Fox Executive Pushed ‘Obama’s a Socialist’ Meme Even Though He Knew It Was False
It’s not the slightest bit shocking to find out that Fox News executive Bill Sammon repeatedly pushed the idea that Barack Obama was a “socialist” — even though he himself thought the notion was “far-fetched.”
And even worse, when Sammon was confronted, he defended himself by saying that even though he knew the accusation was ridiculous, he doesn’t regret promoting it — because the false characterization caught on with the right wing base.
Sammon, a former Washington Times reporter, also made sure his troops got out the word. On Oct. 27, he sent an email to staffers highlighting what he described as “Obama’s references to socialism, liberalism, Marxism and Marxists” in his 1995 autobiography, Dreams From My Father.
In an interview, Sammon says his reference to “mischevious speculation” was “my probably inartful way of saying, ‘Can you believe how far this thing has come?’” The socialism question indeed “struck me as a far-fetched idea” in 2008. “I considered it kind of a remarkable notion that we would even be having the conversation.” He doesn’t regret repeatedly raising it on the air because, Sammon says, “it was a main point of discussion on all the channels, in all the media”—and by 2009 he was “astonished by how the needle had moved.”
The cynicism is astonishing, in someone who’s supposed to be a journalist. He knew he was promoting a “far-fetched” and dishonest smear, yet he did it anyway — and now says there was nothing wrong with it because the smear worked.