PolitiFact Proves Fox News Bias On ISIL Hearings – Also That Greg Gutfeld Is An Ass

On Tuesday Media Matters published their analysis of Fox News bias during coverage of a Senate hearing on President Obama’s plans for dealing with ISIL. Media Matters showed that during Fox’s broadcast they would air remarks by Republicans on the committee and then cut away when Democrats began to speak. The result was that Republicans were given twice as much airtime as Democrats on the allegedly “fair and balanced” network. This is an old tactic by Fox which News Corpse documented last year in another Senate hearing.

Today PolitiFact weighed in with an article seeking to confirm the data that Media Matters reported. They found that…

“Media Matters said that Fox News gave Republican senators twice as much air time as Democratic ones during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing. They said Republicans got 16 minutes compared to the Democrats’ eight. That matches our count.

“We also found that other networks provided more time and more evenly divided time to members of both parties.

“We rate the claim True.”

Fox News Greg Gutfeld

This is not exactly breaking news. Media Matters is a reliably consistent source for accurate information about the biases and partisan excesses of right-wing media. What makes this interesting at this time is that it occurred almost simultaneously to a feverish rant by Fox’s Greg Gutfeld, co-host of The Five. Gutfeld was perturbed by reports that cited Media Matters research showing the obsession that Fox News has for the Benghazi hoax. The study revealed that Fox aired nearly 1,100 reports on the subject, most of which were decidedly slanted to the right. For instance, 97% of the congressional interviews on Fox relating to Benghazi were with Republicans.

The accuracy of Media Matters’ reporting, however, was immaterial to Gutfeld’s rightist indignation. He let loose on Media Matters saying that…

“…the left-wing hacks would just work from Media Matters’ press releases [...] It’s much easier than doing original research to just read from a press release.”

That’s true. And it’s also hilariously ironic coming from a Fox News flunky. The reporting that Gutfeld was complaining about just happened to be unarguably correct, as noted by PolitiFact. But his griping over journalists using research from Media Matters is just plain stupid. Every media organization uses research from independent sources to augment their reporting. Often they latch onto providers with viewpoints that are aligned to their own. And, of course, Fox News is one of those media enterprises that does this. In fact, Fox’s Brit Hume gave a slobbering endorsement to one of the most blatantly partisan research outfits, the Media Research Center. Hume praised them saying…

“I want to say a word, however, of thanks to Brent and the team at the Media Research Center [...] for the tremendous amount of material that the Media Research Center provided me for so many years when I was anchoring Special Report, I don’t know what we would’ve done without them. It was a daily buffet of material to work from, and we certainly made tremendous use of it.”

So according to Gutfeld, Hume is a “lazy hack sitting with his laptop, covered in Cheetos.” And if that weren’t bad enough. Gutfeld must have entirely missed the scandal when Fox News was caught red-handed reporting verbatim from a Republican Senate press release as if it were their own reporting, complete with a typo that appeared on the original. And then there was the time that Fox’s Megyn Kelly did the same thing with a press release issued by the Republican National Committee, pretending it was authored by the Fox news staff.

Clearly Gutfeld doesn’t know what he’s talking about. He’s too focused on being the comic relief for the network, but instead comes off like the boneheaded sitcom neighbor who mistakenly thinks he is either funny or suave. In the end he is little more than a troll working for a network that has once again been proven to be an unrepentant purveyor of lies. And their practice of airing Democrat-free Senate hearing just insures that their audience of misinformed dimwits will remain ignorant.

And speaking of Fox News lies…
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Benghazi “Bombshell” Dropped Just In Time For The New Committee’s Maiden Hearing

The theatrics that go into the Fox News production of right-wing scandal mongering rival the most ambitious Broadway presentations. There is drama and conflict and complex stage management that grabs the audience and drags them through a narrative that is lurid and mysterious.

Gowdy DoodyThat applies nowhere more fully than to their long-running Benghazi blockbuster. It is what they turn to whenever they need a quick jolt of fabricated controversy. And with the first public hearing of Trey Gowdy’s brand spanking-new “Committee to Politicize Benghazi” scheduled for this week, Fox News has aired a promotional extra to accompany the premiere. Anchor Eric Shawn introduced the segment and correspondent Doug McKelway saying…

“We have a Fox News Alert, a ‘bombshell’ as they say, in the Benghazi terror attacks investigation. Turns out a former State Department employee speaking out in a new report now claims that aides to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, they claim, took part in after-hours sessions to quote ‘separate’ damaging documents before those allegedly damaging documents were handed over to investigators.”

Golly willikers, this can’t be good news for Miss Hillary. Even though Fox has, in conjunction with Darrell Issa’s Committee on Overstepping, declared numerous other disclosures to be bombshells that turned out to be nothing but duds, this one is fer-sure a bona fide bombshell. That’s because it was discovered by Sharyl Attkisson, the disgraced former CBS reporter who was fired as a result of her shoddy and biased reporting including about Benghazi. Attkisson’s new story was published by The Daily Signal, an arm of the uber-rightist Heritage Foundation. It contains zero evidence of the alleged activities and relies on a single, and decidedly partial, source. No wonder she was fired by CBS, but found work at the Heritage rag. Attkisson writes that…

“As the House Select Committee on Benghazi prepares for its first hearing this week, a former State Department diplomat is coming forward with a startling allegation: Hillary Clinton confidants were part of an operation to ‘separate’ damaging documents before they were turned over to the Accountability Review Board (ARB) investigating security lapses surrounding the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attacks on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya.”

There were a couple of notable omissions by Fox News that even Attkisson’s blatantly biased article included. First of all, Alec Gerlach, a State Department spokesman, said that “The range of sources that the ARB’s investigation drew on would have made it impossible for anyone outside of the ARB to control its access to information.” In other words, no documents could have been separated out and withheld because they would have been available elsewhere. Secondly, Attkisson’s sole source, Raymond Maxwell, was not someone who could be plausibly described as neutral. He was a deputy assistant secretary who had responsibility for North Africa. The New York Times reported in December of 2012 that he was one of…

“…four State Department officials [who] were removed from their posts on Wednesday after an independent panel criticized the ‘grossly inadequate’ security at a diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, that was attacked on Sept. 11, leading to the deaths of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.”

Maxwell was a disgruntled employee who had filed grievances with the State Department’s Human Resources Bureau and the American Foreign Service Association. Whether or not his allegations are true, he cannot be regarded as impartial due to his obvious personnel entanglement. However, the ARB’s investigation does contain a certain measure of credibility because it was headed by Thomas Pickering, a veteran diplomat who served in the Ford, Reagan, Bush, and Clinton administrations, and Admiral Michael Mullen (Ret), a Navy vet who was appointed Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff by George W. Bush. These are not Clinton partisans hired to whitewash her record as Secretary of State.

The emergence of this phony bombshell on the eve of the Benghazi committee’s debut is an extraordinary coincidence. And its presentation on Fox News that left out critical details is likewise a convenient happenstance. If nothing else it allowed anchor Shawn to conclude with a smarmy “Some wonder if this could be a smoking gun of a potential cover-up.” So the bombshell is also a smoking gun, and it’s all part of a cover-up. At least to a mysterious “some” who are wondering. This masterpiece of fiction has blockbuster written all over it.

Wars-R-Us: How The Media Promotes War Profiteers

The manic preoccupation of the right-wing media for war is a persistent component of coverage of the Middle East and the rise of ISIL. There is so much sophomoric and useless debate over whether President Obama uses the word “war” or not, that the television punditry seem to have abandoned reporting on what’s actually taking place. New Corpse covered this retreat to surface-level theatrics and partisan politics last week, but an article by Lee Fang in The Nation brings to light another critical element that is dangerously absent from the media presentation.

Wars-R-Us

Fang’s “Who’s Paying the Pro-War Pundits?” reports that the proliferation of former Pentagon and other government officials who comprise much of the commentator class on TV are not disinterested analysts expressing their opinions and showing off their patriotism. In fact, many are self-serving lobbyists and corporate insiders whose war fever will have a direct and positive effect on their bank accounts. For example, Fang cites the frequent appearances of former General Jack Keane, whose advice is invariably supportive of escalating the military conflict. Among Keane’s business interests is the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), a think tank he runs with Fox News contributors Liz Cheney and William Kristol. Fang writes…

“Left unsaid during his media appearances (and left unmentioned on his congressional witness disclosure form) are Keane’s other gigs: as special adviser to Academi, the contractor formerly known as Blackwater; as a board member to tank and aircraft manufacturer General Dynamics; a ‘venture partner’ to SCP Partners, an investment firm that partners with defense contractors, including XVionics, an ‘operations management decision support system’ company used in Air Force drone training; and as president of his own consulting firm, GSI LLC.

“To portray Keane as simply a think tank leader and a former military official, as the media have done, obscures a fairly lucrative career in the contracting world. For the General Dynamics role alone, Keane has been paid a six-figure salary in cash and stock options since he joined the firm in 2004; last year, General Dynamics paid him $258,006.”

The Nation’s article contains several more disturbing examples of this conflict of interest in armed conflict. The presence of so many people with a profit motive advocating a full-scale, boots-on-the-ground war, is cause for concern. The American people need to be informed when news networks serve up lobbyists and corporate executives from the defense industry, but fail to disclose their affiliations. The question we must ask ourselves is: Are we being seduced into another quagmire in order to line the pockets of the military-industrial-media complex?

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This is not a war, should not be called a war, and should definitely not become a war. Despite the panicky blatherings of media Chicken Littles, ISIL is not the biggest, most fearsome enemy we’ve ever faced. Al Qaeda had both more fighters and more money. The army of Saddam Hussein was bigger, richer, better armed, and better trained. And much of their wealth, armory, and training came straight from the United States. Remember this when you hear the partisans and profiteers in the media declaring that the fate of the planet rests on defeating this puny brigade of impotent crackpots.

Just As I Predicted, Fox News Hated Obama’s Speech (Surprise)

Just as I predicted this morning, Fox News, and their Republican comrades, marched in lock-step opposition to President’s Obama speech on dealing with the threat of ISIL.

Republicans

Immediately following the speech, Fox News spent the next couple of hours picking it apart with sometimes ludicrous logic. They began with commentary from their White House correspondent Ed Henry who asserted his opinion that Obama, by calling for decisive action to destroy ISIL, had reversed himself on his prior foreign policy which, of course, was to destroy ISIL.

Megyn Kelly, who anchored the post-speech discussion, led with a series of poll results that cast the President in a negative light. She then approached her guests with blatantly leading questions, such as her wondering whether Obama’s heart was in his stated intention to take out ISIL. She also asked whether Obama’s policy to leave Iraq in 2011 caused the situation now where we have to go back “in a way that is even more dangerous.” That question ignores certain facts, such as the date for the departure of U.S. troops which was set by George W. Bush. Also, it can hardly be characterized as “more dangerous” when Obama’s plan will result in about 1,500 American soldiers in Iraq, as opposed to the 140,000 that were there previously. As for what caused the situation that allowed ISIL to emerge, that was solely due to Bush’s plundering of the government of Saddam Hussein (based on lies) and banishing his generals and other military personal, who went on to form ISIL.

Dana Perino, Bush’s former press secretary, said that she liked Obama’s line “If you threaten the United States you will have no safe haven.” But she said that the reason she liked it was because she had heard the same thing before from her old boss when he said “You are either with us or you are against us.” How is that even remotely the same?

However, the most idiotic commentary came from Brit Hume who said…

“If the threat is sufficiently great to American interests and to America itself, then it seems that one would do whatever it takes to eliminate the threat. [Obama] didn’t quite go that far. He said he was determined to destroy ISIS, but you heard at the end when he was talking about what we do in these situations. He said “We do what it takes.” He didn’t say we do whatever it takes.

Are you FRIGGIN’ kidding me? I would love to know what Hume thinks is different about those two statements. Obviously, these cretins are so consumed with finding fault that their cranial synapses are misfiring.

Every guest during the remainder of Kelly’s program was an Obama opponent, including Hume, Perino, General Jack Keane, Chris Stirewalt, and Sen. Ted Cruz. Cruz launched his tirade by saying that Obama’s speech was “fundamentally unserious,” and was representative of the “failed Obama/Clinton foreign policy.” That was his way of injecting politics into the discussion by invoking the name of the women he hopes to challenge in 2016. Kelly’s show was followed by Sean Hannity who added John McCain and Rand Paul to the bitchfest.

Not a single Democrat or pundit supportive of the President or his policy was allowed on the air during the post-speech analysis. So much for the “fair and balanced” network. This is why the prediction I made earlier was so easy. The same prediction can be made for pretty much any event that involves Obama or any progressive politician or policy. Fox News single-mindedly follows the philosophy of Marx (Groucho, that is):

Whatever it is, I’m against it.

Fox News Imagines Another Covert Plot Against Rick Perry (And America) By George Soros

The folks at Fox News are on the case of yet another scheme by super-villain George Soros who seems to be at the helm of every evil deed that Fox stumbles over. This time they have dispatched Brent Bozell, founder and president of the uber-rightist media watch-mongrel, Media Research Center (MRC), to pull the curtain aside on the Soros machine and reveal that he is the puppet master behind the indictment of Texas Governor Rick Perry.

Fox News Rick Perry

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Bozell’s op-ed for Fox News is titled “Mainstream media censors Soros’ connection to Rick Perry indictment.” He begins his bill of peculiars by alleging that the media has suppressed the truth about Texans for Public Justice (TPJ), the group that originally filed the complaint against Perry. Bozell claims that “the group responsible for that indictment had received a half million dollars” from Soros. However, there is a very good reason that the press failed to disclose this information: It isn’t true.

First of all, TPJ is not responsible for the indictment. They merely filed a complaint that would have been dismissed if it were without merit. It was the Grand Jury, impaneled by a Republican prosecutor who was appointed by a Republican judge, that brought the indictment. As usual, if Republicans are alleged to have broken a law it is always the fault of Democrats. That includes GOP governors Perry, Chris Christy, Scott Walker, Bob McDonnell, and Rick Scott. Detect a pattern there?

Secondly, TPJ never received $500,000 from George Soros. Since Bozell failed to cite his source for that allegation, I had to track it down myself. As it turns out it was reported by the Business & Media Institute (BMI), which just happens to be a division of Bozell’s MRC. Fancy that. BMI describes their mission as being “devoted solely to analyzing and exposing the anti-free enterprise culture of the media.” Searching further I did find a $500,000 donation from the Open Society Institute, which was founded by Soros, to a coalition of groups that came together to ensure that stimulus funds were well spent. From their press release

“The Open Society Institute today announced a $500,000 grant to groups in Texas to monitor stimulus spending, encourage public participation in state-level decisions, and advocate for an equitable distribution of recovery funds. [...] The coalition includes Texas Impact, Texans Together, the Sierra Club, Texas Legal Services, La Fe Policy Research and Education Center, Public Citizen, the Center for Public Policy Priorities and Texans for Public Justice.”

OK then, TPJ was the beneficiary of some amount of largess from Soros, but certainly not half a million dollars. Even if the donation was divided evenly among the members (unlikely because groups like the Sierra Club and Public Citizen are so much larger than TPJ), it would have amounted to only $62,500. It was intentionally dishonest for Bozell to imply that TPJ received the whole amount. Another detail that he left out was that this donation was made five years ago (November 2009). That was long before TPJ had filed its complaint against Perry and even before any of the issues cited in the complaint had occurred.

No objective person could conclude that an organization that received a small portion of a donation five years prior was still beholden to that donor. But Bozell implausibly proclaims that he “wasn’t in the least bit surprised to learn the Soros machine’s fingerprints were all over this brazen, partisan ploy. It’s what they do.” How Soros’ fingerprints got all over an event that took place many years after he made a donation can only be attributed to his well-known omnipotence and clairvoyant powers. Either that or Bozell’s well-known paranoia and aversion to the truth.

Bozell closed by saying that “In this case, the media have gone beyond mere bias and are complicit in the Soros machine’s scheme to take down a conservative leader.” And with that he comes full circle to branding the entire controversy as a Soros scheme. No longer is it a just a partisan ploy by democrats. Bozell has named the perpetrator and his accomplices in the media. And with the help of Fox News this delusional fabrication will become a fact in the minds of wingnuts across America.

Holy F**k! CNN Explores Joint Venture With Paranoid, Racist, Lunatic Glenn Beck

As if to prove that television news executives are lowest form of life on the planet, CNN recently held talks with Glenn Beck about forming a joint venture between the struggling network and Beck’s lame video blog, The Blaze. According to a report in Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal it would be…

“…a new venture between CNN-parent Time Warner and The Blaze that would replace HLN’s current programming with Blaze programming.”

Glenn Beck CNN

What on Earth could they be thinking? The prospect of bringing Beck back to CNN (or television) makes no sense whatsoever. When Beck left his show on CNN’s Headline News it was in the ratings dumpster. He routinely lost to his competition and was the lowest rated program on CNN’s primetime lineup. He gathered more viewers at Fox News, but only because his toxic philosophy was a better fit for the fear-mongering, right-wing propaganda channel. However, when he left Fox News just two years later he was a pariah who couldn’t keep advertisers due to his rancid rhetoric and hate-filled, paranoid tirades. Even Fox acknowledged that he was a liability. After Beck, pretending that the exit was his idea, said he told himself that “If you do not leave now, you won’t leave with your soul intact,” Fox retorted

“Glenn Beck wasn’t trying to save his soul, he was trying to save his ass. Advertisers fled his show and even Glenn knows what that means in our industry.”

So what exactly did CNN find attractive about the notion of reignited their romance with this loser? He has an even smaller audience now than he did at CNN five years ago. That’s why he is currently on a PR campaign to rehabilitate his noxious image. But despite admitting that he “has said stupid things,” and his other disingenuous attempts to cast himself as repentant for his past vulgarities, he is still the same vituperative huckster of gloom that he has always been. For example, he recently complained about not being able to use the words “fag” and “nigger,” in reference to artwork by a guest on his show. He is also being sued for defamation by a student from Saudi Arabia whom Beck falsely accused of being a key figure in the Boston marathon bombing.

Where does CNN think his advertisers would come from? A visit to TheBlaze website reveals that he has no advertising other than Google Ads. He is still anathema to the Fords, Campbell Soups, Procter & Gambels, Fidelitys, etc. So if Beck can’t produce ratings, and he can’t attract advertisers, but he is widely reviled and divisive, what could explain CNN’s interest in him?

There only two possible answers to that question. One is that CNN is desperate beyond all comprehension. They are like a drowning man grasping for the only thing in the water, even if it’s an anchor. And secondly, CNN is run by tabloid TV king Ken Jautz who was promoted from his position as head of HLN. It was while he was at HLN that Jautz gave Beck his first job in television. So perhaps it is that unique brand of insanity that causes one to do the same stupid things over and over expecting a different result.

The fact that CNN was participating in these talks says something about their health as a news organization. They would not be considering this if they had bright prospects for the future. It also says something about Beck’s media operation. His Blaze video unit is currently financed by viewer subscriptions. If that were as successful as he pretends it to be, he would not be contemplating giving the same programming away for free on cable TV. That would dry up his web subscription base. He would also have to be pretty desperate to consider returning to the network about which he said…

“I used to call it the Pit of Despair because there are all these people plunking out stories like, ‘I just want to hang myself, I just want to hang myself.” [...and...]

“If you ever think that CNN is a rational, normal, non-leftist organization, look who they hired [referring to Crossfire co-host Van Jones as a 'communist revolutionary'].”

More recently, Beck asked himself “Why is CNN in a ratings free fall?” And he gave himself the answer that it was “the unbelievable level of manufactured outrage on the network.” Actually, that may have inspired him to seek out these talks. He may have seen that as a sign that the network was the perfect platform for an outrage manufacturer like himself. But it doesn’t clear up why CNN would seek to recruit someone with such a horrible opinion of the network.

Shameless self-promotion…
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Reports on the talks indicate that they broke down over financial terms, not ideology. That makes the whole incident even worse. Apparently CNN is cool with Beck’s evangelical, ultra-conservative messaging. And it isn’t just that he’s conservative, but that he is so violently hostile toward progressives that he once said that to stop them “you’re going to have to shoot them in the head.” And despite that sort of vile discourse, CNN only walked away from the negotiations over money. Journalism, honesty, integrity, civility, etc., never entered into it.

[Update:] Brian Stelter, reporting for CNN, says that it was Beck who sought to hook up with CNN, but that from the CNN side “The talks were never serious.” This may just be CNN covering its ass so as not to be embarrassed by the disclosure of the talks, but it also confirms that Beck is scrambling to keep his head above water.

DISGUSTING: The Fox News Response To Obama’s Statement On Foley Murder By ISIS

President Obama gave a statement (video below) this afternoon on the barbaric murder of journalist Jim Foley who had been held in captivity by ISIS for two years. The statement was powerful and resolute, condemning ISIS as terrorists who brutalize Muslims, Christians, and other innocents in pursuit of an extremist agenda. Obama said in part…

“Today, the entire world is appalled by the brutal murder of Jim Foley by the terrorist group, ISIL. [...]

“Let’s be clear about ISIL. They have rampaged across cities and villages, killing innocent, unarmed civilians in cowardly acts of violence. They abduct women and children and subject them to torture and rape and slavery. They have murdered Muslims, both Sunni and Shia, by the thousands. They target Christians and religious minorities, driving them from their homes, murdering them when they can, for no other reason than they practice a different religion. [...]

“We will be vigilant and we will be relentless. When people harm Americans, anywhere, we do what’s necessary to see that justice is done.”

Within seconds of the completion of the statement, Fox News broadcast responses from a couple of their regular contributors, Andrea Tantaros and Pete Hegseth. Their remarks were utterly repulsive, dismissive, and disrespectful to the President, the memory of Mr. Foley, his family, and the nation.

Fox News Tantaros/Hegseth

Tantaros, reaching back to a favorite of Fox’s well worn anti-Obama themes, said “Where is that Rose Garden press conference for Benghazi?” (See update below) This remark is an affront to Foley whose sad fate had nothing to do with Benghazi. It was just an attempt by Tantaros to brazenly exploit Foley’s tragedy in pursuit of her own noxious political goals. But it was also something that Fox News does routinely. They have tied everything from ObamaCare to missing Malaysian planes to Benghazi. They will bring up Benghazi in any circumstance no matter how absurdly unrelated. And in this case they overstepped the bounds of decency by taking advantage of a gruesome murder before even one day had passed. On top that, Tantaros was wrong on the substance of her vile remark because Obama actually did give a statement about Benghazi in the Rose Garden the day following the attack.

Hegseth is supposedly a veteran’s advocate who appears on Fox News to bash the Commander-in-Chief. He is the head of Concerned Veterans for America, a phony front group that is almost entirely bankrolled by the Koch brothers. His remark following Obama’s statement was “I wish he’d put on a tie.” Really? That was what he came away with after the President denounced a horrific act of terrorism against an American citizen? Hegseth is apparently more concerned about the President’s attire than the fate of American victims or the state of our nation’s campaign against terrorism. He is so obsessed with finding fault with Obama that he ignored the tribute to Foley and the passionate promise to exact justice, in favor of acting as the spokesman for the Fox News Fashion Police.

As noted above, these were not opinions developed after thoughtful consideration. They came in mere seconds after Obama stepped away from the podium. That is how close to the top of their minds these sort of depraved ideas linger. These are the kind of commentaries that you can expect from a network whose mission to disparage the President, Democrats, and liberals, takes precedence over honest reporting or even common decency.

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[Update:] Another listening to Tantaros’ remark shows that she said “Where is that Rose Garden press conference after-Benghazi fight and fervor?” She said “after,” not “for.” So apparently she was aware of Obama’s post-Benghazi Rose Garden speech. However, everything noted above still stands with regard to her exploiting the Foley tragedy with an interjection of Benghazi, which had no bearing on it. In fact, this makes it even worse because she is now saying that she wishes that Obama’s response to Foley was more forceful, like after Benghazi. Huh? After Benghazi she, every other GOP/conservative, was adamant that Obama’s response was inadequate. Now, all of sudden, she’s praising Obama’s Benghazi response? There is more than a touch if schizophrenia in this.

GOP ‘Word Doctor’ Inadvertently Admits (And Praises) Blatant Fox News Bias

As one of Fox News’ favorite contributors J. Christ said: “Physician, heal thyself.” That would be good advice for Dr. Frank Luntz, who has dubbed himself “The Word Doctor” for his efforts to deceitfully manipulate language in order to peddle otherwise unpopular conservative policies.

Fox News Frank Luntz

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On Sunday’s episode of MediaBuzz, the Fox News media analysis program, host Howard Kurtz brought Luntz in to discuss the public’s low opinion of the media. The segment turned into a slobbering love fest of Fox News with Luntz heaping praise on the network with almost every answer. However, in one instance he may have provided a little too much information.

Kurtz and Luntz were attempting to demonstrate how “fair and balanced” the notoriously conservative network is with a clip from one of Luntz’s focus groups. Luntz began by asking the group if they trust Fox News. A distinct majority raised their hands to indicate that they did. One of the few dissenters who was asked to elaborate was a woman who said that “I really believe – I know no one wants to hear this, especially here – that Fox is an extension of the Republican Party.” Seizing on that candid opinion, Luntz heralded Fox for being “willing to challenge itself,” and took a swipe at MSNBC, who he said would not have allowed the question. Then he escalated his gushing adulation to say that…

“In 2008, when I did focus groups with Obama and McCain, all three of my sessions during the debates had Obama winning. And Fox still devoted six, seven, eight minutes to those focus groups. They have nothing to fear, and I appreciate that about this network.”

Imagine that. A Republican pollster holds focus groups that favor Obama but Fox aired the results anyway. That’s an open admission that Fox is exactly what the woman in the group said: “an extension of the Republican Party.” Otherwise, why would Luntz regard it as so extraordinary that it deserved special recognition? Luntz was praising Fox for broadcasting the segment even though it was contrary to their Republican political leanings. And of course they have nothing to fear when the other 99.9% of their programming is solid GOP talking points straight from RNC press releases.

But Luntz shouldn’t get so excited about this anomaly. Fox’s version of fairness and balance is anything but. Their oversampling of right-wing pundits and politicians has been well documented. They even provide a platform for Republican candidates to campaign while still employed by Fox as paid contributors. And just last week Bill O’Reilly did a segment that attempted to prove that Fox was ideologically evenhanded, but it backfired badly. His guest, Fox host Heather Nauert, noted that there were nineteen “liberals” on Fox “out of quite a lot” of conservatives, Nauert fumbled.

[FYI: I counted only sixteen liberals (and some of those were questionable) facing off against 121 conservatives according to Fox's website. The "liberals" are Evan Bayh, Bob Beckel, James Carville, Alan Colmes, Susan Estrich, Santita Jackson, Dennis Kucinich, Mara Liasson, Leslie Marshall, Deroy Murdock, Kirsten Powers, Ellen Ratner, Geraldo Rivera, Julie Roginsky, Joe Trippi, and Juan Williams]

Elsewhere in the MediaBuzz segment Kurtz posed this question to Luntz: “You are saying that the audience has gotten more partisan [...] Aren’t people like you in part responsible for that?” Good question, Howie. Here is Luntz’s ludicrous response which Kurtz left unchallanged:

“Well, it’s a simple question. Is the death tax an accurate description of being taxed when you die? Isn’t exploring for energy what oil companies do? Is it opportunity in education, in terms of vouchers or school choice? If you believe that the words that I’m using aren’t accurate, then you’ve got a legitimate point. I believe that these are accurate descriptions, which is why the American people seem to support it.”

Quite clearly these are not accurate descriptions. They are deliberate deceptions that Luntz carefully tested to assure that they would elicit predetermined reactions from voters. The “Death Tax” that Luntz coined is not a tax on dying. It is tax on property that is being transferred from one party to another, which is exactly what would happen if it were being done between two living persons. His “exploring for energy” dodge is meant to disguise the fact that it refers to environmentally risky off-shore drilling that the public opposes. As for “opportunity in education,” that is so vague as to be meaningless, and it dispenses with the truly descriptive phrasing of vouchers, which is what the program is all about.

Luntz is a professional deception specialist. Republicans rely on him for ways to package unpopular GOP policies so that citizens are persuaded to vote against their own best interests. In other words, he constructs lies that he sells to desperate right-wing politicos, and he supports a luxurious lifestyle by doing so.

Fox Nation Outrage: Obama Vacations With White People – And Other Lies And Delusions

The Fox News community website, Fox Nation, is a non-stop parade of deliberate misinformation, biased reporting, and promotion of notoriously disreputable purveyors of propaganda and conspiracy theories like Alex Jones and Breitbart News. [For more documented proof of Fox Nation's lies, read Fox Nation vs. Reality] This morning that penchant for bullpucky was in full display with a trio of stories that perfectly illustrate the Fox Nation mission.

Fox Nation

Let’s begin with a little item that alleges that “Obama Suggests Conservatives Are Greatest Threat To Nation.” This story was filched from the ultra-rightist Daily Caller (which is run by Fox News host Tucker Carlson) and referenced an interview of President Obama in the New York Times. Obama discussed gridlock in Washington and told the Times that “Our politics are dysfunctional.” That is an indisputable fact that is evidenced by this congress being the least productive in history. The article also said that…

“The president mused, the biggest threat to America — the only force that can really weaken us — is us.”

That’s quite a different statement than what was asserted in the headline. To be sure, it is Republicans that have been boasted of their obstructionism. GOP House Speaker John Boehener even said that the congress under his “leadership” “should not be judged on how many new laws we create. We ought to be judged on how many laws we repeal.” By that measure they still suck because they have repealed precisely zero laws. But the point is made that they are proud of being an obstacle to progress. Nevertheless, Obama placed the blame more broadly on “us,” not conservatives as the liars at Fox Nation and the Daily Caller said.

Next up is an article that was picked up from right-wing media distorters, NewsBusters. They in turn were citing England’s version of the National Enquirer, the Daily Mail, who reported speculation that the former Director of Communications for George W. Bush, Nicolle Wallace, had been chosen to replace Jenny McCarthy on “The View.” Fox Nation turned that item into “Liberal Nicolle Wallace Is the New ‘Conservative’ Host on The View?”

“Liberal?” Wallace, as noted above, was a long-time political operative for the Bush regime. She was also a deputy campaign manager for his reelection in 2004, and headed up Sarah Palin’s communications staff for the McCain/Palin campaign in 2008. Wallace created a stir when she spoke candidly about Palin’s shortcomings after the election. But that doesn’t make her a liberal. It makes her intelligent and honest. On second thought, maybe it does make her a liberal, because those are qualities that liberals respect and conservatives disdain. However, for Fox Nation and NewsBusters to characterize Wallace as liberal after a career of conservative politicking is just plain delusional. Apparently the only replacement they would find suitable would be someone like Ann Coulter or Michele Bachmann.

Finally, the Fox Nationalists went to their resident screeching hyena, Mark Levin, for a taste of his undisguised racism. The headline on Fox Nation said “Mark Levin Blasts Obama for Vacationing at ‘Whitest Place on Earth’” Indeed, Levin seems to have found something objectionable about our African-American president and his family hobnobbing with his Caucasian superiors, rather than serving them drinks and cleaning their rooms as God intended. Levin continued saying to Obama that “We know how you hate whites,” and that Obama would be better off vacationing in the U.S. Virgin Islands. [Remember what happened to Glenn Beck when he said that Obama hates white people?]

But what makes this truly despicable is that Levin is not only racist, he is stupid – or is that redundant? As noted by Mediaite’s Matt Wilstein, Martha’s Vineyard has a richly diverse history:

“While Martha’s Vineyard is no doubt a ritzy island with more than its fair share of white people, Levin is clearly unaware of its rich history as a summer destination for wealthy black families. This is particularly true of Oak Bluffs, where African-American families began summering as early as the 1890s.”

Levin does make a valid point in one respect. Perhaps Obama should stay away from “the whitest place on Earth.” But it isn’t Martha’s Vineyard. It’s Fox News, where vile bigots roam free to disparage the nation, insult its citizens, and preach a brand of faith that exalts the wealthy, white, ruling class.

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As usual, Fox News is rampant with racism, delusion, and bald-faced lies. The articles above are only a small sample of the repulsiveness that is published there every day. It’s astonishing that they get away with this and even attract devoted fans. Obviously, there is still a lot of work to be done in this country to stamp out bigotry and the ignorance from which it stems.

Operation No Name – Or Whatever Obama Does Is Wrong: The ISIS Edition

Conservative critics of President Obama wasted no time in complaining about what they said was his failure to respond to the humanitarian crisis in Iraq where thousands of refugees are trapped on a mountain by ISIS militants. Never mind that only a few days had transpired since learning of the impending tragedy, the armchair generals in Congress and on Fox News had fully assessed the situation and were ready to fly off the handle.

The Senate’s preeminent news video hog, John McCain, blasted the administration for taking “no discernible action.” GOP Rep. Chris Smith said that “The president’s indifference is both numbing and enabling.” His colleague Frank Wolf joined in saying that “The administration has done nothing.” It was a steady chorus of complaints from the Republican caucus. That is, until Obama took decisive action within a few hours of the GOP outcry. From that point on the wingnuts criticized the President for doing something.

Among the complaints by the perennial war hawks are that Obama screwed up by removing American troops from Iraq in 2011 (which was actually Bush’s timetable); that Obama failed to secure a “status of forces” agreement (which actually Bush failed to secure); that Obama didn’t immediately strike ISIS when it first began its campaign, and generally that Obama has been detached, distracted, and even hostile to American interests. In short, the right blames Obama for everything that can possibily go wrong. They blame him for the acts of terrorists (rather than, you know, the terrorists). They blame him for doing what the American people want (which is to keep American ground troops out of Iraq). They blame him for Al Qaeda, for ebola, and for ants at picnics.

And the latest crackpot criticism of Obama is that his Defense Department has not assigned a name to the mission currently in progress. Seriously. There is no name. IMPEACH!

Fox News

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What could the President be thinking by failing to execute this critical function of his role as Commander-in-Chief? It is an insult to the soldiers risking their lives in defense of the American Dream that they don’t have a title to which they can refer. How can they be expected to fulfill their mission if they don’t know what to call it? If the President doesn’t correct this atrocious oversight expeditiously he will go down in history as a traitor to his nation.

There is another possibility that may have escaped the notice of the brilliant war strategists on the right. Perhaps Obama has named the mission “No Name.” This would be an ingenious tactic to confuse the enemy. They would never be able to respond to a ghostly maneuver that they couldn’t identify with a label. Operation No Name may be the shrewdest military gambit in modern times. And it may have been inspired by a uniquely patriotic piece of our cultural history:

I’ve Been Through The Desert On A Horse/Mission With No Name – by America!

It would nice if once – just once – Republicans and Fox News could find something positive in something President Obama does. Their unbroken record of outrage, whatever the issue, only marks them as tunnel-blind extremists who lack the ability to independently assess anything. And if nothing else it proves that their opinions are wholly unworthy of serious consideration.

Fox Nation vs. Reality: Romney Would CRUSH Obama If Fantasy Ruled The World

A new CNN poll was released that asked a frivolous little question that has no real bearing on anything. They asked who respondents would vote for in a hypothetical rematch between President Obama and Mitt Romney. However, the coverage of this poll by Fox Nation not only ignores the broader context of the data, it leaves out some fairly significant facts.

foxnation-reality-poll-obama-romney

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These sort of polls are merely fanciful diversions that have no real world insight or impact. There are several reasons why the results are useless for anything other than political posturing, but perfect for Fox News propagandists. First of all, this poll is only a reflection of the public’s satisfaction with the current state of the nation. It doesn’t really measure any actual campaign contest, nor does it measure Romney’s popularity. In fact, it tracks perfectly with Obama’s job approval rating in most other recent polls.

Secondly, the results of this poll are constrained by the fact that only Obama has a record for which an opinion can be formed. Since Romney lost the election in 2012, he has no record on which the public can make a judgment. If he had won two years ago he would very likely be suffering from the same dissatisfaction with current affairs and, more likely, would fare even worse since his policies would have exacerbated the problems begun by his predecessor, George W. Bush.

Thirdly, the spectacle of Fox News gleefully reporting a Romney victory over Obama is nothing less than hysterical. After all, Fox insisted right up until election day 2012 that Romney was ahead in the polls then. In a fit of poll trutherism, they declared that all other polls were skewed and that Romney was headed for a landslide victory. They even failed to report their own polls when Obama was shown to be leading. On election night, Fox pundit Karl Rove threw a hissy fit, refusing to accept the network calling Ohio, and thus the election, for Obama. Apparently they still can’t accept it.

Finally, the Fox Nationalists plastered a decidedly biased headline on the article that ignores far more relevant data from the same poll. In a hypothetical contest between Romney and Hillary Clinton, Clinton would beat him by an even bigger margin in double digits (55-42). While all polling of this type is speculative, this has more merit in that it represents a real possibility in 2016. While no candidates have confirmed that they are running at this point, we know for certain that Obama will not be one of them. Fox is clearly fixated on the past and is oblivious to the future.

This is a perfect example of how Fox keeps their audience mired in ignorance. They feed them irrelevant information, witthold information that has actual value, and diverts their attention from realistic futures to a past that Fox can alter, dressing it up to look prettier to forlorn conservatives. Hopefully they will keep this up through election day 2014 and 2016.

Myth vs. Reality: Reagan vs. Obama On Planes Being Shot Down

The compulsion of right-wing politicians and pundits to reflexively denigrate President Obama is once again outstripping their devotion to country or respect for the truth. It is uncanny how predictable it is that conservative blowhards will leap at the opportunity to bash the President, even as events of critical significance to our national security are still unfolding.

Reagan vs. Obama

That is the case as information continues to be uncovered concerning the shooting down of Malaysian flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine. Some of the more obscenely irresponsible comments come from the usual suspects, such as…

John McCain: I don’t understand this president … this is what we used to call in the military AWOL. There’s a direct loss of American lives here.
Rush Limbaugh: I don’t want appear to be callous here, folks, but you talk about an opportunity to abandon the Obama news at the border?
Todd Starnes: Obama won’t comment on Malaysian jetliner crash until he’s had a chance to read tomorrow’s paper.

On Fox News there has been a specific effort to compare the response of President Obama to that of President Reagan following the shooting down of a Korean jet on September 1, 1983. Of course the Fox position is that St. Reagan acted quickly and boldly to assert America’s outrage and leadership. However, an examination of the facts present a very different picture.

The gist of the criticism hurled at Obama was that his reaction was too timid, too slow, and tainted by his decision to keep his previous obligations with meetings on his schedule. The evidence provided to illustrate the differences between Obama and Reagan was a video of an Oval Office address by Reagan regarding the Korean jet disaster.

The first notable fact that was undisclosed by the right-wing nags is that Reagan’s Oval Office address came five days after the Korean jet was shot down. The Malaysian jet was downed only yesterday but, according to his critics, that is still too long for Obama to have waited to comment. As for the video itself, the depth of Reagan’s outrage extended to his declaration that the attack was a “crime against humanity [that] must never be forgotten” and that the Russians “owe the world an apology.” That’s telling ‘em, Gipper. Make them say they are sorry.

Compare that to Obama’s initial remarks that stated that the attack was “An outrage of unspeakable proportions,” and included a challenge to Russian President Vladimir Putin to make a decision whether to continue to support violent separatists.

Obama: Time and again, Russia has refused to take the concrete steps necessary to deescalate the situation. [...] We have been very clear from the outset that we want Russia to take the path that would result in peace in Ukraine, but so far at least, Russia has failed to take that path. Instead, it has continued to violate Ukrainian sovereignty and to support violent separatists.

There you have it. Obama laid the blame squarely at Putin’s feet and reiterated his demand that Russia take concrete steps to deescalate. Additionally, Obama called for an immediate cease-fire and an end to Russia’s provision of weapons and training to the separatists. It is an unarguably more aggressive first-response than Reagan’s, but he didn’t ask Putin to apologize so he must be weak.

Fox News and other conservative outlets have also been criticizing Obama for not canceling a couple of previously scheduled fundraising events. But there are some very good reasons for not doing so. First of all, the United States president should not be seen as being so easy to manipulate that an isolated terrorist act, not directed at the U.S., can force him to alter his plans. We are not, and must not be, at the mercy of the terrorists. Secondly, the President made an obligation to the people that organized and attended the events and he should honor that unless his presence would prevent him from taking necessary actions elsewhere, which was not the case.

Furthermore, those making the Obama/Reagan comparison also failed to note that Reagan himself jaunted off to fundraising events shortly following the Korean jet attack. On September 14 he helped raise funds for the Republican National Hispanic Assembly. On September 20 he helped fill the coffers of South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond. On September 27 it was a dinner for the Republican Majority Fund. Apparently it’s OK for St. Ronnie to engage in financial glad-handing after an international incident, but not a malingerer like Obama. For the record, less than a month after Reagan’s tour of GOP fundraisers, terrorists blew up the military barracks in Beirut killing 250 Marines. Can we say he was really on the job? Maybe Darrell Issa should open an investigation into that.

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Perhaps the most peculiar change in the right-wing media due to the Malaysian jet attack is that it has soured the right on their former hero, Vladimir Putin. For months pundits at Fox News and elsewhere were singing the praises of Putin as the model of strength, leadership, and Christian purity. Folks like Ben Carson and Sarah Palin expressed their glowing admiration. There was even a featured article on Fox News that asserted that “Putin Is The One Who Really Deserves That Nobel Peace Prize.”

At this point it’s hard to tell who the right admires more: Reagan or Putin. But it’s clear that they have a visceral hatred for our current president. You know, the one who is charged with leading the nation right now, and for whom patriotism would ordinarily compel conservatives to support in troubled times. But for some reason, right-wingers have chosen to disparage their president at every turn and before they even have facts to form a credible opinion. Not that they ever cared about facts. For them it’s shoot first and ignore the facts later. God Bless America.

So F**king What? Fox News Freaks Out Over American Muslims Support For Obama

A new Gallup poll surveyed the job approval rating for President Obama broken down by various religious groups. It’s a mildly interesting batch of data candy for polling nerds to suck on when they’re bored. The overall results average out to about the same level of approval (43%) registered in most other recent surveys. But leave it to the panic-peddlers at Fox to find something worthy of acute hyperventilation.

Fox Nation Poll

The numbers that sent Fox into a tizzy were those that put Muslim approval of Obama’s job performance at 72%. In their defective minds that surely means that Al Qaeda is pleased with the President’s performance in office and they are not ashamed to admit it. To make sure that their block-headed audience didn’t miss the point, Fox illustrated the article with a photo of Obama “bowing” down to his Arab master.

Everything about this posting is designed to stimulate the already excited racism follicles that cover the Fox viewer like an invisible furry hate-detector. But a cursory analysis reveals that there is nothing worrisome or surprising about the results in this poll.

First of all, the respondents in this survey are all Americans. They are not Islamic extremists in unfriendly Middle Eastern nations looking to the U.S. president for inspiration. They are not members of the Muslim Brotherhood seeking to form an Islamic Caliphate with Obama as their Supreme Leader. They are certainly not terrorists, unless the Gallup organization has partnered with Al Qaeda sleeper cells to find participants for their survey operations.

Secondly, who do you think American Muslims would be most inclined to support? Would it be Republicans who regard all of them as potential suicide bombers; who oppose the construction of new mosques and advocate surreptitious surveillance of existing ones; who push for racially profiling people with dark-skin and full beards? Muslims, like every other minority in America, recognize that Democrats are the tolerant party that believes in equality and values diversity. Obviously Obama is going to benefit from that in polling.

Furthermore, the not-so-subtle inference that broad support among Muslims indicates an affinity for Islamic extremists is ludicrous. After all, Obama is the man that executed Osama Bin Laden. There is no one on the planet who is responsible for the demise of more high-ranking terrorists than our current president. If the Muslim respondents in this survey were aligned with terrorism they surely would not be expressing support for Obama. And for a little contrast, Jews also gave Obama a resounding vote of confidence with a 55% majority approval rating.

Returning to the photo that Fox deliberately chose in order to fan the flames of bigotry, it should be noted that they had to reach back to June of 2009 to find a scary Muslim pictured with Obama. The other figure in the photo is the Saudi Arabian King Abdullah, a key American ally. He is awarding Obama the King Abdul Aziz Order of Merit, the highest honor that the Saudis can give to a foreign dignitary. And, yes, Obama is lowering his head so that the King can put the award around his neck.

bush-king-abdullahThis is precisely the way the ceremony was conducted in January of 2008, when George W. Bush received the same award (IOKIYAR). Of course, none of this is revealed by the myth-makers at Fox News who, by the way, are partially owned by the Muslim Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, the second largest shareholder in the corporation after the Murdoch family.

The comments by readers of this article at Fox Nation provide clear evidence that Fox is achieving their goal of stirring the racist pot. So we’ll leave you with a few of those thoughts that so perfectly sum up the Fox mind set. If you want a collection of more than 50 documented examples of Fox Nation blatantly lying, be sure to check out our ebook, Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Community’s Assault On Truth. It’s educational, entertaining, frustrating, humorous, and downright scary. You’ll love it.

Fox Nation Comments

The ObamaCare Success Story: Even Republican Enrollees Are Overwhelmingly Satisfied (InfoGraphic)

It has been four months since the open enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) closed, and the most reliable numbers to date are being released. A new survey by The Commonwealth Fund (pdf) reveals that the program has surpassed all estimates of success and is broadly viewed favorably by the American people. Here are some of the highlights of the survey (InfoGraphic below):

  • With 9.5 million fewer uninsured adults, the uninsured rate for those 19-64 decline from 20% to 15%.
  • The uninsured rate for young adults 19 to 34 declined from 28% to 18%, more than any other age group.
  • In the 25 states (and D.C.) that expanded their Medicaid programs, the uninsured rate for low-income adults declined from 28% to 17% (Texas and Florida – neither of which expanded Medicaid – have the highest uninsured rates).
  • More than half of adults with new coverage said their plan included all or some of the doctors they wanted.
  • More than three of five adults who selected a private plan or enrolled in medicaid were uninsured prior to gaining coverage.
  • Two-thirds of those who found a primary care doctor got an appointment within two weeks.
  • More than three-quarters of adults with new coverage said they were very or somewhat satisfied with it (Including 74% of Republicans, 82% of Independents, and 84% of Democrats.

The fact that so many Americans have benefited from this health insurance initiative is in itself good news. But what should make this front page news is that Republicans enrolled in ObamaCare are just as happy with it as independents and Democrats. This illustrates how far afield the Tea Party Republican political miscreants in Washington have strayed from their own alleged constituents. They are impostors holding the reins of power thanks to a minority of extremists in the party who bother to vote. And if rank and file Republicans ever get motivated to show up at the polls, people like Ted Cruz and Michele Bachmann will be lucky to get speaking engagements at trailer-park bible study meetings.

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After enduring the GOP spending four years throwing every mud-soaked brick they could find at ObamaCare, the people have risen above the scare tactics and lies. They rejected the talk of death panels and socialism and economic catastrophe. They saw through the dozens of attempts to repeal the law or challenge it in the courts. And now that they have had a chance to assess it personally, they find that it satisfactorily meets their needs, particularly those who couldn’t get coverage before due to preexisting conditions or financial hardship.

Don’t expect any of this to be reported on Fox News or by any other right-wing media garbage spewer. These are credible results from a respected foundation. They deal with facts and a devotion to representing reality (which, as we know, has a well-known liberal bias). Those are principles that conservative media tries desperately to avoid. If information cannot be used by the right to tarnish the President or progressive causes, it is either ignored or disparaged.

But despite the herculean effort put forth by Fox News, the Koch brothers, and the GOP establishment, the people have made up their own minds. Now if we can just get them to show up at the polls in November and vote for their own best interests, we may be able to roll back the tide of Dark Agist theocons who have infiltrated the halls of our democracy.

ObamaCare Success

Curmudgeon Watch: Bill O’Reilly Wags His Finger At Jon Stewart’s Daily Show

Pandering to his geriatric demographic, Bill O’Reilly of Fox News devoted his lead segments to concern-trolling the welfare of Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert. The theme of his Talking Points Memo was whether or not the Comedy Central duo would have to “change their tone” now that “things are not going very well for the Obama administration.”

Bill O'Reilly

O’Reilly opened by asserting that Stewart and Colbert are unrepentant liberals who are committed exclusively to attacking conservatives and promoting President Obama:

O’Reilly: Here’s the problem with these guys. They prop up the Democratic Party and the liberal line, President Obama, by denigrating the opposition, the Republican Party, conservative people. That’s what they do. That’s how they function on a daily basis over there. Does it get more difficult to do that when the President and the party, the Democratic Party, are descending in the court of public opinion?

First of all, O’Reilly’s logic that Republicans cannot be satirized if Obama’s approval ratings decline is ludicrous on its face. If popularity, or the lack of it, is the driving factor as to whether a potential target of satire will be selected by a comedian, then it’s the Republican Party that can breathe a sigh of relief, because no matter how badly the President is doing, he’s miles ahead of the GOP.

But more to the point, O’Reilly is absolutely wrong in his assessment that Stewart props up Democrats and lives to denigrate the right. Apparently he doesn’t watch The Daily Show or even read Fox Nation (which is edited by his own producer, Jesse Watters). Over at the Fox Nation Lie-Fest they have published dozens of articles heaping praise on Stewart for either “destroying, tearing apart, eviscerating, or grilling” Obama and other liberals (see this list here). And if that weren’t enough, they also highlighted the many times Stewart “mocked, roasted, savaged, scorched, ridiculed, and obliterated” the President and his lefty allies (see this list here).

So where does O’Reilly get the idea that Stewart is propping up liberals? Like almost everything else that O’Reilly (and Fox News) spews, it is made up from whole cloth to advance the conservative agenda. But O’Reilly has his sycophantic guests that appear mainly to agree with him. On this program it was Fox News media correspondent, Howard Kurtz, who declared that Stewart and Colbert are now “out of the zeitgeist” due to their alleged failure to criticize the President. And who knows more about the zeitgeist than Kurtz?

However, Kurtz doesn’t seem to be paying any attention to Fox’s reporting either. That’s pretty damning for the person on the Fox roster whose job is specifically the media. Kurtz criticized Stewart’s coverage of the IRS affair because it contained “nothing about a cover up. He glossed over President Obama’s role.” Kurtz must have missed the fact that there is zero evidence of a cover up or any role by the President. That may have something to do with why Stewart left it out.

When Kurtz’s co-host on Fox’s MediaBuzz, Lauren Ashburn, chirped in to disagree with O’Reilly, she was immediately interrupted so that O’Reilly could ridicule her viewpoint and segue to insulting Stewart’s audience as San Francisco liberals smoking pot. That’s actually a reprise of an insult he flung a couple of years ago when Stewart was a guest on his show. At that time O’Reilly slammed the Daily Show audience (which is documented as being younger, smarter, and more successful than O’Reilly’s) by saying…

“You know what’s really frightening? You actually have an influence on this presidential election. That is scary, but it’s true. You’ve got stoned slackers watching your dopey show every night and they can vote.”

If that’s scary, then how much more frightening is it that the imbeciles who watch O’Reilly, and believe the fairy tales he spins, can vote (or buy guns, or operate cars and other heavy machinery)? O’Reilly concluded by thoughtfully worrying about Stewart and Colbert losing their audience since “they are going to have a harder time pleasing them with the collapse of the liberal establishment.” O’Reilly may have buried the lede in this program. Up until now, most people were probably unaware that the liberal establishment had collapsed. That should have been his headline. Of course, it’s just as phony as everything else he says, but why should that matter to the biggest phony on the phoniest network?

ISSA HYPOCRISY: Lost IRS Emails vs. Lost Bush White House Emails – Part 2

Last week News Corpse published a story detailing the hypocrisy of Fox News for hyperventilating over allegations of lost emails by the IRS when they said nothing about millions of lost emails by the Bush White House during investigations of improper firings of U.S. Attorneys and the outing of covert CIA agent Valerie Plame. Even worse, one of those bashing the the Obama administration was Fox News host Dana Perino who, at the time of the Bush email affair, was Bush’s press secretary and personally defended losing the emails.

Now the web of hypocrisy is growing even wider. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Fake Scandal Committee, has been leading the attack on President Obama over the missing IRS emails, despite the fact that there is not a shred of evidence that the President was in any way involved with the email or the broader IRS controversy over the scrutiny given to political groups applying for tax-exempt status. Issa recently convened a hearing specifically to investigate the lost emails and declaring that the administration has “some ‘splainin’ to do.”

Darrell Issa Hypocrisy

It’s rather amusing that Issa is taking such a hard-line stance on the matter since it is such a distant position from the one he held in 2008, when he sought to dismiss any notion of scandal by blaming the computer software used to archive the email. Mother Jones reported at the time that Issa…

“…did his best to play down the extent of the Bush administration’s now well-documented email archiving problems. Defending the White House’s decision to switch from the Lotus Notes-based archiving system used by the Clinton administration, Issa compared the the software to “using wooden wagon wheels” and Sony Betamax tapes.”

Issa accused then-committee chair Henry Waxman of leading a “fishing expedition” and telling Waxman that “You have no mandate to go Peeping Tom into every piece of information.” Considering Issa’s multiple investigations into the IRS, ObamaCare, immigration, and, of course, Benghazi, if Waxman was a Peeping Tom, then Issa is an acutely perverted stalker with dangerously sociopathic tendencies.

In other IRS email related news, Ed Henry of Fox News raised the issue at a White House press briefing when he asked outgoing press secretary Jay Carney “What happened to Lois Lerner’s email?” Carney’s answer should be the benchmark for any further inquiries by Issa or any other agent of the Republican inquisition. Carney said

“IT professionals worked to restore Lerner’s hard drive but were unable to do so. Nonetheless, the IRS has or will produce 24,000 Lerner e-mails from this 2009-2011 time period largely from the files of the other 82 individuals. So I think that answers your question that they are engaging in an effort to find e-mails in the absence of being able to restore the hard drive. [...]

“Chairman Camp, as you know, requested e-mails to and from the White House. We were asked if we would produce them; we did, in fact, do a search for all communications between Lois Lerner and any person within the Executive Office of the President for this period. We found zero e-mails — sorry to disappoint — between Lois Lerner and anyone within the EOP during this period. We found three e-mails where a third party e-mailed both Lois Lerner and officials within the EOP. One was a spam e-mail and two others were from a person seeking tax assistance. Each of these e-mails has been produced to Congress.”

So the administration has taken extraordinary measures to retrieve the missing emails. They have searched servers and the computers of possible recipients. They have done everything that the harpies on the right have been badgering them to do. And they have had some measure of success in that they recovered and delivered tens of thousands of emails from the time period requested. What more is expected of them?

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Obviously, the critics in congress and the press don’t really care about results. They only care about stirring up controversy and fake outrage. That’s how Dana Perino can defend her boss, George Bush, for losing millions of emails and then hammer the IRS for a similar problem. And that’s how Darrell Issa can dismiss Bush’s email disappearances as a computer glitch, but accuse Obama of engaging in a criminal cover up. And the only reason they get away with it is because the media doesn’t do their homework and inform the public in a fair and thorough manner. And making it worse is that some in the media (e.g. Fox News) deliberately misinform the public to advance their partisan agenda.

GOPee Yew: What The Media Isn’t Telling You About Obama’s Poll Numbers

A new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll (pdf) has some decidedly bad news for President Obama. The American people, according to this survey, are losing patience with the President and expressing it with low opinions of his job performance, foreign policy, and leadership. It is a distinct concern for him as his administration heads into its final two years.

That said, the news isn’t all bad. But far be it for the media to put the results in context so that people get a balanced perspective of the nation’s mood. In addition to the floundering numbers, there are some areas that ought to produce some optimism for the President and those aligned with his policies. First among them is the fact that, while Obama’s numbers are nothing to write home about, his political rivals are doing so much worse that may want to run away from home.

NBC/Wall Street Journal Poll

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Both the President and his party are putting the Republicans to shame. He is 30% more popular than the Republican Party, and nearly 50% more popular than the laughably inane Tea Party. If his presidency is over, as some right-wing pundits are gleefully claiming, what does that mean for conservatives?

And that’s not all. When asked which party they prefer to control Congress, respondents chose Democrats over Republicans by 45% to 43%. The poll also reports that progressive positions on prominent issues are far more popular than those of conservatives. For instance, respondents support the Common Core education initiative 59/31. They believe that immigration helps rather than hurts the nation 47/42. They advocate action on climate change 61/37. They approve of Obama’s recent move to set strict carbon dioxide emission limits 67/29.

Clearly the electorate is in a bad mood, and they are taking it out, with justification, on their representatives. But when directly asked about solutions to the problems that affect them most, they consistently respond with agreement for the liberal agenda.

So why doesn’t the press report that? This is the so-called “liberal” media we’re talking about. Apparently they are not as driven by partisanship as right-wingers would have you believe with all of their childish carping. More likely the media is driven by ratings and revenue. In that regard, conflict and drama have always been a bigger draw than harmony. It’s the same reason that local news features murders and car chases, rather than more uplifting stories.

Obama has some work to do to counteract the effect of the relentlessly negative coverage he receives. Even the arrest of a suspect in the Benghazi attack drew absurd criticisms from Fox News and other wingnut media. But in the interim, it is important to look below the surface to see the whole story. And what this survey is telling us is that if Democrats run on progressive policies they are more likely to achieve success at the polls later this year and in 2016.

Obama Captures Suspect In Benghazi Attack To Distract From Benghazi

You might think that today’s news that a suspect in the Benghazi terrorist attack was captured in Libya would be greeted with satisfaction and relief. You would be right with respect to the reaction of the American people, but over at Fox News it’s a different story.

As usual, nothing that Obama does can be characterized positively at Fox News. They work studiously to maintain their warped view that Obama is a foreign-born, anti-American, terrorist-sympathizing, incompetent, evil genius. And so it is with the apprehension of Ansar al-Sharia commander Ahmed Abu Khattala.

Fox News

Within seconds of the report, Kennedy, co-hosting today on Outnumbered, launched into a paranoid rant infused with suspicion and conspiracy that dismissed the arrest as a political stunt (video below). Following an absurdly presumptive statement by Fox News analyst Pete Hegseth, who asserted that “we all have questions about the timing.” Kennedy offered a thinly veiled swipe at Hillary Clinton:

Kennedy: “You have the former secretary of state, who is in the middle of a really high-profile book tour, and I think this is convenient for her to shift the talking points from some of the things that she’s been discussing.”

Hegseth agreed and added that the administration had some sort of motivation to execute this mission today, again slyly referencing Clinton. And for some reason they all seem to be afraid to say her name as if saying it three times might cause her to appear in the studio. (Beetlejuice. Beetlejuice. Beetleju…)

Hegseth: “I think this thing needs to be tied in a bow for certain individuals to have a clean break from an incident that has become, and will continue to be a scandal — an anchor around a certain individual’s neck, who may want to run for president.

Kimberly Guilfoyle picked up on the theme and added that “She’s having an interview today on Fox News.” That clinched it for Hegseth who, appearing quite pleased with himself, laid out the reasoning for this dastardly plot:

Hegseth: “What a great thing to announce on an interview tonight at Fox News, that the perpetrators have been brought to justice. It’s all too neat, and it’s too cute.”

Exactly! The impulse to bring to justice someone who was responsible for the deaths of Americans had to be inspired by a desire to create something to talk about in a TV interview. Because otherwise there would have been nothing to talk about except the newly published book that was the whole reason for the interview. Surely Clinton didn’t want that to come up.

It’s ludicrous in the first place to suggest that Obama contrived the timing of this capture to help Clinton. The timing isn’t all that helpful to her being two years before a presidential race for which she hasn’t even announced her candidacy. Then, of course, why wouldn’t he have timed it to help himself when the health care rollout was floundering? Or when the IRS was accused of targeting the Tea Party? Or when the Veterans Administration affair erupted? Let’s face it, no matter when this terrorist was apprehended something else would be going on somewhere in the world that conservative nutcases could claim it was a distraction from. And they would have.

The shockingly obvious determination to turn this good news into an evil scheme is typical of Fox News to the point of being cliche. They have made it their mission to defame this president, and all liberals, from their inception. And the uniformity of thought suggests that they were given orders to present this news in the twisted manner that they did. And the fact that they conspicuously avoided uttering Hillary Clinton’s name even once in the segment, despite making her the single subject of their conversation, it is likely they were forbidden to do so by Roger Ailes or their other handlers.

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This isn’t the first time they have done this sort of thing. They similarly attributed ulterior motives to the killing of Osama Bin Laden, which many wingnuts saw as an attempt to distract from his “fake” birth certificate. And they assigned a half dozen different news events as alleged distractions from the travails of the ObamaCare launch (although now that it’s a success, it is Fox that is playing the distraction game).

So you can bet on it. Before too long somebody is going to accuse Obama of orchestrating the capture of this Benghazi terrorist as an attempt to distract from Benghazi. More times than I can count, these delusional rightists have proven that their reality is funnier, and more far-fetched, than any satire that I can concoct.

[UPDATE:] The New York Times is now reporting that Khattala “was moved to attack the diplomatic mission to take revenge for an insult to Islam in an American-made online video.” Which means that everything that Obama, Clinton, and Rice (and the whole intelligence community) said in the initial stages of the attack was true. Which means that one of Fox’s most desperate lines of attack is shredded. Whatever will they say now? (Don’t worry. They will ignore this detail and continue to make up whatever they want, just like they always do.)

FOX NEWS HYPOCRISY: Lost IRS Emails vs. Lost Bush White House Emails

On Friday the IRS reported to the House Ways and Means Committee that some email from the account of Lois Lerner, director of the Exempt Organizations division, were missing due to a computer crash that occurred in 2011. That morsel of news set the conservative media to salivating with hopes of a new controversy to wrap around the neck of the Obama administration. Never mind that after a year of congressional hearings, independent investigations, and media scrutiny, there has not been an iota of evidence tying any of the IRS activities to the White House, right-wing pundits and politicians scurried to spread innuendo and place blame.

Leading the pack, as usual, was Fox News. They pounced on the missing email story with a barely disguised glee, despite the fact that they had little information to report. However, they did succeed at what they do best: spewing outrage over alleged improprieties by President Obama that they cavalierly dismissed during the Bush years.

Fox News

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To be sure, it is reasonable to be concerned, even suspicious, when government agencies announce that data critical to ongoing investigations is unavailable. But when a media enterprise pretends to exhibit such concern for blatantly political purposes, it can hardly be regarded as credible. What’s missing in Fox’s reporting is the context that would put this story into perspective. Their reporting went straight for the jugular with premature conclusions of wrongdoing and dishonesty. The story was presented as an outrageous and unprecedented act of probable criminality.

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

Hmmm. Sound familiar? In fact, it is identical to the story now being pushed by Fox. However, Fox News never blew a gasket over the lost emails from the Bush administration. Dana Perino, a co-host of the Fox News program The Five, was among those expressing outrage on Friday when the news of the missing IRS emails was released. She and her fellow co-hosts lit into the topic, bemoaning the administration’s “ignorance” and “incompetence.” And without any proof whatsoever, they implied that the administration was lying and covering up.

What makes this even worse is that Perino was Bush’s press secretary when it was revealed that two years of White House emails were lost. This, of course, cannot be waived off as an isolated problem that occurred at another agency. This was the White House itself that lost emails that were presently being requested by investigators. And it was Perino who came to the defense. Here she is downplaying the matter in a report on CNN by Ed Henry (now at Fox News):

Here is Perino & Co. aghast at the revelation that IRS emails went astray:

It is astonishing that Perino could be so rattled by the IRS email report when she herself was so intimately involved in spinning an identical controversy when she worked for Bush (Of course at Fox, she’s still working for the same gang). Either she has the memory of a gnat or she is purposefully deceiving the gullible waifs who watch Fox News. And since deception is an integral part of the Fox News mission, we can safely assume it’s the latter.

How The Media Got EVERYTHING Wrong About Cantor’s Primary Defeat

Last week a tsunami of shock washed over the Washington press corps as the second highest Republican in congress was swept overboard in a primary race against an unknown Tea Party opponent. Eric Cantor’s embarrassing loss has sparked debate as to how such a powerful GOP leader could have been caught looking. Unfortunately, the media contribution to the debate is rife with speculation and error.

Koch-Cycle Dave Brat

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First off all, the characterization of Cantor’s opponent, Dave Brat, as an outsider who sprung from the grassroots to slay Goliath is a reflection of the shallowness of the research conducted by the mainstream media. Thom Hartmann went deeper and discovered that Brat was on the radar of the billionaire Koch brothers long before he launched his allegedly underdog campaign. Koch-affiliated financiers endowed Randolph-Macon College with half a million dollars to seat the Ayn Rand disciple as a trickle-down economics professor. Then, when the campaign commenced, radio talk show hosts like Laura Ingraham and Mark Levin took the baton and fervently promoted Brat’s candidacy. Ingraham and Levin are just a couple of the radio talkers who are sponsored by Koch front groups like Americans for Prosperity.

This brings us to the second point. The media repeatedly cast a spotlight on the campaign spending differential between Cantor and Brat. Cantor raised more than $5,000,000 compared to Brat’s $200,000. Many reporters latched onto the amusing anecdote that Cantor spent more on steak dinners than Brat spent in total. However, what they failed to take into consideration was the value of the airtime contributed by the likes of Ingraham, Levin, Beck, Limbaugh, Fox News, et al. It could cost a couple of hundred dollars for a thirty second spot on a high performing radio program. Extrapolate that to twenty or thirty minutes of direct advocacy by the the program’s host every day for a month or two and you could easily have exceeded Cantor’s budget for broadcast advertising.

Adding in the value of the donated airtime rips apart the third fallacy peddled in the press – that Brat’s low cost campaign disproves the contention that money makes the difference in elections. This is a target that has been in the sights of conservatives since the Citizen’s United debacle in the Supreme Court. The rush to exonerate wealthy donors of having any untoward impact on electoral outcomes was head-spinning. Every right-wing pundit with a microphone hailed the demise of the theory that cash-laden campaigns had an unfair advantage. In truth, Brat’s campaign was far richer than acknowledged due to the media support detailed above. But even if there were no other factors, a win by a single candidate in one race surely doesn’t negate the fact that in 99.99% of other races the better financed candidate prevails. If the right is so convinced that Brat’s showing proves that money doesn’t matter, I dare any of them to announce that they are halting their fundraising and capping their spending at $200,000.

Fourth: Tea Party supporters were quick to jump on Brat’s win as evidence of a Tea Party resurgence. In just about every other race this cycle, the Tea Party challenger lost to an establishment incumbent. With Brat’s resounding victory, they claim to have regained their mojo. But the only way they can make that argument is if they forget that they lost just about every other race this cycle.

Finally, the Washington set is dead certain that Brat’s triumph was due to his stance against immigration. After all, he did feature it in his campaign ads and it was a point of departure between him and Cantor. Unfortunately for those who seem to have a desperate yearning for that to be true, polling on the day of the election proved otherwise. Public Policy Polling released the survey showing that “72 percent of registered voters in Cantor’s district polled on Tuesday said they either ‘strongly’ or ‘somewhat’ support immigration reform.” And the anti-immigration forces conveniently ignore the fact that on the same day Sen. Lindsey Graham, an establishment, pro-immigration candidate, from an even more conservative state, handily dispatched a slew of Tea Partiers. More likely, the problem for Cantor was that he mustered only a 43% job performance approval, just a couple points off of his losing election results.

So Dave Brat won a peculiar contest in Virginia where he had hidden support from billionaires and an opponent who was widely disliked. Then he disappears and refuses to speak to the voters he hopes will be his constituents. It’s been three days and he hasn’t held a post election press conference. And yet the press continues to misrepresent the realities that produced the results of this election. It’s a state of affairs that proves that Cantor wasn’t the only loser last week. The voters and others who rely on the media to provide useful information and analysis also lost. But they should be used to that by now.