Fox News Commits Censorship Against Itself

For much of the past year, Fox News squawking heads have bitterly complained that President Obama and his secret Muslim socialists have been plotting to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine. Never mind that no one in the administration has advocated this, no one in the Congress has drafted legislation or even held hearings on the subject, and the President himself is on record opposing it. Nevertheless, the panic on the part of the right-wing mouth brigades is threatening to cause a Prozac shortage.

The fear expressed by these mongers is that free speech would be obliterated and the Constitution rendered moot. And we all know that the right has been a stalwart proponent of free expression, just ask the Dixie Chicks and Bill Maher – and Jon, the YouTube news junkie who has posted hundreds of Fox News clips under the name of News1news.

While Jon’s clips contained no added commentary, they were often segments in which Fox News personnel looked foolish. This was not Jon’s doing. He just posted the unadulterated video and the FoxPods acted naturally. Fox News has filed numerous complaints against Jon for copyright infringement, and now, YouTube has suspended Jon’s account and removed his videos.

Why would Fox do this? It certainly wasn’t because they were upset that their content was being recorded and distributed without their permission. They have not bothered to remove other Fox-owned content posted by sycophantic fans like TheRightScoop, BuckFarack, GlennBeckDailyClips and ConservativeNewMedia. But the liberally-inclined News1news has been shut down.

Granted, News Corp has been making noises lately about securing their content by charging Internet users and barring Google indexing (although to date it has been all talk and no action). But clearly this is not a case of protecting intellectual property. The selective nature of Fox’s legal actions prove that they are only interested in squelching liberals. Well, that and erasing the record of their dubious broadcasts, replete with lies and embarrassing behavior that reeks of anger, racism and ignorance.

Recently, Glenn Beck lost his bid to shut down a satirical web site with the name: glennbeckrapedandmurderedayounggirlin1990.com. The argument was that the public might confuse it with an official Beck site because the URL had the name Glenn Beck in it, along with 32 other characters. I wonder why they haven’t come after me. My URL has the name News Corp in it with only two additional letters. If they think the public is so stupid they would mistake the Beck parody site as official, what’s to stop those morons from thinking that I represent Rupert Murdoch?

What Fox is doing here is an unabashed curtailing of speech – THEIR OWN! They are prohibiting the dissemination of information and ideas based solely on political criteria. I wonder if the First Amendment advocates at Fox will now mount a campaign exposing Fox as anti-speech. What is it about their own broadcasts that they are seeking to hide from the public? Will Rush Limbaugh take to the air and lambaste Fox for destroying the American values of open dialogue and expression? If these hyper-alarmists are afraid of a Fairness Doctrine that exists only in their delusional imaginations, then shouldn’t they be doubly ascared of a cable news network that strongarms harmless citizens who are merely passing on the broadcasts of the very same cable news network?

Jon has created a new YouTube account under the name NewsPoliticsAmerica. Let’s see how long this one lasts.

Bush Justice Department Harrassed Indymedia

CBS News is reporting that the U.S. Department of Justice sent a formal request to an independent news site ordering it to provide details of all reader visits on a certain day. U.S. Attorney Tim Morrison in Indianapolis, issued subpoenas to Indymedia.us demanding information that included e-mail and IP addresses, Social Security numbers, bank account numbers, etc. There was also a demand that Indymedia not disclose to anyone that they had received the subpoenas.

This was an unprecedented affront to both freedom of the press and the right to privacy for citizens who happened to visit a particular web site. Indymedia sought advice from the Electronic Frontier Foundation who succeeded in getting the subpoenas withdrawn. However, many questions remain. There was never any disclosure as to the criminal case that was being investigated by Justice Department. The subpoenas themselves were improper, as was the gag order, but no one in the Justice Department is commenting on that.

An amusing side note to this is that rightist media groups are framing this as an abuse of power by the Obama administration. Although this is just now coming to light, they fail to note that the investigation began during the Bush administration, months before the election in 2008. The date specified in the subpoena for the information they were seeking was June 25, 2008. The subpoena itself was issued on January 22, 2009, just two days after Obama was inaugurated. Obviously the investigation had to precede the issuance of subpoenas.

As further evidence of Obama’s culpability, it was noted that subpoenas to the media have to be approved by the Attorney General. The right-wing leaped on this factoid to accuse Obama’s AG, Eric Holder, of complicity in this outrageous act. Unfortunately for that theory, Holder was not confirmed to the position until February 2, 2009, after the subpoenas had already been sent.

So the whole affair was conducted by the Bush Department of Justice, with a Bush-appointed U.S. Attorney (Morrison), and an acting AG who was also left over from Bush’s administration. This is typical of the Bush regime’s disrespect for freedom of the press. And the response from the right is typical of their embrace of disinformation and propaganda.

Behavior like this by officials in law enforcement is unconscionable, and should not be tolerated by any administration. It appears that the Obama administration did the right thing when it was brought to their attention by withdrawing the subpoenas, but they need to go further and reveal the nature of the investigation that led to this action, and the role of Bush officials in the affair. And it would also be nice if they would make a statement disapproving of such behavior and declaring it outside the policy of this administration.

GE And News Corp: The Saga Continues

As previously reported, executives at GE and News Corp have been attempting to broker a deal that would end the bickering between the networks and, mostly, Keith Olbermann and Bill O’Reilly. I continue to maintain that it would be a violation of journalistic ethics for the execs to interfere with the judgment of their commentators. But the brass at GE and News Corp don’t seem to agree with me.

The first attempt at a truce was broken within 48 hours by Olbermann who, on returning from vacation, skewered O’Reilly royally, just like the good old days. O’Reilly took up the gauntlet and, as per his routine, ignored Olbermann and went straight after his boss at GE, Jeffrey Immelt. The tactic of bypassing Olbermann and aiming at Immelt is said to have been personally suggested by Fox News CEO Roger Ailes. With the war on again, the combatants began to reveal some of their innermost thoughts – particularly Ailes who, according to the Washington Post, summarized the situation thusly:

Ailes offered a blunt, if slightly jocular, diagnosis of the problem. He could control his nutcases, Ailes said, but Immelt couldn’t control his.

That says so much. First, Ailes is acknowledging that his people are nutcases (as if we didn’t already know). And second, Ailes is admitting that he has the power to manipulate the content and views of the nutcases who host Fox programs.

GE has issued a statement saying that they haven’t “told anyone at NBC News or MSNBC how to report the news.” But the New York Times claims to have sources who said that, not only was there a deal that covered Olbermann and O’Reilly, but also…

“Employees of daytime programs on MSNBC were specifically told by executives not to mention Fox hosts in segments critical of conservative media figures.”

What I want to know is, how can you produce a segment critical of conservative media figures without mentioning Fox hosts?

Olbermann (and anyone in his position) deserves respect for standing up to interference from the suits in the suites. It is the ethical thing to do in the news business. You simply do not let them intrude on your news judgment, especially if your job is to provide analysis and opinion. Unless, of course, you’re Bill O’Reilly, who is a coward, and a puppet for Ailes, who has previously admitted that he has the ability to direct what is said by Murdoch-owned pundits on TV and in print (over which he has no executive authority):

“Ailes warned that if Olbermann didn’t stop such attacks against Fox, he would unleash O’Reilly against NBC and would use the New York Post as well.”

This was basically extortion on the part of Ailes who literally served notice on GE saying that, “If you stop, we’ll stop.” The objective by both the GE and News Corp executives has nothing to do with the pursuit of news. Rather, it is a self-serving plot to tamp down any criticism of the parent companies. They are looking after their corporate interest, not the public interest.

This whole affair is a near perfect illustration of why monolithic corporations, with vested interests in far flung business and government affairs, should not be permitted to own news enterprises.

Bill O’Reilly Books, Then Bumps, WorldNetDaily Birther

Joseph Farah is the editor of the uber-conservative WorldNetDaily. He is also one of the chief proponents of the Birther Conspiracy that holds that Barack Obama is not eligible to be president because, they hysterically allege, he isn’t a U.S. citizen. This thoroughly caramelized nut case for reversing last November’s election has been debunked repeatedly, but continues to be peddled by dogged rightist reality deniers.

Now, the WorldNetDaily is reporting that their leader, Mr. Farrah, was all set to appear on The O’Reilly Factor until his list of demands was rejected by Bill O’Reilly himself. Here is the list as printed at WND:

  • Though a sober and civil discourse is always welcome, shouting is not;
  • No other guests on during the segment with Mr. Farah;
  • Discussion to be limited to the facts of the story;
  • Accurate, approved description of Mr. Farah and news organization he represents;
  • Screen ID chyron to be approved by Mr. Farah.

If this account is true, then O’Reilly retracted his invitation to Farrah because he objected to constraints on his freedom to shout at people and distort facts. But just the fact that a right wing web editor felt it necessary to itemize a list of criteria that included no shouting, stick with the facts, and chyron approval, for a right wing TV host, is pretty delicious irony. Even O’Reilly’s natural allies don’t trust him.

GE And FOX Agree To Censor Their News Divisions

In a report in the New York Times, the corporate parents of NBC and Fox News were brought together at a summit for CEO’s in an attempt to settle a long-simmering feud. Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of GE, and Rupert Murdoch, CEO of News Corp, sat down to try to work things out.

What they were striving to resolve was the eternal and bitter competition between MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann and Fox’s Bill O’Reilly. This affair has been a rancorous, and often humorous, battle wherein Olbermann frequently awarded O’Reilly his “Worst Person in the World,” trophy, and O’Reilly countered by slandering NBC, GE, and Immelt personally (O’Reilly would never utter Olbermann’s name). According to the Times’ Brian Stelter…

“It was a media cage fight, televised every weeknight at 8 p.m. But the match was halted when the blood started to spray executives in the high-priced seats.”

There are two things that are immensely disturbing about this backroom handshake. First and foremost, the corporate parents of news enterprises ought not to be dictating the content of their news divisions, or the opinions of their commentators. That is especially true if the reason for the ivory tower interference is to dampen any blowback on the parent company’s business or executives resulting from controversial positions. This is about the best example of why it is unwise for corporations with vested interests in broader business and government affairs to own news publishers to begin with.

Secondly, the result of this inter-cable warfare is precisely what Fox News wanted. MSNBC is caving in to a deliberate tactic designed to halt criticism of Fox and its personnel. It is a one-sided victory for Fox that comes at the expense of MSNBC’s best interests and dignity. It was less than four months ago that Fox News CEO, Roger Ailes, laid down the threat from which they are now reaping the harvest. Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post reported the tantrum Ailes threw in response to the escalating on-air debate:

“Ailes warned that if Olbermann didn’t stop such attacks against Fox, he would unleash O’Reilly against NBC and would use the New York Post as well.”

That’s precisely what happened, and it didn’t even take two weeks for Fox to follow through on its threat. Now we see this truce in effect at least partly because Immelt doesn’t like being called “a despicable human being” by O’Reilly. And the worst part is that Fox’s blatant bullying is being rewarded with a complete capitulation by MSNBC.

For these networks to enforce this agreement is nothing short of censorship. Olbermann responded with an email that said that he was not a party to any agreement, but he also seems to have halted his once routine attacks on O’Reilly and Fox News. As for Fox, their position now is that it is appropriate to direct their commentators to steer clear of certain topics. But that appears to apply only to topics that negatively impact the company brass. Just last week, after Glenn Beck called President Obama a racist, Fox released a statement that said that beck had merely…

“…expressed a personal opinion which represented his own views, not those of the Fox News Channel. And as with all commentators in the cable news arena, he is given the freedom to express his opinions.”

That freedom, of course, has limitations. From the Fox News point of view, it is alright for one of their hosts to comment disparagingly on the President of the United States, but it is not OK to comment on the president of the company. The company, after all, is sacrosanct and its interests are superior to those of the nation.

It is disheartening to see this sort of corporate thuggery imposed on what should be independent news divisions. One can only hope that the truce will fail and free expression will prevail.

Update: Olbermann returned from vacation and struck down any notion that the network brass would dictate the content of his program. To prove it, he returned Bill O’Reilly to the “World’s Worst” list and reprised his old “Bill-O the Clown” routine. Apparently, news of a network truce were exaggerated. That’s good news.

Emmy News: Nominations – PBS 41 / Fox News 0

The Emmy nominations for News and Documentaries were released today by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. PBS scored the lion’s share with 41 nominations, including two more for Bill Moyers, who has won more than 30 Emmys already. CBS was a distant second with 23. One notable name missing from the list of honorees is the #1 cable news network in the country, Fox News. There are two principle reasons for the absence of Fox News.

First, Fox claims to have declined to participate because they believe that the Emmys are biased against them. That’s a rather piddling complaint that, more than anything, exposes their self-centered pettiness with an attitude that recalls a school child taking the ball and going home.

The more likely reason for their Emmy snub is that Fox is not actually a news network and, knowing this, they are acknowledging that nominations will not be forthcoming. I suspect that they are preparing to submit their programming for Emmys in the drama and, perhaps, comedy categories, where they have a better chance of being recognized. Of course then their other fictional fare, like “24” and “The Simpsons” will have to compete against the far more flagrant fiction produced by Fox News. Whatever will they do?

Well, we can expect Bill O’Reilly to issue a blistering condemnation of the Academy shortly. He did the same thing when the Peabodys snubbed him (again), despite honoring Moyers and Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert on multiple occasions. What does it say when a comedy network’s fake news programs receive more plaudits from their journalism “peers” than a network that pretends to be a bona fide news enterprise? And furthermore, what does it say about the viewers of a so-called news network that is held in such ill repute by other news professionals?

Amongst the Emmy hopefuls is David Barstow, the New York Times reporter who wrote Message Machine. This article, which has already won a Pulitzer Prize and the New York Press Club’s Golden Keyboard, described how the Pentagon in the Bush administration conspired to train and deploy former military personnel to spread propaganda in support of the war in Iraq. And if that weren’t bad enough, the program also permitted them to use their high profile media platform to enrich themselves and the defense contractors to whom they were attached.

Despite the acclaim the article has received, Barstow has still yet to be invited to tell this important story in any conventional media venue. The only in-depth broadcast interview was conducted by Amy Goodman of Democracy Now. This may be the most egregious example of a heralded, Pulitzer caliber investigation being so brazenly suppressed. The obvious explanation is that the media organizations that have actively blackballed the story are also the subjects of it. They are the news enterprises employing the compromised Pentagon Pundits, and they have a vested interest in preventing the truth from getting out.

Now that the report has been awarded another honor, will Barstow’s phone start to ring? Will the media pay attention to what may be the worst instance of propaganda executed by the U.S. government against its own people? At the very least, MSNBC has a special obligation to pursue this story. They have a contractual relationship with the New York Times, and their own John Harwood is a frequent guest on both MSNBC and CNBC. Why on earth wouldn’t the Times be lobbying to promote a story by their own Pulitzer award winning reporter who has now been nominated for an Emmy?

Contact MSNBC and tell them to book David Barstow:
MSNBC General
Keith Olbermann
Rachel Maddow
Ed Schultz
David Shuster
Chris Matthews

SPINCOM: Still A Deafening Silence

A couple of weeks ago, I posted this story on David Barstow, the author of Message Machine for the New York Times. Yesterday, the New York Press Club awarded Barstow it’s Golden Keyboard Award. Barstow had previously won a Pulitzer for the story.

Message Machine described how the Pentagon in the Bush administration conspired to train and deploy former military personnel to spread propaganda in support of the war in Iraq. And if that weren’t bad enough, the program also permitted them to use their high profile media platform to enrich themselves and the defense contractors to whom they were attached.

To date, Barstow has still not been invited to appear on any of the major news networks to discuss his article. The allegations have been investigated by Congress and by the Inspector General of the Pentagon. The Department of Defense halted the programs exposed by Barstow. He is continuing to receive accolades from his peers, but none of this is enough to persuade television news editors to book him.

We can eliminate Fox News as a potential host for a discussion with Barstow. But at the very least we ought to be able to get MSNBC to schedule a segment or two. Feel free to give them some encouragement.

Contact MSNBC:
MSNBC General
Keith Olbermann
Rachel Maddow
Ed Schultz
David Shuster
Chris Matthews

Carrie Prejean Dishonors The First Amendment

In last month’s Miss USA pageant, Carrie Prejean replied to Perez Hilton that she believed that marriage should be defined as between one man and one woman. That response ignited a controversy that extended well beyond her role as Miss California. The controversy has since snowballed into a soapy opera that is dripping with deceit, pornography, and greed.

This morning Prejean’s crown was pulled from the fire by pageant owner Donald Trump with his pronouncement that she will be permitted to continue her reign. But there is a story here that diverges from the debate over gay marriage and beauty queens. And it’s a story that has just as much impact on Constitutional liberties.

Much of the debate circling around Prejean has been focused on the content of her answer and whether same-sex marriage should be recognized under the law. But underlying that discussion were allegations that she was being discriminated against for her point of view and/or her religion. She was amongst the first to decry what she felt was the violation of her right to free speech. But she was not the last. Numerous pundits piled on with their hysterical assertions that Prejean was not being allowed to speak.

That imaginary allegation peaked this morning with the speech Prejean gave (YouTube) during a news conference with Trump. The speech presented a severely contorted view of the First Amendment and her rights under it. First of all, since there was no government entity involved with any of the alleged stifling, the First Amendment was not violated because the law only applies to suppression by the state. But even her complaints that she was unable to express herself were absurd fabrications. At the press conference she said:

“Three weeks ago I was asked a politically-charged question with a hidden personal agenda. I answered my question honestly and sincerely from my heart […] As [Perez Hilton] was trying to be self-promoting and hateful while I have remained silent since, I am honored to be here today to finally let my voice be heard and address the hateful attacks, despicable rumors and false allegations I have had within the last three weeks.”

I’m not even going to enter into speculation about how Prejean knew there was a “hidden personal agenda” or her disparagement of Hilton as “hateful,” and “self-promoting” (like beauty pageant contestants don’t promote themselves). But her statement that she has “remained silent” until today and that only now can she “finally let [her] voice be heard.” is outright delusional. She has been a fixture on TV news for most of the three weeks since losing the Miss USA pageant. She has been interviewed by Sean Hannity, Neil Cavuto, Megyn Kelly, and Courtney Friel – all of Fox News. In addition she appeared with James Dobson (Focus on the Family), Pat Robertson (700 Club/CBN), and Matt Lauer (Today/NBC). If that represents suppression of speech, what on Earth would free expression require? Perhaps her own primetime network talk show? In her speech she also offered a tearful remembrance of her veteran grandfather:

“On April 19th, on that stage, I exercised my freedom of speech and I was punished for doing so. This should not happen in America. It undermines the Constitutional rights for which my grandfather fought for.”

So what’s all the fuss about about? Here she admits that she was in fact allowed to exercise her freedom of speech. Her assertion that she was punished for doing so is utterly without foundation. Some reports indicate that she was behind in scoring even before her fateful question. It appears that what she is actually bemoaning is that there is also freedom of expression for anyone who happens to disagree with her. She is one of those who believes that free speech is defined as the right to speak your mind without fear of rebuttal.

There is a peculiar irony in the fact that Prejean is so disturbed by her imagined slights; that after flooding the airwaves with her opinions, she perceives herself as being silenced. But she has only praise for Trump and the pageant operators who are affirmatively constricting her public appearances and utterances:

Meanwhile, if Ms. Prejean wants to speak publicly about same-sex marriage in the future, she will have to go through the Miss California USA pageant officials to discuss the platform where she will speak and how she will present her opinion.

“We’re not changing our rules for Carrie,” Keith Lewis, a co-executive director of the California pageant, said in an interview. “We’re bringing her back into compliance with her contract; every appearance is approved by us, every statement is a reflection of us.” He said that if she is asked about her views, she should answer honestly, but that pageant officials would help her “fine tune” her response so that it “is accommodating to both parties.”

Wait a minute. Didn’t she just finish saying that “That should not happen in America?

When people exploit false arguments that rely on claims to Constitutional liberties, they trivialize those liberties. It is a form of crying wolf that harms all of those who have legitimate grievances. Prejean’s views on marriage are her own business, and she has a right to form and convey her opinions as she chooses. But that right does not include imposing a gag on everyone else. She must be tolerant of opposing views and she ought not to wrap herself in the Constitution when her situation is so far removed from any reasonable interpretation of it.

In the case of Carrie Prejean, not only was she not constrained by the government, she was not constrained period. And whining about her perceived victimhood makes for a distinctly unattractive beauty queen.

Update: This was inevitable: Prejean has been tapped to fill in for Gretchen Carlson (Miss America, 1989) on Fox & Friends on May 27. Also, Sarah Palin (Miss Wasilla, 1984) made a statement in support of Prejean wherein she doubled down on the misunderstanding of the First Amendment.

Why We Need A Blogosphere

Television news was a great idea. Just think of it: A box that sits in your living room and brings you important information from around the block or around the world. Sounds too good to be true. And apparently it is.

Whatever value television adds to the distribution of news must be weighed against the harm it produces through its incorporation of bias, selective editing, and the pursuit of its own self interest.

SpinComFor example, last year David Barstow of the New York Times wrote a meticulously well researched and documented story that should have sparked a national uproar. The story described how the Pentagon in the Bush administration conspired to train and deploy former military personnel to spread propaganda in support of the war in Iraq. And if that weren’t bad enough, the program also permitted them to use their high profile media platform to enrich themselves and the defense contractors to whom they were attached.

Barstow’s story was received with what some call a “deafening silence,” particularly from the TV news community. Then, last week, Barstow won a Pulitzer Prize for the story. The silence built into a crushing whisper. Even progressive media icons like Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow only glanced over this story. Obviously there are strong arm tactics being employed to prevent the public from learning that our government purposefully and unlawfully engaged in propaganda directed squarely at us. The TV news networks are simply covering their own asses since it was primarily their facilities that hosted the phony military analysts.

Yesterday, Barstow was interviewed by Amy Goodman of Democracy Now to discuss the announcement that the Pentagon inspector general’s office had withdrawn its own report that had previously exoneraed the program. In the interview Goodman asked Barstow to comment on the lack of reporting on his story. Barstow said…

“You know, to be honest with you, I haven’t received many invitations-in fact, any invitations-to appear on any of the main network or cable programs. I can’t say I’m hugely shocked by that.”

“On the other hand, while there’s been kind of deafening silence, as you put it, on the network side of this, the stories have had-sparked an enormous debate in the blogosphere. And to this day, I continue to get regular phone calls from not just in this country but around the world, where other democracies are confronting similar kinds of issues about the control of their media and the influence of their media by the government.”

“So it’s been an interesting experience to see the sort of two reactions, one being silence from the networks and the cable programs, and the other being this really lively debate in the blogosphere. “

When an important and newsworthy story that exposes government wrongdoing at the highest levels – a story that appears on the front page of the New York Times and wins a Pulitzer Prize – cannot get the attention of television news outlets, there is something seriously wrong with that medium. When a respected journalist has to console himself with having his story get traction only on the Internet, it tells us a great deal about how corrupt the corporate-run news divisions of America have become.

Barstow should not have to be satisfied with generating lively debate in the blogosphere. The revelations in his article illustrate a betrayal of trust on the part of our government. The public deserves and needs to know the facts about this affair. But the failure of the television news enterprises to responsibly carry out their duties is also a betrayal of trust. How are we supposed to rely on their journalistic integrity if they refuse to exhibit any?

I don’t expect Sean Hannity to be issuing an invitation to Barstow anytime soon. Fox News has always been as deeply integrated into the Bush administration’s propaganda machine as any of these Pentagon Pundits. But if Olbermann, Maddow, Ed Schultz, or even Chris Matthews don’t extend an invitation to Barstow, then we need to let them know that they are failing to serve the public and they are buckling under to a media conspiracy to keep the people ignorant.

If it embarrasses NBC/MSNBC to admit that they participated in this charade, they need to suck it up, take responsibility, and ask for forgiveness. Permitting these phony analysts on their air was bad enough. They should not compound the offense by attempting to cover it up.

Barstow is right about the blogosphere. But we need to shape it into something more than a forum for debate. We need to use it to make the old media behave responsibly; to hold their feet to the fire. And this is as good an issue as any with which to assert that principle.

Contact MSNBC
MSNBC General
Keith Olbermann
Rachel Maddow
Ed Schultz
David Shuster
Chris Matthews

The Fox News Blackout Of President Obama

Granted there are a lot of stories vying for coverage these days. The economy, AIG bonuses, the fiscal stimulus bill, etc. There are also a couple of wars, a health care crisis, and a dangerously warming planet (in case anyone still cares about those trivialities). But since when did the President of the United States cease to be newsworthy?

The past three days has seen President Obama making appearances around the country in support of his economic program. Some of those appearances were town halls that included questions from the public. It would not be an exaggeration to say that the issues at play are amongst the most serious our country has encountered in decades. So how has the media handled these events?

CNN and MSNBC have broadcast some or all of Obama’s appearances live.
Fox News has broadcast NONE of them.

It appears that Fox News has decided to refrain from any coverage of the President other than that which has been prepackaged by their in-house cadre of anti-Obama ranters. They are preserving their airtime for scripted hit pieces where they can selectively misrepresent Obama’s remarks and follow that up with vitriolic responses to outrages that they have invented.

For anyone who still thinks that Fox should be treated as a bona fide news enterprise, this should put the final coffin nail in that point of view. And if Fox News isn’t going to cede any airtime to the President, than Democrats should respond in kind by not appearing on Fox News. If Democrats submit to this blatant unfairness, they are, in effect, rewarding Fox for discriminating against them.

It has been obvious for years that Fox is a partisan cheerleader for Republicans and an active basher of Democrats. But this behavior is beyond the pale. Fox has implemented a de facto blackout of the President in unedited public forums. This is a deliberate tactic to control their message by preventing the administration from communicating freely with citizens.

If Fox wants to manipulate the news, and the public’s access to their leaders, they must not be permitted to do it with the help of other Democrats. We must let Fox know that they aren’t getting away with anything. We know what they’re up to, and we won’t be accomplices to it. This overt censorship must not be tolerated.

It’s as simple as this: STAY THE HELL OFF OF FOX NEWS!