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Patrick Goldstein and James Rainey
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Fox News attacks Barack Obama for giving props to Sitting Bull

Sitting_bull The Indian wars have been over for roughly 130 years, but at Fox News, no war is too distant in memory to go unnoticed, especially when it comes to opening up a new avenue of attack on Barack Obama.

My wife writes about children's books, so she always lets me have a look at titles that deal with my favorite subjects (baseball, the South, Bob Dylan, high school basketball, tropical gardening and, of course, Sioux chiefs). So I'm already familiar with President Obama's new children's book, "Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters," which went on sale Tuesday (all royalties from book sales go to a scholarship fund for children of American soldiers who've been killed or disabled).

The book pays tribute to 13 groundbreaking Americans and the ideals they personified, including such familiar icons as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Albert Einstein, Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Jackie Robinson, Jane Addams, Neil Armstrong and Billie Holiday. Oh, yes, and Sitting Bull. Obama describes Mr. Bull as a "Sioux medicine man who healed broken hearts and broken promises. ...  Though he was put in prison, his spirit soared free on the plains, and his wisdom touched the generations."

I take a special interest in Sitting Bull because my great-great-uncle, Julius Meyer, was an interpreter and trader who lived in Omaha from the late 1860s into the 20th century. Uncle Julius not only befriended Sitting Bull but took him to Europe as part of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show in the early 1880s. I have a photo of Uncle Julius with Sitting Bull, Red Cloud and a couple of other somber-looking Sioux chiefs. Sitting Bull was a warrior but by no means a bloodthirsty killer. If you ask almost any historian, they'll tell you that the Sioux took up arms against the U.S. government only after suffering through a series of broken treaties and under the threat of forced imprisonment for opposing the government's efforts to hand over the tribe's lands to gold miners and settlers. 

Only in the nutty world of Fox News is there anything possibly controversial about celebrating a renowned chief. But apparently the Fox News crew hadn't managed to fill the daily quota of anti-Obama screeds, so the Fox's website got hold of a typically bland USA Today story about Obama's new book, zeroed in on the one potentially controversial angle and came up with this headline: "Obama Praises Indian Chief Who Killed U.S. General." Fox even managed to get that wrong, since there is zero evidence that Sitting Bull actually killed George Armstrong Custer at the famous Battle of the Little Big Horn. If you go to the post, you'll see the headline now reads: "Obama Praises Indian Chief Who Defeated U.S. General." 

It seems like such a rinky-dink thing to get worked up about, but this is the way Fox News operates, always willing to stoop as low as possible to demonize its opponents with some potentially damaging accusations, even if they might come from a harmless children's book. Interviewed a year or so after Custer's ignominious defeat, Sitting Bull had his say on the subject of Fox News-like inflammatory media coverage. "They say I murdered Custer," he told a reporter. "But it was a lie. He was a fool who rode to his death." 

Photo: Sitting Bull from the book cover of "Sitting Bull and his World" by Albert Marrin. Credit: Dutton   

 
Comments () | Archives (48)

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I'll start caring about Goldstein's opinion on politics or Fox right about the time he shows a shread of objectivity in calling it straight across the field. So Goldstein, where were you when MSNBC and CNN did story after story about how the racist Tea Party spit on Congress members without a single piece of evidence to support it outside of a Congressman saying it happend? (A gillion camera phones running and not one vid supporting the accusation?) Or how about the constant attack on Tea Partiers by MSNBC by using the insult "teabaggers" every chance they get? You going to call that out? Hell, at least Obama is an elected official which makes him a public target, while the Tea Party are normal citizens exercising their right to protest and dissent. No Mr.Goldstein, your opinion matters not at all. Go back to blindly watching movies that nobody cares about and that you will hail as the next great masterpiece as California continues to economically go the way of the Titanic while its' citizens continue to mill about the buffet thinking it is unsinkable.

I agree. The Indian wars are long over.

And we should apply the same rationale to slavery...

Let's tell the Africans who want affirmative action, minority scholarships, minority business loans, reparations, etc. etc. etc. that this kind of thing only makes sense in the nutty world of Fox News.

As usual, Fox News is 'unfair and unbalanced'.

Fox News is a news outlet. Fox NATION, where the criticism came from, is a lame-ass blog with bad writing, lame analysis, and embarrassingly weak bloggers who humiliate themselves on a daily basis. Much like the LA Times Blogs.

Hoka Hay! Glad to see skins standing up and setting OURstory straight. And also non-natives who get it and paid attention to more than white man's twisted racist version of their genocide of our people. Ta Sunke Witko and Tatanka Iyotake were both great heroes who defended our lands and lives against murderers, same thing "Americans" think is their god-given right. Obama recognizes our ancestors and people with all skin colors are human, something Fox does not. Their hypocrisy and ignorant inciting to violence is the reason I created my famous t shirt and poster with Geronimo and Apaches on it that sums up the truth: HOMELAND SECURITY: FIGHTING TERRORISM SINCE 1492. Keep telling it, fight for real freedom. Custer wore Arrow shirts. And he committed suicide, they say, so they didn't take his cowardly yellow scalp after. They didn't know who he even was at the time, just another terrorist attacking a peaceful camp. Custer murdered women and children, and none of that BS against CH and SB is true.These facts are undisputed. Read before you write. Colleen-Lloyd (West Wind) www.westwindworld.com

This comment is from a Chiricahua Apache of the Nde Nation, so lets drop the BS here folks. Does anyone really believe that Obama actually did any of the work on this book? Or that the LA Times is anything but a mouth piece for the DNC. Drop the Fox News Derangements Syndrom and get with some real news. Both sides in the Indian Wars had good and bad aspects. Dwelling on something that no one was alive to have witnessed today and then state you know what actually happened only shows your stupidity.

Fox news is full of arrogant people. Do not care for their shows or input. They scream to get their points across, irrational people scream. Our Chiefs have the highest honor, their people always came first and they made many sacrifices. There are so many negative events which the government inflicted on the tribes and imprisoned people. My great grandmother told me about the long walk, her grandmother was pregnant during the walk and was almost shot by a soldier because she couldn't walk no more. The othe women and men took turns taking care of her, carrying her over hundreds of miles. Get to know our history and our Great Chiefs before you judge. We are survivors and the ghosts of our ancestors revive the power in us to meet our challenges with the government.

@Inagreement: The wars may be long over, but the racist legacy remains. Native kids were forced into government-run boarding schools until the mid-20th century. Even today, rezzes have some of the highest rates of poverty in the US.

I love my country, but I am not under the illusion that we can do no wrong.

I am fron the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe in Michigan and I think we have bigger issues to be dealing with than what appears on a blog. People really need to look at the source of the information, which was USA Today, before they jump all over Fox News.

Oy vay Patrick ! Tuck your left wing back in.

 
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