Posted on | March 8, 2010 | 107 Comments
A hero, a man who is risking life and limb to rescue the Netherlands and Europe from radical Islamization and communism taking grip of his country and continent. Everyday he has to wear a safety vest and hide his family and give them 24-hour security because he is willing to say the unpopular thing to protect and defend his nation.
First on “Special Report” with Brett Baier:
Then on Glenn Beck:
Now, there is perhaps some “fair and balanced” ambiguity here, and perhaps a good deal of unnecessary sensationalism — “Ooooh! The controversial far-right leader!” — but the overall tone of the portrayals, and the fact that these two reports were filed practically back-to-back suggests to me that somebody at Fox News (and somebody pretty important) is guilty of accepting liberal media reports of Dutch politics at face value. I’ve got a hunch about this, but it might take a while to investigate, so look for updates.
(Hat tip: Dan Riehl.)
UPDATE: I’m still trying to figure out where this anti-Wilders theme is coming from, and just got a call from a friend who suggests that Fox News is under pressure from Saudi interests — suggestions I’ve heard before, but prefer to discount. I think it far more likely that some senior producer or executive at NewsCorp has been listening to BBC or NPR or reading the New York Times and accepting those liberal characterizations as gospel.
It’s like what happened with the Sparkman “murder” in Kentucky. All it took was for one anonymous source at the Justice Department to tell an Associated Press reporter that they were looking at “anti-government sentiment” as a motive and next thing you know, it’s “Send the Body to Glenn Beck” time.
You can’t judge people you’ve never met, in places you’ve never been, based on what you get from the media. It doesn’t matter whether it’s Kentucky or Kampala, there is simply no substitute for direct knowledge. And based on personal experience, I’m profoundly suspicious any time I see this “dangerous right-winger” theme in the media. Here is Roger Simon of Pajamas Media:
Regarding Wilders, I had the pleasure of meeting the man at a party in Los Angeles last year and spent thirty minutes or so talking with him, often one-on-one. He is extremely well-spoken and personable.
Geert Wilders is a far right ideologue, and the European far right does often equal fascism. How the heck did Beck ever get this one right?
Frankly, now I’m tempted to start rattling the tip jar for a trip to Amsterdam, just to check out the situation on the ground. A quick check on Travelocity shows I could get a round-trip flight for about $800. If I could find somebody over there who speaks English, and has a sofa I could crash on . . .
It’s a completely crazy idea, but I’ve done crazier things.
UPDATE Tuesday 10:30 a.m.: Now a Memeorandum thread. David Horowitz, Robert Spencer and Diana West (a veritable Murderer’s Row of LGF enemies) have commented on the situation. Paul Mirengoff wisely notes: “A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing.” Noticing an Associated Press report of an “anti-fascist” protest against Wilders in England, I observed at the Hot Air Green Room:
If the protesters against Wilders are “anti-fascist,” then what does that make Wilders? He’s a “fascist” in the same sense that Mark Steyn is a fascist — which is to say, someone the Left hates.
A couple years ago I covered a David Horowitz speech at George Washington University where the left-wing protest pests chanted, “Racist! Sexist! Anti-Gay! David Horowitz go away!”
Horowitz is none of those things, but the protesters chant that stuff because they know that the accusations have propaganda value, stigmatizing Horowitz in the eyes of people who don’t know anything about him but who don’t want to be associated with racism, sexism or homophobia. A group calls itself “Unite Against Facism” and anyone they target for protests is immediately on the defensive: If you’re not a fascist, why are “anti-fascists” protesting against you? It’s like “peace” groups and “environmental” groups — who is against peace? Who wants to be labeled “anti-environment”?
The effectiveness of the Left’s propaganda against Wilders, I think, explains why he got such hostile treatment Monday from Fox News.
The influx of tip-jar contributions for a Holland trip hasn’t materialized yet. Maybe y’all don’t trust me over amongst all those foreigners. Anyway, I’ve got to run to D.C. today on business, so blogging will be light until this evening.