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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Does Media Matters Really Want People To Listen To This Tape?

Media Matters, as part of its new "get Fox News" agenda, is spinning a tape of Bill Sammons of Fox News made in 2009 as reflecting dishonesty as to "mischievous speculation" in 2008 as to whether Obama had socialist tendencies.  Needless to say, the left-blogsphere has reacted with glee.

But listen to the actual audio, and two things are clear.

First, the word "mischievous" was related to Sammons' use of the word just moments before related to James Carville.  And it is not clear what was the "mischievous speculation" to which Sammons was referring.  Sammons statement that he thought it was "far-fetched" is not a confession of lying, which is the Media Matters Spin.  Sammons describes the language as "inartful" and that he was dealing with the issue because it was in the news.

Second, and this is the part Media Matters doesn't highlight, Sammons made a case for why he feels those concerns about Obama -- whether mischievous or not -- actually had come true.
“Now imagine my surprise when this year, I witness President Barack Obama standing in the cross hall of the White House and having taken over the American car industry, look into the camera, and announce to the nation essentially, that he would personally vouch for the warranty on your car’s muffler. All of a sudden, the debate over whether America was heading for socialism seemed anything but far-fetched…The debate over whether America is headed for socialism seems all too real, especially to those who still believe in capitalism."
Listen, and you decide.

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  1. He's definitely saying that while he may not have thought BO was a socialist then (and he may have) he definitely does now. Yeah, that's showing we trogs on the right, MM. Toss another few million at them, George, maybe these geniuses will next report that someone at Fox thinks BO is a dangerous narcissist and a fraud.

  2. ... and it got picked up by NPR today too!


    Hilarity ensued (in my car).

  3. There is no doubt - MMfA FAIL. However, those millions from Soros keep coming, allowing them many more attempts. The more mud they throw, the more they make an impression, you see. That is all they really want; it plants that bad seed, just waiting for something to come down that will water it, allowing it to grow.

    Gammons is right. We all know it. Their smear was lame. Thus, this one didn't work. What will they try next?

  4. the funny thing is while they make such a big deal about Sammons playing the *socialist card* they ignore the Democrats playing the *racist card*, from Obama's camp on down. And Sammons played the socialist card because of Obama's spread the wealth comments - sounds reasonable to me. And you are right, the hilarious thing is that he was proven right!

  5. Update: The Daily Beast's Howard Kurtz has a response from Sammon about his 2009 remarks:

    In an interview, Sammon says his reference to "mischevious speculation" was "my probably inartful way of saying, 'Can you believe how far this thing has come?'" The socialism question indeed "struck me as a far-fetched idea" in 2008. "I considered it kind of a remarkable notion that we would even be having the conversation." He doesn't regret repeatedly raising it on the air because, Sammon says, "it was a main point of discussion on all the channels, in all the media"--and by 2009 he was "astonished by how the needle had moved."

    Sammon notes that in the same talk on the cruise, he pointed out that George W. Bush had his own stimulus package and had spent half the TARP bailout money: "I was talking about both sides being big spenders." (True; he also told the cruise guests that "when it comes to spending money, Obama makes Bush look like a piker.")

  6. Not sure if you've seen this:



  7. OK, last one - MM is also ignoring that Dems were issued orders to serve up the *extreme card*.


  8. Big Government Democrats and Big Government Republicans seem to be in denial that they're all socialists. Referring to them as socialists is not a slur -- it is a fact.

    When money and/or property is forcibly taken from A through coercive taxation, and it is given to B, how is that not a socialist redistribution of wealth? Consequently, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the new health scam, food stamps, disability insurance, unemployment insurance, government grants, government subsidies, cash for clunkers, mortgage modification programs, TARP, etc. are all socialist programs. While most are transfers to individuals, some are corporate welfare. They're all socialism.

    Obama did not put us on the road to serfdom, I mean socialism, FDR did. And we've been voting for more of it ever since. Our parents had a chance to halt it, even potentially roll it back, in 1964. Instead they voted for even more of it with LBJ and his Great Society. Our generation decided to aggressively accelerate the adoption of socialism. Why else would we have given liberal Democrats total control of all three houses of government, including electing a man who boasted in his book of seeking out Marxist professors in college, whose roots are in the socialist redistributive efforts of community organizing, and who had the most liberal voting record in the senate to be our president?

    Norman Thomas, six-time presidential candidate for the Socialist Party of America (and grandfather of Evan Thomas, once a Newsweek assistant managing editor, Princeton professor, and talking head policy wonk on TV), had it exactly right when he said:

    "The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism, but under the name of liberalism they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program until one day America will be a socialist nation without ever knowing how it happened."

    Obama IS a socialist, as is EVERY Democrat and the vast majority of Republicans. Media Matters protest too much.

  9. Number one: the man's name is spelled Sammon. No final S.

    Number two: the point is that the Fox guy knowingly stated things he thought at the time were not true for partisan gain. That he has now talked himself into believing these things to be true is actually evidence of confirmation bias. The makers of the Loose Change 9/11 Truth film have a remarkably similar story to tell - they were first writing fiction, and it turned out to be TWUE, TWUE, TWUE! It's called confirmation bias. At Fox, you're soaking in it.

  10. Oh good Lord, Joseph Gobbels...er...Nobles, can't any of you leftards read for comprehension? Sammon wasn't "knowingly stated things he thought at the time were not true for partisan gain", he was discussing something he found at the time to be far-fetched. Later events proved that it wasn't so far-fetched at all. There's an entire universe of difference between the two statements.