RAND PAUL AND THE KOOKY FOX NEWS JUDGE
By Cliff Kincaid
May 25, 2010
Rand Paul, the Republican candidate for the Senate in Kentucky, says he backed out of Sunday’s “Meet the Press” appearance because he was fearful of liberal media attacks. But avoiding the media won’t stop the questions about the candidate’s controversial views and associations. These include 9/11 conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and Fox News judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano, who was recently on Fox News claiming that Arizona’s new immigration law has made it into a Nazi state.
Going beyond anything the far-left “progressives” have said about it, Napolitano claimed the Arizona immigration law, which was crafted with an eye to constitutional challenges, would bankrupt the state because of the costs of enforcing it. He then went on the Alex Jones show to repeat these and other wild criticisms of the measure. Ironically, these comments were judged too extreme even for Alex Jones, a 9/11 truther who raised money for Rand Paul and appears regularly on the Kremlin-financed Russia Today television channel.
Napolitano promoted Rand Paul’s campaign for the Senate on several occasions on his own Freedom Watch program on Foxnews.com and when he hosted the Glenn Beck program on Fox News Channel.
A former New Jersey Superior Court judge, Napolitano’s bizarre views on a range of issues have taken on more importance and significance because he has a close personal relationship with not only Rand Paul but his father, Rep. Ron Paul. In addition to opposing Arizona’s new immigration law, Napolitano believes in legal dope and opposes laws against pornography and obscenity. He opposed the war against communism in Vietnam and thinks the war on terrorism has violated the rights of terrorists. He calls the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan illegal because Congress authorized the military actions through resolutions rather than declarations of war.
It has already been announced that Napolitano, the regular fill-in host on the “Glenn Beck” program, is being given his own program on the Fox Business Network. There can be no doubt that Napolitano will use the show as a platform to promote Rand Paul.
After his victory in the Kentucky Senate Republican primary, Rand Paul turned in a disastrous performance on Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC program by appearing to defend business owners discriminating on the basis of race. But he was greeted as a conquering hero on the online “Freedom Watch” program that Napolitano currently hosts on Foxnews.com. Napolitano hailed Paul’s “non-interventionist” foreign policy views, even though he had run in Kentucky as someone in favor of a “strong national defense” and wanted to prosecute terrorists in Guantanamo, not the U.S.
As a former judge—and still frequently introduced as “Judge”—Napolitano comes across as authoritative and knowledgeable. But his new book, Lies the Government Told You, parrots the ACLU line on many issues and is almost laughable in terms of understanding the lessons of history and how freedom survives in the world. It is difficult to know at times if Napolitano is a libertarian or a leftist.
Napolitano claims, for example, that the war against communism in Vietnam was misguided because communism couldn’t be defeated militarily. He asks in his book (page 256), “When in history have ideas been contained via the use of military force? Never.”
When I read these words to international journalist Uwe Siemon-Netto, his immediate response was “World War II.” Of course, Siemon-Netto is absolutely correct. Dangerous and deadly ideas sometimes have to be contained and even defeated through military force. That was the threat posed by Nazism, Communism, and now Islamic fascism.
Napolitano claims that communism eventually “fell of its own weight, without a shot being fired,” giving absolutely no credit to President Ronald Reagan and his anti-communist foreign policy. The Reagan policy of “peace through strength” and opposition to the spread of communism in Africa, Afghanistan and Central America beat back the Soviets and forced the collapse of their system.
Strangely, Napolitano’s book expresses no regret over the liberal Congress forcing the U.S. military withdrawal that turned South Vietnam and neighboring Cambodia over to the Communists. Instead, he faults Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson for believing that communism, “a form of government and political theory that exalts the state over individuals, could somehow be contained on the battlefield.” This is a rather mild description of a philosophy that has killed more than 100 million people throughout history. He also ignores the fact that Hanoi had invaded South Vietnam.
In another bizarre utterance, Napolitano contends, despite the fall of South Vietnam and the Communist Khmer Rouge victory in Cambodia which quickly followed, that the domino theory of one nation after another falling to communism was “flawed.”
Far from being flawed, the theory was absolutely true and those who held to the domino theory understood the reality and nature of communist aggression. More than that, the war against communism in Vietnam, as President Reagan said, was a noble cause. It is always noble to fight and resist totalitarianism. But Napolitano doesn’t seem to get it. Today, he opposes the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and thinks the U.S. has been too tough on terrorists. Echoing the liberal line, he calls waterboarding “torture.”
Napolitano gives thanks to his boss at Fox News, Roger Ailes, in the acknowledgments section of his book. But the content is venomous toward the conservatives that Ailes has embraced throughout his career and who have been given some guest appearances and a voice on a few Fox News shows. Napolitano’s book attacks “Big Government conservatives, neocons, and so-called social conservatives who want to use government to tell others how to live their lives…”
The “so-called social conservatives”—those who oppose abortion, gay rights, and pornography—are those that Rand Paul needs to win his election to the Senate. If they sit out the election because they find Rand Paul’s views as kooky as those of Napolitano, Paul might lose.
In fairness, it is clear that Rand Paul does not share some of Napolitano’s extreme libertarian views. He and his father, Rep. Ron Paul, are outspokenly pro-life. They recognize that the government has an obligation to protect innocent human life. They don’t buy the notion that abortion is a private choice.
Rand Paul’s website declares, “Dr. Paul believes life begins at conception. He recognizes the most basic function of government is to protect life. It is unconscionable that government would facilitate the taking of innocent life.” His strong pro-life position is one reason why he garnered the endorsement of conservative Christian leader Dr. James Dobson.
Napolitano, however, comes across as a true libertarian who accepts abortion on demand, gay marriage and legalization of dangerous drugs. In regard to the latter, Napolitano even quotes one of George Soros’s leading operatives, Ethan Nadelmann of the Drug Policy Alliance. Napolitano thinks that the war on drugs, which has cut overall drug use in America by about 50 percent since the peak year of illegal use in 1979, has been a failure and is an unwarranted assault on what we should be able to do with our own bodies. He thinks American parents should just surrender in the war on drugs and permit these dangerous substances and poisons to be sold at the corner drug store. His book even promotes the “medical marijuana” scam—the notion that smoking a psychoactive plant linked to mental illness can somehow cure people of what ails them. John Patrick Bedell was on “medical marijuana” when he opened fire on the Pentagon, injured two guards, and got killed.
Napolitano recently joined John Stossel, another libertarian host on the Fox Business Network (FBN), to bemoan the federal prosecution of a pornographer by the name of John Stagliano. Napolitano defended Stagliano, who produces “kinky” and “fetish” material, and said it was wrong for the Supreme Court to outlaw obscenity. Stossel agreed, saying on his blog it was “obscene” to prosecute him.
However, Stossel warned his television audience to keep children out of the viewing audience while the discussion was underway and refused to permit Stagliano to describe the content and nature of his films in any detail.
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Interestingly, it turns out that Stagliano is “a hard-core libertarian” and a donor to the Reason Foundation, which publishes Reason magazine. This libertarian magazine did its own interview with Stagliano before FBN picked up the story.
Nick Gillespie of Reason magazine would later comment that Stagliano and Napolitano are both “great friends of Reason.”
If Rand Paul has any hope of winning in conservative Kentucky, he will have to cut his ties to his libertarian “friends” of that nature.
© 2010 Cliff Kincaid - All Rights Reserved
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Cliff Kincaid, a veteran journalist and media critic, Cliff concentrated in journalism and communications at the University of Toledo, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree.
Cliff has written or co-authored nine books on media and cultural affairs and foreign policy issues. One of Cliff's books, "Global Bondage: The UN Plan to Rule the World" is still awailable.
Cliff has appeared on Hannity & Colmes, The O’Reilly Factor, Crossfire and has been published in the Washington Post, Washington Times, Chronicles, Human Events and Insight.