The general election season has begun in earnest, and over at Fox News, the channel’s slogan seems to have become, “We Report, You Deci—Oh, Screw It, Let’s Just Make Sure Obama Doesn’t Get Re-Elected.” That anyway is the message sent by a remarkable four-minute attack-video on the Obama presidency that aired Wednesday on Fox and Friends.
This is probably not a surprise to observers familiar with Fox and Friends, the morning “news and entertainment” show that could hardly be more insinuatingly propagandistic if it included recruitment videos for the interstellar war against the bugs. Still, I urge you to watch the video embedded above. For starters, it essentially allows you to watch the entire content of Fox News for the last four years, give or take a Jeremiah Wright, in four short minutes. And more important, it’s hard to imagine a more over-the-top parody of Fox raw-meat-hurling, fear-stoking, base-pleasing agitprop if the network replaced Roger Ailes with Stephen Colbert. Let’s watch the video in real-time:
:01 — We begin with the F&F hosts on the Couch of Smirking Disdain, introducing “a look back” at the Obama Administration’s first term “to see if it has lived up to hope and change.” It’s just an investigation, people! Who knows where it will take us? Maybe it will reflect very well on the President indeed!
:46 — It’s 2008. America… before it all went wrong. Obama logo imposed on the word HOPE. Cue the rise-of-socialism strings.
:53 — An eagle! Seriously, Stephen Colbert is hiding here somewhere, isn’t he? Children playing baseball. The sun shining through an American flag. Pre-January 2009 America enjoys prosperity, plenty and a financial system that is in no way in a state of terrifying meltdown. Then enter… Barack Obama!
1:05 — Washington. A helicopter. Grainy video of the Capitol. At some point, this video has become the opening credits of Homeland. I look for a young Claire Danes in a lion mask.
1:19 — Eerie string note and–look out, it’s the national debt! BOOM!!! Why are you dropping those giant bags of debt on the country, President Obama? Watch out for the children!
1:26 — CHANGE superimposed behind giant bag of ObamaDebt. At some point the musical score seems to have merged with Carmina Burana.
1:50 — President Obama has created so many unemployed people they are literally floating in the air above Washington. There’s not even room enough for them on the sidewalks!
2:00 — FOOD STAMPS FOOD STAMPS JESSE JACKSON FOOD STAMPS
2:17 — Now the unemployed people floating above Washington are IN A SHOPPING CART. Food stamps are soylent green! Soylent green is people!
2:30 — GAS MONEY GROCERIES GAS
2:50 — Infographic for gas prices, including a “Now” car with Obama’s logo. Which breaks down with steam coming out of its hood! LOL, OBUMMER CAN’T EVEN KEEP A CAR RUNNING RIGHT
3:05 — Rising food prices! A cow on a carousel! Sirens!
3:27 — A toddler plays with a piggy bank. Finally, some relief from the frightening images.
3:28 — Wait! Oh, God, Piggy is falling down the stairs! Piggy! Obama, is no one safe from your mendacity? Noooooo! Piiiiiiiiiiggggggyyyyy….
3:40 — More examples of the desperate state of the Obama economy, as demonstrated by Fox News voiceovers.
3:52 — “Fear.” “Gas lines.” “Checkout lines.” (You know where they made people stand in lines for bread? The Soviet Union!)
4:00 — Pricesdebtmoneyfear! The Carmina Burana Chorus of Obama-Economy Dread reaches its climax and… “That’s the power of hope. That’s the change we seek.” Yeah, as in I hope you can spare some change, amirite?
4:15 — “Hats off” to the producer of the segment, who’s been sweating over this video in a small editing room “for the last couple of weeks.” Because you’d be surprised how much B-roll of gas pumps, bacon and Nancy Pelosi is not vaguely terrifying enough.
And scene. Since the video aired on Fox, flabbergasting even some conservative observers with its raw id-exposure, the network has distanced itself from the production, saying the video “was not authorized at the senior executive level of the network.”
That may well be true, in the same sense that Henry II never came right out and told anyone to kill the Archbishop of Canterbury. But any honest executive would have to look at the fact that a producer put this on an ostensibly straight-news program and ask: “Hmmm, I wonder what ever could have given anyone the message that this is the kind of video our management would approve of?”
Or they could just issue a couple of anodyne not-apologies, pin the matter on one bad apple and quietly send the signal to stop making the subtext into text so blatantly. I hope not, though. Because it’s election season, and some days, one hour of news-media satire on Comedy Central is not enough.