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April 2, 2008

This one we Found too Interesting not to Share

Via MoveOn: This week, Barack Obama gave one of the most honest and inspiring speeches on race in American history after weathering days of the media’s relentless, divisive, and racially charged attacks. But have you wondered where these attacks came from and why they dominated the news?

Reporters like NBC’s Tim Russert focused on the “Reverend Wright controversy” only after FOX and other right-wing media did. It happens over and over: FOX airs a right-wing smear and the mass media repeat it. Film director Robert Greenwald just released a short video called FOX Attacks Obama: Part 2 which shows how it happens.

We are launching a petition demanding the big networks stop parroting FOX and distracting Americans from real issues. We’ll hand-deliver your signatures to major media outlets next week. Watch the video, and sign the petition, here:

The petition, which we’re launching with Greenwald’s Brave New Films, says: “FOX is a Republican mouthpiece, not a legitimate news organization. Real news organizations must reject FOX’s smears of Barack Obama, not parrot them and distract Americans from the pressing issues of the day.” The more signatures we deliver, the bigger the impact—so please tell your friends.

Media watchdog group Media Matters has chronicled how FOX spent months trying to smear Obama by associating him with Reverend Wright’s words.1 Greenwald’s new video shows how the attacks successfully migrated to the mass media—Tim Russert repeated Sean Hannity’s smears virtually word-for-word!

Meanwhile, the big networks all but ignored Pastor John Hagee, whose endorsement John McCain was “honored” and “proud” to receive. Hagee says Katrina was God’s punishment for homosexuality, Jews are to blame for anti-Semitism, and Catholicism is the “Whore of Babylon” and “a cult.”

It gets worse. At the same time they relentlessly reported on Obama’s pastor, most network journalists also ignored Rick Parsley, a televangelist who McCain called his “spiritual guide” when accepting his endorsement last month. Parsley has said:

I do not believe our country can truly fulfill its divine purpose until we understand our historical conflict with Islam. I know that this statement sounds extreme, but I do not shrink from its implications. The fact is that America was founded, in part, with the intention of seeing this false religion destroyed…3 Ignoring McCain’s spiritual advisers while going after Obama’s is what we expect from FOX, which is more a Republican mouthpiece than a real news organization. But when real news outlets follow FOX’s lead, we have to hold them accountable. Otherwise, FOX will continue to elevate smear after smear against Democrats into the mass media in 2008. Click here to see the new video and sign the petition.

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