Joe Lapointe has worked as a sports reporter with the New York Times and a segment producer for "Countdown With Keith Olbermann'' on Current TV
The best way to watch Fox News – and Sean Hannity in particular – is to pay attention not to what they cover but to what they don’t cover.
Consider, for instance, the stormy reception Republican Senator John McCain got this week during a “Town Hall” meeting with his voters back home in Arizona.
They shouted at him, insulted him. They ranted and raved. They demanded harsh measures against immigrants. Shoot the invaders! They spewed back to McCain the daily bile they hear on Fox and Talk Radio and all the web sites of the Right Wing Entertainment Complex.
Most other news outlets covered the scene. After all, McCain is a former loser in a Presidential election and frequently appears on TV as a righteous voice of the right. This was news.
But Hannity – the most cynical and manipulative of Fox News propagandists – completely ignored the story.
And with good reason. It made McCain, who argued with the Tea Party crackpots, look like a mean, bitter old man who could not manage his own meeting. Fox used to love these scenes in 2010 when wing-nuts dressed up in costumes to harangue “moderates.”
But this was different. McCain seemed befuddled and embarrassed, not the sort of hero / tough guy image that Fox prefers for him. Not at all like the badass McCain who combined with South Carolina’s creepy Lindsey Graham and others to attach Chuck Hagel, the former Republican Senator from Nebraska nominated to be President Obama’s Secretary of Defense.
Hannity and other pundits couldn’t help but show that Senate footage and point out that Hagel “looked bad” during the hearings. Question: Who doesn’t “look bad” when they walk into a mugging by disingenuous double-talkers? Most of the hostility, particularly by the venomous Graham, involved issues that involved Hagel peripherally, if at all.
It was nothing but a transparent proxy attack on President Obama, petty and cheap, all that’s left for a nest of sore losers who are rapidly losing control of their party, their voters, their nation and their minds.
Here’s the lesson they never learn: The audience for racist and paranoiac media is quite large, large enough to sell lots of commercials on TV and radio and keep the bigots in business. But that same audience is not large enough anymore to carry elections at the national level and its bitterness turns off the swing voters.
Greed, God and Guns are no longer enough for the far right of the Republican Party. They want vengeance, they want people punished and hurt, particularly minorities.
But even McCain and his cronies don’t really want that. Who’s going to cut their lawns and clear their dirty dishes? The Frankenstein monster created by their right-wing media is turning on them. Good!
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