ObamaPay: Fox News Concocts Another Crackpot Controversy

We have already seen the blockheads on Fox News wax idiotic about several political issues that they named in honor of our President Barack Obama. They must have thought it was funny or somehow disparaging to call everything Obama-Something. And each time it was characterized as some sort of raging controversy.

The Big Kahuna, of course, was ObamaCare. That was followed up with the ObamaPhone. Then they went totally Looney Tunes with my personal favorite, ObamaCars. And now, get ready for the coming horror of ObamaPay.

Fox News ObamaPay

What is ObamaPay? Well, according to reporting that Fox News sourced to right-wing author Sean Higgins of the Washington Examiner, it is a proposal by Obama that will “try to force employers to pay their workers more overtime by limiting which workers can be called managers.” Higgins says that…

“The administration in February is set to announce a proposed new rule under the Fair Labor Standards Act that would designate who is an ‘exempt employee’ who cannot claim overtime for working more than 40 hours a week.

“The president and administration officials have indicated they plan to increase the $23,000 minimum amount a worker must make before his employer can opt to exempt him from federal overtime rules — also known as the ‘white-collar exemption.'”

In short, current regulations state that an employer can slap a “manager” tag on someone earning only $23,000 a year and then force them to work 50, 60, 70 hours a week or more without paying any overtime. For the record, the poverty level for 2014 is $23,850 per year for a family of four. So these rules can result in a warped definition of “white-collar” that includes living near or below the poverty line. What Fox News is calling ObamaPay is actually just adjusting federal limits so that people who work overtime actually get overtime pay, and employers cannot use loopholes to exploit low-wage workers.

The Fair Labor Standards Act gives the Labor Department the authority to set the definition of an exempt employee. And despite the fact that George W. Bush last raised the threshold to $23,000 in 2004, Obama is being portrayed as attempting “to enact his agenda by circumventing Congress.” That’s because it’s always OK for a Republican to do these sort of things, but if a Democrat tries it he is a dictator.

In the ten years that has transpired since the last increase, the current threshold has not kept up with inflation. What’s more, the Obama administration has advocated an increase in the minimum wage from the current $7.25 per hour to $10.10. For reference, it would need to be closer to $11.00 to match the buying power of the minimum wage fifty years ago. But Republicans in Congress have obstructed every effort to provide this long overdue relief.

The economy under Obama has skyrocket by most measures. The stock market is at new highs. Unemployment dropped from 10.1% to 5.7%. Corporations are reporting record profits. Home sales have rebounded from the devastating lows caused by the Bush economic collapse six years ago. One of the few areas that has not enjoyed the prosperity seen elsewhere in the economy is average wages. Republicans continue to point to that failure as being the fault of the President. But they are the ones denying Americans a higher wage, as well as refusing to fund needed infrastructure projects that would create thousands of jobs.

Now that the administration is exploring another option that would benefit some 3.5 million American workers, the GOP is predictably kneecapping the initiative and complaining that the tyrannical President won’t work with Congress. Having established that as the right’s response to this perfectly reasonable proposal, Fox News is jumping aboard with their PR machine and labeling it ObamaPay.

The funny thing is that every proposal that has had Obama’s name attached to it by wingnuts whose intention is to disparage it, has been something that genuinely sought to help average Americans to improve their lives during difficult times. They are policies that people will recall with gratitude and appreciation for something that government did right. In the end, Republicans and their PR division (aka Fox News) will regret naming all of these beneficial programs after the President because people will remember who it was that was looking out for them, and who was looking out for the wealthy, corporate, greedy one percent.

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WTF? Fox News Links Bill Cosby’s Alleged Sexual Abuse To Hillary Clinton’s Presidential Prospects

Earlier this year Fox News fortified their rabidly right-wing roster of Republican PR flacks by hiring Roger Stone, a veteran GOP dirty trickster and notorious Clinton hater. Stone cut his teeth in the nastiest campaigns of Richard Nixon and in 2008 he founded a group to oppose Hillary Clinton’s primary campaign that he called “Citizens United Not Timid,” or C.U.N.T. He said that the group’s mission was “to educate the American public about what Hillary Clinton really is.”

Hillary Clinton WTF

Well, Fox is getting their money’s worth as Stone makes appearances on the “news” network spewing outrageous allegations and vile insinuations that set the bar for decency at new lows. Last week Stone visited the Kurvy Kouch Potatoes at Fox & Friends (video below) to hurl his trademark insults and innuendo. He was asked by Elizabeth Hasselbeck for some “insight with Hillary Clinton’s relationship with Wall Street.” Stone’s answer began predictably by asserting that it “causes her real problems.” Of course, if she had no relationship with Wall Street that would also be a problem. Fox is hard-wired so that anything that happens, or doesn’t happen, is a problem for Democrats. But then he swerved to inject an unrelated criticism from far-right field.

“Frankly, the much greater issue is the new public Bill Cosby scandal, which is gonna cause a reexamination of the problems of Bill Clinton and what Hillary knew about those actions and what she did to suppress them. So I think the Bill Cosby issue, as it were, could be a real problem for Bill Clinton and, therefore, for Hillary Clinton.”

Yes. That’s “the much greater issue.” A twenty year old incident of marital infidelity that is in no way analogous to Bill Cosby. Clinton’s affairs were consensual and, by all accounts, they stopped twenty years ago. You can be sure that if he were fooling around now some tabloid would have uncovered it. The notion that the Cosby controversy would spark a reexamination of Bill Clinton exists only in Stone’s perverted mind. Nobody cares about any of that, as evidenced by Clinton’s high approval ratings. If anything, it would be a reminder that the Clintons worked through their difficulties and preserved their marriage, affirming their family values.

The fact that Fox News employs a despicable character like Stone is proof that they have no interest in ethical journalism. But he is only the tip of the viceberg. Fox’s cast of characterless mudslingers include Karl Rove, who said that Clinton is too “old and stale” for America; Dinesh D’Souza, who said that the young Clinton looks like a hippy (and young Obama looks like a thug); Edward Klein who thinks that Chelsea Clinton was the spawn of Bill after raping his lesbian wife, Hillary. If there is anyone who still thinks that Fox News is either fair or balanced they had better seek professional help and massive quantities of medication as quickly as possible.

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Obsessive Gruber Syndrome: Fox News Suffers From Its Own Manic Spin Cycle

A week after some stale and unfortunate comments by M.I.T. professor Jonathan Gruber were revealed, the conservative media circus have drenched themselves in it. And leading the way, of course, is Fox News where there isn’t an hour that goes by without some new and highly hyperbolized reference to Gruber’s remarks.

Fox News Gruber Brainwashing

An analysis by PolitiFact found that mentions of the Gruber affair occurred 779 times on Fox News since November 10th. That’s once every fifteen minutes, 24 hours a day, for eight straight days. It suggests an editorial obsession that exceeds anything they have exhibited for other current news events, including immigration, Ebola, and the battle against ISIL who just executed another American hostage. By comparison MSNBC mentioned Gruber only 79 times and CNN had 27 mentions. Of course, Fox News believes that the rest of the media are inappropriately ignoring the story, but the truth is that there is no news here other than a single person who is not a legislator or White House staffer saying things that no one else has corroborated.

Implicit in the incessant rash of criticism of Gruber, and by extension, the President, is the assertion that supporters of the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) have lied about its contents. But if you’re interested in an assemblage of ObamaCare lies you need to look at the Republicans and their mouthpieces on Fox News.

Rarely mentioned is the fact that the substance of what Gruber said is not representative of anything but his own opinion. President Obama has dismissed him as a consultant and repudiated his insult to American voters. It has also been noted that ObamaCare is one of the most thoroughly debated pieces of legislation that has ever trudged through the Congress. So Gruber’s flippant references to a lack of transparency simply make no sense at all.

What’s more, it is pointless to reach back in time to a remark about ObamaCare when the bill has already been implemented and the results can be seen in action. There are more than ten million people who have insurance coverage now than did before the bill had passed. Those who have signed up are overwhelmingly satisfied with the coverage and the cost. And there haven’t been any disasters erupting from alleged secrets tucked into the bill.

Gruber - Hatch

The portion of Gruber’s remarks that has received the most attention is where he alluded to “the stupidity of the American people.” Right-wingers have never been shy about calling voters stupid in the past, particularly when discussing those who support Democrats. But in this case they are exploiting the gaffe in order to bash ObamaCare and the President. However, if you edit slightly Gruber’s wording you can arrive at an observation that is unarguably true. And that is that a certain segment of the American electorate is very noticeably stupid: Fox News viewers. They have been conned by the network’s relentless assault on ObamaCare. The current fixation on Gruber is simply a reaction to their inability to criticize the program on substance.

If, however, you are determined to look back to find something relevant to the current health care debate, you might want to check out Mitt Romney’s speech in April of 2006 when he signed the Massachusetts health care bill that was the model for ObamaCare. Romney took time to thank those he relied on to draft and implement his plan. And one of those people was Jonathan Gruber, about whom Romney said…

“I want to thank the many, many people in this room who were critical to crafting and coaxing the bold health care initiative that I’m about to sign. […] Jonathan Gruber at MIT devoted hours and hours to an essential econometric model.”

For an interesting Gruber reference you won’t see on Fox News, here is a clip from the Lawrence O’Donnell show on MSNBC in October of 2011 that identifies Gruber as a “Romney health care consultant.” It will be interesting to see if the Republicans who are hammering Obama for his association with Gruber will cast the same measure of scorn on Romney.

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[Addendum] Fox Nation is already beating on another video where Obama is quoted as saying “I have stolen ideas from [Gruber].” But in this case the video is from April of 2006, when Obama was a senator, and his remarks were about the launch of The Hamilton Project, an economic think tank from the centrist Brookings Institute. So it was before he was president and had nothing to do with health care. But Fox’s deceitful reporting never mentioned any of that.

Stupid On Steroids: Right-Wing Reprises The Preposterous ObamaCARS Lie

A little known website with no reputation or credibility recently published a story that purported to reveal a shocking abuse of the American people’s treasury. The headline from the “American News” wailed that “Congress Approves Bill Offering Free Cars To Welfare Recipients.”

Goodness me. That won’t do at all. What’s wrong with those dippy congress critters?

As it turns out, there may be plenty wrong with our representatives in Washington, but giving cars away to welfare recipients isn’t one of them. The article was originally published by the openly satirical website Empire News. American News picked it up without attribution and tens of thousands of conservative blockheads thrust it into viral status. The article said in part that…

“Recently, the White House announced a plan to offer free vehicles to welfare recipients. According to reports, the bill passed in a narrow vote. The program was initiated by President Barack Obama, and in many way mirrors what has become known as ‘The Obama Phone’, or the program through which welfare recipients can get free cell phone service. […] This free vehicle assistance program is designed to change the way Americans are currently living. The President will sign the bill later this week, and the planning will be put into motion.”

For the record, the Obama Phone affair was another fabrication of the rightist Fib Factory that distorted the real purpose of the program and then sought to blame Obama for the invented travesty, while neglecting to disclose that the program began under Ronald Reagan.

The American News story was reviewed by PolitiFact who declared it a Pants-On-Fire lie. However, this isn’t the first time the ObamaCars nonsense surfaced in the wingnut world. In June of 2013 the Kurvy Kouch Potatoes of Fox & Friends displayed their crack journalistic skills by reporting on an outrageous breach of the public trust. Here is an excerpt from my article at the time:

ObamaCars

“On Fox & Friends, the curvy couch potatoes were joined by radio shrew Laura Ingraham, Bush’s former press secretary, Dana Perino, and Rupert Murdoch’s personal lawyer, Peter Johnson, Jr. (the man with three names that are all synonyms for penis). In the course of their conversation they introduced a budding scandalette that they clearly believe will rip the heart out of their beastly foe in the White House.

“What the Foxies are alleging is that, in the words of Steve Doocy, “there’s a provision in the Immigration bill that could be used to give free cars, motorcycles, scooters, and other vehicles, to young people.” Oh my. That would troubling – if there were even a scintilla of truth to it which, of course, there is not. This laughably ridiculous claim seems to have originated at the Official Birthplace of Laughably Ridiculous Claims, Breitbart News, where they extrapolated a nonsensical analysis of an amendment attached to the bill to allocate funding for youth job programs. The language that Breitbart and Fox found so offensive simply described that the funds were to be used … [for busfare] (Continue reading this article here)

Back in 2013 PolitiFact also analyzed the Breitbart article and gave it a Pants-On-Fire rating as well. Fox News, in keeping with their no-apologies corporate doctrine never acknowledged or corrected their erroneous reporting. And since the psychotic wingnut brigades are reluctant to ever let any phony scandal fade into the obscurity it deserves, the ObamaCar business is once again hitting the streets. It can join the recently resurrected ObamaCare Death Panels, and look for the currently out-of-favor Ebola and Benghazi freakouts to regain momentum soon.

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Congress Set To Vote On Koch Brothers Wealth Enhancement Act Of 2014 (Keystone XL)

There have been so many lies told about the Keystone XL Pipeline by self-interested corporations and whoring pundits that many of the facts get obscured in the bitterly polluted atmosphere. That trend is escalating as Congress prepares another pointless vote to advance the project despite President Obama’s vow to veto it should it arrive at his desk.

Koch Brothers Keystone

On this weekend’s Sunday news programs representatives of the oil industry, and their lackeys in Congress, made a concerted effort to muddy the debate again by deceiving viewers with demonstrably false assertions.

Among the deceivers was Russ Girling, CEO of the pipeline builder TransCanada, who told ABC’s Martha Raddatz that “the 42,000 jobs created by the Keystone XL pipeline are ‘ongoing, enduring jobs.'” This statement was reiterated after Raddatz explicitly challenged Girling on the figures. However, PolitiFact investigated the matter and found Girling’s statement to be false:

“Importantly, as Raddatz said, these jobs would only be supported during the construction phase, which is expected to take one to two years. After construction, the pipeline would employ about 50 people, primarily for maintenance.”

So Girling was only off by about 99.9 percent. This is typical of the disinformation campaign orchestrated by the fossil fuel folks who brazenly put their profits above the health of people and the planet.

This propaganda on behalf of greedy polluters is facilitated by the Republican PR division, otherwise known as Fox News. In recent weeks Fox has disseminated the same dishonest analyses on several programs. Among them were Happening Now where last week host Heather Nauert made the false claim of 40,000 jobs created, and Fox & Friends where co-host Anna Kooiman did the same the week before.

The truth that there will only be about fifty permanent jobs created shows just how distant reality is from the unscrupulous mouthpieces of the Dead Earth trade. But that isn’t the only falsehood they are spewing. The entire project is a scam devised to enrich oil exporters. The product that would flow through the pipeline is Canadian oil destined for markets in Europe and Asia. The President noted this on Friday advising people to…

“Understand what this project is: It is providing the ability of Canada to pump their oil, send it through our land, down to the Gulf, where it will be sold everywhere else. It doesn’t have an impact on U.S. gas prices.”

Will the truth prevail in the debate that is being rushed through the Senate this week? Will the fact be addressed that the project cannot even proceed until the states through which the pipeline passes grant permission? And will the American people finally realize that the Koch brothers have more sway with the Republican congress than they do, and do something about it?

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Delusional Fox News Host Says It’s Government Policy To Give Welfare To Terrorists

On the morning when tragic news that another America hostage was executed by radical ISIL terrorists, Fox News exploited the tragedy to fabricate a ludicrous allegation regarding immigration and national security.

On Fox & Friends Sunday (video below), co-host Tucker Carlson, possibly the stupidest man on Fox (and that’s saying something) responded to remarks by a former Navy SEAL who thinks that terrorists are on their way to the United States where we will “take [them] into our warm embrace” and get them lawyers to “get [them] off of these charges.” For Carlson that mouthful of madness was not only reasonable, but he agreed and added “Or give tons of social welfare benefits, which is exactly our policy now.”

Fox News Tucker Carlson

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If the other two blockheads on the couch next to Carlson had any functioning brain matter they might have asked Carlson to point out precisely which policy grants “tons of social welfare benefits” to migrating terrorists. Since it is “exactly” our policy now, that shouldn’t be difficult to do.

Carlson, however, wasn’t through disgorging his nearly hollow cranial cavity. in addition to his deranged notion that ISIL is dining on lobster and champagne courtesy of American food stamps, and lounging by the poolside of a subsidized penthouse apartment, Carlson also has the impression that their fighters are being granted free admittance into America without so much as a sideways glance. He dissembled that…

“We have no policy that I’m aware of that restricts immigration from countries where ISIS is popular into the United States. Why wouldn’t we be doing that? I mean, this is more dangerous to us than Ebola. And yet, I’m not aware of any public debate about restricting movement from those countries where ISIS is, you know, a group of folk heroes into the United States. Why?”

Why? Because just the fact that you are not aware of something doesn’t make it so. The truth is there are laws that restrict immigration into the U.S. from nations that are state sponsors of terrorism, including Syria where ISIL is from. There are also similar laws restricting those associated with Foreign Terrorist Organizations. They specifically declare that “representatives and members of a designated FTO, if they are aliens, are inadmissible to and, in certain circumstances, removable from the United States.”

A quick note on Carlson’s assertion that migrating terrorists are “more dangerous to us than Ebola.” Among other things, being sucked into a black hole is more dangerous to us than Ebola; getting carried off by Bigfoot is more dangerous to us than Ebola; and mostly watching Fox News is more dangerous to us than Ebola. But that didn’t stop Carlson from fretting last month that “In light of the seriousness of this [Ebola] problem, it’s inexplicable that the president dismisses almost with the wave of his hand the notion that you would restrict air travel from the places afflicted.”

So Carlson has demonstrated that he is wholly ignorant of the subject he is blathering about on the air. That in itself should not surprise anyone. It is the standard state of affairs at Fox News. It is in keeping with their mission to spread fear through ignorance and disinformation. What’s surprising is that propagandist mouthpieces like Carlson are not even trying to disguise their idiocy or hide their lies in plausible rhetoric. They have obviously determined that, given the intellectual retardation of their audience, subversive tactics are unnecessary.

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Remember Ebola? Apparently The Election And Fox News Cured It

Remember way back a week ago when Ebola was the most fearsome threat America faced since The War Of The Worlds? Fox News and other media portrayed the virus as the harbinger of the Apocalypse. We were all just an errant sneeze away from contracting a deadly disease that was certain to sweep through the nation unabated.

Well, last Tuesday there was an election that seems to have put an end to the panic that had previously consumed the press. And just in time since Fox is now focused on helping Republicans to scuttle health care which is no longer needed by anyone. So, no longer are there hourly updates on the raging pandemic. No longer are politicians and pundits jumping in front of every camera to proclaim that the End of Days are upon us. No longer do psycho Chicken Littles rant about how President Obama is personally responsible for the uncontrollable outbreak.

Fox News Defeats Ebola

But it was just a week ago that Ebola was the calamity of choice for Fox News fear mongers. And since that is so far back in the distance past, News Corpse is providing a public service to remind everyone of the horrendous doom we narrowly escaped. For instance…

Remember when…

…a travel ban on anyone from West Africa was the Republicans’ most important immigration issue in the nation?

GOP Tents America

Remember when…

Bill O’Reilly insisted that the administration was lying to us and demanded that the CDC chief resign if he wouldn’t appear on his show?

Fox News Bill O'Reilly

Remember when…

…Fox’s “psycho” analyst Keith Ablow accused President Obama of wanting Ebola to spread in America because he “sees Americans as having infected others with our deadly economic policies?”

Keith Ablow

Remember when…

…Fox News was consumed by the threat of terrorists streaming across the southern border dripping with Ebola?

Fox News Ebola

Remember when…

…the transmission of Ebola to a second American nurse constituted an “OUTBREAK?”

Fox Nation Ebola Outbreak

Remember when…

…Bill O’Reilly brought in Glenn Beck to accuse Obama of facilitating the spread of Ebola in Dallas because Dallas hates him (even though Dallas voted for Obama in larger majorities than he won nationally)?

Glenn Beck Ebolamania

Remember when…

…A Republican congressmen rushed to Fox News to feverishly accuse Obama of plotting to flood the U.S. with foreign Ebola patients?

Fox News Ebola to America

Who knew that an election would be such an effective cure for Ebola? In the end the virus infected only two people in the United States, and only one foreign national died. When you think about the hysteria that surrounded the contrived crisis, it is curious that there isn’t a similar outcry over the guns that kill over 30,000 Americans every year. There is a good case to make that the NRA is more dangerous to Americans than Ebola ever was. So is tobacco, influenza, pollution, and lightening. In fact, you are even more likely to die by your own hand (39,000 annual suicides) than to be killed by Ebola. So whatever you do, don’t get on any plane that you are on.

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Fox News Crocumentary On Alleged Bin Laden Shooter May Be Bogus, Unlawful, and Dangerous

Last week, amid great fanfare, Fox News announced that they would be airing a special presentation that features a Navy SEAL who claims to have fired the shot that killed Osama Bin Laden. The press release for the program that Fox calls “an extensive, first-hand account of the mission,” contains this description:

“The two-night presentation will feature an exclusive interview with the Navy SEAL who says he fired the shots that killed terrorist leader Usama Bin Laden. […] Revealing his identity and speaking out publicly for the first time, the Navy SEAL, also known as “The Shooter,” will share his story of training to be a member of America’s elite fighting force and explain his involvement in Operation Neptune Spear, the mission that killed Bin Laden.”

Fox News

There are, however, a number of problems with this project, beginning with what Fox says in their own press release. The first paragraph describes Robert O’Neill as “the Navy SEAL who says he fired the shots.” While he may “say” that he fired the shots that killed Bin Laden, there is no confirmation of that from anyone else. Not his fellow SEALs, not his superiors, not any eyewitnesses, not the Pentagon, no one. Fox News has to rely solely on this person’s account of the mission for their story.

Relying on this one account is also troubling because simply by coming forward the person is bringing into question his own credibility. First and foremost, Navy SEALs are bound by non-disclosure agreements that prohibit them from talking about the details of their missions, particularly those that are confidential and involve national security. The Pentagon has taken notice of this and urged that he comply with his obligations and honor his duty. A Pentagon spokesperson told a reporter at Business Insider that…

“Navy SEALs continue to serve and fight bravely around the world, accomplishing critical missions that keep our nation safe. The major details of the bin Laden mission are well known, many of them a matter of public record. We urge any former SEAL to abide by the SEAL Ethos, particularly the core tenant, ‘I do not advertise the nature of my work, nor seek recognition for my actions.'”

By appearing on Fox News O’Neill, if he is who he says he is, is violating his oath to the Navy SEALS and, quite possibly, the law. In a previous instance of a SEAL going public with information about the Bin Laden operation, Matt Bissonnette is currently undergoing a criminal investigation for publishing a book that he failed to vet through the Defense Department. Fox News is well aware of this as they reported his legal jeopardy two years ago. They also reported that his fellow SEALs were upset that he had published a book that could endanger them and future missions. What’s more, it was Fox who outed Bissonnette, whose book was published under the pseudonym, Mark Owen. By revealing his identity Fox subjected him and others to death threats. The network was criticized harshly by members of the military and media ethicists.

There is no reason why the new Fox News program on Bin Laden would not have the same consequences. The Pentagon has already weighed in, and the risk to other SEALs is just as plausible. By disclosing his own identity he could inadvertently lead revenge seekers to discover the identities of his associates. Should any of them or their families be harmed, the responsibility lies with him.

And for what? There is no apparent news value in what he may have to relate. Sure, there is curiosity about a first-hand account of the operation, but there is nothing that is pertinent to the public’s understanding, while there are real risks to individuals and future missions.

He is nothing but a glory hog who is grabbing attention for himself at the expense of his comrades who participated equally in the dangerous operation, but who are honoring their oaths. His contribution to the record consists mainly of soap opera melodrama that appeals to the tabloid set as demonstrated by Fox’s press release:

“Offering never before shared details, the presentation will include ‘The Shooter’s’ experience in confronting Bin Laden, his description of the terrorist leader’s final moments as well as what happened when he took his last breath.”

Spoiler Alert: Bin Laden’s final moments were probably him wondering who these dudes were in his bedroom for about a second and a half before he took a bullet to the head. And you didn’t need a two night Fox News ratings gimmick to learn that.

This program is abetting potentially unlawful activity and endangering lives. And there is no way of verifying its authenticity. Under the circumstances, a legitimate news enterprise would never consider airing it. Fortunately for Fox, legitimacy has never been a part of their business plan. As for the alleged SEAL, he should keep his mouth shut until such time as the story can be told responsibly with credit going to everyone who deserves it.

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[Addendum 1] Phil Bronstein wrote an article for Esquire if February of 2013 that purported to be the story of the “shooter.” It was shortly thereafter criticized as “a giant fraud.” Also, now promoting a new book, Bissonnette has admitted that he was wrong to publish classified material about the Bin Laden operation.

[Addendum 2] Fox News gets scooped by the UK’s tabloid Daily Mail. They published an article identifying the “shooter” on November 5th, a week before Fox’s big “exclusive.”

[Addendum 3] CNN also scooped Fox by airing an interview with O’Neill prior to Fox’s broadcast. This brought out the jealousy of Fox News as anchor Shepard Smith complained that after Fox announced the project “everybody and their mother jumped on this,” and he singled out CNN saying that it’s “really kind of embarrassing for them.” Smith went on to say…

“Others have had input on this cause I’ve seen them over on the hater channels. People on the hate channels are like ‘He should never have done this.'”

The “hate” channels? Is he sure he wasn’t watching Fox? And the people he is talking about are Navy SEALS who have had the integrity to honor their oaths to their comrades. Don’t let anyone tell you that Smith is somehow different than the other hacks on Fox.

Jon Stewart “Welcomes” New Daily Show Advertiser: The Koch Brothers (Video)

A couple of days ago while watching the Daily Show, I was struck by what seemed like an unusual commercial for this particular program. It was an image ad from Koch Industries that portrayed the pollution-spewing, anti-worker, right-wing corporation as neighborly shopkeepers that just want make the world brighter and happier. Given the audience composition of the Daily Show it was difficult to grasp what promotional goal the Kochs hoped to achieve.

Jon Stewart Koch Brothers

Well, Jon Stewart noticed the ad as well and was not content to let it go by without comment. And being Jon Stewart, the comment was hilarious. Plus it included a reworked version of the ad with a tag line that will reverberate across the InterTubes: “We’re Koch Industries – The next generation of robber barons bending the democratic process to our will since 1980.” Have a look.

Stewart managed to slam the Koch brothers for buying politicians, exacerbating climate change, poisoning tap water, and advancing their propaganda through academia. He even revealed their opposition to the minimum wage due to their lunatic notion that it would lead to Nazism. These are not generally the sort of things that a television program would say about one of its sponsors.

Stewart has to be given enormous credit for his courage and lack of self-interest in so mercilessly bashing a source of revenue. Perhaps the Koch brothers, and other propagandists seeking to engage in such brazen exploitation, will think twice about it in the future. Whatever benefit the Kochs hoped to gain by this ad strategy, they certainly lost many times over by daring to take advantage of Stewart’s viewers.

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Fox News: Obama Plans To Flood U.S. With Foreign Ebola Patients

With just one week left before the consequential midterm election, the crackpot right-wing conspiracy theories are starting to erupt faster than they can be recorded. And the common theme among them is a frightening tale of some dastardly scheme devised by President Obama to rain misery on the American people who elected him twice.

Fox News Ebola to America

The latest plot uncovered by the intrepid reporters on Fox News is that Obama has a secret plan to import Ebola patients from West Africa into the United States where they will consume our scarce resources and infect our children. The plot was discovered by the Republican chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Bob Goodlatte, who claims to have confidential information that came to him via an “inside source” within the administration. Naturally he takes this skimpy, unverifiable gossip to Megyn Kelly of Fox News. He tells her that…

“There’s increasing evidence they’re making those plans. Members of the media, my office, have received confidential communications saying that those plans are being developed. […] If you are concerned about this problem spreading – and this is a deadly disease that we’re even concerned about the great health care workers when they come back not spreading it – we certainly shouldn’t be bringing in the patients.”

The alarmist anxiety of Rep. Goodlatte is typical of the fear mongering that Republican politicians and pundits engage in so frequently. And as usual he has no on-record evidence of his allegations. This is just another unattributed assertion from a source whose credibility can’t be ascertained.

Not surprisingly, when the State Department was approached for a response they unambiguously shot down the conspiracy theory saying…

“There are absolutely no plans to MEDEVAC non-Americans who become ill from West Africa to the United States. We have discussed allowing other countries to use our MEDEVAC capabilities to evacuate their own citizens to their home countries or third-countries, subject to reimbursement and availability. But we are not contemplating bringing them back to the U.S. for treatment. Allegations to the contrary are completely false.”

Once again Fox News jumped way ahead of a story that had no foundation to begin with, that turns out to be untrue. In the process they terrified several million of their gullible viewers who will have heard the initial false reports on Fox, but not the State Department’s refutation. Plus, the original story got picked up by numerous right-wing media outlets (i.e. Washington Times, Breitbart News, Glenn Beck’s The Blaze, etc.) that further spread the phony report.

Compounding his fake controversy, Goodlatte demonstrated his ignorance of the issue by telling Kelly that…

“The risk, of course, is that we still don’t even know exactly how this disease is spread.”

But we do know exactly how this disease is spread. Goodlatte is just trying to make the problem even scarier by characterizing it as a mysterious malady that threatens us all. This is a deliberate strategy on the part of Fox News and the Republican Party to keep the public afraid as they contemplate the coming election. The GOP stands to gain by casting the administration as evildoers plotting to harm the nation. And the more frightened they can make voters, the more voters will vote against the President’s party. It is a tactic that squarely fits the definition of terrorism: (ter-uh-riz-uh m) – noun: The use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes.