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Oops, Fox Did it Again

July 9, 2004
By Lisa Manzi

Earlier this week, the New York Post’s “exclusive” incorrectly declared, “Kerry’s Choice, Dem picks Gephardt as VP Candidate.” The New York Post is owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, which also owns Fox News. As you know, back in 2000, Fox News declared that Bush won Florida after other stations had already correctly placed it in the Gore column. I’m wondering how many more mistakes the entrenched right wing establishment and it’s clueless pundits can get away with before America finally realizes: isolated rightwing pundits don’t have any business talking about what’s going on in the Democratic party. They are uninformed, in the dark, and utterly unreliable.

Errors are not limited to News Corporation. Our local weekly paper in Washington County, NY is full of nonsensical ramblings from a rightwing cheerleader who somehow got herself a syndicated column. (Think of Washington County as a twilight zone of New York, a red county in a blue state.) They carry a commentary almost every week by a Diane Amantea who is always fond misinforming readers about what Democratic insiders are doing and thinking. To give you an idea of how little she knows about democrats, her bio states that “while only a freshman in high school, she actively campaigned for Richard Nixon.”

Not that you need that telling piece information to realize she knows nothing about moderate or liberal political movements, reading her column reveals she clearly has no idea what is going on inside the democratic party. Long before Kerry effectively won the Democratic nomination, she informed readers that Democrats were going to nominate Dean because what they really planned on was losing 2004 so that they could elect Hillary in 2008. I happen to be a Democrat and what I wanted more than anything at the time (and also at the time of this writing) was to beat Bush! I couldn’t have cared less who was going to run in 2008, I wanted Democrats to win in November of 2004. Needless to say, when Kerry was obviously going to be the Democratic candidate, she made no apology for missing her mark. And none of her loyal readers seemed to mind her gaffe.

It’s not just small press pundits that are out of touch with the reality of the Democratic party, Tucker Carlson today towed the Republican party line stating on Crossfire that Edwards was Kerry’s “second choice” as Vice President claiming that Kerry really wanted McCain. Nicolle Devenish, the Bush campaign’s communications director similarly said, “We think it's important that people understand that this is a ticket of John Kerry and his second choice.”

That’s an interesting take on things because a McCain aide told the AP, “Senator McCain categorically states that he has not been offered the vice presidency by anyone.” No doubt, the Kerry camp queried a list of potential Veeps, but why should conservative outsiders assume that Edwards wasn’t always at the top? I’ll tell you why: because telling the American people otherwise makes Kerry look bad and that is all they really care about when they come up with their commentary everyday. I guess not having a clue about the truth doesn’t matter when you’re a right wing pundit.

It’s a free press and as long as ignorance is bliss, I guess the rest of us are going to have to listen to their coordinated efforts at misinformation and false speculation. But wouldn’t it be nice if people saw it for what it was finally?

Lisa Manzi is a writer and artist living and working in upstate New York. Her work has appeared in The Saratoga Business Journal, on InformationClearingHouse.com, and in The Sun Magazine. She can be reached at lisa_manzi@yahoo.com.

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