Book By Fox News ‘Liberal’ Uses Free Speech To Claim Liberals Are Killing Free Speech

The network that markets itself as “fair and balanced” has spent years proving their commitment to that slogan by balancing their right-wing infused “news” delivered by GOP mouthpieces with right-wing infused “news” delivered by people they falsely claim are liberals. The roster of fake Democrats on Fox News is extensive and includes rabid rightists like Pat Caddell, Doug Schoen, Mara Liasson, Juan Williams, and Kirsten Powers, all of whom freely express their contempt for the Democratic Party.

Kirsten Powers has long been a member of the Fake Democrat Society. She invariably agrees with her Fox News colleagues whenever she engages in a so-called debate on current events. Fox will predictably call on her to discuss issues that they know will reflect poorly on other Democrats. So if there is bad news for President Obama or Hillary Clinton making the rounds, Powers will get extra airtime to pile on. And she can be relied upon to make incendiary comments like the time she accused Obama of sympathizing with terrorists. Plus, she gets the benefit of the Fox marketing machine when she has a liberal bashing book to promote.

Fox News Kirsten Powers

This new book by Powers, The Silencing,” has the not-at-all derogatory subtitle of “How the Left is Killing Free Speech.” What could be more appropriate for the network that daily exercises its free speech to disparage lefties while complaining about being victims of official censorship? And what better message for a supposedly liberal pundit to devote to an entire book? And while we’re at it, how dumb is it for someone exercising her free speech in a book (and daily on Fox News) to complain about free speech being killed?

The truth is that this book is a petty and self-serving response by Powers to the derision she endures for her conservative activism while pretending to be a liberal. For some reason she thinks that she can get away with wearing a Democratic label and bashing Democrats, but never be criticized for it. So she wrote a book to further hammer away at those with whom she professes to be aligned. What better way to demonstrate loyalty than to accuse your so-called friends of “killing” free speech?

In some respects this book is just the sequel to Muzzled: The Assault on Honest Debate,” the book her fellow fake Dem, Juan Williams, wrote a couple of years ago on pretty much the same subject. Both books attack what they regard as political correctness as exercised by a liberal establishment that objects to Fox News passing off right-wingers as Democrats.

As evidence of the rightward ideological slant of Powers, her book was published by the uber-conservative Regnery Publishing, the literary home to Dinesh D’Souza, Ed Klein, Michelle Malkin, Laura Ingraham, Newt Gingrich, Mark Levin, Ann Coulter, Ted Nugent, and Patrick Buchanan. That is not the sort of company kept by real liberals. However, Powers’ book fits right in with the other tomes lambasting liberalism and chronicling the exploits of our allegedly treasonous and foreign-born president.

Additionally, Powers has been lauded by the ultra-rightist Breitbart News on numerous occasions, even as they joined the charade that Powers is not one of them. And the first excerpts of her book were published by the house organ of the Heritage Foundation, now led by former GOP Senator and Tea Party icon Jim DeMint. These are associations that expose the ulterior motives that Powers is pursuing with her partisan diatribe. Those motives are further revealed on the inside flap of her book:

“Free speech and freedom of conscience have long been core American values. Yet a growing intolerance from the left side of the political spectrum is threatening Americans’ ability to freely express beliefs without fear of retaliation.”

First of all, the notion that free speech comes with a shield from retaliation is contrary to the definition of free speech. What conservatives like Powers want is the ability to say all the nasty, dishonest things they like without being subject to rebuttal or criticism. It’s free speech for them, but no one else.

From a broader perspective, however, this book just reveals an effort to take down liberals for perceived intolerance, while completely ignoring the same from conservatives. If Powers were the least bit concerned about representing a progressive worldview, she would have authored a more balanced assessment of the matter. The fact that she limited her inquiry to the alleged crimes of liberals shows exactly where her heart lies.

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Furthermore, the inside flap also declares that the reader will “learn how the illiberal left is obsessed with delegitimizing Fox News.” And that, in the end, is its whole reason for existing. It is a flagrantly self-serving attempt to promote Fox News, excuse their blatant biases, and restore the credibility she and Fox have lost due to their rampant dissemination of lies, which PolitiFact has found is the majority of their reporting.

Fox News PolitiFact

America Wants A Black Jon Stewart For President – Or Center-Right Nation My A…

The conventional (alleged) wisdom from mainstream media punditry has been telling us for years that America is a center-right nation. Never mind the contrary evidence that polls reveal about a populace that favors higher taxes on the rich, marriage equality, action to mitigate Climate Change, immigration reform that includes a pathway to citizenship, enhanced gun safety measures, breaking up big banks, fewer foreign military engagements, an end to gerrymandering and voter suppression, and greater access to healthcare. Somehow the pundit class still manages to define the electorate much farther to the right than reality dictates.

Jon Stewart

Two polls this week illustrate the fallacy of the media perception of where America stands. These aren’t the first polls to set the record straight, but coming out within a couple of days of each other as a new presidential election cycle begins to gear up is instructional and ought to have an impact on how the press frames the political discourse for the next few months.

The first poll is from NBC News and the Wall Street Journal. It asked respondents to indicate their comfort levels with various traits of potential candidates. The poll produced an index that expressed the mood of the voters with regard to these traits. Topping the list as the most acceptable trait was “African-American,” with a rating of 75. Those that followed with ratings above fifty were women (74), persons under age 50 (66), Hispanics (63), military background (62), governors (62), and Catholics (57).

Even more telling (and troubling for Republicans) were those at the bottom of the list with negative ratings. They were persons with no prior elected experience (-39), Tea Party leaders (-28), and persons with no college degree (-22). Notables in those categories include Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, and college dropout Scott Walker. Additionally, our allegedly center-right nation is more comfortable with a gay or lesbian presidential candidate (33), than with an evangelical Christian (7), or any of the previously mentioned bottom dwellers.

By contrast, when the poll is segmented by party affiliation, Republicans are exposed for their overt biases. They do not rank an ethnic minority until the fifth and sixth spots: Hispanic (69) and African-American (66). Women don’t rate until ninth place with a comfort level barely above fifty (54). However, as might be expected, gays and lesbians are second to last with a negative 15 rating.

The other poll is from Reuters who surveyed Americans to ascertain their favorite pundits. On this poll Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert were in a virtual tie with about 47% saying they admired them. The same two topped the charts on the question of who “generally shares your view of the world.” Rush Limbaugh brought up the rear with only 25% giving him any admiration. And it was all right-wingers (Ann Coulter, Laura Ingraham, Glenn Beck, etc.) at the bottom for both the admiration and the world view questions.

One pundit in the survey must be particularly pissed off by these results. Bill O’Reilly ranked significantly lower than Stewart and Colbert on every issue. Since he has been obsessed with attacking them as “deceivers” and the “key components of left-wing television,” he isn’t going to take well the news that large majorities of Americans prefer the Comedy Central duo to him.

The real question is: When will the media take notice that the United States is not the center-right nation they keep pretending it is? We now have evidence that covers both policies and personalities that undeniably paints the country as more progressive. And the only reason that our political representation doesn’t reflect that is because of the corruption of money in campaigns and the corruption of gerrymandering in drawing legislative districts.

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Were those problems resolved we would see where the nation really comes down ideologically. But don’t count on Republicans to willingly allow more fairness and honesty in the electoral process. The corruption in the system currently is the only reason they have any power now and they aren’t about to let it go. It will have to be taken from them by committed proponents of true democracy. In the words of Patti Smith: “People Have The Power. The power to dream, to rule, to wrestle the world from fools.” We just need to exercise it.

Slander vs. Pander: How Fox News Exploits Bigotry Against Latinos For Political Gain

This week Hillary Clinton revealed some details of her platform on immigration. She expressed support for a pathway to citizenship and a policy that…

“…treats everyone with dignity and compassion, upholds the rule of law, protects our border and national security, and brings hard-working people out of the shadows and into the formal economy so they can pay taxes and contribute to our nation’s prosperity.”

That is a position that most recent polling shows is favored by most Americans. This puts the Republican Party in a bind of their own making due to their long-standing opposition to Latino issues and to what they falsely call amnesty. And as if to exacerbate that problem, Fox News weighs in with a dishonest and cynical approach to journalism that tries to cut both ways.

Fox News

On the the Fox News Latino website, Fox posted a report on Clinton’s policy address with a headline reading “Hillary Clinton makes deportation protection, path to citizenship central to campaign.” That’s a fairly straightforward description of the remarks Clinton made and treats the subject seriously and without prejudice.

Now lets travel over to the Fox Nation website to see how they covered the same story. Their headline reads “Hillary Clinton Vows to Expand Obama Amnesty to More Illegals.” That begins by lying about the Obama policy which contains nothing even resembling amnesty. For the record, amnesty is a “general pardon for offenses,” however, the Obama doctrine is one that contains considerable prerequisites for eligibility and takes years to satisfy.

More offensive is the use of the term “illegals” to describe undocumented residents. Most reputable news agencies have banned the use of the word as an epithet that does not properly describe the subjects it is insulting. Fox News Latino is among those who have banned the term. But Fox News and Fox Nation use it routinely.

What is happening here is something that News Corpse has documented in the past. Fox News is attempting to pander to Latinos, the fastest growing demographic group (and voter bloc) in the nation, by treating issues that affect them in a more balanced way on their Latino-themed website. At the same time, Fox is resorting to their standard stance of overt prejudice on their main outlets so as not to alienate their bigoted audience that is clamoring for an electrified border fence with a fiery moat stocked with alligators.

This is a cynical attempt to con the Latinos segregated on the Fox Latino site into believing that Fox News has their interests at heart. But a quick look at the rest of Fox News reveals that their bias is openly on display. This phony media strategy is also an effort by Fox to repair the damage that Republican candidates do to their electoral prospects by maligning a critical community of voters. The GOP cannot win a national election without a substantial percentage of the Latino vote, and if the candidates are too beholden to their Tea Party constituency to show these voters respect, Fox has taken on the responsibility of cleaning up their mess.

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Fox News must think that Latinos are pretty stupid if they believe that they will fall for this ruse. In the end Fox will not only fail to lull the Latino community into compliance, they will earn their enduring distrust. After Obama’s reelection in 2012, the Republican Party did an exhaustive study of what went so horribly wrong. One of the main conclusions was that the party failed to reach out to minorities and women, and that they would have to improve upon that in the future. Since then their outreach programs have mainly served to drive more minority voters away, except when they weren’t ignoring them completely. And the fact that Fox News still finds it necessary to engage in this sort of duplicity is proof that the party continues to fall behind in the race to represent all of America.

NewsBuster’s Hysterical Defense Of Rush Limbaugh’s Lies About The Clinton Foundation

Last week Rush Limbaugh told his dittohead audience that “Eighty-five percent of every dollar donated to the Clinton Foundation ended up either with the Clintons or with their staff.” Consequently, Limbaugh asserted, only fifteen percent was spent on actual charitable activities. This attack on the Clinton’s finances is just the latest right-wing effort to invent controversies where none exist. It comes as a new book smearing Bill and Hillary Clinton is about to hit the shelves. That book, “Clinton Cash,” has already been debunked in a major way and it won’t even be out until next week.

Rush Limbaugh

Limbaugh’s contribution to the Clinton bashing stems from an article written by Sean Davis for the Federalist blog. The article’s analysis was fatally flawed and misleading. Nevertheless, Limbaugh ran with it and even spun its conclusions further from reality. PolitiFact evaluated his remarks and declared them Mostly False.”

In short, the Federalist/Limbaugh contention was based on Clinton Foundation tax returns that report that approximately 15% of their funds were distributed as grants to other charitable organizations. They then surmised that all of the remaining 85% went into the Clinton’s pockets. However, what they failed to grasp is that the Clinton Foundation is not a grant-making institution. Rather, they spend their money on charitable operations that they implement in-house, with 88% of their funds going directly to their charitable projects. It’s comparable to the Red Cross that also does not give grants to outside groups, but runs their own relief missions. For comparison, the Red Cross only gave out about 6.5% of their funds in grants in 2013. And, once again, that’s not because Red Cross executives are lining their own pockets, it’s because they finance their own internal projects. PolitiFact explained these differences like this:

“When most people in the charitable world think of foundations, they think of organizations that give away a lot of money in the form of grants to others who go out and do good works. The Clinton foundation works differently — it keeps its money in house and hires staff to carry out its own humanitarian programs.”

These facts were not only lost on Limbaugh and the Federalist, but also on Tom Blumer of NewsBusters who wrote an article defending Limbaugh’s ignorance and criticizing PolitiFact’s “Mostly False” determination. Blumer embraced the same misunderstanding of the Clinton Foundation’s finances and referenced an article by the Washington Examiner’s T. Becket Adams (formerly of Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze) that sought to dismiss PolitiFact’s analysis by alleging that the fact-checking site is biased in favor of the Clintons.

The evidence that Adams claimed exposed PolitiFact’s bias was that the Ford Foundation was a donor to both PolitiFact and the the Clinton Foundation. By this warped logic, every recipient of a donation from the extremely generous Ford Foundation is also tied to the Clintons (That’s almost 3,000 organizations in 2013). That, of course, is utter nonsense and a brazenly desperate attempt at guilt by fantastically tenuous association.

Newsbusters thinks it is an unforgivable failure that PolitiFact did not disclose that they received funding from Ford which also donated to the Clinton Foundation. [For the record, Newsbusters receives funding from the rabidly anti-Clinton, anti-Democratic Koch brothers, but made no disclosure of that in their article] And surprisingly, that wasn’t the stupidest thing in Blumer’s column.

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To further drive home his incoherent point, Blumer also cited a report by Fox News that he said supports Limbaugh and the Federalist. Now if you have to rely on Fox News for affirmation you are already in deep trouble. But in this case the report Blumer cited actually did agree with the data Limbaugh used from the Federalist. However, that’s because the source Fox News used for back-up was – are ya ready? – the Federalist. That’s right, Blumer is defending sketchy data published by the Federalist with a Fox News story quoting the same guy who wrote the article in the Federalist.

This is how it works in Wingnutlandia, where you get to provide corroboration for yourself. Just make an outlandish claim on your blog. Then make the same outlandish claim to Fox News. Then some schmuck at Newsbusters will say that Fox News backs you up. It must be nice to live in that reality-challenged, psycho-looping sphere of anti-logic.

[Update 5/8/2015] Now Peter Schweizer, author of the widely debunked smear book “Clinton Cash,” is also regurgitating the phony Clinton Foundation charitable expenditures. Although Eric Shawn of Fox News called it “incredibly misleading.”

Not News On Fox News: Pope Francis Calls Male/Female Pay Disparity A ‘Pure Scandal’

The bias in journalism is as much evident in what news editors chose to report as it is in what they chose not to report or in how they slant stories that make it to the air. Therefore, by recognizing the omissions of news enterprises you can identify their biases.

This is particularly true when a media outlet fails to cover a story that would ordinarily be of interest to it. For instance, Fox News is a devoutly religious news organization. They are not shy about expressing their faith personally or in relation to a news item they are covering. Most of their anchors are avowed Catholics, and the inclusion of Christian themes in their reporting is routine. They have a Catholic priest on the payroll as a regular contributor (Father Jonathan Morris), and their Todd Starnes is an aggressive advocate for evangelical causes and a critic of perceived, imagined, and fabricated slights.

So it should come as no surprise that Fox News has failed to report on the views expressed today by Pope Francis. In his regular “catechetical reflection,” the Pope came out squarely in favor of equal pay for equal work, a social reform that has long been a goal of the feminist movement. This is not, however, a reform that is favored by business interests, Republicans, and consequently, Fox News. As a result, they shut out of the news cycle the Pope’s message that…

“…as Christians, we must become more demanding in this regard […] supporting with decision the right to equal retribution for equal work; disparity is a pure scandal.”

The last thing that Fox News and other right-wing media outlets want is to advertise that the head of the Catholic Church agrees with feminists and Democrats on the issue of fair pay. That would only extend the list of issues on which the Pope has taken sides with liberals, including the judgement of gays, Climate Change, economic inequality, and health care, to name a few.

The fact is that many right-wingers have already given up on this Pope calling him ignorant, delusional, leftist, Marxist, etc. Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck, are among those who have explicitly denounced him. And in an act of utter absurdity, the Republican House balked at honoring the Pope because he “sound[s] like Obama.”

Pope Francis

No really, it’s true. GOP House Speaker John Boehner refused to even bring up the resolution for a vote, so it died in committee. That’s how severe the epidemic of Obama Derangement Syndrome is. And it isn’t getting better any time soon. After Obama leaves the White House its next occupant could be Hillary Clinton. Should that occur, look for the Republican Party to cut the salary of the President by thirteen percent.

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Fox News Buries Bad News For Ted Cruz And Marco Rubio On Latino Website

In October of 2010, Fox News launched the Fox News Latino website in order to mitigate the massive disadvantage Republicans faced with Latino voters. Latinos are the fastest growing demographic in the nation and their voting power is increasing with each election. So even though the Republican Party has been alienating this constituency with blatantly detrimental policies, Fox News was determined to try to save the GOP from its own prejudices.

The Fox News Latino site has been used as the dumping grounds for stories that Fox News was uncomfortable with presenting to their 99% white audience. So it is common to see Fox sequester stories with ethnic themes on the Latino site so they can avoid offending their much larger audience on the Fox News mothership. News Corpse has documented numerous examples of this, and here are just a few.

In another twist on this journalistic fraud, Fox News published an article that exposed Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio as a couple of the Senate’s biggest truants. Despite the fact that they are both in their first terms, they have missed more votes and/or committee hearings than most of their colleagues.

Cruz/Rubio

Just today, Cruz gave a venomous condemnation of Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch and the importance of voting against her, then skipped out without voting. [Lynch was confirmed 56 to 43] So it’s interesting that these freshmen senators are currently among the leading candidates for the GOP nomination for president.

Not only are they lacking the most basic qualifications for the job they seek (particularly from the Republican perspective that claimed President Obama was unqualified), but they haven’t even been doing the job that represents their only plausible qualification. What they’ve been doing, of course, is running for president. But maybe they should have acquired some experience first, or at least done some work in their current jobs.

The story revealing the poor attendance records of Cruz and Rubio was prominently displayed on the Fox News Latino web site. However, Fox News didn’t bother to report it either on the air or online. With this strategy Fox can say that they covered the story somewhere, but they don’t wind up giving a great deal of negative exposure that might cause electoral headaches for their Republican pals. Especially those who are favorites of the far-right, Tea Party contingent that makes up most of the Fox audience.

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There is no valid argument for restricting this story to just the Latino website. While Cruz and Rubio obviously share a heritage that is relevant to the site, their position in a national campaign makes this news relevant to the whole nation. Apparently Fox News doesn’t want the nation to know about this, so it’s downgraded to an ethnic niche site that most of their audience will never see.

Imagine if Fox News had only reported stories about Obama in 2008 on a separate African-American website. What Fox is doing is dishonest and racist. It is a disservice to their audience and a corruption of journalism. In other words, it is business as usual at Fox News.

Fox News Is Preparing A Special Report On An Already Debunked Hillary Clinton Book

If you aren’t doing anything this coming Friday, and you have an hour to devote to becoming more ignorant, Fox News is airing special report based on a book that makes wholly unsubstantiated allegations against Hillary Clinton.

Fox News

The book “Clinton Cash” has been getting a great deal of promotion from Fox News and other right-wing media outlets, although it won’t be released for another couple of weeks. The author, Peter Schweizer, is one of the most widely discredited writers working today. His past is replete with criticisms from across the political spectrum and his books have been ridiculed for sloppy investigations and sources who don’t exist.

Schweizer is now the president of the Government Accountability Institute, an organization that is bankrolled by the Koch brothers and was founded by the head of Breitbart News. The GAI has previously embarrassed itself by publishing studies that brazenly misrepresented (or invented) the facts related to their bogus reporting. News Corpse covered one such incident involving an alleged foreign fundraising scandal that supposedly “rocked” the Obama reelection campaign. However, the study didn’t cite a single example of a foreign donation and the authors admitted to Fox’s Steve Doocy that there is no such evidence. Likewise, another GAI study claimed that Obama took more vacation days than average private sector workers. Once again, the study totally distorted the data that actually showed that Obama took far fewer days off.

Now Schweizer has a new book that has been been promoted as a devastating blow to Clinton’s campaign. Rand Paul teased the media by saying that he has “been briefed by Peter Schweizer on this book, and the facts are going to be alarming.” Sean Hannity unleashed a frantic rant saying that “These newest allegations…have the potential in the end to derail this presidential campaign.” These are just two examples of a flood of headlines and hyperbole that say much the thing, that Hillary Clinton’s presidential aspirations will be over just as soon as the book hits the shelves.

There is only one problem with their prognostications of doom. The book is a fraud that proves nothing. The early reports from people who have actually read it indicate that the author fails to connect any of the dots that the wingnut media is hyping. And according to ThinkProgress, who got a copy of the book, even Schweizer admits that he has no proof of anything untoward:

“Schweizer explains he cannot prove the allegations, leaving that up to investigative journalists and possibly law enforcement. ‘Short of someone involved coming forward to give sworn testimony, we don’t know what might or might not have been said in private conversations, the exact nature of the transition, or why people in power make the decision they do,’ he writes. Later, he concludes, ‘We cannot ultimately know what goes on in their minds and ultimately provide the links between the money they took and the benefits that subsequently accrued to themselves, their friends, and their associates.'”

In other words, he’s got nothing but wild accusations and speculation. But it gets even worse. ThinkProgress also found a segment in the book where Schweizer cites a press release as back-up for his charges. Unfortunately for Schweizer, the press release was revealed to be fake back in 2013, a fact that he had plenty of time to discover and avoid putting forth as corroborating evidence.

This is typical of the sloppiness that has dogged his career. The rebuttals to the book on the basis of his dishonesty and lack of professional ethics have already begun to worry his defenders at Fox News. They are resorting to propping him up by asserting that attacks on his credibility are rooted in partisanship, rather than the abundant evidence of his hackery. Fox News anchor Harris Faulkner rushed to his aid saying that “You talk about tearing Schweizer down because he was formerly with Republicans. What about George Stephanopoulos?”

Isn’t it cute how Faulkner tries to slip in the suggestion that Schweizer was “formerly” with Republicans, as if he is no longer a committed right-wing activist, as evidenced by his leading the Koch-funded GAI? But more to the point, what does Stephanopoulos have to do with this? He hasn’t written a book filled with lies aimed at smearing a Republican presidential candidate. No doubt Clinton backers are just as partisan as any other politicos, but the problem with Schweizer isn’t his party affiliation, it’s his credibility and integrity.

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Which brings us back to the special on tap for Friday. Fox News will broadcast an hour long program titled “The Tangled Clinton Web” that is anchored by Bret Baier and based on Schweizer’s book. However, the book has already been revealed to be a fraud whose author admits that he doesn’t have the goods on Clinton and whose book is rife with errors and uses hoax press releases as proof. And there are still a couple of days before the special airs for more revelations to be uncovered.

This Fox News special is tainted before it has even aired. Will they include any of the info that has come out about the book in their broadcast? Will they try at all to be fair and balanced? Not likely, given the track record for Fox. And even though they’ve got plenty of lead time to include the truth, Fox has demonstrated that truth is not a part of their criteria for reporting what they mistakenly call news.

Fox News CEO Admits That The Network Is Not In The News Business

Objective viewers have long ago concluded that Fox News is not, and never has been, a legitimate news network. They began as a project by right-wing propagandist Rupert Murdoch and Republican media strategist Roger Ailes to spread disinformation and promote GOP politicians. And for the past 17 years they have carried out that mission with a roster of rabidly partisan hosts broadcasting provable lies.

Now, with the publication of the “Hollywood Reporter’s 35 Most Powerful People in New York Media 2015,” Roger Ailes, the Fox News chairman and CEO, has confessed that his network, despite its name, is not actually in the news business. Belittling his cable news competitors CNN and MSNBC, he gave the Reporter a statement revealing his true professional aspirations:

“In fact, Ailes, 74, no longer views those networks as rivals. ‘We’re competing with TNT and USA and ESPN,’ he says.”

So according to Ailes, he regards channels that are plainly entertainment and sports as his competition, not other news outlets. That is not really all that surprising if you have examined the Fox programming model with any depth. News Corpse has previously analyzed how Fox incorporates methods that are generally reserved for entertainment programs. As recently as last month we published a description of the hyper-dramatization Fox injects into their presentation:

“Fox News has redefined television journalism by fundamentally transforming it from an information medium to an entertainment medium. They dress up their pseudo-news segments in the same melodramatic packaging that entertainment outlets use: conflict, scandal, mystery, and hyper-charged emotions including hero worship and fear. Fox employs flashy graphics and attention-grabbing audio whooshes and gongs to decorate their reports that are presented as ‘ALERTS’ regardless of the news value. And always there is sex. Fox’s roster of hosts has more former beauty pageant contestants that journalists. And they aren’t shy about putting their ‘talent’ in revealing clothes and camera angles. In fact, Fox CEO Roger Ailes demands it. As for news, Fox’s concentration on tabloid thrill-fiction like Benghazi and Obama’s birth certificate is the news equivalent of porn.”

Ironically, Fox News was labeled as an entertainment channel way back in 2007 by TV Guide, a magazine that was owned at the time by Rupert Murdoch. There was a reason that Murdoch might have deliberately categorized his own “news” channel as entertainment. It mainly centers around the fact that entertainment programming always outperforms news programming. [More on this theory here]

TV Guide Fox News

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Also of note in Ailes’ statement to the Hollywood Reporter is his appreciation for a certain program on MSNBC:

“I flip to MSNBC occasionally to make sure their blind pig didn’t find an acorn. But they never have once. I tell you who I do like at MSNBC — I like Joe and Mika.”

Setting aside his childish insults, the fact that Ailes likes Morning Joe is reason enough to cancel the program. After all, Ailes also likes pathological liar Bill O’Reilly, bombastic librul-hater Sean Hannity, rightist tool Neil Cavuto, news floozy Megyn Kelly, clown boy Steve Doocy, and I don’t even have sufficient adjectives for Donald Trump and Sarah Palin. If I were Joe Scarborough I’d be thinking “With friends like Ailes, who needs enemas?”

Rand Paul Follows Ted Cruz To Sean Hannity’s Fox News/GOP Welcoming Party

Yesterday marked the arrival of the second official candidate for the Republican Party’s nomination for President of the United States. Kentucky senator, and former self-certified ophthalmologist, Rand Paul placed himself in contention for the nomination at the Galt House in Louisville. For those fortunate enough to have never slogged through Ayn Rand’s tedious and preachy novel “Atlas Shrugged,” John Galt is a leading figure who is best known for epitomizing the childish “take my ball and go home” philosophy of social interaction.

Rand Paul 2016

In what may signal a trend in the GOP’s strategy for launching a political campaign, Paul went straight from the Galt House to Sean Hannity’s House at Fox News for his first post-announcement interview. That is exactly what Ted Cruz did after announcing his candidacy at Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University, where students were threatened with fines if they did not attend. Perhaps Fox News has implemented the same policy wherein Republican candidates will be fined, or otherwise punished, if they do not pay their respects to Hannity before proceeding with their campaign.

While it is no surprise that GOP presidential wannabes would kowtow to Fox News (aka the PR division of the Republican Party), it is a demonstration of their arrogance that they are not at least trying to disguise their biases for the sake of appearing to be credible. Apparently that ship has sailed, been commandeered by Fox pirates, and is now rusting on the ocean floor.

As for Paul, he delivered what he called a “a message that is loud and clear and does not mince words.” Indeed, it was loud. And that message turned out to be decades old sloganeering whose words relay nothing of substance: “We have come to take our country back.” It’s easy to mock this theme by asking simply “back to what?” From all appearances, Paul wants to take us back to the Reagan years, with its soaring deficits, crushing unions and working people, abandonment of the poor and mentally ill to the streets, and illegally bankrolling foreign terrorists with money made from selling arms to terrorist states.

However, the more interesting question is who does Paul mean when says “We?” The “we” that he is leading so that he can snatch the country back from the citizens who twice elected Barack Obama, are the bankers, oil barons, and other privileged elites who he would free from regulations that protect the public from their greed and abuse. Paul is a favorite of the Koch brothers and, of course, Fox News kingpin, Rupert Murdoch.

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It will be interesting to see how the rest of the GOP roster rolls out their campaigns. Marco Rubio is anticipated to be next in line. He would be smart to skip the Hannity ring-kissing ceremony, if just to differentiate himself from the pack. After all, he could go straight to Megyn Kelly and still satisfy his bosses at the network.

And just for fun…

Paul was famously outed as a plagiarist by Rachel Maddow who noticed that his speeches were curiously identical to the Wikipedia page for the movie Gattaca. If that seems like an odd source for staking a false claim of authorship, then what do we make of his having designed a logo for his presidential campaign that appears to be a rip-off of the logo for the hook-up site, Tinder?

World on Fire

I’m just asking. And while we’re at it, why do both Paul and Cruz feature flames in their logos? Is it to convey their belief that “the world is on fire,” as Cruz told a frightened little girl?

UPDATE: Marco Rubio did indeed make Hannity his first media stop. That makes Hannity and the GOP field three for three.

Captain Oblivious: Bill O’Reilly Denies That Fox News Is Conservative – Jon Stewart Proves It

After nineteen years of flogging the most partisan right-wing propaganda and serving as the PR division of the Republican Party, It is astonishing, and somewhat comical, that Fox News can still present itself as “fair and balanced.” That delusion requires a measure of either self-deception or rank dishonesty that defies comprehension.

Bill O'Reilly

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And yet, that is precisely the position taken by Fox’s Godfather of Gumption, Bill O’Reilly. On Thursday’s program O’Reilly butted heads gently with his frequent guest and sycophantic hanger-on, Bernie Goldberg, who tried meekly to assert the obvious.

Goldberg: Liberal news organizations are gonna play down liberal screw-ups. But Fox News is gonna play down conservative screw-ups.
O’Reilly: I disagree with that. Let me tell you why.

Thereupon, O’Reilly set out to prove that he and his “flagship” show is a paragon of neutrality goodness. As evidence he bragged about featuring “unbiased” commentators like Charles Krauthammer and Brit Hume. Which is a little like saying that inviting David Duke to dinner proves you’re not a racist. O’Reilly goes on to insist that rabidly partisan Fox hacks like Megyn Kelly, Bret Baier, and Chris Wallace are ideological straight shooters. And while Goldberg agrees with him on every count, he still asks O’Reilly incredulously…

Goldberg: So Fox isn’t the conservative network? Is that what you’re trying to tell us?
O’Reilly: What I’m saying to you is that I never bought that Fox is the conservative network. I buy that Fox gives conservatives a voice that they don’t have on the other networks. There’s no right-wing jihad on this network. If somebody’s screwing up on the right they get hammered.

Well, except for all the times that Fox has simply declined to mention conservative screw-ups, scandals, and blatant lies. And when Fox can’t help but mention some right-wing fiasco, they devote most of their time and energy to defending the wingnut miscreants responsible for it.

A conveniently timed example of this came in a segment from Thursday’s Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Reporting on the hypocrisy of Fox News coverage of the Justice Department’s investigation of police conduct in Ferguson, Missouri, Stewart noticed Fox’s one-sided focus on the exoneration of officer Darren Wilson, while completely ignoring the DOJ’s conclusions that the Ferguson PD engaged in routine discrimination and racist behavior. Stewart compared Fox’s response to the DOJ report with their non-response to a Republican House Intelligence Committee’s report debunking the lies that Fox had been telling about Benghazi for years. Summing up he succinctly articulated…

“…the beauty that is the ugliness of Fox News. They demand accountability for anger and divisiveness, whilst holding themselves entirely unaccountable for their anger and divisiveness.”

You’ll be waiting a long time for Fox News to apologize for getting virtually everything wrong about Benghazi. Apologies are a foreign concept to Fox. And O’Reilly is the poster boy for arrogant refusals to take responsibility for mistakes, deceptions, and outright lies. The recent unveiling of a career-long pathology of dishonesty and personal glorification, complete with documentary evidence of his deliberate falsehoods, has failed to produce the slightest bit of contrition or shame, much less an apology. To the contrary, O’Reilly’s response has been to lash out by insulting and literally threatening his critics. And when he isn’t on the attack, he resorts to distractions such as this week’s anti-Semitic segment calling Jewish philanthropist George Soros a “Puppet Master” who controls governments and banks and other institutional levers of power.

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Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
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O’Reilly’s anger, divisiveness, and evasion of accountability are emblematic of the Fox mindset. And his inability to admit the starkly conservative biases of Fox indicates an acute case of denial. Anyone who continues to believe that Fox News is a fair arbiter of information needs to adjust their meds. And that includes O’Reilly.