Rachel Maddow: Fox News Has A Bill O’Reilly Problem (Or Do They?)

Last night Rachel Maddow reported on the downward spiral of Bill O’Reilly’s already shaky credibility. Since reports last month about his false statements placing him “in a war zone…in the Falklands,” the cascade of additional lies has accelerated exponentially. Just keeping up with the new revelations is difficult, so News Corpse provided this handy summary:

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On her program Maddow ran through a partial list of the lies exposed so far, including the Falklands affair, the misrepresentations of his experiences in Northern Ireland and El Salvador, and his blatantly dishonest account of being present when a figure associated with the Kennedy assassination committed suicide. She spent a fair amount of time on the latter, with audio tapes of O’Reilly debunking himself. But a highlight of her report was the response she got after requesting a statement from Fox News:

“We asked them for comment of the substance of the allegations. What they sent us was a lot of information about how great Bill O’Reilly’s ratings are.”

That’s a fairly typical response from the Fox News PR department that seems to think that having a large number of easily duped viewers is evidence of truthful reporting. To the contrary, it’s the fact that there are so many gullible Fox watchers that makes lying to them so easy. What Fox defenders fail to understand is that volume does not equal quality. McDonald’s is the number restaurant in America, but few people would say that it has the best food.

Maddow’s commentary on O’Reilly was couched in a dialogue that addressed what happens “when cable news goes wobbly.” She related the O’Reilly situation to other incidents of the sort of error-prone reporting that occurs when being first is more important than being right. However, O’Reilly has had years to shape his storytelling and, if necessary, correct the record, but instead has repeated the falsehoods with every new opportunity. This makes it clear that his intent all along has been to deceive. And that’s a problem for both him and the network he represents. As Maddow said…

“The Fox News channel has a problem now. They have a problem with the face of their network, their flagship anchor, having all of this stuff trailing him around with no plausible explanation for what exactly he said and did and why they haven’t tried at least to fix it. The network has also not apologized or retracted any of Mr. O’Reilly’s overt threats to other reporters who have just covered this story about the real credibility they have got with him right now.”

Indeed, O’Reilly has the highest rated program on Fox News. He is the first person most people would think of if asked to name a Fox News personality. And he is a pathological liar. However, the rational observation that that would be problematic for Fox may not be entirely accurate. After all, Fox News has made its reputation by lying incessantly in support of their right-wing political agenda. They slander liberals and exalt conservatives. They ridicule progressive policies and push those that advance the interests of the conservative elite. So the question of whether or not O’Reilly hurts Fox needs further analysis.

There is no shortage of examples of Fox’s brazen dishonesty and disregard for journalistic ethics. Their mangling of the truth was baked into their pseudo-news recipe from the day they debuted. So why would it trouble them if their featured anchor is a proven prevaricator? In fact, O’Reilly is the perfect representative of the Fox brand. He’s the biggest liar on the network of lies. If the bulk of your programming is littered with partisan bullcrap, than Bill O’Reilly isn’t a problem at all. He’s your poster boy.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Hey Fox News: With Friends Like Ralph Peters Who Needs Enemas?

Fox News has a deep bench of repulsive characters to call upon whenever they need to insult President Obama or lie about a progressive initiative that would help the nation. But perhaps the most noxious of the bunch is Col. Ralph Peters, a man who has distinguished himself as a world-class Obama hater.

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Ralph Peters (whose name translates to “vomiting penises” in Slanglish) is the purveyor of some truly nauseating notions that include: advocating military strikes on the American media; that there aren’t enough civilian casualties in war; that the U.S. should be more like ISIS; that the Taliban should have been allowed to execute an American soldier; and many more horrendous pronouncements.

The latest Peterism is a nearly incomprehensible perversion of an old proverb that goes “The enemy of my enemy is friend.” Its plain meaning is that two parties with a common foe have good reason to unite in order to achieve victory. But last night on Sean Hannity’s program Peters, cribbing off of Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech before Congress, turned this into a slap at Obama saying that…

“Obama is incapable if learning […] For Americans, the most important point that Bibi Netanyahu made today was that in the Middle East today, dealing with Iran and Islamic State, ‘The enemy of my enemy is my enemy.’ Obama just can’t figure that out.”

Neither can any other person with functional cognitive abilities. Let’s break it down. The enemy, in this case, can be presumed to be the so-called Islamic State. IS has many enemies, but for this demonstration we’ll just pick one, say…England. Therefore, if the enemy (England) of my enemy (IS) is my enemy, then England is my enemy. And that would go for just about every western nation, as well as many Middle Eastern nations. That’s how pathetically shallow the thought processes are for Peters and Netanyahu and the terrorist enablers at Fox News.

Peters went on to dig deep into Obama’s soul and dredge up what he thinks our President feels about the fate of Israel. Never mind that Obama has repeatedly stated that Israel’s security is of paramount interest to the national security of the United States and that America will always defend Israel and its right to exist, Peters ralphed up this vile commentary without any support other than his she-male intuition:

“Obama is so desperate, so desperate, for this deal for his legacy, that he is willing to give Israel up. Let’s face it, if Israel disappeared from the face of the Earth tomorrow Obama would not shed a tear.”

Remember, Peters is the cretin who wouldn’t shed a tear for American journalists and soldiers, and civilians of any nationality, who are killed by the terrorist military policies he would impose on U.S. forces. It’s people like Peters who are the real enemies of peace because they hunger so fiercely for the blood of their perceived foes. His philosophy is one of perpetual war and demonization of those he regards as alien to his ideal of Euro-supremacy. That poisonous creed needs to be eradicated from the world and the eradication needs to start with Fox News.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Sarah Palin And Other Netanyahu Groupies May Soon Find Themselves Leaderless

The much anticipated speech by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before a joint session of Congress has come and gone leaving a notable aroma of anti-climax. After being hailed by many in politics and the press as an historic occasion, there was nothing of substance revealed in the address. It turned out to be a tale of a dystopian future that mimicked the doomsday rantings of Glenn Beck, complete with caliphates and the collapsing of civilization.

John Boehner’s invitation to Netanyahu violated decades of protocol and was a blatantly political slap at President Obama. Republicans heralded the speech as a vital moment to embrace an important ally. In fact, they implied that any opposition to the controversial appearance was tantamount to being anti-Israel and even anti-Semitic (as Andrea Tantaros of Fox News opined twice). The American right is shamelessly infatuated with Netanyahu and regard him as a superior model of leadership to our own president who was popularly elected twice.

Netanyahu enjoys the admiration of conservatives who favor posturing for war over diplomacy. They have elevated him to hero status and fantasize about having him replace Obama in the White House. Sarah Palin has gone even further by seeking to profit from her crush by selling t-shirts emblazoned with his picture and the oath “I Stand With Bibi.”

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However, these conservative Bibi disciples may come to regret their insistence that loyalty to the current Israeli Prime Minister (a war-mongering conservative) is equivalent to loyalty to Israel. That’s because in a couple of weeks there may very well be a new Prime Minister with a very different worldview. The Guardian reports that…

“Binyamin Netanyahu’s campaign for re-election for a fourth term as Israel’s prime minister appears to be stumbling, with recent polls suggesting he is marginally behind his biggest challenger, Isaac Herzog.”

Herzog is the leader of Israel’s Labor Party and has a more liberal, inclusive political philosophy. He represents a coalition that seeks peace through cooperation. He is a lawyer, a member of the Knesset (Israel’s legislature), a former IDF intelligence officer, and is every bit as determined to insure Israel’s security as Netanyahu. But he believes that a two-state solution negotiated and enforced with neighbors in the region is the way to end the decades-long hostilities.

If Herzog prevails in the March 17 election, it will be interesting to see if the right-wingers in the U.S. continue to regard the Prime Minister as the official proxy for all things Israel. Will they invite him to speak before a joint session of Congress? Will they hang on his every word. Will they repudiate as disloyal anyone who dares to disagree with him? Will they hawk t-shirts with his smiling face and promises to stand with him?

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

It doesn’t take much courage to slide out on a limb and predict that the wingnut contingent would not give Herzog the same measure of respect that they give to Netanyahu. And you might wait a long time to be able to buy a Herzog t-shirt from Sarah Palin’s PAC. So while Israel would benefit enormously from the election of a Labor Party majority, There’s another reason why Americans should root for that outcome. Because it would just be so much fun watching Republican pols and pundits squirming to validate their disdain for an Israeli PM after demanding allegiance to their hero Netanyahu.

Bill O’Reilly’s Cavalcade Of Lies: A Handy Collection Of The Damage – So Far

Three weeks ago News Corpse published an article revealing that Bill O’Reilly of Fox News had been less than truthful about his alleged exploits as a “war” correspondent. Two weeks later Mother Jones Magazine did an even more thorough analysis of O’Reilly’s pathological embellishments with solid evidence of blatant dishonesty. Ever since then the flow of embarrassing revelations that expose O’Reilly as a self-aggrandizing, jet-powered ego has run non-stop.

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ONE: The parade of falsehoods began with O’Reilly’s claim to have been “on the ground in active war zones” during the Falkland Islands war with the United Kingdom. He wasn’t. And now there is video of him reporting from Buenos Aires, Argentina that contradicts the accounts he gave afterward.

TWO: O’Reilly also claimed to have been outside the Florida home of George de Mohrenschildt where he said that he heard the shotgun blast that marked his suicide. De Mohrenschildt was an associate of Lee Harvey Oswald and was scheduled to testify at a congressional hearing on the JFK assassination. However, a recording of a contemporaneous phone call shows that O’Reilly wasn’t even in Florida when de Mohrenschildt died.

THREE: On another occasion, O’Reilly told a story about how he “saw nuns get shot in the back of the head” in El Salvador. That also was not true and O’Reilly himself admitted it in a statement that said he had actually just seen some “images of violence” but did not witness the incidents himself. Oddly, while admitting that his original assertions were false, he neither apologized nor acknowledged any wrongdoing.

FOUR: This was a similar case where O’Reilly spoke of his visit to Northern Ireland. While there he claimed to have witnessed bombings, however, when challenged Fox News issued a statement similar to the one about El Salvador that said he had merely seen pictures.

FIVE: Then there was the time that O’Reilly was covering the riots in Los Angeles sparked by the acquittal of the police officers who beat Rodney King. He claimed to have been the target of attacks by rioters, however, his associates covering the story deny that any of them were assaulted or injured. They do, however, contend that some tensions flared due to O’Reilly being an asshole.

These fabrications by the guy who pretends to be running a “No Spin Zone” are hardly the only times he has lied. There have been numerous other episodes including bragging about winning two Peabody Awards (he didn’t), and claiming to be a registered Independent (he was a Republican for several years at the time).

Some other incidents may not have been lies technically, just horribly wrong statements that he refused to correct. For instance, he once argued that there were no homeless veterans in America; as proof that his boycott of France was working he offered a report by the “Paris Business Review,” which does not exist; and he insisted, after doing extensive research, that no one on Fox ever said that people who didn’t pay ObamaCare penalties would be subject to prison. PolitiFact gave that one a “Pants on Fire.”

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

After NBC suspended Brian Williams for six months for a single incident of embellishing his experiences in Iraq, it seems like a fair and balanced review of O’Reilly’s behavior would net him a suspension of two or three years. Of course, Fox News does not generally hold itself to the standards of journalistic ethics to which real news enterprises adhere. Nevertheless, O’Reilly and Fox News should not be allowed to sweep these fibs under the floorboards. They must be forced to correct the record, submit to punishment, apologize to their audience as well as to those whose valor they stole, and make a good faith effort to ensure that it does not happen again.

Short of that, we must make sure that the truth is disseminated widely and continues to be raised whenever Fox or O’Reilly seek the trust of the public they are so badly abusing. If they don’t atone in some manner for their misdeeds, then news consumers must be reminded continuously that Fox News and Bill O’Reilly are charlatans that cannot be trusted to tell the truth. So keep the pressure on and let any advertisers know that you don’t appreciate them supporting unabashed liars.

Fox Nation vs. Reality: You Have To Read This (Irrelevant) Email

For most of the past week the news cycle has been decidedly unfavorable to conservatives. Bill O’Reilly’s reputation is in tatters after several examples of his lying to stroke his own ego were revealed. The congressional failure to pass a funding bill for the Department of Homeland Security has exposed the GOP as inept at governing. And the annual CPAC circus has given right-wing Republicans more airtime than usual to embarrass themselves.

Consequently, Fox News is fishing for a scandal to get frantic over to fill the void, and they think they found one.

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Actually, they are just warming over an old scandal that they hope has enough pus left in it to ooze out some more wingnut bile. Featured on the Fox News community website Fox Nation is an item with the tantalizing title “You Have To Read This Recovered Email From Lois Lerner” Lerner, you may recall, is the whipping gal of the GOP’s House Committee on Heckling Obama. The budding scandalette revolves around the Treasury Department’s disclosure that 32,000 emails were found on backup tapes. Not mentioned by Republicans on the committee is that the emails may all be duplicates that the committee already has.

What the Fox Nationalists chose to highlight was a tweet by the committee, that is filled with gleeful anticipation. It said “If you can believe it, here’s an actual email sent by Lois Lerner:” The content of the “unbelievable” email reads “No one will ever believe that both your hard drive and mine crashed within a week of each other. Life is strange.”

The implication is that Lerner was communicating with a colleague about their covert conspiracy to conceal an alleged plot to subject conservative organizations seeking non-profit status to greater scrutiny. After endless hearings and hyperbolic exclamations of unveiled “bombshells,” they never found any evidence of wrongdoing. Nevertheless, the Republican smear machine rattled on. And now, once again, they are crowing about some investigative victory. The problem is that they haven’t got the brains to put together a coherent case of misconduct.

The new email that they are so excited about is not a confession of any sort. If anything it exonerates Lerner and her ePenPals. With language like “life is strange” she is plainly expressing genuine surprise that the hard drives failed at around the same time. That proves that it wasn’t a planned scheme to destroy evidence. Lerner certainly would not write something incriminating in an email right after supposedly trashing hard drives to eliminate incriminating emails. And if further proof is needed, the email in question is dated June 29, 2011, two years before there was any investigation of the department’s activities. So there wouldn’t be any reason for Lerner to be tampering with correspondence that no one was looking for, and wasn’t considered to be evidence of anything.

That’s how lame this new “discovery” that “you have to read” is. It’s pathetic that the Oversight Committee would furiously tweet this utterly pointless message. And it is similarly ludicrous that Fox News would regurgitate it as if it had some significance other than to manufacture suspicion. But that’s really all they have, so they’re going with it.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Despite Their Own Conceit, Fox News Is About As Scary As Honey Boo Boo

As America’s number one network for extreme, right-wing political bias and propaganda, Fox News relishes every opportunity to disparage their ideological foes and to sanctimoniously exalt themselves as protectors of their twisted versions of the truth. One of the favorite tactics of Fox News is to taunt public figures who make the completely rational decision to avoid the abuse that they would endure were they to submit to being interviewed by the network’s bullies and ignorant partisans. This week there was another example of that attempted intimidation by Fox’s media reporter, Howard Kurtz.

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Kurtz appeared on The Kelly File with fill-in host and terrorist profiler Shannon Bream, a former beauty pageant contestant and graduate of Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University with no journalism training. The topic of the segment was departing Attorney General Eric Holder’s scheduled interviews with some news networks that did not, as of yet, include Fox. Bream queued Kurtz up by asking “Does he help himself at all by walking out the door and slamming it in our faces.” That totally unbiased question got this response from Kurtz:

“I think that it’s a sign of confidence when any politician, political figure, cabinet officer, congressman, is willing to sit down and take tougher questions from those you might perceive to be your harshest critics. […] Is the nation’s top law enforcement officer really afraid of [Fox News anchor] Bret Baier?”

Any suggestion that Holder, or anyone else who chooses to keep their distance from Fox News, is afraid of them is utter nonsense. That’s like saying you’re afraid of being interviewed by Honey Boo Boo, when the truth is you’re just smart enough to not waste your time. Notorious liar Bill O’Reilly has used the accusation of fear repeatedly, but frankly I’d be more afraid of Honey Boo boo.

Furthermore, if Kurtz even bothers to take his own analysis seriously, then why doesn’t he apply it to Republicans? He seems so disturbed that a single administration official is waving off Fox News, but he doesn’t seem bothered at all that the entire Republican Party is boycotting MSNBC. Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee has stated publicly that there will be no GOP presidential primary debates on that network. There will be four on Fox. Therefore, according to his own logic, Kurtz is implying that that every single one of the GOP candidates for president are afraid of Rachel Maddow?

What’s even more interesting about this is that the GOP candidates are even afraid of the friendly venues they have chosen for themselves. The RNC has drastically reduced the number of debates and assumed control of who will moderate them and ask questions. That was done to avoid a repeat of the embarrassing displays put on by Republicans during the 2012 election cycle. On one hand that may be a wise decision on their part considering the proclivity for Republicans to say stupid things. On the other hand it shelters them from the real world of political brawling that might toughen them up for the general election. And it exposes them as fearful of letting their candidates express themselves by taking positions for which they would later be held accountable.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

After being left off of a preliminary list of networks that would be interviewing Holder, Fox News VP Michael Clemente whined that Holder’s reluctance to subject himself to the petty carping of Fox’s confirmed haters does a disservice to “the interests of a free press.” Apparently he doesn’t understand the phrase “free press.” You have to wonder where he gets the notion that a free press requires every public figure to submit to every media outlet, no matter how disreputable and hostile. It would be more correct to applaud Holder for showing respect for a free press by declining to validate Fox’s deceitful brand of pseudo-journalism.

Whether or not Holder grants Fox News an opportunity to malign him in person, it is clear that neither he, nor anyone else, is afraid of Fox. They just show it the measure of respect it deserves. But Republicans are demonstrating that they terrified of MSNBC and every other media outlet, including Fox, by implementing a policy that prohibits them from engaging in any public debates that aren’t sanctioned by the party apparatchiks. That’s a story that Kurtz will never report.

Is Rupert Murdoch A Climate Change Denier Or A Senile Old Schmuck?

One of the most frustrating features of our time is just how oblivious some people are to the advances in knowledge that our times provide. What could be more annoying than having to suffer fools who think that facts are debatable? And it’s bad enough when those encounters are with ignorant Tea Party clods, but the annoyance factor soars when the idiocy emanates from someone who is considered to be accomplished, intelligent and/or educated.

Rupert Murdoch - Stephen Colbert

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Which brings us to the CEO of the media empire that controls (and distorts) much of the world’s news. It would be hard to portray Rupert Murdoch as an ignorant man. He is a billionaire who built a small Australian billboard advertising company into an international news and entertainment conglomerate. So what would possess him to tweet this chunk of hogwash yesterday?

“Just flying over N Atlantic 300 miles of ice. Global warming!”

The inherent stupidity of that thought transcends reason. Murdoch, it is assumed, knows that it is currently winter, a seasonal phase that generally produces icy conditions in the northern hemisphere. The fact that some portion of the ocean is frozen over in February is not particularly surprising to most people with an IQ higher than the temperature. Murdoch is seriously expressing a concept that Stephen Colbert brilliantly articulated as a joke:

“Global warming isn’t real because I was cold today! Also great news: World hunger is over because I just ate.”

But the dumbness factor is not even over for Murdoch. His observation of an icy Atlantic Ocean was made without any context whatsoever. Why does he think it is significant that there is 300 miles of ice? His inference is that there is more than enough ice to disprove the overwhelming scientific consensus that the planet is warming. But he doesn’t seem to grasp the notion that the ice he is witnessing is actually far less than there was a few short years ago. What’s more, the global climate could increase incrementally but still be low enough for ice to form. If the sea temperature went from 28 degrees to 30 degrees there would still be ice in the sea, and the climate would still be warming.

So what could lead a presumably intelligent person to make such an obviously idiotic statement? Especially when the same person has previously taken positions on climate change that were far more reasonable. Is it hypocrisy, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s? Murdoch has warned that Climate Change poses “a catastrophic threat,” but also bragged about his companies achieving carbon neutrality. Simultaneously, his Fox News, and other international media outlets, have produced the most highly misinformed populations on this subject and many others. [See Global Climate Enemy Number One: Rupert Murdoch]

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

The glaring contradictions in Murdoch’s public stance on these matters is cause for alarm. Not only is he doing immense damage to the gullible members of the public who ingest his propaganda, but he is exhibiting signs of mental failure that should worry his family. Of course, the problems associated with his personal health are limited to those who care for him. However, his poisoning the minds of millions of people around the world is dangerously irresponsible. And just as troubling is the fact that he can do that in a manner that casts him as an imbecile, but so many people still buy into it. We are in big, friggin’ trouble if this keeps up.

Now THIS is Comedy: The Conservative Political A-Hole Conference (CPAC)

The annual parade of wingnuttery known as the Conservative Political Action Conference has been steaming along for a couple of days now. Most of the star attractions have had their say and the general message that we can take away from the affair is that President Obama is an Islamic terrorist, Hillary Clinton is an old liberal, and ObamaCare, Common Core, the IRS, and immigrants must all be abolished.

How’s that for an electoral platform for 2016? It’s pretty much the same agenda that has been broadcast on Fox News for the past six years. And the clapping conservo-bots in the CPAC conference hall responded precisely the way they were trained to respond. Not a single speaker said anything new or insightful. It was hour after hour of regurgitated right-wing dogma, and it absolutely thrilled the glassy-eyed audience who couldn’t have been more predictable if they were hooked up to a machine.

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However, just for the sake of entertainment, there were a couple of moments that deserve some special attention. And it wasn’t Ted Cruz whining about ObamaCare, or Sarah Palin pretending to support the troops, or Scott Walker comparing American working people to terrorists, or Ben Carson calling for unity after saying that, because of liberals, America is very much like Nazi Germany. None of those easily foreseeable sentiments earn much more than a yawn. But there was some unintentional comedy displayed at the conference.

First of all, we have Duck Dynasty’s patriarch Phil Robertson. This long-haired, bearded, headbanded, camo-clad freak took a swipe at hippies. Has he ever seen one (or looked in the mirror)? Somehow that clean living, nature loving subculture that faded into obscurity forty years ago is to blame for every sexually transmitted disease in America today. Now that’s a powerful message for a 21st century Republican Party.

Robertson was invited to the conference to receive the Andrew Breitbart Defender of the First Amendment Award, which is not even worth the time or energy to make fun of. In his remarks Robertson divided the nation into the pious patriots for whom the Constitution was written and “any other” treasonous sinners who are not entitled to its liberties:

“You know what’s happened GOP? We’ve got too many “any others” in the White House. It [the Constitution] wasn’t written for them. […] Stand on the Bible, stand on the Constitution, don’t budge. Hold on to your weapons. That’s what brought us here. We had to have all three to run the Brits back to where they came from.”

Let’s just set aside the divisive elitism that Robertson evokes in order to elevate himself above those he regards as his inferiors. Robertson’s assertion that we needed the Bible, weapons and the Constitution to beat back the British has a glaring flaw. There was no Constitution until four years after the Revolutionary War was won and over. And the British also had weapons and the same Bible, but it didn’t lead them to victory.

The other moment of hilarity was the speech by Donald Trump, the reality TV show host who is so bad at real estate that he couldn’t profitably run a casino (a casino!), and has declared bankruptcy four times. Trump, as usual, spent his time bragging and promoting himself as the bestest, toughest, smartest, conservativest person in the room. He said that he is 80% sure that he is running for president. You could still make a bundle betting against it. He will pull out as soon as he is asked to release his financial statements.

Trump ventured back into the birtherism that he has long espoused. He claimed that Obama “wrote a book when he was a young man and it said born in Kenya.” That’s a flat-out lie. Trump also bragged that he was responsible for Obama releasing his birth certificate. That’s a flat-out lie. Then he bleated “Now we have to find out whether or not it was real.” So Trump is still a full-bore birther. Funny, he has never told us what happened to his team of investigators that he claimed he sent to Hawaii. Does he ever get tired of making a fool of himself? What’s worse is that there was a room full of people who applauded his raving madness.

If you thought that 2012 was fun, with its circus of right-wing loonies, you aint seen nothing yet. 2016 is already shaping up to be even wingnuttier. I really can’t wait for the campaign season to get started.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Jon Stewart Challenges Fox News To A ‘Lie Off’ – He’s Gonna Lose

Last night Jon Stewart opened The Daily Show with a commentary (video below) on how his announcement that’s he’s leaving did not go unnoticed. He took particular umbrage at Megyn Kelly of Fox News for saying that “he was not a force for good,” and that “in his later years he got a little nasty.” But surprisingly the part that bothered him was “in his later years.” He then insisted that he still has “four to five productive years left,” but eventually he would hit “the last four or five angry confused years, or as they are sometimes referred to, the Fox News viewer demo years.”

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Then Stewart played clips of Fox Newsers accusing him of ignoring facts to offer nothing but “sarcasm, insults and dishonest editing.” (Sounds like watching Fox News). Once again Kelly was highlighted alleging that Stewart had “no foothold on the facts.” That spurred Stewart to challenge Fox News to a “Lie Off,” a contest that guarantees a victory for Fox News. He then played a six second Vine video that contained 50 Fox News lies. PolitiFact reviewed all of the lies in Stewart’s Vine video and agreed that every single one of them was false (eleven of them Pants On Fire). However, that evidence, as Stewart noted, would have no impact on Fox’s twisted perception of reality because…

“You see…Something of a conventional wisdom about this show has taken hold on the right. A thought that they’ve become so comfortable with that they don’t feel the need to offer evidence to support it. That we lie and distort things all the time to make them look bad.”

Stewart marveled at the suggestion by Rush Limbaugh that he “poisoned the Republican brand,” and after showing hilarious clips of how Limbaugh represented that brand asked “How do you poison a cyanide factory?” Then, challenging the notion that Fox cares about the truth, Stewart stated something that has been obvious for years, that “What matters to the right is discrediting anything that they believe harms their side. That’s their prime directive.”

Despite the conventional “wisdom” that Stewart mentioned, conservative media has often recognized the many times that Stewart’s wit was aimed at President Obama or other Democrats and liberals. Fox News has trumpeted those segments dozens of times. (News Corpse has documented them here and here). Nevertheless, they suffer a peculiar sort of amnesia that causes them to forget his even-handedness whenever they feel like bashing him again over some new perceived slight.

While conservatives may be celebrating the sunset of the Stewart Era on cable TV, they are forgetting that he will be replaced by somebody, and it will probably not be Dennis Miller or Sarah Palin or some other right-wing clown. There is a reason that there aren’t any conservative comedians (or any funny ones). Their world view is inherently humorless. It is consumed by fear and hatred and worship of the privileged. Jokes about the homeless, or sick folks without health insurance, are only funny to the ignorant, the sadistic, and the GOP (or Greedy One Percent), who are only aware of their own selfish concerns.

That’s why Fox News suffices as a comedy channel for conservatives. It’s as close as they can get to it. But liberals also find humor in some of the ridiculous and embarrassing statements that tumble from the tongues of Fox’s personalities. They also learn things from Stewart and gain insight from his well-informed satire. That’s why you hear many of them say that they get their news from Comedy Central and their comedy from Fox News.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

To Rachel Maddow: Fox News Doesn’t Give A Fig About Bill O’Reilly’s Lies And Threats

The scandal engulfing Fox News, and its star blowhard Bill O’Reilly, is picking up steam as well as new allegations of dishonesty and flagrant self-glorification. The latest episodes of O’Reilly inventing harrowing journalistic adventures include his false assertion that he was present at the suicide of a figure associated with the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and his claim to have witnessed nuns being executed in El Salvador.

The initial response to the evidence that O’Reilly repeatedly lied about his experiences in Argentina as a “war zone” correspondent “in the Falklands” was to launch an attack on the reporters who exposed him and the so-called “liberal” media overall. He called them “liars, guttersnipes,” and “far-left zealots.” Even worse, when approached by a reporter from the New York Times he warned her that if he was unhappy with the story “I am coming after you with everything I have. You can take it as a threat.”

Bill O'Reilly

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Last night on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show, the issue was raised to inquire as to whether O’Reilly’s turpitude might disturb his employers or colleagues (video below). Maddow did an excellent job of explaining the events that led up to O’Reilly’s threats, but then she entertained the following scenario:

“Fox News has a bunch of folks like Mr. O’Reilly on their shows. It’s part of why I call them Republican TV. But they also have a lot of real reporters on staff who do real reporting all day long on real news. They have White House correspondents, and congressional reporters, and even media reporters. And I’m sure they don’t take kindly when their own reporters get threatened for trying to do their jobs. But it is hard to imagine what this is going to do to the work environment at Fox News Channel for the Fox News Channel’s real reporters, and they do have them.”

Maddow surely has decent intentions in characterizing Fox News as a network that employs real reporters. However, there is scant evidence that it is true. Their main anchor, Bret Baier, presides over a daily roasting of President Obama. Their chief White House correspondent, Ed Henry, is a deeply biased right-winger with open hostility to the President. Their media analyst, Howard Kurtz, went out of his way to defend O’Reilly in an embarrassing display that evoked either fear or fawning or both.

But one thing in particular that Maddow said was way off the mark. It is not hard at all to imagine what this is going to do to the work environment at Fox News. It isn’t going to do a damn thing. As fake news guy Jon Stewart correctly pointed out: “No one’s watching [O’Reilly] for the actual truth.” And referencing O’Reilly’s “No Spin Zone” tag line Stewart noted that “Misrepresenting the zone he is in is kind of his hook.”

Fox News is a network born of deceit and devoted to the dissemination of propaganda. They couldn’t care less if they are discovered to be distorting reality because that is what they were created to do. Their founder and CEO, Roger Ailes, has no scruples when it comes to stuffing his roster with partisan clowns, as evidenced by the existence of Steve Doocy, Sean Hannity, Judge Jeanine Pirro, Donald Trump, Elizabeth Hasselbeck, Keith Ablow, and, of course, Bill O’Reilly.

When some of his mouthpieces began to fray at the edges of sanity, Ailes admitted to keeping them on the air long after he had determined that they were detrimental with justifications that were purely political. The reason Ailes gave for putting off Beck’s departure was that he “didn’t want to give MoveOn and Media Matters the satisfaction.” And with regard to why he re-signed Sarah Palin after first letting her contract expire, he said that he hired her back to “piss off the people that wanted her dead.” How does that comport with the production of “real news.”

As for O’Reilly, he is a known ratings winner who satisfies the lust for wingnut outrage that boils in the withering hearts of the Fox News audience. Ailes isn’t going to risk that without some intense pressure being applied, and maybe not even then. He knows that O’Reilly is a hate monger whose persona is dripping with animus and ego. A study done a few years back by Indiana University revealed the depth of O’Reilly’s bullying attitude:

“The IU researchers found that O’Reilly called a person or a group a derogatory name once every 6.8 seconds, on average, or nearly nine times every minute during the editorials that open his program each night.”

Consequently, Fox News is well aware of how O’Reilly behaves and they approve. The only thing that might impact their decision to stand by him is if advertisers bail out in droves, which is what happened to Glenn Beck. And then they still kept his show on for a period of time to avoid looking like they caved in. In O’Reilly’s case, they would more likely announce his retirement after some twenty years on the network. It would then be announced that he would produce occasional specials and continue to write books about killing people. Which is an especially appropriate legacy for a bully like him to pursue.

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Media Matter and MoveOn have a petition calling for Fox News to Hold Bill O’Reilly Accountable. Go add your name to it and let the advertiser community know that America’s television viewers aren’t going to stand for this.