Fox's animosity toward President Obama is relatively well-known. This week, for example, it has manifested itself in attacks over Obama's official European tour, with Fox hosts smearing the president as a drunk and suggesting he is impervious to the suffering in the Midwest. In fact, not a week goes by during which Fox isn't inherently engaged in undermining the president, his administration, or his policies. Michelle Obama, on the other hand, has proved to be somewhat less of a target.
Yet when Fox does turn its "fair and balanced" machine toward her, it inevitably results in asinine attacks that would leave any fair-minded viewer puzzled. In February, for instance, Fox News figures took issue with the first lady's promotion of breastfeeding. (They criticized her even though Fox News' own Sarah Palin promoted Breastfeeding Awareness Month as Alaska governor.) Last week, the network went after her for inviting "vile" hip-hop artist Common to a poetry event at the White House. And for months, Fox personalities assailed Michelle Obama's efforts at reducing the alarming childhood obesity rates.
Today's attack, though, may dwarf all these others for its absurdity. Referring to Michelle Obama's meeting with schoolgirls in England, Fox Nation stated: "Michelle Gives Schoolgirls Weird Relationship Advice":
The Fox website directed readers to a Daily Caller article -- whose headline didn't include the word "weird" -- reporting on advice the first lady imparted to middle-school girls during her trip to the University of Oxford.
From the piece:
First lady Michelle Obama always believed her husband would be "useful," yet never expected him to land the most powerful job in the world.
"I always thought he would be useful, but I had no idea he was going to be president," the first lady told a group of schoolgirls gathered to hear her speak Wednesday at Christ Church College in Oxford, England.
Michelle Obama went on about the president, whom she met more than 20 years ago while working at Sidley & Austin, a corporate law firm in Chicago. The first lady was tasked with mentoring Barack Obama and their relationship blossomed.
"I knew he was a special person. And it had nothing to do with his education, it had nothing to do with potential," the first lady said of Barack Obama, who attended Harvard Law School and Columbia University. "It was those kind of values that made me think, you don't meet people like that often. And when you couple that with talent -- and he's cute."
Reflecting on her "useful" spouse, the first lady had some relationship suggestions for the young females in attendance, warning them to steer clear of negative influences.
"Reach for partners that make you better," Michelle Obama said. "Do not bring people in your life who weigh you down. And trust your instincts. Good relationships feel good, they feel right...It's with the people you surround yourselves with, and that's just as important as the school that you choose."
How is it "weird" to recommend teenaged girls look for "partners that make you better" and don't "weigh you down"? I would think this is the kind of relationship advice mothers give their daughters all the time -- no different than telling them to follow good health habits like eating more veggies and finding time to exercise. Is Fox suggesting girls should pursue the quote-unquote "bad boy"? Or is this some pointed way of saying to Michelle Obama that she has no right giving out relationship advice?
Whatever the case, Fox has shown it is more than willing to attack the first lady over any little thing. This is just the latest example of the network's journalistic malpractice.