Mullah Obama?

By Cyberquill 02/15/201117 Comments

Surveys have shown that a non-trivial percentage of Americans (roughly one in five) believe President Barack Hussein Obama is a Muslim. Chances are an even greater percentage of Americans hold the Fox News Channel in large measure responsible for perpetuating this perception, along with the notion that Mr. Obama was born not on Oahu, but in Kenya.

A few months ago, former President Jimmy Carter said this on CNN:

A lot of gullible folks in the United States actually believe what Fox [News] puts forward as facts, when most of it is just complete distortions. And they’ve also attempted to twist around what [Barack Obama’s] religious faith is and whether or not he’s an American and so forth.

So what type of information exactly does Fox News feed its gullible audience with respect to Mr. Obama’s nationality and religious affiliation that Mr. Carter finds so objectionable?

Hard to say whose voice, among the plentiful selection of hosts, contributors, and guests, represents “what Fox puts forward as facts”—the official Fox News distortion on a given issue, as it were—but The O’Reilly Factor always seems a good candidate for gauging the overall flavor of the channel. After all, Bill O’Reilly commands the largest slice of Fox News airtime, to wit three hours a day, five days a week, including the prime time slot at 8pm, thus copping the largest cable news audience by far. And although no single on-air personality can be said to epitomize the entire organization, one can hardly invoke that infamous “Fox News narrative” without incorporating the impassioned orations (paranoid rants, hate-filled diatribes … pick your favorite description from your favorite source) of its flagship bloviator—a “very, very, very rich man, who has grown phenomenally rich by playing a character on TV that the most gullible audience in the history of television falls for,” according to Lawrence O’Donnell, MSNBC’s latest prime-time talent.

On last night’s Factor, in the course of a lively discussion on Speaker of the House John Boehner’s handling of a line of questioning from David Gregory on Sunday’s Meet the Press as to why he (Boehner) didn’t do more to reign in his crew with regard to the recurring doubts expressed by some Republicans about Mr. Obama’s nationality and religious faith, Bill O’Reilly, for the umpteenth time since the initial materialization of these rumors, and with his trademark panache, presented his take on the issue to Fox News contributor Juan Williams:

Bill O’Reilly:

Here’s the deal, and I want everybody to understand this. The issue doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter. Sane, clear-thinking people understand the president is not a Muslim, and he wasn’t born in Indonesia, or whatever they’re putting out there. … It’s a bunch of bull that people made up. It has no impact on public policy, Juan.

Juan Williams:

Then why are Republican congressmen introducing legislation [to question whether Obama is an American citizen]?

Bill O’Reilly: (screaming)


Mr. O’Reilly proceeded to refer to the Obama-is-a-Muslim and birther debates as “ridiculous stuff,” and ended the debate with a note of belated advice to Speaker Boehner of how he should have handled his grilling on Meet the Press:

Bill O’Reilly:

If I were Boeher, I would have said this, here’s what I would have said to Gregory, and I hope the speaker is listening. Here’s what I would have said: “Hey, don’t you have any better questions to ask about? That’s insane. It’s not my job to police insanity. Get it? You got anything else on your plate there, Mr. Gregory?” That’s what I would have done.

So at least one point of view concerning Mr. Obama’s religion and citizenship that Fox News emphatically “puts forward as a fact”—and has been putting forward for years—to “the most gullible audience in the history of television” is that those who question the president’s stated Christian faith and the legitimacy of his presidency are “insane.”

Does Jimmy Carter have cable at all?

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  • Andreas Kluth

    Good for you to double-check received wisdom.

    I don’t have cable, and never will, so I rely on the likes of you to keep me abreast of this stuff.

    • Cyberquill

      Yeah, but then you must double-check the wisdom you receive from the likes of me, and how are you gonna do that without cable? You have Internet at least?

  • Cheri

    I am so glad that you are taking on Jimmy Carter, one of our least effective presidents.
    I will be interested in future posts about him and how he botched up so much.

    Since I turned off all network news several years ago, my blood pressure has returned to above normal.

    • Cyberquill

      Sounds like I’ve just been assigned some homework. The teacher hat strikes again.

      Here’s another fanciful quote from the Carter center of media analysis:

      And my Republican friends say that MSNBC might be just as biased on the other side in supporting the Democratic Party, the liberal element.

      Aside from my being curious to meet a Republican who says that MSNBC “might” be biased to the left, I wonder if Mr. Carter has an opinion of his own.

      But he probably doesn’t watch cable. Except for the Peanut Channel perhaps.

      • Cheri

        My teacher hat is always on (unfortunately for would-be-line-cutters at the theater…)

        • Cyberquill

          Do you need a permit for carrying a concealed ruler in your state?

  • Testazyk

    Glad to see that when history is being made in the Middle East and northern Africa, the US congress is focusing on truly substantive issues.

    • Cyberquill

      I believe the proposed legislation contains a clause which sets forth that upon his deportation, Mr. Obama shall be instated as the new president of Egypt. So it all hangs together.

      • Testazyk

        That won’t solve their problem. I’ve heard that Mubarak owns huge tracts of land in LA and Manhattan . . .

        • Cyberquill

          I’ve heard he owns Cleopatra’s Needle in Central Park and a pants factory in Saxony.

      • Cheri

        Very funny comment, Peter.

        • Cyberquill

          Very vague reply, Cheri. Hard to tell if you mean LOL, ROFL, LMAO, or ROFLMAO.

  • Kseverny

    You’d think they knew for sure, what with him being the president and all that

    • Cyberquill

      He may be a Muslim who sincerely believes he’s a Christian. A form of delusion, like those folks who think they’re Napoleon. And I’m sure a case can be made that Hawaii has never been properly ratified at a state, in which case his presidency is void. Maybe the Hawaiian Admission Act was unconstitutional or the statehood vote was rigged. A clever team of legal experts should be commissioned to come up with something.

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  • Cheri

    Did you re-post this again?
    It just came into my e-mail box.

    Anyway, it gave me another chance to remember just how inept Jimmy Carter is.

    • Cyberquill

      Too bad you buried all your unhappy face stamps or you could send one to Jimmy on a giant F-shaped postcard. 

      No, I never re-posted this, and I certainly didn’t re-post it again (= post it a third time or beyond). Sometimes my FeedBurner email subscription system simply gets bored and decides to mail out something from the archives on its own accord. I don’t know how to stop it from doing that. 

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