In New Video James O’Keefe Exposes Himself – As A Lying Scumbag

Just last week James O’Keefe was revealed to have plotted an elaborated scheme to incite violence against police officers and blame it on peaceful protesters. His associate in the affair withdrew on moral grounds, so O’Keefe fired him. Now he is subject to a possible wrongful termination lawsuit and the flurry of bad publicity that results from orchestrating a despicable act of provocation that might have gotten someone killed.

Fox News James O'Keefe

On the heels of that embarrassment, O’Keefe has rushed out another of his video atrocities wherein he attempts to defame unsuspecting victims by deceiving them and later editing the video to misrepresent what actually occurred. Perhaps he is hoping to shift attention from the ethical failings currently burying him.

In this episode (video below) O’Keefe sent his flunky to Cornell University to pretend to be a prospective student with questions about campus activities. The premise in this charade is that the flunky supposedly got Joseph Scaffido, an Assistant Dean of Student Activities, to agree that visits by Middle East terrorists and care packages to be sent to ISIS would be acceptable to the school administration. However, as with all of O’Keefe’s deceitful projects, what he delivers is hardly credible evidence of anything untoward.

The first notable contradiction in the video is that O’Keefe repeatedly claims that the flunky was inquiring about starting a “pro-ISIS” club at Cornell, however, at no time did the flunky ever say the word “ISIS.” He would refer only to helping Islamic state freedom fighters. If the Assistant Dean did not pay close attention it would be easy to presume that the phony student was merely interested in helping people who are victims of a tragic civil war.

What’s more, the flunky never said the word “terrorist,” instead referring only to freedom fighters. Since the days of Ronald Reagan that phrase has been interpreted to mean heroic citizens seeking to overthrow a tyrannical dictator. So once again, if that was Scaffido’s understanding, his response would not be the least bit controversial.

The controversy enters with O’Keefe’s narration that inserts the words “ISIS” and “terrorist” in place of what was actually said. Then O’Keefe slanders Scaffido by concluding that he is pro-ISIS and that Cornell welcomes terrorists to its campus. This overt dishonesty occurs from the opening seconds of the video and continues throughout. For example, here are the questions that O’Keefe claims were asked, followed by Scaffido’s answers and then the actual questions in parentheses:

O’Keefe: What if you wanted to start a pro-ISIS club at an American Ivy League university?
Scaffido: There are a lot of our student organizations that do things like that.
[Actual question: I think it would be important to maybe just probably educate, but to maybe send [distressed communities humanitarian] care packages whether it be food, water, electronics.]

O’Keefe: Would the Assistant Dean of Students have a problem with the humanitarian clubs sending care packages to terrorists?
Scaffido: That’s a good question that. And I think programs like that really do have a good place here at Cornell.
[Actual question: Maybe we could bring a freedom fighter to speak. That would be possible? That would be great. Just to hear the situation, what it’s like their lives and why they are fighting. I mean, do we know why they’re fighting?]

The problem that is apparent is that Scaffido’s answers above were not in response to the actual questions asked. And O’Keefe’s own video supplies the proof that he is being deliberately deceptive. If you re-read the actual questions and then the answers you can see just how amoral O’Keefe’s editing tactics are.

Scaffido may at worst be guilty of being somewhat inattentive because he was not expecting an impostor to visit him with intent to commit journalistic fraud. What he conveyed in his responses was a healthy respect for academic freedom and tolerance for diversity. Those are qualities that O’Keefe and his rightist cohorts detest. Already this lame video has been promoted by conservative news outlets like Hot Air, The Daily Caller, and of course, Fox News.

It is highly unlikely that Scaffido was opening the doors of the school to terrorists. O’Keefe surely knows that, but he is more interested in spreading his lies than producing anything that resembles real journalism. The notion that Cornell is recruiting terrorist students and speakers is so utterly idiotic that you have to question the mental status of anyone who would believe it.

The sad consequence of this is that everybody must be on their guard for ridiculous stunts like this lest they be dragged in and smeared by unscrupulous jerkwads like O’Keefe. And the fact that O’Keefe is too stupid to avoid exposing his own deceit doesn’t make his despicable antics any more palatable.

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UPDATE: Cornell University president David Skorton has responded in a statement condemning O’Keefe’s “smear” job saying in part that…

“Project Veritas, the organization behind this shoddy piece of “journalism” has been repeatedly vilified for dishonest, deceitful activity.”

James O’Keefe Allegedly Plotted To Incite Violence Against Police, Blame Protesters

Following reports about the Ferguson, Missouri police officers who were wounded by gunfire last week, Fox News and other conservative media outlets immediately began demanding accountability for the assault from the criminal perpetrators, whom they identified as President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder. They described Ferguson protesters as “government-sanctioned mobs” with a bloodlust against cops, and charged that Obama and Holder were Chief among those [to] blame for fomenting an environment like this.”

Setting aside the deranged attempt to link the White House with a crime in a St. Louis suburb, the allegators™ at Fox had no evidence that the shooter was even associated with the protesters. The lawyer for the suspect, now in custody, says that his client had been involved in a dispute unrelated to the protests and was not aiming at the officers when he fired. The fact that he was shooting a pistol more than 120 yards from the police line gives credence to that claim. Will Fox News apologize to the President for their unwarranted accusations?

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An article in the New York Post today may shed some light on the assertions that citizens peacefully protesting discrimination are covertly engaging in anti-cop violence. The article reveals an alleged plot by right-wing activist James O’Keefe to frame protesters for inciting violence. The article’s source is a top O’Keefe staffer who was fired for refusing to participate in the unethical scheme. From the Post:

“[Richard] Valdes said [O’Keefe’s organization, Project] Veritas assigned a Muslim undercover agent pretending to be anti-cop to attend protest meetings and utter the following statement: ‘Sometimes, I wish I could just kill some of these cops. Don’t you just wish we could have one of the cops right here in the middle of our group?'”

When the prospective mole refused to go along, O’Keefe fired Valdez for “being unwilling to strong-arm the guy to do his dirty work.”

This incident brings into question previous allegations of anti-cop sentiments among the protesters. A few weeks ago Fox News heavily promoted a video that allegedly showed a splinter group of protesters in New York chanting that they wanted “dead cops.” There was never any attempt to identify those people or establish their connection to the main group of protesters. Might they have been a parade of O’Keefe flunkies trying to create a false narrative?

O’Keefe is no stranger to fabricating events that advance his dishonest and partisan agenda. His prior exploits have resulted in his arrest and conviction for unlawful acts in the office of a U.S. senator, a $100,000 judgement against him for defaming a former ACORN lawyer, and a sleazy plot to seduce a CNN reporter aboard his “Love Boat.”

This new gambit is particularly repulsive as it seeks to inflame emotions and incite actual violence. While it is unlikely that any committed activists for police reform and equal treatment will be persuaded to assault police officers, there are hostile elements on the conservative side that may hear about O’Keefe’s endeavors and decide that they can push the effort forward themselves by acting out in public with the hope of protesters getting the blame.

O’Keefe continually demonstrates that he is a despicable human being whose only goal is to hurt innocent people. This example of dangerous and dishonest behavior is only the latest proof that he has no credibility or integrity. And the same is true for any media organization that provides a platform for his vile antics.

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

Bibi-lievers Beware: Fox News Is Already Making Excuses For Possible Netanyahu Loss

In the commotion surrounding Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address before Congress, Fox News and their partners in rightist propaganda insisted that anyone who did not support his appearance and hawkish agenda were anti-Israel and even anti-Semitic. However, that view is not shared by most Americans or most Israelis.

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Subsequent to the speech, Netanhayu’s popularity has dropped in the U.S. to 38% favorable. Clearly the speech was not well received by Americans. That decline puts Netanyahu’s rating more than ten points lower than President Obama. And if you think that’s bad, his host, GOP Speaker John Boehner, is now more than ten points lower than Netanyahu.

Critics of the speech warned that it was inappropriate for Congress to provide a platform for a foreign official who was currently engaged in a political campaign. Those warnings were borne out when shortly after Netanyahu returned to Israel to resume his reelection effort he released an ad featuring video of the U.S. Congress applauding him. So Boehner was successfully suckered by Netanyahu into helping him produce campaign materials.

Despite this international assistance, Netanyahu’s reelection bid is struggling. He has fallen further behind his main opponent, Labor Party leader Isaac Herzog. And now, with the prospect of Netanyahu losing, Fox News and Republicans in Congress are laying the groundwork for an explanation for the failure of their hero. They are promoting an allegation that the Obama administration is interfering with Israeli elections in order to defeat Netanyahu. Of course they are. Like everything else – Netanyahu losing would be Obama’s fault.

The conspiracy revolves around their discovery that a former Obama campaign operative is working for a group that opposes Netanyahu’s reelection. That is an entirely routine activity. It is precisely what campaign consultants of both parties do for a living. But that didn’t stop Fox News from reporting in multiple segments an alleged effort by the administration to oust Netanyahu. The allegations are so important to Fox that on Sunday morning anchor Uma Pemmaraju interrupted a segment about Hillary Clinton’s email to ask about the Israeli election and a rumored Senate inquiry:

“There is a Senate probe apparently, that is launched, a bipartisan probe, to investigate concerns about a non-profit agency taking government funds to try and be involved in interfering with Israeli elections set for Tuesday. […] This particular group, apparently, has ties to the White House, no direct link has been determined at this point about whether the White House has been sending operatives into Israel to be involved with interfering in upcoming elections set for Tuesday. But the fact that if this group is found to have used government grants, up to $350,000 from the State Department, that would be a real violation of ethics and raise some big concerns.”

Twice in that “question” Pemmaraju used the loaded phrase “interfering with Israeli elections,” even though she also admitted that there was “no direct link” to Obama. Media Matters documented efforts to advance this smear a month ago by rightist fringe groups. Now it has percolated up to Fox News and senate investigators. Media Matters showed that political consultants from both sides frequently do work in other countries (like good capitalists). They also showed that former Obama operatives have worked in support of Netanyahu. And the allegations of federal funding were shown to have no merit as the funds were not used in conjunction with any campaign because the elections had not even been announced at the time.

So the facts show that there is no effort on the part of the White House to interfere with the Israeli elections. However, Speaker Boehner and Republicans in congress did interfere with Israeli elections by providing candidate Netanyahu with a platform and campaign material. They also permitted Netanyahu to interfere with American politics by trying to sway foreign policy in opposition to diplomacy with Iran.

And after this brazenly partisan, factless, regurgitation of an unsupported wingnut conspiracy theory, Fox News returned to their regular anti-Obama programming with Pemmaraju employing this subtle segue: “Turning now to the Select Committee investigating Benghazi…” Of course. What else?

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

Obama Did It: Fox News Blames Cop Shooting In #Ferguson On President And Attorney General

Affirming the predictability of the Fox News brand of hack journalism, the network moved quickly to make sure that their viewers were misinformed about a tragic incident in Ferguson, Missouri last night.

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As a gathering of protesters was winding down in Ferguson, shots rang out that resulted in injuries to two police officers. By morning the officers were released from the hospital and are expected to make full recoveries. Also by morning, Fox News aired multiple reports of the incident placing responsibility for the assaults squarely on the perpetrators whom Fox identified as President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder.

Setting aside all of the known facts, Fox News sought to disparage the usual objects of their animus. It didn’t matter to them that the authorities in Ferguson had not tied the shootings to the protesters at all. Fox News made the leap from the protesters to the administration in record time. Their slanders were in direct contradiction to public statements by the chief of the St. Louis County Police, Jon Belmar, who the Washington Post reported as saying that…

“[T]hree or four shots were fired from across the street from where about 75 protesters and 40 police officers were gathered. He said that the shots did not come from the group of protesters who were gathered near the police station.”

Nevertheless, Fox twisted their coverage to point the blame toward government officials hundreds of miles away. The defamation began with the all-white Kurvy Kouch Potatoes at Fox & Friends as the story was still unfolding.

Elisabeth Hasselbeck: He [Holder] chose to grandstand. And now – fuel on the fire – less than a week later, we are seeing the dots connecting here.
Fox News legal analyst Bob Massi: When you say that you’re going to dismantle a police department if they don’t fix it, it incites race relations — it incites riots.

Hasselbeck’s delusional dot-connecting exercise aims to associate the shootings with the Department of Justice report finding that the Ferguson police department had engaged in a pattern and practice of discrimination against African-Americans. She, along with the rest of the right-wing media choir, would prefer that this racist and unconstitutional behavior was merely ignored and swept under the rug. But the notion that avoiding honest appraisals of police conduct would serve any positive purpose is one that only racist enablers and sympathizers could accept. In the real world, such avoidance would be recognized as a prelude to civil unrest.

Likewise, Massi utterly mangles logic by asserting that promises to take corrective action would incite riots. It is the complete opposite of reality. When officials undertake initiatives that address the complaints of the people, the people are generally satisfied and far less likely to erupt in violence. Massi’s conclusion is so absurd it defies comprehension.

Which takes us to Fox’s Outnumbered, where guest Lou Dobbs joined the program’s regulars to continue the condemnation of leaders in Washington:

Dobbs: I think that, plainly, there are so many forces at work here. So many people who deserve considerable blame for fomenting an environment like this in which this could occur. Chief among those, in my opinion, are the President of the United States and the Attorney General.
Tantaros: They intervened and they flamed the racial tensions. And Eric Holder has proven time again he is an Attorney General for the criminal, by the criminal, and of the criminals in the United States of America. […] You think it’s a coinicidence that two cops got shot last night? This was inflamed because of what this administration did. This specific incident.

Republicans used to define themselves as the party of responsibility. However, when they have the opportunity to hold wrongdoers accountable, they decline and instead shift blame to their ideological enemies, letting the real perpetrators off the hook. In the process they viciously malign people who had no role in the incident in question. It is a pathological compulsion to vilify those they perceive as their foes. That’s the only way they can justify accusing Obama and Holder of being chiefly responsible for assaults on police in Ferguson. It’s the only way that they can defend alleging that the Attorney General is collaborating with criminals and is a criminal himself.

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

The conservative media effort to persuade America that racism doesn’t exist requires that they deny any evidence of it, particularly by institutional agencies such as police departments. It is a sort of self-inflicted blindness that turns the world into an Eden where there is only harmony and brotherhood in their deranged vision.

However, they make an exception for those who try to point out that prejudice is still very much with us, and who sincerely work to eliminate it. Those are the real racists, according to Fox News and the right, for having the gall to call out bigots. If only they would keep their mouths shut no one would have any problem with racism. Certainly the white, male, Christians wouldn’t have any problems. And that’s the American way, isn’t it?

Loving And (Mostly) Hating Fox News: Bill O’Reilly’s Desperation Is Showing

Not since the days of Keith Olbermann’s reign at MSNBC has Bill O’Reilly resorted to such relentless attacks on the network. His perceived victimization by a media cabal that he says is simultaneously impotent and omnipotent is reaching psychotic levels. And all of this is due to the fountain of lies that he has been spewing for decades and for which he is now being called upon to answer.

O’Reilly’s latest retaliatory harangue (video below) came at the opening of Monday’s Factor where he set out to claim once again that everything he does is sanctified by God because he has high ratings (First Church of Nielsen the Redeemer). His Talking Points Memo, titled “Hating Fox News,” heralded a new Quinnipiac poll that O’Reilly bragged “shows that Americans trust Fox News more than any other TV news agency by a substantial margin.”

Fox News

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As anyone familiar with O’Reilly’s aversion to the truth would know, he did not tell the whole story. The same poll shows that Fox News is also the network that is least trusted by Americans. Now why do you suppose he left that out? The fact that Fox received a vote of confidence from 29% of the poll’s respondents means that 71% trusted another network more. That is not exactly something of which to be proud. What’s more if you add up the two categories of positive responses for trusted networks (a great deal + somewhat), Fox News is second to the last. It beats only MSNBC by a mere 3%.

If anyone is “Hating Fox News” it is the majority of the American people who reject its frothing hostility, fear mongering, and perversion of the facts. But no one should mistake O’Reilly’s tirade for a reasoned commentary on the popularity of the media. This rant is a thinly veiled assault on those who are demanding that he come clean about the frequent lies he has told to portray himself as an intrepid reporter risking life and limb to bring truth to the people. But rather than taking on his critics forthrightly, he takes a more cowardly approach by pretending to be a victim of powerful enemies seeking the destruction of his employer. He’s attacking a broader, ambiguous foe because he’s afraid to face his critics head on. And of course that foe is, in his mind, a humongous titan of evil, even though he also insists that it is a weakling that has no support and can’t compare to the superhuman powers of Fox News.

Somehow all of this makes sense in O’Reilly’s cartoon brain. However, his campaign against his critics consists entirely of bluster, distractions, and outright threats. That’s why in Monday’s program he never once addressed the growing number of documented falsehoods he has been caught telling. He just continued boasting about his ample audience and the prominent role that Fox News plays in shaping the American media.

On that note, O’Reilly pulled back the curtain on the journalistic fraud that is Fox News. The facade of fairness and balance is just another one of the lies that are baked into the Fox mission. In this one episode O’Reilly repeatedly confessed to the unethical biases of Fox. For instance, he said that…

“Our primetime programs set the political agenda.”

“The fact is that Fox News is now a deep threat to the progressive movement and the far left despises us so they are in full attack mode desperately trying to marginalize FNC.”

“There are just two national news agencies that challenge the progressive agenda with authority: the Wall Street Journal editorial page and the Fox News Channel.”

“If FNC did not exist, America would be a far different place and the far left ideology would have a far easier time. But we do exist and now dominate the primetime news cycle. Not good news for progressive politicians, the liberal media, and crazed zealots on both sides.”

How are any of those overtly partisan statements consistent with the practice of professional journalism? O’Reilly is admitting that Fox is a political advocate of the right. This is why most media observers regard Fox as nothing more than the PR division of the Republican Party. Additionally, O’Reilly’s analysis that Fox’s very existence is bad news for progressives flies in the face of reality. Someone should inform him that President Obama was elected twice despite the existence of Fox which fought so hard against him.

There is one thing, however, that O’Reilly got right. America would be a far different place without Fox. There would be far less wingnut propaganda and conspiracy theories masquerading as news. We wouldn’t have to deal with wild goose chases for presidential birth certificates or claims that snowballs disprove the scientific evidence of Climate Change. Mentions of Sarah Palin and Donald Trump would produce confused looks and replies of “Who?” And the Tea Party would still be a gathering of folks who appreciate brewed herbs and pastries.

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

Watch Bill Maher Let Loose On ‘Blatant, Bald-Assed Liar’ Bill O’Reilly

The heat is being turned up on pathological liar Bill O’Reilly and his enablers at Fox News. The numerous accounts of his deliberately falsifying his resume with self-aggrandizing tales of journalistic heroism continue to be the source of deserved criticism and ridicule. The latest dishonorable mention for O’Reilly comes from comedian Bill Maher, who was characteristically candid on his HBO program last night (video below).

Bill O'Reilly - Bill Maher

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Maher was puzzled about the lack of attention that O’Reilly has received from much of the press for his obvious embellishments and outright lies about his experiences as a reporter. So Maher let O’Reilly’s own words bury him by merely reading the things that O’Reilly said that have been proven to be false.

“These are out-and-out lies. Now, I understand why Fox News backs him because they’re not really a news service. They’re like, ‘You expect the truth? That’s not what we do here.’ But why isn’t the mainstream media going after him with the same ferocity – the supposedly ‘liberal media’ – as they did to Brian Williams?”

Good question. At this point the evidence of O’Reilly’s dishonesty is overwhelming. His resorting to overt threats aimed at reporters covering the story is typical of his bullying tactics. His cowardly refusal to address the substance of the allegations proves that he has no defense other than to shout and stamp his feet and brag about his ratings.

Indeed, O’Reilly’s ratings are quite good for a cable news program. But that’s nothing to brag about when your product is unmitigated bullcrap. By failing to hold O’Reilly accountable, Fox News is embracing and condoning his moral and professional transgressions and conceding that their network proudly employs liars and engages in unabashed deception. It is an insult to their viewers who they presume will accept any heaping portion of steaming shitola that’s put in front of them. Well, on that note Fox may be right. After all, their viewers have been eating up O’Reilly and Sean Hannity and Sarah Palin and Donald Trump for years.

The mindset of Fox was perfectly framed by Maher’s conservative panelist, Genevieve Wood of the ultra-rightist Heritage Foundation. She excused Fox’s failure to sanction O’Reilly because, unlike Williams who acknowledged and apologized for his embellishments, O’Reilly stubbornly denies that he misrepresented anything in his past, the facts notwithstanding. In a state of severe delusional panic, Wood said…

“Fox is going to defend him as long as he’s saying ‘I did what I said I did,’ and nobody else is really able to challenge it.”

Huh? Everybody else is able to challenge it. And it isn’t just people who have different recollections of the distant past. There are contemporaneous videos and tape recordings of O’Reilly himself that contradict his present day mythologies about his grand adventures. But Wood’s justification neatly fits the Fox view of news. They regard it as a mutable commodity that can be molded to whatever serves their agenda. And Fox will indeed continue to defend O’Reilly because he is doing what they pay him to do – which is to lie.

Consequently, it is time that the rest of the media acknowledge that Fox is not in any way, shape, or form a news enterprise. They are purveyors of propaganda and disseminaters of deception. They have no journalistic principles or respect for their audience. They are comfortable with liars like O’Reilly because lying doesn’t violate their standards, it upholds them. And for those who say that O’Reilly’s malfeasance is different than Williams’ because O’Reilly is an opinion commentator and not a journalist, they need to remember that he was, in fact, a journalist when he did the things about which he is lying today. Also, when discussing factual events there is no exemption from truth-telling for opinion commentators.

Finally, for those who say that catching Fox News lying isn’t newsworthy because everyone knows they do it, that is a cop-out. It remains the obligation of legitimate news operations to report the sort of serious departures from the truth that O’Reilly has demonstrated. And any news organization that condones such dishonesty must not be treated as a credible news source. The media cannot continue to pretend that Fox has anything to do with news.

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

Fox Nation vs. Reality: You Have To Read This (Irrelevant) Email

For most of the past week the news cycle has been decidedly unfavorable to conservatives. Bill O’Reilly’s reputation is in tatters after several examples of his lying to stroke his own ego were revealed. The congressional failure to pass a funding bill for the Department of Homeland Security has exposed the GOP as inept at governing. And the annual CPAC circus has given right-wing Republicans more airtime than usual to embarrass themselves.

Consequently, Fox News is fishing for a scandal to get frantic over to fill the void, and they think they found one.

Fox Nation

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Actually, they are just warming over an old scandal that they hope has enough pus left in it to ooze out some more wingnut bile. Featured on the Fox News community website Fox Nation is an item with the tantalizing title “You Have To Read This Recovered Email From Lois Lerner” Lerner, you may recall, is the whipping gal of the GOP’s House Committee on Heckling Obama. The budding scandalette revolves around the Treasury Department’s disclosure that 32,000 emails were found on backup tapes. Not mentioned by Republicans on the committee is that the emails may all be duplicates that the committee already has.

What the Fox Nationalists chose to highlight was a tweet by the committee, that is filled with gleeful anticipation. It said “If you can believe it, here’s an actual email sent by Lois Lerner:” The content of the “unbelievable” email reads “No one will ever believe that both your hard drive and mine crashed within a week of each other. Life is strange.”

The implication is that Lerner was communicating with a colleague about their covert conspiracy to conceal an alleged plot to subject conservative organizations seeking non-profit status to greater scrutiny. After endless hearings and hyperbolic exclamations of unveiled “bombshells,” they never found any evidence of wrongdoing. Nevertheless, the Republican smear machine rattled on. And now, once again, they are crowing about some investigative victory. The problem is that they haven’t got the brains to put together a coherent case of misconduct.

The new email that they are so excited about is not a confession of any sort. If anything it exonerates Lerner and her ePenPals. With language like “life is strange” she is plainly expressing genuine surprise that the hard drives failed at around the same time. That proves that it wasn’t a planned scheme to destroy evidence. Lerner certainly would not write something incriminating in an email right after supposedly trashing hard drives to eliminate incriminating emails. And if further proof is needed, the email in question is dated June 29, 2011, two years before there was any investigation of the department’s activities. So there wouldn’t be any reason for Lerner to be tampering with correspondence that no one was looking for, and wasn’t considered to be evidence of anything.

That’s how lame this new “discovery” that “you have to read” is. It’s pathetic that the Oversight Committee would furiously tweet this utterly pointless message. And it is similarly ludicrous that Fox News would regurgitate it as if it had some significance other than to manufacture suspicion. But that’s really all they have, so they’re going with it.

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

To Rachel Maddow: Fox News Doesn’t Give A Fig About Bill O’Reilly’s Lies And Threats

The scandal engulfing Fox News, and its star blowhard Bill O’Reilly, is picking up steam as well as new allegations of dishonesty and flagrant self-glorification. The latest episodes of O’Reilly inventing harrowing journalistic adventures include his false assertion that he was present at the suicide of a figure associated with the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and his claim to have witnessed nuns being executed in El Salvador.

The initial response to the evidence that O’Reilly repeatedly lied about his experiences in Argentina as a “war zone” correspondent “in the Falklands” was to launch an attack on the reporters who exposed him and the so-called “liberal” media overall. He called them “liars, guttersnipes,” and “far-left zealots.” Even worse, when approached by a reporter from the New York Times he warned her that if he was unhappy with the story “I am coming after you with everything I have. You can take it as a threat.”

Bill O'Reilly

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Last night on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show, the issue was raised to inquire as to whether O’Reilly’s turpitude might disturb his employers or colleagues (video below). Maddow did an excellent job of explaining the events that led up to O’Reilly’s threats, but then she entertained the following scenario:

“Fox News has a bunch of folks like Mr. O’Reilly on their shows. It’s part of why I call them Republican TV. But they also have a lot of real reporters on staff who do real reporting all day long on real news. They have White House correspondents, and congressional reporters, and even media reporters. And I’m sure they don’t take kindly when their own reporters get threatened for trying to do their jobs. But it is hard to imagine what this is going to do to the work environment at Fox News Channel for the Fox News Channel’s real reporters, and they do have them.”

Maddow surely has decent intentions in characterizing Fox News as a network that employs real reporters. However, there is scant evidence that it is true. Their main anchor, Bret Baier, presides over a daily roasting of President Obama. Their chief White House correspondent, Ed Henry, is a deeply biased right-winger with open hostility to the President. Their media analyst, Howard Kurtz, went out of his way to defend O’Reilly in an embarrassing display that evoked either fear or fawning or both.

But one thing in particular that Maddow said was way off the mark. It is not hard at all to imagine what this is going to do to the work environment at Fox News. It isn’t going to do a damn thing. As fake news guy Jon Stewart correctly pointed out: “No one’s watching [O’Reilly] for the actual truth.” And referencing O’Reilly’s “No Spin Zone” tag line Stewart noted that “Misrepresenting the zone he is in is kind of his hook.”

Fox News is a network born of deceit and devoted to the dissemination of propaganda. They couldn’t care less if they are discovered to be distorting reality because that is what they were created to do. Their founder and CEO, Roger Ailes, has no scruples when it comes to stuffing his roster with partisan clowns, as evidenced by the existence of Steve Doocy, Sean Hannity, Judge Jeanine Pirro, Donald Trump, Elizabeth Hasselbeck, Keith Ablow, and, of course, Bill O’Reilly.

When some of his mouthpieces began to fray at the edges of sanity, Ailes admitted to keeping them on the air long after he had determined that they were detrimental with justifications that were purely political. The reason Ailes gave for putting off Beck’s departure was that he “didn’t want to give MoveOn and Media Matters the satisfaction.” And with regard to why he re-signed Sarah Palin after first letting her contract expire, he said that he hired her back to “piss off the people that wanted her dead.” How does that comport with the production of “real news.”

As for O’Reilly, he is a known ratings winner who satisfies the lust for wingnut outrage that boils in the withering hearts of the Fox News audience. Ailes isn’t going to risk that without some intense pressure being applied, and maybe not even then. He knows that O’Reilly is a hate monger whose persona is dripping with animus and ego. A study done a few years back by Indiana University revealed the depth of O’Reilly’s bullying attitude:

“The IU researchers found that O’Reilly called a person or a group a derogatory name once every 6.8 seconds, on average, or nearly nine times every minute during the editorials that open his program each night.”

Consequently, Fox News is well aware of how O’Reilly behaves and they approve. The only thing that might impact their decision to stand by him is if advertisers bail out in droves, which is what happened to Glenn Beck. And then they still kept his show on for a period of time to avoid looking like they caved in. In O’Reilly’s case, they would more likely announce his retirement after some twenty years on the network. It would then be announced that he would produce occasional specials and continue to write books about killing people. Which is an especially appropriate legacy for a bully like him to pursue.

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

Media Matter and MoveOn have a petition calling for Fox News to Hold Bill O’Reilly Accountable. Go add your name to it and let the advertiser community know that America’s television viewers aren’t going to stand for this.

Donald Rumsfeld Resurfaces On Fox News To Remind Everyone Why We Stopped Listening To Him

The cable “news” network best known for serving up obvious lies; for its open hostility toward President Obama and other Democrats; and for its flagrant dumbing down of every issue, has reached out to the architect of the Iraq debacle for analysis and advice on how to move forward in the horrific environment that he was so instrumental in creating.

Fox News Donald Rumsfeld

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Donald Rumsfeld was the Secretary of Defense during the Bush years who gave us “shock and awe,” and “long, hard slogs,” and “known unknowns.” His prosecution of the war on terror left the Middle East a broken region ripe for exploitation by militarized radicals. So obviously his opinion of where we go from here would be highly valued by the propagandists at Fox News who believe that if we call the terrorists “Islamic” they will fall apart (Even though that is exactly what they want us to call them).

Rumsfeld was invited to appear on Neil Cavuto’s program to discuss some of the recent developments in the war on terror, including reports of threats against domestic shopping malls. Cavuto characteristically treated Rumsfeld gently, providing opportunities for him to ramble on in his trademark fashion. Early in the interview Cavuto birthed this freakish inquiry:

“What do you think of that, that we’re making too big a deal out of ISIS, that they’re thugs, that they’re murderers, that they’re butchers, that they burn people alive, that they take their heads off, they kill Christians, but we’re assigning far greater importance to them than is warranted and responding far more differently than we should.”

Wow. That was some loaded question. Did Cavuto leave anything out? The terrorists also rape and pillage, and I’m pretty sure they don’t floss. Despite the massive girth of the question, Rumsfeld bit into it hungrily saying…

“Well, I was gonna start to say it’s nonsense but I would rephrase it to say it’s not credible. I mean the fact of the matter is, cutting off the heads of people is something that needs to be reported. And I would have to add that I think the United States government, over a period of a good number of years now, has been rather inept in dealing with this problem from an ideological sense.”

Setting aside the fact that nobody has suggested banning all reporting of terrorist activities, Rumsfeld’s response latched onto that straw-man argument just long enough to disparage the United States government during the “good number of years” that he hasn’t been screwing it up. He continued saying that…

“What we do is we don’t recognize that the terrorists have media committees. They sit down and figure what they can do that will call attention to them. And they are right. It does call attention to the ISIS and the Al Qaeda, and the terrorist activities. The fact that somebody goes in and blows up a shopping center or shopping mall is newsworthy, and blaming it on the fact that it’s reported is utter nonsense.”

Wait a minute. I thought he wasn’t going to call it nonsense. Maybe it’s just a known non unknown sense. But more to the point, Rumsfeld is arguing that the terrorists are adept at manipulating the media to achieve their goals. Whether it be recruiting, or intimidating their foes, or promoting their alleged successes, Rumsfeld is keenly aware that the media is being used as tool by savvy propagandists. Nevertheless, he immediately reverses his point by concluding that the media is in no way to blame for doing precisely what he just blamed the media for doing.

He was right the first time. The media does play right into the hands of the terrorists with relentless repetition of their PR. While responsible coverage of significant events is the duty of the press, endless redundancy only helps the bad guys to get their message out. It’s free advertising in the biggest and most valuable media market in the world. And Rumsfeld made those remarks on the only major television network to post the full propaganda video of the Jordanian pilot that ISIL burned alive.

After mangling his answer to the previous question, Rumsfeld was asked by Cavuto “What would you do differently that we’re not seeing now?” His response was no more coherent than the one he just concluded.

“I think we have to decide what we can do effectively and what we can’t do effectively. And we can’t nation-build. We haven’t solved the problem of the poverty in our own country. The idea that we can solve the poverty around the world, and until such time as we do, that we have to sit back and take terrorist attacks is silly. That’s just not the case.

“It seems to me you do what you do well, and what we do well is – obviously no one’s going to compete with us during this period with our Army, Navy, or Air Forces. They look for weaknesses, and the weakness that exists is real. We are vulnerable. As a modern country, as an open country, as a free people, we are vulnerable.”

And there you have it. The only thing that we do well is wage war. Consequently, Rumsfeld’s advice is to continue in an endless military campaign against stateless terrorists who are perfectly satisfied to martyr themselves in suicide missions. That’s what he says needs to be done that is different than we’re not seeing now. How it’s different he doesn’t bother to say. And since the U.S. has led a coalition for the past six months that has conducted thousands of airstrikes, killing more than 6,000 terrorist fighters, the difference is hard to detect.

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

This interview with Rumsfeld is just another brick in the wall of stupid that Fox News is building. It doesn’t contribute to any realistic solution. It doesn’t even make sense from one sentence to the next. And contrary to their BS sloganeering about fairness and balance, there will be no rebuttal to Rumsfeld’s foolishness. But you can rely on Fox to continue promoting the ends of the terrorists with every new atrocity that they commit. Unfortunately, there will be new atrocities, and when there are, Fox News will edit them into a loop and run them for days on end. And the terrorists will send them thank you cards.

Fox News Surrenders: Domestic Recovery Forces Narrative Shift To Foreign Policy For 2016 Election

The Republican News Network (aka Fox News) is taking a hard turn away from domestic issues in advance of the 2016 election cycle. For the past several years Fox and the rest of the Right-Wing Media Circus has focused heavily on matters that hit close to home like the economy, unemployment, immigration, marriage equality, education, and relentlessly, healthcare – or more accurately, opposition to it.

Unfortunately for the GOP, every one of those issues has been trending favorably for the Obama administration and the Democratic Party. The economy has grown by historic rates. The stock market has hit record highs. The deficit has declined by two-thirds. Unemployment dropped from 10.1 to 5.7 percent and wages are beginning to rise. The majority of the public support the President’s positions on immigration. Marriage equality is being affirmed by courts across the country. Both academic and financial education reforms proposed by Obama are hugely popular. And ObamaCare reached new plateaus of success signing up more than 11 million new people this year.

Fox News

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Also influencing the right is a Gallup poll released this week showing that terrorism has jumped in importance to the electorate. Fox News immediately began promoting this poll as evidence that Americans are convulsed with worry about being blown up in a cafe on Main Street. What they don’t mention is that terrorism in the poll shot up to a mere 8% and is still in fifth place behind four domestic issues. Also not mentioned is that another Gallup poll released the same day shows the President’s standing is on the rise. The poll shows him making significant gains with independents and even Republicans. And those gains are seen both personally and for his stance on issues.

So what is an obsessively hostile cable TV “news” network with a mission to promote conservative policies and Republican candidates to do? Of course, they have to pivot to foreign policy in a desperate bid to find a narrative that will advance their political goals. That is what’s happening now as this exchange from Fox News yesterday demonstrates:

Charles Krauthammer: This is going to be be one of those rare presidential runs in which foreign affairs is one of the dominant issues […] That is a very ripe field for the Republicans.
Ron Fournier: Charles is right. This is going to be a foreign policy election. I think that’s going to be really tough for Hillary given her last job.

Huh? Fournier didn’t elaborate on why Hillary Clinton’s last job as Secretary of State would make things harder for her if foreign policy were to take precedence. Running the State Department for four years would ordinarily be seen as a prime resume enhancement in an environment that prized international experience. Presumably the right is hankering for an opportunity to beat the Benghazi drum some more, but since they have failed to produce any evidence of wrongdoing after three years and dozens of investigations (including findings that exonerate Clinton and Obama by the GOP led House Intelligence Committee), it seems rather far-fetched that they can make an issue of it now. And when the election heats up Clinton will have a strong record of achievement about which to brag.

More to the point, the effort by Fox to divert attention away from the positive domestic news is bound to fail for three reasons. First, whatever plausible case they have to make against Obama and/or Clinton on foreign policy, they aren’t making it. Instead, they are wasting breath on such ludicrous trivialities as whether or not the word “Islamic” is appended to every mention of terrorism. Their mantra on this is that you have to “call it what it is” in order to win. They seem to believe that just changing the rhetoric all by itself would cause the bad guys to throw in the towel. That, of course, is absurd. The truth is that tarring all Muslims with an association to terrorism would only alienate the Islamic allies we need to prevail. The only parties who insist on this language are GOP/Fox News conservatives and the terrorists themselves. So why is Fox taking their side? That’s a question that Fox News will answer by shouting as loudly as possible, “Benghazi!”

The second reason that latching unto a foreign affairs campaign theme would fail is that, in addition to not making a negative case against Clinton, Republicans are also not making an affirmative case for themselves. Their fierce condemnations of Obama as being weak and incompetent (besides being somewhat unpatriotic by their own definition) imply that their alternative would be to recklessly leap back into a war footing around the world with fronts ranging from Iraq to Iran to Syria to Afghanistan to Ukraine, and even to Russia and North Korea. That would be a hard sell to the American people. What’s more, Republicans are already leaning on the same people that so profoundly wrecked the nation’s international relations as the would-be architects of the next GOP administration’s foreign policy.

Finally, after failing to make a foreign policy case against Clinton or for themselves, Fox and the GOP are forgetting the universal truth about presidential campaigns. As immortalized by James Carville, “It’s the economy, stupid.” No matter how much the right wants to avoid the domestic progress the nation has made in the years since George W. Bush and his cronies cratered the economy, that will always be the primary driver in voting for a national leader. And on that subject Republicans have nothing but failure to point to, while Democrats under Obama have an increasingly prosperous country and an agenda advocating on behalf of the middle-class. In addition, Clinton happens to be married to the last president to balance the budget while producing strong economic growth and job creation.

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

It’s no wonder that Republicans don’t want to run on domestic issues. And as their PR division, Fox News is valiantly striving to help them to change the subject. But no matter how hard they pray their wishes will not be realized. 2016 will be decided by an economic debate, just like every other presidential election. That fact, however, won’t deter the right from trying to elevate foreign policy because it’s all they have. And in a presidential election year, when turnout is higher, demographics favor Democrats, and the GOP has more at-risk seats than their foes, the outlook for Republicans is filled with the gloom that they have been trying to project on Democrats ever since the black guy moved into the White House.