Even More Proof That Fox News Is Killing The Republican Party

Harvard University is validating the media analysis of News Corpse. Last year News Corpse published an article that affirmed that Fox News, despite the conventional wisdom, is actually a powerfully destructive force within the conservative political world. The article, Fox News Is STILL Killing The Republican Party.” examined the results of a survey conducted by the Brookings Institution and the Public Religion Research Institute that compared the views of Republicans who watch Fox News to Republicans who don’t. The conclusions revealed that Fox News Republicans are even more uninformed and extreme in their views than their non-Fox viewing comrades in the same party. That article from last year was itself a follow up to one published by News Corpse six years ago that originally took the position that Fox News Is Killing The Republican Party.” Back then I wrote that…

“By doubling down on crazy, Fox is driving the center of the Republican Party further down the rabid hole. They are reshaping the party into a more radicalized community of conspiracy nuts. So even as this helps Rupert Murdoch’s bottom line, it is making celebrities of political bottom-feeders. That can’t be good for the long-term prospects of the Republican Party.”

News Corpse was not alone in noticing the detrimental effects of Fox News on the GOP. Bruce Bartlett, a veteran strategist who worked in both the George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan White Houses, published a paper titled “How Fox News Changed American Media and Political Dynamics.” The paper’s premise was that Fox News has had a harmful effect on the Republican Party’s electoral appeal by herding its already right-wing flock into an even fringier parish where it is shielded from differing views. He literally (and correctly) accused much of the conservative base of being brainwashed by Fox News and other right-wing media.

Fox News Bad For GOP

Now a study by Jackie Calmes, a fellow at Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, has been released that makes some of the same observances of how Fox News, talk radio, and other right-wing media sources are damaging the Republican Party’s ability to either govern or get elected. the study titled They Don’t Give A Damn About Governing, Conservative Media’s Influence On The Republican Party,” is a lengthy and detailed analysis of the historical and contemporary influences that have shaped conservative politics. It includes interviews with Republican politicians, operatives, and pundits who almost unanimously express their concerns for a party that has lost control to the outer fringes of their most radical rightist wing in the media. The study begins by asserting that “the leaders of the Republican Party are not setting its agenda […] it is conservative media” that represents…

“…an expanding web of ‘news’ sites and social media outlets with financial and ideological alliances with far-right anti-government, anti-establishment groups like Heritage Action, Americans for Prosperity, Club for Growth and FreedomWorks. Once allied with but now increasingly hostile to the Republican hierarchy, conservative media is shaping the party’s agenda in ways that are impeding Republicans’ ability to govern and to win presidential elections.”

The GOP conservatives interviewed for the study (some of whom declined to be identified for fear of retaliation) had opinions that were predominantly negative with regard to the state of affairs in the party. Here are a few examples:

Unnamed Republican: “There’s no incentive to ever really bother with reality […] the loudest voices drown out the sensible ones and there’s no real space to have serious discussions.”

GOP Rep. Tom Cole: While [talk radio is] conservative in its orientation, it’s a financially driven enterprise and market share matters. And playing to the prejudice of their audiences or reinforcing them – as opposed to engaging in enlightened and intellectual debate – is pretty widespread.

Unnamed Republican: Now it seems that so many people are going for the niche, for the red meat, and there are all these outlets where you can do that. It’s playing to the base, but the base doesn’t live in reality. And that’s the problem: It’s taken the party in a really self-destructive direction.

GOP operative John Feehery: “[C]onservative media has become ideologically and financially entwined with the network of no-compromise advocacy groups financed by the Kochs and other right-wing patrons. Together, media and activist groups are part of ‘this conservative-industrial complex that has risen up. And they have a vested interest in failure, not in success.”

The Cato Institute’s Julian Sanchez: “Reality is defined by a multimedia array of interconnected and cross-promoting conservative blogs, radio programs, magazines and of course, Fox News. Whatever conflicts with that reality can be dismissed out of hand because it comes from the liberal media, and is therefore ipso facto not to be trusted.” […And that] “conservative media’s logic had become worryingly untethered from reality as the impetus to satisfy the demand for red meat overtakes any motivation to report accurately.”

Media historian Nicole Hemmer: “We used to say, ‘You’re entitled to your own opinion, but not to your own facts.’ Now we are all entitled to our own facts and conservative media use this right to immerse their audience in a total environment of pseudo-facts and pretend information.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself. Well, actually I could have, and I did last year and five years before that. But at least they are catching up. Unfortunately, even acknowledgment of these problems is not likely to result in a course correction. Particularly after the new paradigm exemplified by the loudmouthed, ignorant, hostility of Donald Trump, who is proving that no matter how abhorrent you are, never apologize or backtrack or show any signs of reasonableness or humility. It is that lesson that forms the greatest obstacle to progress for Republicans. The study confirms this in its concluding paragraphs saying that…

“The unanimity among establishment Republicans – many of them conservatives by the definition of anyone but purists – that rightwing media has become a big problem for the party, and their readiness to talk about it, was something of a surprise to this reporter of three decades’ experience in Washington. Of the establishment Republicans among several dozen conservatives interviewed, nearly all were flummoxed about how to moderate the party. Most expressed despair.”

That despair is not without justification. What was once the “Grand Old Party” is now populated by “Grouchy Obstinate Purists” who represent the “Greedy One Percent.” And there is no sign that any of it is going to improve any time soon. Particularly as long as Fox News is the preeminent media mouthpiece for the right, and they continue to promote nut cases like Trump, Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, etc.

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

The Republican War On Women: The Rape Of Planned Parenthood Edition

If there was ever any doubt in the past, the Republican Party is affirming its commitment to a full-blown War on Women, and they don’t seem the least bit concerned about the negative consequences of their deceitful and destructive actions.

GOP War On Women

Last week a video was released by a group of anti-abortion activists seeking to malign Planned Parenthood. The video purported to show a Planned Parenthood official discussing the harvesting and sale of fetal tissue. However, it didn’t take long for the video to be repudiated as a fraud that was heavily edited to distort the context. The organization that made the video was also shown to be associated with prior attempts to falsely malign women’s health care groups.

Notwithstanding the now obvious misrepresentations in the video, Republican members of Congress are already drafting legislation to defund Planned Parenthood. They have zero evidence that Planned Parenthood did anything illegal or unethical, but that is not stopping them from grabbing their pitchforks and igniting their torches.

This is reminiscent of the shameful conduct of the GOP Congress a few years ago when a similar video smear job by convicted criminal James O’Keefe resulted in the demise of ACORN, an organization that provided much needed assistance to low income Americans. O’Keefe was later proven to have deceitfully edited his videos and he lost a $100,000 lawsuit for defamation against a former ACORN official. But the damage had already been done and ACORN was gone before the truth was fully revealed.

Should the lying propagandists get their way in this attack on Planned Parenthood the results could be even more destructive. For one thing, defunding Planned Parenthood would have almost no effect on the abortion rate at all. That’s because abortion services amount to a mere 3% of Planned Parenthood’s work. So the services that would suffer from the denial of funds would primarily be those related to cancer screening and prevention, contraception, and STD testing and treatment. Those services comprise up to 85% of Planned Parenthood’s work.

Therefore, the consequences of denying funding would be an increase in unwanted or unplanned pregnancies, something that the anti-abortion activists profess to be against. What’s more, there would be more women suffering from undiagnosed or untreated illnesses.

There can be no other conclusion then that the Republicans in Congress are deliberating trying to advance legislation that will do demonstrable harm to the women in America. Yet the GOP complains when they are portrayed as engaging in a War On Women. But what else can you call it? Women are well aware of the antagonistic behavior of Republican lawmakers, which is why they generally favor Democrats at the polls. And things like this renewed effort to financially strangle a charitable enterprise upon which they rely is not likely to put the GOP in a better light with America’s women voters or the men in their lives.

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

The GOP seems to be committing electoral suicide with their racist agenda aimed at African-Americans and Latinos. Likewise they are not making friends in the senior community by threatening Social Security and Medicare. And young people are decidedly turned off by their opposition to marriage equality, education funding, and student debt relief. Add to that the country’s female voters and there is little left of the electorate to support the Republicans but their base of Teabaggers, evangelicals, and wealthy corporations and individuals. Good luck with that, Republicans.

No, Fox News, Bernie Sanders Did Not Honeymoon In The Soviet Union

When Hillary Clinton was running away with the Democratic nomination, it was not unusual to hear Fox News pundits pumping up Bernie Sanders. It wasn’t because they admired his progressive policies or his grassroots appeal. It was because they reflexively jumped at any opportunity to knock Clinton down a peg.

Now that the Sanders campaign is actually looking competitive, the same Foxies are getting nervous and looking for ways to discredit him. The primary line of attack has been to feverishly repeat that Sanders is a (gasp) Socialist. Under ordinary circumstances that would be sufficient to rattle the fear centers of their perpetually anxious viewers.

Bernie Sanders Honeymoon

However, these are not ordinary times. Consequently, more creative measures were required by the Fox punditocracy. So they brought in Jamie Weinstein, senior editor of Tucker Carlson’s ultra-rightist Daily Caller, to slip a brazen lie into the discussion at the very end when there was no time left for it to be rebutted. The segment sought to concern-troll Clinton’s less commanding, but still substantial, lead over Sanders, while simultaneously dismissing the surging challenger as a far-left crank.

Where the broadcast went off the rails was at the end when Weinstein concluded his final diatribe by making an assertion that was utterly false and intended to defame Sanders. He offered as evidence of Sanders supposed extremism that he had spent his honeymoon in the Soviet Union. That allegation is almost laughable, but it will assuredly be swallowed whole by Fox’s dimwitted viewers. Following Weinstein’s false comment, Fox News anchor Gregg Jarrett smiled and noted that you learn something new ever day. The problem is that, with Fox News, what you learn each day just makes you more stupid than you were the day before.

The origin of the this made-for-Fox fallacy was a 2007 interview of Sanders’ wife, Jane, by Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility. In the interview she was describing how she and Bernie met and some of their early engagements which were almost entirely related to their shared interest in community affairs. They were so involved in these sort of activities that she joked…

“The day after we got married, we marched in a Memorial Day Parade, and then we took off in a plane to start the sister city project with Yaroslovl with 10 other people on my honeymoon.”

The context was obviously humorous. Who could possibly read that and come away thinking that she seriously meant that they honeymooned with ten other people who were implementing a sister city project? Well, apparently Weinstein and others of his ilk came away believing just that. Weinstein likely picked up the lie from uber-conservative John Fund who wrote an article for the National Review containing the same misrepresentation of Sanders’ diplomatic trip.

We are going to have to get used to wingnuts hyperventilating over the political labels attached to Sanders. Today there was an extended discussion on Fox’s The Five about “Sanders’ Socialist Agenda.” At no time during the broadcast did anyone on the show identify any policy advocated by Sanders that they could actually call Socialist (if they really have any idea what the word means). The policies they did mention were his support for higher taxes on the rich, for expanding access to education, and for single-payer healthcare. Those are pretty mainstream policies that millions of Americans support. And the right has been absurdly calling Obama a Socialist for so long that the word has lost all meaning.

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

There was also much feigned hand-wringing about whether Sanders was going to pull Clinton farther to the left and damage her electability in the general election. The consensus on the program was that she was already a far-left candidate without Sanders’ influence. But these cretins think that just being a Democrat means being far-left. What they don’t realize is that Sanders’ platform leans to the mainstream of the American people who elected President Obama twice. Any effect he has on Clinton moving in that direction will only enhance her electability. So bring it on, and don’t complain if the people once again reject the regressive and repressive policies of the Republican Party in November of 2016.

Murdoch’s Media Machine Digs Desperately For Anti-Clinton Dirt

Republicans just got a jolt of reality smashed in their faces by a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll showing that Hillary Clinton is wildly popular among Democrats (92%) and is beating the GOP front-runners by substantial margins (Jeb Bush by eight points, Marco Rubio by ten, Scott Walker by fourteen). This is after much of the right-wing media has been crowing about how Clinton is supposedly damaged goods due to the manufactured scandals that have been aimed at her. Fox News in particular has been almost giddy reporting that Clinton’s reputation for trustworthiness has allegedly been tarnished by Fox-generated stories about emails and charities and Benghazi.

The new poll results indicate that the glee in the imagineering suites at Fox may be premature. So something in the realm of Rupert Murdoch must be done to churn up the Clinton-loathing and cheer up the Fox viewers. And they apparently have settled on their plan.

Clinton Bash

The Murdoch-owned New York Post just published a story by Peter Schweizer, author of “Clinton Cash,” the the widely debunked book from Murdoch’s HarperCollins publishing subsidiary. The Post article then became the topic of a segment on Murdoch’s Fox News program “Fox & Friends.” The article was also re-posted on the Fox News community website, Fox Nation. This is obviously an effort to flood the zone with as many Murdoch-run outlets as possible. The article features a headline that will likely score the Delusional Headline of the Week Award: “Clinton Cash Author Demolishes Hillary’s Self-Defense.” That headline is completely accurate – as long as your definition of “demolish” is “to utterly fail to rationally impair.”

Schweizer attempts to rebut some recent comments made by Clinton in response to a reporter’s inquiry. She was asked about her role in approving the sale of a uranium mining company to a Russian enterprise. She answered clearly that she had no role in the decision as it does not fall into the purview of the Secretary of State. Schweizer seems to have been incapable of understanding that response and set about to “demolish” it in three steps. Here is what Post readers and Fox viewers are supposed to think is a demolition of Clinton’s defense in Schweizer’s own words:

“First, nine investors who profited from the uranium deal collectively donated $145 million to Hillary’s family foundation … But Hillary expects Americans to believe she had no knowledge [of it].”

The issue of donations to the Clinton Foundation is old news that has been extensively analyzed and dismissed for lack of any trace of wrongdoing. There are thousands of donors to the Foundation which, unlike similar groups, fully discloses who their donors are. And with all of that information available, there has not been a single proven allegation of the Clintons trading favors for contributions. Furthermore, Clinton has never said that she had no knowledge of these affairs, just that the decisions were made at a lower level within the State Department. Therefore, there could not have been any influence peddling.

“Second, during her Sunday interview, Clinton was asked about the Kremlin-backed bank that paid Bill Clinton $500,000 for a single speech delivered in Moscow. Hillary’s response? She dodged the question completely.”

What makes this assertion interesting is that the paragraph following the one in which Schweizer accuses Clinton of dodging the question completely, includes her explicit answer to the question. Some dodge. Clinton said plainly that “The timing doesn’t work.” because the speech, and the compensation for it, came “before I was Secretary of State.” So having failed to make any sense, Schweizer shifts gears to point to an entirely different financial transaction about which Clinton was not asked. Even so, without having been asked, her prior response stating that she could not have traded any favors since she was not making the decision applies to this transaction as well.

“Third, Clinton correctly notes in the interview that ‘there were nine government agencies who had to sign off on that deal.’ What she leaves out, of course, is that her State Department was one of them.”

Not only did Clinton correctly note that nine agencies are required to sign off on the deal in question, she has repeatedly noted that the State Department was one of them. In fact, it was Clinton’s staff that corrected the error in Schweizer’s book that omitted this fact. So Clinton did not leave out the State Department’s role, but Schweizer did leave out the role of the other agencies. What’s more, he continues to suggest that there are some financial shenanigans on Clinton’s part, even though she could not push through any favors for donors because without the other agency head’s approvals there would be no deal.

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

In the end, Schweizer failed to coherently rebut a single thing that Clinton said in her interview. His only recourse was to incredulously ask whether Americans can believe Clinton’s version of events. Well, according to the poll cited above, the answer seems to be an enthusiastic “yes.” And all of the effort, investment, and deceit that went into this full-court press by the Murdoch media against Clinton seems to have been wasted. Unfortunately, that is not likely to deter these unethical, pseudo-journalistic cretins from doing more of the same for the next year and a half. So settle in for a campaign season of viciousness and lies, because that’s all the right has to work with.

Only On Fox News: McKinney Pool Party Kids Are Just Like Dallas Cop Shooter

This morning’s Fox & Friends featured a segment that sought to examine the motives behind violent attacks on police officers like the one that just occurred in Dallas, TX. The premise of the discussion (video below) was essentially that there is a cultural trend that has led to a general disrespect for law enforcement resulting in direct attacks on the police. As evidence of that alleged disrespect, co-host Pete Hegseth cited the recent incident at a pool party in McKinney, TX, where an out-of-control cop brutalized a fourteen year old girl who had broken no laws.

Fox News

The audacity of that association is almost too much to comprehend. The notion that a deranged adult who assaulted a police station with pipe bombs and gunfire from an armored van was the product of a societal breakdown of respect for authority is just plain idiotic. While all of the facts regarding the motives are not in, clearly this was not a case of bad manners or upbringing. And the suggestion that kids who were the victims of police abuse are emblematic of some sort of creeping epidemic of delinquency makes no sense at all.

This ludicrous juxtaposition was offered by Hegseth who introduced the segment by asking “Is growing anti-police rhetoric at all of this partly to blame for the situation [in Dallas]?” A question he answered himself saying that “It really does get to the question of respect for authority.” Right, because the problem with the guy who shot up the police station was that he never learned proper courtesy. One has to wonder why no one at Fox News ever connects the disrespect shown to members of law enforcement by Cliven Bundy’s Tea Party Militia in Nevada who threatened to kill federal agents and, in fact, did murder two police officers in Las Vegas, a story that Fox actively suppressed.

The panel Hegseth assembled consisted of three right-wingers who all agreed with his premise. Particularly disturbing was John Rafferty, a retired NYPD detective, who advocated a police-state tactic commonly used in places like Iran. He wants to arrest anyone who captures incidents of police abuse on video.

“If we walked down the block and I was shoving a camera in your face, harassing you for no other reason, you could be arrested. I don’t understand why these cops are being told not to arrest these people. We should be arresting them.”

Hegseth eagerly agreed with Rafferty that citizens should be denied their constitutional rights and incarcerated merely for documenting the bad behavior of the public servants whose salaries they pay.

On a side note, the fact that Hegseth is co-hosting Fox & Friends is notable in itself. While he has been a Fox News contributor for some time, his main occupation is as CEO of Concerned Veterans for America, a right-wing activist front group for the Koch brothers. By moving into the host’s chair, Hegseth is merging Fox News with the Kochs operation, a move that is all the more ominous considering that the combination of Fox News and the Kochs are usurping the functions of the Republican Party leading to the privatization of democracy by ultra-partisan billionaires and corporations.

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


(h/t Raw Story)

Are Voters Willing To Pay To Combat Global Warming? Don’t Ask Fox News

For anyone looking for additional evidence that Fox News makes people stupid, another splendid example popped up on the Fox Nation website today.

Fox Nation

The article’s headline posed the question “Are Voters Willing To Pay To Combat Global Warming?” Both the question and the original source for the article came directly from the ultra-conservative pollsters at Rasmussen Reports. The folks at Rasmussen answered the question by stating flatly that “Most voters still aren’t ready to pay much, if anything, to fight global warming.” Fox News repeated the same thing without any critical assessment of its accuracy.

It would not be surprising, then, for Fox’s audience to come away believing that the poll showed that Americans are unwilling to pay up in order to prevent the scientifically verified dangers of Climate Change. And if they won’t pay to mitigate the harm, then they must not think it’s very important.

The problem with that conclusion, however, is that it flies in the face of both reality and the actual results of the Rasmussen poll. Reading further on the Rasmussen article (which Fox did not report) reveals a very different representation of the public opinion:

“A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 41% of Likely U.S. Voters say they are willing to pay nothing more in higher taxes and utility costs annually to to generate cleaner energy and fight global warming. But that’s down from 48% last August and the lowest level measured in regular tracking since January 2013. Another 24% are willing to spend only $100 more per year, unchanged from earlier surveys. Twenty-six percent (26%) are ready to spend $300 or more a year to combat global warming, with six percent (6%) who are ready to spend at least $1,000 more annually.”

To sum up, with 24% willing to pay at least $100.00 per year, plus 26% willing to pay over $300.00 per year, plus another 6% willing to pay more than $1000.00 per year, you get 56% (a clear majority) of Americans who believe that Climate Change is a problem that is serious enough to shell out significant funds to address. Yet somehow Rasmussen, and subsequently Fox News, spun the poll results as saying that “most voters still aren’t ready to pay much, if anything.”

So how did they arrive at that obviously contrary conclusion? One guess is that they simply decided that either $100.00 or $300.00 is not “much” money. But that’s a subjective analysis and many Americans would dispute it. Even Fox News would dispute it under different circumstances. For instance, if they thought that someone’s health insurance premium was going to increase $100.00 per year they would regard it as an outrage and renew their calls to repeal ObamaCare.

Another possible explanation for how the poll results were so absurdly twisted is Rasmussen’s methodology wherein they split the responses into four groups (pay nothing, $100.00, $300.00, or $1000.00). The effect is to divide all the responses where there is willingness to pay into three answers, while leaving a single answer for those unwilling to pay anything. Consequently, you get a plurality of 41% who won’t pay, compared to smaller numbers who will pay different amounts. So long as no one adds up those other amounts and realizes that they total 56%, a deceptive pollster could claim that those who won’t pay are the largest single group.

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

Rest assured that the Fox News audience won’t do the math. In fact, they probably won’t even click through to read the article. And for the foreseeable future they will believe, falsely, that the majority of the American people are against any attempt to address Climate Change if it is going to cost them anything. Nice work Fox. Your dishonesty will keep your audience mired in ignorance, just the way you like them.

Slow News Day: Fox News Correspondent With Paper Fetish Reveals Meaningless Documents

OK, Rick Perry just announced that he is running for president, but anyone who thinks that is news is probably still wondering whether Saddam had WMDs. So, in the absence of anything more substantial to report, News Corpse would like to present Catherine Herridge, a Fox News correspondent with a particularly unique on-air presence.

Fox News Catherine Herridge

For some reason, Herridge insists on augmenting her reporting with visual aids. Whenever she discusses some government revelation that was discovered in a memo or email or agency report, she feels the need to hold up a handful of papers to validate her reporting. Of course, the papers she displays cannot be read on the TV screen and really just take up space. For all the viewer knows, they are instructions to assemble an IKEA bookcase, or the results of her recent colonoscopy. [Note: If Fox’s graphics are to be believed, all of the examples above have something to do with Benghazi, an issue that Fox has tried in vain to scandalize for years]

The only thing interesting about this behavior is that Fox News regards this stagecraft as enhancing the storytelling on the part of their reporter. There is an inference that Fox viewers are persuaded by this “evidence” that whatever Herridge is saying must be true because there are some papers in her hand with printing on them. It is emblematic of the shallow standards of journalism as practiced by Fox News and the low bar for authenticity required by its audience.

In short, this useless theatrical gimmick captures the core of Fox’s broadcast methodology: Wave a shiny object on the screen while making unsupported assertions about its meaning. It’s basically the same tactic they use to promote Megyn Kelly and ISIS videos.

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

Sarah Palin Redux: Hillary Clinton Pallin’ Around With Terrorists? Here We Go Again

Fading reality TV loser and notorious political quitter, Sarah Palin, hasn’t been heard from much lately. Her sightings on Fox News have become rare, with the last appearance sometime back in January. Unfortunately, her unique brand of dementia seems to be enduring as one of her classically idiotic themes made a comeback on the Fox Nation website:

Hillary's Benghazi-Qaeda Brotherhood

A featured article on Fox Nation was topped with a headline that declared that “Hillary’s Terror-Tied Aide Had Full Access to Benghazi E-Mails.” This immediately brings to mind the memory of Palin’s famously loony “pallin’ around with terrorists” allegation that falsely tried to tie then-candidate Barack Obama to former Weather Underground radical (now mild-mannered college professor) Bill Ayers.

The reprise of this stupidity is based on the thoroughly discredited accusations that Clinton aide Huma Abedin is a deep-cover agent of the Muslim Brotherhood who is plotting to destroy America from within. Never mind that Abedin, who was born in Michigan, has been a trusted and respected public servant for many years. The charges against her were originally leveled by congressional “intelligence” experts, Michelle Bachmann, Louie Gohmert, and other Tea Party fruitcakes.

When the terrorist slurs first began circulating they were shot down by everyone that knew Abedin, including prominent Republicans. House Speaker John Boehner defended her saying that she had a “sterling character.” Lindsey Graham called the attacks on her “ridiculous.” John McCain praised her saying that she “represents what is best about America” and that the charges were “an unwarranted and unfounded attack on an honorable woman.” Ed Rollins, who managed Bachmann’s presidential campaign, repudiated the attacks as “downright vicious.”

The Fox Nation article links to the ultra-rightist propagandists at Truth Revolt, a website that was founded by Breitbart Editor-at-Large, Ben Shapiro. Truth Revolt, in turn referenced the conspiracy crackpots at WorldNetDaily, who are still grasping feverishly to the birther nonsense. The WND article was written by Aaron Klein, who believes that Obama might be a Muslim who sides with Al Qaeda. So Truth Revolt re-posts WND and Fox Nation re-posts Truth Revolt, with an opening paragraph that launches into a surreal fantasy:

“It has been revealed that Huma Abedin, senior aide to Hillary Clinton, had access to Clinton’s personal e-mails including highly-sensitive details surrounding Benghazi. Abedin is also accused of having ties to Muslim extremist groups. […] WND reports personal and familial ties between Abedin, the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as al Qaeda.”

There you have it. With absolutely no factual basis, Fox News has bought into scurrilous charges against a respectable woman, associating her with America’s most virulent enemies. And as an additional bonus, Fox worked in a mention of their favorite recurring non-scandal, Benghazi.

If there is anyone left who still thinks that Fox News is a reputable journalism enterprise, or that they might have moderated their extremist views since the last presidential election, this should put an end to those fallacies. As the next presidential cycle gets into gear, it is clear that Fox intends to ramp up the crazy to levels at least as deranged as those in 2008 and 2012. So here come the terrorist charges against the presumptive Democratic nominee. Because if you’re a Tea Party wingnut it isn’t enough to merely have policy disputes with political rivals, you must demonize them as threats to the continued existence of mankind.

As evidence of this trend, note the latest outrage being hyped on Fox News. It’s a brief video clip that shows Clinton politely asking a supporter to take her place in line in order to get a photo with the candidate.

On Fox News this is proof that Clinton is an Ice Queen who cannot relate to regular humans. Of course, the fact that the video is chopped into a fragment that fails to put Clinton’s encounter in context is irrelevant to the spinners at Fox. To them it is more important to create an artificial persona for Clinton that makes her look mean and elitist. And surprisingly, an anchor at Fox actually admitted that it is their intention to promote this video misrepresentation.

Martha MacCallum: Oh my, why don’t you go to the end of the line. When I saw this yesterday, this is just gonna get played over and over here, and elsewhere, and this is not good for Hillary Clinton regardless of what the circumstances exactly were.
Byron York: I should say that some people have looked at the whole video and Mrs. Clinton was actually trying to accommodate the people who had lined up to see her. But it points really to a bigger problem.

So MacCallum admits that Fox will put this video on an endless loop even if the impression it leaves is false. And her guest confesses that in the uncut video Clinton’s behavior was entirely appropriate, but that doesn’t matter when you are trying to slander her.

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

That’s the sort of dishonesty and bias that has been the hallmark of Fox News. Consequently, it’s not particularly surprising that they are continuing to debase journalism just as they have from their inception. What’s a little surprising is that they are openly admitting it even as they are doing it. That shows how certain they are that they can get away with their deceit without any repercussions. They know very well that their audience couldn’t care less about truth or lies, even if they could tell the difference.

Fox News Editorial On Climate Change Still Using Bogus Argument By Disgraced Author

The debate over climate change is over. Not only is it occurring, it is man-made and dangerous. That is not one person’s opinion. It is the consensus opinion of thousands of climate scientists who have studied and written on the subject. The evidence was published in a study led by John Cook of the Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland, Australia, that examined nearly 12,000 peer-reviewed papers that were categorized by both independent researchers and the paper’s own authors. The result: “97% of those expressing a position…endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming.”

Notwithstanding the overwhelming evidence of the expert’s opinions, conservatives and right-wing media continue to try to dismiss reality in favor of a viewpoint that benefits the giant fossil fuel industry and defenders of the status quo. Leading the pack is Fox News where climate change denialism is clutched unto as a matter of faith. The twisted coverage of environmental issues by Fox News, and the rest of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire, has actually resulted in the countries where his media dominates (particularly the U.S.) to be the most ignorant of the risks associated with climate change.

Rupert Murdoch

In keeping with their pro-pollution doctrine, Fox News published an editorial disputing a tweet by President Obama citing the 97% consensus.

The article was written by Richard Tol, a Dutch professor who has turned his denialism into a fetish. So much so that even after he was embarrassed by a prior effort to criticize the consensus he is still using the same failed arguments in this new article. Tol makes several wholly unsupported allegations against the consensus study, but focused on his assertion that the papers reviewed in the study were categorized improperly. He complains that…

“The paper claims that each abstract was read by two independent readers, but they freely compared notes. Cook and Co. collected data, inspected the results, collected more data, inspected the results again, changed their data classification, collected yet more data, inspected the results once more, and changed their data classification again, before they found their magic 97 percent.”

Tol is overstating the process that actually consisted of only two reviews – an initial review followed by a re-review if the two researchers disagreed on a category designation. If they still disagreed after the second review, a third researcher would break the tie. There is no evidence, or incentive, for anyone conspiring to falsify the categorization. Even so, the gist of Tol’s complaint is that the study was just too darn thorough. That’s a negative in Tol’s view. Although real scientists tend to prefer thoroughness, shills and propagandists favor Tol’s disdain for it.

Additionally, Tol attempts to misrepresent the study’s findings by saying that of the 12,000 papers reviewed only 64 explicitly endorsed the climate change consensus. He exuberantly declares that that is only “half a per cent or less of the total, rather than 97 percent.” However, the study’s category for endorsement consists of three sub-categories including a range from explicit to implicit endorsement. Tol separated out just the papers with the highest level of explicit endorsement which was indeed 64. But he left out the other 3,832 papers that were also unambiguously endorsements. That’s the kind of math distortion that deniers embrace to make their illogical arguments seem reasonable.

A year ago, Tol tried to to make many of these same arguments to discredit the consensus study. He was roundly trounced in an article for the Guardian (a must read) by one of the study’s contributing authors, Dana Nuccitelli, an environmental scientist and risk assessor. In fact, Tol’s effort inadvertently confirmed the consensus study. Among the false claims that Tol made previously (and in his new article for Fox) was that Cook did not disclose the data used in the study. He must have overlooked the data that was fully published on a website where any interested party could make their own categorical assessments and compare them to those in the study.

Nuccitelli pointed out that using Tol’s methodology, which Tol himself miscalculated, resulted in an even stronger consensus, raising the figure from 97.1% to 97.2. Nuccitelli also revealed that Tol had tried to get his rebuttal theory published by the same journal that published Cook’s study, but he was rejected – twice.

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In some sense you have to admire the tenacity of someone who can persevere despite being embarrassed repeatedly. But since this subject has such important ramifications for the planet and all of humankind, it is hard to have much respect for Tol, who perseveres in an effort to deceive people and advance the interests of those who would profit from the misery they create. No wonder this tripe was published by Fox News, whose own reputation is in tatters and for which there is also widespread consensus – of deception.

Ignored By Fox News: Christian Terrorist Pleads Guilty In Plot To Massacre American Muslims

Whenever there is an act of terrorism that conservatives can attribute to Muslims, they jump at the chance to condemn the entire Islamic faith as inherently violent. And at the same time, they advance their ingrained superiority by asserting that only Muslims would ever engage in such behavior. They insist that Christians would never resort to violence in response to a perceived insult or political disagreement.

Never mind the ample evidence of Christian attacks on those with whom they disagree, including the murder of Dr. Tiller, the Atlanta Olympic bombing, the extremist in Norway who murdered dozens of children, or the tragedy in Oklahoma City that killed 168 innocent people. The Christian defenders simply don’t see what they don’t want to see. Although, to some extent they also don’t see what is deliberately kept from them. That’s because Fox needs to reinforce the racist theme that all terrorists are dark-skinned foreigners.

Fox News Terrorist Color Chart

The media often fails to publicize acts of Christian terrorism in the manner they do with Muslims. An example of that occurred this week when court records were revealed describing Robert Doggert, an ordained minister in the Christian National Church, who pleaded guilty to plotting a massacre of the citizens of an upstate New York community of Muslims known as Islamberg. The records showed a detailed plan to kill people and destroy buildings, churches and schools. Doggert was quoted as saying “We will offer [our] lives as collateral to prove our commitment to our God.” In other words, it was a suicide mission not unlike those committed by Islamic extremists, and for the same reason.

In keeping with the right-wing media determination to insure that their audience remains biased and ignorant, the Fox News Channel failed to report the story. This failure is all the more egregious considering the complicity that Fox News has in Doggert’s scheme.

Doggert, who was working with right-wing militias that share his view that President Obama was guilty of treason, told the FBI in his confession that he “justified his attack on lslamberg by claiming that the residents of Islamberg were planning a terrorist attack.” And where did he get this groundless notion? In January Bill O’Reilly hosted, Ryan Mauro, a “national security analyst” who claimed that Muslims were forming “no-go zones” in the United States where they would train and launch domestic attacks. These claims were never substantiated by credible sources in law enforcement, and the organizations to which Mauro belonged were well known anti-Islamic propagandists.

That didn’t stop Fox News from inviting Mauro back numerous times to spread his false and inflammatory smears. It is that sort of disinformation that gives Doggert, and so many other Fox News viewers, the wrong impression of Islam along with an unwarranted fear of peaceful fellow citizens. It is the same sort of dishonest “journalism” that prevents Fox News, and other conservative media outlets, from reporting the other side of the terrorism story that reveals the criminal activities of Christian extremists like Doggert.

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Fox News has a long history of fear mongering about Muslims while neglecting news stories involving right-wing extremists. A couple of years ago another Christian terrorist was arrested – and ignored by Fox. Earlier this year Fox became hysterical about a study produced by the Department of Homeland Security that warned of right-wing domestic terrorists. They believed that this demonstrated the government’s anti-conservative bias. What they never told their viewers was that a similar study had also been produced previously that addressed the same sort of threats from radical left-wingers.

That’s the sort of deceptive biases that Fox engages in routinely. And it’s why people like Doggert become radicalized on behalf of insane conspiracy theories. Should any of the crackpots who buy into this nonsense succeed in carrying out one of their plots, Fox News should share in the responsibility for the damage done.