After Falling For Hoax News Site, Sean Hannity Takes On PolitiFact’s ‘Stupidity’

You really have to give the wingnut media credit for standing firm in the face of flagrant ridicule. On Sean Hannity’s Fox News program last week he cited a statistic that was not only wildly implausible, it was sourced to an Internet website that was obviously satirical.

Sean Hannity Dumbass

The hoax website, Real News Right Now, also prominently displayed plainly absurd (and humorous) articles like “Starbucks Opens Five Stores in Jordan’s 2nd Largest Refugee Camp,” and “Trump: I Would Have Prevented the Asteroid From Killing the Dinosaurs.” The author of these articles is R. Hobbus J.D, who the website says is the recipient of the Stephen Glass Distinction in Journalistic Integrity (Glass was caught making up stories for the New Republic), and the Oscar Mayer Award for Journalistic Excellence. And from this source Hannity reported that…

“You see the backlash emerging now in Europe over the refugee problem from Syria and Iraq. The president said he’s going to bring in 250,000 refugees into this country.”

Of course, President Obama never said any such thing. The fallacy of this statement was reviewed by PolitiFact who gave it their lowest rating of “Pants On Fire.” They noted that neither the President, nor anyone in his administration, had ever articulated a policy to allow anything close to 250,000 refugees from Syria and Iraq. In fact, they note that that number is three times bigger than the total number of refugees Obama has asked to bring in during 2016 from all around the world.”

Following the exposé of Hannity’s gullibility, he went on the air to denounce PolitiFact as a “liberal website” that was “attacking” him. And after saying that he doesn’t normally waste his time “responding to stupidity” (because he’s normally creating it), he proclaims that “this one time, I’m going to break my rule.” Whereupon he delivers his rebuttal to PolitiFact:

Hannity: Let me teach you simple addition. I was quoting an AP article, entitled ‘Kerry: US to accept 85,000 refugees in 2016, 100,000 in 2017.’ Well, that equals 185,000 right? But that’s not all; according to the same report, the State Department is accepting 70,000 refugees in 2015. In other words, they said the 85 on top of the 70 they took in this year, that equals 255,000. That’s how I came to the number. And by the way, for the record, if you watch my TV show, I never said all of the refugees were Syrian.

As it turns out, addition must not be as simple for Hannity as he suggests. The AP article he referenced did cite John Kerry’s statement that there would be 85,000 refugees in 2016 and 100,000 more in 2017. However, he was referring to “the number of worldwide migrants,” not just those from Iraq and Syria. What’s more, the other 70,000 refugees Hannity mentioned were also worldwide and not exclusively from the troubled region.

So Hannity found a month old article from the Associated Press and distorted the numbers to try to come up with a justification for his prior disinformation. He failed miserably. He also blatantly lied when he said that he “never said all of the refugees were Syrian.” If you read the verbatim quote above, it’s clear that he was explicitly talking about “the refugee problem from Syria and Iraq.” Consequently, it’s Hannity who is stupid and partisan, not PolitiFact. And to top it off, he’s also a liar. It seems like he might have been better off had he just apologized for the incorrect data and moved on to a new bit of dishonest propaganda. But then he’s Hannity and he’s on Fox News. He’s fulfilling his “Special Purpose.”

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

How Fox News Proved That Hillary Clinton Won The Benghazi Games

The long awaited battle between Hillary Clinton and the Republican’s Committee to Politicize Benghazi is now in the history books. It was a marathon eleven hour affair that featured the top names in partisan propaganda as they tried in vain to wear down Clinton and force an error.

Trey Gowdy Hillary Clinton

The details are hardly relevant because even the committee’s chairman, Trey Gowdy, admitted that nothing new was learned from the inquisition. When asked by reporters what the hearing had achieved, he said that “In terms of her testimony? I don’t know that she testified that much differently today than she has the previous times she testified.”

In other words, this committee has been just as incapable of manufacturing a scandal as the seven other committees before it. And even though Gowdy, in his opening statement, vilified his fellow Republicans on prior committees by repeatedly maligning their efforts as not being “serious and thorough,” he was unable to achieve anything more than they did, by his own admission.

Meanwhile, Clinton held up impressively well for the entire hearing, even though she was the only person involved who had to be aware and engaged throughout. The committee members all got to rest between each of their five minute question periods, but Clinton had no such relief. Kinda puts into perspective Donald Trump’s wimpy whining about standing for a three hour debate where he would only be required to speak for about fifteen minutes.

But the real indication that this hearing was a total bust for the Republican scandal machine was that Fox News cut out long before it was over. Both CNN and MSNBC covered the eleven hour hearing wall-to-wall, but Fox News bailed after only seven hours, when they flipped back to their regularly scheduled programming (The Five). So they left out fully one-third of the proceedings. Do you think they would have done that if they thought that Clinton was bombing? Of course not. They were more worried that she looked strong, confident, knowledgeable, and (gasp) presidential. That was something they didn’t want their viewers exposed to, so the decision was made to ditch the live hearings and return to their panel of wingnut pundits on whom they could rely for continued Clinton bashing.

To underscore the significance of this editorial cowardice, we must remember that Fox News has always been the network most obsessed with Benghazi. They even celebrated their own reporting, and particularly their CEO Roger Ailes, for being the “driving force” pushing to “keep Benghazi alive.” After devoting that much effort to turn a tragedy into political theater, Fox wouldn’t even stick with the live broadcast of the headlining act.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

What viewers who watched the whole session would come away with is that GOP inquisitors were mainly concerned with emails from Clinton friend Sidney Blumenthal (whose transcripts the GOP committee members voted not to release), and the administration’s references to an anti-Muslim video following the attacks in Benghazi. Both of those were purely political subjects and neither could possibly shed any light on how the attacks occurred or what could be done to prevent similar attacks in the future.

So Gowdy and his cohorts can cite at least one thing that this hearing succeeded in achieving: That Republican House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy was correct when he said that the committee’s purpose was to bring down Hillary Clinton. And they even failed on that score. Congratulations.

Fox News Propagandist Caught And Arrested, Charged With Fraud

Wayne Simmons has been a frequent guest on Fox News for many years, providing what they said was expert analysis of intelligence and military issues from an experienced professional. Fox often relied on his commentary to inform their audience about serious national security issues as they arose in the news. But as it turns out, Simmons had lied on resume to the federal government when seeking employment and contracts, and now he is under indictment for “major fraud against the United States, wire fraud, and making false statements to the government.”

Fox News

The FBI arrested Simmons and released a statement alleging his unlawful conduct, including misrepresenting his experience in the CIA and other intelligence services. From the FBI statement:

“According to the indictment, Simmons falsely claimed he worked as an “Outside Paramilitary Special Operations Officer” for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) from 1973 to 2000, and used that false claim in an attempt to obtain government security clearances and work as a defense contractor, including at one point successfully getting deployed overseas as an intelligence advisor to senior military personnel. According to the indictment, Simmons also falsely claimed on national security forms that his prior arrests and criminal convictions were directly related to his supposed intelligence work for the CIA, and that he had previously held a top secret security clearance. The indictment also alleges that Simmons defrauded an individual victim out of approximately $125,000 in connection with a bogus real estate investment.”

Simmons’ appearances on Fox News were fairly routine bits of rightist propaganda, exactly the sort of thing you would expect to see on Fox. In one of his most recent bookings he was on “Your World with Neil Cavuto” where they had this paranoid exchange:

Simmons: We’ve got at least nineteen paramilitary Muslim training facilities in the United States. Are you kidding me? What are they gonna do, go hunt deer during deer season? No! They’re using paramilitary exercises to plan and execute these type of operations all over the United States. And when it happens it’ll just be you and I saying “I told you so.”
Cavuto: Well, I hope you’re wrong my friend, but you’ve been uncannily prescient on a lot of this stuff.

Simmons went on to assert that…

“We are in a global war against an Islamic jihad. Until they get rid of these ‘no-go zones,’ you go out and put razor wire around them, turn off the water, and catalog them as they come out.”

Simmons probably loved the WWII Japanese interment camps, too. Of course, there weren’t any “no-go zones” in the U.S., but his remarks were delivered shortly after another Fox News “expert,” Ryan Mauro, had made similar false assertions about no-go zones on Bill O’Reilly’s show. Simmons even mentioned Mauro’s claims in his discussion with Cavuto. Those same claims were later cited by a domestic terrorist who was arrested for plotting an attack against a community of peaceful Muslim-Americans in upstate New York.

And while we’re on the subject of no-go zones, yet another Fox “expert,” Steve Emerson, charged that they were rampant in Paris. For that the network was forced to retract the claim and apologize. And all of it was hilariously skewered by a French TV program. However, they never retracted or apologized for the claims that nearly got a Muslim-American community massacred.

Other noteworthy appearances on Fox News saw Simmons referring to Obama’s election as “the coronation of the boy king;” claiming that the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 had to be a sophisticated state sponsored attack; calling the Obama administration the worst administration this county will ever have known; saying that the best thing that could happen for this administration and State Department is that we are attacked because it takes all of the decision making away from Obama.

Really? The “best” thing that could happen is for us to be attacked? Sadly, that’s not the only time a Fox News guest suggested that. But perhaps the most ironic appearance Simmons made was on the November 15, 2007, episode of The Big Story with John Gibson and Heather Nauert. The segment was about a CIA/FBI agent that had just been found guilty of fraud and deception. Simmons said that …

“This has exposed the raw nerve, if you will, of a flaw in the background check, and without a background check, without knowing who we’re hiring, and who we are employing to protect our nation, we are in big, big trouble.”

No kidding, Sherlock! How Simmons could have the gall to comment on that matter knowing what he knew about himself is mind-boggling. It is the behavior of a sociopath. Keith Olbermann called it right when he made Simmons the Worst Person in the World.” way back in 2006 for using a hoax to justify government spying on American citizens.

What’s frightening about the revelation that Fox News was relying on an impostor to provide analysis of national security is that the phony analysis he provided may have been exactly what Fox News intended. That’s because Simmons was identified as a participant in the Pentagon Military Analyst Program – an initiative developed during the Bush administration to dispatch retired officers, and other alleged experts, to the media in order to push their agendas in Iraq and elsewhere. The program was revealed in a Pulitzer prize-winning article by David Barstow for the New York Times. Barstow wrote that…

“To the public, these men are members of a familiar fraternity, presented tens of thousands of times on television and radio as “military analysts” whose long service has equipped them to give authoritative and unfettered judgments about the most pressing issues of the post-Sept. 11 world.”

“Hidden behind that appearance of objectivity, though, is a Pentagon information apparatus that has used those analysts in a campaign to generate favorable news coverage of the administration’s wartime performance.”

“The effort, which began with the buildup to the Iraq war and continues to this day, has sought to exploit ideological and military allegiances, and also a powerful financial dynamic: Most of the analysts have ties to military contractors vested in the very war policies they are asked to assess on air.”

So Simmons was a covert asset in the Bush campaign to spread war propaganda. And he remained a Fox News regular long after Bush was gone. Now he’s been arrested as a fraud. In that regard he isn’t much different than anyone else at Fox News. Virtually their entire roster is engaged in the same partisan deception on behalf of an extremist right-wing agenda. They all tell the same lies and they all work hard to disinform the American people.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Now that one of their veteran liars has been caught, Fox News has not bothered to report on it at all. Which is not surprising. They surely don’t want people to know that one of their favorite commentators has been feeding them BS for years. Because once they do that, the rest of the dominoes will fall.

[Update:] Fox’s Bret Baier addressed the Simmons arrest on Special Report. In a thirty second segment he said…

“Government contractor and occasional Fox News guest Wayne Simmons has been charged with lying about his supposed career with the C.I.A. Prosecutors say Simmons broke the law by lying about his credentials on applications for consulting work. Simmons made appearances on Fox as a national security and terrorism expert. However, he was never employed by the channel and was never paid by Fox.”

Whether or not Simmons was on Fox’s payroll is irrelevant. He was a regular source of tainted information on serious subjects for which he pretended to be qualified. The glaring omission in Baier’s comment was that he did not apologize to viewers for repeatedly presenting a fraud on the air, nor did he officially retract anything that Simmons said. Baier seems to think the lack of a paycheck is absolution for engaging in disinformation. And it begs the question: If Fox wasn’t paying him, who was?

Headline Of The Year: Rupert Murdoch Is Deviant Scum (Rolling Stone)

Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi has penned a thought provoking article that examines the fading glory of one of the world’s most prominent media barons, Rupert Murdoch. He begins above the fold with a no-holds-barred headline declaring that Rupert Murdoch Is Deviant Scum.” And he has the reasoned analysis to back it up.

Murdoch Trump

Taibbi carefully constructs a case for how Murdoch is losing either his empire or his mind, or both. At the outset is the observation that his crown jewel, Fox News, is at risk of being strangled by its own monstrous creation, Donald Trump. He notes that Murdoch “must be petrified at the prospect of losing his hard-won viewership at the end of his life.” The public feuding that has been ongoing between Fox and Trump threatens to sap the network of its previously loyal viewer base. Trump’s followers are incensed by what they feel is unfair treatment of their superhero and have pledged to boycott the network. Or as Taibbi deliciously puts it…

“Donald Trump is the fallen angel in the Fox story, a traitor who’s trying to tempt away Murdoch’s lovingly nurtured stable of idiot viewers by denouncing their favorite ‘news’ network as a false conservative God.”

Taibbi proposes that Murdoch’s fear of mogul emasculation is the impetus for his ludicrous tweet extolling Ben Carson, another former Fox News contributor, as potentially “a real black President who can properly address the racial divide?” And who could be a better gauge of real blackness that old Rupert? [For the record, along with Trump and Carson, the current GOP field of candidates includes three more ex-Fox employees, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, and John Kasich.] But it’s Obama’s suspect blackness, in Murdoch’s view, that Taibbi focuses on. He notes that Fox’s standard profile of Obama is one of “a mongrel, a kind of Manchurian President, raised in madrassas and weaned on socialism, who hates white people and yearns to euthanize them.” Or when race was a part of the discussion, Obama was reduced to being a “secret street hood,” or a “skinny, ghetto crackhead.” Taibbi summarizes saying that…

“Rupert Murdoch has spent seven to eight years finding every conceivable way to say that Barack Obama isn’t one of us. The president is forever described as a kind of malevolent animal, unable to control his irrepressible urge to take and redistribute the white man’s property.”

The whole article is well worth the read. It contains rational insight, pertinent facts, and luminous prose. And I find it particularly relevant in light of an article I wrote three years ago positing that Murdoch was even then showing signs of losing it. On several pressing issues there were emerging stark difference between the powerful Murdoch of the past and the more impotent version of the present. On gun control, immigration, and climate change mitigation, all of which he viewed favorably, Murdoch’s views were contradicted by his Fox News subordinates. He was also being supplanted as the GOP kingmaker by his lieutenant Roger Ailes, CEO of Fox News. As I wrote at the time…

Politicians around the world were once obliged to pay their respects to the “Dirty Digger” if they hoped to succeed electorally. […] However, in recent months the Murdochian monarchy seems to have been sapped of its power. There has been none of the reverential genuflecting to the man whose anointment was once compulsory. There has been scant evidence of his presence in the political backrooms where influence is administered.

The usurpation of the Fox News agenda is obvious and disturbing. Roger Ailes is installing himself at the top of the pile in opposition to his boss on some of the most important issues of the day. This can only lead to trouble. Visceral, personal, gut-wrenching, back-stabbing, explosive trouble. In other words: FUN!

Suffice to say that it hasn’t gotten better for Murdoch since then. And Taibbi’s profile illustrates just how much his situation has deteriorated. He notes that Murdoch “senses his beloved audience of idiots drifting away.” It becomes a question of whether Murdoch is willing to sink as low as Trump in order to get them back. It’s a tough call, but if anyone can descend to the most putrid levels of human indecency it’s Rupert Murdoch – the man whose British newspaper hacked the phone of a murdered schoolgirl. Let Trump top that.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Obama Mocks Fox News For ‘Making Me Scary’

Just in time for Halloween, President Obama has revealed the costume that Fox News made to heighten the fears of their perpetually skittish viewers. It’s something they have been dressing up the President in for the past seven years, but it doesn’t get much attention from the President himself.

Fox News Obama

In an interview with author Marilynne Robinson, the discussion turned to the values that are found in the diversity of American life. This led the President to recall his experiences in small-town America when he first began campaigning for the White House.

“It’s interesting, because we’re talking in Iowa; people always, I think, were surprised about me connecting with folks in small-town Iowa. And the reason I did was, first of all, I had the benefit that at the time nobody expected me to win. And so I wasn’t viewed through this prism of Fox News and conservative media, and making me scary.

Indeed, Fox News has since toiled feverishly to turn Obama into a fearsome entity bent on the destruction of mankind. They have literally accused him of conspiring with our mortal enemies; of plotting to murder millions of Americans; of surrendering our liberty and land to foreign tyrants; and even taunting God so as to bring about the End Times. It’s a nightmarish vision that was constructed from nothing but their seething hatred for a dark-skinned stranger who they believed had no right to rise to leadership and reside in the White House.

For his part, Obama has been aware of the animosity that consumed his ideological foes. There was, however, little he could do about it. The more he would try, the more they interpreted it as an insidious ploy to enslave them with charm. Witness this hideously secret assault as described by Obama to Robinson:

“And the thing I’ve been struggling with throughout my political career is how do you close the gap. There’s all this goodness and decency and common sense on the ground, and somehow it gets translated into rigid, dogmatic, often mean-spirited politics. And some of it has to do with all the filters that stand between ordinary people who are busy and running around trying to look after their kids and do a good job and do all the things that maintain a community, so they don’t have the chance to follow the details of complicated policy debates.”

What a monster! How dare he try to find common ground in a democratic society while partisans in the press and politics are stirring up irrational dissent. And why does he want to close The Gap? Is he biased in favor of Urban Outfitters? Or is he just fundamentally opposed to the free market?

Later in the interview, Obama pinpoints one of the potential causes of the adversarial nature of our country. He describes it as the natural tendency of Americans to mistrust governments, which he says is “in our DNA.”

“We’re suspicious of government as a tool of oppression. And that skepticism is healthy, but it can also be paralyzing when we’re trying to do big things together.”

That’s true. And it certainly doesn’t help when you have giant media networks deliberately fomenting fear and ignorance and using the naivete of their audience to build opposition based on lies. In fact, all it does is pave the way for cartoonish demagogues like Donald Trump, and leave Grand Old Parties struggling to find anyone who actually wants to lead their parade of clowns.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Fox News Celebrates American Pride By Lying About America Pride Day

Anyone who watches Fox News for more than a few minutes quickly becomes aware that the network has a severe case of schizophrenia. They spend about half their airtime fawning over patriotic symbolism and pretending to embrace a near perverse love of country that borders on obsession. America probably wouldn’t have any trouble getting a judge to issue a restraining order to keep Fox stalkers away.

The other half of their airtime is consumed by the sheer hatred of everything about America today. They hate the President and the Congress. They hate school lunch programs and Social Security. They hate any effort to provide its citizens with healthcare or education. They even have a love/hate relationship with the military: They love invasions of foreign countries, but they hate training exercises in the southwest.

So when it comes to expressing pride in America, Fox News has to resort to making up stories that reflect their patriopathic fetishism. Case in point is a segment that aired this morning on Fox & Friends.

Fox News

The “Curvy Couch Potatoes” got wind of an appalling insult to America’s ego by some academic apparatchiks at Jackson Hole High School in Wyoming. The story first appeared on the Fox Nation website and was attributed to the Daily Caller (which is run by weekend Fox & Friends host Tucker Carlson). Here is what Fox reported (video below):

Heather Nauert: Proud to be an American. The teenagers refusing to stay silent after their principal canceled America Pride Day. They canceled it over fears it would make other students feel sad or left out. Instead of going with the principal’s plan, the students decked themselves out in red, white and blue in protest.

Imagine that! What kind of high school principal would cancel America Pride Day? The outrage on Fox continued as co-hosts Steve Doocy and Ainsley Earhardt read emails to Fox that castigated the school officials “who want to impose their personal agendas on students,” so that in the future “we will not recognize America.” To which Earhardt added “That’s scary. […] It’s ridiculous. If you don’t want to be here…”

Yeah! Just get out of here you un-American children. The only problem with this tale of America shaming is that none of it is true. The school officials did not cancel America Pride Day, the students did. There was a survey taken to ascertain what themes the students preferred for their upcoming homecoming week. As reported by the Jackson Hole High School News…

“A piece of the homecoming planning included JHHS student council representatives creating a Spirit Day school wide student survey, which was approved by the JHHS administration. This provided all students an opportunity to weigh in and engage in the democratic process of determining how to celebrate each day. This process included the voices of many of our students as opposed to just the opinions of JHHS student council leaders or JHHS administrators only, as had been past practice.

“The results of the survey are as follows: 1 Toga/Pajama Day 2 Lumberjack Day 3 America Day 4 School Spirit day (orange and black) 5 College Day 6 Decades Day 7 Cowboy Day 8 Sports Day.”

With regard to the naming of America Day, the JHHS report noted that…

“America Day had many personal student comments about why that day was uncomfortable for some students. In an effort to compromise on the title of a day, and to meet district goals, a conversation with JHHS student council leaders and JHHS administration discussed alternative ways to name the day ‘Patriot Day’ or ‘Heritage Day’ to be inclusive. Both of these days were declined by JHHS Student Council leaders.”

So contrary to Fox News, there was no imposition of personal agendas by school officials on hapless students. The entire series of events was driven by the students themselves. And to the students’ credit, they were striving to be inclusive and sensitive to their fellow students. It seems that they should be commended for that rather than becoming the subjects of falsified reporting that frames the story derogatorily.

The JHHS report also made specific mention of the fact that “on any given day, students are welcome to celebrate their national pride and heritage,” and that “we support the pride of our country and those that have faithfully served so these democratic principles can be expressed.” And that’s exactly the way it should be. Too bad Fox News has to come along and smear their school and their community with lies aimed at dividing people and manufacturing hostility. The good people of Jackson Hole don’t deserve that and, fortunately, they are strong enough to transcend it.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Fox News Admitted The Benghazi Probe Was A Political Sham Years Before McCarthy

Last night the Republican Majority Leader in the House of Representatives (and prospective future Speaker), Kevin McCarthy, revealed what many people already knew about the GOP’s investigation into Benghazi. And contrary to some characterizations in the press, it was not a gaffe. McCarthy openly bragged to Sean Hannity of Fox News that he helped to orchestrate an anti-Hillary Clinton campaign by forming a Select Committee To Politicize Benghazi. It was, and still is, a repulsive endeavor that dishonors the dead and exposes the self-serving immorality of the Republican Party.

Fox News

However, McCarthy wasn’t the first to proudly disclose the rank partisanship of the phony Benghazi probe. Two years ago Fox News congratulated themselves on their dishonest Benghazi coverage with particular praise for Fox CEO Roger Ailes. Steve Doocy of Fox & Friends said that…

“Fox News has been doing this story from the get-go. And the mainstream media, the Daily Show, has mocked us for covering Benghazi. And now everybody else is catching up. It’s been a story they’re realizing. One of the reasons we’ve followed it is Roger Ailes, our chairman and CEO. […] Had Roger and Fox News not pushed this story the White House would have just left it in the dust.”

As News Corpse wrote last year:

“Roger Ailes spent decades as a professional Republican consultant before being tapped by Rupert Murdoch to run Fox News. Ordinarily media executives do not interfere with the operations of their editorial departments, but such journalistic ethics have never been a part of the Fox News mission. Thus we see their CEO openly shaping news coverage, even influencing policy, and getting praised for it on the air by his employees.”

And in a separate article on the same subject:

“Neither Boehner nor Gowdy have any interest in getting to the bottom of anything. Their statements and actions for the past year and a half show that they are only interested in politicizing a tragic loss of American lives. Having failed to uncover even a sliver of evidence of any wrongdoing, Boehner is, in effect, insulting his own colleagues in Congress (i.e. Darrell Issa) who have been conducting pseudo-investigations without producing the hoped for “smoking guns” with which they could continue their campaign of political slander. […]

“It is a desperate attempt to dig up some political mud to throw, to tarnish the prospective presidential candidacy of Hillary Clinton in 2016, and to salvage Boehner’s sinking reputation with the far-right fringe of his party whom he needs if he wants to be Speaker in the next session of congress.”

So McCarthy didn’t actually reveal anything new. He was merely corroborating what Fox News had admitted years ago: That they were the driving force keeping Benghazi alive. 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.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Furthermore, that arrogance is matched by Republicans in Congress who obediently complied with the demands by Fox News to impanel a select committee. To put it in perspective, Republicans allocated more money to the phony Benghazi Committee (over $3 million) than to either the Intelligence Committee or the Veterans Committee, which deal with matters that have much more far-reaching impact on the nation’s citizens and security.

Three Degrees Of GOP Crazy: From Benghazi To Planned Parenthood To ACORN

The Republican Party is showing signs of desperation after virtually every attempt to manufacture scandals that they can blame on Democrats has failed. Rather than developing some policy initiatives that might find favor with the American people, or conducting outreach to voter groups, the GOP is diving deeper into unfounded allegations and conspiracy theories. Just yesterday three of their top players engaged in some Olympian nuttiness that produced nothing but embarrassment for their floundering team.

GOP Crazy

Let’s begin this three degrees of separation journey with an appearance on Sean Hannity’s Fox News program (video below) by the man projected to be the next GOP Speaker of the House of Representatives. Kevin McCarthy may have thought that he would have a genteel Tea Party with the GOP-friendly host, but he wasn’t prepared for the level of animosity that wingnuts like Hannity have for establishment conservatives. Hannity took McCarthy to task for not having done more to monkey wrench the Obama administration’s agenda. He assailed McCarthy and the House GOP for presiding over budget deficits, funding ObamaCare, amnesty for immigrants, and not shutting down the government over Planned Parenthood. Having been caught off guard, McCarthy carelessly revealed the real, not-so-secret purpose of the House Select Committee to Politicize Benghazi as he tried to defend his record.

“Everybody thought that Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping. Why? Because she’s untrustable. But no one would have known any of that happened had we not fought to make that happen.”

So McCarthy admitted on TV that the true aim of the Benghazi hearings was to damage Clinton’s reputation and electability. To which Hannity graciously replied “I agree, that’s something good. I give you credit for that.” McCarthy later let slip that he intends to form another pointless select committee on Planned Parenthood. Under Republican control, this congress has held an unprecedented number of flagrantly partisan hearings that have produced nothing of value to their party, much less the nation. The Benghazi investigation has now officially lasted longer than any previous congressional investigation, including the JFK assassination, the Nixon Watergate affair, and 9/11, yet has not found a single bit of evidence of any wrongdoing.

The Benghazi Committee is chaired by Rep. Trey Gowdy (SC-Tea Party), which brings us to the second degree of separation. Gowdy is also a member of the committee investigating Planned Parenthood for misconduct alleged by an anti-abortion group’s videos that have been proven to be edited in a deliberately deceptive fashion. When it was Gowdy’s turn to question Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards he asked whether she had an understanding of those who oppose abortion. Richards said that she appreciates that “people have a lot of different views on the issue of abortion,” then dismissed the condescending premise saying that Planned Parenthood “trusts women” to make decisions about their own bodies.

That provoked Gowdy to accuse Richards of wanting to “frame the issue” to say that she is “the reasonable one, and those of us who have a contrary position are not reasonable.” Which, of course, she did not say. Gowdy actually conceded that she didn’t say that, but then, using his supernatural power to read minds, told her that “It’s not always what you say, sometimes it’s just what you mean.” But he still could not explain how anything she said could be interpreted to mean what he asserted. It’s plain that he was intent on mischaracterizing her remarks no matter what she actually said.

The chairman of the Planned Parenthood committee was Rep. Jason Chaffetz, which conveniently moves us to the third and final degree of separation. During the same hearing, Chaffetz made some glaring blunders. For instance, he displayed a highly distorted and prejudicial chart that Richards had to tell him was provided by Americans United for Life, a virulently anti-abortion group. But his worst gaffe may have been uttered after the hearing when he went on Fox News to spin the event for the media. In an effort to drive home his slanderous perception of events, he said that “Planned Parenthood is the new ACORN. That’s who they are. Remember when we talked about ACORN? That is Planned Parenthood as far as I can see it.”

You know, he’s actually right. ACORN was an organization that helped people, but was smeared by liars who produced false videos that eventually led to Congress defunding the them. Sound familiar? There was never any evidence that ACORN did anything wrong. To the contrary, James O’Keefe, the producer of the videos, lost a lawsuit and was ordered to pay a former ACORN staffer $100,000. But, unfortunately, that was after ACORN lost their funding and had to close up shop. Now the same sort of liars are trying to do the same thing to Planned Parenthood despite several state investigations that have already cleared them of any wrongdoing.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

What all of this adds up to is the brazen dishonesty of a desperate Republican Party trying to invent scandals and exploit their congressional power to bring down their political foes. With McCarthy we have an admission that their efforts are partisan. With Gowdy we see how blinded they are by their own biases. And with Chaffetz a clear connection is made to a previous effort to sabotage an honorable public service organization.

Ironically, the GOP is whining about taxpayers having to pay for Planned Parenthood and women’s health care services, but most Americans support Planned Parenthood. So the real question is why are Americans forced to pay millions of dollars for congressional hearings that are nothing more than partisan witch hunts based on proven lies?

Here is the video of McCarthy on Hannity:

Watch John Oliver Bust Fox News For Falsifying Refugee Video

For several weeks Fox News has been trying to stir up irrational fears among their xenophobic audience over the plight of refugees fleeing war and economic hardship in Syria and Iraq. To that end they have mounted a relentless campaign to slander the refugees as terrorists seeking to infiltrate Europe and the U.S. This propaganda blitz is based on nothing but invented tales of horror and racist speculation. But apparently those attempts to deceive their pre-rattled viewers were not sufficiently frightening.

Fox News John Oliver

Consequently, Fox News had to manufacture “evidence” of the doom that awaits any nation that shows empathy for the suffering refugees. So they enhanced their fictional narrative with video that was completely unrelated to the story. Of course, they’ve been caught doing that before. What makes it surprising this time is that it was revealed by John Oliver in an enlightening and hilarious episode of his HBO program “Last Week Tonight:” From the segment (video below):

Kristin Fisher: A new video has surfaced online showing why some are worried that Europe is opening its doors to potential terrorists. Those are reportedly Muslim refugees on a train in Europe chanting “Allahu akbar,” or “God is great.” Now to be clear, we’re not saying that any of those people are terrorists or in any way affiliated with a terror group. But it does highlight just how many of these refugees who are fleeing violence in Iraq and Syria are Muslim.
John Oliver: OK, first, you don’t get to claim that you’re not calling those people terrorists when your lower third says “Terrorists Inbound.” [It later changed to “Terrifying Chant”] If you are really not saying that they’re terrorists, maybe change it to something more accurate like “People Take Train.”

But it was what Oliver noticed next that hammered another nail into Fox’s already tattered journalistic credibility. Comically understating the situation, Oliver reported that the video Fox News ran was “a little misleading.” It turns out that the video Fox said was “new” had actually been uploaded to YouTube in July of 2010, long before there was any refugee crisis in Syria. What’s more, Fisher’s report aired on the September 9th broadcast of Fox & Friends, one day after the five year old video had been dredged up by conspiracy kook Alex Jones for his Infowars website.

So to recap: It wasn’t new; there was no indication that they were terrorists; nor was there any indication that these Muslims on a train in Paris were even refugees; the video didn’t just “surface” online, it was the conspiracy fodder of Alex Jones; and the only people worried about it are Fox News and the dimwits who watch it. And finally, this fake story must be publicly acknowledged by Fox News. They must recant and apologize for deceiving viewers. But unless you’re into asphyxiophilia I wouldn’t hold your breath waiting for Fox to do so.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Conspiracy! Wingnuts Think Liberals Planted Questioner At Donald Trump Event

The lunatics on the right have embraced some pretty outlandish conspiracy theories over the years. Not the least of which is that President Obama, who supports Planned Parenthood, gay rights, gun safety regulations, separation of church and state, and equality for women, is a Kenyan-born Muslim. Based on his political platform Obama would be the worst Muslim ever. But conservatives have never let reason interfere with their dementia.

Now the Doofus Brigades in the daffy rightosphere have latched unto a new bit crackpottery with which to tingle their nether regions. Two of these “news” sources were featured on Fox Nation, the community website of Fox News. According to the Daily Caller’s Jim Treacher, there is something fishy about the meathead who asked Donald Trump about the “Muslim problem” in America. Treacher notes that “Some people are speculating that the guy was a plant.” He doesn’t bother to identify any of those speculators, but he is worried that nobody knows the questioner’s name. Nobody ever knows the names of random people asking questions at rallies, but this time it’s cause to freak out.

The intrepid pseudo-journalists over at Breitbart News went even further to declare their “Exclusive” story revealing that “The man, whom some suspect to have been a liberal or Democratic plant in Trump’s audience, was featured in a meme in the spring of 2013 that was credited to, the website of the group Americans Against The Tea Party.” Actually, that photo dates back to a Glenn Beck 9/12 Project rally in 2009 where there were lots of guys just like this. Also features actual Teabaggers and has no incentive to promote phonies. The real ones are bad enough.

Fox Nation Donald Trump

Before demonstrating the unparalleled idiocy of these cretins, let’s just point out the obvious fact that liberals don’t need to plant a moron among the Trumpsters. Most of them already believe that Obama is a Muslim who is waging a “War on Christianity.” If liberals sent trolls to Trump’s events they would just blend in with the rest of the imbeciles. Even Trump disputes that the questioner was a plant. He told the Curvy Couch Potatoes of Fox & Friends that…

“When he was asking that question, by the way, a lot of the people in the audience were nodding. They were not laughing at him or anything. They were nodding. I don’t think he was a plant.”

Indeed, they were nodding. Because they agree with the asinine premise. As does Trump. In fact, they’re proud of it. So the entire notion that liberals would have gone to the trouble to plant someone to ask a question that most of the people in the crowd would have asked without any prodding is absurd. All they had to do was watch and wait. Trump’s supporters would expose themselves on their own in due time. [Note: Due time in this instance was the very first question]

But none of that would stop Breitbrat Patrick Howley from concocting the most preposterous plot surrounding the alleged liberal plant. Howley, a disreputable hack who has confessed to unethical and unlawful tactics to smear his ideological foes, asserts that the “plant” at the Trump affair was previously spotted at a Tea Party gathering in 2013. He even posts a link to what he says is photographic evidence of the sighting.

There are just two small problems with Howley’s hysterical hypothesis. First of all, he doesn’t provide any proof that the guy in the old Tea Party photo was a plant. If he was a legitimate Teabagger back then, he couldn’t very well be a liberal plant now..

More importantly, the two men do not share even a remote resemblance. The Teabagger is significantly older with a full head of gray hair. It is unlikely that he got younger in the years since the Tea Party rally. Also, he has a narrower face and a more pronounced chin. No one could plausibly say that these two men were the same person unless they were hopelessly predisposed to seeing only what they want to see, or they were determined to deceive others. And in furtherance of that goal, Howley wrote that “We know now that the left-wing media and activists were aware of this man more than two years before last week’s Trump rally.”

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

No, actually, you don’t know anything of the kind. You don’t know who the Teabagger was, you don’t know who the Trump guy was, you can’t honestly pretend that they were the same person, and even if he were a plant his question represents exactly what Trump and his followers believe. So all you’ve got left is to continue to lie and invent ridiculous scenarios for which you haven’t got a scrap of proof. In other words, you can do exactly what you always do and hope your glassy-eyed disciples don’t catch on. The rest of us are familiar with your conspiracy ravings and aren’t impressed by your poor journalistic skills and complete absence of logic. So carry on.