Ever since it was learned a Saudi Prince, Alwaleed Bin Talal, owned a large stake in News Corp – parent company to Fox News – the usual suspects (ThinkProgress, Media Matters, DailyKos) have been trying to use it as a way to “hurt” Fox News (the prince now owns roughly 7% of News Corp.) The flawed thinking goes like this: “ZOMG! Fox News is owned by a Muslim, but Fox viewers are mostly conservative, therefore racist and anti-Muslim, and shouldn’t be watching Fox News!!” Clearly, in order to make sense of the smear merchants’s narrative, one must believe that all Fox News viewers are racist and anti-Muslim. This is a classic strawman argument: create a false premise and then use it to “prove” a point about your opponent.
Media Matters, in particular, has been beating the “Fox News is anti-Muslim, but it’s owned by a Saudi Prince” drum the loudest. Have some fun and go over to the tax-exempt 501(c)(3)’s website and search “Fox Saudi Prince” or “Alwaleed” and you’ll find pages of posts by Senior and Junior Fellows pretending to be amazed that conservatives watch Fox News even though it is partly owned by a Saudi Prince. It never once occurs to them that people who watch Fox News realize the network isn’t anti-Muslim (Okay, that’s not true. The propagandists at Media Matters, etc. know it, but their job is to promote the narrative. They lie for a living).
An unintended consequence of this silly narrative is that the rank and file leftists out there have taken this “information” and used it to let their inner fascist shine through. The smear merchants’ narrative has provided the cover for them. Now they’re free to play the guilt by association game to anyone who doesn’t virulently hate Fox News as much as they do. If you spend any time on social networks or message boards or the comments section of articles and blog posts, you’ve seen the comment: “Oh yeah? Well Fox is owned by a Saudi Muslim!! HA!” If you bother to engage a person like this, they will inevitably come around to citing the Saudi regime’s backward stances on human rights, especially towards women, and a host of other issues. To be fair, these are all valid criticisms, but they’re using them for the completely wrong reasons. They’re trying to silence Fox News.
They’re a victim of their own tactics. To them, Fox News is evil, racist, anti-Muslim, and you shouldn’t watch it. Then, conservatives are evil, racist, and anti-Muslim, and they shouldn’t watch Fox News because a Saudi prince owns a piece of it. When that fails – and Fox’s ratings prove it – they resort to telling you Saudi princes are evil because they are part of a regime that has a horrible record of human rights and since a Saudi prince owns part of Fox, they won’t watch Fox News and you shouldn’t either.
So … now that a Saudi prince has purchased a massive stake in Twitter, will those same leftists deactivate their accounts? At the very least, an “evil” owner of the dreaded Fox News now owns part of Twitter, right? It would be completely hypocritical for people who make a living attacking Fox News to continue to be part of a social network that is owned by a Fox News owner, no?
I must admit I’ll miss seeing people like Media Matters’s Eric Boehlert make fools of themselves on Twitter, but I’ll gain an ounce of respect for them for sticking by their principles.