rush can say whatever he wants in America.  It’s unlikely that he will ever encounter any crowds surrounding his door demanding his ouster, though he deserves it.  You see, here in America, we don’t do that anymore.  Peaceful assemblages to voice your dissent are penned up, removed from the targets of the messages and just as brutally suppressed.  Anyone who was in Denver in 2008 and saw anti-war protestors surrounded by hundreds of menacing crowd control police will attest to that.

 

There was no dissent in Denver because security wouldn’t allow it.  The place was a fortress.  Many streets were blocked off, demonstrators were confined to a large circular area and the perimeter was shrinkwrapped with guys like the ones shown above and other’s with armor.  Armor.  Black plasticky looking stuff.  These people were quick and merciless.  Step out of line even by a toe and you could get thrown to the ground, very roughly, and carted off to some remote holding pen.

THIS is YOUR government.  Not Egypt.  It was the DEMOCRATIC national convention.  These anti-war protestors probably ended up voted for Obama, for whom all of these measures were taken.  The protests and parades were scheduled and securitized within an inch of their lives.  No lawmaker need ever have heard a discouraging word.  Face it you dirty hippies, Obama doesn’t even know you’re out there.  He lives in a different world surrounded by lawyers and softly musked Wharton graduates in tailored Armani suits who are doing public service between their gigs in the finance industry.

Now, I ask you, who does Rush speak for?

35 Responses

  1. He speaks for authority, which is the only god he believes in.

  2. RD,

    I was there in Denver and I know what you mean with regard to being “suppressed” by the black booted police force there.

    Nonetheless, I find ALL of the news channels worthy of our contempt, not just Fox. I haven’t forgotten the over-the-top, in your face biased MSNBC, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS spewed at Hillary daily during the primary, whereas, ironically, it was Fox news which treated her with a modicum of respect, in comparison. Shows you just how upside down the world has become.

    Also, my common sense tells me that if obama is inserting himself into the Egyptian crisis, while remaining quiet during the similar citizen movement in Iran last, that somethings stinks in Denmark.

    Rabble Rouser Reverand Amy wrote an excellent investigative reporting piece on obama’s links to The Muslim Brotherhood that deserves a read:

    http://www.noquarterusa.net/blog/2011/02/03/questions-about-obama-and-the-muslim-brotherhood-lead-to-more-questions/

    In the end, it will be up to the people to seek and find the truth of what’s really going on. Based on what I’m reading on the various PUMA blogs, I fear that obama has already made major strides in achieving the goals set by those powerful forces who placed him into the WH, with the help and complicity of the MSM.

  3. Face it you dirty hippies, Obama doesn’t even know you’re out there. He lives in a different world surrounded by lawyers and softly musked Wharton graduates in tailored Armani suits who are doing public service between their gigs in the finance industry.

    I don’t see how democracy survives this stuff. Rigged elections & suppressed demonstrations…. how can we possibly make our voices heard.

    And our “square” — the National Mall is way too far away from most people to allow for truly widespread demonstrations.

    • RD: The state media in Egypt is cruder than ours, but the disconnect is the same.

      KB: +1000. See it takes a city.

      One reason I’m immersed in live blogging this is for lessons learned…

    • during the G-20 in Pittsburgh the police had all that black creepy gear and the people protesting were chased and rubber bullets used. I wondered why many of these things are not noticed more by liberals and talked about. I know one of the kids hit by a rubber bullet and its not pretty.

  4. It may not be pc, but I feel sorry for these guys. From Spiegel Online.

    Terribly poor and illiterate, they set off to do their employers’ bidding for a paltry sum equivalent to around €10-€15 ($14-$20).

    And even taking everything I read with a grain of salt, I find this believable, troublesome … and sad.

    … the ruling National Democratic Party, which has 3 million members, who fear that they could lose power in free elections. They are members of the nouveau riche, who have gained huge fortunes and influence, largely through corruption and criminality, and who currently enjoy immunity.

    […]

    These individuals have everything to lose — and are now depending on those who have nothing left to lose. The privileged members of the regime don’t want to get their hands dirty. Instead, they recruit their helpers from the rural and semi-rural regions, particularly from two provinces north of Cairo: Bahtim and Qalyub. The poor, who make up the majority of the population here, are easy prey. Many are distrustful of the demonstrators’ motives and fear that the movement is secretly pursuing other aims.

    • +1000. There’s a reason why our bankster arisocrats would like the rest of us to be desperate.

    • From the article there’s also this chilling piece of information :

      Thousands of prisons, including detention centers in the desert, were opened in recent days. [A] total of 14,000 inmates, including murderers and other serious criminals, were suddenly set free. They were released on the understanding that they would cause as much chaos as possible — effectively a license to plunder, murder and commit arson.

  5. According to Swedish Television the condition of their reporter Bert Sundström, still hospitalized in Cairo, is “serious but stable”.

    Reporters Without Borders has made a “far from exhaustive” list of incidents involving journalists and news media in Egypt the last couple of days.

  6. Why bash Fox and not the misogynist MSNBC (which on weekends doesn’t even do news, just prison shows?) Hate to see you buying into the fauxgressive spin.

  7. The American Right is on whichever side will piss off liberals. That’s all they care about anymore.

    Their craving for limited gov’t, less intrusive gov’t all those so called ‘rights’ have been proven to be just a bunch of bullcrap. All they care about, ALL!, is pissing off liberals.

  8. And while we’re on Egypt, if this thing turns really deadly the only person to blame is Obama. He sat on his hands for 5 days without a word of which way the US would go and that allowed Mubarak’s forces to organize a response.

    If the feckless naif had spoken up sooner in support of either “our friend” or the people, then it would be over by now and nowhere near as many dead bodies would be piled up.

    I really despised GWBush, but my feelings for Obama defy description.

    • BO cares more about looking good than doing good, which is why he dithers before coming out with a speech designed to please his fans but had the effect of getting Wisner booted out of Egypt and Mubarak more entrenched in staying.
      I really think Hillary could have set the scene for a peaceful transition and quiet exit of Mub by now if he hadn’t decided to grandstand.

  9. I found this opinion piece helpful. Yes the woman is a commentator for Fox, but she is also a liberal who worked in the Clinton White house for several years.
    No one on either the right or the left knows exactly what is happening in Egypt or what is likely to happen. I think all of us need to read more and resist the urge to take the typical partisan position of those we most identify with.

    One of the things I consistently hear from the Egyptian Christians I know is that Islamists know the right things to say in order to gain power. They are sophisticated. They are especially astute at telling Westerners what they want to hear.
    I saw this also when I was in Saudi Arabia. Our guide told us repeatedly that Saudi Arabia was reforming and that it was becoming a more open society. This was the story he sold us day after day. Never mind that women can’t drive or that restaurants are segregated or that the religious police hit women with a baton if they think they aren’t appropriately covered. They are known to cut men’s hair right on the street if they deem it too long. My husband had his passport taken away in the airport for wearing shorts, and the authorities wouldn’t give it back to him until he changed. If a Muslim converts to any other religion, the punishment is the death penalty.
    Open society indeed.
    Shadi Hamid, a Brookings Institute scholar and expert on the Muslim Brotherhood (which he maintains is not radical) made the case to me that Egypt is a very Islamic country, and if the people want an Islamic government that is their choice. It’s not for the U.S. to decide.
    As a liberal, I have a very hard time with the idea that I’m not supposed to care about a potential government that is oppressive to minorities and women. I also do not support theocracies—Muslim, Christian or otherwise even if they aren’t fundamentalist. If find it strange that so many American liberals aren’t concerned about the Muslim Brotherhood’s stated mission to “spread Islam.” It’s hard to imagine them being so unconcerned about a Christian political group with the stated mission of establishing a Christian theocracy gaining power in a new government.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2011-02-03/why-america-should-worry-about-an-islamic-government-in-egypt/full/

    • A commenter for Fox takes the Fox party line, in this case, taking the opportunity to stir up a little Islamophobia. Egyptian Muslims formed human shields to protect Coptic Christians against radical Islamists during their Christmas Mass. Egyptian Christians linked arms and shielded Muslim protesters from Mubarak’s thugs during prayers in Tahrir Square. I think the Egyptians have it down: they’re all in this together; they’re Egyptians first and religionists second or somewhere else down the line; and they want democracy now, including free and fair elections. As RD points out, they’ve been at this naiton business for 5000 years, and they’re pretty much over Pharoahs and Sultans.

      • it’s narrow minded to declare that someone takes the fox party line just because they sometimes appear on the network. The woman is a liberal and a democrat. She happens to comment on Fox sometimes. Sticking people in boxes because they disagree with you is what other people do… you know, like when they call you racist or bitter knitters for supporting Hillary rather than O-precious or say that you vote with your vagina.
        To believe that nothing can go badly in Egypt because the influence of the MB is not apparent, is short sighted.
        I don’t think you read the article I was quoting. Go ahead and read it.
        Some one said once (and it got repeated over and over again) that on the internet we only read or listen to sources that reinforce our own previously held POV. I used to disagree with that, but I see that in many cases that is exactly what people do.

        • Where did I say I believed nothing can go badly? I read the article. Do you actually read other posters’ comments?

          Look, I’m a writer. I know the tricks used in this article–casting doubt while appearing to do the opposite, (“which he maintains is not radical”)making an invalid comparison (the official Saudi Arabian guide, who is somehow supposed to be proof that the Egyptian protesters communicating with the media are “islamists”); loaded words (“Islamist” instead of “Muslim”); and the false conclusion (“if the people want an islamic government” used to imply that they do in fact want an islamic government.) Then there’s the disquisition on Saudi Arabia, which is a very, very different society from Egypt’s, used to imply that Egypt will somehow come loose from its own history and become a mirror of SA.

          in short, this is a propaganda piece. I give it all the validity a propaganda piece is due.

        • Teresainpa, once again, true liberals do not go on Fox. Period.
          Al Franken exposed the whole idea of a Fox liberal in his book Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them.
          Seriously, Teresa, you need to turn off Fox and never watch them again. In fact, don’t watch ANY cable news programs. Take up a hobby, read a book, plant a garden. Do anything but watch Fox. I cannot emphasize enough how destructive Fox has been and this blog is a Fox Free news zone. No Fox propaganda here.
          No this is not negotiable. You can fume and complain. It will fall on deaf ears. Katiebird and I have standards.
          No Fox.

      • Theresa’s right. Having been on Fox, I can say the people I worked with told the story straight, contra the bias of the GE-type networks. Are they generally biases towards the GOP? Sure. Do they ever get it right? Sure. It’s up to the viewer to think critically and figure it out on a case by case basis, informed by the facts.

        If it’s true FoxNews is generally pro-GOP, it’s also true that East coast institutional news media is generally pro-Obama, anti-Clinton, anti-working class, and more misogynist than not.

        You might recall, most Dem base voters figured this all out in the last D primary.

        • For the record, this blog recommends abstention from all cable news channels. When it comes right down to it, they are all basically the same. Their purpose is to make an illusory worldview for you that does not necessary comport with reality. Don’t watch ANY of them. None are better than others but some are definitely worse.
          Also, don’t watch network news. Their product is carefully marketed and doesn’t escape manipulation. Instead, read. It’s much easier to spot propaganda when you read it. Your ears dont process it as well as your eyes do. There’s a neurological study in that for a researcher.
          In any case, I used to think publicity, any publicity, is a good thing. But now I see that when you go on Fox, you have been invited because your presence and message checks off some box on their agenda. This is particularly true of groups that were anti Obama. We have good reason to be critical of Obama and his shadow group of supporters. But they see it as undermining the left. And it is.
          They may be nice but that’s because they are professional crocodiles.
          They’re still crocodiles.

      • ” Egyptian Muslims formed human shields to protect Coptic Christians against radical Islamists during their Christmas Mass. Egyptian Christians linked arms and shielded Muslim protesters from Mubarak’s thugs during prayers in Tahrir Square.”

        =================

        Makes sense to me. To spread it around, we’d need a good cite.

    • Teresainpa, don’t bring Fox crap to this site. There are no liberals on Fox. They are journalistic mercenaries who put money ahead of ideology. They aren’t liberals, they just play them on TV.
      There’s a reason why this ‘liberal’ is so worried about islamic factions in Egypt. It’s because she’s paid by Fox to be worried. If you can’t see the spin and manipulation techniques in this “so-called liberal’s” comments, then I really would suggest that you stop posting them here.
      No, I am not kidding. We don’t do Fox news here. Any new material from Fox that had not been critically analyzed for messaging will be deleted.

  10. “You might recall, most Dem base voters figured this all out in the last D primary.”
    EXACTLY, John. I sure did.
    I thought the idea was to look at both sides, get a well-rounded view before making up our minds….how can we do that if we refuse to ever watch or comment on Fox? I used to ignore foxnews….now I watch both Fox and Cnn and ignore MSNBC. Somewhere, in there is the truth and the balance. I’m a little surprised at the attitude that “we don’t do Fox news here”. What remains of the liberal in me finds it a bit offensive…being told what I can and cannot read and discuss.
    (Yeah, I know I can leave.)

    • For the record, this blog recommends abstention from all cable news channels. When it comes right down to it, they are all basically the same. Their purpose is to make an illusory worldview for you that does not necessary comport with reality. Don’t watch Amy of them none are better than others but some are definitely worse.

      No one’s kicking anyone out. We’re just saying that news reports from FOX aren’t welcome here. If it’s real news, there will be other sources.

      Preferably “print” sources rather than television news sources.

    • If you choose to believe that Fox is worth watching for its opposing viewpoint, I can’t stop you from watching it. But do not expect me to give Fox a platform or treat it as a legitimate news organization that is in any way interested in portraying a reasonable argument.
      I’m very sorry you are not picking up the overt, blatant and relentless propaganda, psychological manipulation and wordsmithing on Fox. However, this is not my problem. You won’t take my word for it. You will have to figure it out for yourself. Please do not defend Fox here. Fox is indefensible. You may find that intolerant; I consider it doing my readers a favor in stopping the spread of its radical, antiAmerican messaging.
      And I repeat, none of the cable news channels are good. Not one. Fox just happens to be the worst. Don’t watch any of them. If you are really a liberal, there’s no way in hell you could every take Fox seriously. It should offend your principles in every conceivable way.

  11. Remember this “Confused? You won’t be, after this week’s episode of…Soap” ?

    Well, this is not “Soap” and I am confused.

    Now, according to Reuters, Frank Wisner, Obama’s special envoy for Egypt, says:

    We need to get a national consensus around the pre-conditions for the next step forward. The president must stay in office to steer those changes.

    That’s not what Obama says – or is it, and I just don’t know how to interprete WORM?

    • Obama is in charge. If this is what his envoy is saying, it’s because this is what Obama wants, secret police and all. For all I know, Mubarek is threatening to reveal all about the renditions complete with gory videotape.
      Well, whatever. If you lay down with dogs yadayadayada.
      Better to get it all out. We’ll feel better afterwards.

      • LOL–like a good dose of political Ex-Lax.

        The problem is, at least the whole top layer of Mub’s government has to go. That includes Suleiman, who was and presumably still is the CIA’s go-to guy for renditions and torture. Maybe he’s got time-stamped snaps of the bloody drill bits and the tail numbers on the Gulf Stream that will implicate Obama as much as the Bushes.

        Crap. We’re as much in need of a truth and reconciliation commission here in the Land of the Free (Market, tthat is) as South Africa was.

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