There is one media outlet in the USA which is forever on the lookout for anyone who is not totally in open support of US policy on, well, anything. And anyone straying from this accepted line is fair game for whatever this player and its obedient servants choose to dump on them. No prizes for guessing that the name in this particular frame is Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse).
So it should have come as no surprise at all to writer and commentator Owen Jones to see his article for the Independent (“Getting rid of George W Bush wasn’t enough. The US remains a bully”) made the subject of an on-air rant by Greg Gutfeld, self proclaimed conservative and libertarian, on Fox’ The Five. Gutfeld’s less than measured tone included denouncing Jones as a “creep”.
Moreover, Jones was held to have meant “Death to America”, whatever his actual words. He was further smeared as a “baying jackal” whose attitude was equivalent to those at “Soros funded blogs”. And what was supposedly “really scary” was that Jones “could have written an Obama stump speech back in 2007”. But “sensible folks must realise that a powerful America will always be the enemy of the left”.
Gutfeld is backed up by the equally immoderate Eric Bolling, who refers to his own President as “the occupier in chief” (that means he does not accept that Barack Obama is legitimately in the White House) and Andrea Tantaros, who sneers that Jones should “take history class” when he “goes back to school and finishes the ninth grade”. Laugh? I thought I’d never start.
This supposed demolition (note that Jones does not get a look-in) has sent right-wingers in the UK into an almost orgasmic state. The convocation of dishonesty at The Commentator has posted the video to YouTube, which they no doubt think is incredibly clever. The Guido Fawkes blog has also featured the incident. Both miss the rather obvious point.
And that point is that this is yet another example of them lapping up what will either not interest 90% plus of the population, or turn them off in short order, just like all those wonderfully sound conservative policies and ideas that they love, but those in the real world know will have the electorate voting for, well, anyone else. This is just another part of the right’s extended jerking circle.
As for The Five, well, all you need to know about the target audience is to see the name of the host whose show came before: the 5pm Eastern time weekday time slot on Fox was formerly occupied by none other than Glenn Beck, who became less credible as time went on, notable only for the material he afforded to those who ridiculed him. The Five continues that tradition.
And as for Owen Jones, well, is he bothered?