End of Days Arrived? Right-Wing Sen. Coburn Defends Pelosi, Bashes ‘Biased’ Fox News

April 6, 2010

(ChattahBox)—-Extreme right-wing Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), rather than using the politics of fear and demagoguery, that has dominated conservative opposition to healthcare reform, used his bully pulpit instead, at a recent town meeting to inject some sanity and real honest-to-goodness-facts into the discussion. With all of the death panels nonsense and the latest right-wing/Fox News lies about the hiring of 16,000 new IRS agents to lock people up who don’t purchase health insurance, Coburn’s plea to an angry town hall crowd “to not be “biased by Fox News” and to be nice to Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) made headlines this week. Has the end times finally arrived? Because the world as we know it has just turned upside-down.

Appearing at an Oklahoma town hall meeting, Coburn responded to a woman railing against the new healthcare reform law, repeating the falsehood that people who refused to purchase health insurance would be thrown in jail:

COBURN: “I want everybody else to get answer a question, ask a question, so let me. The intention is not to put anybody in jail. That makes for good TV news on Fox, but that isn’t the intention. There is the intention, though, to use the Internal Revenue Service to hold you accountable and you have to prove that you have bought health insurance.”

When the raucous audience later booed the mention of Speaker of the House Pelosi, Coburn implored the crowd to use civility in their political discourse, saying she is a nice person:

COBURN: Come on now. She is a nice. How many of y’all have met her? She is a nice person. She’s a nice person. You know, let me give you a little lesson here. I hope you will listen to me. Just because somebody disagrees with you doesn’t mean that they’re not a good person.” […]

“And what we have to have is make sure we have a debate in this country so that you can see what’s going on and make the determination yourself. So, don’t catch yourself being biased by Fox News that somebody’s no good. The people in Washington are good. They just don’t know what they don’t know.”

After hisses and jeers at Coburn’s remarks, he further implored his constituents to say informed and to branch out from their daily diet of Fox News’ falsehoods and white-hot political rhetoric:

“Don’t just watch Fox News or CNN. Watch them both. I read two newspapers a day, New York Times and Washington Post. And in between, the Wall Street Journal. I get a perspective. I need to know what other people’s thoughts are. Not just what I hear through a pipe channel. So I would tell you, you got to hear it both so that you have, you can take it and receive the information in context. And I want to tell ya. I do a lot of reading every day and I’m disturbed that we get things like this lady said and others have said on other issues that are so disconnected to what I know to be the facts. And that comes from somebody who has an agenda that’s other than the best interest of our country. So, please balance and be careful as you take in. Make sure you get a balance. And listen to the other side because what it does it makes you a better person because now you see things in context from how other people might see it that are different from you. God bless you and thank you for being here.”

It’s encouraging to see a conservative lawmaker behave responsibly in toning down the rhetoric of hate and fear. Now, let’s see if others in the Republican Party follow suit or if leaders, such as hate talker Rush Limbaugh condemns Coburn’s remarks.

See Thing Progress for the audio of Coburn’s remarks.


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