Stupid On Purpose: Fox News Demonstrates Willful Ignorance Of Economics

There is a very good reason why Fox News viewers have been shown in numerous studies to be less informed than consumers of other media, or even those who consume no media at all. The reason is that Fox News deliberately misreports and distorts facts in order to advance their right-wing ideology. A perfect example of this was demonstrated in an article that Fox posted today on their community website, the lie-riddled Fox Nation. The article was titled “OBAMANOMICS IN ACTION: Typical US household Worth One-Third Less Than Under Bush.”

Fox Nation

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The source for the highly inaccurate assertion in the headline was a study performed by the Russel Sage Foundation (RSF) and published by the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality: Wealth Levels, Wealth Inequality, and the Great Recession (pdf). The RSF describes itself as “the principal American foundation devoted exclusively to research in the social sciences.” The study itself is a well-researched and scholarly examination of the effects of the Great Recession on wealth inequality in the U.S. It took a fair degree of determination and willful ignorance to twist the conclusions into a criticism of President Obama’s economic policies. And they began by proving that they don’t know the difference between “median” households and “typical” households.

For the record, median, in this context, is referring to the dollar value of the subject’s net worth. It has nothing to do with the number of subjects in that value range. In fact, there are many more people on the lower end of the wealth spectrum than the upper end. Therefore, median does not translate to typical.

What the study shows is that wealth increased among the richest Americans throughout most of the Bush years, beginning with the GOP tax cut for the rich in 2001. That cut, along with two off-budget wars, also produced the massive deficits that sprung from the budget surplus Clinton left for Bush. During the same time period the rest of the country languished. Those in the 25th percentile actually began to decline in 2005, before the Great Recession hit. Following the Bush Debacle at the end of 2008 everyone lost money, but those at the bottom lost a far greater percentage of their net worth than those at the top.

Also, the characterization by Fox that things were so much better while Bush was president is based on measuring the difference from the beginning of the Bush term in 2001. But by using that as the starting point it diminishes his responsibility for the economic collapse over which he presided in 2008, and places more of the consequences of it on Obama. A more significant measure would start with the Great Recession in late 2008. From that point on there has been steady progress. The RSF report stated that…

“The housing, stock and job markets have all improved since 2009, but at very different rates. The stock market rebounded relatively quickly and returned to prerecession levels by the middle of 2013. The July 2013 unemployment rate of 7.4 percent was below the recession peak of 10.0 percent, but was still substantially higher than the 4.7 percent rate of mid-2007. However, the most important source of wealth for most Americans is their home, and by mid-2013 home prices were still 20 percent below their mid-2007 values.”

Indeed, it was home ownership that had the biggest impact on the wealth of the middle class because it is such a larger portion of their net worth. For the wealthy their homes represent only a portion of their total worth, and it may not even be the largest portion. They may also have millions in investments, retirement funds, and other financial assets. And since the Great Recession resulted in millions of foreclosures on the middle and lower classes, many of which were unwarranted, or even fraudulent, those on the bottom of the scale were hurt the most. This had the effect of making an already historically prominent level of wealth inequality even worse. This was also noted in the conclusions of the RSF report:

“While large absolute amounts of wealth were destroyed at the top of the wealth distribution, households at the bottom of the wealth distribution lost the largest share of their total wealth. As a result, wealth inequality increased significantly from 2007 through 2013; by some metrics inequality roughly doubled.”

Anyone giving a fair reading this report would come away with the impression that wealth inequality has risen to dangerous levels, and that much of the reason is the Bush recession. But the folks at the falsely named “fair and balanced” network brought their own biases to the table and delivered a preposterous mutation of the study’s findings. Their intention is clearly to deceive the public by persuading them of the fiction that Obama’s economic policies have failed, and that Bush’s were superior. However, you would have to be pretty stupid to buy that argument. Therefore, there are at least a couple of million Fox News viewers who will eat up with relish.

On Fox News: Religious Intolerance Is An Atrocity Unless It’s Practiced By Christians

Last week Megyn Kelly of Fox News featured a segment that was crammed full of outrage over the bigotry demonstrated by the extremist ISIS brigade that is terrorizing much of Iraq. As ISIS marches through the nation that was fatally destabilized by George W. Bush and his confederacy of liars, any religious faction that is not aligned with the ISIS brand of Sunni Islam is dealt with brutally and mercilessly. This, of course, includes the Christians in the region. And it is the Christians for whom Fox News is solely concerned.

In a delivery dripping with fear, Kelly gravely reported on an alleged directive from ISIS that Christians in the city of Mosul “could leave, they could convert to Islam, or they could die.” This is certainly further evidence of the extremist intentions of the group and Fox News is correct to repudiate the threat as an assault on religious freedom.

However, there are a couple of problems with their newly acquired aversion to intolerance (a subject they generally dismiss as political correctness). For one thing, it never bothered them when conservative firebrand, and Fox News fave, Ann Coulter said pretty much the same thing, but with a somewhat different emphasis.

Fox News

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Coulter’s doctrine on Islam that “We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity,” is just as repugnant, bigoted, and hostile as that of the ISIS ultimatum. So why does Fox News tolerate hate-speech from Coulter that is identical to that of terrorist extremists?

It may help to understand the Fox editorial philosophy by noting that the “expert” Kelly solicited to analyze the events in Iraq was Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, who immediately blamed President Obama for this rancid display of religious intolerance. In fact, Perkins and Kelly spent more time castigating the President than they did ISIS. This tells you who they really regard as their enemy.

Perkins, and the FRC, are notable for their place on the list of hate groups published by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). The FRC has been one of the most vicious opponents of the LGBT community. Their opposition is based wholly on their view that anyone who strays from the Christian dogma advocated by the FRC is deviant, sinful, harmful to society, and an affront to God. In other words, it is an entirely religious prejudice that condemns those with different beliefs. The SPLC’s report on the FRC begins…

“The Family Research Council (FRC) bills itself as ‘the leading voice for the family in our nation’s halls of power,’ but its real specialty is defaming gays and lesbians. The FRC often makes false claims about the LGBT community based on discredited research and junk science. The intention is to denigrate LGBT people in its battles against same-sex marriage, hate crimes laws, anti-bullying programs and the repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.”

Despite their “Vision Statement” which calls for a culture in which “religious liberty thrives,” the FRC is unarguably a practitioner of religious intolerance. It’s sole purpose for existing is to rebuke those who fail to adopt their religious views. If a culture wherein religious liberty were thriving was truly their mission, there would be a place in it for those with whom they disagree. However, in that regard they are no different than ISIS.

It is telling that Kelly chose to invite the religiously intolerant Perkins to her Fox News program to discuss the religious intolerance of others. She might have considered people who are actually involved in anti-discrimination organizations, whose opinions would be more credible. That, however, would require her to violate the gospel of Fox News which demands strict adherence to right-wing, conservative, Christian principles. As I have noted previously

Fox News is the closest thing in media to a Vatican PR office, with a roster that is heavily weighted with Roman-Catholics. They include: Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Megyn Kelly, Bret Baier, Bill Hemmer, Brian Kilmeade, Andrew Napolitano, Jeanine Pirro, Laura Ingraham, Dennis Kucinich, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, and Father Morris. Rupert Murdoch, the CEO of Fox News parent News Corp was himself inducted into the ‘Knights of the Order of Saint Gregory the Great’ by Pope John Paul II. And if that isn’t enough, the current Senior Communications Adviser in the Vatican’s Secretariat of State, Greg Burke, was previously the Fox News correspondent covering the Vatican, a position he held for ten years.

So remember this the next time you hear Fox News pretending to be the champions of religious freedom. Remember that their experts are actually bigoted hate mongers. Remember that their political commentators advocate genocide and ethnic cleansing. The only freedom that Fox News supports is the freedom to plaster the airwaves with lies and propaganda in the furtherance of the right-wing theocracy they hope to foist on America.

Glenn Beck Stages An Anti-Common Core Scam And Flops Hysterically

Yesterday marked the long-awaited (by lobotomized tea-bots) exhibition of Glenn Beck’s latest scam to fleece his dimwitted disciples. Beck hosted a nationwide promotion for his anti-Common Core book and philosophy in 600 movie theaters that linked to his live simulcast from Dallas.

Glenn Beck Common Core

To be clear, this was simply a version of his regular Internet video blog, except that people had to pay twenty bucks a piece to watch what they would ordinarily have been able to see online and in the comfort of their own homes. And remember, Beck’s Internet venture extracts $10.00 a month from his flock just to see his regular programming. With this event he made them go out to a movie theater and pay an additional $20.00 for essentially the same fare. Who but Beck fans would be stupid enough to fall for that?

Apparently, not even very many of Beck’s loyal websters were taken in. The Washington Post reports, from their attendance at a screening in Maryland, that the event drew only seventeen people. Perhaps turnout was better in some backwater Texas or Louisiana burbs, but there is no reliable data available to confirm.

The program consisted of already aired criticisms of Common Core from Beck regulars like evangelist David Barton and professional Obama-hater Michelle Malkin. The material was a rehash of the false allegations that Common Core (or ObamaCore as wingnuts have come to call it) is an intrusion by the federal government into our local school system. That fallacy has been thoroughly debunked. The Common Core standards were developed entirely by representatives of the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers – all local organizations. Furthermore, Common Core has broad-based bipartisan support including from GOP stalwarts like Jeb Bush and Mike Huckabee.

The opposition to Common Core stems almost entirely from the knee-jerk reaction to oppose anything that President Obama has remarked on favorably. Additionally, opposing Common Core fits in nicely with the generally negative attitude that the right has toward education. They have a visceral aversion to “elitists” who have obtained college degrees. They flatly reject science with regard to settled issues like evolution and climate change. Their whole attitude toward academia is one of horror that people might actually become educated. That would significantly reduce the number of potential Teabaggers they could rope in.

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So Beck’s latest scam may have duped a few pathetic followers, sold a few more books, and redistributed some wealth from misled schnooks into Beck’s sleazy pockets. No big deal, sheep are used to being fleeced. But to make matters worse, Beck’s program kicked off with some serious, and hilarious glitches. The video performance flaked out for about four minutes, however, Beck’s audio continued. Consequently, the audience was treated to Beck’s commentary voice-over during a trailer for the new James Brown biopic, Get On Up:

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

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

Reagan vs. Obama

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brand Spanking New Fox News Conspiracy Theory Has Obama “Murdering” The Middle Class

It’s getting difficult to keep track of all of the plots against America that have been perpetrated by our Satanic Kenyan socialist president. When Obama isn’t conspiring to provide material support for Al Qaeda and other terrorists, he is scheming to use the EPA or health care to transform Americans into his personal stable of slaves. But those are small potatoes compared to what seminal birther Wayne Allyn Root is now alleging with the help of Fox News.

Fox News

Root’s newest Obama derangement is that he is purposefully orchestrating “The Murder of the Middle Class,” (which just happens to be the title of his new book, but I’m sure that’s merely coincidental). Root commences his anti-Obama escapade with the assertion that “This is the boldest, grandest criminal conspiracy in world history.” Wow. Even bolder and grander than the Nazi holocaust, the Gunpowder Plot, or the betrayal of Jesus by Judas in the Garden of Gethsemane? As the Impeachy Queen Palin would say, “You betcha.”

This isn’t the first time that Root has exposed Obama’s obsession with destroying America. In fact, Root alleges that Obama has been planning this since his days as a student at Columbia University. However, Obama’s new and nefarious designs on the nation, that elected him as its leader twice, put past conspiracies to shame. Root writes that…

“Although the man at the center of this massive world-class fraud is Barack Obama and in my book I prove it…there are many moving parts and co-conspirators. These include famous billionaire businessmen, corporate CEOs, the Federal Reserve, Wall Street bankers, central bankers, government employee unions, the IRS, EPA, NSA, the Bar Association, assorted communists and America-haters, and even some well-known D.C. establishment Republicans. It’s quite a shocking list of conspirators.”

It certainly is. especially when most them (the billionaires, CEOs, bankers, etc.) have profited handsomely during the Obama era. That’s just how devious this plot is. It has incorporated the beneficiaries of Obama’s policies as participants in his cabal to crush the very system that has enriched them.

Root has identified pretty much every component of the Obama agenda as a critical gear in the super-destructo machine that Obama is building. Never mind the administration’s claims about assuring health care for everyone, or protecting the environment, Root has uncovered the true and frightening aspirations of this president and his team of evildoers. Here is what he says lies behind Obama’s campaign of fraud and lies:

The Real Objective…

  • Of ObamaCare: “is income redistribution (through higher taxes and higher premiums) to make the middle class poor and dependent on government.”
  • Of Environmental Regulation: “is bankrupting the middle class by tripling utility bills, gas bills and grocery bills.”
  • Of Immigration Reform: “is to create 12 million new low-wage employees in the labor force” and “12 million future Democratic voters.”
  • Of Income Equality: “is income redistribution and starving the biggest donors to conservative causes and candidates- small business and the middle class.”
  • Of Higher Education: “is enriching teachers unions so they can funnel hundreds of millions back to Democrat politicians.”
  • Of Quantitative Easing: “is printing enough fake money to pay for $3.7 trillion in government handout bribes to Obama’s voters.”

There is so much contradiction in there that it’s hard to know where to begin. For instance, where is the income redistribution in health care if the money is going right back into the pockets of the wealthy insurance companies? Likewise, higher utility bill would also benefit the rich energy concerns (Hello Koch brothers). However, would that be possible if those bills were bankrupting the middle class who would then be unable to pay them? Also, who does Root think it would help if immigrant labor produced more low-wage employees? That is certainly not a redistribution of wealth to the poor. And the liberal solution to raise the minimum wage, which would actually bolster the middle class, as does affordable health care, is ignored by Root entirely in order to continue bashing unions and stereotyping the poor as lazy moochers who will vote for whoever throws cash in their path.

There is really only one thing in this pile of tripe stands out as motivation for having published it. And that is the frequent and shameless references to the book Root is peddling. The whole article is nothing more than an advertisement for a work of fiction that mangles the facts, distorts reality, and disparages the American working class. And Fox News presents it as a piece of opinion journalism rather than as a crass pitch for a disgraced author’s latest collection of lies.

Speaking of shameless book peddling, have you read
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But then what else could we expect of Fox? Their whole media enterprise is a collection of lies and partisan garbage aimed at advancing an agenda that benefits the rich, advocates for war, and proselytizes hate for minorities, women, and progressives.

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

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

Fox Nation Poll

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fox Nation Comments

A Fight With Obama: Fox News Admits That Their Immigration Coverage Is Purely Political

The ongoing protests at Murrieta, California have exposed a nauseating dark side of nativist prejudice on the part of right-wing anti-immigrant activists. Their hostile screamfests aimed at frightened children on buses is almost too barbaric to be believed. And now their media champions at Fox News have revealed that the motivation behind the coverage of these troglodytes is purely political.

Fox Nation

The headline on the lie-riddled Fox Nation website cheers that “Murrieta Wins Fight With Obama.” With Obama? So the Fox Nationalists see this humanitarian crisis as just another partisan scuffle with the president they despise so ferociously? They don’t recognize the plight of children who are alone, impoverished, scared, and uncertain of their future? They obviously aren’t concerned with working on possible resolutions to the problem. The only thing relevant to them is that their designated enemy in the White House can be tagged with a defeat.

And what is the victory of which they are so proud? Hundreds of kids are terrorized by bitter, hateful clods with grimacing faces and intimidating signs that the kids can’t even read. The process of getting these kids through the immigration bureaucracy is stalled, exacerbating the problem to which the protesters supposedly are objecting. And politicians are swept up in the tide of racism that makes legislative solutions even more remote. Congratulations.

It should also be noted that the victory of hate being celebrated by Fox is another Fox lie. Although officials have temporarily halted the busloads of children into the San Diego area, citing reduced backlogs in Texas, Lombardo Amaya, union president of the El Centro chapter of the National Border Patrol Council, told The Desert Sun that “This does not mean that we will not continue to receive more loads in the future.” No doubt the child-haters will be back on the protest line should the busing resume. And with them will be Fox News and the rest of the wingnut press who will hype this beastly crusade just like they did for deadbeat rancher, Cliven Bundy.

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Finally, the reaction from the right to Obama’s proposal for $3.7 billion to address the current crisis has been resoundingly negative. On Fox News they resorted to complaining that this is a large sum of money to be allocating to immigrant children when there are still American children who are hungry, homeless, or otherwise deprived. ARE YOU FRIGGIN’ KIDDING ME? These are the same jerkwads who have been viciously condemning what they derisively refer to as “The Welfare State.” They oppose every form of relief from housing aid, to food stamps, to school lunches, to Head Start, to tax reform, etc.

Now Fox News expects us to believe that they favor allocating funds to needy American kids? Message to Fox News: We are not as stupid as your standard viewer. If you really care about American kids, then show it by supporting the programs listed above. And if you still think that immigrant kids should be left to starve, or be returned to poverty and violence in their home country, then just make that argument without pretending to care about Americans.

Darrell Issa Discovers More Emails He Can Brazenly Lie About On Fox News

In an entirely unsurprising development, rabidly partisan congressman, and recidivist criminal, Darrell Issa, has popped up again on Fox News to peddle his dishonest allegations concerning the trumped up IRS controversy.

Darrell Issa

The latest wrinkle in Issa’s permanently furrowed brow is an email exchange that he selectively leaked that he alleges is the long-lost smoking gun that proves – well, whatever it is that has his panties in a twist that day. The emails are a discussion between the former IRS Tax-Exempt Organizations division director, Lois Lerner, and Maria Hooke from the IT department, wherein Lerner seeks information regarding document storage. Here are excerpts from the emails:

Lerner: I had a question today about OCS [instant messages]. I was cautioning folks about email and how we have had several occasions where Congress has asked for emails and there has been an electronic search for responsive emails–so we need to be cautious about what we say in emails.
Hooke: OCS messages are not set to automatically save as the standard; however the functionality exits within the software. [...] My general recommendation is to treat the conversation as if it could/is being saved somewhere, as it is possible for either party of the conversation to retain the information and have it turn up as part of an electronic search. Make sense?
Lerner: Perfect.

From this rather innocuous exchange, Issa managed to extract something nefarious. His interpretation points to a deliberate attempt to conceal information from congressional investigators. Here is his analysis as adoringly received by Brian Kilmeade on Fox News:

Kilmeade: What do you get from this correspondence?
Issa: What we get is, perhaps what CNN was asking me for a couple weeks ago – a smoking gun. This is Lois Lerner clearly cautioning people not to say things on email. [...] Why? She didn’t want an audit trail for what they were doing, and they were targeting conservatives for their views. No question at all.
Kilmeade: As so many others are choosing not to follow you, we will.

If Issa gets a smoking gun from this, you have to ask what he’s smoking. First of all, Lerner is merely articulating a common business instruction to keep all communications professional. Cautioning her staff about what they say in emails that might later be made public is prudent advice. Not because they are engaging in a cover up, but because people often lapse into inappropriately casual conversations in routine work life. They certainly would not want to have accounts of last night’s party, or off-color jokes, turning up in official investigations.

Issa’s laughably absurd assertion that Lerner is ordering a cover up of emails requires one to accept that she would do such a thing in an email. That would be like calling a criminal accomplice on the phone to tell him not to talk about the crime they just committed because the phone might be tapped. And Issa went further to answer his own question as to why Lerner would issue her cautionary advice. He said it was because she “didn’t want an audit trail for what they were doing.” Of course, the only evidence he has of that is his supernatural ability to read minds.

Perhaps the most blatant distortion Issa whips up refers to Lerner’s response to the IT rep’s explanation of instant message storage. Lerner said simply “Perfect.” Issa contorted that into her being “delighted” that instant messaging wasn’t being tracked. However, that isn’t what the IT rep said. In fact, she said quite the opposite, advising that the messages be treated as if they were saved because either party could do so.

But the worst mangling of this portion of the exchange is that Lerner’s response came immediately following the IT rep signing off her last email by asking “Make sense?” That is what Lerner was responding to when she said “Perfect,” as in “it makes perfect sense.” She was simply acknowledging that she understood the explanation.

This is typical of Issa’s unethical practice of cherry-picking documents from his committee’s hearings that he can spin negatively. It is something that he gets away with because far too many so-called journalists allow themselves to be manipulated by his intentionally deceptive leaks. And, of course, Fox News is all to happy to cooperate with the charade. Already Bill O’Reilly has featured a segment on this subject wherein he referred to these new emails as “hard evidence” of a cover up. Someone needs to give these cretins a remedial course on the meaning of “evidence.”

The O’Reilly Fester: Fox’s Super-Pundit Criticizes Media He Never Watches

Last night on Bill O’Reilly’s show, the Fester aired a segment on whether or not the media can be trusted. You have to wonder whether O’Reilly was looking in a mirror when he came up with this subject.

Fox News - Bill O'Reilly

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However, it wasn’t O’Reilly who went completely off the rails this time. His guest was Charles Krauthammer, widely considered to be the “brainy” Fox fact distorter. Krauthammer was brought in specifically to offer his expertise in media analysis culled from decades of observation and study. Even O’Reilly realized that in order to make informed judgments about something you need to be immersed in it and continually reinforcing your knowledge. It was in that vein that O’Reilly asked Krauthammer…

O’Reilly: You as a commentator…you have to watch the media reports come in. You have to be well informed. You have to be up to date, as do I. Is there anybody that you trust?
Kruathammer: Well, again, apart from Fox, no, of course not.

So the only media outlet that Krauthammer regards as trustworthy is Fox News. That’s a pretty limited range of media sources. Surely he must have reasons for why no other source has any credibility in his view. O’Reilly pressed him (softly) on this to ascertain what he finds lacking at other networks like, for instance, CNN. O’Reilly presumed that “You must watch it.” To which Krauthammer replied…

“I don’t watch it. The only place I watch it is when I’m waiting for an airplane in some lounge somewhere. [...] I have not watched a network newscast on any of the three networks in 20 years.”

Well then. No wonder he is considered an expert in media. His opinion is informed by having never seen any of it since Clinton was in his first term in the White House. Krauthammer is the model of the Fox News pundit. He has absolutely no knowledge of, or expertise in, the subjects he is called upon to pontificate about. What’s more, he has no interest in becoming knowledgeable. That’s how we get people like Sean Hannity talking about military operations; or Neil Cavuto talking about climate change; or Steve Doocy talking about the economy; or Sarah Palin talking about anything. It is also how we get O’Reilly talking about race and poverty.

This does, however, explain why Fox News viewers are less informed than viewers of other media – or even people who watch no news media at all. It is a network devoted to mis/disinformation and ignorance. And to their credit, they are quite good at it.

Congress Allocates More Money To Phony Benghazi Investigations Than To Veterans

Two months ago GOP House Speaker John Boehner announced that he would concede to pressure from Fox News and the Tea Party by creating the House Select Committee On Politicizing Benghazi. He then packed the committee on the Republican side with rabidly partisan attack dogs, led by alpha dog Trey Gowdy of South Carolina.

Gowdy Doody

Shameless self-promotion…
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Since that announcement there has been nothing of note to report. There are no scheduled hearings and no estimated timeline for the investigation. Count on it to drag out long enough for Republicans to exploit it during the 2016 presidential campaign.

The one bit of news that has just emerged is that the Speakers office has allocated $3.3 million to the committee for the current year. So after spending untold millions by four other partisan committees who, despite making wild predictions about White House malfeasance and cover ups, never found anything to support their manufactured accusations, they are now proposing to up the ante with no indication that the result will be any different.

To put the budgeting in perspective, the House Veterans Affairs Committee will only be receiving $3 million this year, even though they have more than twice as many members and a legitimate scandal to investigate with legitimate victims who continue to suffer. The Benghazi Circus will spend more in its first year than the Intelligence Committee which deals with numerous international matters that have far-reaching impact on national security.

The financial priority that is demonstrated by these budget choices is evidence that the Republican House is more obsessed with phony scandals and political sabotage than with actually solving real problems for the American people. The tragic events in Benghazi have always been merely a crude weapon for the rightist politicians and pundits who are fixated on destroying all things Obama. And the new committee is just another means of achieving political goals that they couldn’t achieve at the ballot box. This was illustrated with certainty when back in May of 2013, Fox News aired a tribute to their chief, CEO Roger Ailes, for his efforts as “The Driving Force” in “Keeping Benghazi Alive.”

Fox News Ailes Benghazi

This was one of the most brazen admissions of the abandonment of journalistic ethics ever broadcast. The arrogance they display with on-air graphics confessing that they “made terror attack a story” in response to a “push” by their CEO, is unprecedented. Credible news organizations do not permit executives to interfere with editorial decisions. But the operative word there is “credible,” which has never applied to Fox News.

Days Of Our Lies: This Means Warren – The Clash Of Hillary And Elizabeth

The saga of the Clinton Dynasty continues on Fox News as they deliver a new episode of their blithering soap opera, Days of Our Lies.

Days of Our Lies

In the last chapter, you will recall that disgraced author Edward Klein laughably asserted that he had access to private conversations between Hillary and Bill Clinton. In those intimate liaisons it was revealed that Hillary was sinking into despair and losing her enthusiasm for public service. That despite the fact that she is handily out-polling all of her potential Democratic and Republican rivals.

The story continues with another excerpt from Klein’s new book wherein he is still managing to get insider scoops that any rational person would know are unavailable to the likes of him. He again cites sources who we are supposed to believe are among the closest confidants to the Clintons, yet are betraying them by blabbing to the right-wing media’s most vociferous and vicious Clinton enemy. Klein’s account of the private world inside the Clinton fortress includes these unlikely scenarios:

“President Obama has quietly promised Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren complete support if she runs for president — a stinging rebuke to his nemesis Hillary Clinton.”

“Obama has authorized his chief political adviser, Valerie Jarrett, to conduct a full-court press to convince Warren to throw her hat into the ring.”

“The Obamas believe that Warren sees things from the same ideological point of view as they do. She is a committed progressive who, like Obama, wants to transform America into a European-style democratic-socialist state.”

“Both Valerie and Michelle Obama have convinced the president that Elizabeth Warren is his Mini-Me.”

Warren, of course, has said repeatedly and emphatically that she is not running for president. She pledged explicitly to finish her term in the senate which ends in 2019. She even signed a letter, along with fellow senate Democrats, urging Clinton to run for President. These are not typical actions by someone plotting to mount an opposition candidacy in pursuit of a shared dream of European socialism.

Nevertheless, Fox News, along with their partner in melodrama, the New York Post (which is also their partner in the notoriously dishonest Murdoch media empire) are providing a platform for Klein’s delusional chronicles. Not only is there no evidence that any of Klein’s ravings are true, there is no conceivable way that he could have had access to the encounters that he is pretending to describe. And to top it all off, Fox illustrates the article with a deceptively edited photo that makes it appear that Obama and Warren are about to lock lips in a heated embrace.

Shameless self-promotion…
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However, like the soap operas that are broadcast on other daytime television programs, the audience of gullible wingnuts is woefully undiscriminating and will believe whatever is put in front of them by the yarn spinners at Fox. Stay tuned for the next episode of Days of Our Lies, brought to you by Fox News, when Hillary reveals that she is hopelessly in love with daughter Chelsea’s husband, who has gone missing after stumbling unto a mysterious Kenyan birth certificate.

Cliven Bundy 2.0: Fox News Makes Heroes Of American Border Jihadists

The border wars continue on Fox News as the network repeatedly portrays the immigration issue in partisan terms and likens the influx of immigrants to an “invasion” or a conspiracy by President Obama to mint new Democratic voters.

In another new escalation of their radical rhetoric, Fox News is now heralding the participation of right-wing militia organizations who say that they will take it upon themselves to patrol the southern borders (funny that they are never concerned with any other border), an activity for which they have no legal authority.

The Fox Nation website is currently featuring an article that promotes a positive impression of violent and racist extra-legal militias that they describe as “defenders” of the U.S. border saying that…

“We have independent units from the Bolinas Border Patrol and the Central Valley Citizens militia joining forces with independent citizens militia units of Texas to defend our southern border in Texas, to protest Obama’s lawless open borders policies and to rally support for Governor Perry to officially call out Guard units and Texas militia units at his disposal to defend the border!! Lawsuits will not cut it. The invasion is happening now. Action must be taken NOW!!”

Fox Nation

These border jihadists have no official authorization to conduct the activities that they have announced. Any harm that might come to themselves or others would constitute criminal misbehavior for which they could be prosecuted and punished. Their hollow exclamations of lawlessness on the part of the federal government are completely without merit and they offer no argument to support their claims. Contrary to the charge of “open borders,” the Obama administration has significantly improved border security and has actually intercepted and deported more immigrants than their predecessors in the Bush administration.

None of that gets in the way of promulgating false and hysterical allegations that are designed to incite racial disharmony among the Fox News Chicken Littles who see this administration as a sign of the Apocalypse. It is a call to battle in the Texas territories that the righteous must heed, just as they did up in Nevada where deadbeat rancher Cliven Bundy amassed militia groups to stare down federal law enforcement agents. That incident ended in a moment of candor with Bundy revealing his racist tendencies and a couple of his former associates murdering two police officers in Las Vegas.

Just to make sure that the message sent to the militia brigades is not misunderstood, the photograph that Fox Nation used to illustrate their border defense jihad was actually taken during the Bundy ranch standoff. It is telling that Fox would use this photo to represent events at the border when it wasn’t taken there. And it is journalistically unethical to do so without proper disclosure. This is a not-so-subtle attempt to interweave the Bundy affair with this new group of lawless missionaries. So even though Bundy was discredited and abandoned after flaming out in the Nevada desert, Fox News is still peddling the agenda of insurrectionists who believe that they can take the law into their own hands.

The ignorance required to link immigration to an invasion is substantial. Invaders are overtly hostile enemy assailants who seek to overthrow the target of their attack. However, no one disputes that immigrants are drawn here by their reverence for American values and opportunities. They are not enemies advancing to conquer. They were invited by the words engraved in brass at the base of the Statue of Liberty: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

With regard to the alleged voter creation conspiracy theory nonsense, even the most liberal interpretation of the immigration policies currently being discussed would require new residents to have been in the U.S. since childhood and to have completed high school or be serving in the military. Additionally, they would would have to pay all taxes and penalties and go to the end of the line to qualify for citizenship. All told it is estimated that it would take about thirteen years to become a citizen with voting privileges.

Unfortunately, the themes being hyped by Fox News are being echoed throughout the conservative media circus. The extremists and wackos who inhabit that realm are eagerly latching on to this new cause for panic. And the possibility of it producing another tragedy similar to the one that cost two Las Vegas police officers their lives is ever more likely.

Let’s hope that doesn’t happen, but with accomplices like Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh treating violent criminals like heroes, we may not have seen the worst of this yet.

Fox News Falsely Reports That Court Docs “Shatter” Benghazi Video Narrative

The attempt by Fox News to manufacture a phony version of events leading up to the terrorist attack in Benghazi continues at full speed. The latest chapter in their fictional tale revolves around court documents released by the Department of Justice in a pretrial motion to secure the detention of suspect Ahmed Abu Khatalla. The report by Fox News begins with the allegation that…

“Court documents filed by the U.S. Justice Department in the criminal case against Benghazi attack suspect Ahmed Abu Khatallah provide unprecedented details about the evolution of the assault and further shatter the Obama administration’s initial claim that it sprouted from protests over an anti-Islam film.”

Fox News

The problem with Fox’s reporting is that nothing in the rest of their story supports the charge in their opening paragraph. Not only is there nothing that shatters the claim that an anti-Islam video played a part in the violence that night, there isn’t any reference to the video at all. There is no assertion that the video was a trigger for the attack, and no assertion that it was free of some responsibility for motivating the attackers.

A possible reason for there being nothing conclusive regarding the video is that the court documents referenced by Fox were merely a motion presenting the state’s arguments for maintaining Khatalla in custody while awaiting trial. The purpose of this motion is solely to establish that the defendant is a flight risk and a potential danger to the community. It does not pretend to include every bit of evidence or testimony that will be presented in court.

Nevertheless, Fox sought to portray the motion as containing material that it simply does not contain. That’s why the article never bothers to quote anything from the motion that supports the contention that the video narrative was put to rest. The best they could do was to say that…

“The motion says that in the days preceding the attack, the defendant ‘voiced concern and opposition to the presence of an American facility in Benghazi.’” [and that] “The motion filed this week said Khatallah ‘was motivated by his extremist ideology.’”

There’s no surprise there. The defendant, after all, was a leader of the anti-Western extremist group, Ansar al-Sharia. Of course he was opposed to the American presence on Benghazi. That, however, doesn’t negate the possibility that Khatalla’s plans to attack the diplomatic facility may have been inspired by, or opportunistically coordinated to, the numerous protests that were occurring simultaneously throughout much of the Middle East that were directly the result of the anti-Islam video.

What Fox fails to mention in their story is that Khatalla himself is reported to have admitted that the Benghazi attack was revenge for the video. According to the New York Times…

“What he did in the period just before the attack has remained unclear. But Mr. Abu Khattala told other Libyans in private conversations during the night of the attack that he was moved to attack the diplomatic mission to take revenge for an insult to Islam in an American-made online video.”

Fox’s reporting on this is all over the map. Aside from their obsessive fixation on the issue as a cudgel with which to pummel President Obama, Fox has previously labeled Khatalla the ringleader of the Benghazi attack, only to demote him to an irrelevant foot soldier after his capture.

What this tells us is that the value of any element of this story to Fox News is determined solely by its ability to reflect negatively on the President. Consequently, anyone who buys into anything that Fox says is being deliberately and willingly deluded.

UH-OH: Bush Released The Real Terrorist Mastermind Of The Benghazi Attack

Last week Fox News and their Republican cohorts went berserk over reports that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS in Iraq, was a former prisoner at Guantanamo Bay but was released by Obama. That happens to be another Fox manufactured lie, but that didn’t stop them from promulgating it repeatedly.

Fox News bin Qumu

This week Fox News broadcast a report that has a similar revelation buried deep in a story notable for an unrelated, but equally disturbing. bit of disinformation. The article was about the captured Benghazi suspect Ahmed Abu Khattala, who has generally been regarded as a leader of the terrorist militias in Libya. At least until he was was apprehended by U.S. military forces under Commander-in-Chief Barack Hussein Abu Obama Bin Kenya (as he is known to Fox News and their viewers). Suddenly, Khattala has been transformed from a ringleader to a bit player and, according to Fox’s anonymous sources, “low hanging fruit.” The exchange on Fox between anchor Martha MacCallum and reporter Adam Housley went like this:

MacCallum: Is he really believed to be the mastermind behind this night?

Housley: Well, it depends on who you talk to, Martha. When you talk to the administration they’ve touted this as being a big get for them, a big win for them as well. When we talk to those having direct knowledge of this from the very early days, they’ll tell you that Khattala really wasn’t that big of a deal at all.

There you have it. A “big get” according to the administration, but according to “those having direct knowledge,” as opposed to the administration, it’s no big whoop. Despite repeatedly referring to “them,” Housley never identifies a single one of his numerous alleged sources.

What’s more, the contention that Khattala was a mere pawn is one that has only emerged after his capture, presumably as an effort by Fox to avoid aver giving credit to Obama for anything that might be perceived as positive. However, before Khattala was nabbed he was considered to be a dangerous honcho in the top ranks of the terrorist infrastructure. Back on January 8, 2013, none other than Fox News super-pundit Charles Krauthammer had this to say about Khattala (@5:20 in the video):

“We know the leader of the attack was a certain, Ahmed Abu Khattala, who was seen a few days later in a coffee shop outside Benghazi.”

That was the Fox view a year and a half ago when they were still bashing Obama for not having arrested anyone. So if Khattala is not the Benghazi leader as Krauthammer said, then who was? Well, buried in Housley’s report is the answer. it was one Abu Sufian Ibrahim Ahmed Hamuda bin Qumu:

“He was a prisoner at Guantánamo Bay for more than five years and at the time was classified by analysts at the prison as ‘a probable member of Al Qaeda.’ Despite this significant threat to American security and allies, bin Qumu was released as part of an amnesty for militants in 2008.”

Actually, Housley’s facts are a bit muddled. Bin Qumu was released from Gitmo in September of 2007, and handed over to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. It was Gaddafi who, in 2008, declared an amnesty and released bin Qumu and other Libyan prisoners. Either way, it was the Bush administration who sent bin Qumu home where he eventually took command of the militia that Fox News now says orchestrated the Benghazi attack and the murder of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.

If bin Qumu had been released from Gitmo while Obama was president, you can be sure that Fox News, and a horde of wild-eyed Republicans, would be aghast at such a treasonous breach of judgment and law, and would be calling for his impeachment (again). That is, after all, precisely the way they reacted to the false accounts of Baghdadi’s release. But since bin Qumu gained his freedom thanks to President Bush, Fox will never mention it outside of incidental references like Housley’s, which was probably an oversight.

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Reporting like this is a revealing window into the dishonesty that infects virtually everything that Fox News does. In this one story they contradict their previous analyses of Khattala as the ringleader of Benghazi and demote him to foot soldier. At the same time they expose the Bush administration as being responsible for the release of the real Benghazi mastermind, but mention it only in passing and leave it utterly unexamined in any credible manner. And that’s how propaganda is done.

IMPECCABLE SOURCES? Fox News Praises Disreputable Professional Clinton Basher

If there is one man in America who’s reputation is irretrievably stained with bias and deceit it is Edward Klein, the author of the new book “Blood Feud: The Clintons vs. the Obamas.” Klein’s history of unfounded allegations and obviously invented accounts of life in the Clinton sphere has been denounced by scores of critics from across the political spectrum. But that won’t stop Fox News from hailing Klein and providing a platform for his transparent lies.

Fox News - Edward Klein

Klein’s new book is filled with ludicrous “quotes” that invariably cast Hillary Clinton, and other Democrats, in a negative light. While they are ridiculous on their face, and Klein fails to validate their authenticity, they are precisely the sort of raw meat tabloidisms that appeal to Fox’s executive propagandists (i.e. Roger Ailes) and woefully gullible viewers. Among the published nonsense are these morsels of mendacity:

  • Bill Clinton advised Hillary to “put on widow’s weeds, dress in black” if he died because “it would be worth a couple of million votes.”
  • Hillary “managed to keep her medical history secret out of fear that, should it become public, it would disqualify her from becoming president.”
  • Oprah Winfrey claims to have “a much warmer relationship with Hillary than I do with either Michelle or Barack,” and that the Obamas “make me jumpy.”
  • Bill Clinton said “I hate that man Obama more than any man I’ve ever met, more than any man who ever lived.”
  • Hillary Clinton considered resigning over Benghazi because Obama allegedly forced her “to say that the attack had been a spontaneous demonstration triggered by an obscure video on the Internet.”

Some of these assertions were presented as private conversations between two individuals. For instance, the last item was said to be from a phone conversation between Bill and Hillary. Which begs the question, how could Klein quote them verbatim when no one else was even listening? His source would have to have been Bill or Hillary. Sure, that could happen.

Klein’s past books have included some of the most repulsive fabrications ever levied against the Clintons. He alleged that Chelsea was conceived after a domestic assault wherein Klein said that Bill raped Hillary. Again, how on earth could Klein have known that? Were there witnesses who have spoken only to him? Klein is also a confirmed Birther who believes that Obama may have been created to be a Manchurian candidate from Kenya.

This is the sort of person that Fox News is now promoting on air and online. The lie-riddled Fox Nation website has already posted three articles promoting the delusional revelations in Klein’s new book. Media observers have become accustomed to the reality bending and partisan slanting of virtually everything that Fox broadcasts, but they have sunk to new lows by endorsing the maniacal ravings of Edward Klein, a conspiracy kook who comes close to making Glenn Beck look sane.

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

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

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

Darrell Issa Hypocrisy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FACT CHECK: ISIS Leader, Baghdadi, Was Released By Bush, Not Obama

In yet another example of journalistic malpractice, the folks at Fox News broadcast a number of reports that got the most significant facts completely wrong. In order to do so, they relied on the assertions of a single, uncorroborated account, and failed to do the most basic follow-up with the people in a position to know.

Fox News

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The latest lie-riddled reporting on Fox concerned the circumstances of the capture and release of Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, the leader of the terrorist group, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Fox and other conservative media outlets are endeavoring to place the responsibility for Baghdadi’s brutal march through Iraq on President Obama. Representative commentaries include these by Fox hosts Jeanine Pirro and Megyn Kelly:

Pirro: The head of this band of savages is a man by the name of Abu al-Baghdadi. The new Osama Bin Laden. A man released by Obama in 2009, who started ISIS a year later.

Kelly: We are also learning more about the leader of the terror group, a man described as the new Bin Laden, the heir to Bin Laden. It turns out he had been in U.S. custody until 2009, over in Iraq, when he was then turned over to the Iraqi government as part of our troop drawdown. And then he was released.

On Pirro’s Saturday program she led into the subject with a mouth-foaming harangue about Obama’s “feckless” leadership and socialist designs on America. On Kelly’s primetime program she interviewed Col. Kenneth King who claimed to have been present when Baghdadi was transferred from the custody of U.S. forces to the Iraqis, who later allegedly released him to go on to form ISIS. However, an investigation by PolitiFact uncovered a very different story, confirmed by the Defense Department, and branding the Fox report as “false.”

“Ibrahim Awad Ibrahim Al Badry, also known as ‘Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’ was held as a ‘civilian internee’ by U.S. Forces-Iraq from early February 2004 until early December 2004, when he was released,” the Pentagon said in a statement. “He was held at Camp Bucca. A Combined Review and Release Board recommended ‘unconditional release’ of this detainee and he was released from U.S. custody shortly thereafter. We have no record of him being held at any other time.”

Since the right-wing is so intent on assigning blame for Baghdadi’s campaign of terror on the president who was in office when he was set free, then according to their logic it is all Bush’s fault. But don’t expect Fox News to report the facts as laid out by actual journalists. They won’t even report the comments of their own witness, Col. King, who appeared on another network (ABC) and admitted that he “could be mistaken.” It turns out that he never knew the name of the man he presumed to be Baghdadi, he just thought there was a resemblance to the man he encountered. Nor will they report Col. King’s remarks to the Daily Beast where he downplayed the threat posed by Baghdadi, saying that “He was a bad dude, but he wasn’t the worst of the worst.”

PolitiFact went on to note that, even if Col. King’s account were correct, and Baghdadi was still in custody in 2009, Obama still could not be held to blame for Baghdadi’s release. The terms of the Status of Forces Agreement with Iraq required the U.S. to turn over all prisoners to the custody of Iraq’s criminal system. That agreement was negotiated and agreed to by the Bush administration in 2008.

Baghdadi and Bush

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So virtually everything reported by Fox News was wrong. And, not surprisingly, all of the misinformation leaned toward blaming President Obama for the mistakes of President Bush. It’a pattern that is all too familiar. Now that the truth has been revealed and confirmed, we can expect Fox to issue a correction at the earliest opportunity. And if you believe that you are probably already a dimwitted, gullible disciple of the Fox Disinformation Society.

Fox News Is STILL Killing The Republican Party

Once again, an academic study of the American electorate has found that “Fox News Republicans are the most uninformed.” This new survey was conducted by the The Brookings Institution along with the Public Religion Research Institute. What’s different about this study is that it does not merely pit Republicans against Democrats and Independents. It distinguishes between Republicans who regularly watch Fox News and those who don’t. And the conclusions reveal that Fox News Republicans are even more uninformed and extreme in their views than their non-fox viewing comrades in the same party.

Go Fox Yourself

What this tells us is that Fox News is polluting the Republicans who tune in to the network with reporting and commentary that is biased, misleading, and downright false. The ideological corruption is evident in some basic political differences between the Foxies and the Foxless. For instance, the DREAM Act was drafted to permit undocumented residents who came to the U.S. as children, and either completed college or served in the military, to obtain temporary residency status and eventually apply for citizenship. This bill is supported by a 62% majority of Foxless Republicans, but only 42% of GOP Foxies. Likewise, the campaign to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour is supported by a majority of 56% of the Foxless, but only 33% of the Foxies. In both cases the Foxless Republicans are more closely aligned with the electorate at large. It is the Foxies who hold the extremist position on the fringes of the far right.

The study asks the question: Does Fox News cause ignorance, or do ignorant viewers prefer Fox News? The answer is not particularly clear cut and is likely a combination of the two. However, the real problems for the GOP come into the equation when the party tries to evaluate the opinions of their constituents as represented by the folks at Fox News. It’s clear that the Fox version of Republican views are far removed from reality. The study notes that party strategists may think that the Foxy…

“…represents the center of the GOP. Under that mindset, presidential candidates should adopt a policy platform that appeals to the average Fox News viewer. But that’s a mistake when the average Fox News member is an extreme conservative. [...] This makes the Fox News echo chamber a hazard for the party. It creates extreme candidates under the guise that they are electable.”

The notion that Fox News is demonstrably harmful to the Republican Party is one that News Corpse examined five years ago in an article titled “Fox News Is Killing The Republican Party.” Some excerpts show that the results of the new Brookings/PRRI study somewhat belatedly affirm my own conclusions:

There is a case to be made that Fox News is demonstrably harmful to the Republican Party. In fact, it may be the worst thing to happen to Republicans in decades. That may seem counter-intuitive when discussing Fox News, the acknowledged public relations division of the Republican Party. Fox has populated its air with right-wing mouthpieces and brazenly partisan advocates for a conservative Republican agenda. They read GOP press releases on the air verbatim as if they were the product of original research. They provide a forum where Republican politicians and pundits can peddle their views unchallenged. So how is this harmful to Republicans?

Fox has corralled a stable of the most disreputable, unqualified, extremist, lunatics ever assembled, and is presenting them as experts, analysts, and leaders. These third-rate icons of idiocy are marketed by Fox like any other gag gift (i.e. pet rocks, plastic vomit, Sarah Palin, etc.). [...] The problem is that by elevating bona fide nutcases, they are debasing honest and informed discourse. The mental cases are crowding out any reasonable voices that might exist amongst the more moderate Republicans (if there are any left). Fox appears to have made a tactical decision to permit the inmates full run of the asylum.

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.

The more the population at large associates Republican ideology with the agenda of Fox News, and the fringe operators residing there, the more the party will be perceived as out of touch, or even out of their minds.

Recent events have borne out the worst of these considerations. Shortly after Fox News heralded the Deadbeat Rancher, Cliven Bundy, as a hero for confronting law enforcement officers with armed militia, three people, including two police officers, were murdered in Las Vegas, by a pair of Tea Party Terrorists. The perpetrators were the spitting image of the Fox News profile for conservative activists who virulently opposed what Fox told them was a rogue government that was devolving into a godless abyss of socialist deception and tyranny.

In addition, Fox News has stridently pursued a political agenda that seems to be intent on alienating the most critical voter demographic groups, including African-Americans, Latinos, women, and youth. And lately they even added their most loyal viewers to that list. The median age of the Fox News audience is 69 years old. That’s six years older than the median for their competition at CNN and MSNBC. And yet, Fox is embarking on an anti-Hillary Clinton crusade that is largely based on her age. That surely won’t go over well with the seniors tuning in to Fox.

Shameless self-promotion…
Get Fox Nation vs. Reality. Available now at Amazon.

So with Fox continuing to feature the fringiest characters they can find, and academic studies certifying the damage that this strategy will cause to their purported allies in the GOP, the closing paragraph of my 2009 article is as relevant today as it was then:

The mission of Fox News from its inception was to be more than just a voice of opposition to Democrats. It was to utterly crush the left end of the political spectrum leaving only a teetering right wing with no counter balance. Yet, despite the torrid embrace between Republicans and Fox News, it is apparent that Fox is the source of a sort of friendly fire that is decimating the GOP by exalting its most outlandish and unpopular players. And since Republicans have not been particularly popular anyway lately, the anchor being thrown to them by Fox can’t be all that helpful – – – Except to Democrats.

FLASHBACK: When A Fox News Reporter Converted To Islam And Joined The Terrorists

This week Fox News broadcast an “exclusive” report by correspondent James Rosen that asserted that Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the American soldier held captive by the Taliban for five years, had converted to Islam and declared himself to be a jihadist. The report was widely criticized for the absence of any substantive evidence or credible confirmation. Additionally, the source for the information was a disreputable private intelligence operative who was previously indicted for lying to Congress during the Iran-Contra scandal.

None of that stopped Rosen and Fox News from airing the story of Bergdahl’s conversion as fact. Rosen appeared on numerous segments throughout the day, including in primetime with Bill O’Reilly and Greta Van Susteren. While Rosen acknowledged that Bergdahl may have pretended to convert in order to avoid further mistreatment, or that he might have been suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, in same breath he posited that Bergdahl might just as well have been an active enemy collaborator. However, other segments on the network ignored the exculpatory explanations entirely, brazenly accusing Bergdahl of treason and willful collaboration with the enemy.

It’s ironic that Fox News would permit these reports to air considering their prior experience with one of their own reporters. In August of 2006, correspondent Steve Centanni was stationed in the Middle East when he and his photographer were abducted by Palestinian terrorists. They were held for two weeks, during which time a video was released that showed them declaring their faith in Islam and making disparaging statements about the United States.

Fox News Centanni Converts To Islam

At no time following the release of the Centanni videos did Fox News report that Centanni had converted to Islam. They never accused him of treason or joining forces with terrorists. Instead, they patiently waited until he was released to hear his side of the story. When that occurred, Centanni told reporters that the conversion was “something we felt we had to do because they had the guns, and we didn’t know what the hell was going on.”

Shameless self-promotion…
Get Fox Nation vs. Reality. Available now at Amazon.

Sadly, Bergdahl has not been afforded the same benefit of a doubt on Fox News that Centanni received. And the fact that the Centanni affair occurred at all makes Fox’s bias and hypocrisy all the worse. Centanni’s experience should have served as a lesson for Fox not to make blanket condemnations on dubious evidence before the facts are available. Fox didn’t even wait for a statement from Bergdahl before judging him guilty of a crime that is punishable by death.

It’s astonishing that there are still some people who consider Fox to be a credible news enterprise. It’s bad enough that a couple of million deluded and politically myopic viewers have been taken in, but it’s even worse that other journalists haven’t disassociated themselves from the fraudulent and un-American miscreants at Fox News.

D’Souza On Young Clinton And Obama: The Hippie And The Street Thug

The arch conservative author and filmmaker, Dinesh D’Souza, has a shameful reputation characterized by dishonesty and immorality. He was forced to resign as the dean of a Catholic university due to his marital infidelity. More recently, he pleaded guilty to a felony charge of election finance fraud. As a veteran of right-wing punditry, D’Souza is a frequent guest on Fox News and is the writer and producer of the acidly anti-Obama crocumentary, “2016: Obama’s America,” based on his own widely debunked book, “The Roots of Obama’s Rage.”

On the eve of the publication of his new book, “America – Imagine a World Without Her,” D’Souza is once again demonstrating his affinity for the scum stuck to the bottom of the barrels he is scraping. The Washington Examiner posted some choice excerpts from a pre-release copy. While pitching the tome as “a passionate and sharply reasoned defense of America,” D’Souza has actually produced another tunnel-blind screed attacking his political enemies as villains on a mission to “finish off” America.

Lacking utterly in originality, D’Souza seizes on the old canard famously hyped by Glenn Beck, that that all contemporary liberals were weaned on Saul Alinsky. And like Beck and his diseased spawn, D’Souza casts Alinsky as some sort of horned demon sent by from Hades to destroy mankind. Consequently, the picture D’Souza paints of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton is slathered with absurd invective that says more about D’Souza than it does the targets of his animus.

Dinesh D'Souza

D’Souza: “If you see early pictures and video of Hillary, she looks and sounds like a former hippie. Overtime, however, Hillary started dressing like a respectable middle-class mother and speaking in a clipped, moderate sounding voice. Young Barack Obama, too, looked like a bit of a street thug — in his own words, he could have been Trayvon Martin. Over time, however, Obama started dressing impeccably and even practiced modulating his voice.”

It’s called growing up. Let’s set aside the repugnant and racist association of both Obama and Martin to thuggery. That’s standard rightist rhetoric. More revealing is that D’Souza is flabbergasted by the notion that American youths might conform to the fashion trends favored by their generation, but later mature and adapt to conventional styles more appropriate for business and public service. That evolution, in D’Souza’s mind, is not a natural part of growing up that millions of Americans experienced. He thinks it is an organized conspiracy to conceal subversive intentions beneath a veneer of respectability.

D’Souza: “Hillary and Obama both adopted Alinsky’s strategic counsel to sound mainstream, even when you aren’t. These are the ways in which our two Alinskyites make themselves palatable to the American middle class, which to this day has no idea how hostile Hillary and Obama are to middle-class values.”

So hidden under the pant suits and business attire are tie-dye, headbands, love beads and, of course, radical plans to replace the Constitution with the Communist Manifesto. And the fact that under Obama the economy has soared, Wall Street has hit new highs, corporations are earning record profits, and taxes are lower, the Tea Party contingent still believes that this administration is anti-capitalist.

The Hippie & The Street Thug

Shameless self-promotion…
Get Fox Nation vs. Reality. Available now at Amazon.

Finally, if anyone is hostile to middle-class values, it’s D’Souza and his confederacy of wingnuts who are opposed to universal health care, raising the minimum wage, unions, student debt relief, clean air and water, banking reforms, and virtually every other significant initiative that benefits average Americans.