Judge Jeanine Pirro's television career began as the host of a reality courtroom show not unlike Judge Judy or any of the dozens of other knockoffs. But for the last few years, she's become a regular contributor to NBC's Today as well as the host of Justice with Judge Jeanine, Saturday nights on Fox News Channel. Frankly, we hadn't heard of her until this past weekend when she delivered a rant about President Obama and the fiasco in Iraq. Based on the reactions online and in social media, the segment has elevated her within the hierarchy of sociopathic rogues, screechers and former morning zoo deejays in the far-right media.
Pirro's five-minute tirade had everything: finger-wagging, fear-mongering, misinformation, wild conspiracy theories, the phrase "cut and run" and, naturally, ball-shaming. It's a cocktail of Obama Derangement Syndrome delivered with laser-like precision directly into the outrage cortexes of typical Fox News viewers, likely inducing octogenarian white-guy erections with tensile strengths not experienced since Don Ameche, Wilford Brimley and Hume Cronyn splashed around in that magical pool in Cocoon.
Let's [cough] dive in, shall we?
1) They're coming to get you! Usually when fear is used as a rhetorical weapon, it's dropped with a little more subtlety than Pirro's opening hit:
"I told you that you need to be afraid because they are coming for you."
Yes, you personally. Doesn't matter where you are or what you do, they are coming for you -- clearly because they hate viewers of Jeanine Pirro's Saturday night show.
2) Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb. And bomb. There was a brief glimpse of sanity when Pirro said she's opposed to sending ground troops. But this dollop of rationality ended when she went off on a bomb binge:
"My resolution? Air strikes. Bomb them! Bomb them! Keep bombing them, bomb them again and again. And I don't care how long it takes. Just take out ISIS. Take out their convoys, and take out those troops."
This would be fine were it not for the fact that ISIS is also deeply intertwined in civilian populations, complicating the air strikes option. Air strikes require surgical caution and planning, not indiscriminate bombing of anyone that looks like the enemy. First of all, there isn't sufficient intelligence to pinpoint the location of all ISIS forces. Plus, if we take out their convoys, they'll figure out a way to move in smaller groups. And if the Iraqi security forces continue to bail out of the fight, airstrikes wouldn't really stop the ISIS advance. Plus, as we've witnessed in the past, the Fox News hosts who are calling for air strikes today will surely rip Obama to shreds afterward for doing exactly what they called for.
3) Here's a great big lie.
"The head of this band of savages, Abu al-Baghdadi, was released by the Obama administration and started ISIS one year later in 2010."
This whopper has been all over Fox News. The reality is that the agreement to release Baghdadi was signed by President Bush in 2008 as part of the Status of Forces Agreement. In accordance with that agreement, Baghdadi was turned over to Iraqi authorities in 2009 and was further imprisoned in Iraq. Then the Iraqi government -- not Obama -- released Baghdadi from prison in 2010. Another account, uncovered by Politifact determined that Baghdadi might've been released in 2004, five years before Obama's inauguration.
4) As if Obama was watching her ridiculous show. Next, Pirro shifted into addressing the president directly.
"Now, Mr. President, you may see yourself as a war hero. The truth? There has been a 60 percent increase in radical Islamist terrorism since you've been in office."
It's unclear which study she was talking about, but the only report we could find that involves a 60 percent increase in terrorist attacks had to do with North Africa, and the increase wasn't overall for the years 2009-2014, it was from 2013 when there was a 60 percent increase over 2012. If we look at the overall post-9/11 trend for that region, the biggest increase took place between 2001 and 2009 under a different president. Furthermore, other than in 2013, terrorist attacks declined in North Africa from 2009 to 2012. This can't really be attributed to Obama, but if we're talking about blaming Obama for the spike in 2013, then he deserves credit for the decline as well, right?
There's another study by RAND which was recently cited by the always trustworthy Dick Cheney which showed a 60 percent increase in terrorists groups -- not terrorism. The study also indicated that this increase was due to weakened governments in the nations where the terrorist groups are forming.
5) And now... balls.
"And you keep letting these guys out! Like the Bergdahl trade and the five terrorists, you didn't have the balls to try in GITMO or federal court. You were simply clueless. A paper tiger who only knows how to cut and run."
If Obama is a "clueless" eunuch for authorizing the Bergdahl prisoner swap in exchange for five detainees, what the hell was Bush for releasing nearly 600 detainees from Guantanamo? We've covered this before but it bears repeating: the recidivism rate for detainees released by Bush was 30.5 percent. The recidivism rate for Obama was 7.5 percent. Oh, also, the five detainees turned over to Qatar were Taliban prisoners of war. We don't put prisoners of war on trial. But why should we expect a judge to know that?
6) Chris Stevens: Al-Qaeda's Gun Smuggler. Then Pirro pivoted from lying to her audience to dealing in wacky conspiracy theories:
"Here's the kicker. There have been reports that ISIS was trained by U.S. instructors at a secret base in Jordan to prepare them to fight President Assad as rebels. Since the Benghazi massacre, reports have been that the [Benghazi] annex was a front for a CIA operation shipping arms to the anti-Assad forces through Turkey."
Where did this hooey come from? World Net Daily, a well-known far-right conspiracy site that no one, other than Pirro, thinks is a serious news source. Also, the thing about Benghazi is a conspiracy theory in which the late Ambassador Chris Stevens is accused of running the guns from Libya to al-Qaeda backed rebels in Syria, namely ISIS. So either Stevens was an American hero killed by terrorists and his death adds significant weight to this particular attack, or he was a criminal gun-runner sending American weapons to al-Qaeda affiliates. You can't have it both ways.
7) "That despicable video theory." Pirro moved on to another conspiracy theory about how the president apparently waited for two year before U.S. special forces finally grabbed Abu Khattala, the mastermind of the Benghazi attacks. If you watch the video, Pirro amplifies her insufferable snark with the addition of air quotes and a contemptuous smirk -- you know, in a serious rant about how the terrorists are coming for you.
"Why did you wait? Could it be, Mr. President, that if you arrested him sooner he could've debunked that [air quotes] despicable video theory. You know the one you all lied about? Can you imagine, you indict Khattala for killing Ambassador Chris Stevens [who was running guns to al-Qaeda, according to Pirro's source, WND] and he comes in and he says, 'You dumb schmucks! What video?!'"
Wow, she really walked into this one. It turns out that Khattala already admitted that the Benghazi attacks were in retaliation for the Innocence of Muslims video.
8) Obama is a wimp, apparently.
"You release terrorists, you cut deals with Iran, you dance around with your political correctness while they sharpen their knives."
On the far-left, Obama is considered to be a bloodthirsty, drone-addicted war criminal who indiscriminately launches Hellfire missiles at children. On the far-right, he's a flitting dilettante who pals around with terrorists instead of killing them by the bushel. The truth is that in spite of Pirro's boardwalk caricature of Obama, no president has killed more terrorists than this one -- more than 2,000 as of 2013, and that's just the ones killed in drone strikes -- eight times as many as the previous administration. Again, if this is weakness, I have no idea what her standard for strength against terrorists could possibly be, because since the beginning of the global war on terror, Obama is the clear leader in killing the evildoers.
As always, Fox News makes it really easy for people like us here at The Daily Banter. Just about every day, a host at the network says something that makes for almost unfairly easy ridicule. But Pirro has set a new bar for fire-eating, not to mention the most easily-debunkable nonsense per sentence of any Fox News host, past or present.