Sunday, October 18, 2009

Occasionally, We Get A Victory

Until the elections in 2010, conservatives are not going to see a lot of major victories. I don't include the tea parties and similar popular rebellions since they have been been very successful so far, but are more mass movements against the imposition of big government in general. So when we have a small victory relating to a specific issue we've addressed, I think we should be allowed to crow a little about it.

Back on October 6, we ran an article questioning Fox News Channel about the wisdom of having a regular commentator who is billed as a "Columbia Professor," but who is in actuality a race-baiting leftist (see: Marc Lamont Hill), with no expertise in much of anything except his major: "Hip Hop Culture." Yet several different Fox News commentary shows have used Professor Hill as an expert on everything from urban crime to Iranian foreign policy. And most shamefully of all, he has been used regularly as a feature commentator on The O'Reilly Factor.

Beginning with some of the blogs, and followed by a much broader exposure on talk radio, the truth of Fox's self-destructive choice quickly became big conservative news. Nobody was objecting to Hill's appearances per se. What those of us who knew of Marc Lamont Hill were objecting to was his billing as a legitimate expert on matters in which he is a complete amateur. We wouldn't object to Louis Farrakhan, since his racist political views are well-known. Al Sharpton is a regular commentator on Fox News (he's a personal favorite of Geraldo Rivera), but again nobody is being led to believe that the fat reverend is some kind of middle-of-the-road intellectual university professor. But that is exactly how Professor Hill has been presented on a daily basis, as if he weren't a crypto-communist, radical race-baiting friend of Fidel Castro, Louis Farrakhan and myriad other America-haters.

My old radical-turned-conservative ally David Horowitz made the issue an open challenge, starting with the "communist heroes" wallpaper on Hill's FaceBook page. Horowitz can be unrelenting, and the Hill matter was no exception. TownHall, Reason, and numerous other conservative/libertarian blogs picked up on the story (including Commentarama). HuffPo and The DailyKos rushed to Hill's defense, mostly by shouting "racist" in a crowded blogosphere.

As of yesterday afternoon, October 16, Cliff Kincaid at Accuracy in Media announced that "Fox News has fired Marc Lamont Hill." Kincaid had asked Fox honcho Rupert Murdoch why someone with Hill's radical views would have a role as a Fox News commentator. Before he could finish his question, Murdoch interrupted Kincaid to say that he appreciated Cliff's work on the matter, and that Hill had been "fired" last week. I think "fired" may be too strong an expression to use for a news network correcting its own mistake, since there was really no wrongdoing on Hill's part. It was the fault of the vetters at Fox. So I prefer the old corporate term: "de-hired."

Horowitz got everybody up in arms when he questioned why O'Reilly interviewed Hill for an entire segment about Iran. That seemed to stir everyone else up, including Cliff Kincaid, and everybody on the right began to dig for more information on Hill. The more they found, the worse it got. Most often attacked were Hill's credentials solely as an expert on hip-hop culture, and his repeated support of noted cop-murderers Mumia abu Jamal and Assata Shakur (a long time resident of Cuba since fleeing from prosecution in the United States).

Although we have not found final confirmation of the firing story, nobody is denying it, and the story seems credible. Kincaid's record for accuracy approaches 100%, so we have no reason to doubt it. And since the HuffPo and DailyKos are already reporting the "lynching" with slobbering indignation, we should have confirmation any time now. David Horowitz pays tribute to the diligence of Kincaid and others in his NewsRealBlog by saying: "If the coverage [by Kincaid], AIM and others has helped place the radical left wing views of Hill outside the bounds of the mainstream, it is another victory for conservatives and the blogosphere in general."

To which I add, "thank you David and Cliff for giving this Hawk a chance to crow."

15 comments:

LL said...

The problem with talking head experts (on all news programs) is that (a) the media presents them as "experts" and the public simply accepts it; (b) we all have bias and that's not explained before the expert speaks - and I think it should be (c) there is a rush to opinion in the media because of the speed of information without consideration of a wide range of factors.

Thanks for your work in clearing up this one character such that he was de-hired/no longer consulted.

StanH said...

Ouch, Lawhawk, that’s gonna leave a mark …no pun intended. It sucks to get bitten by your own dog, but Marc L. Hill is most deserving. One thing that the left has forgotten, that many conservatives were former liberal counter culturist, and understand street rules developed in the ‘60s and ‘70s and since 11/4/08 have recommitted to the preservation of the USA. In my eternal optimism, without our Barry this would not have happened. The true sleeping giant (conservative America) has been awakened and there will be many more Marc L. Hills. It may take two, four, six, eight years, but if you’re in the political business don’t make long term plans, “get right or say goodnight.” No more can we cede the town square to loud, petulant statist, who vilify everything that makes this country great. Go team! 2010, 2010, 2010…

Writer X said...

Could it be that Fox and others are starting to read Commentarama? ;-) Hill was no match for Horowitz's debate skills. And no doubt Hill will find a home at MSNBC or CNN but no one watches those channels anyway.

Tennessee Jed said...

jolly good show, Hawk. I agree, Horowitz, Kincaid and yourself are to be warmly applauded for being on top of this one.

I will say this about Mr. Hill, however. The few times I saw him, he proved himself to be a pretty good technical debater in the limited format of cable talk shows. In that respect, he reminds me a little bit of Al Sharpton. Although I find him reprehensible, he is good at instinctively framing the debate on live television.

As a mnor aside, though, the term "de-hired" was quickly shunted aside by the even more vapid (if possible) "de-selected" by those nattering nabobs of corporate human resources departments.

patti said...

yesterday husband said he misses fox (we ditched our big cable package). me not so much. they are swingin' for the entertainment fences and i just want a source of info.

but that huffpo has their panties in a wad is more than enough to make me happy. RACIST! oh those nutty nutjobs.

AndrewPrice said...

That's great news Lawhawk! Nice work on calling this guy out. Unfortunately, most people just don't have the time or resources to dig into and investigate who these "experts" are. FOX should be ashamed for not doing better research into the guy before using him, and particularly using him so broadly.


Writer X, I think FOX might be reading Commentarama! I hear Hillary Clinton's a huge fan too! LOL!

BevfromNYC said...

And then there is this...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BzKc-kxEP1A&feature=player_embedded

Anyone want to join me in my purple rage?

LawHawkSF said...

LL: And we don't want to squelch free speech for anyone. At this point, I really don't care if Hill shows up occasionally as a counter-point to the conservative mainstream on Fox News. But now he will no longer be treated as if he is some nice, middle-of-the-road intellectual contrarian. I'll know we're home free when the little reader board below the talking-head says: "Marc Lamont Hill, Professor of Hip Hop Studies" instead of all the misleading titles they've been giving him.

LawHawkSF said...

StanH: David Horowitz thanks you. I thank you. And several other of our former leftist colleagues thank you as well. Sun Tzu said "know your enemy." We went him one better. In our youth, we were the enemy.

LawHawkSF said...

WriterX: I suspect that by now we may be on a couple of "click and check" lists. We're building, but for now all the real credit has to go to Horowitz and Kincaid and their determination to take Hill on up-close and in his face.

Tennessee: I agree with you. I found him charming, amusing and mildly clever. But if only because of my radical and legal background, I just couldn't take this guy at face value. His changing academic title each time he appeared on Fox made me very suspicious. There are so many useless and meaningless curricula out there, that he could just pick one and nobody would challenge him. So he was variously a professor of "urban studies, African-American studies, sociology, ethnic politics, urban psychology, etc., ad nauseam, , whatever would conveniently make him the "expert" on whatever topic was being covered. That got me (and the others) looking much closer at his background. Imagine how much effect the O'Reilly segment would have had if O'Reilly had asked Marc Lamont Hill, professor of hip-hop culture, his opinion of the situation in Iran. Professor of what!!!???

LawHawkSF said...

Patti: There's an awful lot of truth in what you say. I will watch Fox for headline news and breaking news, but beyond that, it does aim for the entertainment value of any story. It's not fair and balanced, but it comes much, much closer than any of the others. And getting Aryanna and Markos upset is a consummation devoutly to be wished. LOL

LawHawkSF said...

Andrew: Frankly, I think Fox got outfoxed. When they looked at the field of black intellectuals who could be used as liberal foils for conservative points, they saw Hill. He's polite, funny, articulate (except when he's lying, at which point he stutters and talks too fast), and generally affable in public. They knew he was liberal/left, but in order to get a stooge, they outsmarted themselves and ended up with a far-left, racist professional ignoramus who didn't turn out to be the easy target they expected him to be. But even non-academic vetters at Fox should have been suspicious about Hills multiple academic titles.

LawHawkSF said...

Bev: So Rahm Emmanuel appears on CNN and says that Fox claims to be a news organization, but it has a "perspective." That takes one helluva lot of chutzpah. So the only reason the White House has gone to war with Fox News is that it has a "perspective." Unlike CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, ABC, CBS and NBC, I assume. What he really means is that Fox is the only news organization with a different perspective. All the others line up for their turn in the Lincoln Bedroom, and don't make waves that upset the administration.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, Far be it for me to disagree, but I don't think Fox did any real research. I think they saw one or two "credentials", so that he was telegenic and well spoken, and that he was ready to do combat, and they picked him. Fox is about looks rather than substance, after all.

LawHawkSF said...

Andrew: I don't think you're disagreeing at all. I agree whole-heartedly that they did minimal research, found a telegenic token liberal, and stopped the vetting process far short of where it should have gone.

Although I see as much substance or more at Fox as I see anywhere else, I can't fault them too badly on that. They do have the best-looking female news staff in history. But I have yet to see MSNBC or any of the other lefty bastions accidentally get a regular far-right race-baiter who was hired based solely on a surface look at some meaningless credentials. They bring Pat Buchanan aboard fully knowing that he is exactly the fringe type that can be easily made to look foolish. Fox made the mistake of thinking that was what they were getting in Hill. Too bad the lefties can't investigate political and social facts as carefully as they investigate their potential commentators.

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