Liberal Media My Ass: Hillary Clinton’s Alleged Polling Woes

The latest round of polling has hit the press with curiously coordinated reactions. Nearly every mainstream news outlet chose to spin the results as negative for Hillary Clinton.

Hillary Clinton

To be sure, Clinton’s favorability has suffered in the past few weeks due to relentless bashing by more than a dozen Republican presidential hopefuls and an unending stream of baseless but damaging stories about her email. However, the uniformity of the media presentation is hardly representative of the reality. Here is how the press is covering the news:

  • Washington Times: Hillary Clinton’s unfavorable rating approaches record territory
  • ABC News: Clinton Goes Under Water
  • Breitbart News: Gallup: Hillary Clinton’s Favorability at All-Time Low
  • Wall Street Journal: Hillary Clinton Hits Lows on Favorability, Trustworthiness
  • Reuters: Clinton’s favorability ratings lowest since 2001
  • The Hill: Poll: Clinton’s favorability tumbles
  • NBC News: Hillary Clinton’s Popularity Drops Sharply in NBC/WSJ Poll
  • Fox News: Fox News Poll: Clinton popularity drops

While there is nothing wrong with reporting the facts in polling, it is misleading if the reporters don’t put the numbers into context. And an examination of the poll results paints a very different picture of the campaign. Just using the most recent Fox News poll as an example, Clinton’s “low” favorability rating is still higher than every Republican in the poll except for one (Ben Carson). It is not a trivial side issue to note that Clinton scores better than the GOP front-runner, Donald Trump, and trounces him in a head-to-head match-up. But that is not considered newsworthy by the so-called “liberal” media.

What’s more, the press didn’t think it was important to report that every Republican’s unfavorables are at their all-time highs. Why is it news that Clinton’s favorabilty is suffering, but it isn’t news that all of her potential rivals are suffering as badly or worse? This is something the media has been doing for years with President Obama. They leap at every opportunity to report any drop in his popularity (which currently stands at about 47%) and how it will hamper the success of his agenda with Congress. What they leave out is that Congress has a favorability in the mid-teens, which should give the President a significant advantage.

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

Every single one of the headlines above could just as easily have read “Clinton And All Republicans Favorability At Or Near All-Time Lows,” but that would have meant engaging in honest journalism rather than deliberately misleading horse-race tabloidism. So the next time you see a spate of negative headlines hammering Clinton, remember that there is almost certainly more to the story than the media is telling you. And what they are usually leaving out is that, no matter how much people dislike Clinton, that hate Republicans even more.

You’re Fired! Donald Trump Dumps Fox News, Who Say They Dumped Him First

Buy stock in Orville Redenbacher today, because the popcorn market is set to explode. Reality TV goofball, and GOP object of perverted lust, Donald Trump, has declared that he will be kissing off his former BFF Fox News. In a tweet explaining the break up Trump said that…

“@FoxNews has been treating me very unfairly & I have therefore decided that I won’t be doing any more Fox shows for the foreseeable future.”

Fox News Donald Trump

Oh my. How ever will we survive? This isn’t the first time that Trump and Fox have quarreled. Earlier this year they took slaps at one another for what Trump thought were questions that were too hard during the Fox News Republican debate. He shot off insults aimed at the only female moderator, Megyn Kelly, that focused on her menstrual cycle as his reason for her harsh questions.

Eventually Trump and Fox News CEO Roger Ailes patched things up with Trump praising the executive and the network’s fairness. But that quickly deteriorated as he openly taunted Ailes saying “I love Roger, but all you have to do is ask him who won.” That’s akin to saying Ailes is my bitch.

The latest dust up appears to have been triggered by Trump’s butthurt over critical remarks on Bill O’Reilly’s show. Then, in a tantrum that seemed to have come out of the blue, Trump served his divorce papers on Twitter (Twivorce?), alleging abuse and irreconcilable differences. It all began in typical Trump fashion as he tweeted his disapproval complete with ad hominem insults.

Donald Trump Tweets

Ironically, there is no network that has been more friendly to Trump and his campaign. They have featured him far more, and more positively, than any other candidate. In fact, his ubiquitous presence on Fox exceeded the combined total air time for ten other Republican candidates last month. Fox News made Trump and he owes his current front-runner status to their worshipful coverage. For some examples of just how reverential Fox News has been, watch this:

Following Trump’s dismissal of Fox News, the network made a statement that may explain why Trump suddenly cut his ties. According to a spokesperson at Fox it was the network that fired Trump first. They said that in response to his tweets, they canceled his scheduled appearance on O’Reilly for Thursday. Subsequently, Trump decided to hit the press first with news of the separation. The Fox spokesperson went on to say that…

“When coverage doesn’t go his way, he engages in personal attacks on our anchors and hosts, which has grown stale and tiresome. He doesn’t seem to grasp that candidates telling journalists what to ask is not how the media works in this country.”

What’s funny about this is that Trump may have managed to accomplish something that News Corpse, and millions of rational, thinking Americans, have been trying to do for years: Mount an effective boycott of Fox News. The response on Trump’s Twitter page is filled with his followers pledging to forever abandon Fox and its “liberally-slanted” news coverage. That could actually have some real advantages for the future of media and America. Even though Trumpsters are among the most delusional of the GOP fringe, there are studies that show that Republicans who watch Fox are even more ill-informed than Republicans who don’t.

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

So the more people on the right who avoid Fox News, the better. And I may be in the uncomfortable position of having to thank Trump for getting people to stop watching Fox. All told, it would be worth it. And now I have to go restock my supply of popcorn. This show is still only in the first act.

[Update:] Crybaby Trump, who routinely calls people ugly and stupid, is now saying that he was offended by someone who does not work for Fox (National Review editor Rich Lowry) saying that Carly Fiorina “cut his balls off” in the CNN debate. So while he relentlessly postures about being a champion in the fight against political correctness, he can’t handle someone using a common idiom to describe what took place. How can this thin-skinned, whiner go up against Iran, who literally call for “death to America,” if he can’t deal with harmless, non-lethal metaphors?

[Update II:] Here we go again. Fox News says they have scheduled a meeting (again) with Trump to settle their differences over his latest tantrum. Planned for next week, this would represent their third “truce” so far. The real question is why is an alleged “news” network negotiating the conditions for coverage of a political candidate at all? That is a flagrantly inappropriate breach of journalistic ethics. If Trump doesn’t like Fox’s treatment he can stay off their air or go on and complain. Secret meetings raise the question of what concessions Fox News will make to accommodate (benefit) Trump at the expense of his rivals. And when was the last time that Fox offered to meet with President Obama or Hillary Clinton to discuss their differences with Fox’s far more blatant unfair coverage? No reputable news organization would even consider altering their coverage to satisfy the demands of a petulant candidate. But then again, we are not dealing with a reputable news organization.

WTF? Trump’s Rambling Policy-Free Speech Covered Live By MSNBC – Only

Donald Trump’s campaign promised that his speech today would provide details of his foreign policy agenda. The location he chose for the address was the deck of the USS Iowa battleship currently docked in San Pedro, California. But as usual, Trump arrived, greeted the crowd, and gave his standard stump speech that consisted mainly of glorifying himself and tossing out nearly incoherent, monosyllabic cliches and insults. No doubt his brain-dead fans ate it up.

What was unusual about this speech was that ordinarily all of the cable “news” networks would obediently fall in line to broadcast Trump’s irrelevance and inanity live. That didn’t happen today. Perhaps they are wising up and realizing that Trump has nothing to say and that he has been exploiting them to get free advertising.

So this day marks a milestone for media independence and journalistic discretion. Except for one thing. While CNN aired about a minute of Trump’s speech before cutting away to a panel of pundits, and Fox News ignored the speech entirely, sticking with their regularly scheduled broadcast of Bill O’Reilly, MSNBC cut away from the Rachel Maddow Show and aired Trump’s speech in full and uninterrupted. Yes, MSNBC.

MSNBC Donald Trump

Something is terribly wrong when Fox News employs a more appropriate editorial policy with regard to a Republican candidate than MSNBC. And ironically, throughout most of the segment MSNBC’s graphic read “Trump Gives Major Policy-Free Speech.” Which begs the question: Then why are you airing it? Even Trump recognized the absurdity of the constant live coverage he drew when he said in Alabama last month “Why don’t they just cover me like anybody else where they go the next day and they show little clips? Every time I speak it has to be live? It’s ridiculous.”

Indeed, why don’t they cover him like anybody else? A few weeks ago I wrote a column lambasting all three cable “news” nets for their flagrant whoring to one candidate for the ratings they expect to garnish. But now I fear I must remind the one network that ought to have known better in the first place. So MSNBC, pay attention:

“Even after Trump taunts them about how tightly they are wound around his fat finger, they still bow down to him. Even after he correctly notes that it’s ridiculous, they persist in following him around like lovesick puppies. Even though there is nothing in Trump’s stump speeches that makes them newsworthy, other than some fresh bit of noxious racism or ignorance, his arrogant mugging is carried live. His circus sideshow offers no justification for preempting regular programming to broadcast his ego-ranting as if the fate of the nation depended on it, but they do it anyway. […]

“The media should cover Trump like any other candidate. No more, no less. By arbitrarily providing live broadcasts of only his campaign speeches they are violating their professional duties by serving as the PR team for one candidate. Trump’s public appearances are pep rallies for his own aggrandizement, not news events. […]

“The live coverage needs to stop, or at least be reserved for only events that warrant it for their news value. Absent that, the networks should register as lobbyists for the candidate and be required to report their airtime as in-kind donations […] to benefit a raging demagogue whose primary appeal is that he could spontaneously combust at any moment.”

It’s impossible to say whether CNN and Fox declined to air Trump’s speech out of principle or if they just weren’t in the mood today. We will see what happens when Trump gives his next speech. But MSNBC has got to stop embarrassing themselves by demonstrating lower standards than Fox when it comes to campaign coverage.

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

Hillary Clinton And The Amazing Wingnutty Media Apology Trap

The most overused adjective of the 2016 presidential election cycle so far has got to be the term “Outsider.” The media is thoroughly infatuated with the notion of alleged outsiders dominating the campaign season and crushing their “establishment” rivals. It’s a stark turnaround from their prior position that political neophytes (i.e. President Obama) are unqualified to assume leadership roles in government.

Hillary Clinton

These outsiders have been granted broad leeway to do and say things that ordinarily would sink any other campaign. And in today’s environment the most admirable response when caught making a formerly fatal faux pas is to double down and, by no means, apologize. Notable among the remorseless on the right is Donald Trump who has insulted Latinos by calling them criminals and rapists; dishonored veterans by saying that POWs are not heroes; pretends to be pious while insisting that he doesn’t have to ask for forgiveness because he never does anything wrong; and displays blatant misogyny aimed at any woman who challenges him. In all of these, and many other, incidents he has refused to apologize or even acknowledge that his words or actions may have been inappropriate or hurtful.

But Trump is not alone. Many of the Republican candidates are guilty of this. Mike Huckabee refused to apologize after a despicable and insensitive Holocaust reference that Obama’s deal with Iran “will take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven.” Ben Carson never apologized for likening ObamaCare to slavery. Jeb Bush repeatedly used the pejorative term “anchor baby” without lament (which he got from Trump). In the last presidential race Mitt Romney actually published a book titled “No Apologies.”

So it is rather disingenuous now for Republicans, and most of the media, to be obsessed with whether or not Hillary Clinton will apologize for having used a private email address. In just the past week she has been asked this question by NBC’s Andrea Mitchell and again by the Associated Press. She responded that she was sorry that the subject was so confusing and expressed regret that she hadn’t decided to use separate emails, but since she did nothing wrong or illegal there was no other reason to apologize. She told the AP that “What I did was allowed. It was allowed by the State Department. The State Department has confirmed that.” These responses were then relayed to the rest of the media that continued to play up the same angle.

It’s interesting that every time a Republican refuses to apologize for their actions they are hailed as people of strong character who stand by their principles. The GOP voters drool all over themselves with ever-expanding esteem for their unyielding commitment. They are venerated for refusing to buckle under to pressure by those who would have them show remorse or even sympathy for those they malign. But when Clinton has the audacity to dismiss the need to apologize, and offers a rational explanation for her stance, she is assailed as arrogant, imperious, or out-of-touch.

This is emblematic of the right’s hypocritical approach to pretty much everything political. Inexperienced candidates are considered a threat to the nation, unless they are inexperienced Republicans like Trump or Carson. Wealthy candidates, like Clinton, are elitists who can’t relate to the common citizen, unless they are wealthy Republicans like Trump or Bush. Religious candidates like Jimmy Carter are belittled and demeaned, unless they are religious Republicans like Huckabee or Cruz. And this goes on and on with other matters including education, military service, and business experience. In every case Democrats are criticized for the same things for which Republicans are praised.

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

Personally, I’m a fan of apologies. It shows humility and maturity and the temperament to be able to admit one’s mistakes. People should get credit for apologizing, not criticism. But in the current political environment apologies are taken as signs of weakness. And that’s why Republicans and the press are so adamant about extracting one from Clinton. They want to portray her as weak. That’s the trap. The problem is that if she resists she is portrayed as obstinate and arrogant, but if she complies she is tagged as a spineless wimp. It’s a lose-lose proposition for her alone. Because the GOP can still refuse to apologize for anything and still get applause from the media and right-wingers who go through life with blinders on.

Foxified: CNN Taps Sarah Palin And Hugh Hewitt For 2016 Campaign Coverage

The decline of CNN has been in progress for several years now. It is a network that is struggling with an acute personality disorder. It wants very badly to emulate the ratings success of Fox News, but it has no idea why Fox is popular. They seem to think it has something to do with presenting a conservative slant on the news. But that is not how Fox became king of the cable news hill.

Fox succeeds by seducing the most extreme right-wing viewers with media trickery that mirrors entertainment programming, such as flashy graphics and audio, manufactured conflict, and soft porn in both their stories and anchors. But CNN’s misunderstanding of these tactics has led them to make glaring mistakes that fail to produce any positive results for their ratings or their journalistic integrity. The latest examples of this doomed strategy include the recent announcement of two conservative mouthpieces who will be featured prominently in their election programming.

Sarah Palin CNN

First we have Sarah Palin. That’s right, having been ditched by Fox News, CNN is throwing her a life preserver and bringing her aboard to provide campaign analysis on this Sunday’s “State of the Union.” It’s hard to imagine what insight they think she will bring to the discussion on presidential politics. Her own experience was fraught with embarrassing episodes that only demonstrated how woefully ill-prepared she was for public service at that level. And since then she has only succeeded in distinguishing herself as an ignorant hack with negligible comprehension of the issues that face the nation. Nevertheless, CNN has tapped her to toss her word salad ravings on their network’s signature political program.

Secondly we have Hugh Hewitt, a starkly partisan wingnut who will be featured on CNN’s Republican debate this month. CNN could have selected actual journalists to pose questions to the candidates, but instead they picked only a stalwart Republican radio talk show host (and no one from the left) who will join CNN’s Jake Tapper.

Of course, conservatives are capable of asking tough questions when they want to. However, when they do they will be insulted and dismissed by the candidates and the GOP constituents. Just ask Megyn Kelly. Hewitt himself is taking heat for an interview he did with Donald Trump that demonstrated how ignorant Trump is on foreign affairs. Typical of Trump, he is now hammering Hewitt for what he calls “gotcha” questions. [Note: To Republicans, gotcha questions are any question they are too dumb to answer] In this case, the real problem for Trump was not whether he had been ambushed, but that his answer was at first a lie, followed by obvious ignorance. Check out the first 30 seconds of this video:

Notice how Trump hesitates and stretches the word “Yeessss” when answering whether he was familiar with Quds leader, Gen. Soleimani. Then he adds “Go ahead. Give me a little…go ahead tell me.” Clearly he was lying when he said he knew who Soleimani is and he employed a childish dodge in order to get Hewitt to inform him. That was confirmed when Hewitt told him that Soleimani “runs the Quds forces,” and Trump responded by saying that “the Kurds had been horribly mistreated by us.” Hewitt immediately corrected him, but Trump continued to dissemble. Why would he bring up the Iraqi Kurds in response to a question about the Iranian Revolutionary Army (Quds)? Well, his explanation later in the day was that he misheard Hewitt and thought that Hewitt said “Kurds.” But if that were true then he was asserting that Soleimani was the Kurdish leader (who is actually Masoud Barzani), proving that he doesn’t know anything about the Quds or the Kurds. In the end, Trump’s answers are proof that his ignorance is insufficient to cover up his lies.

To make matters worse, Trump was asked a question about Soleimani by Bret Baier during the first GOP debate on Fox. His answer then also showed that he had no idea who Soleimani is. And after having been queried on that exact subject during a critical debate he never made an attempt to educate himself.

The fairness and degree of difficulty of Hewitt’s questioning notwithstanding, there is still a problem with CNN placing an overtly partisan person on the panel with no balance. Can you imagine Fox News having a GOP debate and getting Rachel Maddow to moderate? And this isn’t a first for CNN. In the 2012 election cycle they co-hosted their debate with Tea Party Express, an organization that was even snubbed for their corruption within the Tea Party community.

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

What CNN is doing with both Palin and Hewitt can only degrade their teetering reputation further. If there is one thing that American media doesn’t need, it’s another Fox News. The first one is already doing a stellar job of misinforming the public and advancing the agenda of the Republican Party. What’s more, emulating Fox has done nothing for CNN’s ratings. Why should it? Viewers who are in the market for dumbed-down histrionics, Democrat bashing, and a steady diet of right-wing falsehoods, already have a proven provider.

Fox News Headline: That Drowned Syrian Boy On The Beach Is Obama’s Fault

The list of things that are Obama’s fault just keeps getting longer. You have to wonder how he has managed to get so much done in so short a time. After all, conservatives have blamed Obama for everything from riots in Ferguson, MO, to California’s drought, to Ebola, to Hurricane Katrina (No, really). And that happened three years before he was inaugurated. He is to blame for high gas prices that hurt consumers, as well as for low gas prices that hurt oil companies. They blame him for increased immigration (which has actually gone down), and for the rising number of abortions (which are declining).

It really doesn’t matter what the subject is. Conservatives will spin it as evidence of America’s doom and blame Obama for it. And if you need another example, look no further than Fox News, where today they ran a story with the headline “That Drowned Syrian Boy On The Beach Is Obama’s Fault.” Because, of course it is.

Fox News Obama

Fox News contributor Erick Erickson is the one assigning the blame on this occasion. He has to stretch mightily to justify his ludicrous opinion that the responsibility for the death of a child refugee from Syria rests on the President’s shoulders. He does this by twisting the facts beyond all recognition and inventing motives that aren’t supported by reality. The sad story began when the boy’s family, along with thousands of others, fled the oppression and atrocities perpetrated by ISIS in Syria. Erickson viewed that situation as the “direct result” of Obama’s alleged pride and cowardice.

Erickson: “ISIS only became a thing when the White House, out of pride and arrogance, decided it was better to placate the left by withdrawing all troops from Iraq rather than help the Iraqis maintain their stability.

“A young boy has died, washed up on the shores of Europe. His picture has shocked the world and his death is direct result of Barack Obama fleeing the Middle East, tail tucked between his leg, so he could pridefully say he ended a war he never wanted.

“The boy is dead because Barack Obama chose to abdicate American leadership in the world.”

Apparently Erickson either doesn’t know, or is deliberately lying, about the circumstances that led to the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq. The truth is that a “Status of Forces Agreement” was negotiated by the administration of George W. Bush that called for complete withdrawal by the end of 2011. The Obama administration attempted to extend the agreement, but the Iraqis were opposed to any extension so Bush’s deadline was carried out.

Since the withdrawal date was not chosen by Obama, it can hardly be attributed to him as placating the left or resulting from his pride and arrogance. He didn’t “flee” the Middle East. He complied with the binding agreement of his White House predecessor. If Erickson is looking for someone to accuse of abdicating leadership, then he should be looking at Bush.

Furthermore, Erickson’s insinuation that Obama was responsible for the rise of ISIS is just as faulty as his understanding of international treaties. Many of the soldiers who formed ISIS were former officials and military operatives of Saddam Hussein’s Bath Party. They were only available to start their radical Islamic army because Bush’s operatives in Iraq prohibited them from having any role in the new Iraqi government. That move turned them into rebels who eventually aligned with ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Erickson argued that the destabilization of Iraq that led to much of the region’s turmoil was Obama’s fault, even though one of the reasons that Obama had opposed the Iraq war from the start was the risk of destabilization. So Erickson was wrong about Iraq. He was wrong about the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq. He was wrong about the beginnings of ISIS. He also failed to note that the dead child was not from Iraq, but was a refugee from Syria, where they were having problems of their own.

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

Nevertheless, Erickson flatly stated that “That little boy would not have died had Barack Obama stood strong in Iraq. […] That dead child is Barack Obama’s fault.” But that opinion is so much more than merely wrong. It is contrary to the facts. It is slander against Obama. It is absolution to ISIS, the real perpetrators of so much death and misery. And it is perversely exploitative of a tragic loss of innocent life. However, it is exactly the sort of despicable smear campaign that Erickson, and his comrades on the right, and Fox News, have been engaging in for at least the last seven years.

Fox News Re-Launches As The Trump News And Wall Building Corp

As noted here last week, all three cable news networks have taken to broadcasting each and every Donald Trump event as if it were actually newsworthy, despite the fact that they all consist of exactly the same bumper sticker idiocy and hate-speech. It is a unique arrangement between the networks and Trump that does not exist for any other candidate of either party.

Never one to miss a broadcasting opportunity, the management of Fox News has decided to abandon all of the pretenses of being “fair and balanced” (which no one believed anyway) and coming right out to declare that it is now cable’s first and only all-Trump TV network.

Donald Trump News

The programming on Fox News has already been leaning heavily toward a Trump-centric schedule for months. Media Matters has been tracking the candidate appearances on Fox and the results illustrate why the network is making its conversion to full Trumpism. In August alone, Fox News featured Trump for a total of nearly five hours over seventeen appearances. That means he averaged about a third of a one-hour program every other day for a month.

Trump’s ubiquitous placement on Fox even exceeded the combined total air time for ten other Republican candidates (Bobby Jindal 11 minutes, Jim Gilmore 16, Lindsey Graham 18, Ted Cruz 22, Jeb Bush 29, Rick Santorum 19, George Pataki 32, Rand Paul 33, John Kasich 45, and Rick Perry 48). The remaining candidates (Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee, Marco Rubio, and Scott Walker) all registered an hour and a half or less for the month. That’s compared to Trump’s four hours and forty-eight minutes.

To be fair, Fox News hasn’t discarded every other news item in favor of their hero and new master, Donald Trump. There is one other story that gets frequently play on the network. It concerns Hillary Clinton and her email. This story fills just about every moment that isn’t already taken by Trump. Never mind that they haven’t uncovered any evidence of unlawful behavior or any harm due to classified secrets being revealed. Nothing. It is pure speculation and innuendo. Considering all the time they devote to it, the fact that they have come up empty pretty much tells you all you need to know about the alleged scandal.

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

So look for the big premiere of Trump News and Wall Building in the next few weeks. In the meantime you can enjoy the current schedule of near 24/7 Trumpiness. After all, it isn’t like there is any reason to respect the democratic process as the nation elects its next president. Fox News is fully devoted to hyping The Donald and reaping the bonanza in ratings, which is all that really matters in America today.

Buried By Fox News: Shooting Of SF Woman By Immigrant Was An Accident

Last month Kate Steinle was killed while walking with her father on a pier in San Francisco. Her tragic death very quickly took on a tabloid hue as conservative media outlets latched unto the news that an undocumented immigrant was arrested for the crime.

To the political opportunists exploiting this tragedy it was a chance to vilify all immigrants as menacing invaders who will eventually resort to committing atrocities. Fox News in particular went to great lengths to build a narrative of legions of “illegals” swarming the nation and randomly murdering innocent citizens.

Fox News

Because the suspect, Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, had recently been released from custody by the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department, the issue of “Sanctuary Cities” became a central target of the media criticism. Bill O’Reilly took a leading role in the fear mongering and even launched a drive to pass what he called “Kate’s Law:” legislation that would impose a mandatory five year sentence for undocumented aliens who are deported and return to the United States.

The merits of such a law could be reasonably debated, but the partisan atmosphere surrounding its introduction and its advocacy by an alleged “news” network were entirely inappropriate and created a distraction from the substance of the matter. What’s more, O’Reilly’s hypocrisy was evident in that he never advocated for legal remedies following the deadly shootings in a Lafayette movie theater, or a Charleston church, or a Connecticut elementary school. In those cases there was no convenient scapegoat to demonize, just the shared constant of gun violence which right-wingers regard as an acceptable consequence of their perceived right for any person to bear any arms at any time or place.

In addition to O’Reilly’s activism, the proposed bill was taken up by at least two Republican presidential candidates. Sen. Ted Cruz introduced a draft of the bill in the Senate. But it was Donald Trump who elevated the issue to ludicrous heights. He brought it up repeatedly during his campaign stump speeches and used it as a perverse affirmation of his previous racist comments aimed at immigrants who he called criminals, drug dealers, and rapists. Never mind that the undocumented immigrant population in the U.S. has a lower rate of criminal activity than native-born citizens. So far as Trump is concerned, having one example of a felonious immigrant is enough to label all immigrants as felons.

There is just one problem. Now that the conclusion jumpers have made their case against Lopez-Sanchez in the Steinle matter, the inconvenient unveiling of facts discovered from the actual police investigation are getting in the way of their anti-immigrant narrative. It turns out that the shooting might not have been a senseless act of brutality by a foreign animal. The evidence presented in the suspect’s preliminary hearing by a police inspector indicates that Steinle’s death appears more likely to have been an accident.

“The single bullet that struck and killed Kate Steinle, 32, in broad daylight on San Francisco’s Pier 14 in July appears to have ricocheted off of the pier walkway prior to hitting her, according to expert testimony provided Wednesday during the second day of the murder suspect’s preliminary hearing. Officials say the gun Francisco Lopez Sanchez is accused of firing was not actually pointed at Steinle, but at the ground.”

So this wasn’t a case of a sub-human alien thug mindlessly exterminating America’s helpless womenfolk after all. This evidence is consistent with reports published following the arrest of Lopez-Sanchez who told the police in his confession that he had found the gun and fired it accidentally. It’s a striking new development that destroys the right’s ability to exploit this affair to further vilify immigrants.

So how does Fox News handle these revelations? By ignoring them entirely of course. After making the Steinle killing a staple of their programming for weeks, Fox has not aired a single story about the disclosures in the preliminary hearing. And naturally, Bill O’Reilly said nothing about it on his program last night. This new information is a complete embarrassment for O’Reilly and his network who mischaracterized the facts for their own purposes before they actually had any. So now they have to suppress the story in order to keep from having to apologize and retract their prior biased reporting.

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

This, however, is standard operating procedure for Fox News. They have never been concerned about factual reporting. Their entire reason for being is to propagandize on behalf of an extreme right-wing agenda. Therefore, early speculative stories that cast negative aspersions on their ideological enemies are broadcast frequently and with little vetting. But when exculpatory evidence later becomes available it is dismissed and ignored so as not to contradict their previous false perversions of journalism. It’s dishonest, irresponsible, unethical, and it’s the Fox way.

Donald Trump Is Right! The Media Is ‘Ridiculous’ For Covering Him Live

The Doctrine of the Broken Clock has come into play with some recent remarks by Republican front-runner Donald Trump. That is, despite distinguishing himself as being wrong about pretty much everything, he said something that happens to be worth consideration without even knowing it.

Donald Trump

It was at a rally in Alabama (video below) where Trump assumed a mock state of despair and complained that…

“Every time I go on television it’s gotta be live. It’s live. I said ‘Oh, can I have a rest please?’ Tonight it is live on Fox. Who likes Fox? I like Fox. It’s live on CNN. Who likes CNN? And it’s live on MSNBC, right? How come it always has to be live? Why don’t they just cover me like anybody else where they go the next day and they show little clips? Every time I speak it has to be live. It’s ridiculous, but it’s OK. Right? We have to suffer with it.”

Exactly! What is wrong with the media? Even after Trump taunts them about how tightly they are wound around his fat finger, they still bow down to him. Even after he correctly notes that it’s ridiculous, they persist in following him around like lovesick puppies. Even though there is nothing in Trump’s stump speeches that makes them newsworthy, other than some fresh bit of noxious racism or ignorance, his arrogant mugging is carried live. His circus sideshow offers no justification for preempting regular programming to broadcast his ego-ranting as if the fate of the nation depended on it, but they do it anyway. Why?

There is no precedent for how the media is covering this carnival barker. No other candidate gets this much attention. Could it have something to with Trump’s reality show persona, his penchant for dumbfounding soundbites, and the media hunger for ratings? Obviously it does. But none of that falls within even the broadest definition of news, and the media is whoring itself in a quest for ratings and the advertising dollars they bring.

Even Bernie Sanders, who is outperforming Trump by every metric, isn’t treated this way. That’s right, Sanders is beating Trump in head-to-head polling. He is drawing bigger crowds. He has better (i.e. positive) favorability ratings. And while Trump’s popularity is a media-hyped myth created by the quantity of GOP candidates, Sanders is popular with a broad cross-section of the American electorate. What’s more, when Sanders speaks he actually addresses real problems and offers real solutions, as opposed to Trump’s vapid cliches and narcissism. True, Sanders doesn’t have a hat with an asinine slogan on it that bitches about America not being great, but his hair is at least as notorious. Still, no live coverage for him because the press knows that he isn’t likely to start screaming the “N” word or slap an immigrant orphan across the face.

The media should cover Trump like any other candidate. No more, no less. By arbitrarily providing live broadcasts of only his campaign speeches they are violating their professional duties by serving as the PR team for one candidate. Trump’s public appearances are pep rallies for his own aggrandizement, not news events. Even his press conferences have no business getting live coverage. When has the media done that for any other candidate?

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Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
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The live coverage needs to stop, or at least be reserved for only events that warrant it for their news value. Absent that, the networks should register as lobbyists for the candidate and be required to report their airtime as in-kind donations to the campaign. This used to be true mainly for Fox News, but now all the cable news networks are exhibiting the same lack of journalistic ethics to benefit a raging demagogue whose primary appeal is that he could spontaneously combust at any moment.

[Update] As evidence of the faulty priorities of the press, President Obama gave a speech today in New Orleans on the ten year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina that was properly carried live by all three cable news nets. Well, except for Fox News who cut away after less than two minutes. So for a presidential commemoration of an historic event that devastated a major U.S. city, cost the lives of more than 1,800 Americans, and displaced tens of thousands more, Fox News could only spare a little over a minute. But for Trump’s stump speech they stay live for an hour or more.

Hillary Clinton’s Fox News Problem

This evening on Fox News Shannon Bream, filling in for Megyn Kelly, did a segment about how dismal Hillary Clinton’s future is now that her poll numbers have descended to unfathomable depths, particularly with regard to favorability.

Hillary Clinton Favorability

Like much of the rest of Fox’s recent coverage of Clinton, the impression made is that Clinton has about three weeks before she will drop out of the race and report to prison. To open the segment Bream gleefully reported that…

“A new poll now showing Clinton may be more disliked than she has been in decades. As a brand new survey from CNN shows her unfavorability rating is now at a whopping 53%. A number that Clinton has seen just one other time in twenty-three years of polling.”

What the “fair and balanced” propagandists at Fox are leaving out is that Clinton’s favorable rating in the CNN poll that they referenced is better than all of the Republicans that were polled. Clinton scored 44% favorable. That compares to Donald Trump at 36% and Jeb Bush at 34%. What’s more, Clinton’s unfavorable rating is lower than her most likely opponents. She pulled 53% while Trump and Bush were higher at 59% and 56% respectively.

Clinton has had the honor of being ranked as the most admired woman in the world nineteen times in Gallup’s annual survey. She received that honor the last thirteen years in a row. It is not particularly surprising that in an election year where seventeen Republican candidates are bashing her relentlessly her public image might suffer. Add to that the effect of the smear job that Fox engages in every day and it would be a miracle if her numbers didn’t decline a bit.

Notwithstanding those assaults, Clinton is still faring better than her GOP rivals who have had very little mud thrown at them. She is still beating them in head-to-head match-ups. And her support in the Democratic Party is unwavering.

What Fox News is trying to do is project their open disgust for her in the hopes that it will harm her electoral prospects next year. That’s also why they keep promoting Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden. They obviously hate them just as much as they hate her, but for the time being they are happy to use them as wedges to create chaos for the Democrats.

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

If Clinton’s 53% unfavorable rating can be characterized as “whopping” by Fox News, then what would they call Trump’s 59% or Bush’s 56%? Of course the answer is that they wouldn’t call it anything at all because they wouldn’t devote a segment of a primetime program to their “favorability problems.” In the Fox world everyone loves Republicans and they always will win every election. At least that’s how they present it to their dimwitted audience who are later shocked when they lose.