Guest Blogger: George Harvey
There is no debating the amount of criticism given to President Obama by Fox News. The network is rife with it, and even more so in the wake of the several terrorist beheadings of late. Numerous Fox analysts and correspondents are criticizing the president for being too soft and cautious while dealing with the ISIS threat, including Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity. Former Vice President Dick Cheney also weighed in on the issue over at Fox, calling the president “weak and ineffective” and stating “there is no question… he is viewed as perhaps the weakest president in my lifetime.”
One may say that Fox News is and should be entitled to discuss and critique a president in the way that they want to, and that that is the beauty of our country’s freedom of speech. However, in this case, Fox blaming and finger-pointing says less about our country’s freedom of speech and more about Fox’s own backwards rhetoric. Let us take a look backwards in time, about ten years.
Fox’s own Sean Hannity demonstrates hypocritical partisanship if one were to examine his stance towards terrorist beheadings in 2004 compared to 2014. Hannity, who seems completely at ease criticizing the president’s handling of the ISIS beheadings, does not take it as well when Democrats were criticizing President Bush over the 2004 beheadings:
“Are we taking limited resources and the president and his cabinet have to spend all that time fighting politically when they ought to be focused in on World War III? It’s time that we now unite a country, using this as the latest example that we have been warned.”
Apparently for Hannity, there is nothing wrong with criticizing (read: “fighting politically”) Obama and blaming him for the beheadings, but it was unacceptable for Democrats to attack President Bush for his own mishandlings of the 2004 beheading situation.
Bill O’Reilly offers his own flavor of bias and flip flopping when comparing his stance to the beheadings in 2004, in which he called for unity of purpose amongst the American people, to his stance now. In his June 18, 2004 show, he offered his own two cents on the beheadings and what they mean for Americans:
“We’ve got to stop with the partisan garbage, because that’s what it is, and we’ve got to stop with the selfishness and understand that this is a war. This is something we have never faced before. And stop the grand standing. And the politicians who exploit this for partisan benefit on both sides have got to be voted out of office. We have got to unite.”