James Clay Fuller

Things We're Not Supposed to Say

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

A nasty fact and a rude speculation

Given the flap over Dan Rather and the fake documents regarding Bush’s non-service in the Air National Guard, liberals need to raise hell about the latest television "news" revelation.

(The press generally failed to note that although the documents Rather used may have been forged, the fact that George skipped out on his military service and got away with it is a demonstrable fact. The press seems so far to be ignoring the latest offense.)

The new one, reported by MoveOn.org, is that the Republican Spin Channel – that is, Fox News – recently and knowingly ran a totally false report on John Kerry by one of its right-wing alleged news people. The liar in question is Carl Cameron.

Cameron made up post-debate quotes and attributed them to Kerry. They were presented with straight face as being real. The phony statements were:

"Didn’t my nails and cuticles look great? What a good debate!"

"Women should like me! I do manicures."

"‘I’m metrosexual – he’s a cowboy,’ the Democratic candidate said of himself and his opponent. A ‘metrosexual’ is defined as an urbane male with a strong aesthetic sense who spends a great deal of time and money on his appearance and lifestyle."

When confronted with the falsity of the report, Fox insisted, and continues to claim, that the story was a good-humored error committed because of "fatigue." MoveOn reports that a Fox staff memo called the "error" a "dismissable offense," but Cameron, whose blatant bias is an obvious part of his every report, has not been disciplined, apparently.

MoveOn suggests we, the public, telephone Fox news boss Roger Ailes and demand the firing of Cameron, just as many rightists have done with Rather, whose error really was a mistake, not than a deliberate falsification such as the Fox story. The Ailes phone number is (212) 301-3000.

It occurred to me driving through my home area of Minneapolis earlier today that "Bush/Cheney" lawn signs say more than meets the eye.

Such a sign on the lawn of a $1 million home says: "I’m selfish, self-centered and greedy and I don’t give a damn for the rest of humanity."

A Bush sign on the lawn of a home in a middle class or low-income neighborhood says: "I’m a great prospect for anyone selling cheap siding, replacement windows I don’t need, over-priced and badly made cars and leaky-roofed time share apartments 12 blocks from the beach in Acapulco."