August 2014

Fox News Cooks Up Fake ISIS Plot

by Pitt Griffin on August 31, 2014 · 0 comments

in Foreign Policy, Lying

Fox News can lie, and claim to not lie, by the simple expedient of attributing the lies to someone else. The classic formulation is “people are saying”. To further give substance to smoke, Fox will also quote groups like “Judicial Watch” – which sounds official. But the name gives no clue that this is a liberal-hating group, given life by conservative antipathy to Bill Clinton. It is just the sort of group legitimate media steers well clear of.

Honest journalists approach stories with an open mind. Say what you will about the political sensibilities of the editorial pages of the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, their news pages report actual news. Fox News, on the other hand, has no news “pages”. As their reporters pursue stories from their preferred conclusion backwards – discarding any facts that contradict their message.

Take the southern border. To the reactionaries at Fox it is a wide open space, flush with billboards welcoming illegal hordes of job-grabbing, criminal rapists welling up from dusky-skin land. Everywhere you turn in the desert South-West – according to the “truth is a luxury” Fox bloviators – there are signs directing this benefit-addicted army to the nearest welfare office.

Now consider ISIS. To Fox they are a juicy new existential threat to apple-pie and mom. Their stated mission may be establishing a new caliphate across Syria and Iraq – but Fox knows better. In its misguided monomania, this caliphate stuff is just a way-station for ISIS on its march to America’s destruction.

Now – and here is the delicious part – Fox combines the two. “Online posts show ISIS eyeing Mexican border says law enforcement bulletin.”

Notice that Fox folk have done no leg work. They haven’t read these online posts themselves. There is no context given. What did these posts actually say? Fox doesn’t tell us.

There is a substantial difference between a message saying “Pick up Ali’s SUV in Magdalena, and bring the dirty bomb across the desert and over the border. Then deliver it to Mohammed in Tucson”. And a massage saying. “It would be cool to bomb the US. Why don’t we have those Guatemalan kids bring the dirty bomb over the border piece by piece. LOL Mahmoud.”

The media as whole has been particularly bad on ISIS. There is no doubt that they are a dangerous, brutal group. Certainly they are huge fans of cutting heads off and using severe means to convince the conquered of the correct way to worship God. But they are not Al Qaeda.

Their aim is to establish a caliphate in the Middle East. Which makes them less of a threat to the US. Unlike Al Qaeda, who hides, and whose aim is the destruction of the Great Satan, ISIS is very visible. Should they succeed in establishing an Islamic paradise on earth they will have something they will have to defend.

Fox’s machinations and the dire warnings by conservatives of ISIS’s plans for the US are a predictable chapter in the paranoid’s foreign policy. Think of the Bush administration’s lust to get after Saddam. And how they talked up Hussein’s existential threat to the US to whip up support for our blood and treasure adventurism in the area.

As events showed it was a con job. It is poor strategy to jab a bear with a stick. ISIS cannot defeat the US. There is little advantage for their long term plans to piss us off.

There is a deep antipathy to sending troops back to the Middle East. But should ISIS carry out another 9/11 there would be a huge demand for “something to be done”. And say what you will about America, we do have an enormous arsenal of “world of hurt” weaponry. And the last 10 years have probably taught us how to fight better in that fly-specked hell-hole.

All in all, to say that ISIS is massing in Mexico is poor journalism. It is a statement made without evidence. It flies in the face of common sense. And to those, who think that terrorists are eyeing the border as an ideal point of entry to the US, remember that the 9/11 hijackers came in through the front door, with visas.








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