The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Caught on Tape: Fox News Executive Privately Doubts Obama Is a Socialist?

Posted on | March 29, 2011 | 32 Comments

It’s another one of those “gotcha” moments with Media Matters as Wile E. Coyote and Fox as the Road Runner. Fox executive Bill Sammon (with whom I used to work at The Washington Times) was on a 2009 cruise sponsored by Hillsdale College and gave a speech where he said this:

“Last year, candidate Barack Obama stood on a sidewalk in Toledo, Ohio, and first let it slip to Joe the Plumber that he wanted to quote, ‘spread the wealth around.’ . . . At that time, I have to admit, that I went on TV on Fox News and publicly engaged in what I guess was some rather mischievous speculation about whether Barack Obama really advocated socialism, a premise that privately I found rather far-fetched. . . .
“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.”

Eric Hananoki of Media Matters plays this up — “newly uncovered audio” of a “startling admission” — as the smoking-gun proof that BILL SAMMON LIED TO FOX NEWS VIEWERS!

Well, to start with, how did this audio become “newly uncovered”? Waaaayy down in his story at Media Matters, Hananoki explains:

Media Matters obtained audio of Sammon’s remarks by purchasing it through Hillsdale College.

Yeah: They sold audio of the speeches made by Sammon and others during this cruise. And so it wasn’t exactly hush-hush. And of course, in context, you see that what Sammon is saying about this “Barack the Socialist” meme is that it was what everybody on Fox was discussing at the time, and he took part in those discussions despite whatever private doubts he might have had about the term.

So big hairy deal. Greg Pollowitz at National Review:

There’s an old SNL skit with William Shatner playing Captain Kirk and Dana Carvey as Khan. Except in this SNL future, The USS Enterprise is now a floating restaurant in space, Kirk is the maître d’hôtel, and Khan is the health inspector. Khan sneers, during his inspection, “I have you now Kirk! There’s no sneeze-guard on your salad bar!” . . .

It’s a long run for short slide, and if this is the best Media Matters can do, George Soros should demand a refund. 

Meanwhile, I’m told that Bill Sammon is now requiring all Fox News employees to sign a pledge of their absolute 100% certainty that Barack Obama is the anti-Christ, or else they’re fired.

You believe that, right? I mean, if it’s on the Internet, it must be true.

UPDATE: As might be expected, the unhinged left-wing moonbat bloggers are jumping all over this Media Matters “startling admission” angle. And by the phrase “unhinged left-wing moonbat bloggers” of course, I mean . . .


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