One of the more hilariously bullshit myths Fox News loves to promote is that it's actually more inclusive of differing political viewpoints than its liberal competitors. According to Fox News, while networks like MSNBC are monolithic in their attack from the left, rarely giving time to conservative counterpoints, it welcomes liberal opinions in the name of fairness, balance and spirited debate.
First of all, this completely disregards the fact that MSNBC hands an entire show over each morning to someone who's a reliable mouthpiece for conservative conventional wisdom -- something Fox News would never dare do with a liberal -- but it also fails to account for the kind of dissension the network allows. Put simply, while there are one or two intelligent left-of-center voices that occasionally manage to make it on-air at Fox News, for the most part those trotted out as token liberals are nothing more than cannon fodder, hapless tomato cans -- in boxing parlance -- who don't stand a chance against the bold, slickly packaged and nearly indomitable conservative assault.
Case in point: Bob Beckel. On the daily transmission of intellectual Ebola that is The Five, Beckel is supposed to be the liberal voice, providing the often singular counterpoint to über-douche Greg Gutfeld, jock bully Eric Bolling, condescending prisses Dana Perino and Kimberly Guilfoyle, and attack dog Andrea Tantaros. (Juan Williams, while seemingly anesthetized when he's rolled out to the table, at least has a brain in his head.)
You'd think that the lone liberal on The Five's panel at any one time would at the very least be pugilistic out of necessity, and Beckel certainly is -- unfortunately he's also a blithering buffoon, as evidenced by the latest in his long line of on-air verbal gaffes, which happened yesterday. During one of his usual Don Vito-style rants, this time about the economic threat posed by the rise of China, Beckel busted out a word that's been retired from the lexicon of everybody who doesn't want to look like an insensitive tool for decades now.
"The Chinese are the single biggest threat to the national security of the U.S. They have been, they will be and they can wait, they're very patient. Do you know what we just did? As usual, we bring them over here and we teach a bunch of Chinamen -- er, Chinese people -- how to do computers and then they go back to China and hack into us."
It's tough to argue that anyone should get too up in arms about Beckel's flub. For one thing, it was more than likely a harmless mistake with no malicious intent behind it; for another, Beckel is, as previously stated, a buffoon. If it's tough for you to imagine him being able to tie his wingtips in the morning without plummeting face-first into the floor and down the stairs in a spectacular comedic pratfall, you can't really blame him for barely having a grasp of talking without coming off like an offensive oaf. Beckel has no influence on anybody. He's supposed to be the bumbling, ineffectual liberal stereotype conservatives can feel good about disliking on Fox News and Christ knows there isn't a progressive alive who considers him a role model or even an ally. Beckel's just -- Beckel.
I've made this argument once before, but you’re never going to regularly see someone from the left or even center-left on Fox News — the latter of which could be considered much more dangerous since he or she would be harder to pigeonhole and dismiss outright as the enemy — with the smarts and the ferocity to make a real, sustained stand against the network’s relentless onslaught of crap. Regardless of network affiliation, there’s never going to be anyone like a Rachel Maddow, or a Lawrence O’Donnell, or a Frank Rich defending President Obama or progressive principles on Fox News. All you’re ever going to get are tomato cans because that’s how Fox needs to present its political enemy. The network is all about providing good news from the front for desperate, angry conservatives, and confirming their worst suspicions about what liberals look, talk and act like.
And Beckel's the best news there is.
I mean, hell, if Walter Sobchak knows better...
Adding: Credit to our own Tommy Christopher, who recognized that yesterday wasn't the first time Beckel used the term "Chinamen" on-air. This is from 2011:
One more time -- buffoon.