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?

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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.

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.

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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.

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.

GOP Dream Team

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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.

Fox News Surrenders: Domestic Recovery Forces Narrative Shift To Foreign Policy For 2016 Election

The Republican News Network (aka Fox News) is taking a hard turn away from domestic issues in advance of the 2016 election cycle. For the past several years Fox and the rest of the Right-Wing Media Circus has focused heavily on matters that hit close to home like the economy, unemployment, immigration, marriage equality, education, and relentlessly, healthcare – or more accurately, opposition to it.

Unfortunately for the GOP, every one of those issues has been trending favorably for the Obama administration and the Democratic Party. The economy has grown by historic rates. The stock market has hit record highs. The deficit has declined by two-thirds. Unemployment dropped from 10.1 to 5.7 percent and wages are beginning to rise. The majority of the public support the President’s positions on immigration. Marriage equality is being affirmed by courts across the country. Both academic and financial education reforms proposed by Obama are hugely popular. And ObamaCare reached new plateaus of success signing up more than 11 million new people this year.

Fox News

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Also influencing the right is a Gallup poll released this week showing that terrorism has jumped in importance to the electorate. Fox News immediately began promoting this poll as evidence that Americans are convulsed with worry about being blown up in a cafe on Main Street. What they don’t mention is that terrorism in the poll shot up to a mere 8% and is still in fifth place behind four domestic issues. Also not mentioned is that another Gallup poll released the same day shows the President’s standing is on the rise. The poll shows him making significant gains with independents and even Republicans. And those gains are seen both personally and for his stance on issues.

So what is an obsessively hostile cable TV “news” network with a mission to promote conservative policies and Republican candidates to do? Of course, they have to pivot to foreign policy in a desperate bid to find a narrative that will advance their political goals. That is what’s happening now as this exchange from Fox News yesterday demonstrates:

Charles Krauthammer: This is going to be be one of those rare presidential runs in which foreign affairs is one of the dominant issues […] That is a very ripe field for the Republicans.
Ron Fournier: Charles is right. This is going to be a foreign policy election. I think that’s going to be really tough for Hillary given her last job.

Huh? Fournier didn’t elaborate on why Hillary Clinton’s last job as Secretary of State would make things harder for her if foreign policy were to take precedence. Running the State Department for four years would ordinarily be seen as a prime resume enhancement in an environment that prized international experience. Presumably the right is hankering for an opportunity to beat the Benghazi drum some more, but since they have failed to produce any evidence of wrongdoing after three years and dozens of investigations (including findings that exonerate Clinton and Obama by the GOP led House Intelligence Committee), it seems rather far-fetched that they can make an issue of it now. And when the election heats up Clinton will have a strong record of achievement about which to brag.

More to the point, the effort by Fox to divert attention away from the positive domestic news is bound to fail for three reasons. First, whatever plausible case they have to make against Obama and/or Clinton on foreign policy, they aren’t making it. Instead, they are wasting breath on such ludicrous trivialities as whether or not the word “Islamic” is appended to every mention of terrorism. Their mantra on this is that you have to “call it what it is” in order to win. They seem to believe that just changing the rhetoric all by itself would cause the bad guys to throw in the towel. That, of course, is absurd. The truth is that tarring all Muslims with an association to terrorism would only alienate the Islamic allies we need to prevail. The only parties who insist on this language are GOP/Fox News conservatives and the terrorists themselves. So why is Fox taking their side? That’s a question that Fox News will answer by shouting as loudly as possible, “Benghazi!”

The second reason that latching unto a foreign affairs campaign theme would fail is that, in addition to not making a negative case against Clinton, Republicans are also not making an affirmative case for themselves. Their fierce condemnations of Obama as being weak and incompetent (besides being somewhat unpatriotic by their own definition) imply that their alternative would be to recklessly leap back into a war footing around the world with fronts ranging from Iraq to Iran to Syria to Afghanistan to Ukraine, and even to Russia and North Korea. That would be a hard sell to the American people. What’s more, Republicans are already leaning on the same people that so profoundly wrecked the nation’s international relations as the would-be architects of the next GOP administration’s foreign policy.

Finally, after failing to make a foreign policy case against Clinton or for themselves, Fox and the GOP are forgetting the universal truth about presidential campaigns. As immortalized by James Carville, “It’s the economy, stupid.” No matter how much the right wants to avoid the domestic progress the nation has made in the years since George W. Bush and his cronies cratered the economy, that will always be the primary driver in voting for a national leader. And on that subject Republicans have nothing but failure to point to, while Democrats under Obama have an increasingly prosperous country and an agenda advocating on behalf of the middle-class. In addition, Clinton happens to be married to the last president to balance the budget while producing strong economic growth and job creation.

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It’s no wonder that Republicans don’t want to run on domestic issues. And as their PR division, Fox News is valiantly striving to help them to change the subject. But no matter how hard they pray their wishes will not be realized. 2016 will be decided by an economic debate, just like every other presidential election. That fact, however, won’t deter the right from trying to elevate foreign policy because it’s all they have. And in a presidential election year, when turnout is higher, demographics favor Democrats, and the GOP has more at-risk seats than their foes, the outlook for Republicans is filled with the gloom that they have been trying to project on Democrats ever since the black guy moved into the White House.

Dr. Ben ‘Strangelove’ Carson Advocates Abandoning The Geneva Conventions

One of this year’s official candidates in the Fox News Republican primary for president is former pediatric brain surgeon, Ben Carson. The road to the White House for this neophyte politico has been fraught with embarrassing missteps such as his opinion that America is “very much like Nazi Germany,” and that ObamaCare is “the worst thing in this nation since slavery.”

Ben Carson

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This morning Carson visited his temporarily former employer, Fox News, and spoke with anchor Bill Hemmer about the war on terrorism. Much of the interview consisted of worn out cliches and anachronistic quotes, but eventually Hemmer asked Carson what he would if he were president. Carson said that…

“Our military needs to know that they’re not going be prosecuted when they come back, because somebody has said, ‘You did something that was politically incorrect.’ There is no such thing as a politically correct war. We need to grow up, we need to mature. If you’re gonna have rules for war, you should just have a rule that says no war. Other than that, we have to win. Our life depends on it.”

So the warhawk doctor is proposing that the United States withdraw from the Geneva Conventions. He believes that American soldiers should be free to commit atrocities, war crimes, and other brutalities that are generally associated with our enemies. And if our side does engage in such acts, they should not be held accountable in any way.

Obviously Carson is completely ignorant of the factors that led to the world adopting the Geneva Conventions in the first place. It was not merely a document intended to define humane behavior during wartime (a specious concept to begin with). Its purpose was also to protect Americans from being mistreated and abused by other countries with whom we were in conflict.

Carson’s doctrine of “no rules” would expose Americans, military and otherwise, to torture, cruel prison conditions, humiliation, and execution. And it would not enhance the prosecution of the war on terror in any way. However, it would affirm the image of the United States, in the eyes of many nations, as being hypocritical, untrustworthy, and convinced of its own superiority. These are not traits likely to advance our interests in international diplomacy.

In the end, the Carson doctrine would only harm our ability to defeat the terrorists by alienating our allies and validating the tactics of the enemy. That is a doctrine that is bound to fail, but it is also one that stems from inexperience and the arrogance of the ignorant. Carson is not a deep thinker and his strategies would lead to disaster. Consequently, he will remain one of the GOP’s top candidates for the foreseeable future.

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

UPDATE: Carson was interviewed Monday on NewsmaxTV and went even further to suggest that if the Department of Homeland Security is not funded prior to running out of money this month, then Obama might be guilty of treason. So according to Carson, soldiers should be permitted to commit atrocities without consequence, but Obama should be subject to execution if the GOP’s tactic of holding legislation hostage results in a shutdown. Sheesh!

Whose Top Corporate Donors Are Among The Most Hated Companies In America?

The headline of a current Fox Nation article just begs to be mocked. Accompanying a photo of a cackling Hillary Clinton, the headline blares “Hillary Clinton’s Top Corporate Donors Are Among The Most Hated Companies In America.”

Fox Nation

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Oh really? So which companies is the article, sourced to the ultra-rightist Washington Free Beacon, referring? They are indeed a collection of mostly financial institutions that have deservedly earned the enmity of the American people. Companies like Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, and Lehman Brothers. All of these enterprises played a role in plunging the nation into the Great Bush Recession of 2008.

Also on the list is 21st Century Fox. It’s kinda fun to see Fox pointing out that their own corporate parent is so hated by the American people.

However, when the substance of this story is examined, there are some serious flaws to the premise. First of all, the survey (pdf) that was cited in the article was conducted by Harris Interactive. It was never intended to identify “the most hated companies in America.” What Harris was studying were 100 of the most visible companies and ranking them by what Harris called their “Reputation Quotient (RQ).” Of course there are thousands of other companies in the country that may be hated much more but were not a part of the survey. The RQ is an amalgamation of several factors including the firm’s emotional appeal, social responsibility, workplace environment, and financial performance. Not all of the criteria reflect on merely the public like or dislike of the company.

What’s more, every company in the survey scored above 50, which suggests that none of them are hated with much passion. In prior years there were some, like Halliburton, BP, AIG, and Bank of America, that did fall below the 50 threshold. Nevertheless, no company wants to be on the low end of this list even if it isn’t that low.

The big problem with the story is that it singles out Hillary Clinton as the recipient of donations from these allegedly despised outfits. But in truth, just about every candidate for political office receives donations from these corporate ogres. And for the most part, Republicans are generally the beneficiaries in much higher amounts.

So what is the point of the article. Is it to criticize Clinton for taking money from the same dirty corporate entities that Republicans take money from? If so, there is a group of Americans who would wholeheartedly agree and share in the criticism. They are called Democrats. The passion that is driving the campaign to draft Sen. Elizabeth Warren as a challenger to Clinton is fueled by this very criticism.

Furthermore, while many in the Democratic Party have been working for years to remove this sort of tainted funding from the political process, Republicans have fought tooth and nail to continue and even expand it. A bright, flaming red, festering example of this is the pledge made recently by the Koch brothers to raise and spend nearly a billion dollars in the 2016 election cycle to buy power for their political puppets. Meanwhile, there are two Super PACS founded by well known liberals aimed at eliminating Super PACS: MIT’s Lawrence Lessig’s Mayday.US and George Soros’ son Jonathan’s Friends of Democracy.

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So if Fox News and the Free Beacon and the GOP want to get on board with the bashing of greedy, power-hungry corporations (who are not people, no matter what Mitt Romney and the Supreme Court say), and prohibiting them from corrupting American elections, they are most welcome. Unfortunately, it is more likely that the these right-wingers are just taking wild swings at Clinton and only hope to slander her, rather than to make a principled statement about the influence of corporate money.

Where’s The Outrage? Bill O’Reilly Calls Millions Of Americans Stupid

One of the most over-hyped (and idiotic) stories of 2014 was the spleen-venting offense that was taken over remarks by Jonathan Gruber, an M.I.T. economics professor who consulted on the drafting of the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare). Gruber had told a conference that it may have been “the stupidity of the American voter” that contributed to the tortured way the health insurance reform bill was written. That’s actually an accurate point, but not a particularly savvy way to express it.

The result was a tsunami of miffed conservatives busting blood vessels at the thought that anyone would insult the universally recognized genius of the American public. At Fox News, of course, the issue took over the network’s programming with a force that made Benghazi look like a cat-rescued-from-a-tree story. An analysis by PolitiFact found that mentions of the Gruber affair in the following week occurred 779 times on Fox News. That’s once every fifteen minutes, 24 hours a day, for eight straight days.

Fox News Gruber Brainwashing

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Well, last night on the O’Reilly Factor, Uncle Bill delivered his Talking Points Memo to open the show. His topic was the 2016 presidential race, for which he appeared not to have much respect for the process or the voters. At one point he lamented that “The media will play a huge role and unfortunately the press has been corrupted in America by money, the Internet, and ideology.” Then he almost immediately contradicted himself, playing down the influence of the media:

O’Reilly: Informed voters will not be swayed by media coverage, but millions of Americans are simply uninformed.”

What? How dare he insult the intelligence of the people whose intelligence he was previously so upset about somebody else having insulted. How is it any different to say that millions of Americans are uninformed when it comes to the patriotic act of voting, which millions of Americans do, than it is to say that some of the American people are stupid with regard to the process of drafting legislation, which almost none of them do?

Later in the program O’Reilly brought in Monica Crowley to speak for conservatives and phony liberal Kirsten Powers to pretend to take the other side. Crowley and O’Reilly made the case that the media is predominantly liberal because “the brightest conservatives go into business and the brightest liberals go into entertainment and the media.” Setting aside that ludicrous notion, O’Reilly next turned to Powers who wavered on agreeing with that and then demonstrated why she is a flagrantly anti-liberal representative of the liberal position on Fox News:

Powers: I think there are a lot of different things that play into it and now also what’s happening is that it’s reinforced by these left-wing groups like Media Matters that harrass these media outlets every time they cover anything that isn’t positive.

That could not have been said better by Ann Coulter. Powers has long been disparaging Democrats (including President Obama) and progressive enterprises, although she has yet to provide any substantive support for her complaints against Media Matters, a watchdog group that doesn’t do much more than document the biases and dishonesty of the conservative media. And true to form, Powers had nothing to say about O’Reilly’s insult to the intelligence of the American people. I guess she agrees with that too.

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

The Fox News Primary: CNN On Kissing Rupert’s Ring And Other Body Parts

Sunday morning’s media analysis program on CNN, Reliable Sources, aired a segment (video below) that exposed the overtly partisan promotion of Republican candidates on Fox News. The obvious biases that infect the network’s programming have long been known to anyone paying attention, and the necessity to win the favor of the Fox Politburo is unquestioned.

Fox News Primary

Host Brian Stelter introduced the segment saying…

“Will those two guys, Fox News president Roger Ailes and his boss Rupert Murdoch, be picking your next president? It may sound ridiculous. It may sound like some liberal conspiracy theory. But there’s no disputing that they have real power in the GOP primary.”

That’s an understatement. Not only is Fox News a real power in the GOP primary proper, they often launch candidates from among their own employees. Just looking at the 2016 presidential cycle, Fox vets Mike Huckabee, Ben Carson, Sarah Palin, Donald Trump, John Bolton, Rick Santorum and John Kasich have all indicated an interested in running. And most of the other prospective candidates (i.e. Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Bobby Jindal, Rick Perry, and Paul Ryan) have staked out territory on Fox’s air on a regular basis. This led Stelter’s guest, Gabriel Sherman, author of the Ailes bio The Loudest Voice in the Room, to say…

“Without a question Roger Ailes controls the largest block of reliable Republican voters. They watch Fox News. They turn out in large numbers on primary day. And the candidates are already kissing the ring.”

For some evidence of the influence imposed by Fox, News Corpse reported this week that Mitt Romney’s departure from the race likely received more than a little push from Rupert Murdoch, whose anti-Romney stance was expressed publicly on more than one occasion. Stelter also noticed Murdoch’s remarks and coyly called it “purely coincidental.” Nevertheless, when the Fox News media analysis program, MediaBuzz with Howard Kurtz, reported on Romney bailing out, they laughably portrayed it as being the result of some ambiguous, negative media coverage, with an on-screen graphic reading “Did The Media Sink Romney?”

Yeah right. No mention of Romney’s negative coverage on Fox. Likewise, no mention of the disparaging comments by Murdoch, or Sean Hannity, or numerous other Tea Party mouthpieces on Fox. Not surprisingly, a conservative guest on Reliable Sources, the Daily Caller’s Matt Lewis, dismissed any talk of influence on the part of Fox News. He would have to be seriously oblivious to reality in order believe that or to say…

“In terms of them having some sort of conspiracy to help boost one candidate or another – I mean look, if they had their way the Republican Party would be a pro-immigration reform party right now.”

Lewis must not watch very much Fox News if he hasn’t seen the Republican fluffing that goes on hour after hour. And to suggest that the network that continues to use the word “illegals” in reference to undocumented residents, even after most reputable news organizations have abandoned it (including the Fox Latino website), shows just how warped his view of the network is. Fox News is unashamedly hostile to immigration reform, as well as to immigrants, and so are most of the GOP candidates.

For the next year and a half Fox News will continue to work on behalf of the Republican Party. They are already in league with the Republican National Committee’s plans for primary debates. And during the general election Fox will openly promote the GOP candidate and lie shamelessly about the Democrat. It’s what they do. And the parade of GOP hopefuls kowtowing to Ailes and Murdoch know all too well how important it is to kiss their rings, and other body parts as required.

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

Was Mitt Romney Driven Out Of The Presidential Race By Rupert Murdoch?

The first casualty of the 2016 Republican presidential primary has been revealed to be the winner of the 2012 Republican presidential primary, Mitt Romney. Having only expressed his interest in running about six weeks, the prospective campaign crashed and burned in record time. What might have caused this flame-out?

Rupert Murdoch

It is notable that just two weeks ago Rupert Murdoch, the overlord of the Fox News media empire, made public his opposition to a Romney candidacy. Murdoch said of Romney 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.

Subsequent to Murdoch’s public letting, some of his minions began to pile on. Fox News contributors Karl Rove, Sarah Palin, and Donald Trump all commenced to bashing Romney. And many of the Fox primary pundits are already lining up behind Jeb Bush, who Murdoch virtually endorsed. The conventional “wisdom” on the right is that Bush will benefit most from the Romney withdrawal. That, however, is far from certain as a flurry of other “establishment” GOP governors (Walker, Jindal, Kasich, Christie, Perry) are still competing for support and particularly donors.

It is also notable that Romney’s announcement came just one week after he met privately with Bush in Utah. It is inconceivable that there was not a decision made at or about the time of that highly secretive tryst. Did Bush make Romney an offer he could not refuse?

Romney’s statement outlining his reasons for dropping out reads more like a declaration of candidacy. He says that he is “convinced” that “we could win the nomination,” and that “I would have the best chance of beating the eventual Democrat nominee.” So obviously he’s quitting. It’s a unique position to take since most politicians who actually believed that they would win the nomination and the general election would stay and fight. But not Romney. He went on to deliver what appears to be an anti-Bush sentiment saying…

“I believe that one of our next generation of Republican leaders, one who may not be as well known as I am today, one who has not yet taken their message across the country, one who is just getting started, may well emerge as being better able to defeat the Democrat nominee. In fact, I expect and hope that to be the case.”

Who might Romney be talking about? Bush is certainly not one of the next generation, being a veteran Republican pol who would be 64 years old at the start of his first term. And as a member of one of the nations’s most prominent political dynasties, he also could hardly be described as less well known than Romney. Neither is the two-time governor of Florida “just getting started” in politics. So Romney has, in effect, dismissed Bush as the next Republican nominee. And worse, Romney has previously disparaged Bush as facing many of the same obstacles that he faced as a candidate – namely his wealth and elitist status. Romney once said of Bush “You saw what they did to me with Bain [Capital]. What do you think they’ll do to [Bush] over Barclays?”

And that’s it in a wingnut shell. The GOP is cram-packed with rich, privileged insiders who advocate on behalf of their fellow upper-crusters. They will all face the question of allegiance to their high society class to the detriment of the vast majority of Americans. Romney’s absence from the fray doesn’t change any of that. But we know at least one of the fat-cats applauding today’s news is Rupert Murdoch, who is one step closer to crowning his own favorite.

Update: The Ego-tastic Donald Trump is giving himself “full credit” for Romney’s bailout. What a shocker.

Free To Be Dumb: The Republican Iowa Freedom Summit Lives Up To Its Billing

This weekend Rep. Steve King of Iowa, who maligned immigrants as drug mules who “have calves the size of cantaloupes,” and supports dog fighting because laws that protect animal welfare are, “exactly what our founding fathers wanted to avoid,” hosted his annual Iowa Freedom Summit with a star-studded cast of prospective GOP presidential candidates. And Fox News was there to capture every thrilling moment.

Fox News

For some reason Fox thinks it is breaking news that Ted Cruz, Sarah Palin, and Rick Perry said mean things about ObamaCare. Their definition of “thrashing” must be “to mutter childish slogans and stomp your feet.” And they continue to ignore the fact that their calls to repeal it have failed repeatedly, including when the Supreme Court upheld it. Also forgotten is any mention of what they would replace it with as they throw millions of Americans off of their insurance plans.

The timing of this event couldn’t have been better as this week saw the advancement of several possible candidacies, including Sarah Palin and Donald Trump, both of whom were in attendance. Palin distinguished herself by posing with a sign that said “Fuc_ Michael Moore,” as part of her campaign to defend the box office hit, American Sniper. She addressed the same subject in her speech when she further demonstrated her grown up, Christian values by shouting “Screw the left in Hollywood.” Somebody might want to tell her that Hollywood is responsible for the movie she is defending. Note to GOP: She aint running.

The Donald was his typically arrogant, Narcissistic self. He insulted fellow Republican Mitt Romney (a no-show) saying that he would not be a good candidate because “he choked” last time around. He also raised the tender issue of Romney’s 47% remarks and said that his RomneyCare in Massachusetts was enough to disqualify him from further consideration. He also slammed Jeb Bush (another no-show) because of his name saying that “The last thing we need is another Bush.” He may get some agreement from Democrats on that. And of course, he bragged about himself. Even though there is little chance that he will enter the race, like every other time he has pretended to run, he is just promoting his own interests and image (like Palin).

Dr. Ben Carson took the stage to further prove that he must have have missed every class in college except brain surgery. He began by complaining that he doesn’t believe in taking healthcare and “putting it in the hands of the government.” Setting aside the fact that ObamaCare doesn’t do that, he expresses his preference for putting healthcare in the hands of greedy, soulless corporations. And he actually said that even if it worked he would oppose it. Um, OK. Then he declares that immigrants only come to America because it is so attractive. Therefore, he proposes that that be reversed. That might actually work. Make America less attractive and nobody will want to come. However, it’s a terrible campaign slogan, and besides, George Bush already tried that.

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The comedy extravaganza continues with featured guests like Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, Chris Christie, and Rick Santorum. The prospective candidates from the so-called “establishment” wing of the party (Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush, Rand Paul, and Marco Rubio) all declined to attend. That may cost them some Tea-fection when the race begins in earnest. But from this small glimpse into the nascent campaign season, it is bound to be a bountiful cornucopia of laughs. Just wait for the debates to get started.