Wednesday 4 February 2015
Fox News Fuels Murdoch Islamophobia
It had been thought for some weeks that ISIS, or whatever they’re calling themselves this week, had already murdered captured Jordanian pilot Moaz al-Kasasbeh, even though they were negotiating to exchange him for a failed female suicide bomber held in a Jordanian prison and sentenced to death. That ISIS were indeed negotiating in bad faith was confirmed when a video of the pilot being burned alive was posted online.
This graphic and lurid execution merely confirmed that ISIS know no bounds to the unpleasantness to which they will sink in order to try and provoke the West into being dragged into the war that ISIS wants to see. But across the North Atlantic, an increasingly vocal outpost of Creepy Uncle Rupe’s empire is using the latest ISIS killing to further its own particularly loaded agenda.
That outpost is Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse), which has not only brought its viewers and website readers news of the murder, but has also posted the full 22-minute video, uncut and uncensored. This has provoked dismay in some quarters, but it fits the Fox News agenda, the two main thrusts of which can be clearly identified when the Op-Ed follow up - you get this at Fox whether you want it or not - is examined.
Fox contributor Liz Peek (who she? - Ed) told “most Americans think the most serious threat facing the country is Islamic terrorism – not climate change, not income inequality – Islamic terrorism … A recent poll shows more Americans saying the United States is less safe from terrorists now than at any point since 9/11. We are concerned that our president does not share our alarm”. And, as the man said, there’s more.
“Muslims around the world are doing far too little to ‘reject’ extremism, a point recently made by New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan. As he pointed out, during the ‘troubles’ in Northern Ireland, the Catholic Church would routinely condemn acts of IRA violence. Where are the moderate Imams? Their silence is deafening. Mr. President, these savages of ISIS have taken your measure, and are not impressed”.
“Presumably the ISIS strategists (unlike your administration it appears they do have a strategy) decided we were becoming inured to beheadings; they took it up a notch. Their most recent video does just that, signaling a new and more gruesome barbarism. President Obama, you need to address the nation, and condemn Islamic radicalism – something you have been unwilling to do. The time is now”.
Yes, the two thrusts of the Fox News agenda are first, dump all ills on Barack Obama, not of course that this has any racial side to it, oh no. And second, imply that there are not really any moderate Muslims, and that all followers of The Prophet are therefore fair game for being tarred with the ISIS-by-association brush. Fox News’ audience is overwhelmingly white and Christian. The Murdoch Sun often takes a broadly similar tone.
So does Rupe himself. Is this organised bigotry? You might well ask that question. I couldn’t possibly comment.