Thursday, June 12, 2008

Outrage directed at Fox over 'baby mama' smear

June 12, 2008

One would hope that Barack Obama's just-unveiled myth busting Web site won't need to reproduce a copy of his and Michelle's marriage license, but it seems some in the conservative media are unconvinced of the validity of their matrimony.

Fox News, the network of assassination fantasies and "terrorist fist bumps," is being called out for its reference to Michelle Obama as her husband's "baby mama." The phrase is offensive on a variety of levels, according to various liberal commentators, who point out that the term generally refers to unmarried women who are estranged from the fathers of their children.

The "baby mama" reference was printed on a graphic during a segment discussing the coming wave of right-wing attacks on Michelle Obama, including an announced "documentary" that would feature damaging footage of the candidate. (Some pro-Hillary forces, such as committed Clinton fan Larry Johnson, also have been instrumental in spreading smears and rumors about Michelle Obama, as the segment noted.)

Unmentioned in all the condemnation of Fox's apparent racism is the fact that their structuring of the segment further demonstrated the extent to which the network has abandoned any attempt to live up to its "fair & balanced" moniker. The only guest invited to speak about the smears and rumors was ultra-right-wing blogger Michelle Malkin; no liberal or moderate voices are present in the segment at all.

The phrase "implies that like too many people in the black community, she is a mother on her own with no man around doing his job," writes blogger Oliver Willis, who is black, in a post titled "Hey Fox News, Just Call Her A N** And Be Done With It, Okay?"

Except, Barack and Michelle Obama are the exact opposite of this, and that is one of the reason America - especially black America - are so proud of them.

But Fox News is the network that tears down those who do not toe the line, and if that means they should resort to jive to describe a black woman as a “baby mama” despite the strength of her family and her own personal success, so be it.

Screw you guys.

According to a tally being maintained by Jeff Fecke at the blog Shakesville, the "baby mama" smear is at least the 54th instance of racially motivated hostility directed at Obama.

So yeah, irony is officially dead. Tomorrow, I assume Fox will put up a graphic, "Obama downs a 40 of malt liquor, and shoots cop in drive-by." Or perhaps they can just post a picture of the Obama family with the legend, "Negroes." Only, you know, the other N-word, just in case you didn't get the point that the Obamas are totally black.

Unsurprisingly, there are at least a few Fox-can-do-no-wrong voices defending the conservative network and trying to pass off the smear as no big deal.

Firedoglake, though, points out that this is just another example of behavior trotted out around every election.

Every four years the nation gathers, not just to vote, but find out what slander the Republicans will use against the wife of the Democratic Presidential Nominee this year:

1988: Kitty Dukakis, and the myth of the feces coated flag.

1992: Hillary Clinton and the "ball-busting communist harpy" (should be 1992 to present)

1996: See above, add dash of "murdering lesbian inside-trader".

2000: Tipper Gore, broke the heart of Oliver's old rich-guy father Oliver, claimed you never had to say you're sorry and later co-starred in 'Convoy'.

2004: OMG! Teresa Kerry is rich, intelligent and has an accent, and she replaced a Republican with a Democrat. We cannot have TWO Arianna Huffington's in this world!

2008: She's well-educated, a lawyer, and a black woman -- unleash the hounds!

It remains to be seen whether whoever crafted the graphic will be reprimanded or if Fox News again trot out a less-than-sincere seeming apology for its latest affront to the Democratic candidate and his family.