Ted Nugent Found A Black Pastor Who Hates African-Americans As Much As He Does

It must be hard for ultra-right-wing nut cases like Ted Nugent to find credible ways to justify their hate-filled extremism. After they have been exposed as lying, racist, dirtbags so often that the stink just hangs over them like a fog, they must get desperate to grasp unto something – anything – that can rehabilitate their soiled image.

In Nugent’s case he has recently been castigated for calling President Obama a “sub-human mongrel.” In addition he has been on a tear insulting Native Americans, the Japanese, women, and anyone else that doesn’t conform to his narrow definition of an American as a white, Christian, straight, male, gun-toting Teabilly.

Ted Nugent

So when Nugent stumbled across Harlem pastor James David Manning, he must have shot his load – ed pistols into the heavens with delight. Finally, he had found someone with whom he could agree about the inherent inferiority of African-Americans, but without all the nasty charges of racism since, after all, the pastor himself is black. And there could certainly be no allegation that Nugent’s affinity for the opinions of Manning suggested any prejudice on his part, could there? Well, here are a few of the opinions that Manning expressed in the video (below) that Nugent lovingly posted to his Facebook page with the comment (in caps): “TRUER LOVE THERE HAS NEVER BEEN.”

“You can train a black man to be a physician, you can train him to be an astrophysicist, you can train him to be a lawyer, but you can’t train him to understand the world.”

“There’s not two cents worth of difference between a mass murderer, there’s not two cents worth of difference between a petty thief that’s locked away in prison, and a black doctor when it comes to understanding the world.”

“Black people had Africa, that big continent over there. They never built one boat that was seaworthy. Not one.”

“The worst thing that could ever happen to South Africa was when they gave it Nelson Mandela. [...] Because black folk don’t know how to run no nation.”

“Black folk don’t understand the world. You can get mad with me all you want. You can say what you want, but you can’t prove me wrong.”

“There’s something wrong with the black man’s mind. There’s something wrong with his mind. He does not understand the world. He doesn’t. I don’t care if he learned medicine. He doesn’t understand the world.”

“You black women, what’s wrong with y’all? Y’all gonna let that white woman …(picture shown of Obama’s mother)… What’s wrong with you black women voting for Barack? Don’t you understand? It should have been a black womb if you’re gonna have a black president. What’s wrong with you. Y’all aint got no sense, you black women.”

“You niggers are crazy…We’re never gonna get anywhere until we look into the mind of a black man. He doesn’t think correctly. I don’t care what he is. He could be a doctor, he could be an astrophysicist. The nigger aint got no sense.”

“You talk to him. You talk to a black man. He doesn’t understand the world. He’s never built anything. The most the black people have ever done, they did it here in America under white people’s help. When they were in Africa they didn’t do nothin.”

I can’t help but wonder what black Republicans and Tea Party members would think of this, or of Nugent’s embrace of it. Will Dr. Ben Carson denounce it? Will Senator Tim Scott spurn Nugent? Where’s Herman Cain, Larry Elder, Condoleezza Rice, Clarence Thomas, and Allen West? Will any of the conservatives who railed against Rev. Wright have anything to say about this wholly repulsive jerkwad?

It’s no wonder that Nugent has fallen for this guy. He’s saying everything that Nugent wants to say but feels constrained by the liberal media and political correctness. Now he has a spokesman who can be as racist as Nugent wants to be and all Uncle Ted has to do is post the video for his white fans to watch and learn from. They will all come away from this with the knowledge that black men, no matter how accomplished, can’t understand the world or be entrusted to run a nation. Hallelujah brother.

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h/t Right Wing Watch

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Scandal Monger Darrell Issa Returns To Fox News To Pitch New IRS E-Mail Lies

Since there is nothing else going on in the world, like terrorist armies marching through Syria and Iraq, or Russian convoys crossing into Ukraine, and since domestically the nation isn’t embroiled in controversies over unarmed black teenagers murdered by the police, or thousands of immigrant children suffering harsh conditions along the southern border, Fox News has found the free time time to entertain yet another fable about non-existent IRS emails that allegedly expose massive government corruption.

Darrell Issa Witch Hunter

Darrell Issa, chairman of the Laughing Stock Committee (aka the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform), ventured into dangerously friendly territory last night when he was interviewed by Greta Van Susteren of Fox News. Van Susteren introduced Issa and before she could even ask a question he said:

“Good evening, Greta, and thank you for covering what’s emerging to be just an amazing sequence of cover-up, delay, denial, even what now appears to be a false statement from the new IRS commissioner in which he said he moved ‘heaven and Earth’ to get us Lois Lerner’s lost emails. And now we find out from the Judicial Watch that in fact they exist, but they simply haven’t been asked for. They’re too burdensome. They do exist. And we look forward to finding how the commissioner can say they don’t exist, when, in fact, they do.”

That was Issa’s opening remarks after Van Susteren said nothing more than “Good evening, sir.” Clearly Issa feels comfortable commandeering the program and delivering unchallenged monologues. Just as clearly he isn’t reticent about deliberately lying in order to advance a phony scandal that he has been hustling for years without producing any scrap of evidence. And as for his insistence that the emails do, in fact, exist – no Darrell, in fact they do not.

The “amazing sequence of cover-up” to which Issa is referring was fed to him by the right-wing Judicial Watch, who claimed to have received a “jaw-dropping” revelation in a conversation with an administration official. Judicial Watch president, Tom Fitton, alleged that “The Obama administration had been lying to the American people about Lois Lerner’s missing emails.” However, when contacted for a response the administration flatly denied the charge saying that Judicial Watch’s statement was “off-base” and that Judicial Watch was “mischaracterizing what the government had said.” They continued…

“There is no newly divulged back-up system that was not previously known about,” the official said. “Government lawyers were simply referring to the back-up system at the IRS that Commissioner Koskinen had already disclosed.”

In other words, Judicial Watch failed to understand, or purposefully misconstrued, what they were told by the government official. Never mind that the White House had previously spoken to this issue and laid to rest any discrepancies. But that didn’t stop Judicial Watch from funneling their falsehoods to Issa, a willing participant in the Wingnut Deceit Brigade. Issa then hightails it to Fox News to insure that this lie gets the broadest distribution possible. And to make certain that it is widely dispersed, Fox also aired similar segments on at least two other programs, including their signature nightly news show with Bret Baier.

This is how the Conservative Media Circus whips up manufactured hysteria over phony scandals. The fake story is then blasted across the right-wing mediasphere with help from their partisan partners like Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze, Newsmax, National Review, Breitbart News, Townhall, NewsBusters, and the Koch brothers affiliated Washington Free Beacon. Before long a nation of gullible Tea Party waifs are refueled with high octane bullshit, destroying any hopes for intelligent, fact-based debate. Welcome to Rupert Murdoch’s America.


Is This Ad For A GOP Senate Candidate The Worst Political Ad This Year?

The 2014 election cycle has produced some pretty horrific advertisements including Iowa Republican Joni Ernst’s tales of castrating hogs, the Club for Growth’s anti-Pryor (D-AR) ad featuring a pooping parrot, and even a Republican primary opponent of John Boehenr who crafted an “electile dysfunction” themed ad that said “If you have a Boehner lasting more than 21 years, seek immediate medical attention.” That one was actually pretty funny.

Now we have New Mexico Republican Allen Weh’s ad against incumbent Democratic senator Tom Udall (video below). Weh, the former chairman of the New Mexico Republican Party, has the distinction of being the first candidate grotesque enough to feature the ISIS executioner of American journalist Jim Foley in a campaign ad. However, sitting through the whole ad will reveal that Weh also includes a second shot of another execution before arriving at what must be his campaign theme: associating Sen. Udall himself with ISIS.

Allen Weh / Tom Udall

The visual message of compositing Udall’s face with an ISIS flag is a not-so-subtle implication that Udall is aligned with America’s enemies. And this is no accident. These ads are edited second-by-second to pack the entirety of the message into short clips. Weh’s operatives knew exactly what they were doing.

The audio on the ad is comprised almost entirely of a snippet from an Obama interview conducted before he was a candidate for president, and another repeated snippet of Udall saying “I know, as far as I feel, this diplomatic path that we’re on right now is a good one.” Udall’s comment was not sourced, but it turns it that it came from an interview on September 11, 2013 on CNN’s The Lead with Jake Tapper. It was also not place in context.

Weh’s ad sought to associate Udall with both ISIS and Obama, creating an ancillary connection between ISIS and Obama as well. However, Udall was responding to Tapper’s question about the speech Obama gave on September 10, 2013 regarding Syria’s chemical weapons. The President spoke about his determination to force Syria to abandon their chemical arsenal, his initial intention to seek authorization from Congress, and his ultimate decision to let the diplomatic efforts run their course.

“Over the last few days, we’ve seen some encouraging signs. In part because of the credible threat of U.S. military action, as well as constructive talks that I had with President Putin, the Russian government has indicated a willingness to join with the international community in pushing Assad to give up his chemical weapons. The Assad regime has now admitted that it has these weapons, and even said they’d join the Chemical Weapons Convention, which prohibits their use.

“It’s too early to tell whether this offer will succeed, and any agreement must verify that the Assad regime keeps its commitments. But this initiative has the potential to remove the threat of chemical weapons without the use of force, particularly because Russia is one of Assad’s strongest allies. I have, therefore, asked the leaders of Congress to postpone a vote to authorize the use of force while we pursue this diplomatic path.”

In context, Udall’s comments were in support of a process that eventually succeeded in collecting and neutralizing Syria’s chemical warfare capability that was already responsible for killing thousands of Syrians, including hundreds of children.

So Weh’s ad completely misrepresented Udall’s words, but the worst part was its blatant and nauseating exploitation of Foley, a victim of terrorist brutality less than a week ago. And compounding that repulsiveness, Weh plastered the flag of Foley’s murderers on Udall’s face. If there is an award for reprehensible defamation in political advertising, Weh is currently the runaway winner this year – so far.

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Fox News Imagines Another Covert Plot Against Rick Perry (And America) By George Soros

The folks at Fox News are on the case of yet another scheme by super-villain George Soros who seems to be at the helm of every evil deed that Fox stumbles over. This time they have dispatched Brent Bozell, founder and president of the uber-rightist media watch-mongrel, Media Research Center (MRC), to pull the curtain aside on the Soros machine and reveal that he is the puppet master behind the indictment of Texas Governor Rick Perry.

Fox News Rick Perry

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Bozell’s op-ed for Fox News is titled “Mainstream media censors Soros’ connection to Rick Perry indictment.” He begins his bill of peculiars by alleging that the media has suppressed the truth about Texans for Public Justice (TPJ), the group that originally filed the complaint against Perry. Bozell claims that “the group responsible for that indictment had received a half million dollars” from Soros. However, there is a very good reason that the press failed to disclose this information: It isn’t true.

First of all, TPJ is not responsible for the indictment. They merely filed a complaint that would have been dismissed if it were without merit. It was the Grand Jury, impaneled by a Republican prosecutor who was appointed by a Republican judge, that brought the indictment. As usual, if Republicans are alleged to have broken a law it is always the fault of Democrats. That includes GOP governors Perry, Chris Christy, Scott Walker, Bob McDonnell, and Rick Scott. Detect a pattern there?

Secondly, TPJ never received $500,000 from George Soros. Since Bozell failed to cite his source for that allegation, I had to track it down myself. As it turns out it was reported by the Business & Media Institute (BMI), which just happens to be a division of Bozell’s MRC. Fancy that. BMI describes their mission as being “devoted solely to analyzing and exposing the anti-free enterprise culture of the media.” Searching further I did find a $500,000 donation from the Open Society Institute, which was founded by Soros, to a coalition of groups that came together to ensure that stimulus funds were well spent. From their press release

“The Open Society Institute today announced a $500,000 grant to groups in Texas to monitor stimulus spending, encourage public participation in state-level decisions, and advocate for an equitable distribution of recovery funds. [...] The coalition includes Texas Impact, Texans Together, the Sierra Club, Texas Legal Services, La Fe Policy Research and Education Center, Public Citizen, the Center for Public Policy Priorities and Texans for Public Justice.”

OK then, TPJ was the beneficiary of some amount of largess from Soros, but certainly not half a million dollars. Even if the donation was divided evenly among the members (unlikely because groups like the Sierra Club and Public Citizen are so much larger than TPJ), it would have amounted to only $62,500. It was intentionally dishonest for Bozell to imply that TPJ received the whole amount. Another detail that he left out was that this donation was made five years ago (November 2009). That was long before TPJ had filed its complaint against Perry and even before any of the issues cited in the complaint had occurred.

No objective person could conclude that an organization that received a small portion of a donation five years prior was still beholden to that donor. But Bozell implausibly proclaims that he “wasn’t in the least bit surprised to learn the Soros machine’s fingerprints were all over this brazen, partisan ploy. It’s what they do.” How Soros’ fingerprints got all over an event that took place many years after he made a donation can only be attributed to his well-known omnipotence and clairvoyant powers. Either that or Bozell’s well-known paranoia and aversion to the truth.

Bozell closed by saying that “In this case, the media have gone beyond mere bias and are complicit in the Soros machine’s scheme to take down a conservative leader.” And with that he comes full circle to branding the entire controversy as a Soros scheme. No longer is it a just a partisan ploy by democrats. Bozell has named the perpetrator and his accomplices in the media. And with the help of Fox News this delusional fabrication will become a fact in the minds of wingnuts across America.


Fox News Is The Conservative Daily Show, It Just Won’t Admit It’s A Joke

There is an article on Grantland by Brian Phillips that takes a look back at media satire on television. It focuses mainly on Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update, but mentions everything from Bob & Ray to Monty Python. It’s an interesting read, but this paragraph alone is worth the price of admission:

“Is it strange that, of all the current-events products currently on television, it’s often Fox News that feels most like a ‘Weekend Update’ bit? Critics are constantly asking why there’s no conservative Daily Show, but there is; it just won’t admit it’s a joke. The structure of Fox News is so deeply and basically comic that it’s impossible not to read it into the tradition of news satire. All those weeping paranoiacs! The fist-shaking curmudgeons! The gun-toting robo-blondes! Like ‘Weekend Update,’ Fox succeeded by taking the elements of a normal news broadcast and exaggerating them to ludicrous proportions. Only instead of Opera Man, it has Angry Immigration Crusader; instead of Mr. Subliminal, it has Jowly Operative Insinuating Things About Hillary Clinton’s Health; instead of Gay Hitler, it has Outmatched Token Liberal; instead of ‘Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead,’ it has Benghazi.”

Media Circus

Well said. And thanks to the wingnut brigade at NewsBusters for whining about this entertaining and accurate essay, without whom I probably would never have seen it.


Holy F**k! CNN Explores Joint Venture With Paranoid, Racist, Lunatic Glenn Beck

As if to prove that television news executives are lowest form of life on the planet, CNN recently held talks with Glenn Beck about forming a joint venture between the struggling network and Beck’s lame video blog, The Blaze. According to a report in Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal it would be…

“…a new venture between CNN-parent Time Warner and The Blaze that would replace HLN’s current programming with Blaze programming.”

Glenn Beck CNN

What on Earth could they be thinking? The prospect of bringing Beck back to CNN (or television) makes no sense whatsoever. When Beck left his show on CNN’s Headline News it was in the ratings dumpster. He routinely lost to his competition and was the lowest rated program on CNN’s primetime lineup. He gathered more viewers at Fox News, but only because his toxic philosophy was a better fit for the fear-mongering, right-wing propaganda channel. However, when he left Fox News just two years later he was a pariah who couldn’t keep advertisers due to his rancid rhetoric and hate-filled, paranoid tirades. Even Fox acknowledged that he was a liability. After Beck, pretending that the exit was his idea, said he told himself that “If you do not leave now, you won’t leave with your soul intact,” Fox retorted

“Glenn Beck wasn’t trying to save his soul, he was trying to save his ass. Advertisers fled his show and even Glenn knows what that means in our industry.”

So what exactly did CNN find attractive about the notion of reignited their romance with this loser? He has an even smaller audience now than he did at CNN five years ago. That’s why he is currently on a PR campaign to rehabilitate his noxious image. But despite admitting that he “has said stupid things,” and his other disingenuous attempts to cast himself as repentant for his past vulgarities, he is still the same vituperative huckster of gloom that he has always been. For example, he recently complained about not being able to use the words “fag” and “nigger,” in reference to artwork by a guest on his show. He is also being sued for defamation by a student from Saudi Arabia whom Beck falsely accused of being a key figure in the Boston marathon bombing.

Where does CNN think his advertisers would come from? A visit to TheBlaze website reveals that he has no advertising other than Google Ads. He is still anathema to the Fords, Campbell Soups, Procter & Gambels, Fidelitys, etc. So if Beck can’t produce ratings, and he can’t attract advertisers, but he is widely reviled and divisive, what could explain CNN’s interest in him?

There only two possible answers to that question. One is that CNN is desperate beyond all comprehension. They are like a drowning man grasping for the only thing in the water, even if it’s an anchor. And secondly, CNN is run by tabloid TV king Ken Jautz who was promoted from his position as head of HLN. It was while he was at HLN that Jautz gave Beck his first job in television. So perhaps it is that unique brand of insanity that causes one to do the same stupid things over and over expecting a different result.

The fact that CNN was participating in these talks says something about their health as a news organization. They would not be considering this if they had bright prospects for the future. It also says something about Beck’s media operation. His Blaze video unit is currently financed by viewer subscriptions. If that were as successful as he pretends it to be, he would not be contemplating giving the same programming away for free on cable TV. That would dry up his web subscription base. He would also have to be pretty desperate to consider returning to the network about which he said…

“I used to call it the Pit of Despair because there are all these people plunking out stories like, ‘I just want to hang myself, I just want to hang myself.” [...and...]

“If you ever think that CNN is a rational, normal, non-leftist organization, look who they hired [referring to Crossfire co-host Van Jones as a 'communist revolutionary'].”

More recently, Beck asked himself “Why is CNN in a ratings free fall?” And he gave himself the answer that it was “the unbelievable level of manufactured outrage on the network.” Actually, that may have inspired him to seek out these talks. He may have seen that as a sign that the network was the perfect platform for an outrage manufacturer like himself. But it doesn’t clear up why CNN would seek to recruit someone with such a horrible opinion of the network.

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Reports on the talks indicate that they broke down over financial terms, not ideology. That makes the whole incident even worse. Apparently CNN is cool with Beck’s evangelical, ultra-conservative messaging. And it isn’t just that he’s conservative, but that he is so violently hostile toward progressives that he once said that to stop them “you’re going to have to shoot them in the head.” And despite that sort of vile discourse, CNN only walked away from the negotiations over money. Journalism, honesty, integrity, civility, etc., never entered into it.

[Update:] Brian Stelter, reporting for CNN, says that it was Beck who sought to hook up with CNN, but that from the CNN side “The talks were never serious.” This may just be CNN covering its ass so as not to be embarrassed by the disclosure of the talks, but it also confirms that Beck is scrambling to keep his head above water.

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Faux Pas: Fox News Video Gaffe During ISIS Segment Was Ironically Appropriate

During last night’s episode of The Kelly File, Megyn Kelly was having a discussion about the ISIS murder of Jim Foley with Pete Hegseth, CEO of the Koch brothers financed Concerned Veterans for America. Just as Hegseth was getting to the core of his comments, the control room queued up a video to accompany the dialog. But it may not have been the video that Kelly was expecting. Hegseth told Kelly that…

“At this point this is a terrorist army that believes that it controls a state.”

Fox News

However, instead of showing militants in Iraq, the video was of the unrest in Ferguson, Mo. Specifically it showed police officers racing through the protest-clogged streets of the St. Louis community. For those images to be juxtaposed with the words spoken simultaneously by Hegseth was jarring, but it inadvertently transmitted a message that the protesters, and many Americans, would have found apropos to the situation.

Apparently the video was live, breaking news from Ferguson that the producers thought took priority over the Foley issue, but Kelly disagreed and interrupted the discussion to tell them so. Then she and Hegseth continued the segment. They did not appear to have grasped the irony of the video gaffe.


The Vampire Doctor: Fox News “Psycho” Analyst Goes Inside The Mind Of ISIS

When an alleged doctor has already established a reputation as a world class crackpot by, among other things, expressing his admiration for the Unabomber, it may seem that there is no further he could fall into the abyss of madness. But leave it to “psycho” analyst Keith Ablow, a member of the Fox News A Team, to exceed all expectations of depravity.

In a new Fox News editorial, Ablow purports to go “Inside the mind of James Foley’s ISIS executioner.” Ablow has previously gone inside the minds of at least thirty-five other individuals, including President Obama. His prodigious ability to channel the psyche of people whom has never examined, or even met, is itself a symptom of psychosis. But his analysis of an unknown terrorist’s brutality sets new standards for quackery as he associates the behavior with that of a vampire slayer. Call it the Buffy Syndrome.

Keith Ablow

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Ablow begins his analysis of the ISIS executioner with a cringe-worthy attempt to humanize him. Ablow admonishes those who would vilify the man who decapitated Foley with his bare hands as “an unthinking monster,” and reminds his readers that he likely has family and friends, has laughed and wept, and may have read and written poetry. What a guy. This sort of perverse empathy is something that Ablow does not afford to President Obama, who he has pointedly dehumanized saying that…

“…he doesn’t hate us. He simply isn’t there to hate or love. Because, guess what? Long ago he severed himself from all core emotions.”

It says a lot about Ablow’s emotional pathology that he finds consonance with the ISIS butcher, but not with Obama or the millions of Americans who elected him twice. Ablow explains the innermost motivations of the executioner with a peculiar pop culture reference:

“His line in the sand separates worthy human beings from those lost, evil souls whose failure to accept the Prophet Muhammad and live according to a particular interpretation of fundamentalist Islamic law makes them no different from vampires who can infect the rest of the human race with venom and claim them for the plague. [...] the ISIS executioner was in the grip of a psychotic delusion. He wasn’t killing a real person; he was killing a monster”

What a barrel of pseudo-psychological hogwash. How does this fraud get away with calling himself a doctor? The man who murdered Foley couldn’t care less about his politics or his faith. This was nothing more than a depraved PR stunt devised solely for its shock value. They were attempting to coerce the United States into halting its airstrikes targeting ISIS. It was a strategy for which there could be no result other than failure, as evidenced by the airstrikes that immediately followed the execution. And it’s interesting that Ablow’s vampire theory includes rhetoric about infection and venom, because he has used that before with regard to Obama when he proposed the need “to immunize our sons and daughters against the president’s psychologically toxic rhetoric.”

It isn’t the butcher of ISIS who views people as vampires and infectious threats. It’s Ablow. He then goes on to contradict his previous inanities that humanized the enemy by saying that…

“You can’t reason or negotiate from a distance with a person in the grip of a psychotic delusion that defines others as the evil vectors of a horrifying plague. The delusion owns that person’s mind. [...] The only way to stop the ISIS executioner and those in the grip of the same psychotic delusion is to kill the ones who cannot be captured, wherever they can be found, in whatever numbers possible.”

Let’s just set aside the fact that it is Ablow whose delusions own his mind and who has defined Obama as the evil vector of a horrifying plague. He has also abandoned his theory that the terrorists are misguided souls with family and friends who must not be dismissed as unthinking monsters. Now they are delusional psychotics who must be exterminated. And with that, Ablow has adopted the mindset that he previously attributed to the terrorists. And it’s a mindset that he believes is on the ascent when he says that…

“…we cannot believe for one moment that the psychosis will not spread and threaten us all with delusional assassins who are reading poetry and looking at the stars and hugging their kids and dreaming of slicing our throats and those of our children from ear to ear, in order to save the world.”

The message in this that we must all be fearful of the poetry reading undead who are amassing to feast on our blood. It is the Twilight Saga Gone Wild. From Ablow’s perspective it is impossible not to imagine that, if the ISIS executioner were to remove his hood, we would find a dreamy Calvin Klein model whose plaintive expression evoked a tortured and complex soul who only wants to be loved. [Cue eerie music and montage of sighing teenage girls]


STFU About Obama’s Vacations Already And Remember Where Obama Was May 1, 2011

The incessant and ignorant fixation on when, where, and how often President Obama takes vacations is becoming surreal in its frequency and fervor. The President’s critics seem to be obsessed with the issue. Never mind that Obama has taken far fewer vacation days than his predecessors, or that there has never been any negative incident arising from his holidays, or that the presidency travels with the President wherever he goes, the compulsion to relentlessly attack this President is irresistible to the politicians and pundits on the right. And they are not above outright lying about it.

It apparently has never occurred to these crackpots that there are strategic justifications for maintaining a routine schedule. By suddenly altering his itinerary, the President could be tipping off enemies that there is something being planned that they should defend against. And if any evidence is required to support this theory, one need only go back to May 1, 2011, when President Obama was a guest at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner in Washington, DC. He was criticized at the time by conservatives who thought it unseemly that he would attend a party that featured comedians and where he himself would deliver a joke-filled monologue. Setting aside the fact that the event is a charitable fundraiser that has provided hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships, there is another reason why the criticism was unwarranted.

Obama WHCD

On May 1, 2011, a team of Navy SEALS stormed the compound of Osama Bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan, killing him and ending a decade long search for justice. At the time of the raid Obama was seen laughing at jokes, including some about Bin Laden, without letting on what was occurring 7,000 miles away. It would have been unnecessarily risky for the President to mysteriously cancel his plans to attend the dinner and rush back to the Oval Office. But by playing it with a straight face there was no hint of the covert action for which he had already given the green light.

Today’s critics of the President are in no better position to ascertain what he is doing behind the scenes than they were in May of 2011. They have no way of knowing if there are sensitive operations in progress that the White House needs to keep under wraps. They don’t even care that it is important for America’s leaders to be seen as unwavering and unafraid in the face of adversity, rather than running for cover and shifting gears every time the enemy posts video evidence of their brutality on YouTube. The wingnut media is only interested in how they can fling more mud at the President. And it is that, and not their pseudo-patriotic posturing, that is their primary mission.

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DISGUSTING: The Fox News Response To Obama’s Statement On Foley Murder By ISIS

President Obama gave a statement (video below) this afternoon on the barbaric murder of journalist Jim Foley who had been held in captivity by ISIS for two years. The statement was powerful and resolute, condemning ISIS as terrorists who brutalize Muslims, Christians, and other innocents in pursuit of an extremist agenda. Obama said in part…

“Today, the entire world is appalled by the brutal murder of Jim Foley by the terrorist group, ISIL. [...]

“Let’s be clear about ISIL. They have rampaged across cities and villages, killing innocent, unarmed civilians in cowardly acts of violence. They abduct women and children and subject them to torture and rape and slavery. They have murdered Muslims, both Sunni and Shia, by the thousands. They target Christians and religious minorities, driving them from their homes, murdering them when they can, for no other reason than they practice a different religion. [...]

“We will be vigilant and we will be relentless. When people harm Americans, anywhere, we do what’s necessary to see that justice is done.”

Within seconds of the completion of the statement, Fox News broadcast responses from a couple of their regular contributors, Andrea Tantaros and Pete Hegseth. Their remarks were utterly repulsive, dismissive, and disrespectful to the President, the memory of Mr. Foley, his family, and the nation.

Fox News Tantaros/Hegseth

Tantaros, reaching back to a favorite of Fox’s well worn anti-Obama themes, said “Where is that Rose Garden press conference for Benghazi?” (See update below) This remark is an affront to Foley whose sad fate had nothing to do with Benghazi. It was just an attempt by Tantaros to brazenly exploit Foley’s tragedy in pursuit of her own noxious political goals. But it was also something that Fox News does routinely. They have tied everything from ObamaCare to missing Malaysian planes to Benghazi. They will bring up Benghazi in any circumstance no matter how absurdly unrelated. And in this case they overstepped the bounds of decency by taking advantage of a gruesome murder before even one day had passed. On top that, Tantaros was wrong on the substance of her vile remark because Obama actually did give a statement about Benghazi in the Rose Garden the day following the attack.

Hegseth is supposedly a veteran’s advocate who appears on Fox News to bash the Commander-in-Chief. He is the head of Concerned Veterans for America, a phony front group that is almost entirely bankrolled by the Koch brothers. His remark following Obama’s statement was “I wish he’d put on a tie.” Really? That was what he came away with after the President denounced a horrific act of terrorism against an American citizen? Hegseth is apparently more concerned about the President’s attire than the fate of American victims or the state of our nation’s campaign against terrorism. He is so obsessed with finding fault with Obama that he ignored the tribute to Foley and the passionate promise to exact justice, in favor of acting as the spokesman for the Fox News Fashion Police.

As noted above, these were not opinions developed after thoughtful consideration. They came in mere seconds after Obama stepped away from the podium. That is how close to the top of their minds these sort of depraved ideas linger. These are the kind of commentaries that you can expect from a network whose mission to disparage the President, Democrats, and liberals, takes precedence over honest reporting or even common decency.

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[Update:] Another listening to Tantaros’ remark shows that she said “Where is that Rose Garden press conference after-Benghazi fight and fervor?” She said “after,” not “for.” So apparently she was aware of Obama’s post-Benghazi Rose Garden speech. However, everything noted above still stands with regard to her exploiting the Foley tragedy with an interjection of Benghazi, which had no bearing on it. In fact, this makes it even worse because she is now saying that she wishes that Obama’s response to Foley was more forceful, like after Benghazi. Huh? After Benghazi she, every other GOP/conservative, was adamant that Obama’s response was inadequate. Now, all of sudden, she’s praising Obama’s Benghazi response? There is more than a touch if schizophrenia in this.


FLASHBACK: Sean Hannity Speaks Out Against A “Government Gone Wild”

It was just four months ago that Fox News was covering the “second American revolution” at the ranch of tax-cheat Cliven Bundy. While the network was uniformly supportive of Bundy’s refusal to pay customary grazing fees, it was Sean Hannity who took the lead, featuring Bundy on his program numerous times, heralding him as a hero, and fiercely defending the militia movement’s embrace of armed opposition to law enforcement.

At that time, in the view of Hannity and other conservatives, it was the feds who were overstepping the bounds of decency and behaved like jackbooted thugs. To them it was the manifestation of a dictatorial state trampling on freedom and crushing liberty. Hannity milked the controversy for everything he could squeeze out in regular segments that he called “Government Gone Wild.”

Fox News Sean Hannity

From the right-wing perspective, the government went wild when it responded to a flagrantly delinquent white man in the cattle business who wants to mooch off of federal lands for free. Bundy has a vested interest in this as he owes over a million dollars in fees. Then, when this businessman assembles a posse of armed militia members to confront the tax collector, Hannity and his ilk line up behind the law-breaker and whine about government overreach. Here’s Hannity to Karl Rove:

“Let’s start with the Cliven Bundy situation. All right, maybe he owes grazing fees money. Do you surround his property with snipers and shooters, sharp shooters and tasers and dogs and 200 agents? Is that the way to handle it?”

“No,” says an obedient Rove. After all, it’s just a measly million dollars in grazing fees. And for the record, the federal agents of the Bureau of Land Management did not arm themselves until after they were confronted by Bundy’s militia who swore to kill those who came to enforce the law.

Jump forward to today and it’s the people going wild. The government is now believed to be acting appropriately by shooting an unarmed teenager to death. And his only crime was an allegation (unconfirmed) that he pocketed a few cigars. Then militarized police confront justifiably angry citizens who have no personal stake in the matter other than to insure that justice is brought to bear.

The presence of urban tanks, assault weapons, riot gear, tear gas, and other aggressive means of crowd control, are not considered to be indicative of a government gone wild anymore. Is it because the victim in this case is a poor, black kid, rather than a well-to-do white rancher?

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Bill O’Reilly: “These People Don’t Want Justice.” And Who Knows “Those People” Better Than O’Reilly?

The turmoil in Ferguson, MO continues as another night of confrontation between residents and police brings tear gas, arrests, and Fox News’ demeaning characterizations of aggrieved protesters. Not surprisingly, the disparaging tone is set by Bill O’Reilly who enjoys nothing more than lecturing African-Americans on the moral decline of their culture. O’Reilly, who is on vacation, called into his own show to tell guest host Eric Bolling that he questions the sincerity of the protesters.

Bill O'Reilly

O’Reilly: “No justice, no peace? These people don’t want justice. What if the facts come out and say it was a justifiable shooting by the police officer? This guy was coming at them. What if they say that? You think these people are gonna accept that? They’re not gonna accept it.”

And there you have it. The definitive analysis by a recognized expert on the psychology of the angry black man. Clearly “those people” don’t want justice. And they won’t accept the results of a fair investigation because thugs like them are unable to employ reason and conduct themselves in a civilized fashion. And who would know better than O’Reilly who personally visited a restaurant in Harlem where he was surprised to learn that African-American patrons weren’t constantly screaming, “M-Fer, I want more iced tea.”

Elsewhere on Fox News, there was a story published on their website about the emergence of a video that Fox regarded as significant. Their headline said “YouTube Video Purportedly Captures Witness Backing Police Version In Ferguson Shooting.” Fox posted a link to the video along with a summary of the parts they considered important.

Fox News Video Backs Cop

For instance, the article reports that the video shows “a possible witness saying [Michael Brown] the unarmed 18-year-old charged at the officer who fired the shots.” That’s a pretty damning allegation, except for the fact that it occurs nowhere in the video. In the actual part of the video (Warning: very graphic content) that they quoted a background voice is heard saying…

(about 6:45) “I mean, the police was in the truck [sic] and he was, like, over the truck,” the man says. “So then he ran, police got out and ran after him. The next thing I know, he comes back towards them. The police had his guns drawn on him.”

There is nothing in there about “charging” the police. That characterization was invented by Fox News. In fact, the video account is consistent with other witnesses who said that Brown ran at first, then stopped and turned toward the officer to surrender. Of course, that version wouldn’t align with Fox’s more theatrical rendition of a raging animal on the attack.

From the outset Fox News has sought to portray Brown as a dangerous, possibly drug-addled, criminal. Likewise, they have cast the protesters in the most negative light. In a remote segment from Ferguson, Fox News reporter Steve Harrigan was particularly insulting, which did not go over well with a bystander.

Harrigan: “This is right now a media event, pure and simple. This is people running towards tear gas, running away from it. The dignified protestors went home at dusk. This is just child’s play right now.”

Bystander: “Say that shit. I don’t give a damn you’re on TV, say that shit,” the unidentified man cursed at Harrigan. “We see this shit every day. This is just child’s play? Who is the child playing with toys? That’s them.”

One has to wonder how Harrigan distinguished the “dignified” protesters from the children. Perhaps he had Bill O’Reilly on his cell phone giving him advice as the night wore on. Because a common thread runs through all of Fox’s programming. Those people are immature, violent, and unreasonable. Just look at how upset they get just because another unarmed black kid was shot by a white police officer. What do they want, justice? Well, no, according to O’Reilly.


Sarah Palin Thinks The Texas D.A. Should Resign Due To A DWI? How About These Folks Too?

America’s foremost authority on quitting public service jobs, Sarah Palin, penned a new Fox News editorial to defend Rick Perry who was just indicted for abuse of power. Like every other Perry advocate, she misconstrues the facts with regard to the indictment. Perry is not being accused of issuing a veto. His alleged crime is abuse of power for attempting to coerce an elected officer to resign under threat of official retaliation.

The editorial is typical of Palin’s tunnel-blind perspective wherein every Republican charged with a crime is a victim of a partisan plot. In this case, she asserts Democrats are out to get Perry, despite the fact that the special prosecutor in charge of the case is a Republican who was appointed by a Republican judge.

Never one to be deterred by facts, Palin continues her rant by focusing on the Travis County District Attorney who Perry was trying to strong-arm out of her job. Rosemary Lehmberg was convicted of a DWI. She pleaded guilty, served her sentence, and pledged not to run for reelection. But Perry wasn’t satisfied and proceeded with his unlawful threat.

Palin isn’t satisfied either. She writes that “The appropriate and honorable thing for this powerful D.A. to do is resign.” Then she spends much of the rest of her opinion piece characterizing Lehmberg as a worthless drunk who has no business in public office. Of course, that’s a decision for the voters to make, not Palin and Perry. But if Palin insists that anyone who has ever been cited for driving under the influence be immediately sacked and run out of town, then I suppose we will shortly see her editorials calling for these Republican politicians to resign at once:

  • Republican U.S. Senator Michael Crapo of Idaho
  • GOP State Sen. Roy Ashburn of California
  • Florida Republican state Rep. Dane Eagle
  • Hinds County, MS Republican Executive Committee Chairman Pete Perry
  • Vermont Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Milne
  • GOP Minnesota Supreme Court candidate Michelle MacDonald
  • Illinois Republican State Rep. Randy Ramey
  • Republican District Attorney Bradley Collins of Jacksonville, FL
  • GOP Maryland Rep. Don Dwyer
  • Idaho state Sen. John McGee
  • Missouri GOP State Representative Tom Burcham
  • Republican Georgia State Representative Ben Harbin
  • And many more…

Sarah Palin

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And if that weren’t bad enough, Palin’s husband Todd has his own drunk driving conviction on his permanent record. But don’t hold your breath waiting for Palin’s next wave of editorials. She has no intention of being consistent. Her only goal is to play defense for Perry and to demonize Democrats.

In that regard I have a little sympathy for her. After all, there are four GOP governors who have recently been subjects of speculation as possible candidates for the Republican nomination for president, who are under indictment or investigation: Perry, Chris Christy, Scott Walker, and Bob McDonnell. Certainly in Palin’s mind they are all innocent victims of liberal conspiracies. So she’s going to have a hell of a time writing editorials absolving all of them of any wrongdoing, and pinning the blame on Democrats.


Racist Guest On Fox News Is Offended That He Might Be Viewed As Racist

This weekend’s episode of MediaBuzz on Fox News featured a segment about the press coverage of the shooting death of Michael Brown, an unarmed teenager, by a Ferguson, MO police officer. Host Howard Kurtz booked Joe Concha, a conservative from Mediaite, and Keli Goff, a liberal from The Root, to debate the media’s performance during the aftermath of the shooting (video below).

Fox News

Concha immediately went into a defensive posture from the comfort of his TV studio. He took the side of law enforcement against the reporters who have been exposing the realities in the field, at great personal risk, where a militarized police department was harassing reporters and tormenting the residents they are sworn to serve.

Concha’s tirade began by condemning Wes Lowery, a Washington Post reporter who was arrested for doing his job. Concha accused Lowery of deliberately provoking the arrest and backed up his assertion by saying that Lowery’s media appearances afterward proved his self-interest.

Concha: “And here’s how you know that this was all about Wes Lowery expanding his television career. Right after he was released from custody, It was all about Tweeting out, calling Maddow Now (whatever that is), going on national television, went on CNN, MSNBC after that, Fox News as well. This was a media tour, Howie, that was only rivaled by Hillary Clinton’s. All in the effort to give Wes Lowery’s byline a microphone, a future career, and nothing more.”

Zing! Concha managed to slip in a slap at Hillary Clinton while defaming a reporter who is actually engaged in the practice of journalism, as opposed to Concha who is engaged in the practice of character assassination. And not even Kurtz would abide Concha’s slander and ignorance of the profession.

Kurtz: Alright, I think that’s unfair. Wes Lowery is a good, solid reporter. He was deluged with requests to appear on TV, including from me. He only did a few of those. I don’t think this was as self-promotional as you do.”

When a reporter is arrested while covering a news story with national prominence, that is in itself newsworthy. It is not proper or ethical for the police to target journalists in an effort to prevent them from gathering and providing information about matters of public interest. Apparently Concha thinks otherwise. Keli Goff eloquently explained why it so important to have reporters on the scene covering everything that occurs, including police misconduct.

Goff: “With all due respect to Joe, I would hate to hear the kind of criticism he would have doled out about fifty or sixty years ago to the reporters who may have been a little slow to pack up their gear when they were covering another crisis, which was known as the civil rights movement.

Goff correctly pointed out that there were a lot of reporters who were assaulted during the civil rights movement and that they risked their lives due to their commitment to keep the people informed. She described Concha’s criticism of Lowery’s efforts to record the police officers as bizarre. And she went further to say that it would be irresponsible to NOT record such activity.

Next Kurtz raised the question of whether the volume of coverage was exacerbating the tensions in Ferguson. Concha quickly agreed that the television networks and the Internet were “fueling the flames” and then focused his criticism on MSNBC’s Al Sharpton, who went to Ferguson to beseech the protesters to remain peaceful. Then Concha began an exchange that reveals much about what is wrong with television news coverage.

Concha: “The bottom line is that it is now a cottage industry when a white cop shoots a black kid. Or, we saw it with Trayvon Marin last year, CNN, HLN quadrupled their ratings because of these sort of events. And ISIS and Gaza is happening somewhere overseas. This is domestic. A cheap and easy narrative. And that’s why we’ve seen the coverage go where it has.”

Goff: You call it a cottage industry, those of us who have African-American men in our family consider it a crisis, Joe. It must be nice to have an experience in this country where you can dismiss it as simply coverage.”

Concha: “You don’t get to do that to me, Keli. You’re calling me a racist on national television?”

Huh? When exactly did Goff call Concha a racist? It is telling that Concha perceived this imaginary insult and used it to flip the whole segment to one where Goff was doing something to him. After belittling the significance of the shooting of Mike Brown, Concha is now the making himself the victim. This is where Kurtz jumped in to tell Concha that Goff had not called him a racist. Concha later apologized for “overreacting” with regard to the charge of racism, but he never apologized for the underlying remarks dismissing the shooting, disparaging the reporters covering it, and referring to coverage as “cheap and easy.”

It’s a good thing that Goff was there to counter the insensitivity and aversion to ethical journalism as represented by Concha. And it’s a good reminder of why it’s necessary to not only have journalists in the field who are devoted to informing the public, but to have them in the studio as well to smackdown jerkwads like Concha.

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Note To Fox News: Rick Perry Was Not Indicted For “Veto Abuse”

Ever since a Texas Grand Jury handed down an indictment against Gov. Rick Perry, most of the Republican establishment and right-wing press have deliberately mischaracterized the nature of the criminal allegations. They all are marching lock-step in an effort to defend official abuse of power by pretending that the violation was due to the execution of a veto, something that is entirely permissable by a governor in Texas.

Fox News Rick Perry

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The problem with their defense of Perry, which he has adopted himself, is that the indictment is not for his having issued a veto. It is for his having threatened an elected public servant in an attempt to coerce her to resign.

Rosemary Lehmberg, the District Attorney for Travis County, has problems of her own. She was arrested and pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated and behaved poorly during the arrest and initial incarceration. However, a Grand Jury investigated her situation at the time and found no cause to indict her for official misconduct.. Indeed, her misconduct, while egregious, was all personal and unrelated to her duties as a D.A. All of her misbehavior occurred while she was drunk, and when she sobered up she took responsibility, paid her price to society, and promised not to run for reelection.

That wasn’t good enough for Perry. He demanded that she resign immediately and threatened political vengeance if she refused to obey his command. Lehmberg stood fast and Perry carried out his retribution by slashing funds to her department. And that is where he went wrong.

Perry defended himself against the indictment by saying that he has the authority under the Texas constitution to issue vetoes. And in this case he was taking action because he had lost confidence in Lehmberg and that the public deserved better. Perhaps. But that is not within his jurisdiction to decide. Lehmberg was elected to her office by the voters of Travis County and does not answer to the Governor. Perry has no authority to demand the removal of elected officials or to exact retribution on them if they defy his orders. Perry’s own remarks following the indictment reveal the flaw in this line of defense. He said that indictments are…

“…not the way we settle political differences in this country. We settle [them] at the ballot box.”

Exactly (and he may want to relay that message to John Boehner). And since Lehmberg had already pledged not to run, the issue was settled. Perry cannot unilaterally overturn the choice of the voters. And he cannot threaten elected officials as a means of carrying out his unlawful bullying. By vetoing the funds to the D.A.’s Public Integrity Unit, Perry was attempting to force his will on Lehmberg. Even worse, he was actually doing harm to the people of Texas who rely on that agency to keep politicians (like Perry) from engaging in corruption.

It is typical of right-wing media to absolve Republicans of any criminal wrongdoing on a strictly partisan basis. It’s the reason why every investigation of a conservative is portrayed as political. That’s how they reacted to the charges against Dinesh D’Souza (who later pleaded guilty to election fraud), and Sen. David Vitter (who later pleaded guilty to his association with prostitutes), and James O’Keefe (who later pleaded guilty to unlawful activity in the office of a U.S. senator), and more recently New Jersey governor Chris Christy who is being investigated for abuse of power himself. I could go on and on and…

Perry’s fate will rest on a jury’s decision of whether or not he exceeded his authority in threatening Lehmberg to resign, not on the veto he used as his muscle. In the meantime, the media is also on trial, and when Fox News and others misrepresent the facts in order to whitewash the crime, they must be judged guilty as well.


IMPEACH! Fox News Reports That “Obama Danced to Avoid Clintons At Party”

Adding more fuel to the Republican obsession with removing President Obama from office, Fox News invited disgraced author and unrepentant birther, Edward Klein, to reveal the results of his fantasy investigation of the alleged friction between Obama and Hillary Clinton. Klein’s latest news flash, and Fox News headline, is that “Obama Danced to Avoid Clintons at Party.”

Fox News - Edward Klein

Klein appeared on Fox & Friends with the brown haired dude who is not Steve Doocy (Brian Kilmeade) to recount his tale of presidential acrimony. The discord supposedly began after Clinton expressed her opinion that more should have been done to clamp down on ISIS when they emerged in Syria. That’s a perfectly reasonable position, although one fraught with controversy. At that time there were few Syrian rebel groups that could be trusted to pursue the interests of the United States. Indeed, many of Syrian President Assad’s opponents were associated with what became ISIS.

Subsequent to the initial media frenzy over Clinton’s alleged attempt to distance herself from Obama, Clinton denied that there was any rift between her and the President. As evidence she called Obama to assure him that she had not meant to criticize his overall foreign policy. In addition, she was already scheduled to attend a birthday party for a mutual friend that the Obamas would also be attending. The media falsely turned this into some kind of a peace summit between the once, and possibly future, presidents. Of course in the real world it was a birthday party.

This is where Klein steps in to unveil his long-squawked theory that Clinton and Obama are mortal enemies. He told Kilmeade that…

“My sources tell me that what happened there at the party is that instead of it being a hug-a-thon, it became a freeze-a-thon, and the Clintons essentially ignored the Obamas, and the Obamas got up from the table and danced almost the entire night in order to avoid having to talk to the Clintons.”

OMG! The President and the First Lady were dancing as means of politically oppressing a perceived foe. It’s a tyrannical tactic that even Hitler never tried to use against his enemies. As for Klein, one has to wonder if these are the same sources that told him that Hillary was dropping out of the presidential race; or that Obama was secretly planning on endorsing Elizabeth Warren to succeed him; or that Chelsea Clinton was the spawn of Bill Clinton raping his lesbian wife, Hillary.

Klein’s sources appear to be imaginary trolls inhabiting his otherwise vacant cranial cavity. He never authenticates his allegations or conducts even the most basic principles of journalism ethics. But what he said immediately after his shocking revelation about Obama’s dance of distraction is more informative than anything that appears in any of his lie-riddled books:

“What I’m trying to say is, in a sense, what happened there in the Vineyard was ripped from the pages of my book “Blood Feud” because the blood feud continues.”

And there you have it. This is nothing more than an advertisement for his cheesy book. And Fox News is gleefully participating in the ad campaign by hosting an author who has nothing substantive to say. Although from Fox’s perspective it is another opportunity to bash both Obama and Clinton that they couldn’t pass up.

The problem that Fox, and their Republican cohorts, have is that while they have been feverishly condemning Obama’s policies, they were thrown into a cognitive mind warp when Clinton appeared to do the same. After all, what were they to do? Embrace the position of Clinton who they are expecting to face in the presidential election in 2016? Or renounce her and effectively endorse the Obama doctrine?

In the end they are awkwardly trying to do both. Obama is wrong because, in their fetid brains, he’s always wrong. But Clinton isn’t right, she is merely being looked up to for disagreeing with Obama, but even that is only for political reasons. It’s a typical right-wing illogic-loop that can spin for eternity – or at least until the hypnotic trance that Fox has imposed on their cult members (aka viewers) has faded.

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UNWATCHABLE: GOP Senator Says Fox News Is Not Fair, Not Balanced

You know things are getting bad when your closest allies don’t want to be associated with you. That’s the message today to Fox News from a formerly loyal comrade who no longer regards the network as being true to its slogan “Fair and Balanced.” Sen. Tom Coburn told a town hall meeting of his constituents in Tulsa, Oklahoma, that…

“There are certain shows on Fox I can’t watch because they’re totally not fair and totally not balanced.”

Fox News Alert

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Coburn didn’t identify the shows to which he was referring, but it wouldn’t be difficult to speculate considering nearly the entire Fox schedule is packed with blatantly biased opinions masquerading as reporting. From Fox & Friends’ smiley-faced smackdowns of anything relating to President Obama or progressive politics, to Neil Cavuto’s obnoxious liberal interruption festival and GOP candidate promotion hour, to the primetime trio of diehard right-wingers Bill O’Reilly, Megyn Kelly, and Sean Hannity, the entire day on Fox is a barrel of conservative propaganda and hype.

Perhaps Coburn was referring to the sort of segment that Fox & Friends ran this morning where they chopped up Obama’s remarks about the protests in Ferguson, Mo. to make it appear that he was “Choosing Sides” against the police. The obvious jump cut eliminated a critical portion of the President’s statement. Here is what Obama said with the part that Fox quoted in bold:

“There is never an excuse for violence against police, or for those who would use this tragedy as a cover for vandalism or looting. There’s also no excuse for police to use excessive force against peaceful protests.

The Curvy Couch Potatoes excoriated the President for what they said was his one-sided criticism of law enforcement. Although their blissfully ignorant audience will never know that the quote was butchered by Fox in a deliberate attempt to deceive.

Coburn isn’t the only Republican in recent days to express disappointment with the network’s phony claim to fairness. Former Sen. Bob Smith is currently running in the GOP senate primary in New Hampshire against Scott Brown. Brown, you may recall, just left his job as a Fox contributor to seek the senate seat. Fox has been promoting Brown’s candidacy even before he left the network. That hasn’t sat well with Smith:

“They’ve totally ignored us,” Smith said. “They’ve shut us down. We’ve made every effort to get on any of the shows, or at least have a comment. We’ve tried with [Fox host Sean] Hannity, we’ve tried with Baier, we’ve tried with, you name it … we’ve just been totally shut down. And I mean shut down. I mean we don’t even get call backs.”

This is the sort of journalistic malpractice that occurs every hour of every day on Fox News. It’s surprising that Coburn, a beneficiary of that partisan bias, would speak out so candidly. But then he has already announced that he is not running for reelection, so he is no longer reliant on Fox’s beneficence and can be more honest in his appraisals.

A few conservative pundits have also taken Fox to task. David Frum criticized Fox on CNN’s Reliable Sources. He told then-host Howard Kurtz that “people who watch a lot of Fox come away knowing a lot less about important world events.” Interestingly, Kurtz himself is now contributing to the ignorance of world events as the host of MediaBuzz on Fox News. Another pundit takedown of Fox was from Tucker Carlson, who after hammering Fox as “a mean, sick group of people,” has joined the cult and sworn allegiance to his new masters.

But my favorite right-wing attack on Fox News was from a Tea Party group who organized a boycott of the network to protest its liberal slant. These “Tea Party Fire Ants,” as they call themselves, have a list of demands that they insist be heard and obeyed:

  1. We want FOX to become an active, investigative news organization serving the needs and wants of the “far right” audience.
  2. We want FOX to have at least one segment on Benghazi every night on at least two of the three shows in prime time.
  3. Yes, the BIRTH CERTIFICATE. Obama’s birth certificate. You know, that thing you mocked and the people you mocked who turned out to be right when they said it was a fake?
  4. We’re not interested in “Fair and Balanced”.

I’m sure that would make Fox News more watchable for Sen. Coburn. It would certainly make it more watchable for me, for the comedic value alone.


Common Shaky Ground: Left And Right Agree To Let The Red States Secede

Very few political observers would argue that our current system of government in Washington isn’t broken, or at least in a state of serious disrepair. The House of Representatives is being bullied by a minority faction of Tea Party dimwits who have utterly dominated the pathetically weak Speaker, John Boehner. The Senate is floundering under rules that allow the minority to obstruct any legislative progress through filibusters that redefine a majority as sixty senators. But a solution is being proposed that has found supporters on both ends of the political divide.

To Secede Or Not To Secede

Fred Jackson, news director of the uber-rightist American Family Association, told his radio audience that he thought a caller had a “good idea” when he said that secession is “the only solution that we have because voting doesn’t work.” The idea called for the red states to separate from the union. Jackson lamented that the American people may not be ready for such a measure, but that’s only because they haven’t yet realized “that we are about to hit that wall.”

The day before this broadcast the right-wing pseudo-news wire, Washington Free Beacon, published a story on the same theme but with a geographic limiter. They wrote that “A major Democratic donor said he supports Southern secession because the South is ‘dumbing down national politics.” It’s hard to argue with his reasoning while derps like Louie Gohmert and Ted Cruz are wandering the halls of Congress.

There is some real merit to this idea. After all, both sides would agree that neither is being particularly well represented when the legislative branch of government is so divided. By jettisoning the South the rest of the nation would be relieved of bible-belters who want to invoke a theocracy that believes Jesus rode a dinosaur to his sermons against gay marriage and climate change science. The South would be free to abolish all taxes and prohibit African-Americans from voting. This is not to say that establishing the Mason-Dixon line as the new border would automatically correct the problem. After all, Michele Bachmann would still be up in Minnesota and Darrell Issa would still be out in California. But a large chunk of the causes of division would be resolved.

There are, of course, some drawbacks as well. First among them is the fact that there are a lot of decent, thoughtful people in red and Southern states that would be horrified to find themselves sequestered in a new country that would rank at the bottom of the intelligence scale. A report published by (of all places) Fox Business, surveyed the nation’s academic profile and found that the ten states with the best educated citizens were all “blue” states, while nine of the ten worst educated were “red” states (and eight of those were in the south).

foxbusiness-education

There is also an economic issue since the South is comprised of the states with the highest percentage of people living below the poverty line (31%). And that number reflects an increase of nearly 50% since 2000. The South is currently a net receiver of federal assistance, meaning that it gets more from the government than it contributes in taxes. That would bode ill for a new nation that couldn’t support itself, particularly if it implements the low-tax strategy that it wants to impose on the whole of the United States.

The better educated and financially secure Blue/Northern states would have a distinct post-separation advantage. However, the Red States of America would be a non-starter from the outset because too much of its population would be too stupid and too financially inept to be sustainable. These variances could not be resolved simply by having people relocate to the region they prefer. That would be too great a burden that would involve uprooting families and businesses, finding new jobs and schools and friends, and very likely overcrowding the Blue states, while draining the Reds of their smartest and economically savviest residents. The Blues would be well positioned to compete with international rivals in Europe and Asia. The Reds would be closer to Libertarian Utopias like Somalia.

There is a far better solution than secession. However, it requires the American people to participate in their democracy. First of all, they have to become informed. And that means venturing beyond the increasingly biased mainstream media to find sources that are diverse and independent. Then they have to actually vote. The U.S. has one of the lowest voter turnout rates of any industrialized country. That is a slap in the face to the Founders who were optimistic enough to believe that future generations would appreciate the gift that was left to them.

With their voting power, the people need to demand an end to the anti-democratic gerrymandering that allows representatives to choose their voters rather than the other way around. And part and parcel to that, judicial atrocities like Citizen’s United must be overturned. The people must demand that only real, human, citizens can vote and contribute to campaigns. Corporations, unions, and all other wealthy special interests should not be electing our representatives. Corporations are not people, and money is not speech.

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A final suggestion for reform is a tad more radical, but still far short of secession. The Senate should become a representative body. There is no reasonable justification for Wyoming’s half million residents to have the same political clout as the 38 million residents of California. Two senators per state is an anachronistic solution to a problem that ceased to exist shortly after the Constitution was ratified. Today it permits a tiny minority of sparsely populated, unrepresentative states to hold the rest of the nation hostage. In fact, it is mathematically possible for just 35 million residents (10% of the population) to dictate the national agenda for all 350 million Americans. That is a perversion of democracy.

So it isn’t necessary to dissolve the United States to find a more perfect union. It just requires civic commitment and the will to make substantive reforms. And it wouldn’t hurt if the media stopped deliberately making their audience stupider.


Bill O’Reilly Wants To Know: Will Black America Speak Out Against Looting?

Fox News resident curmudgeon, Bill O’Reilly, has demonstrated his racial insensitivity too often to catalog here. Suffice to say that the man who was surprised that African-American patrons of a Harlem restaurant aren’t constantly screaming, “M-Fer, I want more iced tea,” is not the best example of racial tolerance.

So this week O’Reilly was promoting a segment on his program that would deal with the aftermath of the police shooting of an unarmed African-American. The promo asked a ludicrous question that sought to heap the responsibility of isolated crowd behavior unto the entire black population of America: “Will Black America Speak Out Against Looting?”

Fox News Bill O'Reilly

Is he serious? So whenever there is an incident that O’Reilly finds objectionable, he believes that everyone who bears any resemblance to the people involved are obligated to condemn it. Does that apply to the white police officer in Ferguson, MO who shot Mike Brown? Will white America speak out against officers killing unarmed citizens? Does it apply to George Zimmerman? Will white America speak out against murdering innocent black teenagers? Does it apply to governors who pass laws that subvert democracy? Will white America speak out against minority voter suppression? Does it apply to bankers who thrust the nation into near economic collapse? Will white America speak out against predator lenders and fraudulent mortgage schemes? Does it apply to judicial activists on the Supreme Court? Will white America speak out against the gutting of the Civil Rights Act?

O’Reilly and his right-wing comrades are constantly lumping their ideological foes into categories where they have collective responsibility, but he absolves white people of having any part in the actions of their ethnic fellows. Muslims, for instance, are required to condemn the terrorists acts of Al Qaeda (which they have done), but whites are not asked to do the same when innocent Muslims are killed by drones.

For the benefit of O’Reilly and his racist cohorts, black Americans have been prominently speaking out against any law-breaking in response to the Brown killing. His parents have called for people to “come together and do this right, the right way. No violence.” Al Sharpton told a rally of supporters that “To become violent in Michael Brown’s name is to betray the gentle giant that he was.” President Obama released a statement saying…

“I know the events of the past few days have prompted strong passions, but as details unfold, I urge everyone in Ferguson, Missouri, and across the country, to remember this young man through reflection and understanding. We should comfort each other and talk with one another in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds. Along with our prayers, that’s what Michael and his family, and our broader American community, deserve.”

These comments expose O’Reilly for the ignorant and deliberately race-baiting provocateur that he is. Does every black person in America have to make a public statement before he will be satisfied? O’Reilly isn’t actually interested in people taking responsibility. He is only interested in laying blame and disparaging African-Americans as thugs or supportive of thuggery.

America’s black population has no more responsibility to account for every other black American, than white Americans have to account for racists like O’Reilly. If they did, then I want to know if white America will speak out against the racist Fox News promo that asks if black America will speak out against looting?


Fox News “Psycho” Analyst: Obama Hates America And His Wife Is Fat

He’s at it again. “Doctor” Keith Ablow, a member of the Fox News Medical A[ss] Team, was the male guest on the panel show of Fox fems, Outnumbered. In the course of the hour the examples of his boorish political asininity and misogyny far “outnumbered” any commentary that approached common sense or civility.

Keith Ablow

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In the opening segment, the topic was President Obama’s foreign policy and the crises in the Middle East. Ablow’s knee-jerk hostility to even hearing Obama’s name incited a brief tirade that questioned the President’s patriotism and connection to the country that elected him twice to the highest office in the land.

“I think he has an endgame. I think he is extremely strategic. He wants to minimize the influence of America around the globe. He’s doing a masterful job. That is his primary, and seemingly sole, objective. Everyday this guy occupies the White House is a bizarre event in my experience. I can’t believe that people were so thrown by 9/11 as to elect this person who does not hold our values as his own. And we thought by propping him up we wouldn’t be attacked anymore.”

There is just too much stupid in that rant to address in full. Let’s just note that after 9/11, if the country was “thrown,” they were thrown to reelect George W. Bush, because Obama’s election didn’t come until seven years later. And Ablow unveils his prejudices by characterizing Obama’s term in office as an “occupation” by someone who doesn’t hold “our” values. That is coded birther rhetoric. Then he joins the likes of John McCain and Lindsey Graham in advocating war, but in a particularly repulsive manner.

“Of course there should be boots on the ground. Of course there should be. Because we are the chosen nation. [...] We’ll be fighting this for a long, long time. It will cost us a tremendous amount. Young people will die. It’s horrific, but these people will stop at nothing.”

What a patriot. He’s so willing to volunteer other people’s sons and daughters to die in a war thousands of miles from home. Because, after all, we are “the chosen nation,” whatever that’s supposed to mean. Apparently God wants America’s kids to be slaughtered in distant deserts. But Ablow is just getting started.

Right-wingers are fond of inventing controversies wherein they allege government intrusion into the private lives of citizens. They hate being told what to do by the feds, even if it is merely a regulation to mandate airplane safety or to keep poisons out of the water supply. Any and all regulation is, to them, a manifestation of tyranny. So in a discussion about healthy food standards in public schools, the Outnumbered panel was unanimous in support of the abdication of parental authority. They said that if their kids didn’t want to eat the healthy meals provided by a school lunch program, they shouldn’t have to. In effect they are saying that their kids should dictate what they will, and will not, eat. Adults pursuing the best interests of students should have no decision in the matter. So if your kids want to eat only candy, then parents should let schools serve that to their kids for lunch.

As ludicrous as that sounds, the conversation became even more absurd and insulting with regard to First Lady Michele Obama, who has been a devoted advocate of healthy diets, especially for children who have been exceeding historical levels of obesity. The problem has alarmed military leaders who launched a campaign in support of Obama’s initiative because the state of America’s youth is making it difficult to find physically qualified recruits. On this subject Ablow interjected to question Obama’s commitment saying…

“How well can she be eating. She needs to drop a few.”

That ignorant and irrelevant observation drew a chorus of gasps from the four women on the panel. Co-host Harris Faulkner exclaimed “You did not just say that!” They were plainly disgusted by Ablow’s misogynistic remark, but they ultimately decided to let it pass without further comment.

How this cretin got a medical license is one of the great mysteries of modern times. He is a transparently racist, hateful, narrow-minded, buffoon. And anyone who seeks his services is putting their health, physical and emotional, at risk.