Creation of a new anti-left meme?

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Creation of a new anti-left meme?

FoxNews has hit a new low-- it is using the activities of the Rev. Fred "God Hates Fags" Phelps to bash people who oppose the anti-war movement. From Sean Hannity on August 30th.
HANNITY: Let me read to you from Indianapolis. Headline: "Funeral for fallen Hoosier soldier brought some unwanted guests." ...So anyway, the story in Indianapolis goes like this, quote: "Emotions ran high for an Army soldier's funeral in Martinsville on Sunday. Sgt. Jeremy Doyle's sacrifice brought many out to honor him, but also sparked a standoff on a city street. People arriving to say goodbye to a hometown hero met an altogether different scene in Martinsville, as demonstrators dragging American flags on the ground and holding signs opposing U.S. troops. 'The thing that got us here is that Sergeant Doyle died for us to give us our freedom, and then you have people like this come. It's absurd,' one funeral attendee told News 8 in Indianapolis. Tensions grew before demonstrations [sic: demonstrators] finally left their location right across the street from Army Sgt. Jeremy Doyle's funeral service. According to the group's website, it sees America's -- Americans' deaths in Iraq as a kind of punishment for social misdeeds. Martinsville residents said that the protesters picked the wrong time in the wrong town to express their views. Which rightfully -- so they have their freedom of expression. Nobody's going to take that away from them, but there is a time and a place for this kind of thing, and it's certainly not here today."
The protesters were headquartered in Kansas. They traveled across the country to demonstrate against a soldier." And you know something? I guess this is just another example of how the anti-war left supports our brave troops. 'Cause isn't that what they always say? They're disrupting the funeral, tormenting a grieving family. Can you believe I even have to bring this story to the airwaves? And creating an incredible spectacle in the middle of an occasion to honor a guy who died serving his country? But of course, they're supporting our troops. They're not supporting them; they're targeting our troops!
I read the whole article and it does not use Fred Phelp's name. It's actually disturbingly thin on anything about the group, it's obvious that the reporter didn't even talk to them, they just read their website-- which not-so-subtly calls for all homosexuals to be put to death. However, anyone who knows anything about Fred Phelps could easily pick up the relatively obvious clues that this is who the story is about. First of all, Phelps has already been in the headlines for protesting soldier's funerals all over the country with signs like "Thank God for 9/11." The story in question mentions that he's from Kansas, that he thinks America is being "punished for social misdeeds," and that he travels across the country protesting funerals. Hmmm. Sound like anyone (in)famous we know? Phelps has only been doing this and nothing else for over 8 years, ever since he and his family protested Matthew Shepherd's funeral.

If Hannity knows who Fred Phelps is and had a clue the story was about Phelps, he needs to be called out on this. If not, he's not well informed enough about American politics to adequately perform his job. Regardless, Hannity should issue a correction and say that he mischaracterized who was protesting a soldier's funeral-- someone who is most certainly not part of the left. The bottom line is that someone, somewhere, at FoxNews is responsible for helping to spread a lie that anti-war folks are angrily protesting soldier's funerals.

On the other hand, maybe Phelps and his merry band of family lawyers will hear about this and sue Hannity for defamation of character. Tee-hee.

(By the way, I went over to and just so you don't have to-- the newest message over at Phelp's site is "Thank God for Katrina." Nice. Let's hope that during the next hurricane Phelps decides to go protest *in* its eye.)

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