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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)

The comments to this entry are closed.

Mick: Get your history straight before you spout your ignorant opinion to the world.

Don't believe the blatant disgusting lies that Mick and a few others have posted.

Sitting Bull was a great leader who loved his people & died for them - that's the truth. So love it or go back across the ocean to wherever 'you people' came from.

Good article, thanks for correcting fox!

Also, Even after thier "amendment" Fox news still has it wrong!

Hecetu pelo.

Fox News needs to get a life. If someone invaded this country today would it be wrong to defend ourselves and our country? That is what Sitting Bull was doing. He defended his country and his people... who were being murdered and tortured by The English turned "Americans". We all tend to forget this country was occupied when our ancestors came here. We made "treaties" we never kept and then cheated,tortured and murdered the ocupents of this land. So what made us so high and mighty? Were we really better because we had better weapons? LOL...sound familiar? We fought Desert Storm because Iraq invaded Kuwait...hhhmmm. Sitting Bull deserved to be mentioned! To bad Obama didn't say why like the rest of the thirteen names.

Custer did avail himself of knowledge of the Native Americans. He even wrote an essay on the history of Indians in North America. In this paper he demonstrated an understanding of the desperation felt by Indians who had to stand by while whites encroached upon and stole their traditional hunting lands, with this memorable quote “We behold him now on the verge of extinction,standing on his last foothold, clutching his bloodstained rifle, resolved to die amidst the horrors of slaughter, and soon he will be talked of as a noble race who once existed but have now passed away.”(Thank you,but,Didn't quite turn out that way,did it, Mr. Custer?) Stephen E. Ambrose, Crazy Horse and Custer, 110.

If it weren't for my heroes like Sitting Bull, I wouldn't be here today.

NATIVE AMERICAN BOYCOTTING FOX. Personally, I'm tired of apologies. I'm trashing my 20th Century/Fox blu-Rays, and never watching anything on any Fox Station again.

Money talks these days. Not care, emotion, concern, or heart. Bottom Line. Fox won't receive another penny or second of mine again.

If Fox want to criticize Obama thats alright with me, but they should not have to do it at the expense of the Natives that was only doing what they say our country should be doing now. Defending their freedom. The Confederate States of America was another country that had a war with the U.S. but it seem ok to honor to General Robert E. Lee.

well commenter Perlman, I kind of like having our first "muslim" president. Better than a Jewish one. LOL. The only people who take FOX seriously really don't want to know the truth about anything. Trees polute the air. Ketchup is a vegetable. There was never a Palestine. Sadaam was in cahoots with bin Ladin. Personally I can't wait until we get our first native American President who will rid the land of Walmarts and strip malls and donut shops. LOL


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