Fear Mongering

What Fox has wrought: Anti-Park51 protests full of right-wing hate

There’s no doubt that Fox News’ right-wing propaganda agenda has caused a deep cultural schism in our country.  Media Matters analyzes the issue:

Fox, right-wing media compare Park51 planners, Muslims to Nazis, hate groups and wartime enemies

Sekulow compares Islamic center to “monument to kamikaze pilots” at Pearl Harbor. On the August 4 edition of Fox News’ Happening Now, co-host Jon Scott said, “The mayor says it would show what a great and tolerant country America is if you allow the building of a mosque in this site. Do you have an answer for that?” Jay Sekulow, chief counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice, responded, “That argument is like saying this: It would be appropriate and show tolerance to allow a monument to kamikaze pilots at the site of the Arizona at Pearl Harbor.” Sekulow later described the Islamic center as “a 15-story monument to what happened on 9-11.”

Buchanan compares Park51 to Nazis marching through Skokie, IL. On the August 4 edition of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, contributor Pat Buchanan compared the Park51 center to the Nazi march through Skokie, IL, claiming that it was a “provocation” and said the center is “deliberately insensitive.” Buchanan said “I don’t know why the Islamic leaders don’t see this isn’t bringing us together and it’s not helping, and take a unilateral step and pull back.”

Buchanan invokes Nazi march in Illinois while discussing Islamic center. On the August 4 edition of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Pat Buchanan said, “I don’t think there would be a real — these objections if a Catholic community center was put where the mosque — or where the Islamic community center’s going to be, or a synagogue or something like that. There wouldn’t be the objections.” Buchanan went on to say, “We had a real controversy about three decades ago, Joe, and I was involved in it. Should the Nazis — open Nazis — be allowed to march through Skokie, Illinois? And I argued they ought to have a — they certainly have a right to meet, but that’s a provocation because that was a Jewish community, and so I said no. Now, I don’t know that this is a provocation, or can be called that, if you could get a synagogue there. But I do know it does seem deliberately insensitive, and I don’t know why the Islamic leaders don’t see that this isn’t bringing us together and it’s not helping, and take a unilateral step and pull back.”

Limbaugh compares Islamic center to the Klan building a memorial in Gettysburg. On the August 3 edition of his radio show, Limbaugh asked a caller, “What would happen, do you think, if the Ku Klux Klan established a memorial at Gettysburg?” Limbaugh later said, “They wouldn’t get to first base. Nobody would put up with the Klan building a memorial anywhere, much less Gettysburg.”

Gingrich compares Islamic center to Nazis erecting sign near Holocaust museum, Japanese site near Pearl Harbor. On the August 16 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends, Newt Gingrich said, “Nazis don’t have the right to put up a sign next to the Holocaust museum in Washington. We would never accept the Japanese putting up a site next to Pearl Harbor. There’s no reason for us to accept a mosque next to the World Trade Center.”

Shepherd, Geraghty tweet multiple analogies to Islamic center. On August 4, NewsBusters managing editor Ken Shepherd and National Review Online blogger Jim Geraghty tweeted scenarios they alleged to be similar to the construction of the Islamic center, such as “Harry Truman War College, Hiroshima campus”; “David Duke rally in the same hotel as NAACP convention”; and, “Dylan Klebold Memorial Nurse’s Office, Columbine High School.”

McGuirk: You wouldn’t build “a sushi stand at the Pearl Harbor memorial.” On the May 20 edition of Fox News’ Hannity, radio host Amy Walter said, “You would never build something like a German cultural center outside of Auschwitz. You wouldn’t do that, even 50 years later. It’s wrong. It’s in poor taste. You just don’t do that.” Imus in the Morning producer Bernard McGuirk replied, “Or a sushi stand at the Pearl Harbor memorial.” [Transcript from Nexis.]

Two of AZ Gov. Brewer’s Advisers Have Ties to Private Prison Industry

Now this is an interesting development, on many fronts…

Crooks & Liars

Gee, I wonder if Greta Van Susteren will ask Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer about this the next time she comes on her show fear mongering about Arizona’s illegal immigration problem? Seems she has some advisers that have lobbying ties to the private prison industry. Color me not shocked. From KPHO-5, Phoenix, AZ:

Hotel Owners: Ariz. Politicians Scaring Tourists – Private Prisons Might Gain From New Immigration Law:

Between the economy and boycotts related to Arizona’s tough new immigration law, SB 1070, tourism in the state is down 10 percent.

They said state politicians are not helping matters. Just flip on cable news, and you’re likely to see an anchor or reporter talking about an invasion at the border, or headless bodies in the desert, or a rash of kidnappings.

During this election cycle, Arizona politicians have touted the potential danger of illegal immigration. Gov. Jan Brewer is one of the loudest voices.

She has made several statements to the national media, the validity of which CBS 5 Investigates could not confirm. The governor told one media outlet that almost all illegal immigrants are bringing drugs across the border. U.S. Border Patrol officials said that statement is false.

Brewer also said law enforcement officials have found decapitated bodies in the desert. Calls to all of Arizona’s border county medical examiners revealed no decapitated bodies have been reported to them.

A look at data from the FBI shows crime in Arizona is actually down. Murders in Phoenix have dropped by 50 percent since 2003. The violent crime rate across the state has dropped every year since at least 2004. Even the number of illegal border crossers is down. Border Patrol numbers show they are arresting half as many illegal immigrants as they did in 2004. [...]

In the meantime, a CBS 5 investigation revealed that there is one business that could gain from the implementation of SB 1070 and similar immigration measures. The private prison industry houses illegal immigrant detainees for the federal government. Those companies could gain contracts with state and local agencies to house illegal immigrants arrested for state violations.

Corrections Corporation of America, or CCA, holds the federal contract to house detainees in Arizona. The company bills $11 million per month. CBS 5 Investigates has learned that two of Brewer’s top advisers have connections to CCA.

Paul Senseman is the governor’s deputy chief of staff. He is also a former lobbyist for CCA. His wife is listed as a current lobbyist for the company.

Chuck Coughlin is one of the governor’s policy advisers and her campaign chairman. Coughlin’s company, HighGround Public Affairs Consultants, currently lobbies for CCA.

CCA issued the following statement to CBS 5 Investigates:

“CCA, unequivocally, did not at any time lobby – nor did we have any outside consultants lobby – anyone in Arizona on the immigration law. Nor are we proposing to house detainee immigrants as a result of SB 1070. We currently have no contracts with the State or any counties. CCA very proudly does have a presence in Arizona, as we own and operate 6 correctional facilities, employing more than 2,500 Arizona residents. These contracts are with other state and federal jurisdictions.”

Meanwhile, at Rancho de la Osa, Richard and Veronica Schultz said they don’t know much about the motives behind the politicians making alarming statements about the border. Read on…