The Fox News paranoia over Jon Stewart’s Rally to Restore Sanity reached Tom Ridge terror alert level red today, as Monica Crowley claimed on Fox Business that, “There are a lot of union members who are actually being bused in at gunpoint by their union leadership.”
Here is the video courtesy of Media Matters:
On Fox Business’ Varney and Company, Monica Crowley did her best to discredit the Stewart/Colbert rally by claiming that union members were being bused in at gunpoint to the rally. She said, “Well, but there are a lot of union members who are actually being bused in at gunpoint by their union leadership.” When Varney countered not at gunpoint, Crowley said, “In some cases yes, at gunpoint.”
Later she tied the Stewart/Colbert rally to Obama’s plot to get young people to vote on Election Day, “Obama has been targeting one group over and over again over the last two months, and that’s the kids. That’s the college students. He’s been all over campuses. He’s had these speeches broadcast nationwide to college campuses. He is targeting the kids, because the kids along with minority groups, African-Americans, Latinos last time were the core constituencies that came out for him last time.”
Host Stuart Varney later tried to correct Crowley that nobody was being bused in at gunpoint, and she took the opportunity to drive the point home one more time by saying, “But we are talking about some unions here, Stuart.” After Varney said again that it was symbolic, Crowley said, “Ok, I’ll concede the point.” This is the typical Fox News model. Crowley spent almost two minutes discrediting the rally and spreading fear about unions, and five seconds at the very end of the segment admitting that it is not true. What messages do think stuck with viewers? People are being forced to attend the Stewart/Colbert rally, and that the rally is designed to help Obama.
After former Fox News employee Major Garrett admitted that the business model of Fox News is based on keeping America divided, it is no surprise that the Fox operation is pushing back so hard at an event that is designed to reject the polarizing extremism that Fox News preaches. In the long term, if Stewart and Colbert have a half a million people attend the rally, and the seed of moderation gets planted, Fox News might find their style of “reporting” rejected.
The media keeps missing the point of this rally. The point is not political. Contrary to what Fox says, this is not an event to help Democrats. The message behind the Rally to Restore Sanity is social. Stewart’s is advocating for the return of civil moderate behavior to our national discourse. Mainstream media is missing the point that much of message of this rally is directed at them. By trying to fit the event into a constructed political narrative, they are reinforcing Jon Stewart’s point about their inability to cover any issue without polarizing it.
No one is getting bused in on Saturday at gunpoint. No one on stage is going to be telling the audience that God is speaking to them, or urging them to take their country back. This event is News Corp’s worst nightmare come to life. Hundreds of thousands of people are gathering in at the historic National Mall to reject the very environment that has allowed Fox News and other media outlets to prosper. Often comedy delivers the most penetrating social commentary. Fox News my demonize Jon Stewart, and distort the purpose of the rally, but they can’t dilute the message that America is suffering from a severe case of extremist fatigue.