YOU’RE FIRED: Fox News CEO Roger Ailes To Be Canned For Alleged Sexual Harassment, Sources Say

The continuing saga of Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes just took a leap off a cliff. Longtime Ailes watcher and biographer, Gabriel Sherman of New York Magazine is reporting that:

“Roger Ailes’s tenure as the head of Fox News may be coming to an end. Rupert Murdoch and sons Lachlan and James — co-chairmen and CEO, respectively, of parent company 21st Century Fox — have settled on removing the 76-year-old executive, say two sources briefed on a sexual-harassment investigation of Ailes being conducted by New York law firm Paul, Weiss.”

Roger Ailes Fox News

Sherman’s sources say that the Murdochs are torn between waiting to pull the trigger until after the Republican National Convention, or giving Ailes a choice to quit now or face being fired.

Ailes was recently named in a lawsuit by former Fox host Gretchen Carlson for sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and retaliation for reporting those abuses. The suit alleges that Ailes told her “I think you and I should have had a sexual relationship a long time ago.” And shortly after Carlson’s suit was filed numerous other women came forward with similar accounts of improper conduct by Ailes.

Roger Ailes long history of exploiting sex in the workplace has been well documented. The environment at Fox is known for making inappropriate demands on female staff, including wearing revealing clothes and engaging in other provocative behavior on-air. Sherman wrote in his biography of Ailes, “The Loudest Voice In The Room,” that Ailes has repeatedly given direction to his staff regarding the display of female body parts. For instance:

  • When the view of reporter Kiran Chetry was obstructed, Ailes called the control booth to demand that they “Move that damn laptop, I can’t see her legs!”
  • Ailes complained about host Catherine Crier’s attire saying that “I did not spend x-number of dollars on a glass desk for her to wear pant suits.”
  • The casting of The Five included one particular co-host because “I Need The Leg. That’s Andrea Tantaros.”

In addition to Gabriel’s reporting, NPR’s media correspondent David Folkenflik was told that Fox News, on Ailes instructions, made use of a “Leg Cam” that “goes directly for the legs.” And when host Megyn Kelly was interviewed by GQ (with an accompanying, and revealing, pictorial), she was asked about her own “glass table that shows off your legs.” She responded that “Well, It’s a visual business. People want to see the anchor.” That must be why Bill O’Reilly wears those low-cut blouses.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

If these reports are correct then Ailes’ days at Fox are numbered. His role in creating the network, and serving as its chief executive for twenty years, could end in disgrace and humiliation. And for that to happen just as Fox News is covering their biggest GOP event of the year, it could have serious political ramifications for Donald Trump’s campaign as well. The Murdoch kids who are assuming control of the company are not likely to be as supportive of Trump as Ailes. This story is still unfolding, so stay tuned.

And the plot thickens: “Kelly has told investigators that Ailes made unwanted sexual advances toward her about ten years ago when she was a young correspondent at Fox.”

Fox News Host Rants About Clinton Emails – Was Bush Shill When 5 MILLION Emails Vanished

With the conclusion of the FBI’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails, clearing her of legal wrongdoing, partisans on both sides are spinning this issue to their respective advantage. While FBI Director James Comey said plainly that there was no “evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws,” Republicans chose to malign his reputation during nearly five hours of questioning in a congressional hearing that proved nothing.

George Bush Dana Perino

Throughout this matter, one of the most vocal critics of Clinton was a Fox News co-host of The Five, Dana Perino. She embarked on an extended Twitter tirade yesterday beginning with an introduction to a multi-tweet rant:

That was the opening for another twenty or so tweets about how dearly she appreciated the opportunity to work for the White House and how seriously she took her job. Each tweet contained an implied swipe at Clinton who she cast as not sharing her respect for the position. Perino sought to paint herself as having no political biases, she was just there to serve America:

That, of course, was utter bullcrap. She was the press secretary for a starkly partisan administration that sharply divided the America people. There was a sentiment within the Bush realm that “you are either with us or you are with the terrorists.” Then Perino herself baselessly accused Comey of having a partisan double standard wherein he would have indicted a Republican under the same circumstances.

However, the most absurd part of this diatribe came when Perino referenced the time when she had to defend the Bush administration from charges of a cover up when they disclosed that two years of emails – more than five million – had been forever lost.

First of all, socks notwithstanding, Perino neglected to actually refer to any prior explaining rant. Secondly, if the emails were found (and that has not been established) it wouldn’t prove that there was no intent to deceive, only that the attempt at deception might have failed.

Flashback to April of 2007. The Bush administration was in the midst of dual scandals regarding: 1) the outing of Valerie Plame, a covert CIA agent whose identity was deliberately compromised as payback for her husband’s criticism of the Bush lies that led to the invasion of Iraq, and 2) the unethical firing of eight federal attorneys for politically ideological reasons. Additionally, there were questions about Karl Rove improperly using a Republican National Committee e-mail account that the White House later said disappeared.

So contrary to her assertion that it wasn’t the same, virtually every element of it is matched perfectly, There is classified information that was compromised, albeit in this case it was deliberate and it endangered the lives of covert CIA operatives. There were also improper political motivations in attempting to clean the Department of Justice of any attorneys left over from prior Democratic administrations. And there was an intent to hide official communications by using the RNC’s email servers instead of those at the White House as required by law. On top of all of that, there were millions of emails that were never recovered. And the explanation given was that it was just a computer glitch. Which is funny because Perino mocked any suggestion that any of Clinton’s missing emails might have been inadvertently deleted by tweeting:

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

What makes this even worse is that Perino just happened to be Bush’s press secretary at the time. That’s right, she was not a pundit, she was the President’s spokesperson. And this was the White House itself (not some home server) that lost millions of emails (not only 30,000) that were then being requested by investigators. And it was Perino who defended this blatant malfeasance. Here she is downplaying the matter in a report on CNN by Ed Henry (now at Fox News, but off the air because he was caught having an adulterous affair):

Perino actually used the defense that “there’s no indication the emails were intentionally lost,” which she dismisses as a defense for Clinton whom she believes should be prosecuted regardless of lack of intent. Now that’s a double standard. And it is astonishing that Perino could be so rattled by the FBI’s report when she herself was so intimately involved in spinning an identical controversy when she worked for Bush. Of course, now that she’s at Fox News, she’s still spinning for the same right-wing gang.

Gretchen Carlson Sues Fox News CEO Roger Ailes For Sexual Harassment, More Women Coming Forward

If anyone was wondering where Fox News host Gretchen Carlson has been for the past few weeks, the mystery has now been solved. Without any public notice or explanation she was fired last month and removed from the air. Now the reasons have been made clear. According to The Hollywood Reporter

“Gretchen Carlson, a broadcast veteran, claims in a sexual harassment lawsuit that she was let go from Fox News on June 23 as retaliation for rebuffing Roger Ailes’ sexual advances.”

Fox News

Carlson is alleging both sexual harassment by Ailes and retaliation for reporting discriminatory behavior prior to that by her Fox colleagues. Her complaint says in part that…

“When Carlson met with Ailes to discuss the discriminatory treatment to which she was being subjected, Ailes stated: ‘I think you and I should have had a sexual relationship a long time ago and then you’d be good and better and I’d be good and better,’ adding that ‘sometimes problems are easier to solve’ that way. Carlson rebuffed Ailes’ sexual demands at that meeting, and nine months later, Ailes ended her career at Fox News.”

Carlson had been with Fox News for eleven years and was hosting her own daytime program “The Real Story” which was number one in its time period. She was previously a co-host on Fox & Friends where she says was subjected to “severe and pervasive sexual harassment” from her co-host Steve Doocy. The Hollywood Reporter notes that…

“In 2009, Carlson says she complained to a supervisor that Steve Doocy, one of her co-hosts on Fox & Friends, ‘had created a hostile work environment by regularly treating her in a sexist and condescending way, including by putting his hand on her and pulling down her arm to shush her during a live telecast..”

It was in response to those and other incidents that Carlson met with Ailes in September of 2015. Carlson alleges that her complaints were not taken seriously at that meeting and she was further harassed by Ailes with more explicit demands for sex. After her refusal she charges that she was punished with a cut in salary and other retaliatory measures including slashing her appearances on the network, and being denied social media and public relations support.

Roger Ailes has a long history of exploiting sex in the workplace. He has required his female anchors and contributors to wear revealing clothing and engage in other provocative on-air behaviors. Gabriel Sherman wrote in his biography of Ailes, “The Loudest Voice In The Room,” that Ailes has repeatedly given direction to his staff regarding the display of female body parts. For instance:

  • When the view of reporter Kiran Chetry was obstructed, Ailes called the control booth to demand that they “Move that damn laptop, I can’t see her legs!”
  • Ailes complained about host Catherine Crier’s attire saying that “I did not spend x-number of dollars on a glass desk for her to wear pant suits.”
  • The casting of The Five included one particular co-host because “I Need The Leg. That’s Andrea Tantaros.”

Furthermore, NPR’s media reporter David Folkenflik was told by knowledgeable sources about the Fox News “Leg Cam” that “goes directly for the legs.” And when host Megyn Kelly was interviewed by GQ (with an accompanying, and revealing, pictorial), she was asked about her own “glass table that shows off your legs.” She responded that “Well, It’s a visual business. People want to see the anchor.” That must be why Bill O’Reilly wears those low-cut blouses. O’Reilly has had his own problems in this area. A few years ago he paid a multi-million dollar settlement to his former producer, Andrea Mackris, for sexual harassment. Also, when Gretchen Carlson was tapped to replace Megyn Kelly in daytime, she revealed that “pants were not allowed on Fox & Friends,” and teased viewers with the prospect that on her new show “I might forget my clothes the first day.”

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Additionally, there is another mystery surrounding a different female host at Fox News. Andrea Tantaros was a regular member of the panel on Fox’s “Outnumbered.” She disappeared in April with the only explanation being that it was “a contract issue.” While there were incidents of sexually improper conduct with regard to Tantaros as noted above, there is no evidence at this time that her departure is related to that.

It remains to seen if Roger Ailes will be held accountable for what appears to be a pattern of inappropriate and unprofessional behavior. But this complaint is a major breakthrough that took courage for Carlson to file and is likely to result in further revelations. The male-dominated culture at Fox News, conspicuously known for its abundance of blondes, could produce many more examples of sexist conduct and discrimination. We may just be at the tip of the iceberg.

UPDATE: CNN’s Brian Stelter is reporting that “In the hours since the lawsuit was announced, ‘at least ten’ other women have contacted the law firm, wanting to speak about Ailes’ treatment, according to a spokesman for the firm.” That didn’t take long.

Donald Trump Eavesdropped On Staff And Guests At His Florida Resort, Sources Say

The multitude of ethical lapses exposed during Donald Trump’s campaign for president could fill the Mariana Trench. From his fraudulent Trump University, to his charity scams, to his bankruptcies, to his pathological lying, Donald Trump has repeatedly proven that he has little use for the morality that guides most decent people, much less what would be required of a national leader.

Donald Trump

Now Buzzfeed is reporting that Trump may have engaged in a deplorable act of privacy invasion at his exclusive Mar-A-Lago resort in Florida. The report details the accounts of former Mar-A-Lago employees who witnessed Trump listening in on the phone calls of his staff and guests:

“At Mar-a-Lago, the Palm Beach resort he runs as a club for paying guests and celebrities, Donald Trump had a telephone console installed in his bedroom that acted like a switchboard, connecting to every phone extension on the estate, according to six former workers. Several of them said he used that console to eavesdrop on calls involving staff.”

Four of the former staffers who revealed Trump’s bedroom phone follies spoke to Buzzfeed on the condition of anonymity due to their having signed non-disclosure agreements. Trump is famously obsessed with binding his associates with such gag orders. His recently fired campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, was similarly restrained from commenting about Trump (which, for some inexplicable reason, didn’t stop CNN from hiring him as a commentator). One source said he had “direct knowledge that Trump ‘could pick up the phone in the bedroom and listen to any conversation that was going on.'”

Not surprisingly, Trump’s spokesperson, Hope Hicks, denied that he had ever eavesdropped on anyone saying simply that “This is totally and completely untrue.” Another Trump supporter who rejected these charges was his former butler, Anthony Senecal, who may be better known for a Facebook posting calling for President Obama to be shot, and adding that he would personally participate in a hanging.

For anyone who may be reluctant to accept that Trump would behave this atrociously, it should be noted that this isn’t the first time that Trump has been suspected of tapping the phones of his staff. Just last month, following the dismissal of his national political director, the New York Times reported that…

“A sense of paranoia is growing among his campaign staff members, including some who have told associates they believe that their Trump Tower offices in New York may be bugged, according to three people briefed on the conversations.”

There appears to be a disturbing pattern forming. Trump is displaying the combination of authoritarianism and paranoia that was emblematic of the Richard Nixon White House. Nixon, of course, was notorious for recording his conversations with White House staff and guests, a breach of ethics that eventually led to his downfall. And if past is prologue, this an ominous portent of the future should Trump manage to emerge victorious in November.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

John Oliver Shatters Oprah’s TV Freebie Record And Helps Free Thousands From Debt Vultures

Once again, America’s fake news programs are proving to be more beneficial to the nation than their allegedly “real” counterparts. This weekend John Oliver delivered another of his unique, long-form routines that addressed a national travesty that burdens medical patients and their families: The predatory collectors from debt buying operations.

John Oliver

Oliver used facts and humor to describe the rapacious practices of a growing business sector that preys on the most vulnerable members of society. The debt buying industry is known for employing brutal, and often unlawful, methods of collecting money through the use of threats, intimidation, and legal harassment. He then announced his initiative in response to the problem:

“It is pretty clear by now that debt buying is a grimy business and badly needs more oversight. Because, as it stands, any idiot can get into it. And I can prove that because I’m an idiot and we started a debt buying company. And it was disturbingly easy.” […however…] “Instead of collecting the money, why not forgive it? Because, on the one hand, it’s obviously the right thing to do, but much more importantly, we’d be staging the largest one-time giveaway in television show history.”

Oliver and his team actually launched a debt buying company called Central Asset Recovery Professionals (CARP). It wasn’t long before they were given the opportunity to buy nearly $15 million of medical debt classified as “out-of-statute,” which is debt that is so old that the debtor can no longer be sued for it. Oliver/CARP paid a mere $60,000 (about half a cent on the dollar) for a portfolio of some 9,000 people with outstanding medical bills.

Next, Oliver sent the receivables to a non-profit organization that specializes in forgiving medical debt with no tax consequences for the debtor. Oliver noted that the largest previous TV giveaway was likely the infamous episode of Oprah Winfrey where she gave everyone in her studio audience a car. This giveaway is nearly twice the value of Oprah’s generosity.

Oliver reminded his audience that his historical gesture would only help the 9,000 people whose debt his company had bought, and that legal reforms and oversight were still needed to protect all consumers from predatory collectors. And with that, Oliver executed his debt forgiveness giveaway with a celebratory cry that “It’s done. I am the new queen of daytime talk.”

All kidding aside, thousands of people will benefit from Oliver’s little comedy show. But as he said, the work isn’t done to fix this horribly broken system. In the meantime, there are other organizations who have been working to achieve the same goals. The one that Oliver used to retire the debt of those on the list he bought is RIP Medical Debt. Another group that does the same thing is Rolling Jubilee, which was created during, and by members of, Occupy Wall Street. These groups have abolished tens of millions of dollars of student and medical debts and deserve our support.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Fox News Takes Adulterous White House Correspondent Off The Air (What About Trump?)

The lascivious news scavengers are burning up the wires this morning reporting that Ed Henry, the Fox News Chief White House Correspondent, has been taken off the air due to the discovery that he has been engaging in a months-long extra-marital affair with a Las Vegas hostess.

Donald Trump Perv

This raises some questions that have not yet been addressed by most of the press. First and foremost, if marital infidelity is justification for taking a someone off the air then why is Bill O’Reilly still anchoring his primetime program? He has been alleged to have sexually harassed his former producer, Andrea Mackris. Plus, he has been accused by his own children of physically assaulting his wife, an act for which he lost custody of his kids. In addition, other Fox contributors have also violated their marriage vows but remain on the air. Newt Gingrich has cheated on multiple wives. Mark Sanford infamously took a secret trip to Argentina to visit his mistress. Herman Cain’s presidential bid was short-circuited due his numerous infidelities. And those are just the ones we know about so far.

Which brings us to Donald Trump. The Donald has frequently boasted about his lurid affairs during his multiple marriages. Of course, he isn’t currently a Fox News employee, but he is on the network more than any of their actual reporters and pundits. And when does anyone on Fox ever even bring up the facts about his salacious escapades? Even when Trump is peddling his phony evangelical, family values spiel he isn’t challenged by the Fox toadies lobbing softballs at him.

Fox News was right to bench Ed Henry. Not because of any sanctimonious moral statement on his personal behavior, which is none of their business. But because Henry is covering Hillary Clinton’s campaign and has already conducted interviews that include references to her husband’s unfaithfulness a quarter of a century ago. Henry even asked Trump to comment on the ancient allegations on a segment of Fox & Friends. The hypocrisy of Henry questioning Trump about Bill and Hillary’s past (and by all appearances resolved) marital problems at the same time that he was fully involved in his own extra-marital affair is an unacceptable breach of journalistic ethics.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

However, if Fox is going to pull Henry off the air, they should be consistent and do the same for the others on their roster who have done the same or similar things. And they certainly shouldn’t allow Trump to get away with smearing Clinton without being held accountable for his own adulteries. Or for wanting to bang his own daughter.

Veterans Still Getting Shafted By Phony Donald Trump Benefit

A couple of months ago Donald Trump put together a campaign stunt aimed at distracting the media and the public from his cowardly refusal to face Megyn Kelly in a Republican primary debate hosted by Fox News. After running away from the debate he frantically cobbled together a benefit that he said would aid various veterans’ groups.

Donald Trump

However, a month after the alleged benefit, CNN reported that most of the groups cited by Trump as beneficiaries had not received any of the money raised. A mere $800,000 of the reported $6 million was said to have been disbursed. Well now another month has gone by with little change in the situation.

According to a new report by the Wall Street Journal, “the targeted beneficiaries are still seeing a fraction of the promised money raised from the Republican’s charitable foundation and his wealthy friends.” So two months after the fake benefit, Trump is still hoarding the money he claimed was being collected for the veterans he professes to love. This is typical of Trump who is famously known as the least charitable billionaire in the United States. But this isn’t just a matter of being stingy, because this isn’t Trump’s money. It is money pledged by others for the benefit of veterans. Philanthropy experts have affirmed that these funds should have been disbursed long ago.

This may be one of the reasons that several veterans groups announced that they would refuse to take any of Trump’s money before the bogus telethon began. Many people regarded the event as a political stunt that insulted America’s veterans by using them as campaign props. What’s more, there have been reports that Trump has conditioned receipt of the donations on the recipient endorsing his campaign or appearing at his events. And even groups that have seen some benefit from the publicity have also noted that they have lost backers due to the association with Trump.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Once again, Donald Trump is demonstrating an utter lack of ethical conduct, in this case to the detriment of veterans. His campaign has consistently proven that he is only interested in what benefits him and he will shamelessly pander to whomever he thinks he can exploit to his own advantage. What’s really startling is that there are still people who can’t see through his obvious insincerity. That’s the sort of behavior that is observed in cults, and the Trump Cult has been pretty effective in deceiving weak-minded Americans.

Blackmailing Fox News: Does Donald Trump Have Dirt On Roger Ailes?

Ever since Donald Trump entered the Republican contest for the party’s nomination for president he has been a constant presence on Fox News. Studies of the distribution of airtime have shown that Trump’s allocation has far exceeded every other candidate. The estimated value of this gift to Trump’s candidacy is in excess of thirty million dollars through December 2016. The question is why has Fox been so generous to this one particular candidate?

Donald Trump Roger Ailes

The conventional wisdom response to this question would be that Trump is simply good business for Fox News (and pretty much every other network). He is a proven ratings draw, in the same manner as a high-speed police chase or a Kardashian wardrobe malfunction. Audiences are enrapt because of the possibility that at any time Trump might burst a blood vessel in his neck or slap an immigrant orphan. In addition to the financial incentive, Fox shares most of the political agenda articulated by Trump, even the batshit crazy stuff like Mexican border walls, dismantling NATO, and his latest absurdity that he would eliminate the national debt in eight years.

Now there is a new explanation for why the self-described “most powerful name in news” got rolled and began doling out huge portions of their valuable airtime to what otherwise might be considered a joke candidate. Gabriel Sherman, the National Affairs Editor for New York Magazine and the author of a biography of Fox CEO Roger Ailes (The Loudest Voice in the Room), just published a fascinating and in-depth story about the composition of Trump’s campaign team. But it also includes an account of how Fox Executive VP Brian Lewis got fired under mysterious circumstances (which News Corpse covered here). In the course of telling this story, Sherman revealed this startling bombshell:

“It was also thanks to some information he had gathered that Trump was able to do something that no other Republican has done before: take on Fox News. An odd bit of coincidence had given him a card to play against Fox founder Roger Ailes. In 2014, I published a biography of Ailes, which upset the famously paranoid executive. Several months before it landed in stores, Ailes fired his longtime PR adviser Brian Lewis, accusing him of being a source. During Lewis’s severance negotiations, Lewis hired Judd Burstein, a powerhouse litigator, and claimed he had ‘bombs’ that would destroy Ailes and Fox News. That’s when Trump got involved.

“‘When Roger was having problems, he didn’t call 97 people, he called me,’ Trump said. Burstein, it turned out, had worked for Trump briefly in the ’90s, and Ailes asked Trump to mediate. Trump ran the negotiations out of his office at Trump Tower. ‘Roger had lawyers, very expensive lawyers, and they couldn’t do anything. I solved the problem.’ Fox paid Lewis millions to go away quietly, and Trump, I’m told, learned everything Lewis had planned to leak. If Ailes ever truly went to war against Trump, Trump would have the arsenal to launch a retaliatory strike.”

If this is true, then Fox News is essentially paying off Trump, with millions of dollars of airtime, to buy his silence. Under these circumstances Fox should not be covering Trump at all. If Trump is blackmailing Fox with threats of dumping damaging information there is no telling what he might have demanded. He isn’t limited to free airtime. He could also insist on positive coverage from influential hosts like Bill O’Reilly. He could force the network to hit his opponents with dishonest smears. He could dictate the network’s narrative on the progress of the campaign, the battle for delegates, and even the reactions to his numerous controversial remarks.

One thing is certain: This would explain how Trump has gotten away with his brutal treatment of Fox News. Ordinarily, any Republican candidate would be conscious of the sway that Fox holds over the party and the fate of anyone hoping to rise up in it. But Trump, with an apparently reckless lack of concern, has spent much of the last nine months mercilessly battering the network and its staff. He said of Megyn Kelly that she “is the worst” and has a “terrible show.” He called Karl Rove a “total fool” and “a biased dope.” He said that George Will is a “broken down political pundit” and “boring.” Chris Stirewalt was deemed “one of the dumbest political pundits on television.” Trump laughed off Charles Krauthammer as “a totally overrated clown,” “a loser,” and “a dummy.” And wrapping up the whole network for his disapproval, he tweeted that he was “having a really hard time watching Fox News.” Then he called on his followers to boycott the network. He even went after one of the major shareholders of the Fox’s parent corporation. I can’t say that I disagree with much of that, but then I’m not seeking the GOP nomination for anything.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

This is behavior that only seems plausible if Trump somehow knows that he will not suffer any consequences for it. At the very least, Fox News needs to respond to these allegations. And if their response is anything less than an unambiguous denial (for which they would have to supply evidence), then they need to come clean by disclosing the blackmail bait themselves. Then they need to conduct a public review of their past coverage of Trump to provide an accounting of their time allotment and any possibility of reporting bias. What’s more, the other candidates, including those who dropped out, have a right to some answers on how they were covered and if Trump’s tactics adversely affected their campaigns. Will Fox act responsibility on this? Well, why should they start now since they haven’t for the last twenty years.

Days Of Our Lies: Fox News Fantasizes About Hillary Clinton Abortions And Lesbianism

A posting today on the Fox News community website Fox Nation contains the sort of tabloid scandal mongering that they usually save for the final days of election cycles that they are desperately losing. Perhaps their eagerness to sink to this low so soon is an admission that being saddled with noxious characters like Donald Trump and Ted Cruz has already ruined any chances for their victory in November.

The Fox Nationalists posted an article sourced to a suspiciously obscure website that featured a video interview with Sally Miller, a former Miss Arkansas who claims to have had an affair with then-Governor Bill Clinton. In the video (below) Miller makes some wild and wholly unfounded allegations about Hillary Clinton that are so outrageous they would seem implausible if they were plot lines in a daytime TV soap opera.

Fox News Soap Opera

Miller leads off with charges that Clinton had several abortions until Bill convinced her that “if they were ever going to move up in politics they had to have a child.” That allegedly led to the birth of Chelsea, a purely political offspring whom Clinton, a confirmed feminist, didn’t want. In fact, Miller described Clinton, and most feminists, as “cold,conniving, bitches” who “don’t care about anyone but themselves” and “don’t like men.”

Miller went on to assert that the man-hating Clinton was a lesbian. When asked how she knew this, Miller laughed and said that “Bill told me.” Apparently the chatty governor also confided that in college Clinton and some other girls “experimented and she liked it.” Of course, there is no evidence that any of Miller’s gossipy ramblings are true. Not that there would be anything wrong with it if they were. These are the sort of allegations that are only regarded as insults by right-wing bigots and religious zealots. However, that just happens to be the audience that Fox is aimed at.

The source for Fox’s scandal-fest was The American Mirror, a website with no masthead, no identification of any publishers or editors, no mission statement, nothing to lend it any credibility whatsoever. The author attached to this article, however, does have a record. Kyle Olson is also the founder of an organization called the Education Action Group, a Koch brothers funded, anti-union front group for a conservative brand of education reform that primarily opposes teachers’ unions and public schools. Its reputation is a joke that includes nonsense like an investigation into “racist” peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at Portland schools. That piece of journalistic garbage was rated a “Pants on Fire” lie by PolitiFact.

These charges about Clinton are not new. They have been floating around the ultra-rightist mediasphere for years and were even ridiculed by the National Enquirer when Miller was trying to pitch her fantastical imaginings in a book that she was never able to get published due to her utter lack of credibility. But she did find allies among the crackpots and fringe-dwellers like Alex Jones, Rush Limbaugh, and Matt Drudge, who giddily embraced her bizarre ravings.

What’s new is that now Fox News has taken up her delusions and is passing them off as reality. Which tells you something about how severely degraded and abused the word “news” has become, particularly when in proximity to the word “Fox.”

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

The NRA Has Been Financing Their Death Cult By Cheating On Their Taxes

This weekend there has been rampant speculation about whether President Obama will advance a gun safety agenda via executive orders. Most of the talk suggests that he will expand background checks to include gun shows where weapons are often sold without any inquiry into the legal status of the buyer. They could be felons, or mentally ill, or under a restraining order, or linked to terrorism, or Ted Nugent. But under the current laws regarding gun shows, they could all acquire deadly armories.

NRA Problem Solver

The National Rifle Association is firmly in favor of the status quo. They have been working hard to prevent any reform that might make a dent in the 30,000+ gun deaths every year. And their efforts are in direct contradiction to the will of the American people who broadly favor common sense reforms like closing the gun show loophole (89%) and banning assault weapons (58%). These numbers include many gun owners.

Now, in addition to supporting gun rights for people on the Terrorist Watch List, news reports have revealed that the NRA has been lying on their tax returns for years. Their filings have asserted ridiculously false claims such as that they do not receive membership dues or engage in political activity. And that’s not all:

“For seven years, the NRA also skipped a key question on its tax form — whether or not it engaged in lobbying. Asked to answer ‘yes’ or ‘no,’ it simply left the space blank. […] Asked to detail expenses on its tax form, the NRA told the IRS it spent nothing on lobbying each year from 2008 to 2013.

“In 2014, it finally recorded $1 million in lobbying expenses. But even that figure is at odds with the amount reported to Congress of $3.4 million, according to data on the OpenSecrets Web site. It also recorded spending $23 million on unspecified ‘legislative programs.'”

Those are some pretty significant discrepancies that cannot plausibly be explained away as inadvertent. The NRA is, at its core, a political lobbying organization that receives millions of dollars in membership dues. It would be like Pepsi accidentally failing to report any income from selling beverages. Most of the NRA’s funding comes from firearms manufacturers and dealers seeking to expand their businesses. Lobbying on their behalf is why the NRA exists.

Before all the right-wing ammosexuals out there start whining that this must be a liberal conspiracy by the lamestream media attacking the NRA and its holy crusade to defend the Second Amendment, it was the conservative New York Post, owned by Rupert Murdoch of Fox News, that published the results of their investigation of the NRA-theists and their apparent tax filing perjury.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

In a just world the NRA and its executives should be indicted for tax fraud and punished accordingly if found guilty. However, according to the NYPost, the New York Attorney General’s office would not comment on whether there is an investigation in progress. That often means that there isn’t, but they are rushing to put one together to avoid being embarrassed by the disclosures in the press. Time will tell. In the meantime the NRA has been exposed as a dishonest enterprise that is not only making the nation a more dangerous place to live, but rips off the American people while doing it.