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Tilting at Windmills

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June 14, 2010

ANGLE FINDS FAWNING FRIENDS ON FOX.... Sharron Angle (R), the extremist who won the Republican Senate nomination in Nevada last week, has been reluctant to talk to journalists, in some cases even fleeing reporters in her home state. It's a non-traditional approach for a U.S. Senate candidate to take, but Angle is ... what's the word ... unique.

There is, however, a playbook for radical politicians who want to appear on television. Sarah Palin has relied on the strategy, as has Rand Paul. It's a straightforward, four-word approach: Just rely on Fox.

As a campaign plan, this has some merit -- candidates no doubt feel a temptation to talk to media outlets that won't ask difficult questions, and will try to make the candidates look good. It's bad for voters, and tragic for democracy, but cowardly politicians have this avenue available to them.

And with that in mind, Angle chatted with the affable Republican hosts of "Fox & Friends" this morning. One of the actual "questions" she was asked: Gretchen Carlson said winning the nomination "must be such a whirlwind experience for you."

Jon Ralston, the "dean of the press corps in Nevada," could scarcely hide his disgust for the pathetic brand of journalism.

U.S. Senate hopeful Sharron Angle said that during an astonishing interview on "Fox and Friends" this morning in which the hosts claimed she is a political newcomer (not so) and was endorsed by Sarah Palin (not so).

The interview climaxed with Steve Doocy saying to her, "Perhaps it's a misinformation or mischaracterization but some have said you are out to get rid of Social Security. That's not true, right?"

Angle: "Well, that's nonsense. I have always said we need to make the lockbox a lockbox, put the money in there for our senior citizens. They came here in good faith paying into a system and Harry Reid has put an IOU in for 24 years. He has been raiding Social Security. What we need to do is personalize Social Security so the government can no longer raid it."

It's not altogether clear exactly how much Angle understands about Social Security policy, but her version of a "lockbox" apparently means a private, "personalized" account -- the kind of scheme that would eliminate Social Security from existence.

Which, of course, is what Angle has always said she wants to do. That's not "misinformation" -- great hard-ball questioning, Doocy -- that's called "Angle's record." There's no ambiguity here; Angle has repeatedly and publicly endorsed "transitioning" Social Security to private accounts. It was on her website, where even Fox News' crackerjack research team could have looked.

Angle, not exactly vying for a Profile in Courage Award, will follow this up with an interview with Sean Hannity. It follows this comprehensive list of national media the Republican candidate has been willing to speak to: Laura Ingraham, Heidi Harris, Lars Larson (who endorsed her candidacy), Mark Levin, and Rush Limbaugh.

What an embarrassment. No wonder some Republicans have begun endorsing Harry Reid.

Update: The Fox affiliate in Las Vegas described the "Fox & Friends" interview as "rife with inaccuracies, softball questions and poor research on the part of the producers and hosts."

Steve Benen 1:15 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (21)

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Thanks to Carly, we now know that Sean is a 'tough' interview.
Somehow, I think the "Obtuse Angle (stolen from another blog)" will screw-up all of these softball interviews. She's like Rand, the dummy likes to show how smart she is...

Posted by: c u n d gulag on June 14, 2010 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

She doesn't want to get rid of Social Security, she just wants "Social Security" to mean the complete opposite of what it means, a system that is neither "social" since it is private, nor "security" since it completely individual.

Like most right-wingers, she finds great thrill in redefining words to mean the opposite of what they actually mean (cf. 'Christian'). They think it's brilliant and innovative, rather than just damn annoying and counterproductive.

Posted by: biggerbox on June 14, 2010 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

Slow pitch softball! Why, they even failed to ask her about her plan to get rid of "All those confusing Time Zones." She asks, "Why can we have just one, called American Standard Time?"

Posted by: DAY on June 14, 2010 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

It's funner when we say things that are like thought revoking . The social is ultimately private , strength through an army of one , is a demonstration of focus .

Posted by: FRP on June 14, 2010 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, great idea. Just think how great things would have been if we had all had our social security invested in the markets in 2008. Wow !

Posted by: rbe1 on June 14, 2010 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

I dare any reporter to ask her about Yucca Mountain. I just can't wait to see how she talks around that.

(Note: While I am an advocate for long-term storage of nuclear waste, I appreciate that Nevadans in general don't want it in their back yard and that Harry Reid in particular wields considerable power in keeping it that way)

Posted by: Marko on June 14, 2010 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

The Fox affiliate in Las Vegas described the "Fox & Friends" interview as "rife with inaccuracies, softball questions and poor research on the part of the producers and hosts."

Not exactly a man-bites-dog story. I guess it's newsworthy, though, when even a Fox affiliate recognizes that Fox favors propaganda, "inaccuracies," and poor research over committing actual news...

Posted by: Fleas correct the era on June 14, 2010 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

No doubt we should all have invested our life savings in mortgages for homes in the suburbs of Las Vegas. Right, Sharon?

Posted by: MattF on June 14, 2010 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

Watch Angle's social security lie side by side:


Posted by: CCinLV on June 14, 2010 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

That's a story in itself, that a Fux Noise affiliate called out Fox News for being blatant propaganda.

Posted by: citizen_pain on June 14, 2010 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

In fairness to Angle, I'm not sure her "lockbox" theory applies to personal accounts. Bill Clinton and Al Gore floated the idea in the late 90's and Gore's 2000 campaign - that money paid into SS could not be used by Congress to fund other programs.

It's probably the only thing I agree with her on.

Posted by: Stetson Kennedy on June 14, 2010 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

Actually she was endorsed by Palin yesterday - if tweets count. The issue isn't Fox; Keith O does the same thing for progressive candidates. The real issue is using Fox as a substitution for mainstream media.

By November, Xenu will be doing the one-way parlay exclusively through Facebook.

Posted by: CriticalThinker on June 14, 2010 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

We continue to blast FOX for being FOX. Until the other media outlets do their job and expose the hypocrisy and lies on FOX and cast them out of the legitimate news box, FOX will not change. Unfortunately, the other news networks and outlets are not much better at fact-checking and presenting the reality of what is happening in the world of politics and human relationships. It, then, becomes our responsibility to go behind the scenes and find the context of the statements being made. As Don Miguel Ruiz tells us in The Five Agreements, BE SKEPTICAL, BUT LEARN TO LISTEN. Don't believe anything you hear until you validate its source and the motivation behind it.

If it comes from FOX, it is probably not true, or so biased as to lose its relevance to the issue at hand. But, that is mostly true with any of the MSM, which is there to support the status-quo and will filter out anything that contradicts the dominant story being told by the corporatists.

Interesting that the name of the candidate in NV is Angle: Every question to her should be: What is your Angle? The response will be interesting.

Posted by: st john on June 14, 2010 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

Actually she was endorsed by Palin yesterday

How exceedingly prescient and brave of her.

Posted by: Oh my on June 14, 2010 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK

Wow, when a Fox affliliate actually says that Fox"news" is a joke, you know it must be bad.

Posted by: Allan Snyder on June 14, 2010 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

Anything involving Steve Doocy immediately looses all credibility. Poster boy for male version of a dumb blond joke.

Posted by: john R on June 14, 2010 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

If it is not on Fox then it is the Liberal progressive media lying to them. Which is backed up by the big dog himself, Rush on the radio.

Posted by: Fed Up and Tired on June 14, 2010 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK

You know, I've gone along with all the hand wringing and panty-twisting over Fox on this blog and so many others.

And its good that folks call them out on their lies, idiocy and hypocrisy.

But take a chill pill folks. Breathe into a paper bag.

Yes, Fox rates higher than CNN (or MSNBC, or any other cable news service).

So what?

They have no influence over the wider electorate.

They're playing to the same 35 percenters who's "minds" are already made up.

You know the ones: Your cousin who knows Saddam had WMD; your uncle who really believes - because its true!! - that Obama's a secret Kenyan Muslim; your parent (you poor sap) who hangs on Rush's every word.

These people are not persuadable. On the other hand, most of the rest of the 65% of us are not persuaded by Fox and Rush, either. For the Teabaggers, its just a mindfnck circle jerk.

Angle won't give an interview to a real station or newspaper? Does it really matter? Reid's "What is she afraid of - that we'll find out that she thinks big scary X!!!" are already being written, or will write themselves.

Seen Palin's favorable/unfavorable lately?

Posted by: efgoldman on June 14, 2010 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

VIDEO: Sharron Angles dangerous Social Security agenda too extreme for even top Republicans http://bit.ly/cksTIr

Posted by: Justin Barasky on June 14, 2010 at 6:54 PM | PERMALINK

efgoldman, part of the point of documenting the lies, idiocy and hypocrisy of Fox News is to find a way to get the rest of the MSM to finally stop giving them any credibility. Far too many stories that should never have seen the light of day get started with O'Reilly or Beck, echoed on Fox's "hard news" programs and then picked up by the rest of the media.

Beck's depiction of Anita Dunn as a Maoist based on a several months old high school commencement speach is one example.

Posted by: tanstaafl on June 14, 2010 at 11:58 PM | PERMALINK

I would like to know who these "some people" are. It seems they have "some people" for anything they want to comment on. Don't they criticize other "news" outlets for not revealing their source? Oh the double standard.

Posted by: scoobiejim on June 15, 2010 at 10:01 AM | PERMALINK
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