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

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

Hillary Clinton WTF

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fox News Gruber Brainwashing

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

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

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

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

Gruber - Hatch

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ObamaCars

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

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

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

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

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

Koch Brothers Keystone

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fox News Tucker Carlson

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Remember Ebola? Apparently The Election And Fox News Cured It

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

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

Fox News Defeats Ebola

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

Remember when…

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

GOP Tents America

Remember when…

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

Fox News Bill O'Reilly

Remember when…

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

Keith Ablow

Remember when…

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

Fox News Ebola

Remember when…

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

Fox Nation Ebola Outbreak

Remember when…

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

Glenn Beck Ebolamania

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

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

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

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

Fox News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jon Stewart Koch Brothers

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

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

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

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

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

Fox News Ebola to America

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rachel Maddow Deliciously Unravels The Fox News “Voter Fraud Frankenstein” Fallacy

Last Tuesday Megyn Kelly of Fox News hosted a segment on what she characterized as a frightening assault on democracy in Colorado as Democrats plotted to surreptitiously turn the “red meat state” blue. Setting aside the fact that Colorado has been a solid purple state for years, Kelly’s alarm was grossly misplaced and indicative of her extreme right-wing bias. She led off with a dire message for her easily spooked audience.

“Breaking tonight. With two weeks to the midterms we are getting warnings that a new law has opened the door to possible voter fraud in a critical senate race that could decide the balance of power in Congress.”

Fox News Voter Fraud

Saints preserve us. What malevolent disaster is looming over us now? Kelly “reported” that Colorado’s Democratic governor and legislature passed a new “first of its kind” law that “literally allows residents to print ballots from their home computers.” And with a chastening glare she facetiously asks “What could go wrong?”

What indeed? Well, the first thing that could go wrong is that Kelly’s reporting is entirely false. When local reporters with KUSA TV contacted Colorado’s Republican Secretary of State he told them that there was no truth to the story. Rachel Maddow covered the misleading reporting by Kelly in a brilliant segment that broke down the shameless dishonesty that is the hallmark of Fox News:

Kelly has still failed to acknowledge or correct her false reporting, proving that the only fraud here is that committed by Fox News on their pathetically gullible viewers. But the story doesn’t end there.

Following Kelly’s thoroughly fictional “breaking” news opening, she introduced her guests Michelle Malkin and David Bossie who were there to promote their new crocumentary “Rocky Mountain Heist,” about alleged voter fraud in Colorado. But before the interview began, Kelly played the entire two minute trailer for the film uninterrupted, giving the deceitful project free advertising worth tens of thousands of dollars.

Malkin said the film unveils a “voter fraud Frankenstein,” but like every other right-wing allegation of voter fraud, she never provides any evidence. And in this case she doesn’t even offer an example of any the fraudulent activity she alleges.

Most appalling is Malkin’s apoplectic complaint that “hundreds of thousands of dollars from unknown donors were poured into these races to target them and turn the legislature blue.” And she has the gall to whine about this supposed assault on democracy while sharing the interview with the man that made unscrupulous political donations possible on an unprecedented scale. David Bossie is the President and Chairman of Citizens United, the organization whose Supreme Court ruling permitted donations from corporations and individuals in unlimited amounts that can be kept hidden from the public.

Bossie also told Kelly that he has no problem with the spending on the part of the Democrats, but complained of a lack of transparency. Talk about hypocrisy. It was his lawsuit that made it all possible and he argued in favor of it when it was to his benefit.

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So in this one segment of Kelly’s program she proliferated lies about the Colorado elections procedures, contributed valuable airtime to advertise a brazenly partisan documentary, and gave a platform to hypocritical right-wing propagandists to smear their Democratic foes just days before a consequential election. She provided no opportunity for the maligned Democrats to respond or for a representative of the other side to rebut the scurrilous charges. But that is typical of the absurdly tagged “fair and balanced” network that is neither. And it is the reason that Kelly is no better than Sean Hannity, or Glenn Beck, or any of the other ideologically prejudiced Fox mouthpieces past and present.

The Cult Of Fox News: New Study Affirms Blind Devotion To Cable’s Church Of Disinformation

One of the fundamental methods employed by cults to assure unwavering loyalty is to demand that devotees believe only in the doctrine bestowed by the cult. All others are presumed to be deceivers and unworthy of trust.

With that in mind, consider the results of the new Pew Research study on “Political Polarization & Media Habits.” The year-long research surveyed American news consumers and categorized their relationships to thirty-six sources for news and information about government and politics by political ideology. The differences in the levels of trust exhibited by consistent conservatives and liberals are profound.

The study reveals that conservatives have drastically constrained their access to news to a very few, hard-right outlets. They behave as if any exposure to a conflicting viewpoint would be tantamount to fraternizing with Satan. Consequently, they rely almost solely on Fox News for their information intake. That is how Fox maintains their ratings position, by herding all of the conservative cattle into one corral.

Pray for Fox News

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Nearly half (47%) of conservatives identify Fox News as their “main source” for news. Nothing else even comes close. Compare that to liberals who cite CNN as a main source only 15% of the time with a half dozen other sources closely competing for their attention. What’s more, conservatives obediently trust Fox News by a larger margin (88%) than any other group of viewers. And the only other sources they trust more than 50% of the time are similarly far-right partisans: Sean Hannity (62%), Rush Limbaugh (58%), and Glenn Beck (51%). Of course, none of those sources are objective news providers, or even journalists.

While Conservatives have only four sources that they trust more than 50% of the time, liberals express trust for nine different sources at that rate: NPR (72%), PBS (71%), BBC (69%), New York Times (62%), CNN (56%), NBC (56%), MSNBC (52%), ABC (52%), and CBS (51%). Note that they are all (with the exception of MSNBC) generally regarded as legitimate journalistic enterprises. Except, that is, by conservatives who trust none of them. In fact, conservatives only have greater trust than distrust for twelve of the thirty-six sources in the study. So consistent with the cult maxim, conservatives actively distrust twenty-four (two-thirds) of the sources. Liberals flip that stat, having greater trust for twenty-eight of the sources and distrust for only eight.

The mission of Fox News from the beginning was to divide the nation by ideology. It is why they came up with their “fair and balanced” slogan with the implicit accusation that the other news providers were neither. They deliberately sectioned off their audience and told them that everyone else was lying to them. Subsequently, when they lied to their viewers (which they do constantly), there is no place for them to turn for the actual truth. The Fox version of events becomes the unqualified gospel for their audience/disciples despite being riddled with falsehoods and rancid partisanship. And additional proof of that is seen in the studies that show that Fox viewers are less informed than those who watch other media, or even those who watch nothing at all. And the more you watch Fox, the less you know.

The correlations to cult status are unmistakable: Proselytize relentlessly (Fox is #1); repeat/preach the cult’s doctrine (anti-Obama, anti-government, Benghazi); reinforce obedience with fear (tyranny, terrorism, Ebola); glorification of idols (Ronald Reagan, Ted Cruz, Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin); demonization of competing views (Democrats, the rest of the media); and fabricating a comforting home for faithful followers by casting experienced propagandists and appealing, mostly blonde, presenters as reporters. It’s a closed loop society that succeeds by keeping the flock secluded, ignorant, and artificially happy. I just hope they don’t start serving Kool-Aide.

Crackpot Conservative Conspiracy Theory: Obama Secretly Planning Amnesty For Millions

Here we go again. The right-wing nut cases who think that Ebola infected terrorists are streaming across the border to confiscate our guns, get free abortions, vote for Democrats, and gay marry atheist children, have a new delusion to occupy their twisted attention.

Fox News

The usual conservative media mouthpieces like WorldNetDaily, Breitbart News, Townhall, Newsmax, and of course, Fox News, are all reporting that there is a plot afoot by the Obama administration to grant amnesty to some 34 million “illegal” aliens soon after the midterm election. To put that number into perspective, that’s more than three times as many undocumented immigrants as are currently estimated to be in the United States. It’s a third of the entire population of Mexico. If they all occupied a new state it would be the second most populous state in the country after California with 38 million.

Where would they all go? No one is saying. It’s enough just to float the conspiracy and get the Tea Party dimwits riled up and fearful of something other than Ebola and ISIS for a couple of hours.

This new panic attack was triggered by a report that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services put out a call for a vendor that could produce between four and nine million Green Cards and/or work permits a year for a five year contract. What the idiots in the rightist press conclude from that is that Obama is planning to issue all 34 million of those documents in a mass ceremony sometime around Christmas.

We have seen this sort of stupidity crop up before. The last incarnation of this sort of nonsense was a frightful scenario wherein the Department of Homeland Security had published a vendor request for more than a billion bullets. In the minds of the nutcases on the right, that was evidence that the DHS was plotting a response to some impending Zombie-driven civil unrest that would require the government to shoot every person in America five times.

In both of these cases of mass hysteria there was a simple explanation. The government, like any large enterprise, purchases routine supplies in advance and in bulk in order to get better rates. With the bullets, they were used in both field work and, more often, in ongoing training exercises. As for the immigration documents, they are often issued for new arrivals as well as replacements for lost or damaged documents. In many cases they are temporary and reissued for various types of applicants including migrant workers and technology consultants and even rock stars who come and go many times throughout the year. Work permits are even issued to American minors who take summer jobs.

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But leave it to Fox News and their sleazier cousins to make this into a doomsday plot by a determined and evil president bent on destroying the purity of our white, Christian utopia. Seriously, do these people ever get tired of being scared by fake pronouncements of doom? Do they feed off of fear like some Star Trek alien life form? Maybe if the rest of us all keep thinking happy thoughts it will weaken and float away into space. Wouldn’t that be a happy thought?

Cletus Skools GOP

BUSTED: Pathological Liar James O’Keefe Is Caught Attempting To Commit Voter Fraud

Fresh on the heels of a pathetically dishonest scam in Kentucky, James O’Keefe took his medicine show to Colorado. This time his con was to entrap supporters of Democratic senator Mark Udall into agreeing to participate in a voter fraud scheme.

James O'Keefe

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According to the report published by Mother Jones, O’Keefe’s operatives approached Udall supporters and offered to help the campaign by submitting fraudulently obtained mail-in ballots.

“Last Tuesday, a man who appeared to be in his twenties showed up at a Democratic field office in Boulder wanting to volunteer to help elect Udall and Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.), according to a Democratic staffer who met with him and asked not to be identified. The man introduced himself as ‘Nick Davis,’ and he said he was a University of Colorado–Boulder student and LGBT activist involved with a student group called Rocky Mountain Vote Pride. Davis mentioned polls showing the race between Udall and Gardner was tight, and he asked the staffer if he should fill out and mail in ballots for other college students who had moved away but still received mail on campus. The Democratic staffer says he told Davis that doing this would be voter fraud and that he should not do it.”

Of course, the group that the phony “supporter” claimed to represent doesn’t exist and the staffer properly shot him down and sent him packing. But that didn’t stop the O’Keefe operation from trying it several more times. That is the key methodology of his hoax manufacturing outfit. He fishes around for a gullible victim and then throws out all of the evidence of people who did the right thing. It may take him ten or twenty times to find a sucker. Then he pretends that the few people he may have duped were the only ones he encountered. It’s an editing deception that defines O’Keefe’s unscrupulous activities.

On this occasion the O’Keefe con was cracked wide open. His minions were were unmasked and even he was recognized in a lame disguise as he tried to lie through another attempted political smear job. As noted previously, this convicted scumbag seems to have no limit to the copious quantities of shame he can endure at his own hand. And hopefully more people will be wary of this sort of unethical racket and continue to put him in his place.

For the record, here is a boilerplate background on James O’Keefe:
O’Keefe is best known for making an ass of himself on video while imagining an acclaim that is shared by no one outside of the Tea Party Home for the Chronically Delusional. Some of his other recent antics have resulted in his arrest and conviction in a Louisiana senator’s office, a legal order to pay a $100,000 settlement to a former ACORN employee he defamed, and a sleazy plot to seduce a CNN reporter aboard his “Love Boat.” More recently his “Cinema Veri-tasteless” earned him a rebuke from a team of Special Prosecutors in Texas (yes, Texas) who officially concluded that his video “was little more than a canard and political disinformation.” And he staged a remarkably juvenile stunt wherein he crossed the Rio Grande wearing an Osama Bin Laden mask.

OUTBREAK: Millions of Americans Exposed To Ebola-Phobia By Hysterical Media

There is a debilitating pandemic that is rapidly spreading across the nation and infecting millions of Americans. What’s more, it is airborne and spread indiscriminately by irresponsible entities that are licensed by the government.

It isn’t Ebola. It is Ebola-Phobia – the irrational fear that an extremely difficult to acquire viral fever is threatening every man, woman, and child in America. The transmission vehicle for Ebola-Phobia is a common carrier known as television news. And a new survey has revealed that the more one is exposed to an infected news source, the more likely the virus will spread, and the more serious the consequences for those infected. As reported on NJ.com

“Those who claim to be following the outbreak the most closely also have the most inaccurate information about it.

“For example, people who are paying a lot of attention to Ebola are twice as likely to hold the erroneous belief there is effective medicine to treat it. They are also more likely to believe it is spread easily, even though the deadly fever is less contagious than the flu.”

This is a shocking development. How can it be possible that accumulating more information about a news event results in being less informed about it? That is the exact reverse of what ought to be the case for conscientious news consumers.

The problem rests primarily in the fact that the news producers are not particularly conscientious. They are deliberately stirring up panic and contributing to a wholly irrational hysteria. For instance, take a look at this headline from the Fox News community website, Fox Nation:

Fox Nation Ebola Outbreak

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Outbreak? Is that an appropriate characterization of a viral infestation that has grown to engulf fewer people than can fit into a Mini-Cooper? It is if your purpose is to frighten rather than inform. Fox News and other media outlets may be more interested in curing their ratings deficiencies than in delivering factual data.

In addition to the survey from New Jersey, a national poll by the Harvard School of Public Health was recently concluded that shed some light on the adoption of misinformation by the American people.

“The HSPH/SSRS poll found people with less education are more likely to be concerned about an outbreak in the U.S. (less than high school 50% vs. some college 36% vs. college grad or more 24%). People with less education are also more concerned they or their family will get sick with Ebola (less than high school 37% vs. some college 22% vs. college grad or more 14%).”

There is a disturbing inference from the combination of these two studies. It tells us that people with less education who watch more news are the most likely to have incorrect impressions of the facts. It has already been established that Fox News ranks near the bottom of all news sources for education level of its audience, and it is the most watched cable news network. That sets the stage for a massive epidemic of ignorant panic over Ebola (or ISIL, or Benghazi, or ObamaCare, or the IRS, or gay marriage, etc.). And the proof of this rests in surveys that confirm that the more one watches Fox News, the more misinformed one is.

The fact that Fox News would portray the discovery of a second Ebola patient from the same Texas facility that produced the first one as an “outbreak,” shows how deliberately dishonest they are. Next they will probably report that the infection rate has increased by 100%. And while that’s technically correct, it obviously doesn’t advance the understanding of what is occurring. And that is what Fox intends to do with so much of their reporting – impede the advance of understanding.

[Addendum] Shortly after this was published, Fox News Anchor Shepard Smith delivered a rare and inspiring commentary that put Ebola into realistic perspective. It’s a must read/watch.

Ebola Terror Threat? The Best Fox News Horror Story Since Boob Bombs

The Ebola crisis in West Africa is a truly disturbing situation that is tragically taking the lives of hundreds of people. But as painful as that is, the compulsion to turn it into a geopolitical hazard is unfounded and irrational.

Fox News Ebola

Nevertheless, Fox News is among the many media outlets who are attempting to unduly frighten the American people by speculating that terrorists are going to embrace Ebola as a mechanism for their homicidal escapades. Of course, anyone with any knowledge of biology is aware that Ebola would be an awful candidate for weaponized bioterror. It is difficult to work with without infecting oneself, and it isn’t even an effective agent because of how hard it is to spread. Every good terrorist knows that anthrax, ricin, or sarin, among others, would be far more effective. Even the conventional flu virus, which already kills about 36,000 American each year, would be a better choice.

What is abundantly clear is that the right-wing media is obsessed with turning every scary news story into a prospective terror plot. Children cross the southern border into Texas and suddenly terrorists are disguising themselves as twelve year old immigrants. A women is decapitated by a disgruntled former co-worker and now beheadings can be expected across the nation. A single man is found to have placed a bomb in his shoe in a failed attempt at bringing down a jetliner and now millions of people have to remove their shoes to board a plane.

Perhaps the most ludicrous nightmare fantasy came from Fox News when they published an article sourced to the ultra-fringe WorldNetDaily that announced that British spies were “Hunting Breast Implants of Death.” That’s right, folks. Boob Bombs have arrived to terrorize our helpless mammary-fixated nation. And while that was over four years ago, there has still not been a breast-related attack, unless you count a few angry Hooters waitresses.

To date, the number of deaths attributable to Ebola in the United States is zero. Contrast that with the 8,000+ homicides committed by guns. There is a good argument to be made that the NRA is a bigger threat to America than Ebola. In fact, the U.S. currently has no Surgeon General (a figure who could be instrumental in educating the nation during this alleged crisis) because the NRA has conservative members of Congress scared of confirming the nominee that President Obama put forward, specifically because of his views that firearms play a role in public health. That view is affirmed, of course, by the statistic cited above.

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And if you’re not already sufficiently afraid of infectious terrorists from Mexico with exploding breasts hiding in every shadow, then think about this: Jihad Monkeys: A ridiculous story about the Taliban training monkeys to do battle with American soldiers. The story, sourced to the People’s Daily in China, was published by at least two Murdoch properties, Fox Nation and the New York Post. No, really. Here’s “proof.”

New Ad Campaign Attempts To Convince Voters That Republicans Are People

The modern advertising industry has developed unprecedented techniques to persuade, cajole, and seduce the American people into directed patterns of consumption and lifestyles. Our decisions about which cars to drive or sodas to drink are all influenced by a steady stream of commercial messaging nearly everywhere we go. But now the Republican Party has taken on a public relations task that dwarfs all other efforts at opinion-making. They boldly aim to convince the American people that Republicans are people too.

Republicans Are People

GOP media manipulator, Vinny Minchillo, is the mastermind of this crusade to remake the Republican image into one that embraces a human component. He tried to do the same thing a couple of years when for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. Now Minchillo has created a website called “Republicans Are People Too.” and posted a video there to make a case for that dubious proposition (video also posted below). But the text accompanying the video conveys only a determination to whine about the plight of the poor, mistreated Republican. He moans that…

“It isn’t easy being a Republican these days. […] We love political discourse. We encourage political discourse. But when did “Republican” become a dirty word?”

Perhaps the answer to that question is: When Republicans started calling Democrats fascists, communists, moochers, whores, traitors, and devils.

Minchillo’s video is a simple production that seeks to enumerate a series of “regular” folks that he labels with a the hashtag “IAmARepublican.” It is a fairly comprehensive list of average Americans who are not generally associated with the exclusivity, racism, and intolerance of the Republican Party. It is no wonder that the GOP is yearning to attract more of the type of people in the video, because it is a cross-section of the nation that represents its diversity, a word that makes the right tremble. The video consists of a parade of alleged party members and asks “Did you know Republicans…”

Drive Priuses, recycle, listen to Spotify, put together IKEA furniture, are white, black, Hispanic, Asian, read the New York Times, use Macs, are grandmas, daughters, moms, are left-handed, are doctors, welders, teachers, donate to charity, enjoy gourmet cooking, shop at Trader Joe’s, like dogs, and cats, have tattoos, have tattoos and beards, have feelings, are people who care.

The problem with the argument that Minchillo is making is that the people claiming to be Republicans in his video are not actually Republicans. And by that I don’t simply mean that those types of persons are not Republican, which on the whole they are not. I mean that those specific people in the video are not. In fact, they were photos taken from stock image suppliers. A search for a random selection of the photos in the video found many of them in the iStockPhoto website’s library of images. The persons in the paragraph above that are links will lead you to the stock image page for each one.

So the video produced in order to convince everyone that Republicans are real people is populated by fakes. They are models pretending to be the characters that the video claims represent actual members of the Republican Party. And that’s about as real as it gets for the GOP.

This would be a hilarious aside to the pathetic PR that is constantly pushed by right-wing propagandists. But it is actually just another rung in their ladder of deception. It is reminiscent of the effort by Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign to persuade voters that “We’re Not Stupid.” When you have to mount an advertising blitz to sell the public on the notion that you’re not stupid, you have already lost the battle. And the same thing goes for a campaign to assert your people-ness. If the public doesn’t already know that you’re people, good luck trying to convince them.

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Sharia Law vs. The NRA: The Politics Of Beheading And Guns

The news of a grisly murder in Oklahoma has once again brought out the panic peddlers who are always watching out for any gruesome event that they can exploit to advance their nightmare scenarios. While there is still a deficit of actual facts, knee-jerk Islamophobes leap forward to cast aspersions on people whom they regard as universally barbaric. Therefore, any chance to defame a Muslim is quickly pounced on and embellished in the most hostile manner. However, according to the Washington Post, all that is actually known about the murder at this time is that…

“A man who had just been fired by an Oklahoma City-area food processing plant allegedly severed the head of one of his former co-workers and attacked another before being shot by the company’s chief operating officer, according to police. […]

But the FBI, which is assisting in the investigation, has so far found no links to terrorism, the officials said. There was also no indication that Nolen was copying the beheadings of journalists in Syria by the Islamic State, the officials said, adding that they are treating this as an incident of workplace violence.”

The fact that the investigation is in the early stages has not prevented the Fear Merchants from going totally overboard with their hysteria. Undoubtedly Sen. Lindsey Graham, who warned that ISIL is on their way to America to “kill us all,” is probably thinking, “One down, 359,999,999 to go.” And the folks at Fox News are doing their part by boldly declaring in all caps that “SHARIA LAW IS COMING!!!”

Fox Nation

Fox posted their warning on their community website, Fox Nation (See the acclaimed ebook Fox Nation vs. Reality to learn more). The alarmist story was sourced to the uber-rightist blog, The Daily Caller, which is run by Fox host Tucker Carlson. The exclamation about the coming of Sharia law was taken from the Facebook page of Alton Nolen, the suspect in the Oklahoma crime, but Fox doesn’t disclose that in their headline or their article. They leave it to appear that there is just some sort of impending doom that is approaching that will foretell the end of civilization as we know it.

The Daily Caller’s article was written by Patrick Howley, a disreputable hack who has confessed to unethical and unlawful tactics to smear his ideological foes. Howley includes ridiculous and irrelevant observations such as the fact that Nolen had a tattoo that read “as-salaamu ataikum,” a Muslim greeting meaning “peace be upon you.” Nolen also had a tattoo of Jesus and a pair of Christian praying hands. So what does that say about Christianity?

Of course, it is utterly absurd to imply that a murder, even if it is determined to be related to terrorism, suggests that Sharia law is about to be implemented in America. What happened in Oklahoma was a crime and will be treated as such. It will never be tolerated as lawful in this country under some warped interpretation of Islam. So even if there are additional crimes linked to terrorists, Sharia law is most definitely not coming to America.

If Americans are determined to be afraid of something, they may want to put this recent crime into perspective. In 2014 so far, there has been one beheading in the United States. Compare that to the more than 8,000 deaths by guns this year. [Estimate based on data from 2012]

Guns vs. Beheadings

That’s more than double the fatalities of 9/11. Which makes it all the more ludicrous that right-wingers are now clamoring for unwieldy and unwarranted measures to address their fantastical notions about domestic terrorism. They propose strengthening border security, spying on mosques, prohibiting immigration from Muslim countries, and even building concentration camps.

However, you will not hear any similar commitment to eradicating the true epidemic of deaths and injuries by guns. To the contrary, conservatives are pushing for more guns to be carried and for fewer restrictions on firearms. They are against regulations to keep guns out of the hands of felons or spousal abusers. They fight efforts to prohibit cop-killer bullets. They oppose smart-gun technology that would prevent unauthorized persons from using a firearm. They are even against laws that prohibit people on the terrorist watch list from purchasing guns.

Nevertheless, a single beheading, as horrific as it is, whips wingnuts into a frenzy, while 8,000 deaths, many of them children, doesn’t move them to lift a finger. This leads to a fundamental question that needs to be asked by the American people and the media: Who represents a bigger threat to the country, ISIL or the NRA?

Fox Nation vs. Reality: Zombie Reagan’s Fake Declaration Of War

When you are relentlessly bombarded with exaggerated, alarmist calls to fear every shadow in your path, grasping onto anything that provides even temporary comfort becomes a necessity to retain some semblance of sanity. That’s the position many gullible adherents to the fear-mongering war-hawkery of the right find themselves in. They are so inundated with panicky howling that America, and the world, are succumbing to certain and imminent doom that they need to suck on psychological pacifiers to keep from having mental breakdowns.

Fox Nation

Thus, an enterprising yarn spinner at a conservative blog composed a fairy tale that perfectly fits the bill for these unstable Tea Party types. And it was promptly posted on Fox Nation, the community website for Fox News. The tale comes in the form of an imaginary speech by their long dead savior, Ronald Reagan. But how this can assuage the anxiety of these worrywarts is a mystery considering how absurdly constructed it is.

It begins by asking “How different would our response as a nation be if the Commander-in-Chief were Ronald Reagan?” The answer to that, however, cannot be reliable surmised since the only military conflict that Reagan oversaw was the invasion of the tiny Caribbean island of Grenada. That was not exactly a proud victory for the armed forces of the world’s biggest superpower.

The fantasy speech lays out the justification for unbridled fright by saying that “Today we face a threat the likes of which we have not seen since the darkest days of World War II and the Cold War.” This specious claim mirrors that of today’s Republican scaredy-cats like Sen. Lindsey Graham who believe with all their hearts that the desert rats in Syria are coming to our shores to slaughter us all. Never mind the reality that there are only about 30,000 ISIL fighters, which is far less than the Axis forces of World War II that numbered in the millions. They can hardly be capable of doing the sort of damage that Hitler and his comrades did. The important thing for the fear trade is to convince the peasants that every enemy is the worst the world has ever seen.

Continuing on that theme, Zombie Reagan says that “We never faced members of the SS or the KGB prepared to be suicide bombers. Today we do.” I suppose we can forgive the Gipper for having a bad memory since he is, you know, dead. But the Japanese famously deployed Kamikaze pilots who were into suicide missions long before Al Qaeda thought it was cool. What’s more, many wartime tactics involve plans that the soldiers know they are not likely to return from. Just because they are not officially designated as suicide missions doesn’t mean that the soldiers aren’t aware of the expected outcome. Yet they follow their orders despite that knowledge.

Of course, for this declaration to be plausibly Reaganesque, it has to contain some of the movie hero bravado that was such a big part of his public imaging. He had to reflect the egocentrism that is the hallmark of the American Exceptionalist crowd. Only the U.S. of A. can send the message that will send our foes into shivering spasms of dread. Ergo…

“Our Muslim and Arab allies must be the frontline in this conflict, but without America’s fighting with them, this war will not be won. Not simply because our forces are so superior, but because if we are not prepared to send our people in harms way to fight the barbarians that wish to destroy our civilization, then we send a very simple message to the Enemy and to the world: our civilization is not worth saving.”

Zombie Reagan closes by articulating a theory that sounds very much like the Obama Doctrine. And if any of the Reaganites ever catch wind of that they will immediately flip-flop and refute it. But it is unmistakably reminiscent of the tactics favored by the current administration.

“Our enemy is not ISIS, the Islamic State, or even Al Qaeda; it is the ideology that drives all such barbaric groups. […] But we must learn the lessons of the past. When fighting totalitarians, it is never enough to defeat them militarily. One must defeat their ideology.”

Not very Reagany, is it? Fox News has been working overtime to convince the nation that there is only one solution to the ISIL problem. It was prosaically proffered by their military analyst Lt. Col. Ralph Peters (whose name translates to “vomiting dicks” in Slanglish), who said the measure of success is “acres and acres of dead terrorists.” Now, after advancing that plan, Zombie Reagan comes along to adopt Obama’s method of draining terrorism of its appeal and recruiting capability.

The ultimate folly with resurrecting Reagan to rally the wingnut troops is that it can’t help but remind people that his leadership was rampant with failure. How different would our response be if Reagan were running things? Well (as Reagan would say), he cut and run after 200 Marines were murdered in their barracks by a suicide bomber in Lebanon. He sold weapons to our enemies in Iran in violation of international law. He used the proceeds of those sales to finance death squads in Nicaragua in violation of federal law. He failed to respond after an Iraqi jet aircraft fired missiles at the USS Stark, killing thirty-seven Navy personnel. He neglected the suffering of blacks in South Africa, called Nelson Mandela a terrorist, and opposed the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act, which was passed by Congress over his veto. Obviously, Reagan’s legacy is not one of vanquishing dangerous foes. But he wasn’t bad at asking, in stern tones, for walls to be torn down. Even that milestone didn’t occur until the administration of his successor, George H.W. Bush.

All in all, it’s a good thing that Reagan isn’t running things today. If Republicans want to pretend that he would have produced better results than we are seeing now, they are welcome to indulge their fantasies. That’s mostly what they do anyway by watching Fox News all day. But America, and the world, have big enough problems that we certainly don’t need them exacerbated by one of the worst presidents of all time.

Unhinged Fox News Reporter Warns Of Immigrant Children Trained By ISIL To Kill Us

The frenzy of frightened Fox News figures who have been consumed by panic over the threat of ISIL terrorists invading our tranquil communities continues to grow in numbers and intensity. On Saturday morning a panel of business correspondents took up the issue on Fox’s Bulls and Bears (and Immigrant Children, oh my).

Fox News Kids Trained To Kill Us

The segment (video below) was introduced by host Brenda Buttner as “the ISIS border threat we may all regret if we don’t stop it now.” She summarized the imminent doom facing America from terrorists plotting to sneak across our porous southern border to wipe us out as we sleep. This gruesome prospect was presented as more than speculation and she wondered how many more warnings would be required before Washington “gets it.”. Of course she never offered any evidence that any terror suspects had entered the U.S. in this manner, or that there was any credible intelligence of it . She just unloaded a series of allegations without any factual basis.

That was enough for the first panelist, John Layfield, a retired professional wrestler, to spew a stream of unrelated assertions involving ISIL’s alleged blueprint for international terrorism and the presence of murderous drug cartels in Mexico. Layfield’s background makes him the perfect guest to provide analysis on these sort of national security issues. He was rebutted rather effectively by Gary B. Smith, a hedge fund manager, who wisely kept his commentary limited to his area of expertise, the economic aspects of securing the border. He questioned the efficacy of building a border fence for an estimated $22 billion when none of the perpetrators of 9/11 entered the country illegally and other border barriers like the Berlin Wall were commonly breached thousands of times a year.

But Stealing the thunder of prominent members of the Psycho-Chicken Little Society like Lindsey Graham, was Fox regular Tracy Byrnes. Her hysterical assessment of the looming threat was riddled with indignation that nobody was treating the situation with the appropriate measure of urgency.

“It’s really serious and this has been something that has been bothering me for a while now. We are not taking it serious enough. ISIS is here. I don’t care what anybody says. They’re here.”

How typical of a Fox News commentator to declare that she doesn’t care what anybody says. She has her own delusional, nightmare scenarios firmly affixed in her mind and she will not be distracted by reality. But she’s only just getting started. She goes on…

“What scares me the most, Brenda, is that they infiltrate the minds of children and when children cross the border everyone, you know, the tears start coming down. We want to take care of them, but so many of these kids are trained to hate us and potentially kill us. And yet we are just letting them in, welcoming them with open arms, paying for their medical, paying for everything and it’s just going to come back to bite us.”

Exactly! Somehow ISIL has gotten to these gullible waifs, who are fleeing violence in their native countries, and brainwashing them to hate the Americans who are providing them with safety, food, and health care. All the while these kids are plotting to grow up and cut our throats or blow up our shopping malls. Byrnes didn’t reveal where the terrorists were conducting this training or why children who have been rescued from lives of misery, danger, and fear would succumb to an ideology that just perpetuated it and was directed at their rescuers.

Surprisingly, other than Byrnes and Layfield, the panel was fairly united in dismissing the most outlandish claims by the Fear Caucus. The frantic whimpering of the bed-wetting set has been shown to be utterly without foundation. Recently PolitiFact assessed a claim by GOP/Tea Party Rep. Trent Franks, who said that “It is true that we know that ISIS is present in Ciudad Juarez (Mexico)” And except for the fact that it isn’t true and that we don’t know it, it was a pretty good soundbite. PolitFact rated it “mostly false,” while noting that similar false claims were made by Sen. Marco Rubio and many in the right-wing media such as the Daily Caller, Breitbart News, and Sean Hannity. PolitiFact also revealed that the source of the claim was the ultra-conservative organization, Judicial Watch. When asked for more information to affirm their allegations, JW’s president Tom Fitton simply refused.

Not to be outdone, Fox host Jeanine Pirro served up her own steaming plate of crazy with a paranoia drenched tirade that boosted the profile of ISIL over the tyrant King George of England, Jefferson Davis’ Confederacy, Hirohito’s Japan, Bin Laden’s Al Qaeda, and even the genocidal regime of Adolf Hitler:

“Tonight America faces the single biggest threat in her more than 200-year history. Worse than what we faced in World War I, World War II, the attack on Pearl Harbor, and Al Qaeda on 9/11. […] The damage will be painful and it will be extensive. […] I’ve been telling you for months that you need to be afraid.”

Pirro’s grasp of history is pitifully weak. For the record, ISIL is, so far, responsible for the deaths of two Americans. They have a long way to go before they can be regarded as worse than World War I (116,000 fatalities), World War II (405,000), the Civil War (625,000), or even Al Qaeda who lag behind at 9,700 if you include 9/11 plus all casualties endured during both the Afghanistan and Iraq wars (which, of course, are not all attributable to Al Qaeda). And on the basis of her stupendously ignorant raving, she boasts that “for months” she’s been telling her wretched viewers that they “need to be afraid.” How dumb do you need to be to continue following her advice?

The fanatics at Fox News are desperately trying to drive their viewers into a sky-is-falling state of psychotic distress, and they have no qualms about using blatant lies to achieve their ends. It’s a shameful and unethical tactic that squarely fits the definition of terrorism (ter-uh-riz-uh m) – noun: The use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes.

For more examples of Fox’s fear fetish…
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Benghazi A Mini Iran/Contra? Fox News Should Ask Their Own In-House Felon

Earlier this week Fox News helped to promote a shoddily constructed story by a discredited reporter about an alleged effort by the State Department to dispose of documents that might be harmful to then-Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. The story, that they laughably called a “bombshell,” did not provide a single bit of evidence and relied entirely on allegations by a former State Department official who had been reprimanded for being “grossly inadequate” and who clearly had an ax to grind.

Fox News Oliver North

Today Fox News upped the ante by adding new scenarios with even less connection to reality. On Fox & Friends, co-host Brian Kilmeade introduced a segment with retired Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer saying that…

“Anything that could have got them into trouble, Colonel, was grinded up, was shredded, and the review board never got all the documents.”

Of course, none of that was ever verified, and the allegations were merely speculation by someone who the reporter admits never witnessed any such thing. So in order to take the focus off of how thin this whole fictional account is, Kilmeade allowed his guest to offer up a complete fantasy that neither of them bothered to support with any facts.

Shaffer: Some of these documents we’re talking about were probably the direct link to some of the bad incidents, to include the holy grail here that nobody wants to talk about, is the obtaining of weapons from the Libyan rebels, moving them out of the country, to the Turks, through Turkey to the Syrian rebels. Some of those rebels ended up being the ISIS threat we’re now facing.

Kilmeade: So you mean this is almost like a mini Iran/Contra thing?

Shaffer responded “Absolutely,” to this question, apparently ignorant of what the Iran/Contra scandal was all about. Shaffer’s invention of a plot to transfer weapons that were lawfully provided to Qaddafi foes in Libya, to dubious characters in Syria, is nothing like Iran/Contra, and there is no evidence that it even happened. In the Reagan era scandal weapons were illegally sold to Iran while the nation was under an international arms embargo. The proceeds were then used to illegally fund the Nicaraguan Contras, which was explicitly prohibited by federal law.

The funny thing about this is that Fox News could have gotten all of this straight if they had instead interviewed their own employee, Oliver North. It was North who ran the Iran/Contra affair and was convicted by a jury for his felonious behavior. However, he is now a Fox News anchor and military commentator for the network. You have to wonder whether it was his violations of federal and international arms trading laws, or his perjury conviction for lying under oath to Congress, that made him such an attractive candidate for employment at Fox.

Actually, it may be overly optimistic to suggest that North would have straightened anybody out, since he has been lying about the scandal for more than two decades. But it’s interesting that Fox is now using Iran/Contra as an example of grossly unlawful practices with their comparison to the fiction they are hyping about the Clinton State Department purging documents. If this “holy grail” that they are now trying to smear Clinton with is so bad that they are calling it a “mini Iran/Contra,” then how can they ethically employ the leader of the actual, full-sized Iran/Contra?

Of course, the answer to that question is that Fox News has never considered it within their charter to act ethically. That makes their job of lying and distorting the news a lot easier.