NAUSEATING: Fox News Absolves Cop Killer Of Responsibility For Murders

Conservatives have long portrayed themselves as the voices of personal responsibility. They insist that the traditional values encompassed by patriotism and faith demand that individuals be accountable for their actions. But when it comes to the brutal assassination of two New York police officers, Fox News exploits the tragedy to lay the blame on innocent people that they regard as political adversaries.

Fox Nation

Be Sure To “LIKE” News Corpse On Facebook

The blinding hatred that Fox News has for New York Mayor Bill De Blasio and Al Sharpton doesn’t justify splashing the blood of dead officers on people who had no part in their demise. Other cretinous pundits have gone so far as to indict President Obama for this horror. The only thing that sort of vile and false condemnation achieves is to reveal the rancid bigotry of the accuser.

The butcher who assassinated two NYPD officers yesterday was a deeply disturbed and violent man with a long record of criminality. And despite news reports that sensationalized a few comments on social media that referenced Eric Garner and Michael Brown, his motives are still not clear. He may indeed have had opinions as to the injustices in those cases (as did millions of righteous Americans), but it is impossible to spin his shooting of his girlfriend in Baltimore prior to traveling to New York as part of a vendetta against the police. Plainly there is something else that is darkly lurking beneath the surface of this still unfolding drama.

One thing for certain is that the only person responsible for the murders is the perpetrator. It is wholly inappropriate to shift the blame to others who are just as repulsed by this as those feverishly pointing their sanctimonious fingers in other directions. That sort of flailing rebuke not only slanders the targets, it pardons the guilty. And it is particularly disgusting when the intent is such a brazen act of partisan politics.

You have to wonder why there was no similar condemnation of the treasonous Tea Party brigades that flocked to Nevada to defend tax cheat Cliven Bundy. Among their ranks were a couple who later went to Las Vegas and executed two police officers as they ate their lunch in a diner. The Tea Party cop killers failed to meet the Fox News criteria for condemnation because they were a white, Christian couple from Indiana. Consequently, Fox quickly dropped the story without any sermonizing about responsibility.

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

On the other hand, right-wingers were quick to mock Garner and Brown, for whom rallying cries reflected their final moments with utterances of “Hands up, don’t shoot,” and “I can’t breathe.” These unintentional epitaphs became fodder for the conservative martinets of virtue to disregard the human tragedies and shift the blame to vague criticisms of black culture, families, and values. The spokesmen for these deliberate distractions were paraded across Fox News along with the absurd and insensitive notion that the victims caused their own deaths. The conservative viewpoint was that responsibility for their fates was their own and that the people protesting ought to accept that as a fact.

Now, suddenly, responsibility is no longer attributable to an obvious offender, but is shamelessly cast on perceived enemies. It’s such a Christian thing to do in this season of peace and goodwill. And it’s just another hypocrisy by malicious jackasses who care more about their own spiteful prejudices than the very real losses suffered by both police officers and citizens whose lives are stolen too soon and without reason.

Video Mashup On Fox News Falsely Places Al Sharpton At Scene Of Anti-Cop Protest

The hosts of Fox & Friends went out of their way Sunday to malign civil rights leader and MSNBC host Al Sharpton. In multiple segments throughout their morning broadcast they aired videos of Sharpton at a rally in Washington, D.C. to protest the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York, and other victims of police brutality.

However, in a deliberate act of journalistic deceit, they spliced those videos together with a separate event in New York City where some protesters were heard disparaging the police and chanting for “dead cops.” [Video below]

The implication by Fox was that Sharpton was leading those marchers. But the anti-cop marchers were not a part of any official program connected to the New York protest and certainly not connected to the rally in Washington where Sharpton spoke. They were described by the New York Daily News as a “breakaway group” from a much larger, and largely peaceful demonstration in Manhattan.

By editing together these unrelated videos, Fox leaves the impression that Sharpton himself was calling for the death of police officers. The Fox hosts made things worse by adding their own commentary to the same effect. Here is a sampling of the dialog from the program:

Tucker Carlson (laughing): Huh. So the first clip you heard people are saying, “We want the cops dead.” And the second you heard Al Sharpton say “We’re not against the police.”
Clayton Morris: And a lot of protesters were holding signs that said “Real thugs wear flag pins.” And Sharpton saying “We’re not anti-police?”

Co-host Anna Kooiman did note that there were 25,000 people there who feel very strongly about the cause and that “largely it was peaceful.” She added that she didn’t hear any of the anti-police chanting but acknowledged that “there are always bad apples” in large crowds. At that, Carlson expanded on his diatribe.

Carlson: What they were doing as a group is making this into a racial issue, and that’s what I object to. I don’t have any problem with a conversation about police brutality. I don’t want the police looking like Delta Force. I think that’s a real conversation I’m happy to engage in. I may agree with them. What I don’t think this is about is race. I don’t think these are examples of racism, and I think it’s totally unhelpful to make this a conversation about white vs. black. And it’s ridiculous to have it led by Al Sharpton who has zero credibility at all. He’s a hustler and, I think, a criminal.

Let’s just set aside the fact that Carlson’s characterization of Sharpton is itself racist in tone and he failed to support his reckless accusation of criminality by Sharpton. Carlson’s alleged interest in a conversation about police brutality is completely disingenuous. Prior to this becoming a national news story he never sought to initiate such a conversation. And while he may want to dismiss the racial component of the crisis, the facts show that African-American men are 21 times more likely to be shot dead by the police than white men. Ignoring these statistics makes it impossible to have an honest debate on the subject.

Next the Curvy Couch Potatoes set about to shift the discussion to another topic that better fits their prejudiced viewpoints. Like many other conservative pundits, they drift off to question why civil rights activists never address the breakdown of the family or the incidence of crime in their communities. Of course, that’s a false charge because those topics are a constant part of the dialog, but the elitist TV personalities at Fox are simply too far removed from the real world to have noticed it.

Carlson: It’s so much easier just to claim that white racism is America’s biggest problem. […] You don’t have to do anything about massive unemployment in the black community, about crime in the black community, about the destruction of the black family. Those are the real issues, but you get to ignore them when you blame it all on racism. And so it serves the purposes of a couple of people – President Obama, Al Sharpton – but it kinda shafts everyone else.

Carlson’s analysis is exactly backwards. In truth, by focusing only on unemployment or crime you get to ignore racism, which is the cause of many of the other problems faced by the black community he pretends to be so concerned about. And he makes certain not to miss the opportunity to portray the President as exploiting the race issue, because what else would a black president do?

The arrogance and condescension of these privileged TV divas is emblematic of the Fox News approach to race. They are certain that they know better than the people who are directly affected by society’s bigotry and if only those black folks would listen to them everything would get straightened out in a matter of days. And race wouldn’t have anything to do with it. But that view is unrealistic and based on their own sheltered experiences. They are demonstrating an ethic that was profoundly articulated on a sign that somehow got included in the video that Fox aired for this very segment:

Fox News Sign Blame Poor

That could not be a more perfect image to represent Fox News: “Rich people paying rich people to tell middle class people to blame poor people.” And that message is ironically sitting right above Fox’s text that blatantly lies that “Al Sharpton leads protest against police.” To be clear, the protest was NOT against police. It was against unlawful use of excessive force. It is a distinctly pro-police position to advocate on behalf of the majority of officers who are lawful, decent, protectors of all citizens. Good cops don’t want bad cops sullying their reputation.

Get the ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Bachmann’s Last Stand: Tea Party Queen Laments Imaginary Snub By Obama

In many ways I’m going to miss Michele Bachmann. She has provided an unending stream of hilarity during her brief tenure in Congress, and especially her epic run for the Republican nomination for President in 2012.

Michele Bachmann Tea Party

As a parting gift to comedians everywhere, Bachmann visited her pal Bill O’Reilly on Fox News (video below) to regale him with an account of her adventures at the White House Christmas party (which O’Reilly belittled as a “holiday” party). While bragging that attendance at the event was a high honor, she also complained about the less than respectful treatment she received from President Obama. The sad tale went something like this:

“I knew that this would be the last time that I would speak to the President as a member of Congress and I thought, I want to say something substant (sic) to him about what I think is the most consequential issue of the day. […]

“‘Mr. President, with all due respect, I’m concerned about the Iranian nuclear program and I think it would be wise to bomb the program before they obtain a nuclear weapon because once they obtain a nuclear weapon the world changes.’

“The president smiled, and he was fairly condescending and patronizing and said, ‘Well, it’s not quite that easy, Michele. But that’s okay,’ like I’m just, you know, an idiot and I don’t know anything.”

Had Obama intended to imply that Bachmann is an idiot it would have been entirely appropriate. She has proven it herself innumerable times. However, the President’s response was in no way disrespectful. It was pretty much all he could say under the circumstances. Bachmann confronted him with her comment in a photo line where many guests were waiting to greet the First Family. What did she expect him to do? Was he supposed to interrupt this photo-op to engage her in a protracted debate on a complex matter of national security standing there in the foyer? Perhaps she thought his eyes would light up with surprise and he would thank her for contributing such a brilliant idea that had never occurred to him. All things considered, Obama was rather polite after having been lobbied at a Christmas party to bomb another country.

It is that sort of laughably arrogant nonsense that we will miss in the coming years. Unless of course Bachmann signs up with Fox News and joins her comrade Sarah Palin in delivering comic relief (in the form of pseudo-political analysis) whenever she can score some airtime. But we will always have her past record of lunacy to cheer us up. Here’s a short summary of some of her classic moments:

  • Bachmann believed that the government had been infiltrated by enemy Muslims and she joined a group of congressional colleagues to insist on an investigation to uncover them.
  • Bachmann proclaimed her intention to be subservient to her husband were she to be elected president: “…the Lord said, ‘Be submissive. Wives, you are to be submissive to your husbands.’”
  • Bachmann signed a pledge circulated by a radical evangelical asserting that life for African-Americans was better during the era of slavery.
  • Bachmann gushed her admiration for a serial killer: “Just like John Wayne was from Waterloo, Iowa, that’s the kind of spirit that I have, too.” Actually, it was serial murderer and clown painter John Wayne Gacy who was from Waterloo.

Get the ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Bill O’Reilly Flunky Gets Booted From Mayor De Blasio’s Press Conference

The media hoax that is Fox News continues to embarrass itself with pathetic stunts aimed at glorifying their egomaniacal propaganda peddlers while debasing the practice of journalism. The latest example of this adventure in tabloid trivialities occurred today during a press conference held by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Fox News Jesse Watters

In the middle of the event Jesse Watters pops up and pretends that he has an actual question to ask. For those who don’t him, Watters is a producer on the The O’Reilly Factor and a practitioner of ambush journalism. He is also the “brains” behind the lie-riddled Fox Nation website. After being recognized by de Blasio, Watters demonstrated why is regarded as such an imbecile as he turned the press conference into a bitchfest with his whining about de Blasio’s refusal to grant O’Reilly an interview.

Watters: Mr. Mayor, Bill O’Reilly has a question for you.
de Blasio: OK. Are you his emissary?
Watters: You don’t know Watters’ World?
de Blasio: Again please.
Watters: I’m Watters, this is my world right here, OK?”
de Blasio: OK. Continue.
Watters: We’ve been trying to book you on the show for weeks, and your staff hasn’t been very respectful towards us we’re just trying to…
de Blasio: I’m sure they’re very respectful.
Watters: Actually not.
de Blasio: I’m sure they are.
Watters: We’re just trying to get to know you better, what’s the problem?
de Blasio: I appreciate the invitation, and my staff will follow up with you.
Watters: But they haven’t been following up, and that’s why I’m here.
de Blasio: I’m glad you’re here. Let’s take some serious questions. Go ahead, Henry.
Watters: We’re fascinated by this de Blasio mystique. Can you help us out mayor? […] You haven’t responded.
de Blasio: Henry.
Watters: Will you do the show?
de Blasio: Henry. Just start talking Henry.

Shortly thereafter, Watters was escorted out of the press conference by security. And as it turns out, de Blasio’s office had previously responded to O’Reilly’s request with a rather gracious denial. His staff later tweeted evidence of it. But that isn’t even what makes this so stupid. A press conference is not the place to badger a public official about appearing on a cable news program. It is exceedingly rude and unprofessional to take the time of a busy mayor, and all of the legitimate reporters, just to try and book a guest on a program hosted by an angry and adversarial loudmouth who the mayor has no interest in accommodating.

But Watters isn’t concerned with professional behavior. He has never bothered to exhibit it in the past. His childish pranks have earned him the ridicule of his peers, and of Stephen Colbert who featured him in a hilarious segment earlier this year. And for more documented examples of Watters’ sleazy escapades in pseudo-journalism…

Get the ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

What Dick Cheney, Fox News, And Other Torture Apologists Are Missing

The release of the report (pdf) on the CIA Detention and Interrogation Program (aka torture) produced by the Senate Intelligence Committee has incited Republicans, Fox News pundits, and warhawks from the Bush administration to respond with unrestrained fury. They have resorted to accusations of political motivation and reckless disregard for possible future harm that public knowledge of these activities might cause. But there is a key consideration that they seem desperate to avoid: If honestly acknowledging and condemning torture could put Americans at risk, maybe we shouldn’t be torturing people.

Dick Cheney CIA Torture

The torture apologists appear to be more upset by the disclosure of their brutality than by the brutality itself. And even as the report concluded that “enhanced interrogation” (which is like calling rape “enhanced fornication”) was ineffective and produced nothing of value to our intelligence or military missions, the right continues to blindly defend the practice and falsely claim that it prevented terror attacks and led to the capture of terrorists, including Osama Bin Laden. It did not.

The chief apologist among the torture advocates is, and has always been, former Vice-President Dick Cheney. In responding to the news of the CIA torture report’s release Cheney blasted it as “a terrible report, deeply flawed,” adding “The report’s full of crap.” This coming from the man who said that it was “pretty well confirmed” that the 9/11 terrorists were working with Saddam Hussein; that Iraq had sought uranium from Niger; that aluminum tubes could only be used for nuclear centrifuges; that we would “be greeted as liberators” upon invading Iraq; and who still believes that Hussein was hoarding weapons of mass destruction. None of those assertions were true, which casts a decidedly negative hue on the accuracy, or honesty, of his pronouncements.

In a particularly curious exchange that Cheney had with Fox News anchor Bret Baier, they addressed the report’s revelation that President Bush asked that he not be informed about the secret detention centers where the torture was being conducted. Cheney denied that saying “there was no effort on our part to keep him from that.” Which raised the question: Who is Cheney referring to when he says “on our part?” Was there a clandestine national security apparatus that included the Vice-President, but not the President?

Pretty much everybody on Fox News slammed the report, and the decision to release it, as a political stunt that would hurt the country. But it requires a massive quantity of self-deception to ignore the inherent harm that is caused by authorizing acts of torture in the first place. The fact that there is so much hysteria on the right over the disclosure is itself evidence that the practice should never have been permitted.

The whole argument that Americans will be put at risk by this disclosure is phony on its face. The terrorists already knew that the U.S. was torturing people. They knew it from personal experience and the accounts of their comrades. The repercussions from that were already being observed with the attacks on U.S. facilities overseas and executions of American citizens.

The only people who were not being informed about the torture program were the American people. And therein lies the real concern by the torture apologists on the right. It isn’t the alleged risk to Americans at the hands of terrorists that worry them. It’s the risk to Republicans at the hands of voters that they fear.

Get the ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

IRONY ALERT: Fox News “Psycho” Analyst Calls Obama’s Police Plan “Toxic Propaganda”

Following the tragedies in Ferguson, Missouri and Staten Island, New York, where unarmed black men were killed by overzealous police officers, the nation was thrown into a debate that ought to have occurred long ago. Any objective observer would have to agree that there is a serious problem in a society where one particular group of citizens suffers so disproportionately at the hands of law enforcement.

That explains why Fox News, not known for their objectivity, has so fiercely defended the police officers and departments that are engaging in unnecessary brutality in the name of public safety. But it does not explain why Fox’s “psycho” analyst, Keith Ablow, gets so lost in a deranged argument that blames President Obama for “motivat[ing] our citizens to question the decency of elements of American life.”

Keith Ablow

Ablow’s op-ed for Fox purports to be a criticism of a batch of proposals by Obama in response to recent episodes of police brutality. The proposals are widely viewed as a common sense beginning of a process that will require more time and contemplation to resolve. They include…

  • 50,000 Police Body Cameras
  • Task Force on Police Practices
  • White House Report on Police “Militarization”
  • Executive Order on Military-Style Equipment Acquisition

However, “doctor” Ablow finds these measures to be destructive and harmful to “the confidence of Americans in yet another aspect of our culture.” He employs his divine powers of mind reading to expose a fifth proposal that Obama is secretly pursuing. He says that…

Ablow: The core of the president’s policing program is an unspoken, psychologically powerful (and profoundly toxic) fifth point: To encourage distrust of local and state police by American citizens.

The fact that Ablow regards Obama’s response to the national uproar over the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner to be an encouragement of police distrust indicates that he may be suffering from acute denial. With thousands of people flooding the streets to protest across the country it is fairly safe to conclude that there is already significant distrust, disappointment, and fear among our citizenry. It would be derelict for the President to do nothing under the circumstances.

What Ablow suggests, however, is even worse than nothing. He begins by objecting to the body cams, which many departments support as a means to both deterring police misconduct and exonerating officers from false complaints. Then he goes off the rails entirely with his support for the militarization of local police departments. He bemoans the proposal to study the increase of militarized cops as an effort to “take powerful arms away from them.”

What makes this a case study in deranged irony is that Ablow asserts that Obama is pursuing an environment where “nothing other than an all-powerful central authority can safeguard them.” But how can he make that argument at the same time as he advocates for weapons, tanks, and other military-style tools to occupy American neighborhoods? It is Ablow who favors an all-powerful central authority as embodied by police outfitted as if they were an invading army.

Get the ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

In his final paragraph, Ablow asserts that the President’s plan is “designed to harness underlying doubt and paranoia in people and direct it in a way that shakes the confidence of Americans in yet another aspect of our culture.” Once again, the irony is flowing like lava down an erupting volcano. The doubt and paranoia were present long before Obama’s actions. Furthermore, Ablow has spent his career firmly devoted to shaking the confidence of Americans in their institutions, especially the presidency (at least while it was occupied by a gay communist Muslim from Kenya).

Ablow is a key figure in the media’s most brazen propaganda machine. For him to assail anyone else for alleged propaganda while collecting a salary from Fox News is laughable. His colleagues in the medical profession have described him as unethical and embarrassing. For a brief sampling of Ablow’s dementia, see the following:

The Ablow Record: He proposed what he called an “American Jihad,” wherein he advocated for a military campaign to force other countries to adopt the American political system. He charged that President Obama was waging psychological warfare on the American people. He praised Newt Gingrich for being unfaithful to multiple wives. He welcomed the pain of Americans suffering through the recession. He offered his recipe for building a terrorist that read more like building a Tea Party. He repeatedly diagnosed President Obama and others without ever having examined, or even met them. And my personal favorite, he actually had praise for the Unabomber’s sociological philosophy.

Are You Stupid? The Question Darrell Issa Should Ask Himself, Not Jonathan Gruber

The House oversight Committee held its last hearing with Darrell Issa as chairman today. Next year they will convene with ultra-rightist Jason Chaffetz taking over.The Issa Era has been fraught with partisanship, deceit, arrogance, and bullying. There were incidents where Issa badgered witnesses, insulted colleagues, leaked damaging testimony, and even refused to allow anyone but himself to speak at hearing that he abruptly gaveled to a close after he said his piece.

Darrell Issa

The final Issa melodrama featured an appearance by Jonathan Gruber, the MIT economist who so unartfully described the American people as stupid. The hearing had no discernible purpose other than to rake Gruber over the coals for a couple of hours. His contribution to the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) was strictly limited to the formation of economic modeling as a tool for members of Congress to draft their legislation. And he was effusively remorseful for his “glib, thoughtless, and sometimes downright insulting comments,” as one might expect. You can read his opening statement here (pdf).

That, however, didn’t stop Issa from laying into Gruber from the get-go. Issa began his questioning with a wholly insincere attempt to set aside his well-known vicious streak. He failed before he even came to the end of his first sentence.

Issa: Mr. Gruber, I’ve been accused that I’m going to berate you or something and I hope that you won’t feel that way when I get done. But the night before last I was at the Kennedy Center Honors where they honored Tom Hanks, famously ‘Forrest Gump,’ the ultimate in successful stupid man. Are you stupid?

Gee…I wonder where Issa might have gotten the impression that people thought he would berate Gruber? This may be the single stupidest question Issa has ever asked anyone. What did he expect Gruber to say? And how did he think this line of questioning would benefit whatever investigation he was pretending to conduct? As usual, Issa’s motives were purely hostile and aimed at creating political theater. But he failed utterly to produce anything of value from his boorish inquiry. In fact, no one on the Republican side achieved anything useful either politically or, more importantly, for advancing the interests of Americans seeking better options for maintaining their health and that of their families.

In another exchange, Issa sought to establish that insurance premiums were generally higher under ObamaCare, but Gruber maintained that on average premiums were reduced. So Issa countered saying that “I’m a taxpayer. Trust me. People are not paying less. People like me are paying more.” It should be noted that Issa is the wealthiest member of congress and, therefore, there aren’t many other people like him. Consequently, he inadvertently made Gruber’s point that most people are paying less.

Even Fox’s Eric Bolling was disappointed with the Gruber hearing, but for a particularly dickish reason. He said that Republicans should not have called him to testify “because he was such a villain before.” In other words, Bolling is upset that Gruber was given an opportunity to explain himself, apologize, and be seen as a real human being, flaws and all, rather than a mustache-twirling cartoon villain. Yet this was the inevitable result that anyone but Issa could have foreseen.

Much of the reporting from Fox News on this hearing repeated the same false allegations they have been spewing for weeks. The Gruber episode has reached a near Benghazi-level of saturation on the network. An analysis last month by PolitiFact revealed that in about a week Fox News had mentioned it 779 times. That comes to a reference once every fifteen minutes, 24 hours a day, for eight straight days. That’s a pretty hefty dose of obsession.

Fox News Gruber Brainwashing

This issue is so important to Fox that they spent much of the day complaining that a Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture was released today in order to knock Gruber out of the headlines. That isn’t a joke. Wingnuts on Fox like Andrea Tantaros and Jesse Watters were joined by Rush Limbaugh in promoting that conspiracy theory. They actually regard Gruber’s gaffes as being more important than violations of international and domestic law, as well as all civilized standards of humane behavior.

This conspiracy, however, was shot to hell since Fox News itself was leading every hour with segments on the torture report. So if there was a clandestine plot to suppress news about Gruber’s testimony, then Fox was in on it. And for those pundits who still think the scheme is real, they need to ask themselves why it is so critical that the media cover Gruber’s answer to the question, “Are you stupid?” It would be far more enlightening to ask that question of Issa and the fruitcakes at Fox who seem to be caught up in a world of their own nightmares.

To Rand Paul, Rush Limbaugh, And The Idiots Who Blame Cigarette Taxes For Eric Garner’s Death

Conservative zealots have been in a quandary over what to make of the police officer who choked Eric Garner to death on video. They don’t want to be seen as agreeing with the liberals they so feverishly despise, but they can’t find a reasonable argument to justify the unambiguously brutal killing of a man caught committing a crime on the scale of jaywalking. And unlike the police shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, there is video evidence of the officer’s brutality.

Rush Limbaugh Tobacco Tax

With the passage of time some of these right-wingers have begun to settle on a debate strategy that absolves the police of any guilt. It was first articulated by Sen. Rand Paul from the tobacco-growing state of Kentucky. Fox News hosts Sean Hannity and Greg Gutfeld joined the fruitcake choir. Shortly thereafter, Rush Limbaugh picked up the baton and ran a bit farther around the track. Here is what they said:

Paul: I think it’s also important to know that some politician put a tax of $5.85 on a pack of cigarettes […] For someone to die over breaking that law, there really is no excuse for it. But I do blame the politicians.

Limbaugh: The police in New York, because they’re so eager for tax collection, what is being done here with regard to taxes and the state’s desire to collect them no matter what […] I think the real outrage here is that an American died while the state is enforcing tax collection on cigarettes.

Let’s get one thing straight here: Eric Garner did not die for anything related to tax collection. He was murdered by a police officer who strangled him while ignoring his repeated cries that he could not breathe.

Furthermore, Garner was never alleged to have violated any tax laws. The fact that the police originally approached him regarding his allegedly selling single cigarettes was incidental to his death. Selling “loosies” is not a violation of any tax code. It is a violation of statutes that prohibit the unlicensed sales of controlled substances. Garner would have been subject to the same legal scrutiny had he been selling single shots of whiskey.

There is only one cause that can be cited for Garner’s death, and that is the excessive force and reckless endangerment by the officer that placed him in a chokehold, a tactic that was explicitly prohibited by the guidelines of the NYPD.

For anyone to shift the blame from the overzealous officer to the legal pretext for the arrest is patently absurd. This is just an opportunity for anti-tax extremists to exploit a tragedy to advance their agenda and simultaneously excuse the behavior of a rogue cop. If Garner had been stopped for allegedly shoplifting a pair of socks from a Wal-Mart, and subsequently died at the hands of the police, would any of these wacko Libertarians be arguing that the laws against shoplifting caused the death and that those laws should be repealed?

It takes a special kind of stupid to advance a theory that a minor legal infraction somehow compelled a police officer to use deadly force against a suspect. That behavior is not supported by any statute or the code of conduct of the police department. It was solely the decision of the officer.

The proponents of this theory, however, may have ulterior motives. First of all, they are desperate to avoid agreeing with their ideological adversaries that the police might be responsible for having overreacted. Secondly, they don’t want to allow legitimate charges of racism to settle in despite the evidence that black men are 21 times more likely to be shot by the police than white men. And finally, both Paul and Limbaugh have personal conflicts of interest. Paul represents the second biggest tobacco producing state in the country. And Limbaugh is an avid consumer, and visible proponent of, tobacco. They would both be very happy, no doubt, if regulations of tobacco were eased or revoked.

It is ironic that Republicans have wrapped themselves in the cloak of personal responsibility, but when it comes to the behavior of police officers who shoot down unarmed teenagers, murder twelve year olds with fake plastic guns in public parks, or fire on patrons in department stores carrying toy guns they intend to purchase, personal responsibility is cast aside. And the fact that in all of these recent incidents the victim was an African-American male speaks to the barely disguised racism that infects our society. Particularly when white men exercising their “right” to openly carry firearms in grocery stores and burger joints never seem to encounter any problem with the local police.

Be Sure To “LIKE” News Corpse On Facebook

BY THE WAY, Cigarette taxes save lives. They deter both adults and minors from consuming a product that will eventually make them acutely sick and probably kill them. Tobacco is far more dangerous than terrorism. In fact, if Al Qaeda or ISIL were interested in raising the number of fatalities they cause, they should consider buying Philip Morris. Cigarettes kill more than 400,000 Americans every year. That’s more than 100 times the death toll on 9/11 and far more than any terrorist organization has ever imagined. Plus it’s entirely legal so they could kill more Americans without having to dodge drones or Navy SEALs.

Nevertheless, the right is obsessed with permitting this wholesale slaughter to continue. And it goes back decades to the seeds of the Tea Party. That’s part of the reason that the AstroTurfed, Koch brothers funded Tea-bacco lobby launched their mission with attacks on public health care.

So not only did cigarette taxes not cause Garner’s death, they have prevented sickness and death for millions of Americans. It gives a whole new and meaning to the hashtag #ICantBreathe.

Black Folk Sure Is Lucky To Have Bill O’Reilly To Tell ‘Em Who Their Leaders Oughta Be

Ever since the civil rights movement began in the United States, white politicians and pundits have arrogantly imposed their judgment on the legitimacy of the advocates and activists fighting on behalf of African-Americans. Whether it was Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, Huey Newton, Jesse Jackson, Medgar Evers, Nelson Mandela, Al Sharpton, they hated them all. There were concerted efforts to discredit them and to limit their influence.

Suffice to say that conservative bigots will never be satisfied with any spokesman for racial equality. And the ones they hate most will be the ones who are most effective. It is therefore necessary, from their perspective, to belittle not just individuals, but entire movements.

Bill O'Reilly

Case in point: This week Bill O’Reilly sought to generously bestow his wise council on the naive and misled protesters filling the streets after the tragic killings of unarmed black men in Ferguson, Missouri and New York. According to O’Reilly these anguished citizens were nothing but dupes to an orchestrated cabal of self-serving social disruptors. His Talking Points segment was titled “Who is organizing the racial protests breaking out across America?” And who would be better qualified to answer that question than Bill O’Reilly?

In short, O’Reilly deprecated the protesters as “a group of professional agitators who use social media to organize street confrontations.” He asserted that the marchers were plants controlled by a few rabble-rousers with fanciful names like “This Stops Today,” “Hoodies for Justice,” and “Communities United for Police Reform.”

O’Reilly: The demonstrations you are seeing are not – ARE NOT – spontaneous dissent from regular folks. Rather they are well-planned disruptions from professional anti-establishment provocateurs. […] As soon as the Garner grand jury decision was announced social media messages were blasted instantly with hashtags like #ICantBreathe and #BlackLivesMatter.

There you have it. The fact that people began to quickly communicate their displeasure at having seen an obvious miscarriage of justice is proof that the whole endeavor was a fraud. It is impossible for “regular folk” to express themselves and join like-minded people in public demonstrations of anger and grief. So obviously it was orchestrated by alliances of evildoers who, as O’Reilly said, were “designed to create chaos.”

If it weren’t enough for O’Reilly to smear the protesters with malicious intentions, he invented straw man allegations that he could righteously shoot down. For instance, he said that “The claim that American police are hunting down young black men is a lie.” Of course it is. But it is only O’Reilly who ever made that claim. No one protesting the recent killings by police officers ever suggested that their victims were hunted down. The problem is that the victims’ rights were ignored, as was the administration of justice following the tragic events. Nevertheless, O’Reilly went on to slander the protesters as being the stooges for outside agitators.

O’Reilly: The Factor has learned that the SEIU labor union is deeply involved in the protests, as are a number of other groups funded by the shadowy radical George Soros.

O’Reilly never explains how he learned of these nefarious associations or offered any proof of it. In all likelihood he just assumed that two of his favorite targets for derision were responsible because, well, why not? In O’Reilly’s view American workers are always trying to destroy the country, and Soros is behind every evil, progressive occurrence in the world anyway.

In the course of his lecture, O’Reilly engaged in the dissemination of falsehoods that has become his hallmark. He backed up his contention that the police are innocent victims of scandalous attacks by citing faulty data about the shooting deaths of blacks and whites by police. However, his allegatins were soundly refuted by PolitiFact, who examined the issue in detail.

Be Sure To “LIKE” News Corpse On Facebook

No matter how much he wants it, Bill O’Reilly can never be the authority who decides which civil rights leaders are legitimate. And he cannot be taken seriously when he makes blanket declarations that tens of thousands of people of all races who pour into the streets to protest injustice, are merely pawns of some imaginary conspiracy of anarchists. His arrogance is staining the admirable actions of concerned citizens who seek to make manifest the ideals articulated in the preamble to the United States Constitution: “To form a more perfect Union.” But then, maybe the word “union” threw him and he’s afraid the Founders were working with SEIU and George Soros.

Laura Ingraham’s Tea Party Dementia: “We Don’t Really Protest”

Laura Ingraham is a Fox News contributor and frequent guest host for Bill O’Reilly. Her deep-seated, ultra-conservative views are embraced by right-wingers in media and politics. So it is not surprising that her commentaries are riddled with falsehoods and rife with animosity. For example, in response to the the Eric Garner tragedy, she recently made an asinine suggestion that President Obama be fitted with a body camera. Apparently she believes that the activities of all African-Americans should be monitored at all times.

However, Ingraham may have just exceeded her previous threshold for lunatic declarations when she told a listener to her radio program not to expect conservatives to hit the streets in protest of Obama’s reign of tyranny:

Ingraham: I don’t think our people go in the streets. You know why? Because our people are working and they have to support families. We don’t do that. We don’t protest. That’s just not in the DNA of conservatives. We don’t really protest.

First of all, let’s not ignore that Ingraham just insulted every American who ever participated in democracy by attending a protest. She regards everyone who marched with Martin Luther King as unemployed vagrants who abandoned their families. She believes that anyone who stood up to oppose unlawful wars, or the poisoning of our planet, or gross miscarriages of justice, or any number of other social ills, as lacking responsibility and values. She doesn’t understand that protests are an expression of American ideals and an exercise of freedom.

What’s worse is that Ingraham seems to have lost all touch with reality? Her assertion that conservatives don’t protest makes one wonder who it was hollering at all those town halls a few years ago. Who was it that showed up for the Fox News sponsored, anti-tax Tea Party rallies dressed in Revolutionary War era costumes and carrying confederate flags? Who was it hoisting those signs that demanded that government keep its hands off of Medicare during the ObamaCare protests? Oh yeah … it was conservatives. And not just random right-wingers either. It was Laura Ingraham herself.

Laura Ingraham

Yes, that is Ms. Ingraham at a rally to oppose ObamaCare in Washington, D.C. Apparently she is giving a speech to a crowd of unemployed family-haters. Ironically, Ingraham and her audience are actually attempting to harm families by preventing them from getting affordable health insurance. They are demonstrating against a reform that allows parents to keep their children on their policies longer. They are pushing to permit insurance companies to decline coverage to anyone with a preexisting condition. That is not exactly an agenda that speaks to supporting families.

Ingraham needs to apologize to everyone who has made personal sacrifices in order to petition their government for redress of grievances (look it up Laura. It’s in the Constitution). She especially needs to address those on her own side who must be wondering what the hell she’s talking about. And she may want to see a medical professional herself to inquire as to her apparent amnesia. Lucky for her, it’s covered by ObamaCare.