Ben Carson Says: Judges Overturning Unconstitutional Laws Is Unconstitutional

The Nazi-baiting doctor currently on leave from Fox News, Ben Carson, who thinks that ObamaCare is “the worst thing since slavery,” has stepped in another pile of bull manure on his way to the Republican primary for president of the United States.

Ben Carson

Carson was interviewed by wingnut schlock-jock Steve Deace this week and was asked about his position on the recent court rulings overturning bans on same-sex marriage. His answer demonstrated a pitifully weak grasp of the Constitution and marks him as just another ignorant Teabagger spewing falsehoods and animosity toward those with whom he disagrees.

The issue that got Carson riled up was the spate of court rulings, many by Republican-appointed judges, affirming the right to marry without regard to sexual orientation. He began by praising the state referendums that explicitly imposed legal barriers to marriage for those of the same sex. According to Carson, such referendums should take precedence over liberties guaranteed by the Constitution. Presumably that would apply to states banning marriage between people of different races. But then he goes even further, advocating federal tyranny over the independent judiciary:

“Thirty-two states have indicated that marriage is between a man and a woman, and a few judges have come and overturned that. That, as far as I’m concerned, is unconstitutional, and Congress actually has oversight of all what they call the inferior courts, everything below the Supreme Court, and that’s where those overturns have come. And when judges do not carry out their duties in an appropriate way, our Congress actually has the right to reprimand or remove them.”

First of all, Carson’s assertion that it is unconstitutional for judges to overturn laws that they conclude violate the Constitution is pitifully stupid. Validating the constitutionality of legislation is a core function of the judiciary. This guy may have scored high marks in medical school, but he clearly knows nothing about law.

Secondly, Carson’s eagerness to appoint the Congress as overseers of the judiciary is both wrong and dangerous. This country was established with three separate branches of government and the Founders never intended for Congress to be able to “reprimand or remove” judges for anything less than a serious breach of ethics. Congress has no authority to impeach a judge because they don’t agree with his opinions.

To date, twenty-five states have had same-sex marriage bans overturned in the courts. That suggests a fairly mainstream school of legal opinion on the subject. Consequently, it would impossible to argue that all of those judges were guilty of some sort of ethical breach in arriving at their decisions. The Supreme Court just agreed to hear a case on the matter later this year.

The risk in Carson’s position is that it would would put every judge in legal jeopardy every time they issued a ruling that was adverse to some politician’s bigotry. On a policy level it is an unconstitutional intrusion on the independence of the judiciary. But on a personal level it reveals Carson’s ugly prejudices and a desire to oppress people who don’t adhere to his religious doctrine. And the Tea Party fruitcakes think this guy would make a good president?

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KNEE-JERKS: The Predictable Ass-Holiness Of Fox News And The GOP Post-SOTU

In a development that will surprise only a few mentally deficient cave dwellers, President Obama’s State of the Union speech was greeted by Republican politicians and conservative pundits with barefaced disdain. Naturally, Fox News took the lead in developing a hostile rapid response in order to provide the President’s foes with an easily referenced collection of attack themes. In fact, Fox was so diligent that their oppositional strategy was actually launched before the speech even began.

To set the scene, Obama presented a rosy picture of the nation after six years of his presidency. He spoke of the economic renewal that has created more than 11 million new jobs, reduced the deficit by two-thirds, and produced unprecedented private sector growth. He addressed many of the issues that have long been a part of the Democratic agenda including tax reform that eliminates loopholes for the rich and benefits the middle-class, enhancing opportunities for education, reducing our dependency on foreign oil and advancing the development and use of alternative fuels, Climate Change, equal pay for women, raising the minimum wage, Net Neutrality, and access to affordable and effective health care. And he noted that the successes of the last six years were achieved despite the fact that “At every step, we were told our goals were misguided or too ambitious; that we would crush jobs and explode deficits.”

So how did the right respond to these facts? By denying them, of course. And they topped that off with some distractions and ad hominem insults. The apparent primary line of attack from the right is to accuse Obama of not having heard the message sent by voters last November. However, if there was any message at all it was delivered so faintly that the President could be excused for not hearing it. It was the lowest voter turnout in 70 years. Sixty-two percent of Americans didn’t vote at all, and the Republican victories were achieved with about 20% of eligible voters. That’s not exactly a mandate.

The GOP complained that the American people want him to work with Congress. But their definition of that is to abandon his principles and capitulate to Republicans. Obama tried to work with the GOP for six years and was rebuffed at every turn. It’s ironic that Republicans demand that Obama pay heed to the election results when they so flagrantly ignored them in 2008 and 2012, even plotting to oppose everything he did from day one of his administration. Where were the Republicans insisting on respect for the decision of the voters when Mitch McConnell declared, on inauguration day, that his first priority was making Obama a one term president? And it should be noted that Obama enjoyed landslide victories with much larger voter participation.

It didn’t take long for one of the points Obama made in his speech to get rolled over by the Fox News editorial positioning. The President sought to inspire a more substantive relationship between the White House and Congress saying…

“There are a lot of good people here, on both sides of the aisle. And many of you have told me that this isn’t what you signed up for?-?arguing past each other on cable shows, the constant fundraising, always looking over your shoulder at how the base will react to every decision. […] A better politics is one where we debate without demonizing each other; where we talk issues, and values, and principles, and facts, rather than ‘gotcha’ moments, or trivial gaffes, or fake controversies that have nothing to do with people’s daily lives.”

The response to this by Fox anchors and guests was to embrace trivialization and fake controversies. Within seconds of the end of the speech, Bret Baier complained that Obama had not said the name “Al Qaeda” during the address. Of course, Obama did speak at length about terrorism and his administration’s commitment to “degrade and ultimately destroy” the enemy. The problem is that if you don’t specifically say “Al Qaeda” you are criticized for it. If you do say it you are criticized for not saying “jihad.” If you do say that you are criticized for not saying “Islamist.” If you do say that you are criticized for not saying ….. Well, you get the idea. Obama would have to make a list of every word the right obsesses over and make sure to stuff them all into every one of his speeches.

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The Fox News collective, and the Republican Party they serve (or is it the other way around) suffers from Oppositional Defiant Disorder: a persistent pattern of tantrums, arguing, and angry or disruptive behavior, generally associated with children. A perfect illustration of this is the way the Fox Nation website characterized a post-SOTU article by the Associated Press. Their headline was “AP Fact Check Obliterates Obama’s SOTU.”

Fox Nation SOTU

To be sure, the AP took a decidedly biased and negative tone, as the so-called liberal media usually does, but even so, they could not find substantive fault with Obama’s speech, much less obliteration. Here are the “facts” they allegedly checked:

  • Obama: At this moment – with a growing economy, shrinking deficits, bustling industry and booming energy production – We have risen from recession freer to write our own future than any other nation on Earth.
    — The AP’s analysis essentially concurred saying that “Job growth has been healthy. […] Inflation-adjusted median household income…is about 4 percent higher than when it bottomed out in 2011. […] Booming energy production is indeed a reality.”
  • Obama: I am sending this Congress a bold new plan to lower the cost of community college to zero.
    — This, of course, is not a refutable fact and the AP didn’t bother to refute it. They simply argued that Republicans in Congress will not be receptive to the plan. But that knee-jerk obstructionism has been the GOP stance ever since Obama became President.
  • Obama: We’ve set aside more public lands and waters than any administration in history.
    — The AP acknowledged that this is true saying that “Expansion of the massive Pacific islands monument puts Obama on top.”
  • Obama: Thanks to a growing economy, the recovery is touching more and more lives. Wages are finally starting to rise again. We know that more small-business owners plan to raise their employees’ pay than at any time since 2007.
    — Yes, said the AP: “A survey of small businesses by the National Federation of Independent Business does show that a rising proportion plans to raise wages.”

It appears that Fox News is confusing the concept of “obliteration” with the diametrically opposed concept of “nearly complete concurrence.” That degree of cognitive failure explains the antsy grumbling of FoxPods and the GOP who are distressed that Obama has not concluded that the last two years of his presidency are irrelevant and that he should work on his presidential library and let Republicans in Congress govern the country. And it also explains how they can insist that his speech was defiant and combative despite these closing remarks:

“If you share the broad vision I outlined tonight, join me in the work at hand. If you disagree with parts of it, I hope you’ll at least work with me where you do agree. And I commit to every Republican here tonight that I will not only seek out your ideas, I will seek to work with you to make this country stronger.”

It would be naive not to recognize that this sort of rhetorical communion is common in political discourse and is often insincere. But it was nevertheless an outstretched hand and the GOP ought to at least try to grasp it before they swat it down. But that would be totally out of character for a party that has made rancid animosity the hallmark of their tenure.

American Sniping: The Hypocritical Right-Wing Attack On Hollywood

This weekend the film “American Sniper” broke box office records for a January release pulling in more than $100 million. The film has been championed by conservatives as a tribute to Chris Kyle, the former Navy SEAL who was murdered by a fellow veteran suffering from PTSD.

American Sniping

Unfortunately, most of the chatter about the movie is unrelated to its content or quality. The obsessive compulsion by the right is focused on their imagined conspiracy by Hollywood liberals to demean the film and its allegedly pro-war message. The defense was led by Sean Hannity, who devoted an entire hour of his Fox News program to lionizing the film and those connected to it.

Lined up squarely in their sights is a favorite punching bag of the right, Michael Moore. The documentary maker tweeted that “My uncle killed by sniper in WW2. We were taught snipers were cowards.” While he asserts that his comments were misconstrued and that he had much praise for the film, the outrage from the political punditry, who had no more experience in combat than Moore, was swift and brutal. And it quickly escalated to a generalized attack on all of Hollywood.

The only thing conservatives like better than bashing President Obama as a gay, Kenyan-born, Muslim, socialist, is getting bug-eyed about the moral depravity and hopelessly leftist bias of Hollywood. But this example of the right’s anti-Hollywood fetish is particularly absurd. After all, American Sniper was made by Warner Bros., a big Hollywood movie studio. It was directed by Clint Eastwood, a legendary Hollywood icon. The role of Chris Kyle was played by big Hollywood star, Bradley Cooper. The film has received six Oscar nominations (including Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Adapted Screenplay) from the ultra-Hollywood elitists at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

What’s more, the film has received abundant praise from Hollywood figures like Rob Lowe, Dean Cain, and even Jane Fonda. Moore himself lauded the film as “awesome” and “superb.” The truth is that American Sniper has enjoyed unparalleled success and support from the very core of the Hollywood establishment that the right is so anxious to hate. But make no mistake, that disdain is purely political and has nothing to do with the movie.

Conservatives go into a knee-jerk attack mode whenever they feel there is an advantage to be gained by slamming Hollywood. They single out those whose opinions conflict with right-wing doctrine and carpet bomb the whole industry for their alleged sins. Never mind that there are many professionals in the biz who are outspoken conservatives (see the Friends of Abe). And the right still holds the distinction of having elected the only Hollywood actor (and union boss) to the presidency, Ronald Reagan.

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It’s ironic that the same week that wingnuts are defending Hollywood against allegations of racism for not recognizing the Martin Luther King biopic, Selma, they are condemning Hollywood for perceived slights to American Sniper. Apparently the good folks of Tinsel Town are not the least bit racist, but they are despicably antiwar. And loudmouth liberals like George Clooney are told to shut up, while so-called patriots like Jon Voight are invited to be keynote speakers at Tea Party conventions.

The hypocrisy is waist deep, but rightists are oblivious to it. They are too busy sniping at the objects of their animus to notice the all-to-apparent duplicity that oozes from their robo-raving. And the only thing that matters to them is landing blows against their enemies without concern for tarnishing the reputations of everyone in a business that is dedicated to entertainment, education, and free expression.

Hateful “Real” Americans Protest Muslim Conference Against Hate And Terror

This weekend there was a conference held in Garland, Texas by a Muslim organization hoping to address the negative stereotypes disseminated by the media and racist politicians. The event was met with opposition by a small band of protesters whose vulgar behavior illustrated the need for the conference in the first place. Not surprisingly, Fox News offered coverage of sorts by posting a link on their Fox Nation website to an article in the ultra right-wing Washington Times. The piece led with the headline “‘Stand With Prophet’ Event In Texas Draws Thousands Of Protesters.”

Fox Nation

The first problem with the story is that there were not “thousands” of protesters. The attendance was reported by media at the scene as being a few hundred, and that included people who were supporting the event.

However, much worse was the tone of the protesters who were overtly hostile to a group whose purpose was to renounce terrorism, repudiate violence, and seek harmony with their fellow American citizens. The conferees stated mission was to make clear that terrorists like ISIS and Al Qaeda are “enemies of Islam who are hurting Muslims and neighborly relations toward the world.” They were met with angry accusations that “You are not Americans. Don’t fly our flag,” and demands that “If they want to live their life like the middle east, they can go back to the middle east.” It’s unlikely that these malcontents would make the same demands to banish orthodox Jews or the Amish.

It is notable that the photo chosen to represent the allegedly patriotic protesters included one carrying a sign that said “Go home and take Obama with you.” Not only was this an exclusionary sentiment that falsely implied that America was not their home, it also revived the idiotic delusions of birthers who still can’t accept that Obama was born in the U.S.

The purpose of the conference, as stated on its website, was to “develop effective responses to anti-Islamic attacks, as well as to train young Muslims in media.” Clearly that is a goal that has been validated as necessary if the coverage of this event is any indication. The story was carried with the same negative slant, and false attendance estimates, by much of the conservative media. And the wretched prejudices expressed by the protesters proves that there is still a great deal of work to be done.

Hopefully cooler, less intolerant heads will prevail and citizens of all races, religions, and origins will be able to come together to defeat bigotry in all its vile forms. But that will not happen until media outlets like Fox are shamed into abandoning their own biases that serve no purpose other than to inflame the ignorant and empower racist, political demagogues.

Fox Nation vs. Reality: Billions In Tax Hikes Are Actually Cuts For Most Americans

In the upcoming State Of the Union speech, President Obama is expected to call for a variety of tax reforms aimed at helping the middle-class to finally participate in the nation’s historic economic recovery. The proposals comprise a common sense approach that recognizes the harm caused by income equality and are supported by a majority of the American people. They include…

  • Closing the “Trust Fund” loophole that allows billions of dollars of the ultra wealthy to go untaxed.
  • Raising the capital-gains tax rate from 23.8% to 28% (the rate in effect during the Reagan administration) for couples with annual incomes above $500,000.
  • Imposing a new fee on financial firms that engage in high volume trading. Not only will this raise significant revenue, it will discourage the sort of trading that makes the stock market unnecessarily volatile.

The funds raised from these measures would be used to provide enhanced benefits for middle-class taxpayers. For instance, there would be a new $500 credit for working families, improved retirement savings plans, an increase of the tax credit for childcare to $3,000 per child, and free tuition at community colleges.

So how does Fox News present this plan to the readers of their Fox Nation website? They shamelessly spin it to portray the measure as exclusively tax hikes and ignore the tax cuts and other benefits that most citizens will receive: “Still Not Paying Your ‘Fair Share’? Obama To Seek Billions In New Tax Hikes”

Fox Nation

Fox fails to point out that those who would pay more under this proposal are the few one-percenters who have benefited most for the last six years as the stock market has soared to record levels and corporate profits exceeded all previous highs. They can certainly afford these modest increases and they owe it to the country to let the other 99% enjoy some of the success for which we are partly (mostly) responsible.

Throughout most of the 2012 election season, Republicans, along with their PR allies at Fox, were quick to point to the one economic metric that has failed to keep pace with the rest of the recovery: middle-class wage growth. They tried to use this as as evidence that Obama’s policies were not working, despite all of the other evidence of unparalleled progress. And even as they made this disingenuous argument, they opposed any solutions that would actually address the problem. They obsessed over Benghazi and Ebola and gay marriage and repealing ObamaCare, rather than getting behind infrastructure funding to create jobs or raising the minimum wage, two obvious initiatives that would directly improve the lot of the middle-class.

Now Republicans are already declaring Obama’s tax reforms to be “dead on arrival” in the newly fortified GOP Congress. They are just as obstructionist as ever when it comes to helping working Americans. And they are just as obstinate as ever when it comes to protecting the wealth of the corporations and individuals who shower them with campaign cash. Consequently, it is unlikely that these measures will pass any time soon, but they will become fodder for debate during the 2016 presidential election cycle.

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So which side do you think the people will be on? Especially if the GOP nominee is the Original Bankster, Mitt Romney, or the next in line in the Bush Dynasty, Jeb Bush (whom the overlord of Fox News has already endorsed)? The remainder of the field aren’t any better on matters of economic fairness. They are a cabal of extremist Ayn Rand disciples who regard the less fortunate members of society as scum who deserve their lowly place. And with the way that the Fox Nationalists are characterizing the President’s proposals it’s clear that they mean to actively assist the GOP/Tea Party in misleading their flock and advancing the interests of the super-rich.

The Republican Politburo Threatens To Censor Their Own Presidential Candidates

Anyone who followed the 2012 presidential primaries for the Republican Party were treated to a circus extravaganza that featured a parade of clown-like characters humiliating themselves and their party. It included Herman Cain, Michelle Bachmann, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, and Newt Gingrich. And always on the sidelines were were Sarah Palin and Donald Trump pretending that they were just about to jump in.

Right-Wing Media Circus

It’s no wonder that the Republican National Committee is so determined to prevent a repeat of that embarrassment. There were nearly two dozens debates leading up to the Republican convention in August of 2012. That was an enormous about of time for the candidates to make asses of themselves, and they used that time to good advantage.

So the RNC chairman Reince Priebus has just announced their schedule of sanctioned debates for the 2016 campaign season. There are only nine firm dates with another three penciled in as pending. That’s smart on their part because, as they learned last go around, the more people saw of their candidates, the less they liked them. And by forcing them to actually articulate their positions on issues, it made it harder for their ultimate nominee, Mitt Romney, to waver vaguely in the winds of “Etch-a-Sketchy” opportunism. But has the RNC gone too far by dictating this mandate:

“To give their push to control the debate process teeth, any candidate who participates in a non-sanctioned debate will not be allowed to participate in any more sanctioned debates.”

That is an awfully strict decree that borders on totalitarian control of what is supposed to be a democratic process. In the past, debates were sponsored by media organizations and political groups with an interest in educating the public. For instance, The League of Women Voters was a frequent sponsor of non-partisan candidate forums. And the participation of the media insured that the candidates would have access to voters.

The notion that there will be only officially sanctioned debates means that they are more likely to be propaganda affairs than contests of ideas and abilities. That outcome is even more likely since the RNC is retaining control over who the debate moderators will be, and they have signaled that they will all be GOP-friendly. So no tough questions, no adversarial jousting. And that is by design of the RNC debate architects. They have previously said that they don’t want their candidates tearing each other down during the primaries.

Consequently, whoever emerges from the Republican field (probably Bush) will not have been battle-tested for the general election. He will face his Democratic opponent unprepared for the sort of contentious discourse that is part and parcel of a national election. He will not have had an opportunity to sharpen responses to hostile questions or address his weaknesses. That’s good news for the Democrat (probably Clinton).

Another problem with limiting the debates to officially sanctioned affairs is that it’s difficult to force everyone to comply. There will be parties who will feel left out. Take for example, the Tea Party. It is hard to imagine that those notoriously antsy malcontents will be easily persuaded to sit back and let the party apparatchiks dictate who can speak and when and where.

Likewise, the media is under no obligation to refrain from offering their own candidate forums. Should they do so, the candidates would be hard-pressed not to participate and gain valuable airtime. Particularly the second tier candidates who have more trouble raising money. And if the second tier agrees to a network debate, the first tier are not going to want to let them have the stage to themselves to beat on them.

This would put the RNC in the position of having to enforce their stated punishment. Would the party actually ban viable candidates from participating in their sanctioned debates? That would anger both the candidates and their supporters. Plus, it would make them look small and unpresidential, like naughty children. That’s not a particularly flattering way to go into the convention or the general election.

In addition to the threats imposed by the RNC, they also announced that they will be partnering with Fox News for three of their sanctioned debates (two on Fox News, one on Fox Business), and another one in the pending status. CNN will get two debates, and each of the broadcast networks will get one. MSNBC was completely shut out by the good folks at the RNC. Let’s just hope that the DNC has the good sense to shut out Fox News.

The debate granted for Fox Business is unusual in that the network has no measurable audience. They do not permit Nielsen to publish their ratings, a decision generally taken when the ratings are embarrassingly low. Either the RNC feels guilty about including CNBC on their debate schedule, or they are just giving Fox a gift. Needless to say, Fox will be the favorite media outlet for the GOP for the duration of the campaign.

The Fox News Presidential Candidate For 2016: John Ellis “Jeb” Bush

It’s official. The Fox News primary has declared a winner as dictated by its captain and CEO, Rupert Murdoch.

Rupert Murdoch

Speaking at a forum by the ultra-right-wing Manhattan Institute (a Koch brothers funded, climate change denying, free-market “think” tank), Murdoch made his preferences for president publicly known for the first time. He was interviewed by his employee, disgraced former New York Times reporter, current Fox News contributor, and Manhattan Institute fellow, Judith Miller.

According to Politico, Murdoch dismissed the latest speculative entrant to the race, Mitt Romney saying that “He had his chance,” and that he was “a terrible candidate.” Murdoch also was upset at Romney “for failing to deflect criticism that he was ‘super rich.'” That seems like a rather personal complaint by another member of the “super rich” society. But it is totally in keeping with Murdoch’s position from 2012 when he announced that he wanted Romney to win and “save us from socialism” but was not impressed by his campaign.

Murdoch went on to lavish faint praise on several other prospective candidates, while taking it back in the same breath. He said that he liked Rand Paul very much, but was skeptical about his foreign policy. He granted that he “wouldn’t write off Chris Christie,” which is a way of conceding that Christie was already written off by many others. He called Scott Walker “an interesting candidate” who lacked charisma. And he saved his harshest remarks for Ted Cruz about whom he said meeting him was “quite an experience,” but that he had “a record of very questionable political judgment.” The one candidate whose compliments were not offset by criticism was Jeb Bush, about whom he said simply that “I like Jeb Bush very much.”

Having spilled his guts to the media, Murdoch has once again demonstrated his utter disrespect for his role as the baron of a massive journalism empire. His ethical lapses have an impact that transcends this little gathering of wingnut colleagues. It is impossible for his minions at Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Post, and the rest of his fiefdom, to ignore his choices. Indeed some of them are already falling in line. Fox News contributor Karl Rove warned that Romney’s “reticence” would do him in as a candidate. And Sarah Palin was adamant that Romney sit it out because the party needs “new blood. Fox’s alleged Democratic pollster (who always seems to find fault with Democrats), Doug Schoen, said that Bush “gives the Republicans their strongest candidate.”

So when the campaigns begin in earnest later this year, what will we make of reporting from Fox News and other Murdoch properties that skewer Romney, Cruz, etc, while promoting Bush? Would that be cast as mere coincidence, or direction from the boss? Time will tell.

Sarah Palin Calls Obama A “Chicken” For Not Calling Terrorists Names

The second season of Sarah Palin’s Amazing America (the Sportsman Channel series that no one knows exists) is premiering Thursday, and Palin is pumping out promos for it. Among them, she appeared on Inside Edition (video below) where host Deborah Norville asked her about the fabricated and idiotic controversy over whether President Obama should append an “Islamic” prefix every time he refers to terrorists. [He shouldn’t and here’s why]

Sarah Palin

Palin’s response was a jumble of her trademarked word salad in which she resorted to calling the President names because she doesn’t think he calls people names enough.

Palin: “It is, in a sense, being a chicken, as was made manifest when we didn’t have a high-ranking official go over and unify with other world leaders to say, ‘No, this Islamic fundamentalism that is resulting in such terror across the globe, we’re not gonna have that in our land.”

Just to be clear, Palin is calling the man who ordered the attack that killed Osama Bin Laden a chicken. She is demeaning the resolve of a leader who is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of terrorist operatives, including many of their leaders. In Palin’s view, attaching a word to a description of a terrorist is a more courageous act than flying drones over their compounds and dropping bombs on them. And she actually thinks that it would have been a significant gesture to fly to Paris to participate in a staged photo-op with a bunch of political luminaries that she actually despises (i.e. Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, the socialist president of France François Hollande, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov).

This might be viewed as the sort of mentality that reveres rhetoric over resolute action, except that that doesn’t really explain Palin’s remarks. A more accurate explanation would be that she is simply looking for any excuse to demean the President and insult America’s leadership.

Palin, on the other hand is a paragon of courage. As the mother of a child with Down’s Syndrome, she has spoken out boldly against those who use language that disparages people with disabilities. She has castigated those who use the word “retard” as a generalized insult. Palin called out Rahm Emanuel for using the term saying that it was “indecent” and “unacceptable.” She also lashed out at Bill Maher via Twitter for what she called “hatefully mock[ing]” of special needs kids.

Which is funny because Ted Nugent just did the same thing, referring to people in the media as “retards” who “screw farm animals.” But Palin is welcoming him as a featured guest on her program in a couple of weeks. That’s just how brave and committed to principle she is.

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French TV: Laughing At The Credibility Of The Fox News Clowns And #FoxNewsFacts

Earlier this week Fox News hosted Steven Emerson, an alleged terrorism expert, who claimed that the entire city of Birmingham, England was occupied by radical Muslims and was inaccessible to anyone else. His remarks were widely ridiculed, including by David Cameron, the British Prime Minister, who called Emerson an “idiot.” Emerson later recanted and apologized for his “terrible error.” But Fox wasn’t done embarrassing itself with false tales of horror.

Fox News

Over at Fox & Friends, Elisabeth Hasselbeck interviewed a former Air Force pilot who claimed to have personal knowledge of the deterioration of French society. Nolan Peterson said that there were “741 no-go zones throughout France.” Peterson described his adventures in the wilds of Paris saying that…

“It was pretty scary. I’ve been to Afghanistan and Iraq and Kashmir, India, and at times it felt like that – those places in these no-go zones. […and that…] You see young men wearing Osama Bin Laden t-shirts in a hookah shop.”

Really? This veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq was scared of Paris? The segment was seen by Yann Barthès, the host of the French television program “Le Petit Journal.” His response was to mercilessly flog Fox and Peterson while exposing the glaring errors in their analysis. For instance, Fox made reference to a poll that said that 16% of the French people had a favorable view of ISIS. However, that poll was debunked by the Washington Post, a point that Barthès noted.

Fox also displayed a map of the so-called no-go zones in Paris which brought spontaneous laughter from the residents of Paris in the audience who knew better. In fact, the map was a document that indicated urban renewal areas where the government would direct resources for improvement. It had nothing to do with Muslims or terror. But Fox’s “mistake” inspired Barthès to courageously send his crew into the falsely slandered no-go zones for some person-on-the-street interviews. And just to be on the safe side, they were suited up in safety gear and helmets, which turned out not to be necessary.

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Here is the video of Le Petit Journal with English subtitles (h/t Raw Story):

Fun Fact: Bill O’Reilly declared a boycott of France in 2007 because they refused to support George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq. In fact, you can still buy a Boycott France Bumper Sticker from his website.

[Update 1/18/2015:] So, after Fox News characteristically resorted to fear mongering and spreading disinformation, their lies on this occasion were so egregious that they were forced to apologize – FOUR TIMES!

For the record, the apologists were Anna Kooiman, Eric Shawn, Julie Banderas, and Jeanine Pirro. Don’t hold your breath waiting for Fox to do this the next time they lie (which happens multiple times every day).

Taking Sides: Fox News Is The Foremost Propaganda Arm For The World’s Terrorists

For several years now Fox News and other conservative media have feverishly demanded that President Obama explicitly associate terrorism with Islam. They have accused Obama of being weak, and even treasonous, for his reluctance to do so. Following the Charlie Hebdo tragedy in Paris, the calls for such symbolic rhetoric have built up to deafening levels as Fox ignores the bigger issues in favor of trivial sloganeering.

However, those who articulate this criticism are missing an important point that demonstrates that, not only is the President right, but the critics are overtly aligning themselves with the terrorists.

The logic is really quite simple. When you look at who is insisting that the terrorists be called Muslims you will see only the terrorists themselves (i.e. Al Qaeda, ISIS, etc.), Fox News, and their allies on the far right. On the other side is Obama, religion and terrorism experts, and most of the world’s Muslims. So the real question here is why is Fox News joining with the terrorists in an effort to brand their heinous activities?

Fox News

What Fox News is doing is a revolting breach of ethics. They are acting as the PR department for the terrorists who desperately aspire to be regarded as the legitimate voice of Islam. They couldn’t ask for a better partner than Fox in their efforts to brand themselves and to disseminate their pro-terror propaganda.

The problem is that most of the world’s Muslims strongly oppose the association of these terrorist groups with their faith. And despite Fox’s apparent self-inflicted deafness, they have made it abundantly clear that they want noting to do with terrorism or violence or hate. Those repudiating the connection include virtually every major Muslim advocacy group and the most prominent Muslim-majority nations.

On the other hand, Fox, and those who support the network’s position, can cite only a single reason for connecting Islam to the terrorist groups. The justification offered generally states that the terrorists themselves identify as Muslims. So what? That is an argument that is so irrelevant that it is hard to grasp why anyone would take it seriously.

The repugnant extremists of the Westboro Baptist Church, who protest at the funerals of slain American soldiers, identify themselves as Christians. Likewise, the bombers of women’s health clinics insist that they represent the true Christian faith. And for decades the Ku Klux Klan has cloaked its message of hate in Christian dogma asserting their strict adherence to what they call God’s principles. Many hate groups even incorporate their adopted faith into their name, such as the Christian Identity Movement.

If those who argue that Islam and terrorism are inseparable because the terrorists call themselves Muslims, then they would have to argue that Christianity and terrorism are also inseparable for the same reason. But you will never hear them do that. They are practicing a one-sided form of perverse logic that is bigoted and indefensible.

Conceding that terrorism is the way of Islam, therefore, amounts to an acceptance of the terrorists terms and definitions. It is a form of appeasement that rewards the terrorists with precisely what they seek: religious legitimacy. And Fox News, along with crusading right-wing pundits and politicians, are playing into their hands. They are, in effect, supporting the goals of the terrorists.

President Obama is absolutely right to deny the terrorists the legitimacy they so desperately want. He is right to respect the majority of Muslims who want nothing to do with the terrorists and have said so repeatedly. The terrorists are no more Muslim than the Westboro freaks are Christian.

By demanding that Obama call the terrorists Muslims, Fox News et al are actually taking the side of the terrorists and helping them to advance their mission. And what makes this even worse is that they are taking that treasonous position solely to harm America’s leadership and standing in the world, and to advance their own petty political objectives and lust for power. It is an abhorrent abuse of their media platform that should offend all Americans.

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And despite their best efforts, a few Muslim guests actually got their points across on Fox News: