Thursday, July 2, 2009

Fox Commentators' Response To Franken Victory: "The Horror! The Horror!"

In "Heart of Darkness" by Joseph Conrad, the last words of the Western tyrant Kurtz, who had taken over African tribes, were "The horror! The horror!" This was the response of the Fox News crowd upon reporting the victory of Al Franken (D) of Minnesota over incumbent Norm Coleman in their long-fought senatorial race. Watch:

Franken's victory must be especially galling to the right-wing Fox commentators, since Franken also prevailed in 2003 when the network sued him over the cover of his book, "Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right" (which I recommend). The plaintiffs' claim that Franken's use of "Fair and Balanced," Fox's wildly inappropriate slogan, constituted trademark infringement was rejected due to the common use of the words, as was the claim that Bill O'Reilly's photo on the cover was an endorsement of the book–especially with the word "Lies" on top of his image.

Now we're told that Coleman put up a "valiant effort over many months." Actually, what he did was protest the recount that went Franken's way and continued litigating despite rulings that culminated in the Minnesota Supreme Court's declaration of Franken's victory. For eight months, he deprived Minnesotans of full senatorial representation and put a tremendous burden on Senator Amy Klobuchar (D).

Glenn Beck voiced his fears, now that the Democrats have a filibuster-proof majority: "You have this serious progressive arm in the Senate. How are you going to be able to stop it?" His concern is over Franken's support for such dastardly ideas as health care for all, alternative energy, labor rights and international diplomacy. Brian Kilmeade asked, "Who's safe now?"

I agree with one point made by Beck: "You don't want me as a senator." I also identify with Eric Kleefeld of Talking Points Memo, who said that the Fox commentators provided him with "a fun dose of schadenfreude." 

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