Ft. Hood and Donald Sterling

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I overheard a couple of students this week talking about the Ft Hood killings, attributing them to Muslim extremism, calling those killings "terrorist" as opposed to criminal in nature - and saying that it was evidence of Muslim hatred of Christians, that you won't hear the truth about Muslim hatred of Christians anywhere but Fox News, but it's just so obvious.

Here's O'Reilly

"You can't kill all the Muslims," O'Reilly says.  So you need to win them over. 

Be good, by implication, if you could kill them all - or, to be more charitable to Bill - it would just be easier.  Sure, it sounds like Bill O'Reilly is saying that the main problem with genocide is its impracticality, but it could be I'm predisposed to looking at Fox News in the worst possible light.

It's not as if, after all, that Fox had to apologize yesterday for using fake news footage.  Or that, at that original event (the 9-12 festival of dumb set up by Simple Jack) Fox "reported" news about cheering crowds while prodding the cheers on.  Or that, without even the slightest amount of shame, they cropped a Joe Biden criticism of John McCain's campaign quote "the fundamentals of our economy are strong" in order to criticize Biden as if he was asserting the underlying idea himself.  Or that, on April 3 - Hannity called Obama anti-American and played a clip of Obama's speech in France saying "there have been times where America's shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive" - but then not playing the very next line of the speech, where Obama criticized unwarranted, relfexive anti-Americanism in Europe.  And certainly Fox News would never run a graphic to say that a Republican congressman with a bent toward underage male pages was a Democrat.  Or then repeat that error here with Republican Governor Mark Sanford.  And Rupert Murdoch couldn't have said he agreed with Simple Jack's comment that the first African-American President in US history was a "racist" with a "deep seated hatred of white people" with the comment about Obama "he did make a very racist comment, about, you know, blacks and whites and so on."

Do you know, incidentally, to what Murdoch is referring?  I mean, on a "reasonable minds can differ" basis - what has Obama said that could be construed as a "very racist comment about, you know, blacks and whites and so on."

I mean, Fox, as the mainstream media keeps telling us, is a legitimate news organization and should be treated as such by the Administration.  So none of that could have actually happened.

What did actually happen is Ft. Hood - and if you were to spin this forward and tell me the evidence conclusively indicates this was a religiously motivated act of terrorism, that doesn't shock my conscience.  Fox has certainly labeled it as such, O' Reilly this week said he was certain of it. 

What also doesn't shock my conscience, or surprise me, is terrorism explicity based on Christianity or Judaism.  Greenwald writes today about an alleged terrorist in Jerusalem saying that he has "no doubt God is pleased."  Greenwald writes of the numbers, the scores of reports of Christian "fanatacism" in the military; and Jeremy Scahill has written multiple pieces in the Nation about the allegations regarding Blackwater, this piece specifically discusses the allegation that founder Erik Prince "views himself as a Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe."

Cries to investigate Muslim extremism grow exponetially from the right - but silence from all corners on Christian extremism. 

This springs to mind similar hypocrisy in a couple of other places.  A right wing punching bag is ACORN; they're one of the main connections on Simple Jack's chalkboard of madness, ACORN advocates for the poor and working class - and ACORN was singled out for malfeasance from some of its workers and singled out by a federal law that banned it from receiving federal funds.  ACORN's received a total of 53 million federal dollars over the past 15 years.

Pfizer paid 2.3 billion in civil settlements and criminal fines this year and received 73 million in federal contracts ion 2007.  Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and Northrup Grumman have paid 3 billion in fines and settlements since '95 - and in 2007 they received 77 billion in federal contracts.

And that doesn't even bring us to Halliburton, this is just a detailing of Halliburton crimes as of 2003, and the amount of money Halliburton receives every day due to its Iraq War is about what ACORN got in its entire existence.

And no anti-rape legislation is needed to protect the employees at ACORN.

What's the sports tie in to all this?

LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling just agreed to a nearly 3 million dollar housing discrimination settlement; the largest settlement of its type in US history (this comes after paying an undisclosed settlement in 2005, what was disclosed was his requirement to pay almost 5 million in plaintiffs legal fees)  Sterling's amassed a litany of complaints of sexual harrassment, age discrimination, and racial discrimination (including a suit by longtime general manager Elgin Baylor, one of the greatest players in NBA history) And despite notoriously running as bad an organization as exists in professional sports - the Clippers franchise that Sterling paid 12 million for in 1981 is now worth almost 300 million dollars.   His tenure is Charlie Comiskey like; the type of archaic, destructive ownership style that I'd say would be better suited in professional wrestling, except even Vince McMahon could not get away with the behavior that has marked Sterling's tenure.

The hypocritical element of this is it takes place in David Stern's NBA - an NBA with a dress code policy for its players - because baggy clothes, see, don't project the right image for the league.  Do-rags, chains, jerseys, pendants worn outside shirts are all examples of clothes banned by the league since 2005.  The hip hop influence after all isn't the image of itself the league wants to present. 

Me, I don't care for dress codes.  Never supported one yet, unlikely I ever will.  Like banning endzone celebrations in the NFL (or banning, hell, any expressions of enthusiasm in college football) I read them as attempts to enforce majoritarian taste under the cover of meaningless words like "professionalism".

But how threadbare is the argument that the image of the NBA is harmed by a backup center wearing excessive bling when the owner of a 300 million dollar franchise in Los Angeles racks up millions and millions of dollars of discrimination settlements. 

Could be that it's entirely the function of a news organization being willing to carry the water for a cause.

Fox News has reported, on a constant, perhaps daily, basis since 9/11 that Muslims = terrorists.  To some percentage of the population that's all it takes for it to be true (like health care reform is a march to Nazism).  Acts in the name of other religions are ignored.

Fox News took on ACORN - it becoming the embodiment of the black/liberal/corrupt takeover of the US government.  So ACORN loses its funding.  While the exponentially larger corruption by other corporations goes undiscussed.  And so those companies continue to receive your tax dollars.

And the equivalent of Fox News, the Sports Media Industrial Complex, spends years hammering modern athletes (specifically basketball players) as gangsters and thugs - and the NBA responds by dictating how large can be the pants the players wear.  Meanwhile - Donald Sterling, according to testimony, said "black tenants smell and attract vermin."

And goes unpunished by the league.

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