Sarah Palin Redux: Hillary Clinton Pallin’ Around With Terrorists? Here We Go Again

Fading reality TV loser and notorious political quitter, Sarah Palin, hasn’t been heard from much lately. Her sightings on Fox News have become rare, with the last appearance sometime back in January. Unfortunately, her unique brand of dementia seems to be enduring as one of her classically idiotic themes made a comeback on the Fox Nation website:

Hillary's Benghazi-Qaeda Brotherhood

A featured article on Fox Nation was topped with a headline that declared that “Hillary’s Terror-Tied Aide Had Full Access to Benghazi E-Mails.” This immediately brings to mind the memory of Palin’s famously loony “pallin’ around with terrorists” allegation that falsely tried to tie then-candidate Barack Obama to former Weather Underground radical (now mild-mannered college professor) Bill Ayers.

The reprise of this stupidity is based on the thoroughly discredited accusations that Clinton aide Huma Abedin is a deep-cover agent of the Muslim Brotherhood who is plotting to destroy America from within. Never mind that Abedin, who was born in Michigan, has been a trusted and respected public servant for many years. The charges against her were originally leveled by congressional “intelligence” experts, Michelle Bachmann, Louie Gohmert, and other Tea Party fruitcakes.

When the terrorist slurs first began circulating they were shot down by everyone that knew Abedin, including prominent Republicans. House Speaker John Boehner defended her saying that she had a “sterling character.” Lindsey Graham called the attacks on her “ridiculous.” John McCain praised her saying that she “represents what is best about America” and that the charges were “an unwarranted and unfounded attack on an honorable woman.” Ed Rollins, who managed Bachmann’s presidential campaign, repudiated the attacks as “downright vicious.”

The Fox Nation article links to the ultra-rightist propagandists at Truth Revolt, a website that was founded by Breitbart Editor-at-Large, Ben Shapiro. Truth Revolt, in turn referenced the conspiracy crackpots at WorldNetDaily, who are still grasping feverishly to the birther nonsense. The WND article was written by Aaron Klein, who believes that Obama might be a Muslim who sides with Al Qaeda. So Truth Revolt re-posts WND and Fox Nation re-posts Truth Revolt, with an opening paragraph that launches into a surreal fantasy:

“It has been revealed that Huma Abedin, senior aide to Hillary Clinton, had access to Clinton’s personal e-mails including highly-sensitive details surrounding Benghazi. Abedin is also accused of having ties to Muslim extremist groups. […] WND reports personal and familial ties between Abedin, the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as al Qaeda.”

There you have it. With absolutely no factual basis, Fox News has bought into scurrilous charges against a respectable woman, associating her with America’s most virulent enemies. And as an additional bonus, Fox worked in a mention of their favorite recurring non-scandal, Benghazi.

If there is anyone left who still thinks that Fox News is a reputable journalism enterprise, or that they might have moderated their extremist views since the last presidential election, this should put an end to those fallacies. As the next presidential cycle gets into gear, it is clear that Fox intends to ramp up the crazy to levels at least as deranged as those in 2008 and 2012. So here come the terrorist charges against the presumptive Democratic nominee. Because if you’re a Tea Party wingnut it isn’t enough to merely have policy disputes with political rivals, you must demonize them as threats to the continued existence of mankind.

As evidence of this trend, note the latest outrage being hyped on Fox News. It’s a brief video clip that shows Clinton politely asking a supporter to take her place in line in order to get a photo with the candidate.

On Fox News this is proof that Clinton is an Ice Queen who cannot relate to regular humans. Of course, the fact that the video is chopped into a fragment that fails to put Clinton’s encounter in context is irrelevant to the spinners at Fox. To them it is more important to create an artificial persona for Clinton that makes her look mean and elitist. And surprisingly, an anchor at Fox actually admitted that it is their intention to promote this video misrepresentation.

Martha MacCallum: Oh my, why don’t you go to the end of the line. When I saw this yesterday, this is just gonna get played over and over here, and elsewhere, and this is not good for Hillary Clinton regardless of what the circumstances exactly were.
Byron York: I should say that some people have looked at the whole video and Mrs. Clinton was actually trying to accommodate the people who had lined up to see her. But it points really to a bigger problem.

So MacCallum admits that Fox will put this video on an endless loop even if the impression it leaves is false. And her guest confesses that in the uncut video Clinton’s behavior was entirely appropriate, but that doesn’t matter when you are trying to slander her.

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That’s the sort of dishonesty and bias that has been the hallmark of Fox News. Consequently, it’s not particularly surprising that they are continuing to debase journalism just as they have from their inception. What’s a little surprising is that they are openly admitting it even as they are doing it. That shows how certain they are that they can get away with their deceit without any repercussions. They know very well that their audience couldn’t care less about truth or lies, even if they could tell the difference.

Fox News Editorial On Climate Change Still Using Bogus Argument By Disgraced Author

The debate over climate change is over. Not only is it occurring, it is man-made and dangerous. That is not one person’s opinion. It is the consensus opinion of thousands of climate scientists who have studied and written on the subject. The evidence was published in a study led by John Cook of the Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland, Australia, that examined nearly 12,000 peer-reviewed papers that were categorized by both independent researchers and the paper’s own authors. The result: “97% of those expressing a position…endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming.”

Notwithstanding the overwhelming evidence of the expert’s opinions, conservatives and right-wing media continue to try to dismiss reality in favor of a viewpoint that benefits the giant fossil fuel industry and defenders of the status quo. Leading the pack is Fox News where climate change denialism is clutched unto as a matter of faith. The twisted coverage of environmental issues by Fox News, and the rest of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire, has actually resulted in the countries where his media dominates (particularly the U.S.) to be the most ignorant of the risks associated with climate change.

Rupert Murdoch

In keeping with their pro-pollution doctrine, Fox News published an editorial disputing a tweet by President Obama citing the 97% consensus.

The article was written by Richard Tol, a Dutch professor who has turned his denialism into a fetish. So much so that even after he was embarrassed by a prior effort to criticize the consensus he is still using the same failed arguments in this new article. Tol makes several wholly unsupported allegations against the consensus study, but focused on his assertion that the papers reviewed in the study were categorized improperly. He complains that…

“The paper claims that each abstract was read by two independent readers, but they freely compared notes. Cook and Co. collected data, inspected the results, collected more data, inspected the results again, changed their data classification, collected yet more data, inspected the results once more, and changed their data classification again, before they found their magic 97 percent.”

Tol is overstating the process that actually consisted of only two reviews – an initial review followed by a re-review if the two researchers disagreed on a category designation. If they still disagreed after the second review, a third researcher would break the tie. There is no evidence, or incentive, for anyone conspiring to falsify the categorization. Even so, the gist of Tol’s complaint is that the study was just too darn thorough. That’s a negative in Tol’s view. Although real scientists tend to prefer thoroughness, shills and propagandists favor Tol’s disdain for it.

Additionally, Tol attempts to misrepresent the study’s findings by saying that of the 12,000 papers reviewed only 64 explicitly endorsed the climate change consensus. He exuberantly declares that that is only “half a per cent or less of the total, rather than 97 percent.” However, the study’s category for endorsement consists of three sub-categories including a range from explicit to implicit endorsement. Tol separated out just the papers with the highest level of explicit endorsement which was indeed 64. But he left out the other 3,832 papers that were also unambiguously endorsements. That’s the kind of math distortion that deniers embrace to make their illogical arguments seem reasonable.

A year ago, Tol tried to to make many of these same arguments to discredit the consensus study. He was roundly trounced in an article for the Guardian (a must read) by one of the study’s contributing authors, Dana Nuccitelli, an environmental scientist and risk assessor. In fact, Tol’s effort inadvertently confirmed the consensus study. Among the false claims that Tol made previously (and in his new article for Fox) was that Cook did not disclose the data used in the study. He must have overlooked the data that was fully published on a website where any interested party could make their own categorical assessments and compare them to those in the study.

Nuccitelli pointed out that using Tol’s methodology, which Tol himself miscalculated, resulted in an even stronger consensus, raising the figure from 97.1% to 97.2. Nuccitelli also revealed that Tol had tried to get his rebuttal theory published by the same journal that published Cook’s study, but he was rejected – twice.

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In some sense you have to admire the tenacity of someone who can persevere despite being embarrassed repeatedly. But since this subject has such important ramifications for the planet and all of humankind, it is hard to have much respect for Tol, who perseveres in an effort to deceive people and advance the interests of those who would profit from the misery they create. No wonder this tripe was published by Fox News, whose own reputation is in tatters and for which there is also widespread consensus – of deception.

Ignored By Fox News: Christian Terrorist Pleads Guilty In Plot To Massacre American Muslims

Whenever there is an act of terrorism that conservatives can attribute to Muslims, they jump at the chance to condemn the entire Islamic faith as inherently violent. And at the same time, they advance their ingrained superiority by asserting that only Muslims would ever engage in such behavior. They insist that Christians would never resort to violence in response to a perceived insult or political disagreement.

Never mind the ample evidence of Christian attacks on those with whom they disagree, including the murder of Dr. Tiller, the Atlanta Olympic bombing, the extremist in Norway who murdered dozens of children, or the tragedy in Oklahoma City that killed 168 innocent people. The Christian defenders simply don’t see what they don’t want to see. Although, to some extent they also don’t see what is deliberately kept from them. That’s because Fox needs to reinforce the racist theme that all terrorists are dark-skinned foreigners.

Fox News Terrorist Color Chart

The media often fails to publicize acts of Christian terrorism in the manner they do with Muslims. An example of that occurred this week when court records were revealed describing Robert Doggert, an ordained minister in the Christian National Church, who pleaded guilty to plotting a massacre of the citizens of an upstate New York community of Muslims known as Islamberg. The records showed a detailed plan to kill people and destroy buildings, churches and schools. Doggert was quoted as saying “We will offer [our] lives as collateral to prove our commitment to our God.” In other words, it was a suicide mission not unlike those committed by Islamic extremists, and for the same reason.

In keeping with the right-wing media determination to insure that their audience remains biased and ignorant, the Fox News Channel failed to report the story. This failure is all the more egregious considering the complicity that Fox News has in Doggert’s scheme.

Doggert, who was working with right-wing militias that share his view that President Obama was guilty of treason, told the FBI in his confession that he “justified his attack on lslamberg by claiming that the residents of Islamberg were planning a terrorist attack.” And where did he get this groundless notion? In January Bill O’Reilly hosted, Ryan Mauro, a “national security analyst” who claimed that Muslims were forming “no-go zones” in the United States where they would train and launch domestic attacks. These claims were never substantiated by credible sources in law enforcement, and the organizations to which Mauro belonged were well known anti-Islamic propagandists.

That didn’t stop Fox News from inviting Mauro back numerous times to spread his false and inflammatory smears. It is that sort of disinformation that gives Doggert, and so many other Fox News viewers, the wrong impression of Islam along with an unwarranted fear of peaceful fellow citizens. It is the same sort of dishonest “journalism” that prevents Fox News, and other conservative media outlets, from reporting the other side of the terrorism story that reveals the criminal activities of Christian extremists like Doggert.

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Fox News has a long history of fear mongering about Muslims while neglecting news stories involving right-wing extremists. A couple of years ago another Christian terrorist was arrested – and ignored by Fox. Earlier this year Fox became hysterical about a study produced by the Department of Homeland Security that warned of right-wing domestic terrorists. They believed that this demonstrated the government’s anti-conservative bias. What they never told their viewers was that a similar study had also been produced previously that addressed the same sort of threats from radical left-wingers.

That’s the sort of deceptive biases that Fox engages in routinely. And it’s why people like Doggert become radicalized on behalf of insane conspiracy theories. Should any of the crackpots who buy into this nonsense succeed in carrying out one of their plots, Fox News should share in the responsibility for the damage done.

Sorry Fox News, Ebola Wasn’t The Obama Apocalypse You Hoped It Would Be

Last year the world was gripped by fear over the deadly outbreak of Ebola in West Africa. There is no doubt that it was devastating for the victims and their families. However, for most of the rest of the world, and particularly the United States, it was a remote concern that required only some common sense preventative measures and compassionate commitment to those affected.

Today the World Health Organization declared the Ebola crisis in Liberia over. That determination was arrived at by the absence of any new infections for 42 days, twice the incubation time for the virus. The neighboring nations of Guinea and Sierra Leone are not officially out of danger, but both have recorded only nine new infections, the lowest number since the outbreak began.

This news cannot help but recall the lengths to which Fox News, and other media, went to foment fear of the virus and the foreigners who were carrying it. But even more repulsive was the determination of Fox to turn the crisis into something political. For instance…

Fox News Ebola

The purpose-driven campaign by Fox to drench the nation in panic occurred, not coincidentally, in the weeks just prior to the 2014 election. Miraculously, the subject that was the source of so much manufactured terror virtually disappeared immediately after election day. The notion that the hysteria whipped up by Fox was political at its core simply cannot be avoided. A few weeks later, PolitiFact named “Exaggerations about Ebola” their “Lie of the Year” for 2014. [An interesting side note: PolitiFact’s readers’ poll for Lie of the Year was another Fox News fabrication that “Global warming is a hoax.”]

While there was plenty of crazy to go around, perhaps the most surreal accumulation of outright dementia seeped out of the mind of Fox News “Psycho” Analyst, Keith Ablow (whose name is an anagram for “K With Ebola”). Ablow pushed the usual Fox News fallacies that Ebola was a threat to the every American and was being spread by aliens and even pets. But he went even further to say that…

“I believe the president may literally believe we should suffer along with less fortunate nations.”

That is what passes for a medical diagnosis from this alleged doctor who has previously accused Obama himself of being a virus. It is also what passes for journalism from a network that exists to misinform its audience and exploit phony crises to drive them trembling into bunkers stocked with guns, gold, bibles, and freeze-dried pork. If Fox News were really interested in addressing an epidemic that is killing tens of thousands of Americans every year, they would report on the scourge of guns and the NRA, which kills more Americans in a single day than Ebola has killed ever.

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For the record, here is a collection of headlines from Fox News during the alleged Ebola crisis in America:

  • Ebola crisis: Team Obama takes politically correct approach, ignores science.
  • Obama’s Ebola plans: A new boondoggle?
  • Could Ebola virus become ‘bioterrorist threat’?
  • As Ebola fades, questions arise over billions in US aid.
  • Ebola outbreak: Why Obama is allowing Ebolaphobia to spread.
  • If Obama thinks Ebola is a ‘national security priority,’ why no travel ban?
  • Ebola crisis: Yes, we need to help but is Obama ready to keep Americans safe?
  • The ambivalent American: Obama fights Ebola, not ISIS.
  • Ebola crisis: Obama White House won’t sound alarm, just wants to reassure.
  • Report: Hundreds Of Immigrants From Ebola Outbreak Nations Caught Along The Border.
  • Trump: Ebola-Infected Immigrants Will ‘Just Walk Into The Country’ Via Mexico.
  • Rep. Steve King: Undocumented Immigrants Bringing Ebola, Beheadings To U.S.
  • Ebola crisis: Is Obama’s CDC adding to fears?
  • Could Ebola be used as a weapon of terror?

Be afraid, America. Be very afraid.

Clinton Cash: The Untold Story Of How Bill And Hillary Help Make Rupert Murdoch Rich

Tuesday saw the official release of Peter Schweizer’s latest foray into sloppy and dishonest pseudo-journalism, Clinton Cash. Even before the book hit the shelves it was widely debunked by more reputable analysts who found numerous errors, unsupported speculations, and outright inventions. Even Schweizer himself was forced to acknowledge that some of his allegations were untrue and that none of them could be proven.

The clear purpose of the book is to smear likely Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. Despite Schweizer’s feeble attempts to characterize his book as an impartial examination of Clinton’s finances, he has been a long-time Republican operative including stints as a speechwriter for George W. Bush and advisor to Sarah Palin. In addition, he is closely affiliated with ultra-conservatives like the Koch brothers and Breitbart News. However, there is another highly motivated player in this well-coordinated attack campaign that is getting less attention.

Clinton Cash

Rupert Murdoch, chairman of News Corp and 21st Century Fox, commands a vast empire of media businesses that share a determined leaning toward activist, far-right politics. So it is not surprising that a committed conservative like Schweizer would integrate himself into the Murdoch machine. As a result, the opportunities for propaganda and profit become plentiful.

Schweizer’s book was published by HarperCollins, which is owned by Murdoch’s News Corp. So making the book a bestseller puts cash directly into Murdoch’s wallet. To that end, Murdoch has exploited his own Fox News which has gone into overdrive promoting the book. Schweizer has become an almost daily fixture on the network, and when he isn’t there himself, the network hands those promotional duties to their anchors and guests. All told, Fox News has donated the equivalent of more than $107 million to the marketing of the book, according to an analysis by Media Matters.

And speaking Fox News, the network produced and aired its own hour-long special (The Tangled Clinton Web) that served as an unabashed infomercial for the book. And rather than assigning a political personality like Sean Hannity to the brazenly partisan project, it was hosted by Fox’s chief news anchor, Bret Baier. The program was repeated several times. So while running PR for the book, Fox News is also chasing ratings and advertising dollars from the book’s rollout.

In addition, Murdoch’s print news operations joined in the Clinton Cashing in fest. The Wall Street Journal ran a feature editorial parroting the unsubstantiated claims in the Schweizer book and labeling the work of the Clinton’s foundation as “dishonest graft.” The New York Post devoted its cover to hawking the book and mocking the Clintons as money-hungry opportunists. A charge that reeks of irony coming from the realm of Rupert Murdoch.

Since when did free-enterprise loving right-wingers become so hostile to people achieving success through hard work and entrepreneurial ability? This ideological flip-flop was so pronounced that veteran Clinton-basher, Christopher Ruddy, CEO of the uber-rightist Newsmax, wrote an editorial denouncing Schweizer’s book and Fox’s role in selling it. The article was titled In Defense of the Clinton Foundation,” and went to great lengths to criticize both the shoddy reporting in the book and the blatant exploitation of Murdoch’s own tangled web.

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There is no doubt that Schweizer’s book is intended to damage Hillary Clinton’s White House aspirations. It was planned and executed by people with long-standing animosity for both the Clintons and Democratic politics. But the evidence that it is also a profit-making vehicle for Rupert Murdoch is unavoidable. And that is the true meaning of the title. Murdoch is orchestrating this whole fraudulent scheme because he wants to be rolling in Clinton Cash.

Clinton Bash: The Hillary Smear Job Continues On Fox News

The author of “Clinton Cash,” the widely debunked collection of baseless speculation masquerading as an exposé of Hillary Clinton, had yet another opportunity to hawk his snake oil on Fox News’ MediaBuzz with Howard Kurtz. Peter Schweizer was interviewed about the book in the friendliest of settings where he received almost no challenge to the numerous errors he published.

Clinton Bash

Despite the fact that the entire premise of his book is that Hillary Clinton engaged in illegal activities, Schweizer told Kurtz that “I don’t think the standard of any news organization would be that we only report things when we have evidence of illegality.” So, according to Schweizer, the evidence of illegality is not a prerequisite for writing a book accusing someone of illegality. That is a justification for speculation, at best, and slander, at worst. In any case, it is not journalism.

Schweizer was asked about whether, due to his past associations, it would be appropriate to characterize him as partisan. Schweizer’s answer was that he is a conservative, but that does not equate to being a Republican. Really?

For the record, his associations include consorting with the Koch brothers, writing for Breitbart News, heading the ultra-rightist Government Accountability Institute (also affiliated with Breitbart and the Koch brothers), being a research fellow at the conservative Hoover Institution, contributing to Glenn Beck’s book, Broke, and serving as an aide to both George W. Bush and Sarah Palin. Now why would anyone think that he might be a partisan Republican?

Schweizer and Kurtz also discussed his alleged investigation into the finances of Jeb Bush. This is frequently brought up as proof of his political independence. However, it proves nothing of the sort. First, it remains to be seen if he ever publishes anything critical of Bush. This may all be talk. And second, many Republicans are opposing Bush in favor of more radically right-wing Republicans like Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Scott Walker. So Schweizer may just be among that contingent of the GOP, and still blatantly partisan.

The entire segment with Kurtz was a useless piece of froth that did nothing but help to promote Schweizer’s book. This could have been predicted from the outset after hearing Kurtz’s first question:

“The coverage of your book has started to turn. Now you’ve acknowledged in interviews that you can’t prove, don’t have a document showing that Hillary Clinton took any specific action intentionally to help donors to the Clinton Foundation. But, are much of the mainstream media giving you a harder time because you’re going after the Clintons?”

Notice that Kurtz started off his question with the valid criticism of Schweizer’s lack of evidence for the crimes his book alleges. But then Kurtz swerves to avoid making Schweizer answer those criticisms by instead bashing the media and throwing Schweizer a softball about what a hard time he has had at the hands of the so-called liberal press that just loves Hillary. A real journalist would have pursued the first part of that question and abandoned the second part as pointless drivel. But Kurtz made his choice which resulted in this response from Schweizer:

“I think there’s a certain element of that, yes. I think part of it is because there have been a lot of scandal books – so-called scandal books – in the past. But I also think that there’s this sense that they’re looking for political motivation in what I’m doing. And I think that you certainly can look behind the motivations of what people are doing, but you also ought to look at the facts themselves.”

Schweizer is actually right on two points. There have been a lot of so-called scandal books about Clinton. And none have proved any wrongdoing whatsoever – just like Schweizer’s. They have, however, defamed her as a lesbian cocaine smuggler who murdered White House counsel Vince Foster, was raped by husband Bill which resulted in Chelsea, hired a terrorist member of the Muslim Brotherhood as a close aide, and is hiding her true identity as a blood-drinking reptilian. And so much more.

The second point Schweizer got right was that it is important to look at the facts. That is something that he, by his own admission, didn’t do in his book, which is all speculation. And it is something that Kurtz also failed to do in his interview. But facts have never been a priority for Fox News and the conservative movement for which they are the propaganda machine. So no one should be surprised that they aren’t starting to care about facts now.

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Thankfully, Stephen Colbert was one of the first serious journalists to uncover the rapidly expanding epidemic of Hillary Clinton scandals. Here are a couple he reported on last year.

Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Paranoid CREEPY Rules For Anti-Clinton Propaganda

Every presidential candidate has their own way of launching a campaign that seeks to highlight what they regard as their virtues. Ted Cruz did it at Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University with an audience of students that were required to attend or pay fines. Rand Paul did it at a hall named for Ayn Rand’s one-percenter hero, John Galt. Marco Rubio chose a location that is known as Miami’s Ellis Island, in case there were some voters who didn’t know that he is Cuban. All three of them made Sean Hannity of Fox News their first stop for an interview after their highly staged announcement speech.

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton decided to take a more low key approach that centered on her theme of listening to the voters and becoming the champion of the middle-class. So she posted an introductory video on YouTube and set off on a road trip to Iowa.

Since Fox News regards anything that any Democrat does as not merely wrong, but fundamentally evil, they struggled mightily to come up with a derogatory take on Clinton’s campaign rollout and came up with this:

“Here Are The Paranoid CREEPY Rules Hillary Had For ‘Every Day Americans’ To Meet With Her”

Fox Nation

Oh my, that sounds disturbing. And it would be if any of it were true. What Fox News did on their home page for crotchety thumbsuckers, Fox Nation, is wildly distort an article published by Business Insider (BI) that merely described some of the procedures Clinton’s staff employed to maintain her privacy and that of those with whom she met. The Fox Nation version of events began with a fair and balanced declaration that…

“The results are in, and pretty much everyone agrees that the rollout of Hillary’s presidential campaign has been a disaster.”

Obviously the only people polled for that consensus were Tea Party dimwits and Rush Limbaugh’s dittoheads. The Fox Nationalists went on to claim that the BI article was revealing that “the rules have come out for being an ‘every day American’ that got to meet Hillary on the campaign.” However, BI’s reporting was confined to a single meeting that included only Democratic operatives in Iowa. It never mentioned every day Americans, despite the fact that Fox put those words in quotes. So Fox’s characterization was a complete lie.

As for the alleged creepiness of the affair, all of the attendees were not only comfortable with the prerequisites, they wholly approved of them. The rules that Fox disparaged included common precautions to keep the meeting’s details secure, such as not revealing the location until necessary and prohibiting cell phones. None of this bothered anybody. One guest said that “it was a smart thing to do [and] because they did it that way, she was able to sit and have a regular conversation.” Another said that he “appreciated that fact that I could just talk to her and, no offense, not have any of the news media there.”

In addition to the positive response of the meeting’s participants, the restaurant where it took place was likewise pleased and noted that Clinton and her staff were “very pleasant” and “very generous with the tip.” The owner told BI that…

“Clinton’s visit was also a ‘pleasure’ for the restaurant’s staff. Despite the secrecy surrounding Clinton’s stop, the restaurant was not closed to customers while she was there, Bauer said Clinton spent a good deal of time greeting diners and staff.”

Sounds real creepy, doesn’t it? Fox just happened to leave all of that out of their mucked-up version of the story. For the record, the owner was not merely being solicitous to a frontrunner for the presidency in 2016. She also told BI about a previous presidential aspirant who held an event at her restaurant:

“Clinton isn’t the first presidential candidate to visit the Main Street Café. Republican Mitt Romney held a roundtable there in 2012, and Bauer subsequently said she felt he and his entourage treated the staff poorly.”

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Can anything be more creepy than the way that Fox Nation falsifies news stories in order to manipulate their famously ill-informed readers? It truly is cult-like the way they brainwash people in order to insure that nobody wanders off from the approved doctrine. It is also a sad commentary on the state of conservative media that they would resort to this and that their audience is so easily and willingly deceived.

Judith Miller Cops A Plea: I Took America To War In Iraq

In the months leading up to the invasion of Iraq, a country that was falsely accused by the administration of George W. Bush of harboring weapons of mass destruction, the media was nearly lock-step in agreement with the charges and the conclusion that war was an appropriate response. But after the stories began to fall apart and the reality that Bush and his cabal of neocons had deliberately misled the American people, some of the pundits and politicians who had been cheerleaders for the toppling of Saddam Hussein tried to backtrack and worse, to rewrite history.

Judith Miller

No one in the press was more responsible for peddling the lies of the Bush warhawks than Judith Miller of the New York Times. She had published numerous articles condemning Saddam and taking it on faith that he was guilty of everything that the administration had alleged. Her sources were insiders who had vested interests in planting their propaganda in the media. She eagerly participated in the deception and was used later by her sources as evidence of their claims. In short, they anonymously gave her false information which she published in the Times, and then they went on Meet the Press and cited her articles as proof that they were right.

Miller’s role in advocating for war and serving as a vessel for the administration’s lies eventually led to her dismissal from the Times and disgrace as as a reporter whose credibility and ethics were fatally flawed. So naturally, she was hired by Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News.

Now it’s Miller’s turn to rewrite history. This week she wrote an article for the Wall Street Journal (also owned by Murdoch) that, on the surface, appears to be a mea culpa. It begins with her saying that “I took America to war in Iraq. It was all me.” Unfortunately, the article is a mix of facetiousness and a pleading to a lesser crime. As an example of the former, the first full paragraph reads…

“OK, I had some help from a duplicitous vice president, Dick Cheney. Then there was George W. Bush, a gullible president who could barely locate Iraq on a map and who wanted to avenge his father and enrich his friends in the oil business. And don’t forget the neoconservatives in the White House and the Pentagon who fed cherry-picked intelligence about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, or WMD, to reporters like me.”

That would be a stunningly candid statement of the truth and a remarkable admission of responsibility, except for the fact that she didn’t mean a word of it. The very next paragraph casts it aside as a “false narrative” as she writes “None of these assertions happens to be true.” And throughout the remainder of the article Miller dismisses her role in selling the war to a skeptical American public.

Miller insists that the “pernicious accusation that the Bush administration fabricated WMD intelligence to take the country to war,” was wrong. However, she offers no support for that assertion. She exonerates the Bush administration by claiming that they were merely mistaken, not lying. It’s a defense that attempts to confess to the crime of stupidity in order to avoid being convicted of dishonesty. And Miller is making the same sort of plea bargain for herself in confessing to having been misled by the administration, rather than to conspiring with them.

The problem for Miller is that there is already too much evidence of her complicity to deny her role. Her articles were nearly verbatim transcriptions of administration talking points. She claims to not have been “spoon-fed” lines about WMDs by senior officials. Does she regard Scooter Libby, the chief of staff to Vice-President Dick Cheney as a senior official? She doesn’t say. In fact, she famously refused to identify any of her sources so that people could decide for themselves if they were credible.

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Miller spent some time in jail for contempt of court when she declined to reveal her sources. Her defenders regard that as a noble sacrifice, but there is a difference between protecting your sources and protecting your accomplices. Miller knew very well that her sources were relying on the information they fed her when they cited it in subsequent interviews, but she never seemed the least bit disturbed at having been used for that purpose. That’s because she wasn’t being used, she was participating. And nothing in her self-serving defense in the Wall Street Journal leads to any other conclusion.

So why would she bring up this stain on her reputation after all these years? The answer appears in italics at the bottom of the article: “Ms. Miller’s new book, ‘The Story: A Reporter’s Journey,’ will be published on April 7.”

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

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

Fox News James O'Keefe

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

UPDATE II: O’Keefe put another video attempting to smear a Catholic college in Florida as pro-ISIS. It suffers from the same flaws as the Cornell video. And now O’Keefe has even been smacked down by the conservative Weekly Standard for his smarmy antics.

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

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

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

Fox News James O'Keefe

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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