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Thread: Fox News Exec. Linked Obama to Socialism on Air, but Thought it Wasn't True

  1. #1
    Havakasha is offline

    Fox News Exec. Linked Obama to Socialism on Air, but Thought it Wasn't True

    Fox News Exec Bill Sammon Linked Obama To Socialism On Air, But Thought It Wasn't True
    The Huffington Post Jack Mirkinson First Posted: 03/29/11

    A Fox News executive was caught on tape saying he pushed the notion that Barack Obama was a socialist on air--even though he thought the "premise" was "far-fetched."

    Media Matters obtained audio of Bill Sammon, Fox News' Washington managing editor, speaking on a Mediterranean cruise in 2009. On the tape, Sammon begins by talking about "mischief," before segueing into what he identifies as some mischief-making of his own:

    "Last year, candidate Barack Obama stood on a sidewalk in Toledo, Ohio, and first let it slip to Joe the Plumber that he wanted to 'spread the wealth around.' At that time, I have to admit that I went on TV on Fox News and publicly engaged in what I guess was some rather mischievous speculation about whether Barack Obama really advocated socialism, a premise that privately I found rather far-fetched."
    Sammon goes on to say that he stopped thinking the idea was far-fetched when he saw Obama taking action to prop up the ailing American car industry.

    "The debate over whether America is headed for socialism seems all too real, especially to those who still believe in capitalism," he said


    Sammon did indeed go on air and talk about socialism, multiple times. On one occasion in October 2008, he told Greta Van Susteren, ""I have read Barack Obama's books pretty carefully, and he in his own words talks about being drawn to Marxists. ... Now all this stuff's coming out about whether he's a socialist. I don't know why anyone is surprised by it, because if you read his own words...it's not a huge shock."

    This is not the first time that Media Matters has targeted Sammon. The site also obtained leaked emails showing him asking staffers to echo GOP talking points on health care reform and to cast doubt on climate change.

    In an interview with The Daily Beast's Howard Kurtz on Tuesday, Sammon said that his use of "mischievous speculation" in the speech was "my probably inartful way of saying, 'can you believe how far this thing has come?'" He admitted that, in 2008, he "considered it kind of a remarkable notion that we would even be having the conversation" about socialism, but that he raised it on air because "it was a main point of discussion on all the channels, in all the media."

  2. #2
    Havakasha is offline
    Fox News managing editor: I lied on-air to smear Obama
    byJed Lewison

    Bill Sammon, left, Jan. 2, 2009.
    Fox Washington managing editor Bill Sammon, admitting in a newly uncovered 2009 speech that he publicly smeared Barack Obama during the 2008 campaign with speculation that he did not privately believe:

    Speaking in 2009 onboard a pricey Mediterranean cruise sponsored by a right-wing college, Fox Washington managing editor Bill Sammon described his attempts the previous year to link Obama to "socialism" as "mischievous speculation." Sammon, who is also a Fox News vice president, acknowledged that "privately" he had believed that the socialism allegation was "rather far-fetched."
    "Last year, candidate Barack Obama stood on a sidewalk in Toledo, Ohio, and first let it slip to Joe the Plumber that he wanted to quote, 'spread the wealth around,' " said Sammon. "At that time, I have to admit, that I went on TV on Fox News and publicly engaged in what I guess was some rather mischievous speculation about whether Barack Obama really advocated socialism, a premise that privately I found rather far-fetched."

    Sammon isn't part of the Fox News "opinion" team. He's part of the "news" team, and here he is admitting that he used his position to engage in political warfare against a candidate that he didn't want to win. He lied, and lied repeatedly.

    But as blunt as Sammon's words were, let me be clear about one thing: there's nothing at all surprising here. We know Fox is a Republican news channel, there's no question about that.

    The only question is why others in the media pretend that this isn't the case.

    Update: Greg Sargent assesses Sammon's attempt at damage control: "Sammon is conceding that the idea did indeed strike him as far fetched in 2008, even though he and his network aggressively promoted it day in and day out throughout the campaign. And he’s defending this by pointing out that the idea ended up gaining traction, as if this somehow justifies the original act of dishonesty!"

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