Fright-Wing News: Fox News Reports, As Fact, The Missing Libyan Planes Hoax

Given the acute paranoid tendencies of the Fox News management, they spend an inordinate amount of time either inventing or disseminating hoaxes aimed at frightening their dimwitted and gullible viewers. It’s why they promoted so many horror stories about the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) that never had a smidgen of truth to them. It’s why they squeal incessantly about the threat of immigrant children amassing to conquer America. It’s why they are convinced that our Manchurian president from Kenya is conspiring to confiscate their guns and declare himself emperor of the United Global Caliphate. Fear is their drug of choice.

Consequently, it should surprise no one that Fox News broadcast a story that is nothing more than a hoax perpetrated by wingnut bloggers and a coalition of disreputable pseudo-news sources. On Friday, Fox anchor Jon Scott introduced the segment saying…

“A potentially terrifying scenario is playing out as we approach September 11. Nearly a dozen airplanes are missing – flat out missing – from an airport in Tripoli, raising new fears of the possibility of another terror attack from the air.”

Fox News Missing Planes

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OMG! That is truly terrifying. I can almost hear the roar of a dozen jet engines filling the sky with thunderous evil as they aim for defenseless skyscrapers packed with unsuspecting victims. Why doesn’t Obama raise the threat level to “Unrestrained Panic” and evacuate America’s cities?

Perhaps because the story is not true. Snopes researched the allegations and found that they originated from highly suspect blogs and emails in North Africa. And then…

“…translations of the blog posts began to be picked up by news outlets in Western Europe and passed on as fact rather than gossip; by early September those tales from translations of blogs had spread to the United States under the guise of real news.”

However…

“…there have been no statements from the State Department, the Department of Defense, Homeland Security, or any other authority warning of stolen airliners.” […and that…] “…several of the planes claimed in rumors as ‘missing’ or ‘stolen’ have actually been accounted for, having been either caught outside of Tripoli at the time the airport fell to opposition forces or relocated by their operators (Air Contractors pf Dublin) to an airport in Malta for safekeeping. Some of the other airliners were likely destroyed in the fighting or damaged beyond the possibility of operation.”

Fox News relied on the reporting of the Washington Free Beacon, an ultra-rightist conspiracy theory disseminator that is affiliated with Republican operatives and the Koch brothers. The Beacon’s Bill Gertz was interviewed by Fox and related a story that consisted of nothing but speculation and unnamed sources. In his article for the website he wrote that…

“Intelligence reports of the stolen jetliners were distributed within the U.S. government over the past two weeks and included a warning that one or more of the aircraft could be used in an attack later this month on the date marking the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks against New York and Washington, said U.S. officials familiar with the reports.”

Of course, there are no documents that confirm the alleged reports and no officials were on record corroborating Gertz’s claims. In fact, when Gertz sought a comment from the State Department they explicitly told him that “We can’t confirm that.” But that didn’t stop Gertz, and subsequently Fox News, from reporting the fake news as fact.

Since the debunking of this phony story, Fox news has not bothered to update their reporting with a correction or any acknowledgement of the dubious allegations and sources. That is in keeping with their practice of deliberately misinforming their audience and spreading lies that are intended to create fear and an artificial sense of impending doom. It is the Apocalyptic mindset of pseudo-journalistic propagandists seeking to advance an extremist political agenda through intimidation and inciting panic. It is, in fact, the definition of terrorism.

Terrorism (ter-uh-riz-uh m): noun – The use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes. [See Fox News]

[Update:] Fox News has still not retracted this phony story, nor issued any correction that notes the dubious sources. However, I did find an earlier segment of this on Fox & Friends (surprise) that aired September 3, two days before this segment.

The Media Needs To Stop Promoting ISIS Propaganda Videos – NOW!

Today there was a report of another horrific murder of an American Journalist. Steven Sotloff was the victim of a gruesome assault carried out by ISIS terrorists. And just as with the previous murder of James Foley, the media reacted by serving the interests of the terrorists by repeatedly showing pictures of the assault. Such a reaction has a disastrous effect. It is also egregiously hypocritical, but more on that later.

Media Inciting Violence

What needs to be mentioned with regard to these pictures is that they serve only one purpose. They were distributed by ISIS in order to advance their mission of terror. Their goal is to spread fear in the west and to promote recruitment to their cause among extremist Muslims. And like every other public relations campaign, the more the pictures and videos are shown, the better for ISIS.

The American media is providing free advertising for these cretins, and they must stop it. While it is reasonable to report on the brutality that is being engaged in throughout the Middle East, and particularly in Iraq and Syria, there is no useful purpose in blanketing the airwaves with images created by terrorists for their own benefit.

The murder of Sotloff is certainly a tragedy, but it is no more tragic than the hundreds, thousands, of others, many of them Americans, many of them journalists, whose names we were never told because they were killed in more “conventional” ways. The spectacular method of Sotloff’s execution wrenches our hearts, but leaves a corpse that is not one bit more dead. We have to stop assigning an artificial significance to the tactic, because that is exactly what the terrorists want us to do. Why are we accommodating them?

The United States has conducted hundreds of bombing missions against ISIS in the last few weeks, with over eighty yesterday alone. We have driven ISIS back from cities they boasted about capturing. These actions have resulted in the deaths and injuries of untold terrorist fighters. In response, the impotent whack jobs of ISIS choreograph a horror show that takes the life of a single man and we’re supposed to tremble with uncontrollable fright? Hell no. We continue to pursue our interests, bring aid to victims, and get on with our lives. It would probably be advantageous for President Obama to go golfing after every killing of this type that occurs. Don’t validate their tactics by reacting in precisely the way they hope.

It’s ironic that the media is so supportive of the ISIS PR effort. Not too long ago some of them were blasting reporters for going to Ferguson, Missouri to cover the shooting of an unarmed black teenager. In that case media critics like Howard Kurtz of Fox News asserted that “The journalistic invasion of Ferguson is absolutely inflaming the situation on the streets.” He wrote an editorial titled “What if we just pulled the plug on Ferguson?” that suggested the press should pack it in and leave town. Bill O’Reilly said much the same thing about coverage of another murdered teenager, Trayvon Martin, when he asked “Is the media now inciting racial violence?”

Isn’t it interesting that when the media is covering the murders of unarmed African-American kids they are accused of being accomplices to an escalation of hostilities, but when it comes to Americans executed by terrorists thousands of miles away, there is no similar implication of incitement even though that is the indisputable objective of the killers? The real question is: What if we just pulled the plug on ISIS?

Fox News inflaming Violence

There is a demonstrable purpose to reporting on the overly aggressive behavior of American police officers. Such publicity, and subsequent reform, can have an impact on their future behavior and improve relations between law enforcement and the public they are pledged to serve and protect. The same cannot be said of reporting, or more accurately advertising, the behavior of terrorists. We are not going to dissuade them from committing their crimes by publicizing them. Quite the contrary. They will only increase their deadly plots when they see the attention it brings them.

So the only way to react to these events is to acknowledge that they occurred and then stop obsessing over them. Then we can conduct our retaliatory response calmly and decisively. But by no means should we panic, tear out our hair, and give the enemy the impression (and satisfaction) that they have crushed our spirit and won a victory. They haven’t won a damn thing by exposing themselves as savages and taking the life of a single, innocent victim. Rather than helping to advance their PR, we should be publicizing their barbarism, impotence, and desperation. And a big part of that requires the media to refrain from furthering the marketing goals of the terrorists.

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Fox Nation vs. Reality: Night Of The Living Death Panels

Thank you Sarah Palin. You have managed to poison the public discourse with an utterly insipid and dishonest notion that has attained a measure of immortality due to the persistent ignorance of your followers and the spinelessness of your Tea Party Republican comrades.

Night of the Living Death Panels

That’s right, folks. The Death Panels are baaack. And with no more legitimacy now than when they were first peddled by Palin (who actually stole the idea from wingnut Betsy McCaughey). Of course it is Fox News who is reprising this zombie lie which they had a substantial part in promoting the last time around. This year’s model is back in the news thanks to Fox Nation, the lie-riddled community website whose aversion to the truth is documented in the acclaimed ebook Fox Nation vs. Reality. Their story carries the tabloid-esque headline “Death Panels? Medicare May Start Covering ‘End-Of-Life Discussions’” That phony characterization is a long stretch from the New York Times article to which they link that doesn’t mention death panels in their headline at all: “Coverage for End-of-Life Talks Gaining Ground.”

Fox Nation

The news in this story is that, despite being jettisoned by a nervous Congress, coverage for end-of-life counseling is being taken up by insurance companies on their own as a result of prodding from doctors. That’s because it makes good sense and benefits the patient. It is not an economic issue because, depending on the patient’s desires, health care may cost more (if the patient opts for every life-saving procedure available) or less (if the patient chooses to forego artificial methods of sustaining life).

From the beginning, the death panel term was a perversion of what the actual policy provided. It merely stipulated insurance coverage for voluntary discussions between the patient and the doctor to determine the patient’s wishes in the event of a catastrophic illness. Most medical professionals recommend this because, after an illness strikes, you may not be able to make your preferences known. That leaves it to either the doctors or traumatized family members who often disagree. But the completion of an “Advance Directive” always represents your wishes and never imposes any medical care, or lack of it, on the patient.

Tea Party nut cases took the position that you should not be able to have your insurance cover the preparation of such a directive in consultation with your doctor. They irrationally feared that “end-of-life counseling” was coded language that, when translated by enlightened wingnuts, meant “plotting to kill you.” It’s too bad that such stupidity isn’t covered under ObamaCare. And even though some right-wingers recognized that their misrepresentation of end-of-life counseling was making them look ridiculous, when they adjusted their rhetoric they just switched to a different policy, the Independent Payment Advisory Board, and called that a death panel. They were still wrong. The IPAB was a doctor-run advisory group tasked with identifying the best practices in health care to insure the best outcomes and to avoid unnecessary or exploitative procedures.

When the ultra-conservative National Review agrees that “Insuring End-of-Life Talk [is] Not Death Panels,” then the distance Fox News has traveled from reality becomes ever more clear. They simply don’t care about honestly dispensing information, even when people’s lives depend upon it. And they persist with their campaigns of disinformation even after other conservative outlets have abandoned them.

ISIS ENVY: Fox News Makes Every Enemy Of America The Worst Enemy Ever

It doesn’t take much time to notice that whenever America faces a new threat, it is immediately elevated to the most loathsome and horrifying threat that we have ever faced. The media, and especially the fear mongers at Fox News, work feverishly to instill the deepest sense of doom imaginable. That’s why Iraq was was said to be hoarding weapons of mass destruction that they never had. It’s why we were frantically warned against letting the nonexistent smoking gun become a mushroom cloud.

Today the enemy is ISIS. And, make no mistake, they are not your average, friendly, cornershop terrorists. But neither are they superhuman demons from another world who wield magical powers that we cannot resist. Nevertheless, the media is determined to create an army of monsters who will shortly be on our doorsteps wagging their tongues and tails at our virgin daughters.

Jon Stewart illustrated (video below) the absurdity of this cartoon characterization of these villains with a segment that contained clips from numerous news programs (mostly Fox) whose anchors were dripping with hysteria. They uttered the most cringe-worthy dread they could muster including that ISIS is…

“The most feared terrorists in the world…never seen anything like this…this is Al Qaeda times two…ISIS is pure evil…ISIS is like a cancer…looks like they’re unstoppable………..”

Stewart’s response to this parade of panic was simple yet profound: “You know it is **** like this that makes you almost regret us destabilizing the region in the first place.”

Among the abominations awaiting us is the allegation that ISIS has amassed great wealth and that “they learned how to self finance.” Resident Fox News alarmist K.T. MacFarland told Greta Van Susteren that “They’re thought to have roughly two billion in assets and cash,” and that makes them “not only the best-equipped military,” but “it makes them the richest.” MacFarland then declared that “Their goal is to bring the fight to America.”

For the record, there have been many abhorrent adversaries that America has had the misfortune to encounter. Among them the Nazis with their Final Solution, the Japanese and their Kamikazes, and our own national brothers in a civil war that is still the bloodiest conflict per capita in our history. And lest we forget the terrorist contenders that ISIS seems to have superseded, Al Qaeda. They were not exactly novices at the terror game. And even though Fox News, and other conservative Chicken Littles, have crowned ISIS the new leader in brutality and wealth with their two billion dollar nest egg, Osama Bin Laden had even more, courtesy of America’s Super Patriot, Ronald Reagan.

“In the 1980s, bin Laden left his comfortable Saudi home for Afghanistan to participate in the Afghan jihad, or holy war, against the invading forces of the Soviet Union — a cause that, ironically, the United States funded, pouring $3 billion into the Afghan resistance via the CIA.”

Ronald Reagan / Osama Bin Laden

None of the above is meant to trivialize the very real dangers posed by ISIS, but it is important to remember that, despite their inhumane activities, they are as human as everyone else. They are not omnipotent, and they do not have capabilities greater than we have faced before. We defeated the Nazis who had the the strength and wealth of a nation behind them. They were also brutal and unbelievably savage, but they succumbed.

The United States, in concert with our allies, can defeat ISIS, and we can do it with our sanity in tact and without resorting to delusions of beastly foes from the depths of Hades. Of course for some of us, that will mean not watching any more Fox News, who spend half their time spinning ghastly fables, and the other half whining that our current leaders are inept and worse, are aligned with the enemy.

It takes a heap of anti-patriotic fervor to tell our enemies around the world that we are led by an incompetent whom they can easily outmaneuver. But that’s precisely what Republicans and right-wing media pundits are doing. Talk about emboldening the enemy.

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Fox News Imagines Another Covert Plot Against Rick Perry (And America) By George Soros

The folks at Fox News are on the case of yet another scheme by super-villain George Soros who seems to be at the helm of every evil deed that Fox stumbles over. This time they have dispatched Brent Bozell, founder and president of the uber-rightist media watch-mongrel, Media Research Center (MRC), to pull the curtain aside on the Soros machine and reveal that he is the puppet master behind the indictment of Texas Governor Rick Perry.

Fox News Rick Perry

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Bozell’s op-ed for Fox News is titled “Mainstream media censors Soros’ connection to Rick Perry indictment.” He begins his bill of peculiars by alleging that the media has suppressed the truth about Texans for Public Justice (TPJ), the group that originally filed the complaint against Perry. Bozell claims that “the group responsible for that indictment had received a half million dollars” from Soros. However, there is a very good reason that the press failed to disclose this information: It isn’t true.

First of all, TPJ is not responsible for the indictment. They merely filed a complaint that would have been dismissed if it were without merit. It was the Grand Jury, impaneled by a Republican prosecutor who was appointed by a Republican judge, that brought the indictment. As usual, if Republicans are alleged to have broken a law it is always the fault of Democrats. That includes GOP governors Perry, Chris Christy, Scott Walker, Bob McDonnell, and Rick Scott. Detect a pattern there?

Secondly, TPJ never received $500,000 from George Soros. Since Bozell failed to cite his source for that allegation, I had to track it down myself. As it turns out it was reported by the Business & Media Institute (BMI), which just happens to be a division of Bozell’s MRC. Fancy that. BMI describes their mission as being “devoted solely to analyzing and exposing the anti-free enterprise culture of the media.” Searching further I did find a $500,000 donation from the Open Society Institute, which was founded by Soros, to a coalition of groups that came together to ensure that stimulus funds were well spent. From their press release

“The Open Society Institute today announced a $500,000 grant to groups in Texas to monitor stimulus spending, encourage public participation in state-level decisions, and advocate for an equitable distribution of recovery funds. […] The coalition includes Texas Impact, Texans Together, the Sierra Club, Texas Legal Services, La Fe Policy Research and Education Center, Public Citizen, the Center for Public Policy Priorities and Texans for Public Justice.”

OK then, TPJ was the beneficiary of some amount of largess from Soros, but certainly not half a million dollars. Even if the donation was divided evenly among the members (unlikely because groups like the Sierra Club and Public Citizen are so much larger than TPJ), it would have amounted to only $62,500. It was intentionally dishonest for Bozell to imply that TPJ received the whole amount. Another detail that he left out was that this donation was made five years ago (November 2009). That was long before TPJ had filed its complaint against Perry and even before any of the issues cited in the complaint had occurred.

No objective person could conclude that an organization that received a small portion of a donation five years prior was still beholden to that donor. But Bozell implausibly proclaims that he “wasn’t in the least bit surprised to learn the Soros machine’s fingerprints were all over this brazen, partisan ploy. It’s what they do.” How Soros’ fingerprints got all over an event that took place many years after he made a donation can only be attributed to his well-known omnipotence and clairvoyant powers. Either that or Bozell’s well-known paranoia and aversion to the truth.

Bozell closed by saying that “In this case, the media have gone beyond mere bias and are complicit in the Soros machine’s scheme to take down a conservative leader.” And with that he comes full circle to branding the entire controversy as a Soros scheme. No longer is it a just a partisan ploy by democrats. Bozell has named the perpetrator and his accomplices in the media. And with the help of Fox News this delusional fabrication will become a fact in the minds of wingnuts across America.

IMPEACH! Fox News Reports That “Obama Danced to Avoid Clintons At Party”

Adding more fuel to the Republican obsession with removing President Obama from office, Fox News invited disgraced author and unrepentant birther, Edward Klein, to reveal the results of his fantasy investigation of the alleged friction between Obama and Hillary Clinton. Klein’s latest news flash, and Fox News headline, is that “Obama Danced to Avoid Clintons at Party.”

Fox News - Edward Klein

Klein appeared on Fox & Friends with the brown haired dude who is not Steve Doocy (Brian Kilmeade) to recount his tale of presidential acrimony. The discord supposedly began after Clinton expressed her opinion that more should have been done to clamp down on ISIS when they emerged in Syria. That’s a perfectly reasonable position, although one fraught with controversy. At that time there were few Syrian rebel groups that could be trusted to pursue the interests of the United States. Indeed, many of Syrian President Assad’s opponents were associated with what became ISIS.

Subsequent to the initial media frenzy over Clinton’s alleged attempt to distance herself from Obama, Clinton denied that there was any rift between her and the President. As evidence she called Obama to assure him that she had not meant to criticize his overall foreign policy. In addition, she was already scheduled to attend a birthday party for a mutual friend that the Obamas would also be attending. The media falsely turned this into some kind of a peace summit between the once, and possibly future, presidents. Of course in the real world it was a birthday party.

This is where Klein steps in to unveil his long-squawked theory that Clinton and Obama are mortal enemies. He told Kilmeade that…

“My sources tell me that what happened there at the party is that instead of it being a hug-a-thon, it became a freeze-a-thon, and the Clintons essentially ignored the Obamas, and the Obamas got up from the table and danced almost the entire night in order to avoid having to talk to the Clintons.”

OMG! The President and the First Lady were dancing as means of politically oppressing a perceived foe. It’s a tyrannical tactic that even Hitler never tried to use against his enemies. As for Klein, one has to wonder if these are the same sources that told him that Hillary was dropping out of the presidential race; or that Obama was secretly planning on endorsing Elizabeth Warren to succeed him; or that Chelsea Clinton was the spawn of Bill Clinton raping his lesbian wife, Hillary.

Klein’s sources appear to be imaginary trolls inhabiting his otherwise vacant cranial cavity. He never authenticates his allegations or conducts even the most basic principles of journalism ethics. But what he said immediately after his shocking revelation about Obama’s dance of distraction is more informative than anything that appears in any of his lie-riddled books:

“What I’m trying to say is, in a sense, what happened there in the Vineyard was ripped from the pages of my book “Blood Feud” because the blood feud continues.”

And there you have it. This is nothing more than an advertisement for his cheesy book. And Fox News is gleefully participating in the ad campaign by hosting an author who has nothing substantive to say. Although from Fox’s perspective it is another opportunity to bash both Obama and Clinton that they couldn’t pass up.

The problem that Fox, and their Republican cohorts, have is that while they have been feverishly condemning Obama’s policies, they were thrown into a cognitive mind warp when Clinton appeared to do the same. After all, what were they to do? Embrace the position of Clinton who they are expecting to face in the presidential election in 2016? Or renounce her and effectively endorse the Obama doctrine?

In the end they are awkwardly trying to do both. Obama is wrong because, in their fetid brains, he’s always wrong. But Clinton isn’t right, she is merely being looked up to for disagreeing with Obama, but even that is only for political reasons. It’s a typical right-wing illogic-loop that can spin for eternity – or at least until the hypnotic trance that Fox has imposed on their cult members (aka viewers) has faded.

Serial Liar James O’Keefe Trades In His Pimp Outfit For Osama Bin Laden Mask

The news from around the world has been getting more intense with conflicts raging in Israel/Gaza, Syria/Iraq, and Ukraine/Russia. Not to mention an Ebola outbreak in West Africa and police shooting unarmed citizens here in the U.S. So that makes it the perfect time for a self-indulgent purveyor of puerile political pranks to post another in his series of odes to his own desperate cries for attention.

O'Keefe/Osama

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Abandoning his pimp persona, James O’Keefe ventured down to the U.S./Mexico border to prove that a lily-white American, in the company of a local Sheriff, could wade around in the ankle-deep waters of the Rio Grande unhindered. O’Keefe produced a video showing himself crossing what he said was the border, although with his track record it might have been a puddle at W’s old Crawford Ranch. O’Keefe repeatedly sought to build a melodrama around this desert hike by insinuating that the border was an open door to criminals and terrorists.

What he didn’t say was that there was a nearby road where U.S. Border Patrol agents keep watch on the very stretch of land that O’Keefe was prancing around. Nor did he think it was notable that the presence of an American citizen and his Sheriff companion might not peak the interest of the feds. Neither did he bother to inform his viewers of the resume for this particular Sheriff. Gawker, however, was generous enough to provide some background on him:

“Here are some fun facts you may not learn about [Sheriff Arvin] West from O’Keefe’s fawning video treatment: The sheriff is famous for arresting celebrities, from Willie Nelson to Fiona Apple, whose pot-filled tour buses use the nearby stretch of Interstate 10; he’s been found guilty of illegally arresting an El Paso police officer and violating his civil rights; and he has a reputation for being a right-wing and anti-immigrant media hound who calls President Obama ‘full of shit.'”

To add some extra punch to the production number, O’Keefe donned an Osama Bin Laden mask and repeated his crossing of the river. What made him think that the result would be any different by wearing an obviously phony Halloween accessory is anyone’s guess. Especially after having already established that there was no one monitoring the theatrics that he and his Sheriff sidekick were engaging in. And again, why would anyone be monitoring these two clowns? The Border Patrol have actual work to do.

As has become the norm, O’Keefe’s video was virtually ignored by the media who have become inured to his dishonest brand of faux journalism. The only outlets that continue to pay him any attention are the the most disreputable of the right-wing media circus, like Breitbart News, Newsmax, and the “Moonie” Washington Times. What must have been particularly painful for Jimmy was the reaction from ultra-conservative Fox News host Eric Bolling, who addressed the video on his program The Five and spoke directly to O’Keefe saying…

“What’s not helpful […] filmmaker James O’Keefe donning an Osama Bin Laden mask and crossing the Rio Grande. Shtick like that doesn’t work. We have honest-to-God serious problems with the border. O’Keefe, give it a rest, my man.”

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.” His last “Cinema Veri-tasteless” earned him a rebuke from a team of Special Prosecutors in Texas who officially concluded that his video “was little more than a canard and political disinformation.”

The ultimate goal of this project became apparent when a visit to his website revealed a reference to this video on his donations page where O’Keefe whined that “To complete this investigation, Project Veritas spent over $74,242 in legal fees, investigators salaries, and travel expenses.” He really does have a problem if it cost him 74 grand to hop a plane to Texas to stroll across a puddle with a pair of high-water jeans and a rubber Osama mask. With that kind of budget he could have hired a bearded Muslim actor and a couple of coyotes with a motor boat, added some pyrotechnics and a love interest, and entered it at Sundance.

GOP ‘Word Doctor’ Inadvertently Admits (And Praises) Blatant Fox News Bias

As one of Fox News’ favorite contributors J. Christ said: “Physician, heal thyself.” That would be good advice for Dr. Frank Luntz, who has dubbed himself “The Word Doctor” for his efforts to deceitfully manipulate language in order to peddle otherwise unpopular conservative policies.

Fox News Frank Luntz

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On Sunday’s episode of MediaBuzz, the Fox News media analysis program, host Howard Kurtz brought Luntz in to discuss the public’s low opinion of the media. The segment turned into a slobbering love fest of Fox News with Luntz heaping praise on the network with almost every answer. However, in one instance he may have provided a little too much information.

Kurtz and Luntz were attempting to demonstrate how “fair and balanced” the notoriously conservative network is with a clip from one of Luntz’s focus groups. Luntz began by asking the group if they trust Fox News. A distinct majority raised their hands to indicate that they did. One of the few dissenters who was asked to elaborate was a woman who said that “I really believe – I know no one wants to hear this, especially here – that Fox is an extension of the Republican Party.” Seizing on that candid opinion, Luntz heralded Fox for being “willing to challenge itself,” and took a swipe at MSNBC, who he said would not have allowed the question. Then he escalated his gushing adulation to say that…

“In 2008, when I did focus groups with Obama and McCain, all three of my sessions during the debates had Obama winning. And Fox still devoted six, seven, eight minutes to those focus groups. They have nothing to fear, and I appreciate that about this network.”

Imagine that. A Republican pollster holds focus groups that favor Obama but Fox aired the results anyway. That’s an open admission that Fox is exactly what the woman in the group said: “an extension of the Republican Party.” Otherwise, why would Luntz regard it as so extraordinary that it deserved special recognition? Luntz was praising Fox for broadcasting the segment even though it was contrary to their Republican political leanings. And of course they have nothing to fear when the other 99.9% of their programming is solid GOP talking points straight from RNC press releases.

But Luntz shouldn’t get so excited about this anomaly. Fox’s version of fairness and balance is anything but. Their oversampling of right-wing pundits and politicians has been well documented. They even provide a platform for Republican candidates to campaign while still employed by Fox as paid contributors. And just last week Bill O’Reilly did a segment that attempted to prove that Fox was ideologically evenhanded, but it backfired badly. His guest, Fox host Heather Nauert, noted that there were nineteen “liberals” on Fox “out of quite a lot” of conservatives, Nauert fumbled.

[FYI: I counted only sixteen liberals (and some of those were questionable) facing off against 121 conservatives according to Fox’s website. The “liberals” are Evan Bayh, Bob Beckel, James Carville, Alan Colmes, Susan Estrich, Santita Jackson, Dennis Kucinich, Mara Liasson, Leslie Marshall, Deroy Murdock, Kirsten Powers, Ellen Ratner, Geraldo Rivera, Julie Roginsky, Joe Trippi, and Juan Williams]

Elsewhere in the MediaBuzz segment Kurtz posed this question to Luntz: “You are saying that the audience has gotten more partisan […] Aren’t people like you in part responsible for that?” Good question, Howie. Here is Luntz’s ludicrous response which Kurtz left unchallanged:

“Well, it’s a simple question. Is the death tax an accurate description of being taxed when you die? Isn’t exploring for energy what oil companies do? Is it opportunity in education, in terms of vouchers or school choice? If you believe that the words that I’m using aren’t accurate, then you’ve got a legitimate point. I believe that these are accurate descriptions, which is why the American people seem to support it.”

Quite clearly these are not accurate descriptions. They are deliberate deceptions that Luntz carefully tested to assure that they would elicit predetermined reactions from voters. The “Death Tax” that Luntz coined is not a tax on dying. It is tax on property that is being transferred from one party to another, which is exactly what would happen if it were being done between two living persons. His “exploring for energy” dodge is meant to disguise the fact that it refers to environmentally risky off-shore drilling that the public opposes. As for “opportunity in education,” that is so vague as to be meaningless, and it dispenses with the truly descriptive phrasing of vouchers, which is what the program is all about.

Luntz is a professional deception specialist. Republicans rely on him for ways to package unpopular GOP policies so that citizens are persuaded to vote against their own best interests. In other words, he constructs lies that he sells to desperate right-wing politicos, and he supports a luxurious lifestyle by doing so.

Operation No Name – Or Whatever Obama Does Is Wrong: The ISIS Edition

Conservative critics of President Obama wasted no time in complaining about what they said was his failure to respond to the humanitarian crisis in Iraq where thousands of refugees are trapped on a mountain by ISIS militants. Never mind that only a few days had transpired since learning of the impending tragedy, the armchair generals in Congress and on Fox News had fully assessed the situation and were ready to fly off the handle.

The Senate’s preeminent news video hog, John McCain, blasted the administration for taking “no discernible action.” GOP Rep. Chris Smith said that “The president’s indifference is both numbing and enabling.” His colleague Frank Wolf joined in saying that “The administration has done nothing.” It was a steady chorus of complaints from the Republican caucus. That is, until Obama took decisive action within a few hours of the GOP outcry. From that point on the wingnuts criticized the President for doing something.

Among the complaints by the perennial war hawks are that Obama screwed up by removing American troops from Iraq in 2011 (which was actually Bush’s timetable); that Obama failed to secure a “status of forces” agreement (which actually Bush failed to secure); that Obama didn’t immediately strike ISIS when it first began its campaign, and generally that Obama has been detached, distracted, and even hostile to American interests. In short, the right blames Obama for everything that can possibily go wrong. They blame him for the acts of terrorists (rather than, you know, the terrorists). They blame him for doing what the American people want (which is to keep American ground troops out of Iraq). They blame him for Al Qaeda, for ebola, and for ants at picnics.

And the latest crackpot criticism of Obama is that his Defense Department has not assigned a name to the mission currently in progress. Seriously. There is no name. IMPEACH!

Fox News

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What could the President be thinking by failing to execute this critical function of his role as Commander-in-Chief? It is an insult to the soldiers risking their lives in defense of the American Dream that they don’t have a title to which they can refer. How can they be expected to fulfill their mission if they don’t know what to call it? If the President doesn’t correct this atrocious oversight expeditiously he will go down in history as a traitor to his nation.

There is another possibility that may have escaped the notice of the brilliant war strategists on the right. Perhaps Obama has named the mission “No Name.” This would be an ingenious tactic to confuse the enemy. They would never be able to respond to a ghostly maneuver that they couldn’t identify with a label. Operation No Name may be the shrewdest military gambit in modern times. And it may have been inspired by a uniquely patriotic piece of our cultural history:

I’ve Been Through The Desert On A Horse/Mission With No Name – by America!

It would nice if once – just once – Republicans and Fox News could find something positive in something President Obama does. Their unbroken record of outrage, whatever the issue, only marks them as tunnel-blind extremists who lack the ability to independently assess anything. And if nothing else it proves that their opinions are wholly unworthy of serious consideration.

CNN’s Horribly Bad Suck-Up Interview Of Congenital Liar Glenn Beck

There’s a pretty good media analysis program on CNN called Reliable Sources. Its host, Brian Stelter, is generally a thoughtful guide through some of the week’s exercises in modern broadcast journalism. But for some reason he was transformed into a grinning, sycophantic, waste of flesh in the presence of Glenn Beck, whom he allowed to pander, lie, and promote his deceitful Internet hate-site, unchallenged in an interview that offered nothing new or revealing.

Glenn Beck

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Beck assumed an increasingly familiar pose that he undertakes whenever appearing on the mainstream media for which he has nothing but contempt. First, he tries to present himself as remorseful for the division that he has caused by way of his bitterly hostile representations of those with whom he disagrees. Then he seeks to persuade that he has changed and now wants only to form bonds of harmony and unity.

The problem with Beck’s new-found desire for brotherhood is that it is utterly dishonest. He will plaintively insist that he is now dedicated to being a uniting voice during these interviews, then he will return to his Internet/radio platform and revert to the name-calling and slander that has become his trademark. For some reason Stelter didn’t know this and seemed as if he were interviewing someone he had never heard of or researched. It was downright painful to watch.

In the course of the interview, Beck said that he has always hated politics and has been moving away from it on his radio program and his Internet site, The Blaze. To drive home the point he asserted that “I don’t have time for politicians anymore.” However, if you go to The Blaze now you will see that all of the top stories are political. And on his radio program he has been actively supporting politicians including Matt Bevin (who lost the GOP senate primary in Kentucky to Mitch McConnell), Chris McDaniel (who lost the GOP senate primary in Mississippi to Thad Cochran), and David Brat (who defeated GOP House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in the Virginia primary). Beck recently enthused about his choice of Texas senator Ted Cruz as “Man of the Year.” And just prior to the presidential election in 2012, Beck said that

“…if America reelects Obama then God’s response must be that ‘we have to be destroyed because we will be a remarkable evil on this planet.'”

It’s one thing to express opposition to a political candidate. It is something entirely different to call on God Almighty to destroy a country for making a free democratic decision. But that is typical of Beck’s extremist rhetoric that he seeks to disguise when appearing with people like Stelter. A prepared journalist would have held Beck accountable for his hypocrisy when saying things like…

“I think we’re a country in a civil war – a cold civil war. Shooting hasn’t started, but somebody stupid is going to do something stupid and it will escalate unless we talk to each other.”

Stelter did make a weak effort to have Beck respond to the inherently violent nature of that suggestion, but immediately let him off the hook. And Stelter never mentioned the fact that the shooting has actually begun in places like Nevada where a couple of Tea Party terrorists murdered two police officers after spending a few days with deadbeat rancher Cliven Bundy and his revolutionary militia brigade who aimed their weapons at agents of the Bureau of Land Management.

Beck took this interview opportunity to absolve himself of responsibility for the divisiveness that he has infected our culture with. And not satisfied with denying his own culpability, he laid the blame on “everybody else.” No, seriously. He actually pointed his bony finger of incrimination at the whole world, with the possible exception of one notable peacenik.

“I look at the things that I’ve done that have been good, and I look at the things I’ve done that, unintentionally… I feel I’ve added – we all have, all of us – have added to the situation that we’re in right now. Not a single member of our society – maybe the Dalai Lama – but everybody else has played a role in this.

Bullshit! It is YOU, Glenn. You have spent years feeding the raw meat of hatred to your dimwitted disciples knowing full well that they would eat it up and reward you handsomely for their feast. The vast majority of this Earth’s inhabitants are not hostile bigots like you, and they have not contributed to the situation we’re in. They are the victims of the situation that you purposefully created. And it doesn’t do any good to seek forgiveness by admitting to Stelter that you have “said stupid things” if you follow that up by saying that, given the chance, “I would do exactly the same thing.”

That isn’t remorse. It’s arrogance and pride, and conceit. And you should be ashamed for the singular role you have played in exploiting peoples prejudices and fears, and inciting them to violence. You haven’t changed. You are just pathetically pushing a phony rebranding of your destructive message in the hopes of broadening the base of suckers willing to make you an even wealthier hate monger. And it’s too bad that Stelter, a normally astute observer of the media, got sucked into the black hole of your promotional campaign.

Fox Nation vs. Reality: On Abandoning Israel – Who Says Obama Has Been “Terrific”

OK, first of all this is not an article about the tragic conflict in the Middle East that has been raging for decades. There will be no taking of sides or opinionating on blame. This is about how Fox News purposefully contorts their coverage to make President Obama look bad. Of course, that isn’t exactly breaking news either.

Fox Nation

SFor more documented examples of Fox lies…
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The headline at the top of the lie-riddled Fox Nation website purports to convey a warning from Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to President Obama: “Netanyahu to White House: Don’t Second Guess Me Again.” There are a couple of problems with that headline. First of all, Netanyahu did not direct that comment to the White White House. He was on a conference call with the diplomats at the State Department. Secondly, it was not a warning. It was more of an I-told-you-so relating to the recent 72 hour cease fire that Hamas violated within ninety minutes. Netahyahu was making the point that he was correct when he expressed doubts about the trustworthiness of Hamas.

But what really stands out is that Fox News chose to feature this remark on Sunday in their most prominent position while failing to even report another comment from Netanyahu. The “second-guess” comment occurred on Friday. On Saturday Netanyahu held a news conference where he delivered a very different message:

“In a news conference Saturday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel would take all the time it needs to eradicate the threat of Hamas from Gaza. He did not mention the scheduled truce talks but did say the U.S. has been “terrific and has given us tremendous support during the Gaza crisis.”

Fox News made an editorial decision to keep this statement of solidarity and appreciation a secret from their audience. It’s just another reason why their audience is so dreadfully ignorant of the world around them. But it isn’t surprising for Fox News. They have long sought to invent some sort of animosity between Obama and Netanyahu. Here are just a few of their recent headlines:

  • Fox Nation: Candidly Speaking: Obama Is Abandoning Israel
  • Greta: Is President Obama ‘abandoning’ Israel?
  • Fox News: MH17, Israel invasion: Mr. Obama, abandoning our allies isn’t a strategy, it’s a disaster
  • Fox Nation: Israeli Journalist: Obama Has Abandoned Israel, Kerry ‘Hurting Us’
  • Fox News: Why Obama has abandoned Israel and Jews should abandon Obama

This isn’t a coincidence. It’s a strategy. Fox News is so determined to demean our President that they don’t care if doing so undermines U.S. foreign policy or exacerbates the harm to victims of a brutal war. That tells you something about where Fox’s priorities lie.

Stupid On Purpose: Fox News Demonstrates Willful Ignorance Of Economics

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

Fox Nation

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

For the record, median, in this context, is referring to the dollar value of the subject’s net worth. It has nothing to do with the number of subjects in that value range. In fact, there are many more people on the lower end of the wealth spectrum than the upper end. Therefore, median does not translate to typical. As an example, if Bill Gates (net worth approx. $50 billion) were in a room with ten people whose net worth were $1 million each, the average net worth of the people in that room would be about $4.5 billion. Obviously, that is not the typical net worth of those people.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fox News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Glenn Beck Common Core

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reagan vs. Obama

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fox News

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

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

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

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

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

The Real Objective…

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

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

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

Speaking of shameless book peddling, have you read
Fox Nation vs. Reality? It’s Available now at Amazon.

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

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

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

Fox Nation Poll

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fox Nation Comments

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

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

Fox Nation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Darrell Issa

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fox News - Bill O'Reilly

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

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

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

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

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

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