AMERICAN SPRING: Fox News Joins The Crackpot Parade In DC

Today is the day that Tea Party Patriots and Bundy Militiamen nationwide are supposed to be descending on Washington, D.C. to overthrow the Marxist, Muslim, Kenyan usurper in the formerly “White” House, along with his evil henchmen Joe Biden, Eric Holder, John Boehner, and more. Organizers promised a minimum of 10 million dedicated revolutionaries, and up to 30 million. The attendance would be so overwhelming that President Obama and the other defilers of the Constitution would be forced from office, leaving patriots like Ted Cruz, Allen West, and Jim DeMint to fill the void. So how are these Founding Frothers doing?

American Spring

Any objective analysis of that photo from today’s massive rally would have to concede that the American Spring was a resounding success. They drew at least three billion protesters, if you count the disembodied voices in their heads. And this historical achievement could not have been realized without the help of Fox News.

Fox Nation American Spring

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Admittedly, Fox came to the party a little late. But they did show up, and their contribution provided both promotion and helpful dishonesty. The headline pasted atop their lie-riddled Fox Nation website read “Militias Marching On DC.” The article was sourced to the “Moonie” Washington Times and made no effort to validate the claim that Militias, or anybody else, were marching on DC, or anywhere else. However, it was chock-full of pseudo-patriotic hyperbole and overtly violent rhetoric.

“A group of self-described revolutionary-style patriots with a million mobilized militia members are heading to downtown Washington, D.C., this week to bring a simple message to political leadership, from President Obama to House Speaker John Boehner: ‘Get out.'” [...]

“The group expects between 10 million and 30 million similarly thinking Americans to meet them in the capital on Friday for a rally that’s being billed as a sort of “Arab Spring” for Americans.” [...]

[Organizer Col. Harry] Riley said he hopes the event will go forward peaceably, but that so far, peaceful protests haven’t brought citizens much luck. He also said that more than 1 million militia members have already mobilized for the event — and that projections of 10 million to attend aren’t pie in the sky.” [...]

“We have no faith in the ballot box any longer.”

The organizers of the American Spring, or as Rachel Maddow calls it, “Big Nutball Day,” must be so proud of their achievement. Inspiring this kind of outpouring of support for treason isn’t as easy as it sounds. Perhaps they might have been even more successful if they had advertised the event as the “American Spring Break.” That sort of promotion could have doubled the turnout, complete with videos of “Patriots Gone Wild” and girls dressed up as Betsy Ross flashing their boobs in wet TEA shirt contests.

WND Nutcase Urges Tea Party To Launch 24 Hour Birther News Network

The ultra right-wing WorldNetDaily website published an article today with the promising title, Good Riddance To The Dying ‘Mainstream’ Media.” Indeed, much of the corporate dominated press that controls about 90% of what is disseminated through television, radio, print, and the Internet, is hopelessly biased and/or lacking in substance. Polls show that respect for the media is at historically low levels, and many outlets are losing audience in droves.

Monckton Birther News

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However, WND has an entirely different take on what is troubling the media. Lord Christopher Monckton (that’s right, “Lord”), the author of the article, is convinced that it is the left that is responsible for the decline of the Fourth Estate. He asserts that…

“The first duty of your average Marxist journalist (and that means most of them) is to report the news in a way that furthers the global spread of a single narrow, outdated political prejudice.”

As the primary example of that prejudice, Monckton asks us to “Consider the question of the Obama ‘birth certificate,'” which he insists is inauthentic. That’s because Monckton is an unabashed Birther who has been steadfastly committed to exposing President Obama as a fraud from Kenya, no matter how many times that stubborn and implausible myth has been debunked. And he blames the media for failing to inform the people, saying that they “have never subjected the ‘birth certificate’ to scrutiny.”

But Monckton’s bent toward conspiracy theorism does not end with Birther delusions. He is also a fervent denier of climate change, which he regards as a hoax. And just as with the Birther contrivance, the media is wholeheartedly behind the deception that the planet is warming, complete with the concurrence of 97% of the world’s scientists who have studied the phenomenon. Monckton accuses the media of “refusing to print any comments or letters to the editor on climate change, if those letters in any way call into question the official version of the science.”

As a result of his dissatisfaction with what he regards as the Marxist media, Monckton has a proposal to address the imbalance and biases of the press. He begins by declaring the conservative wing of journalism to be too cowardly to stand up to their leftist oppressors. And this is where it gets really fun:

“Why, for instance, has Fox News not dared to tackle the birth-certificate question in any depth. The reason is that, though it is generally fair and balanced, it is no longer unafraid. The intolerance of the left knows no bounds. They did not like Glenn Beck’s exposure of the ACORN scandal, so they hounded him and bullied his advertisers till he was forced out.

“Everyone else at Fox is now running scared. The standard Saul Alinsky tactic of viciously and persistently attacking the reputations of any who dare to oppose the left works all too well.

Exactly! Notice that Fox News never ever criticizes the President or Democrats over health care, or Benghazi, or the IRS, or Benghazi, or Ukraine, or Benghazi, or voter fraud, or Benghazi, or welfare, or taxes, or oil pipelines, or gun control. And did I mention Benghazi? As for the birth certificate, Fox never mentions that either, except when they do, repeatedly. So what is Monckton’s solution?

“The tea-party movement would justify its existence if it were now to establish a 24-hour TV news channel sufficiently independent of its advertisers and staffed by sufficiently tough-minded journalists that the bully-boys and Obots would be unable to frighten as they have frightened Fox.”

Just think of it. Twenty fours a day of Sheriff Arpaio and Donald Trump frothing at the mouth with condemnations of the Kenyan usurper in the formerly “White” House. They could bring Glenn Beck back to the airwaves with his unique brand of politi-vangelism and allusions to Nazis lurking in every shadow. Sarah Palin could host a conservative cooking show where she would feature her “word salad” inanities. Ted Nugent could take viewers on hunting safaris where the prey are wild liberals, which he has actually proposed.

Monckton’s network would be one that combined the best of televised snake oil ministries and a paranoia-infected, politically-deranged Game of Thrones. How could it miss? Well, they might want to check with the three other far-right networks that have tried to become the alternatives to the ultra-liberal Fox News: NewsmaxTV, Kelsey Grammer’s RightNetwork, and One America News Network, courtesy of the “Moonie” Washington Times. Well, they could check with them if they could find them.

George Soros Talks About Civil Society: Fox News FREAKS OUT!

This week has already started off with more than its share of absurdly delusional ravings from the usual roster of right-wing fear mongers. Karl Rove is asserting that Hillary Clinton has brain damage. His Fox News colleagues grossly misquoted former Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner as saying that Obama aides asked him to lie. The uber-rightist Washington Free Beacon falsely accused Sen. Elizabeth Warren of fundraising off of Benghazi (something the right has been doing relentlessly). And now the wingnut press is all ferklempt over a public appearance by their favorite progressive puppet master, George Soros.

Fox Nation

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The latest atrocity being committed by Soros is that he has accepted an invitation from Secretary of State John Kerry to speak at a forum for State Department personnel. The subject of the speech will be “strengthening civil society, democracy and the world economy.” Clearly a villainous plot is being hatched. At least that’s the view of the Washington Free Beacon (again) that funneled this story to Fox News. The Beacon’s article alleged that Soros is using his political connections to further foreign policy goals that will enhance the billionaire’s already substantial wealth:

“Critics say Soros leverages his political connections to increase the returns on his investments. [...] The administration’s proposal to offer incentives to companies that use trucks powered by natural gas would benefit Westport Innovations, a company that converts diesel engines for natural gas use and is partially owned by Soros’ hedge fund.”

The example cited by the Beacon is laughably idiotic. The Soros Fund owns about 5.26% of the shares of Westport Innovations. That makes his stake worth about $30 million dollars. The Soros Fund, however, has a valuation of close to $30 billion. Therefore, this stock represents about one-tenth of one percent of his total holdings. And on the basis of that minuscule investment, the Beacon believes that Soros is “pulling strings at the State Department.” Furthermore, The Soros Fund is far more heavily invested in conventional energy and oil concerns including Halliburton, which is the eight largest holding in his portfolio.

This is the sort of trivia that conservatives need to latch onto because they haven’t got anything of substance to bring to contemporary political debates. It’s the reason that they spent four years lying about ObamaCare (aka the Affordable Care Act), and when those attacks fizzled as the program exceeded all expectations of success, they switched to hysterically screeching about Benghazi.

For the record: The Washington Free Beacon that is now so outraged that a wealthy businessman is engaged in political advocacy, is the creation of Republican Party honchos and is closely affiliated with the billionaire Koch brothers, a relationship that the Beacon is careful to keep under wraps. But just last week News Corpse posted an article outlining the stark differences between right and left wing millionaires that included a revealing poll of America’s wealthy.

Fox News: Fair And Balanced? A Great Point If It Were True

Every now and then Fox News blurts out tiny, but perceptible, snippets of truth, often when they don’t even realize it. Such a moment occurred yesterday on The Five as Eric Bolling (of the Bloody Hand) launched into an error-riddled tirade against the Obama administration’s remarks following the terrorist attack in Benghazi.

Fox News Great Point

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In the course of Bolling’s frothy outrage, he sought to illustrate his point that Obama, whose administration is responsible for capturing or killing more terrorists than Bush ever imagined, is weak on terror with a reference to the deadly raid on Osama Bin Laden. Here is the delightfully loopy exchange between Bolling and his co-host Dana Perino:

Bolling: There’s one more piece of this. Don’t forget this was prior, PRIOR, to Osama Bin Laden being taken down. And the thought was, is President Obama going into the election soft of terror or not? And a lot of people are saying [to Perino] It was after?
Perino: Much after. Yeah, a year.
Bolling: OK, I take it back.
Perino: A great point if it were true.

Indeed. What a great point that would have been if hadn’t been made up by an imbecile who doesn’t even bother to check the most basic facts. This was not a careless mistake in the course of an unrehearsed discussion. Bolling was reading from a prepared text. And the casual dismissal of his flagrant blunder, that he would simply “take it back,” demonstrates the lack of seriousness he has for factual reporting. It’s that cavalier attitude that Stephen Colbert highlighted last night (video below) when addressing the same segment and Perino’s odd compliment that the point would be great, but for the triviality that it was false:

Colbert: That’s undeniable. A great point and a fantastic new motto: Fox News. Fair and balanced. A Great point if it were true. Still I’ve gotta give a wag of my finger to Dana Perino. Why did you correct him? Bolling was pulling a passionate heartfelt conspiracy theory straight out of his ass. You don’t interrupt a man in mid yank. That’s rude.

Ordinarily, no one on Fox News is corrected that quickly (or at all) when they make ridiculous mistakes or tell obvious lies. That’s because their mission is to spread disinformation, not to inform. Bolling’s commentary was a part of Fox’s standard operating procedure and, if anything, Perino was off script and likely rebuked for her correction after the show. But Fox has recovered their composure and restored their focus on defaming Obama and the Democrats. As evidence of this, note the segment that aired this morning that brought all of the current Fox-hyped pseudo-scandals together in one package:

Fox News GOP Links Dems

And here, for your viewing pleasure, is the segment from the Colbert Report:

FLASHBACK: Fox News Admits The Benghazi Myth Was ‘Pushed’ By CEO Roger Ailes

Somewhere in the bowels of the Republican led Congress, Speaker John Boehner and his lieutenants are plotting the formation of a strictly partisan committee to dredge up more slanderous falsehoods about the tragedy in Benghazi nearly two years ago. It’s the continuation of an effort that has produced zero evidence of any wrongdoing by the administration after months-long hearings by four other committees, as well as several investigations by independent agencies.

Fox News Ailes Benghazi

The Select Committee on Benghazi, to be chaired by a raving wingnut, is a gift to Fox News who has been lobbying for such a panel for more than a year. Leading that campaign is Fox’s own chairman and CEO, Roger Ailes. And if there were any doubt that this agenda was set by his directive, this video from May of 2013 should put that to rest:

Notable from this year-old broadcast is Fox anchor Steve Doocy’s remarks that proudly brag about the role that Fox and Ailes played in “pushing” the phony story.

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

However, Doocy’s victory dance to celebrate Fox’s success in exposing malfeasance in the White House may have been somewhat premature. A year later there is still no evidence of anything untoward by President Obama or his team. And now that the economy has seen significant growth, unemployment has dropped to 6.3%, and ObamaCare has enrolled over eight million Americans, it must be time to opportunistically reprise the Benghazi affair. [And, by the way, the Daily Show is still mocking you]

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

This makes it all the more curious that Fox News is now feverishly chattering about a another White House email that allegedly discusses how the administration will respond to attacks by Fox News. Fox’s Catherine Herridge is aghast that such an email exists and that she can’t get her hands on it.

Fox News Email

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Setting aside the fact that every administration engages in media strategy, and that those discussions are legitimately confidential, Fox should be the network that is least surprised by this activity considering their aggressive attack posture with regard to this president.

When you have the CEO of a “news” network openly orchestrating negative coverage for a media enterprise that revels in anti-Obama hysteria, you cannot pretend to be surprised if the victims of those assaults choose to fight back from time to time.

Benghazi Committee Commences As Phony Fox News Scandal Falls Apart

The Republican House Speaker, John Boehner, announced today that he has chosen the rabidly partisan South Carolina Tea Party congressman, Trey Gowdy, to chair a special committee to waste more time and money investigating their trumped up Benghazi scandal. In naming Gowdy, Boehner praised his determination and desire for truth saying that…

“Trey Gowdy is as dogged, focused, and serious-minded as they come. I know he shares my commitment to get to the bottom of this tragedy.”

Gowdy Doody

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

With the appointment of Gowdy, Republicans will have an attack dog in charge of the panel who has demonstrated his bitterly prejudiced views on this subject. Here are just a few of his past comments regarding the issue he is now pretending to seek the truth about:

  • 4/28/2013: There are more Benghazi hearings coming; I think they’re going to be explosive. [That never came to pass]
  • 5/7/2013: I think I can prove tomorrow that it was an intentional misrepresentation by Susan Rice and others. [That was a year ago, and still no proof]
  • 8/2/2013: What creates the appearance and perhaps the reality of a cover-up? Not letting us talk with people who have the most amount of information, dispersing them around the country and changing their names. [Here he is descending into a delusional conspiracy theory for which he provided no evidence]
  • 12/31/2013: What in the world explains the violence in Benghazi prior to the video being translated and released? Our consulate was attacked way before the video was released. [And this is just patently false]

This background on the man who will be chairing the committee shows that Boehner and his party are not really taking this matter seriously. It is a desperate attempt to dig up some political mud to throw, to tarnish the prospective presidential candidacy of Hillary Clinton in 2016, and to salvage Boehner’s sinking reputation with the far-right fringe of his party whom he needs if he wants to be Speaker in the next session of congress.

Adding to the absurdity of convening a special committee on Benghazi is that the foundation of the GOP’s case keeps collapsing. Just as Gowdy’s predictions from a year ago never materialized, the most recent allegations are likewise illusory. The email that has become the object of their obsession reveals nothing new and doesn’t even refer to Benghazi in the portion they have latched onto. So now some Republicans are swerving to claim that the real outrage is the whereabouts of President Obama when the attack in Libya was taking place, and whether or not he was in the Situation Room at the White House. The only problem with that line of attack is that it is utterly irrelevant to anything. Even when Gretchen Carlson of Fox News tried to light that sparkler, she was doused by Andy Card, George W. Bush’s Chief of Staff:

Carlson: Did you find it unusual that the National Security Adviser, the former one, a few days ago with Bret Baier said that President Obama was not in the Situation Room on the night of the Benghazi attacks? Is that odd or is that normal?

Card: I don’t think that says a lot. The President does not have to be in the Situation Room at every time with every crisis. [...] I don’t think that it’s credible that we would expect, as the the pubic, that the President would be sitting in the Situation Room all the time.

This is the environment in which the Republican’s new committee will meet. They have nothing of substance to contribute. Democrats are considering boycotting the committee. That would be a wise move that would leave the GOP to stink in their juices.

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The result will be that the GOP will be seen by the American people to have no case, no integrity, and no interest in solving the problems that the people really care about. And if Benghazi is the issue they hope to run with in 2014 – or 2016 – they are going to be sorely disappointed when the returns come in. And they will be able to thank Fox News for their losses. After all, it was Fox, and their CEO Roger Ailes, who masterminded the Benghazi myth and worked tirelessly to prop it up.

foxnews-ailes-benghazi

Fox Nation vs. Reality: Insignificant New Email Reignites Benghazi Tourettes On Fox News

No “news” network has been more committed to promoting rumors and conspiracy theories than Fox News. And the most persistent fake scandal in the Fox News Bucket-o-Bullcrap is the allegation that the Obama administration attempted some sort of cover up following the terror attack on the United States facility in Benghazi, Libya. Still, after more than a year of congressional hearings, and independent investigations by government agencies and the press, there has not been a shred of evidence linking the White House to anything improper.

However, that record of abject failure isn’t enough to dissuade Fox News from continuing its crusade against President Obama and his staff. The latest spark that is firing up Fox & Co. is an email that was released by the conservative activists at JudicialWatch. The email itself reveals nothing new. In fact, it reiterates information that has been publicly available for months and has been affirmed by the intelligence community. Nevertheless, Fox is unleashing a flood of phony stories that serve no purpose other than to distort the facts and enrage their pitifully ill-informed audience.

Fox Nation Benghazi Tourettes

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What Fox News and other Obama antagonists regard as the smoking gun is a single sentence (out of 112 pages) that they falsely connect to events in Benghazi. In that sentence Deputy National Security Adviser David Rhodes writes that among the goals of UN Ambassador Susan Rice, as she prepared for a series of Sunday morning news interviews, were “To underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video and not a broader failure of policy.”

However, what is left out by Fox, JudicialWatch, and virtually every right-wing pundit to comment on this, is that the email was not referring exclusively to events in Benghazi at all. It was a response to the much broader set of events in the Middle East including those in Libya, Egypt, Yemen, etc. This was expressed explicitly in another section of the documents that read “Clearly there are protests that are taking place in different countries around the world that are responding to the movie that was circulated on the Internet.”

It is unambiguously true that most of the unrest that was occurring contemporaneous to the attack in Benghazi was incited by the anti-Muslim video posted online by a raving American Islamaphobe preacher. No one, not even the deliberately deceitful folks at Fox News, dispute that.

So what we have now is Fox News pretending that the Rhodes email was related only to Benghazi when all the evidence shows that this is not the case. They have relaunched their 24/7 Grand Benghazi-thon wherein virtually their entire broadcast consists of nothing but Benghazi, and specifically their purposeful misrepresentation of this newly released email.

Over at their Fox Nation website they are suffering another seizure of Benghazi Tourettes. As of this writing there are nine separate articles posted on this one story. For reference, there are no stories posted about the GOP blocking the minimum wage bill, or the crisis in the Ukraine, or the devastating tornadoes in the Mid-West. On Fox Nation the only story of any significance is the trumped up Benghazi scandal. And the only thing that brings it back to prominence is an email whose contents Fox is lying about.

Koch Brothers Front Group Feeds Fox News Phony Figures On Voter Fraud

A report by Fox News alleges that “Over 40,000 voters are registered in both Virginia and Maryland.” It’s a shocking statistic that stirs fears of massive election fraud that could sway the results of pivotal campaigns and upset the balance of power in Congress.

Koch/Fox News

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There’s just one problem with this report: There is no evidence that any of it is true. Fox News cites as their source an organization (Watchdog.org) that purports to be a news enterprise, but is actually a strand of the tangled web of political and media affiliates funded by the notorious Koch brothers.

Watchdog.org provided Fox News with a story about voter registration in Virginia that implies that thousands of Virginia voters are illegally voting twice in Maryland, saying that…

“A crosscheck of voter rolls in Virginia and Maryland turned up 44,000 people registered in both states, a vote-integrity group reported Wednesday.”

In fact, the data referenced in the report only identifies registrations with similar names, but it does not assert that they are the same people. In addition, it would not be unusual to find numerous cases where people re-registered after having moved from Virginia to Maryland, which is perfectly legal so long as they do not cast votes in both precincts. Even the president of the group that provided the data acknowledges that…

“…the number of voters who actually cast multiple ballots is relatively small. In the case of Maryland and Virginia, he revealed that 164 people voted in both states during the 2012 election.”

So 164 people, out of 44,000 registered voters, are alleged to have voted in both states, although they were more than likely different people with similar names. Yet this utterly insignificant and unfounded assertion of election fraud was elevated by Fox News to a scandal of huge proportions. And this isn’t the first time. Just last week Bill O’Reilly offered a slightly different version of the same story. In his broadcast he referred to allegedly duplicate voter registrations in North Carolina and other states, but his story had the same flaws as the Virginia story.

As for Watchdog.org, News Corpse reported on their propaganda wire service last year finding that…

“Watchdog.org is actually a right-wing, propaganda-spewing project that is funded by the Koch brothers through their Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity. It is an unabashedly partisan source of slanted opinions and attack pieces. [...] A quick Google search on Fox News, and their related Fib Factory Fox Nation, turned up dozens of previous Watchdog-sourced articles that were published by Fox. Many of these articles are hit pieces on unions and environmental science, two issues that deeply interest the Koch brothers whose businesses have fought workers rights and have contributed to dirtying the air and water of every place they have a presence. In none of the articles did Fox provide disclosure of the Koch affiliation to the reporting.”

This is one of the great advantages of being a billionaire who can bankroll a phony news service and funnel the fictional propaganda to friendly media. And by taking the tainted stories from a biased source with vested interests, Fox News proves again that it is nothing more than a PR agency for Republicans and the conservative agenda.

So F**king What! Fox Nation Fixates On Jay Carney’s ‘Commie’ Art

Fox Nation is a website that traffics in the most pure form of propaganda the American news media has ever produced. On a daily basis they disseminate lies and slander aimed at their ideological enemies (which is anyone to the left of Attila the Hun). Which makes it all the more ironic that they are now hyperventilating over a piece of historical art that was hung in the kitchen of Press Secretary Jay Carney’s home.

Fox Nation

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A fluffy human interest piece in the Washingtonian Magazine profiled Carney’s wife, journalist Claire Shipman. The feature included a photograph of the Carney’s at home making breakfast. But lurking in the background was evidence of the nefarious associations that everyone in the Obama administration has to the dark evil of communism. So, of course, Fox Nation posts an item that points the bony finger of accusation and bellows that “Jay Carney Decorates Home With Soviet Propaganda.”

In fact, the artwork in question is a classic example of Russian Constructivism from the 1930’s. It is a historically significant period style that is collected by art connoisseurs and museums. The specific piece was created by a well known Russian artist, Dmitry Moor and was used as a recruiting poster in Russia’s war against Hitler and the Nazi regime of Germany, in much the same way the United States used its “Uncle Sam, I Want You” posters.

As usual, Fox Nation leaves out all of the relevant context that might inform their readers about the subject on which they pretend to report. That’s because the mission of Fox News is never to inform, but to indoctrinate. In this case, Fox omitted the fact that Carney and his wife first met while on assignment in Moscow for their respective news agencies, Time Magazine and CNN. Adding that factoid to the story makes the presence of the poster less ominous and more romantic. Also, Fox chose to only publish a version of the Russian artwork (and the wrong version at that) rather than the actual photo from the Washingtonian that reveals a rather charming and thoroughly American family enjoying their morning at home.

Carney Family

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Frightening, aren’t they? And notice that they are engaged in some sort of witchcraft, cackling as they mysteriously levitate chicken embryos.

For Fox Nation to get so flustered by this innocent display of artwork is typical of their efforts to take the most petty trivialities and blow them up into subversive acts of villainy. And while the Fox Nationalists froth at the mouth over art of a bygone age that offends no one, they are never bothered in the least by present day American Tea Party rightists who wave the Confederate flag that still represents slavery and oppression to millions.

[Update 4/13/2014] Not surprisingly, the Kiddie Crew on the Curvy Couch of Fox & Friends regurgitated the inane criticism of the Carney family’s decor. But host Tucker Carlson inexplicably made an argument that implied his frustration at not being able to display his Nazi posters saying, “Why is it OK to put Soviet propaganda posters up but not Nazi propaganda posters?” Poor Tucker. He will probably have to keep his KKK posters locked up in the garage too.

It’s Official: James O’Keefe’s Videos Are Legally ‘Political Disinformation’

In February of this year, the unrepentant liar and alleged pervert, James O’Keefe, released another in his series of dishonest, pseudo-journalistic video escapades. In it he falsely asserted that Battleground Texas, a local organization that promotes voter participation, had violated state laws while registering citizens to vote.

James O'Keefe

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The News Corpse analysis of the video proved that O’Keefe was badly misinterpreting the law and making unfounded accusations against civic-minded volunteers. That is the hallmark of his body of work as a lying propagandist. And he almost always attacks people or organizations that seek to assist the poor or other disadvantaged constituencies. The aforementioned analysis said in part that…

“What O’Keefe did was to clip a portion of the Texas election code that says ‘The registrar may not transcribe, copy, or otherwise record a telephone number furnished on a registration application.’ What he either fails to understand, or is deliberately misrepresenting, is that this section of the law applies only to the Registrar of Voters and other county officials. It does not apply to the volunteers or organizations that distribute and collect voter registration forms.”

Now a team of Special Prosecutors in Texas have affirmed that O’Keefe’s video hackery fails to expose any wrongdoing on the part of Battleground Texas. It can’t be over-stressed that these are Texas-based prosecutors who were assigned by a Texan judge to investigate the charges raised by O’Keefe in his video project. The prosecutors report concluded that…

“The Veritas video was little more than a canard and political disinformation. The video was particularly unprofessional when it suggested that the actions of Battleground Texas were advocated by a Texas gubernatorial candidate and the that actions of a single volunteer deputy registrar may even involve private health data, which is not involved in the voter registration process.”

The report also explicitly addressed the question of whether the Texas election code prohibited the transcription of voter data, including phone numbers. What they concluded, with citations from the current Texas Attorney General (who is running for governor against Democrat Wendy Davis), is that the “statutory provision applies only to the official county registrar, not to a volunteer deputy registrar.” And that just happens to validate the analysis published here on News Corpse two months ago.

The Special Prosecutors closed their report with a recommendation that “the complaint be dismissed for insufficient evidence and failure to state an offense.” The judge agreed and signed the order to dismiss. This marks only the most recent embarrassment for O’Keefe who regularly engages in fraudulent activity in pursuit of his radical, partisan agenda. Some of his other antics have resulted in his arrest and conviction in a Louisiana senator’s office and a legal order to pay a $100,000 settlement to a former ACORN employee he defamed. He himself has broken voter registration laws in a failed attempt to defend suppressive voter ID legislation. And let’s not forget his sleazy plot to seduce a CNN reporter aboard his “Love Boat.”

O’Keefe has not yet commented on this ruling that certifies his blatantly unethical behavior. It is also notable that none of the media outlets that promoted O’Keefe’s lie-riddled video have bothered to report this legal development. Apparently they don’t think it is newsworthy that their trusted source has been deemed a purveyor of “political disinformation” by Texas legal authorities. Amongst those who giddily peddled O’Keefe’s video, but now ignore the legal smackdown, were National Review, Breitbart News, WorldNetDaily, NewsBusters, FreedomWorks, The Daily Caller, Townhall, and Human Events. And of course, Fox News also hyped the video on their Fox Nation (a website that regularly spreads political disinformation and outright lies). This is to be expected from the conservative media circus that is only there to distort and confuse rather than to inform.

ABSOLUTELY UN-AMERICAN: Fox News And Darrell Issa Squelch Democrats In IRS Hearing

In an extraordinary hearing Wednesday morning, Republicans put on a display of tyrannical suppression of speech that would make the Taliban green with envy.

Fox News

Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee (and recidivist criminal), called to order a hearing on allegations that the IRS targeted conservative groups for enhanced scrutiny on their applications for tax-exempt status. The sole item on the agenda was testimony from former IRS official Lois Lerner. Lerner had previously notified the committee that she would be exercising her Fifth Amendment right to decline to answer questions. Ignoring that, Issa scheduled the hearing anyway as a sideshow that he hoped would embarrass his Democratic colleagues. His strategy blew up in his face.

After making a five minute opening statement, Issa proceeded to ask a series of questions, each time eliciting the same response from Lerner saying that, on advice of counsel, she was exercising her constitutional right to decline to answer. Since Issa already knew that Lerner would not be testifying, it is clear that his only purpose was to hear himself ask a bunch of questions that he framed to imply something incriminating. But it’s what happened next that demonstrates just how disreputable and dictatorial Issa is. [Full video of the hearing via C-SPAN]

Upon completing his opening statement and faux inquiry, the committee’s ranking Democrat, Elijah Cummings, began his opening statement, as is the practice of congressional proceedings. However, Issa immediately cut him off and ordered the hearing adjourned. Issa did not permit Cummings, or any other Democrat to utter a single word on the record. And after silencing Cummings, Issa stomped out of the hearing room.

Not surprisingly, this outraged Cummings who insisted on having his time to address the committee and the witness. Whereupon Issa instructed his staff to cut Cummings microphone off. Cummings valiantly persevered without a mic and made his objections known. He pointed out that Issa’s behavior was one-sided, wrong, and “absolutely un-American.”

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The coverage on Fox News of this shameful display of Republican hubris was pretty much what you might expect. Fox broadcast most of Issa’s opening statement and questions. Then, when Cummings began to speak, Fox curtailed their coverage after showing a brief portion of the dust-up between Issa and Cummings. Fox did not show any of the remarks Cummings made after Issa walked out of the room. Ironically, Fox host Martha MacCallum said that “We’re trying to give equal time to both of these gentlemen here.” Apparently equal time on Fox News is seven uninterrupted minutes of a Republican harangue and 42 seconds of a Democratic response.

Following the hearing, the same measure of biased coverage occurred when Issa and Cummings addressed the press. Fox again broadcast Issa’s press conference in its entirety, but cut away as Cummings approached the same podium from which Issa had just finished speaking. Fox aired none of Cummings remarks to the press. [Full video of the press avails via C-SPAN]

To matters even worse, Fox aired a segment about the hearing shortly afterward with a reporter from U.S. News and World Report. In addressing concerns by Lerner that she was getting death threats, Fox host Jon Scott made this unbelievably grotesque comment:

“I can see why if you’re getting death threats, maybe you wouldn’t want to open yourself up to more scrutiny. But at the same time, it would seem that answering some of the questions might cause some of these people who are so angry to ease up if she’s got legitimate answers for why the IRS did what it did.”

In other words, just comply with the demands of those making death threats and maybe they won’t kill you. See? Problem solved.

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After numerous hearings, testimony from more than three dozen IRS employees, and review of thousands of pages of documents, the Issa Inquisition has proven none of its allegations about corruption, partisanship, or White House involvement. What Issa has proven is that he is a brazenly dishonest hack who has repeatedly deceived the public and the media by issuing reports and releasing documents that he purposefully manipulated to create a falsely negative impression of malfeasance by Democrats. In the process he would systematically remove any data that contradicted his fictional version of events.

As for Fox News, they could not have been more obviously biased in their coverage of this affair. In all they broadcast about a quarter hour of Issa’s propaganda and less than a minute of the Democratic side of the debate. What’s more, they are already promoting appearances by Issa (and only Issa) on Fox News later today. And not once has Fox made note of the fact that Issa, and his GOP led committee, held an unprecedented hearing where only he was allowed to speak.

[Update 3/6/14] The Congressional Black Caucus has put forward a motion to condemn Darrell Issa for his tyrannical abuse of power and to remove him from the chairmanship of the committee. However, Speaker John Boehner has already expressed his continuing support for Issa whom Boehner believes acted appropriately.

Also, Media Matters has obtained and posted the emails that Issa referenced during his sham hearing. Consistent with Issa’s repeated acts of deception and partisan cherry-picking of information to make public, these emails actually prove that IRS director Lois Lerner was taking great pains to avoid any politicization of the agencies activities. As usual, when all the information is made available, it shows that Issa and Co. have lied through their teeth.

IRS Email

WARNING: Climate Science Imposter On The Loose On Fox News

Be On The Lookout: In recent days a disreputable character has been making the rounds on Fox News claiming to be a co-founder of Greenpeace while peddling PR spin straight from the ivory tower suites of the energy industry.

Fox News

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This imposter is Patrick Moore. He was last seen on the Sean Hannity program where he continued to misrepresent his association with Greenpeace. Hannity’s introduction was typically dishonest and dripping with animus as he declared that “For years the left has been spinning their lies about global warming, all in an effort to push through their radical agenda.” And he took full advantage of Moore’s subterfuge by noting that his climate science denial was surprising “coming out of your mouth.” What is surprising is that Moore is getting away with passing himself off as a co-founder of Greenpeace and an environmentalist.

The recent sightings of Moore in the media have been exploited by conservative outlets eager to dismiss the broad agreement in the scientific community that the Earth’s climate is changing at a rapid pace, and that it is caused by human activity. In fact, 97% of the scientists in the field have affirmed this in peer reviewed publications and research.

That hasn’t stopped Moore from conducting his charade wherein he asserts that there is “zero evidence that the earth is warming because of human activity.” His persistence is understandable with the knowledge that he is a paid representative of a variety of nuclear power and energy firms. Without any credentials in the field of climatology, Moore makes broad allegations that are not supported by verified research. Then he invents a vast liberal cabal that he claims is conspiring to build some sort of holy congregation of environmental opportunists:

“It is a powerful convergence of interests among a very large number of elites including politicians who want to make it seem as though they’re saving the world, environmentalists who want to raise money and get control over very large issues like our energy policy, media for sensationalism, universities and professors for grants [...] it is a kind of nasty combination of extreme political ideology and religious cult all rolled into one.”

Contrary to his false identification as a co-founder of Greenpeace, Moore actually became affiliated with the group’s Canadian branch after it was already operating for a year. He left Greenpeace in 1991 to cash in on the lobbying fees he could collect from America’s pollution industries. And that’s what he has been doing for the last twenty-plus years. Greenpeace set the record straight about Moore a couple of years ago refuting any claim that Moore represents Greenpeace. They posted a detailed description on their website that revealed the facts of their past association and Moore’s current pro-pollution activities:

“Patrick Moore, a paid spokesman for the nuclear industry, the logging industry, and genetic engineering industry, frequently cites a long-ago affiliation with Greenpeace to gain legitimacy in the media. Media outlets often either state or imply that Mr. Moore still represents Greenpeace, or fail to mention that he is a paid lobbyist and not an independent source.”

This is just another example of how Fox News deliberately deceives their audience. With full knowledge of the false representations, and utter disregard for the truth that qualified scientists provide, Fox dispenses a litany of lies that keeps their viewers ignorant. For more information about Moore’s deceit, and the cooperation from Fox News and other rightist media organizations in proliferating his hoax, see the analysis by Media Matters.

Congenital Liar James O’Keefe Makes False Charges Of Illegality Against Battleground Texas

James O’Keefe has just released the latest of his long-running series of intentionally deceitful videos. In this episode O’Keefe returns to one of his favorite themes: harassing civic-minded volunteers who commit their time to registering voters and honoring America’s tradition of democracy. If there is one thing that extremist conservatives like O’Keefe hate, it’s people participating in the electoral process or helping others to do so. Especially if they are minorities, the poor, and other disenfranchised citizens.

James O'Keefe

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The new video purports to have captured illegal activity engaged in by volunteers for Battleground Texas, a local organization that promotes voter participation. O’Keefe’s hidden camera records a volunteer named Jennifer Longoria describing a part of the process for engaging voters and encouraging them to turn out on election day. Longoria explains that Battleground Texas keeps contact information gathered from the voter registration forms they collect. It is this practice of saving names and phone numbers that O’Keefe alleges is illegal.

The only problem with O’Keefe’s allegation is that it is utterly false. What O’Keefe did was to clip a portion of the Texas election code that says “The registrar may not transcribe, copy, or otherwise record a telephone number furnished on a registration application.” What he either fails to understand, or is deliberately misrepresenting, is that this section of the law applies only to the Registrar of Voters and other county officials. It does not apply to the volunteers or organizations that distribute and collect voter registration forms. In fact, the Texas Secretary of State website addresses this matter directly in their “Frequently Asked Questions” for volunteers:

Q: May I photocopy a completed application before turning it in to the county voter registrar?

A: No. Section 13.004(c-1) of the Code requires the county voter registrar to ensure that certain information, such as the telephone number, on a registration application is redacted from photocopies of voter registration applications from her office. In our opinion, this means that a photocopy of an application must come directly from the county voter registrar’s office, so that he or she may ensure the required information has been blacked out or otherwise obscured. With that said, we believe that a volunteer deputy registrar may photocopy the receipt. You may also copy the relevant information from the application in writing just as you would be able to do if you went to the registrar’s office and pulled a copy of the original application.

So actual photocopies are not allowed, but manually recording the data is expressly permitted. And that’s all that Battleground Texas is doing. The purpose of the applicable code is to prohibit confidential voter information from being published or otherwise made public by people on the government payroll who could have motive and opportunity to abuse their power. But Battleground Texas is not a government agency, nor are they publishing any of the data. Also, the information defined as confidential is specified in the code and includes things like the social security number and driver’s license number, but not the phone number.

The fact that James O’Keefe is thoroughly shredding the most basic standards of ethical journalism should not surprise anyone. His previous escapades have resulted in his arrest and conviction in a Louisiana senator’s office, and a legal order to pay a $100,000 settlement to a former ACORN employee he defamed. He himself has broken voter registration laws in a failed attempt to defend suppressive voter ID legislation. And let’s not forget his sleazy plot to seduce a CNN reporter aboard his “Love Boat,” or harassment allegations by a former associate that he tried to drug and kidnap her. His videos have been criticized by a broad array of media analysts for editing that blatantly misrepresents reality. Even Glenn Beck condemned his deceptive tactics.

However, what is truly disturbing is that, after having established a reputation as a shameless scam artist, there are still media outlets that provide a platform for his lies. Almost as soon as O’Keefe posted the new video it was picked up by Fox News on their Fox Nation website. From there it was swept up into the conservative media vortex that includes National Review, Breitbart News, WorldNetDaily, NewsBusters, FreedomWorks, The Daily Caller, Townhall, Human Events, TeaPartyOrg, and conspiracy kingpin Alex Jones’ Infowars.

Despite sensationalistic headlines about “Busted Dems,” none of these so-called news enterprises bothered to actually look into the law and ascertain whether a violation had occurred. They have simply taken the word of a known purveyor of falsehoods. That’s because their role is to distort and confuse rather than to inform. And that’s why O’Keefe can always find an outlet through the wingnut-o-sphere to peddle his phony investigations that invariably attack disadvantaged Americans and are a coordinated part of the Republican war on voting. The state of Texas has one of the lowest rates of voter participation in the nation, and O’Keefe and his GOP allies want to keep it that way.

Fox Business Network Debunks Fox News/Koch Brothers ObamaScare Story

From the very first days of the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) Fox News and other right-wing media have work their butts off trying to frighten people away from it. Their ultimate goal is to sabotage the program by suppressing participation. But with more than three million enrollments, and millions more covered by Medicaid or parental plans, the Fox strategy appears to be failing miserably.

That, however, has not dampened their resolve to do damage to the program and the millions of Americans who are already benefiting from it. Recently an ad that was produced by the Koch brothers-financed Americans for Prosperity, featured a Tennessee woman who suffers from Lupus. In the ad Emilie Lamb claims that she was forced from a state-sponsored insurance plan (which conservatives usually oppose) that cost her $57.00 a month, to an ObamaCare plan that cost $373.00. On the surface that sounds pretty awful. But as usual, there is much going on just below the surface.

Fox News

Consumer Reports health care expert Nancy Metcalf, writing for the Fox Business Network, added some necessary context to this story. Her article titled “Don’t be fooled by another ‘Obamacare horror story,'” spells out why Lamb’s claim that her previous policy satisfied her needs may not have been entirely true. For instance, Lamb’s CoverTN plan had a cap of $25,000, but Metcalf notes that most Lupus patients spend far more than that each year for routine medication and doctors visits. If she has a flare up or requires treatment for more severe symptoms, Lamb’s medical expenses could easily exceed six figures. Metcalf writes that…

“Under her old plan, they would not have been covered. Under her new plan, they will be. I used HealthCare.gov’s window-shopping feature to identify what she purchased: a Platinum plan with a $1,500 out-of-pocket limit. There is no deductible, 25 percent coinsurance for pretty much all services, and, most critically, no upper limit on what the plan will pay out for medical care. So if she ever has a complication of her disease, or needs one of those expensive drugs, the most she’ll have to pay out of pocket in a year is $1,500. The insurance company will pick up the rest of the tab, no matter how costly.”

One of the incentives for implementing health insurance reform was the number of bankruptcies filed by working Americans whose insurance failed to cover them after they had the audacity to get sick. While Ms. Lamb is understandably disturbed by the higher premiums she is facing now, it is preferable to a financial (and health) disaster should her disease take a turn for the worse. In addition, the evidence actually suggests that Lamb’s costs will be lower under ObamaCare due the $1,500 annual out of pocket maximum, and the absence of any lifetime cap. Under her previous policy she would be responsible for much more over time.

The Koch brothers and Fox News have been relentlessly hyping this story as proof that ObamaCare has not served patients like Lamb. They have featured it on the air with reports that provide no opinion counter to that of the Fox angle. They have posted it on their lie-riddled community website, Fox Nation. They published an op-ed by Lamb in Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post. So it is somewhat curious that they permitted their hype to be debunked on their little-viewed Fox Business Network website.

This may be their way of buying a little insurance of their own. When the bottom falls out of their propaganda machine, they can claim that they were “fair and balanced” after all. Even though their blurb on the FBN blog can never match the magnitude of their attacks on ObamaCare throughout the rest of their media empire. And don’t expect to see Nancy Metcalf providing Fox News viewers with her analysis anytime soon. She’s not likely to be invited onto the O’Reilly Factor given the factual nature of her reporting.

To Fox, it’s best to keep people like Metcalf segregated to the FBN web ghetto so the Foxbots aren’t exposed to the sort of truthful information that contradicts conservative spin and rattles right-wing media.

New York Times Demolishes Benghazi Hoax – Fox News Freaks Out

After what was described as an “exhaustive investigation” the New York Times has published a report that thoroughly debunks right-wing accounts of attacks on the United States mission in Benghazi on September 11, 2012. The story concludes that there was no direct Al Qaeda involvement and that many of the participants in the attack were motivated by an anti-Islam film, an explanation that Republicans and conservative media had dismissed.

The months following the attack led to a relentless campaign by Fox News and others to promulgate their Benghazi Hoax theory of events, but they were never able to supply the evidence to support their wild accusations against President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, UN Ambassador Susan Rice, and other administration targets of their politically inspired wrath.

Benghazi Hoax

Excerpts from the New York Times article: A Deadly Mix in Benghazi

Months of investigation by The New York Times, centered on extensive interviews with Libyans in Benghazi who had direct knowledge of the attack there and its context, turned up no evidence that Al Qaeda or other international terrorist groups had any role in the assault. The attack was led, instead, by fighters who had benefited directly from NATO’s extensive air power and logistics support during the uprising against Colonel Qaddafi. And contrary to claims by some members of Congress, it was fueled in large part by anger at an American-made video denigrating Islam.

The violence, though, also had spontaneous elements. Anger at the video motivated the initial attack. Dozens of people joined in, some of them provoked by the video and others responding to fast-spreading false rumors that guards inside the American compound had shot Libyan protesters. Looters and arsonists, without any sign of a plan, were the ones who ravaged the compound after the initial attack, according to more than a dozen Libyan witnesses as well as many American officials who have viewed the footage from security cameras.

[O]n Sept. 8, a popular Islamist preacher lit the fuse by screening a clip of the video on the ultraconservative Egyptian satellite channel El Nas. American diplomats in Cairo raised the alarm in Washington about a growing backlash, including calls for a protest outside their embassy.

There is no doubt that anger over the video motivated many attackers. A Libyan journalist working for The New York Times was blocked from entering by the sentries outside, and he learned of the film from the fighters who stopped him. Other Libyan witnesses, too, said they received lectures from the attackers about the evil of the film and the virtue of defending the prophet.

Republican arguments appear to conflate purely local extremist organizations like Ansar al-Shariah with Al Qaeda’s international terrorist network.

The leaders of Ansar al-Shariah…lauded the assault as a just response to the video.

Not surprisingly, Fox News reacted swiftly to the New York Times reporting to defend their vested self-interest in advancing some sort of conspiracy on the part of members of the Obama administration. First to take Fox’s fire was Hillary Clinton. On Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace asked GOP Rep. Mike Rogers a particularly loaded question whose premise was not supported by any evidence.

Wallace: Do you think there was a political motivation for this Times report? Some people have suggested that, well, this is trying to clear the deck for Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Rogers: (saying that he “finds the timing odd”) I don’t know but I find it interesting that there was this rollout of stories.

Wallace never identified who the people were who suggested that the Times was clearing the deck for Hillary. He simply used the old “some people” contrivance to disguise the fact that it was Wallace himself who making the ludicrous suggestion.

Fox’s Catherine Herridge also did a report about the Times story that dismissed much of its findings, but offered no substantive rebuttal to the facts as they were laid out by the Times. In addition, she brought along a uniquely preposterous angle that did little to advance the discourse:

“Fox News was able to review the findings of an independent data mining firm which assessed the social media traffic in Benghazi in the 24 hours leading up to the attack and the 24 hours after the attack and, significantly, the first reference to this anti-Islam video was in the day following. It was in a retweet of a Russia Today story. So once again, this does not comport with the idea that this was in response to the anti-Islam video.”

This is a demonstration of Fox’s desperation to belittle the Times’ story. Trying to tie references to Twitter mentions of the event with affirmations of its execution is absurd in the extreme. Especially when there were verifiable accounts of information about the film being broadcast on local Libyan television, and many witnesses testified of its impact as an inspiration for the violence.

Stalwart proponents of the Benghazi Hoax also appeared on TV this weekend to defend their rapidly dissolving positions. They included GOP super-hawk Peter King and the mastermind of a flurry of fake scandals, Darrell Issa, who said on Meet the Press that “We have seen no evidence that the video was widely seen in Benghazi, a very isolated area, or that it was a leading cause.” If Issa hasn’t seen any evidence, he obviously hasn’t been paying attention. Or more likely, he is deliberately diverting his attention to the dishonest horror stories he prefers to peddle.

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Fox News has behaved true to form in the wake of the revelations published by the Times. They circle their wagons and defend their phony and sensationalist version of what they laughably call “news.” They fail to address any of the specific assertions in the story and retreat to friendly interviews with conservative characters who will plod forward with their false narratives. The last thing Fox wants is for people to be exposed to actual journalism that presents information in a coherent and factual manner. That would destroy the whole Fox business model if it got out of hand.

Addendum: You didn’t think that Fox Nation was going to be left out of this hoax-mongering, did you? They jumped in with two stories about the New York Times article, and both were typically dripping with lies and partisan distortions, as they have been known to do (see abundant proof in the acclaimed ebook Fox Nation vs. Reality).

Fox Nation

Fox Nation vs. Reality: A Birther’s ObamaCare Conspiracy Pushed By Fox News

In my book, Fox Nation vs. Reality, I document more than 50 examples of outright, provable lies that appeared on the Fox News community website. Obviously, no one expects an enterprise that cares so little about truth to demonstrate much integrity. However, it is still jarring when a major news organization mainlines reporting from disreputable outlets like WorldNetDaily.

WND is America’s Birther Headquarters. It’s founder and editor, Joseph Farah, has been the most aggressive skeptic of President Obama’s national origin. Farah financed a billboard advertising campaign with the message “Where’s the Birth Certificate?” And Farah’s publishing arm put out the widely ridiculed book with the same title by crackpot conspiracist Jerome Corsi.

Fox Nation

Sitting atop the Fox Nation website yesterday was a feature article by Aaron Klein, the author of the WND published book of bullcrap, Impeachable Offenses. Klein’s headline declared that “Media Matters Funded ObamaCare Deceit.” Clicking through to the WND source revealed a rehashed jumble of articles that Klein had written years ago. The centerpiece of his so-called reporting was his unsupported assertion that Media Matters had bankrolled an imagined campaign to deceive the public about ObamaCare. However, the only thing the article succeeded in revealing was the fact that a progressive think tank, the Herndon Alliance, was the beneficiary of support from a Media Matters affiliated entity, along with a couple of hundred other progressive groups. There was no evidence presented of any Media Matters role as the financier of anything having to do with ObamaCare. Neither was there any evidence of any intent to deceive. But there was an abundance of wild accusations and fear mongering about Saul Alinsky and George Soros, two of the right-wing, tin-foil hat brigade’s favorite bogeymen.

Apparently WND and Fox News found it shocking that like-minded progressive organizations would rely on one another to advance their common interests. Conservatives never do that. Unless you count the highly coordinated activities of the Koch brothers, Americans for Prosperity, FreedomWorks, Club for Growth, the Heritage Foundation, the Heartland Institute, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the Mackinac Center, Tea Party Nation/Express/Patriots, the Franklin Center, the State Policy Network, the Family Research Council, the National Rifle Association, the Republican National Committee, [oh, I could go on] and of course Fox News.

There really is a “Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy,” and it is working feverishly to fabricate the existence of a vast left-wing conspiracy, while concealing its own nefarious activities. And Fox News, as a founding member of the VRWC, is doing its part to slander progressive groups by promoting the dishonest cretins and professional liars at WorldNetDaily who are obsessed with impeaching our gay, Kenyan, Muslim, socialist president.

Serial Liar, James O’Keefe, Releases Another Deceitfully Edited Video: ObamaCare Edition

Some people are just gluttons for punishment. Take James O’Keefe for instance. The petulant, wannabe ambush journalist has already been exposed as a purveyor of dishonest videos that are deceptively edited in order to slander his victims. He was caught trying to execute a perverse scheme to seduce a CNN reporter. He had to pay a $100,000 to settle a defamation suit brought by a former ACORN staffer. And he was convicted of criminal behavior in a stunt he tried to pull in Louisiana.

James O'KeefeSince then his projects have been few and even many of his former allies declined to promote them. But now he has a new video that purports to expose some malfeasance on the part of some ObamaCare “navigators” who are helping people to acquire health insurance. As I’ve noted before, O’Keefe’s inner sadist assures that his projects are almost always aimed at attacking people and programs that serve the less fortunate. That’s true in this case as well.

The ObamaCare association seems to have loosened up those who abandoned him in the past, including Bill O’Reilly of Fox News. However, his reputation for producing video fiction is fully intact. In the new video he sends in a shill to pretend to inquire about enrolling in a health care plan. In the process, the shill attempts to trick his unsuspecting victims into giving bad advice. However, we can’t know for sure whether they did that because the videos are so heavily edited that there is no way to discern the actual context. Also, the people O’Keefe’s shill spoke with weren’t certified navigators, but were in fact trainees. So the prospect of them making a few mistakes shouldn’t shock anyone.

In one case, though, it is apparent that the navigators did not do what O’Keefe accused them of doing. O’Keefe alleged that the navigators advised the shill to misrepresent his income. In reality, they simply told him to report on the ObamaCare website the same amounts he reported to the IRS. It’s his responsibility to file his income taxes honestly. But the conclusions drawn in the video conceal that. That’s just one example of how creative editing can distort the true picture of what occurred.

Given that Fox News is immersed in an obsessive campaign to cripple ObamaCare, they must have given the green light to O’Reilly to readmit O’Keefe into their good graces – sort of. O’Reilly devoted most of his opening segment to O’Keefe’s video, but without ever mentioning his name. That may have been wise considering the disrepute associated with O’Keefe and his band of dissemblers. O’Reilly only identified the video as the work of Project Veritas, which he helpfully explained to his viewers means “truth,” something with which O’Reilly and O’Keefe have limited experience.

Even Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze couldn’t post O’Keefe’s video without disclaiming that “It should be noted that the video is heavily edited and employs deceptive tactics in order to catch the navigators offering the shocking advice.” When Beck’s crew is disturbed by deceptive tactics, you know you’ve crossed a line that most charlatans never see in their whole lives.

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Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Community’s Assault On Truth

What’s worse, a United States senator, John Cornyn, Republican of Texas (where else?), also cited the O’Keefe video as evidence that ObamaCare needs to be stopped immediately. Cornyn said that “This behavior is unacceptable, and is yet another broken piece of a deeply flawed system. The Obama administration should stop this program immediately.” Obviously – if a trainee tells a dishonest, partisan shill something that isn’t quite accurate, in a video produced by a known liar and criminal, then an entire government program that was set up to help 48 million previously uninsured Americans get access to health care should be thrown out.

That’s the quality of the logic in use by Republican and Tea Party opponents of ObamaCare. And, as such, is more than ample justification for ignoring them completely. It also explains how the pathetically amateurish video fabrications of James O’Keefe get taken seriously by idiots in politics and the press.

[Update 11/14/2013] Another Fox News program is hyping the O’Keefe lies. Sean Hannity did a segment during which he also referred to Project Veritas as the video’s producer and never mentioned O’Keefe’s name. He also spewed other lies about the cost of the website, the navigators not getting background checks, and the scope of the people whose current plans will be terminated by insurance companies.

Fox News Publishes Phony ObamaCare Attacks From Koch Brothers Funded “News” Service

In their three year effort to prevent Americans from getting affordable health care, Fox News has partnered with numerous conservative propagandists in the media, partisans in politics, and professional lobbyists and think tanks. However, recently they have begun incorporating the most extreme right-wing opinions disguised as journalism and originating from a blatantly self-serving source.

Watchdog.org
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Watchdog.org is a right-wing, propaganda-spewing project that is funded by the Koch brothers through their Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity. It is an unabashedly partisan source of slanted opinions and attack pieces. And Fox is now utilizing it as an affiliated reporting service. In effect, the Koch brothers have co-opted Fox to get their Tea Party agenda disseminated to Fox’s national audience.

In just the past month, Watchdog.org has blasted out a flurry of fiercely critical articles about ObamaCare. In every case they contained significant distortions of the truth and omissions of fact. But in no case did they disclose that they are flunkies of Koch Industries.

There have been 27 articles published by Fox just this month with Watchdog.org bylines. Many of them were hit pieces on unions and environmental science, two issues that deeply interest the Koch brothers whose businesses have fought workers rights and have contributed to dirtying the air and water of every place they have a presence. But at least ten of them were dedicated to ObamaCare, which they have been vocal in opposing. For instance…

  • What’s wrong? It’s been a week, and ObamaCare website still not working
  • Plenty of Oregonians interested in ObamaCare, but none can enroll online
  • Hype over ObamaCare small business tax credit is misleading
  • Blue Cross hires temp workers to deal with ObamaCare glitches
  • ObamaCare effect? 9 companies exit Nebraska’s health insurance market
  • You know that one guy who successfully signed up for ObamaCare? He didn’t
  • Healthy young, key to Obamacare, aren’t buying it
  • Reports of ObamaCare fraud emerge in Tennessee
  • Some Nebraskans’ premiums to triple under ObamaCare
  • New ObamaCare advertisement features a keg stand

Koch/Fox NewsFox News has always been a megaphone for rightist doctrine. But now they have upped the ante with their embrace of the brazen biases of an activist corporation with vested interests in the stories they pretend to cover. The network that celebrated the repugnant Supreme Court ruling on Citizens United that transformed corporations into persons, now also regards corporations as journalists. And if, like the Koch brothers, you can afford to create your own fake wire service, you can get fake news networks like Fox to distribute your PR.

Is Fox News The Most Flaccid Propaganda Tool Ever?

Twelve days ago the Tea Party dominated Republican House caucus shut down the United States government in an attempt coerce the majority of the Congress into defunding, delaying, or otherwise crippling the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare).

They were aided and abetted by their partners in political crime, Fox News. In fact, Fox News took a leadership role in disseminating disinformation aimed at either preventing ObamaCare from being implemented or poisoning public opinion to oppose it based on the lies that Fox manufactured.

Fox News
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The ferocity of the Fox campaign was dialed up to maximum volume with absurdly dishonest claims that tested the boundaries of hyperbole. They coordinated their attack plan to traverse the Fox empire including their business network, the Wall Street Journal, and the notorious Fib Factory, Fox Nation. They spoke of non-existent death panels, encroaching socialism, largest tax increases in history, comparisons to slavery, and endless references to tyranny, Hitler, and the total destruction of America.

So what did Fox gain from that virulent assault on a law that was passed by Congress, signed by the President, deemed constitutional by the Supreme Court, and affirmed by the reelection of Obama? They emboldened the most strident extremists on the right who pursued a suicidal mission to impose their unpopular will on the nation. And their ultimate reward is that ObamaCare is now regarded more favorably than it was before the government shutdown (or “slimdown” as Fox calls it):

“[W]hat is perhaps even more worrisome for the GOP is the ‘boomerang’ effect: As the party has used the shutdown and fiscal fight to campaign against the nation’s health-care law and for limited government, the poll shows those efforts have backfired.

“For one thing, the health-care law has become more popular since the shutdown began. Thirty-eight percent see the Affordable Care Act (or ‘Obamacare’) as a good idea, versus 43 percent who see it as a bad idea – up from 31 percent good idea, 44 percent bad idea last month.”

Ted CruzNot only that, but while America has been warming up to ObamaCare (which most are only now getting there first personal exposure to), their dislike for Republicans is growing exponentially. For that they can thank the Tea Party nutjobs like Ted Cruz and the tiny faction of Teabaggers in the House who have such a firm grip on John Boehner’s cojones:

“By a 22-point margin (53 percent to 31 percent), the public blames the Republican Party more for the shutdown than President Barack Obama – a wider margin of blame for the GOP than the party received during the poll during the last shutdown in 1995-96.

“Just 24 percent of respondents have a favorable opinion about the GOP, and only 21 percent have a favorable view of the Tea Party, which are both at all-time lows in the history of poll.”

While this epic cratering of support was unfolding, President Obama’s favorability actually went up two points in the last month.

The inescapable conclusion to be drawn from this is that, despite Fox’s inflated ego and boastful self-importance, it is really a pathetically lame distributor of rightist propaganda. They threw everything they had at Obama and his eponymous health care program and came out farther underwater than when they started. This result is similar to last year’s election when Fox targeted Obama as something just shy of the Anti-Christ, but he still won by a sizable margin. And, not to be overlooked, it was a campaign that focused heavily on ObamaCare. More recently, Fox’s efforts to stir up their fringy malcontents to get them to take to the streets ended in an embarrassing flop.

There are plenty of reasons to worry about the destructive influence of Fox News. It is a bad example for other news outlets who think that conservative extremism might be a viable business model. It provides a platform and encouragement for crackpots like Cruz, Michele Bachamnn, Louie Gohmert, Donald Trump, Ben Carson, etc., to cling to positions that are wildly out of touch with the American people. It muddies the debate over critical public affairs with misrepresentations and lies. But one thing we do not have to worry about is whether Fox is effective at persuading Americans to join their Blockhead Brigade. On that measure Fox has proved to be pitifully feeble despite their exhaustive and desperate intentions.

Journalistic Malpractice: A Forensic Analysis Of A Fox News Lie About ObamaCare

As the country is mired in an unnecessary financial crisis courtesy of the Republican Tea Party establishment, Fox News is continuing to do its part in disseminating false information and right-wing propaganda.

Fox News Jim Angle

Yesterday’s Special Report with Bret Baier featured reporting by Fox News Chief National Correspondent, Jim Angle, on the harried first day of access to the health insurance exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare). Angle presented an error-ridden account of the new law’s benefits and grossly misrepresented the facts. The core conclusion that he built up to was embarrassingly inept, untrue, and biased.

Angle: Without subsidies, many will be paying more than they would now. Not only that, we’re now learning what the wide range of deductibles will be, in addition to widespread reports of large increases in premiums, especially for the young. Those buying even the least expensive plan under ObamaCare will have a large deductible to pay before getting any insurance coverage.

Let’s dissect Angle’s remarks in detail to see the depth of his dishonesty:

“Without subsidies, many will be paying more than they would now.” Of course they will. That’s why ObamaCare included the subsidies in the first place. It is absurd to report the cost of the unsubsidized premiums that few if any Americans will pay. It’s sort of like advertising the sticker price of a new $30,000 car when every dealer in the country is selling it for $23,000 due to manufacturer incentives.

“…in addition to widespread reports of large increases in premiums…” Angle never documents the alleged reports of premium increases, nor what he regards as “widespread.” In all likelihood, he is referring to his own false reporting that omits the subsidies.

“Those buying even the least expensive plan under ObamaCare will have a large deductible to pay before getting any insurance coverage.” No kidding! This is the most ignorant part of Angle’s report. The least expensive plans are always the ones with the highest deductibles. Angle is spinning this as a flaw in the system when, in fact, it’s precisely how the insurance actuaries devised it from the earliest days of insurance. It’s a trade off between cost and risk. The more risk you’re willing to assume, the less you have to pay. The more you pay, the less your exposure to risk. Do you think Angle doesn’t know this?

The blatantly biased misrepresentations in Angle’s report are certainly nothing new for Fox News. At the same time that they are broadcasting Angle’s mutilation of the truth, they are spinning the government shutdown as a “slimdown,” as if it were diet program that will make us all deliciously svelte. And this isn’t the first time that Angle has lied openly in his reporting either.

Angle did a story last month about a man and his family in Kentucky that he said would suffer a tripling of their insurance premium. But Angle left out a couple of pertinent facts: 1) That subsidies available under ObamaCare could reduce the premium to an amount lower than the family currently pays. And 2) That the man in the report is the vice-president of the Association of Mature American Citizens, a conservative alternative to the AARP and an adamant opponent of ObamaCare.

That second fact is a wholly unethical failure of journalistic standards of disclosure. Surely an executive working for an anti-ObamaCare organization is going to have a built-in prejudice and an incentive to negatively portray the law. His occupation is a salient fact that any reputable reporter would mention. Angle certainly knew the man’s identity and his professional affiliation, but he deceitfully withheld that information from the audience.

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All of this adds up to journalistic malpractice on an Olympian scale. No news enterprise with an ounce of credibility would permit this sort of obfuscation and deception. Which is, of course, why Fox News not only permits it, they encourage it. And it is why Fox News viewers are so often proven to be more ill-informed than even people who watch no news at all. This is not an accident. It is the mission of Fox News to create as many idiots as possible, who will vote against their own interests and enhance the power and wealth of the upper-crusty corporatists who exploit them.