Maybe America should stop worrying about Muslim extremists and worry more about her own

breitbart fox news

The late Andrew Breitbart [Photo source Fox News]

I confess that my confidence in America was shaken to the bone the other day when, innocently responding to a news article comment thread, I was besieged with insults the kind of which I never receive in the Philippines.

My initial remark was eventually deleted by the editors even though it was not obscene or even rude to others. It simply articulated a view that did not fit the single-minded extremist view the web site evidently promotes.

The subject of the blog was Hillary Clinton and the ruthlessness of the attack on her leaves me concerned about her physical safety. I have never read such hostility in a public forum.

I’m sure the readers missed the irony that their complaint about Ms. Clinton censoring journalists was being made in a forum that censored a reader’s respectful comment. And if it were called to their attention, you can bet they would have a hostile response ready.

The host site is the Breitbart News Network and the specific article dealt with an interesting issue. Hillary Clinton would only answer questions from pre-screened journalists at a forum where she was a guest. How does that square with free speech and a free press? But that issue was drowned out by an intensely rabid anti-Clinton set of comments that did not welcome opposing views or even the idea that commentary should be respectful. Link to article.

Read the comments there and cast them against the stated Terms for the web site:

  • You agree not to use the Services in any way that abuses, defames, stalks, annoys, threatens, harasses or violates the rights of privacy, publicity, intellectual property or other legal rights of others (now or hereafter recognized) or which encourages conduct which would violate any law or give rise to civil or criminal liability or post, publish, transmit, distribute, disseminate or upload any inappropriate, infringing, defamatory, profane, indecent, obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent or illegal/unlawful material or matters, including, without limitation, information, topics, names or other material.

I for sure felt the comments against Ms. Clinton were lewd, obscene and excessively violent.

The “news” site is a partner of the Fox News Network. It is decidedly hostile to the President of the United States. The duly elected President.

The site does not indicate who founded or funds the organization. Briebart News has subordinate sites dedicated to regional topics in London, Texas, California, and Hollywood.

Deeper research indicates the site was founded by Andrew Breitbart who also founded the Huffington Post. Breitbart died in 2012 at the age of 43. The Washington Post wrote this about him:

  • Breitbart was a conservative commentator and Internet entrepreneur who helped launch the Huffington Post, served as an editor for the Drudge Report Web site, and was behind the Breitbart media network, which includes Big Government. He was known for publishing controversial exposés, criticized as “ambush journalism,” that targeted liberal figures and causes.

After Briebart’s death, the news publication passed to the following people:

  • Laurence Solov, former counsel
  • Stephen Bannon, a film maker who made a pro-Sarah Palin movie
  • Ben Shapiro, who has published a book claiming liberal agendas infest American TV shows
  • Joel Pollak, who did a controversial interview on CNN dealing with “critical race theory”
  • Alex Marlow, managing editor

The effort is based in Los Angeles and employs 20 people.

The web site appears to be an even more extreme effort than the conservative Fox News Channel. It uses the same tactic, promoting itself as offering real news and suggesting that everything else is a liberal plot.

The three matters that concern me are:

  • The outright hostile commentary welcomed by the news publication.
  • The censoring of opposing views, creating an artificial sense that participants are 100 percent right.
  • The support of gun laws.

These are the tools of totalitarians. One can easily see the manipulations becoming a mainstream practice, just like China’s, to protect the message and the platform.

Yet it remains extreme, not representative of mainstream America – though it pretends otherwise. It is neither kind nor respectful of the principles upon which America was founded. It does not welcome discussion as a counter to ignorance. Rather, it prefers managed ignorance.

Scary.

Angry extremist Americans with money and means.

And guns.

And a desire to manipulate truth.

Very scary.

 

Comments
62 Responses to “Maybe America should stop worrying about Muslim extremists and worry more about her own”
  1. andrew lim says:

    If there’s an upside to the undeveloped political philosophies in the Phils, it’s this. At least our extremists have not reached the level of those in the US or the Middle East, who have turned their politics into relgiious dogma.

    How can American rightwing extremists consider themselves Christian if they resist gun control for automatic assault rifles? How can they call themselves pro-life if they have gun fetishes?

    • Joe America says:

      Indeed, a pile of contradictions. And how can they call themselves kind when they are so cruel? And how can they call themselves the “real Americans” and consign the rest of the American population that believes otherwise to some disrespected heap of rubbish? What part of “union” are they unable to grasp?

      • Lil says:

        Eh. You can say the same for Filipinos as well. We are supposed to be the only Christian country in Asia yet we’re among the most corrupt countries.
        There is a diffrence between a “Christian” and a Christian.

        • Joe America says:

          It used to be that Americans would always rally around their President when he took action in defense of the nation. Not these days. Defense is just another issue to leverage, generally with life and death attached to it. I think America in the 60’s through 80’s was working hard at inclusion and bringing people together, especially along racial lines. Today, the effort is to rip apart along political lines.

          The Philippines has always had pockets of families and friends and conflicting interests and the nation seems not to have quite come together yet. Divisions seem more interpersonal than ideological. The U.S. came together and is now . . . with the help of the internet . . . splitting apart.

          • Lil says:

            Well you have popular media who especially the mainstream news outlets who have clearly drawn the lines. Every news reporting is like a heated debate so naturally everyone gets influenced by it. I remember during the peak of the ’12 elections, there was the popular mantra among Obama supporters that if you don’t vote for him, you’re clearly racist and my cousin-in law bought into that mantra. when i questioned her about that she just told me to F’ off her page!

            • Joe America says:

              Ah, yes, the intolerants of the left. America has them, too. American 100 percenters. My way or else. The problem with those Briebart brats is that they are well funded and can actually reach the intellectually disenfranchised. You know . . . the losers . . . the nut cases . . . the fringe element . . . those who subordinate other people to themselves . . .

              • alilir says:

                Speaking of the Left and Ugly Americans, joe why are there ugly Americans mirroring Filipino Left in the Democrat Party & their supporters like this crap http://www.democrats.com/philippines-us-troops-go-home Are they just Pacifist Libertarians like the Code Pink or Marxist inspired too?
                It’s shit like this that makes Fils and FilAms especially the ones based in the Phil lean Repubs and I’m not even a Dem nor Repub.

              • Joe America says:

                That’s an interesting site. “Aggressive progressive” and anti-war. I had never heard of them before, and they seem like a Tea Party version of the Democrats, way to the left. The blog article was really just giving voice to a leftist Filipino to espouse views that fits with the anti-war agenda of the site. The thing about America is that free speech allows even extreme views to surface, and they can appear strong — especially if they are well funded, and if they are good at working the internet and social media. But are they strong? I don’t think so. They may be like Bayan Muna, very good at grabbing the headlines but only the extreme agree to the strident views. This site does not bother me as much as the gun-toting right warmongers. The extremist dems may not be pragmatic, but they aren’t out to kill to make their point.

              • Lil says:

                I beg to differ, Joe. Your blog is against extremists. Extermists of any party should not be tolerated. . Right wing war mongers may be about violence but not all of them are actively engaged in indiscriminate shooting but just ‘flaunting power” in the same way that Pacifists/Anti-war may not be about violence yet there are groups activelly engaged in riotous protests and foreign meddling. In the end, both views can cause untold harm and suffering in the long run.

              • Joe America says:

                Yes, you are right that they are both destructive. But they have to be tolerated – that is allowed their freedom to express and protest – or we become intolerant, and in that way, extremist ourselves. What we should do is argue against them, or protest against them, or vote them out. And jail them if they infringe upon the rights of others (illegal protests or occupying government offices or hacking government or business web sites).

  2. Andy says:

    You look strikingly similar to Andrew Breitbart Joe Am. But he is one “Ugly American”. You are the beautiful one!

  3. Joseph-Ivo says:

    Freedom of expression. As a car gives individual freedom of movement, but this freedom leads to traffic jams, stuck in a traffic jam the car takes away our freedom of movement. The solution?

    Less cars (lesser bloggers)? More motorways (more –sponsored?- blog sites)? Reduce need to go from A to B (give people other means to express opinion, e.g. pubs)? Strategic traffic lights (someone policing websites)? All of the above?

    But reduce the amount of guns to start with to increase security, certainty and safety. That is simple and straightforward.

    • Joe America says:

      Yep. I don’t think we have quite come to grips with how easy it is to manipulate people with the new media of social networks and blogs and even advertising, with no financial limits. They are often destructive instead of constructive. The breakdown of America into more and more extremist camps is alarming.

      • josephivo says:

        Also in “Brave New World” there was no place for decent free thinking people with real feelings… Creating profit for the big controlling shareholders guides (manipulates) this world.

        It’s a grey rainy day here, tomorrow the sun might shine again 😉

      • josephivo says:

        Forgot to mention Big Brother in “1984”. You are Outer Party of course NSA or equivalent is watching you.

        • Joe America says:

          Yes, they are, and they probably have already dug up my FBI file from 1770 in Los Angeles when I attended an anti-war protest. Just a regular trouble-maker here.

  4. Gerardo Vergara says:

    It’s our way, we want it that way! That is how dogmatism works.

  5. ivyemaye says:

    For the record Rupert Murdoch runs Fox News, along with SKY. He owns the Times in the UK, along with the Sun, the famous red top, not noted for its intellectual content. I see his tentacles reach the Philippines as Sky is a main cable channel here. He is from Australia. The Angle Saxon World, the US, UK and Australia have a very strong Murdoch foot print.

    A number of years ago a News of the World reporter, hacked into the cell phone of a dead girl. Lillie Dowler. This led to a massive reaction in the UK. There was an inquirer lead by Lord Leverson. The News the World, or the news of the screws as it was known, was closed. Rebecca Brooks was arrested (The Janet Lim Napoles you might say). Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, Rupert the elder and younger were all dragged before it live on TV in the UK. The UK is not so different from the Philippines in this. There were recommendations made by the Law Lord, some with teeth, but the British Pres are fighting tooth and nail to go back to hacking anybody anytime as usual.
    Brooks had a big country house next to Cameron the current Prime Minister and used to go horse riding with him. She was a close friend of Tony Blair.
    There is no over arching conspiracy theory as such but, as I dare say it is the same in the States, big business, the City of London, politicians and Media Barons all “hob nob” together.

    Also what you are talking about Joe is trolling. The culture of Murdoch. Dig up any shit or invent it, and through it at your opponent big time. Word conditioning is rampant, a la George Orwell’s new speak. In the UK, nanny state, politically correct, 60’s culture. Hallowed out nonsense words are now the common currency.

    Hillary Clinton is tough, but as you well know, the gloves are coming off. Yes, a massive debasement and cesspit journalism if you can call it that. The power elites in the Anglo Saxon world think they have won it seems. I blog in the centre left Guardian, but the tone is right if not far right from most other bloggers, so goodness knows what the other UK papers are like….the Mail, the paper that supported Adolf Hitler in the 1930’s is a case in point.

    Sane, rational debate is in decline in the Anglo Saxon World. As you say in the crazy crazy Philippines I have never seen this attitude anywhere in the media here, I hope that it will stay this way.

    Thank you for your blog, a very depressing state of affairs.

    • Joe America says:

      Rather disgusting, eh, that for commercial gain they will tear good people down. Debasement, yes, that’s a good description of what is going on. I’m not a big fan of Ms. Clinton, but its enough to make me start rooting for her. There is fair, and there is unfair. There is respectful, and there is respect-less. There is honest, and there is dishonest. There is honorable, and there is dishonorable.

      Depressing, indeed.

  6. ivyemaye says:

    To clarify Rebecca Brooks was no 3 in the Murdoch empire after Murdoch senior and Murdoch junior, but being a woman I suppose she is the one who had to fall on her sword…the Murdoch spun away from it all.

    • Joe America says:

      Ms. Brooks was declared innocent of the cell-phone tapping accusation, but her underling Colusen (spelling?) was found guilty. Murdoch, as you say, spun away from it all. No accountability whatsoever. Maybe he is of the Revilla school of acting.

      • ivyemaye says:

        http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/jun/25/-sp-phone-hacking-trial-rebekah-brooks-rupert-murdoch

        This is a long account of the criminal proceedings. Coulson was a sort of uber media fixer.
        I don’t expect you to read all of this Joe but this account does give a good idea of the massive hacking culture that was prevalent in the UK a few years ago. Smutty sex stories always sold well in the UK gutter press. But behind it all, it is about power, as this article states, and Murdoch is the big fat spider in the middle of it all.
        I only have a hazy idea of things in the States, but I get the feeling that parallel games are going on there too.
        Trolling, as it is called, is a very powerful weapon. Sickening and very low. This is what Fox News uses? Again, for all its faults, I have not picked up any of this stink here in the Philippines yet, be it the US or UK variety.
        Thank you for you blog and quick reply.

      • ivyemaye says:

        http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jun/25/rupert-murdoch-powerful-politicians-british-media-owners

        Another good article which pretty much echos what I think. I know these are from the Guardian, but the UK only has the Independent and Mirror as other centre left papers. The rest are the Mail, the Express Telegraph and the Murdoch press. A very good periodical is the centre right Economist….they deal just with facts, unusual for journalists these days in the UK.

        So lets get back to Pinoy corruption, that is bad enough but this English variety leaves a very bad taste in the mouth. And the US Joe, with the Tea Pot Party Loons in ascendant?

        • Joe America says:

          The Tea Potters have run into a bit of a wall as their obstinate methods are causing the Republican Party to crash and burn. So there is some pushback going on within the GOP.

          It would be interesting to do an accounting of Filipino papers and where their allegiances lie. I know there are some ardent anti-Aquino rags and the Inquirer is in the Aquino family somehow. Given that parties here are personal, papers likely are, too.

          • ivyemaye says:

            Yes, re the pinoy papers, I am curious about this. I am still “tuning” into things here. I did pick up on a pro and anti RH bill factions, a lot of that seemed to do with RC church influence. Yes, there will be interests. The political systems are so established in the UK, that everyone thinks broadly in terms of political parties.
            As for the States, another steep ;earning curve for me.

            Thanks for your prompt reply

          • josephivo says:

            Many journalists have their price, the bigger the newspaper the higher the price, I guess. Inviting journalists for the opening of a large foreign aid project, we only got replies on what it would cost to be interviewed, none was questioning what the project was all about.

            So the real question is “where is the money”, more than where their allegiances lie.

            The sky is still dark grey over here…

  7. Bert says:

    “It used to be that Americans would always rally around their President when he took action in defense of the nation.”—Joe America

    Ah, as you said, Joe, with the help of the internet the American people is splitting apart along political lines, is that right? And the opposition mainstream media categorized as ‘extremists’, is that it, Joe?

    America is and always has been divided by political lines between the Democrats and the Republicans and yet the patriotism of its people has never been questioned. Until now. What happened to the vaunted reputation of President Obama as the ‘Great Unifier’?

    • Joe America says:

      The venomous attack, unrelenting for six years, finally caught up to him, aided by the NSA fiasco. Essentially, the Republicans have been running a dirty campaign for six years, and that has undermined the best efforts of Mr. Obama. Plus, I guess he is a tad arrogant, person to person, but I wouldn’t want anyone but you to know that.

  8. manuel buencamino says:

    Apparently, the Brietbart News Network is the Get Real/Benigno of America.

  9. Micha says:

    Yup, Tea Party wackos and drum beaters have taken over the GOP.

    It’s like Eric Cantor is not extreme enough that the Virginia branch of Republican insanity kicked his ass and gave him an early retirement.

    Breitbart, Limbaugh, and Hannity are kindred spirits who long for America without gays and colored people and whose idea of patriotism is linked with the ability to profess deep belief in the Lord Jesus and to carry, at minimum, a semi-automatic rifle.

  10. macspeed says:

    Any biased site for blogging about any news should be considered TERRORIST SITE, don’t waste your time in those site, either you become a TERRORIST or a LOOSER.

    How could they only allowed comments that are with them? Is it not manipulation? No free speech or right to contradict or oppose.

    They will not succeed for sure…

    • Joe America says:

      They do succeed among their small cadre of hate mongers. At issue is when will other Americans decide it is time to tune out. I for sure have tuned out of that site. We must figure out a way to hack it off of google, which led me innocently enough to the slaughter.

  11. Janice says:

    This is what is scary with the US when it comes to the political level. People identify with the labels, not principles so people, both hardcore Republicans and Democrats cannot compromise and even go through the dirtiest means to to “prove their point”. On the side of the Democrats, I am horrified how Obama has uses Executive orders just to get the legislature to pass the immigration “reform” bill…rather than “let’s talk about which points about it you disagree”. Look at the new Healthcare bill. Some provisions are now backfiring. Meanwhile, hardcore Republicans interpret stricter background check on buying firearms as trumping in the second amendment (what? lol). How on earth did the mentally unstable guy in the Isla Vista rampage bought his gun LEGALLY

    One thing that concerns me about the Anglo-speaking world is that anti-women diatribes are on the rise. RooshV, Return of Kings, “A Voice For Men” complain about “Men’s Rights” by promoting hate on Women. Rather than advocating for longer and paid paternal leave, they opt to decrease the benefits of women on maternal leave. Men who don’t agree with them are called female genitals like “mangina”, complain how “unfeminine” have women become because of feminism yet patronising and justifying rape and sex with underage girls. Most of them, from what I have read are either very hardcore Republicans or Libertarians. If they hate a government, they might as well live in the forests, not use our police, military, freeways, roads, etc… I don’t know buy I am getting the impression that the American definition of “strong”, “superior”, “alpha” is defined by the ability to “chest thump” rather than think rationally.

    Welcome to the Tarzan era!

    Here in Amureeka, Republicans vote Republicans just because they are Republicans, never mind if his/her actions/plans/bills are extremely stupid. Democrats vote Democrats because they are Democrats even if the project/plans/actions/bills encourage laziness, unproductivity, free-loading….

    • Joe America says:

      Tarzan era. That’s what it is, isn’t it? Standing on a tree limb, vine in hand, trumpeting that anyone who disagrees is not a real citizen. I think Republicans never got over losing on Obamacare and have been pursuing an agenda to undermine a sitting president, and the effort is just short of a physical coup. Obama has given up believing Republicans can get their extremists to work constructively, and will do even more autonomous (autocratic?) Executive work going forward. It is not a pretty sight.

      • ivyemaye says:

        RE the UK, Coulson has been sent to jail for two years along with some of his journalist mates from the ex “News of the Screws”. Ex editor and adviser to Cameron the current PM. Two years is the maximum. Sweet Brooks and Murdoch the elder and younger have skipped away from all of this, waiting for normal service to be resumed, hacking and manipulating the lower orders with impunity.
        All this Obamacare seems a puzzle to me, just about all western countries have a functioning insurance system covering health. We Brits have the National Health Service. Free (still just) for all. Yes it has its faults but over all it has proved highly effective. I know you yanks will jibber jibber socialist, well it was set up under Clem Atlee, a Labour PM after world war two and bedded in by Macmillan a Tory. Look at the life expectancy stats, the last time I looked the US was just below Cuba, with most Western European countries sitting on top….all this american stuff is a puzzle to me.

        • janice says:

          my biggest rants.about obamacare is the jacked up prices for those who are not “in poverty”, and those who qualify for medicaid dont need to contribute but get tremendous benefits, penalty if you.dont buy insurance. a $600 family insurance is now $1000. very, uhm, “affordable”.

          I prefer the philhealth style where everyone contributes the same premiums and get the same benefits regardless of income.

          • ivyemaye says:

            Dear Joe

            I guess there must be good European systems where the poor are catered for…but the US system strikes me as a total mess that benefits the rich.

            Money is not an issue, or wasnt in the UK

            regards

            Jon Effemey

            • janice says:

              us.policies cater either to wallstreet or the lazy freeloaders. the working.class taxpayers are treated as milking cows.

              many “benefits” for the “poor” are not available for the middleclass people yet are taxed heavily.

              take for example the food stamps.I have seen many people pay their junk food.with food stamps but they.own expensive smartphones!

              I have.nothing against welfare but give it to the deserving, not the lazy arse who.dont know to prioritize health over gadget.

              • ivyemaye says:

                In the UK our National Health Service of which I am very proud, caters for any one who is ill. Recently those that can afford it do pay for medicines.
                I have been in a number of UK hospitals and one here in the Philippines…..The UK ones are very over stretched at times, especially after a binge session on a Friday and Saturday night which is a strange part of our culture. They dont discriminate, that is how it should be.
                A major issue facing western Europe and possibly the US is the aging population, how are they going to be catered for? Old people’s homes in the UK are outside the NHS and they are a bit of a free for all. My father was lucky to end up in a very good home at the end of his life.
                The culture of caring which is part and parcel of the Philippines is not much evident in the UK, that is why the NHS is so important.
                The US system is a total mystery to me!

              • Joe America says:

                Well, for sure, often it is not the government policies that are at fault, but the screwiness of people. That’s a universal trait, I think.

            • Joe America says:

              Ahhhh, my. Yes, democracy and capitalistic fervor seem to leave behind a lot of people. Something is wrong when the rich agree they are not being taxed enough.

          • Joe America says:

            That seems like a reasonable complaint. I haven’t followed the particulars as Obamacare doesn’t work for me, being overseas. I do understand that overall health care costs in the US are coming down, and I hope that continues.

            • janice says:

              idk but since obamacare, premiums have been jacked up. if you earn $24,001 per year, you cant qualify for the subsidized insurance. youll have to pay for the “cheapest” insurance which is $200 which was just $75 before obamacare.

              add to that misery that only a few practitioners accept the subsidized ins and medicaid

              if the us is really serious about healthcare reforms, they would look into hospital practices and their ridiculous prices. I didnt have insurance and had to go the emergency room because of a dog bite, and I was billed $2100 for being in the ER in less than 30 mins. That would have cost me less than $20 in the Philippines

              obamacare is unfair that way. why cant hardowrking middleclass avail of the subsidized insurance? the middleclass have to pay for jacked up premiums if they want insurance and avoid penalty. the middleclass cannot avail of many things they pay for through tax.

              some.provisions.of the.obamacare are good but some .also have terrible.consequences.and are unfair.for the hardworking tax payers.

              I have nothing against welfare but I think the US needs to br stricter in weeding out the freeloaders. I have a coworker who is in medicaid and food stamps, and guess what, she is obese, has THREE ipads, a phone plan worth $100 a month. I only have one kindle fire, prepaid smartphone (I spend $30/month), not on food stamps and at a healthy weight.
              I wish obamacare was like philhealth instead. everyone pays for the same premiums and get the same benefits regardless of income.

              in addition, right after obamacare, many workers voluntarily cut hours just to qualify for obamacare. how is that for productivity and encouraging people not to be freeloaders?

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