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Tuesday, 08 June 2010 08:16

Laura Ingraham and Her Contradicting Criticism of Obama on the Oil Spill

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by Jeffrey Joseph

The continual destruction of life in the Gulf of Mexico has certainly warranted a fair amount of outrage that the nation could allow something of this magnitude, what President Barack Obama referred to as “the greatest environmental disaster of its kind in our history,” to occur. Indeed, the growing wake of the spill has created plenty of blame to go around. Yet some commentators along the lines of Laura Ingraham have seized on the opportunity to blame the president more for political reasons than for any genuine assignation of blame as evidenced by the confusing and contradictory complaints about the president.

An occasional fill-in host and otherwise guest of The O’Reilly Factor, Ingraham appeared opposite Bill O’Reilly to discuss the disaster late last week. O’Reilly suggested the issue had become a political one, as criticisms fell in different directions almost entirely along ideological lines, but Ingraham contended President Obama was “treating this like a political problem [and] that’s part of his problem.” She felt he had not taken the issue seriously enough, yet when O’Reilly mentioned Obama going down to the coast again, Ingraham argued, “Yeah, he’s going down tomorrow, but there’s still not a sense that this is a serious approach.” Her attack continued against Ken Salazar, Janet Napolitano, Eric Holder, and apparently even Paul McCartney since Ingraham demanded the president “have as much passion in tackling this issue as he did last night when Paul McCartney was serenading Michelle [Obama].” She sarcastically continued, “But I have to look at the bright side because at least Michelle was having fun.”

Obviously, President Obama, in recognizing it as such an important and devastating environmental disaster, views the issue as more than “a political problem,” but if not for ideological differences, Ingraham would not likely have complained about it. For example, part of why she complained Obama lacked “a serious approach” was because she felt the president only decided to go down because “when some liberal starts criticizing him…then he starts [thinking], ‘Well, I better get down there again and do something.’” President Obama surely has more important advisors to consider than an occasional liberal commentator, and at least he chose not to take direction from Ingraham’s FOX colleague and conservative commentator Brit Hume who so famously and cluelessly said of the spill, “Where’s the oil?

Furthermore, as much as Ingraham would like to lay blame at the feet of people within Obama Administration, she clearly does so while circumventing blame for BP. Assuming Salazar has much to answer for in responding to the disaster or even regulating BP to prevent it, Ingraham must concede it was nonetheless BP’s malfeasance that created the spill in the first place. However, though Attorney General Eric Holder hopes to hold BP responsible, Ingraham criticizes those very “serious” efforts at accountability by saying, “I’m sure that’s supposed to happen, and it should happen, but that is not what the country wants now.” Apparently Ingraham feels justice is better served another day.

Ultimately, O’Reilly, no adamant progressive in his own right, finds Ingraham so overtly partisan in her attacks that he tells her, “You just want to denigrate everyone in the administration. You want to denigrate every single person Obama knows. The driver of his car you want to go after!” Little wonder that O’Reilly, though he often agrees with her, has written off Ingraham as a “blind ideologue.” To her, President Obama has not done enough, but when does take action, it’s because of “some liberal criticizing him” or it his administration has taken action at the wrong time, though she complains that he must act much sooner.

The criticisms Ingraham levy against the president practically spin in circles probably because, as O’Reilly suggested, they emanate from an ideologue, not one of someone genuinely and dispassionately concerned. Regardless of O’Reilly’s analysis about Ingraham and her outcry against the president, he still turns over the show to her in his absence. In response, viewers should tell FOX News that it need not employ unreasonable ideologues who will trip over themselves in finding contradictory ways to criticize any opposition if it wants to claim itself as a trusted source of news rather than propaganda — and in the meantime, choose to Turn Off FOX.

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Originally posted at Turn Off FOX.