Sunday Funnies: Marco Rubio And Chris Wallace Reenact Iraq Version Of ‘Who’s On First’

Last week the nation marveled to the spectacle of Jeb Bush fumbling what must have been the most highly anticipated question that he could possibly have been asked in his nascent campaign for the Republican nomination for president of the United States of America: Knowing what is known now, would you have authorized an invasion of Iraq?

Bush responded that he thought his brother George had made the correct decision given the available intelligence. That, of course, was not the question he was asked. So in the days following the flub, Bush claimed to have misheard the question, but still gave multiple different answers before finally admitting that he would not have ordered an invasion if he knew what he knows now.

Marco Rubio

For Marco Rubio, that ought to have been an object lesson in tackling this otherwise softball question. But for some reason, the freshman senator managed to do in three minutes what it took Bush five days to do: make an utter ass of himself. In an exchange on the decidedly friendly territory of Fox News Sunday (video below), Rubio engaged in a painfully comical routine with host Chris Wallace wherein he repeatedly failed to grasp the nature of the question he was being asked. Here is just a portion of that train wreck:

WALLACE: Was it a mistake? Was it a mistake to go to war with Iraq?
RUBIO: It’s two different — it wasn’t — I —
WALLACE: I’m asking you to —
RUBIO: Yes, I understand, but that’s not the same question.
WALLACE: But that’s the question I’m asking you. Was it a mistake to go to war?
RUBIO: It was not a mistake for the president to decide to go into Iraq, because at the time, he was told —
WALLACE: I’m not asking you that. I’m asking you —
RUBIO: In hindsight.
WALLACE: Yes.
RUBIO: Well, the world is a better place because Saddam Hussein is not there.
WALLACE: So, was it a mistake or not?
RUBIO: But I wouldn’t characterize it — but I don’t understand the question you’re asking, because the president —
WALLACE: I’m asking you, knowing — as we sit here in 2015 —
RUBIO: No, but that’s not the way presidents — a president cannot make decision on what someone might know in the future.
WALLACE: I understand. But that’s what I’m asking you. Was it a mistake?
RUBIO: It was not a mistake for the president to go into Iraq based on the information he was provided as president.

Well, that clears that up. Is Rubio really that dense or was he he just desperate to avoid criticizing George Bush? Wallace gave him ample opportunity to craft a response that included support for Bush as well as the obvious acknowledgement that no president should invade a country without airtight justification. Rubio kept trying to answer a question that Wallace had not asked, despite Wallace repeatedly restating his actual question. And it isn’t as if this were a surprise, gotcha question (like what magazines do read read?). It is a question that has been in the news for a week.

Why is it so hard for Republicans to concede that wars should not be started unless there are provable threats to our national interest? This sort of obtuse defiance of common sense is what makes people convinced that the GOP is a party of war mongers who will launch into battle on the slightest whim. It reinforces the widespread impression that they are lackeys to the defense industry and others who profit off of war, including those whose profits are political rather than financial.

Elsewhere in the interview, Wallace raised Rubio’s campaign theme of “21st century ideas” and asked him to talk about them. That would ordinarily be a perfect opportunity to drop a campaign ad into an interview. However, Rubio dodged any reference to new ideas saying only that “the balance of power in the world has shifted” because of “autocratic governments in Russia and China” and “rogue states like North Korea and Iran.” Right, because none of them were around in the 20th century.

When Wallace pressed him to reveal his actual new ideas to address those allegedly new problems, Rubio eventually complied saying that “we need to cut [tax] rates” and improve the education system. Those, of course, address only domestic problems that have no bearing on the foreign affairs he had just raised. Not to mention that neither of those “ideas” can be coherently described as “new.”

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

If this is a taste of what Rubio’s campaign will be offering in the coming months, it can be safely assumed that he isn’t going far. But then Bush has already flubbed some of the same questions and the rest of the GOP pack has even less foreign policy experience than these two flounders.

This election cycle promises to be an entertaining romp with plenty of twists and turns. It should be serialized as a reality TV show a la The Amazing (Presidential) Race. I, for one, can’t wait for the debates to see who is voted out of the clown car next.

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Stephanopoulos Isn’t The Only Media Donor To The Clinton Foundation (Is He, Fox News?)

The conservative media circus is furiously banging their drums to chastise George Stephanopoulos, host of ABC’s Good Morning America and This Week, for his failure to disclose a donation to the Clinton Foundation. This oversight is being portrayed as an unforgivable offense of partisan bias. As with any matter that can be hyper-dramatized by zealous punditry, Fox News took the lead in running Stephanopoulos through the metaphorical grinder.

Fox News Stephanopoulos

A couple of notes need to be raised in order to fairly assess this situation. First of all, Stephanopoulos donated to a charitable organization, not a political campaign. Thus, it cannot really be regarded as partisan in that the Clinton Foundation does not engage in any political activities. Its mission is purely philanthropic and no fair observer has ever alleged any ideological leanings. Furthermore, unlike a corporate donor or a foreign entity, there isn’t any conceivable benefit that Stephanopoulos might have been seeking in exchange for a donation. Even his critics do not allege that his motives were anything but altruistic.

That said, there are problems with his failure to disclose that impact his reporting when the subject is the Foundation itself. For instance, Stephanopoulos recently interviewed the author of “Clinton Cash,” a book that alleges improprieties on the part of Hillary Clinton in connection to donations to the Foundation. The fact that the book was filled with factual errors and failed to prove its premise does not excuse Stephanopoulos from an ethical duty to reveal that he was also a donor.

Taken in its entirety, this scandalette hardly seems to approach the degree of significance that is being assigned to it by Fox News and other conservative media. There was no effort to extract any personal gain and the ethical lapse did not result in any reportorial distortion. But that hasn’t stopped right-wing muckrakers from attempting to whip it up into a full-blown catastrophe for Stephanopoulos. He has been maligned as hopelessly biased and there have been calls for him to resign or be fired. Fox’s Howard Kurtz described the affair as…

“…such a bombshell that George Stephanopoulos has now had to withdraw as ABC’s moderator in the Republican presidential debate next year.”

What makes the debate moderation move somewhat comical is that last November the chairman of the Republican Party, Reince Priebus, ruled out anyone that he regarded as being unfriendly to the Party’s interests.

Priebus: [the] thing that is ridiculous is allowing moderators, who are not serving the best interests of the candidate and the party, to actually be the people to be deposing our people. And I think that’s totally wrong.

Priebus reinforced that edict yesterday saying that “I’ve been very public about this. George Stephanopoulos was never going to moderate a Republican debate anyway.” Somewhere Priebus got the impression that debate moderators are supposed to serve the interests of the candidates. Certainly the interest of the voters never entered into it. And the last thing that the GOP wants is a debate that is truly spirited and informative. They are looking for something more on the order of an infomercial.

Amidst this tumultuous uproar over the fate of Stephanopoulos and his relatively modest $75,000 gift, what has gone unmentioned is that he is not alone in making donations to the Clinton Foundation. In fact, Fox News has been even more generous than Stephanopoulos. Rupert Murdoch’s son James, the COO of 21st Century Fox (parent company of Fox News), made a donation in the range of $1,000,000-$5,000,000. The News Corporation Foundation contributed between $500,000-$1,000,000. Fox regular Donald Trump forked over between $100,000-$250,000.

There might be more of these types of ethical problems involving media personalities on the right donating to Republican charities like the Bush Foundation. However, we can’t uncover them because the Bush Foundation doesn’t disclose their donors like the Clintons do. Curious, isn’t it?

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So the question is: How can Fox News criticize George Stephanopoulos for his undisclosed donations to the Clinton Foundation, when they have made far bigger donations without disclosing them? What’s more, the donations from the Fox media empire can be regarded as possible bribes since, unlike Stephanopoulos, they have pending business before the government and its regulatory agencies. If Fox News wants to pretend to be “fair and balanced” they need to immediately come clean. And if Stephanopoulos is denied the opportunity to moderate any GOP debates, then Fox News should be prohibited from airing them.

Don’t hold your breath waiting for Fox to act ethically in this matter. They will neither remove themselves from the debate schedule, nor cease their attacks on Stephanopoulos. That’s just the way Fox does business and it will continue despite the obvious hypocrisy and lack of journalistic principle.


Good News: No Boobs On Fox News

When I first heard that Fox News was taking steps to insure that there would be no boobs on their network, I was excited at the possibility that Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, Steve Doocy, etc., would soon be fired. To my disappointment, I later learned what the real story was that Fox News Blurs the Boobs on a Picasso Painting.”

Fox News Picasso

It turns out that it was the Fox News affiliate station in New York that so virtuously protected viewers from the sinful display of geometric breasts. But that doesn’t let Fox News off the hook entirely because the same man, Roger Ailes, runs both the cable news channel and the affiliate group. To its credit, the morning show on Fox5NY did their own bit of ridiculing the night crew that went too heavy on the blurring.

This is not the first time that overzealous conservatives took it upon themselves to sanitize the smutty, or otherwise inappropriate and dirty world, from decent Americans. Back in 2011 News Corpse documented a series of occurrences wherein free expression was not permitted by right-wingers:

A few years ago, Secretary of State Colin Powell was scheduled to give a speech at the United Nations to make the case by the Bush administration for going to war against Iraq. Prior to the speech he had aides cover up a tapestry depicting Picasso’s painting, Guernica. Powell was not going to make an argument for war in front of such a powerful and iconic anti-war statement.

Bush’s Attorney General, John Ashcroft, held press conferences in the Justice Department in a hall where the statue “Spirit of Justice” had stood for decades. In 2002 he ordered that the statue, a female representation of justice with one bare breast exposed, be covered by a drape. It’s not clear whether he was worried more about this being embarrassing or arousing.

Earlier this year, Paul LePage, the governor of Maine, had a mural removed from the Maine Department of Labor. The mural depicted scenes of Maine’s working citizens and the history of labor in the state. Obviously it has no business taking up space in the Labor Department.

And just this week, Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin removed a painting from the governor’s residence. The painting was of children from diverse backgrounds and was meant to remind the residents of that home, which belongs to the people of Wisconsin, of the impact their work has real families. Now Walker won’t have to be concerned with that unless he runs into some in person, in which case he’ll have much more to be concerned about.

As you can see, this is a recurring theme among the sanctimonious wingnuts who believe that their morality trumps yours. And while conservatives went out of their way to defend the free speech rights of hate mongering Islamophobes they aren’t the least bit hesitant to deny those rights to rap artists, the Dixie Chicks, Michael Moore, or even Picasso.

All things considered, I would prefer that boobs like Hannity were subject to censorship rather than those in the great paintings of history. But sadly, some boobs are more equal than others.


Poor-Shaming On Fox News: Jon Stewart Is “Starting To Lack A Richness Of F*cks

Last night Jon Stewart delivered a segment that is destined to become classic among the Daily Show archives (video below). The brilliantly produced nine minutes of insight and comedy began with a montage of Fox News squaking heads doing what comes naturally to them: Complaining about President Obama.

On this occasion, the topic of the complaint was that the President did not talk enough about poverty, a subject that Fox News generally regards as a scam run by moochers and Democrats who are either trying to enslave them or are fishing for their votes. But since Fox’s mission is to denigrate Obama at all times, when he talks about poverty he is pandering and when he doesn’t he is heartless and hypocritical.

Fox News Jon Stewart

It quickly became apparent that Fox must have been watching a different President Obama than the the one that inhabits reality. Stewart noticed that divergence saying that Obama has indeed “been addressing those issues his entire presidency,” and that Fox ignored that fact in favor of obsessing over Obama making an unarguably true observation about Fox.

“Yep, just like college students at a four hour commencement, Fox basically paid no attention until they heard their own names. It turns out at one point during this incredibly thoughtful and productive session on poverty, the President made the easily provable and decidedly true point that the Fox News narrative is that poverty is not a function of economic condition, but of character.”

For the record, this what Obama said about Fox:

“If you watch Fox News on a regular basis, it is a constant menu, they will find folks who make ME mad. I don’t know where they find them. They’re all like ‘I don’t wanna work. I just want a free Obamaphone.’ And that becomes an entire narrative that gets worked up. And very rarely do you hear an interview of a waitress, which is much more typical, who’s raising a couple of kids, and is doing everything right, but still can’t pay the bills.”

Stewart accurately noted that the President has a “remarkably firm grasp” on the Fox business model and mocked Fox anchor Stuart Varney’s assertion that they are “honest messengers.” He then laid into what he called a “rich buffet of bullshit” when Varney claimed that Fox never characterized the poor as lazy. What followed was another montage of Fox News callously demonizing the poor in direct contradiction of what they had just claimed.

This caused Stewart to wonder “How fucking removed from reality” is Fox of their own coverage. That is, I assume a rhetorical question. Obviously Fox does not factor reality into their coverage from the outset. Otherwise, how could people like Varney say that the poor “have a richness of things, what they lack is a richness of spirit,” in one breath, and then pretend that he would never say such a thing in the next? Stewart’s response…

“Are these glaring contradictions a product of lack of self-awareness, or cynicism, or stupidity, or evil? I don’t know anymore, and I’m starting to lack a richness of fucks.”

It is easy to understand the sense of exasperation that Fox’s hypocrisy can incite. But the truth is that they have been doing this for years. Take for example this account of how the poor just have things way too good; or this one; or this one. And the funny thing is that all three of those stem from the same source that Fox keeps recycling for years on end. It’s a mantra that surely brings them the inner peace of a Bizarro World Buddha who lusts for ever more material possessions, while condemning anyone who is struggling to survive for wanting just the bare necessities of life.

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


Book By Fox News ‘Liberal’ Uses Free Speech To Claim Liberals Are Killing Free Speech

The network that markets itself as “fair and balanced” has spent years proving their commitment to that slogan by balancing their right-wing infused “news” delivered by GOP mouthpieces with right-wing infused “news” delivered by people they falsely claim are liberals. The roster of fake Democrats on Fox News is extensive and includes rabid rightists like Pat Caddell, Doug Schoen, Mara Liasson, Juan Williams, and Kirsten Powers, all of whom freely express their contempt for the Democratic Party.

Kirsten Powers has long been a member of the Fake Democrat Society. She invariably agrees with her Fox News colleagues whenever she engages in a so-called debate on current events. Fox will predictably call on her to discuss issues that they know will reflect poorly on other Democrats. So if there is bad news for President Obama or Hillary Clinton making the rounds, Powers will get extra airtime to pile on. And she can be relied upon to make incendiary comments like the time she accused Obama of sympathizing with terrorists. Plus, she gets the benefit of the Fox marketing machine when she has a liberal bashing book to promote.

Fox News Kirsten Powers

This new book by Powers, The Silencing,” has the not-at-all derogatory subtitle of “How the Left is Killing Free Speech.” What could be more appropriate for the network that daily exercises its free speech to disparage lefties while complaining about being victims of official censorship? And what better message for a supposedly liberal pundit to devote to an entire book? And while we’re at it, how dumb is it for someone exercising her free speech in a book (and daily on Fox News) to complain about free speech being killed?

The truth is that this book is a petty and self-serving response by Powers to the derision she endures for her conservative activism while pretending to be a liberal. For some reason she thinks that she can get away with wearing a Democratic label and bashing Democrats, but never be criticized for it. So she wrote a book to further hammer away at those with whom she professes to be aligned. What better way to demonstrate loyalty than to accuse your so-called friends of “killing” free speech?

In some respects this book is just the sequel to Muzzled: The Assault on Honest Debate,” the book her fellow fake Dem, Juan Williams, wrote a couple of years ago on pretty much the same subject. Both books attack what they regard as political correctness as exercised by a liberal establishment that objects to Fox News passing off right-wingers as Democrats.

As evidence of the rightward ideological slant of Powers, her book was published by the uber-conservative Regnery Publishing, the literary home to Dinesh D’Souza, Ed Klein, Michelle Malkin, Laura Ingraham, Newt Gingrich, Mark Levin, Ann Coulter, Ted Nugent, and Patrick Buchanan. That is not the sort of company kept by real liberals. However, Powers’ book fits right in with the other tomes lambasting liberalism and chronicling the exploits of our allegedly treasonous and foreign-born president.

Additionally, Powers has been lauded by the ultra-rightist Breitbart News on numerous occasions, even as they joined the charade that Powers is not one of them. And the first excerpts of her book were published by the house organ of the Heritage Foundation, now led by former GOP Senator and Tea Party icon Jim DeMint. These are associations that expose the ulterior motives that Powers is pursuing with her partisan diatribe. Those motives are further revealed on the inside flap of her book:

“Free speech and freedom of conscience have long been core American values. Yet a growing intolerance from the left side of the political spectrum is threatening Americans’ ability to freely express beliefs without fear of retaliation.”

First of all, the notion that free speech comes with a shield from retaliation is contrary to the definition of free speech. What conservatives like Powers want is the ability to say all the nasty, dishonest things they like without being subject to rebuttal or criticism. It’s free speech for them, but no one else.

From a broader perspective, however, this book just reveals an effort to take down liberals for perceived intolerance, while completely ignoring the same from conservatives. If Powers were the least bit concerned about representing a progressive worldview, she would have authored a more balanced assessment of the matter. The fact that she limited her inquiry to the alleged crimes of liberals shows exactly where her heart lies.

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

Furthermore, the inside flap also declares that the reader will “learn how the illiberal left is obsessed with delegitimizing Fox News.” And that, in the end, is its whole reason for existing. It is a flagrantly self-serving attempt to promote Fox News, excuse their blatant biases, and restore the credibility she and Fox have lost due to their rampant dissemination of lies, which PolitiFact has found is the majority of their reporting.

Fox News PolitiFact


President Obama Hits Fox News For Portraying The Poor As Sponges And Leeches

Speaking at the Catholic-Evangelical Leadership Summit on Overcoming Poverty at Georgetown University (video below), President Obama made an astute observation about one of the causes of persistent negative impressions of America’s underprivileged class. He noted that some elements in the media are deliberately disparaging poor people as “sponges, leeches, don’t want to work, are lazy, are undeserving” and that, as a result, those false caricatures gain traction. Except that he was a bit more specific about the guilty media.

“If you watch Fox News on a regular basis, it is a constant menu, they will find folks who make ME mad. I don’t know where they find them. They’re all like ‘I don’t wanna work. I just want a free Obamaphone.’ And that becomes an entire narrative that gets worked up. And very rarely do you hear an interview of a waitress, which is much more typical, who’s raising a couple of kids, and is doing everything right, but still can’t pay the bills.”

Obama Phone Fox News

Obama could have gone much further and blasted Fox News for lying about the entire spectrum of progressive politics from trickle-down economics, to healthcare, to Climate Change, etc. But as this was a summit on poverty, the President kept a narrow focus on how Fox News stigmatizes the poor. His larger point was that by disseminating ugly stereotypes the media makes it more difficult for legislators to address real problems because their constituents have been infected with false impressions of the recipients of aid.

It was a brilliant stroke to include the absurd “Obamaphone” meme that right-wingers latched unto as another fake atrocity that they could attribute to the president they are convinced is a gay Muslim from Kenya. However, Obama may have given his critics an opening to rant feverishly when he said that “We’re going to have to change how the media reports on these issues.” Glenn Beck and his ilk will interpret that as a tyrannical dictate to control the press, rather just the desire for the media to be honest, fair, and avoid demonizing a sector of society that is already suffering.

One thing we can rely on is that Fox News will throw a tantrum over these comments by Obama, as they always do when he correctly calls them out. Fox is all for free speech as long as it doesn’t contain any criticism of their blatantly dishonest propaganda.

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

Update I: Well, that didn’t take long. Neil Cavuto on Fox News is already bitching about Obama calling them out. My money is on Eric Bolling to be next. For a network that calls itself “The most powerful name in news” they sure whine a lot.

Update II: Joining Cavuto so far have been chief Fox News anchor Bret Baier, Todd Starnes, James Rosen, Martha MacCallum, and Fox Business Network anchor Stuart Varney, who denied that Fox ever called welfare recipients lazy, then went on to defend the Obamaphone myth. Then there was Megyn Kelly, whose blisteringly dumb remarks alleged that Obama took “a swipe a Fox News today for showcasing low income folks who are gaming the system on his watch.” No, actually, that is not what he did. In fact he took a swipe at Fox News for slandering low income folks who are playing by the rules to provide for themselves and their families. Kelly just proved Obama’s criticism was correct as she continues to slander decent, hard-working Americans.

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Glenn Beck On Michelle Obama: “She Is Encouraging Rioting In The Streets”

Remember Glenn Beck? Remember that guy who used to rant about caliphates and Agenda 21 conspiracies and presidents who hate white people? I know it has been a while (like maybe twenty or thirty minutes), but if you can reach back in your memories to that time that Glenn Beck was dispensing certifiably insane lectures on the end of civilization, you may be interested to know that he’s still doing it.

Glenn Beck

Yes, even though Beck has undergone revelations that such nonsense was destructive, he still persists. Even though he has apologized and claimed to have had epiphanies showing him the evil of his ways on at least two occassions:

June 7, 2013: For any role that I have played in dividing, I wish I can take them back.
January 22, 2014: I think I played a role, unfortunately, in helping tear the country apart.

And even though he claimed that his “craziness” was the product of his diseased mind:

November 11, 2014: I had begun to have a string of health issues that, quite honestly, made me look crazy. And, quite honestly, I felt crazy because of them.

The lunacy continues in the bowels of his Texas studio where today he unleashed some of his most vicious rhetoric to date aimed at First Lady Michelle Obama.

The impetus for this flow of vitriol was Obama’s inspirational commencement speech at Tuskegee University in Alabama (video below). It was a well-received address that began with uplifting praise for “all of you will take your spot in the long line of men and women who have come here and distinguished themselves and this university.” She continued with heartfelt personal stories of how she and her family were subject to many of the same hardships that African-Americans, and other oppressed minorities, have suffered due to prejudices that were ingrained in the culture of a nation divided by race.

Despite these hardships, Obama assured the students that this country holds great promise for them and that they must never give in to bitterness or cynicism. She used the example of the famous squadron of Tuskegee Airmen who distinguished themselves in World War II:

“Now, those Airmen could easily have let that experience clip their wings. But as you all know, instead of being defined by the discrimination and the doubts of those around them, they became one of the most successful pursuit squadrons in our military. They went on to show the world that if black folks and white folks could fight together, and fly together, then surely — surely — they could eat at a lunch counter together. Surely their kids could go to school together.”

Obama also spoke movingly about some of the outright bigotry that welcomed her and the President into national politics:

“Back when my husband first started campaigning for President, folks had all sorts of questions of me: What kind of First Lady would I be? What kinds of issues would I take on? Would I be more like Laura Bush, or Hillary Clinton, or Nancy Reagan? And the truth is, those same questions would have been posed to any candidate’s spouse. That’s just the way the process works. But, as potentially the first African American First Lady, I was also the focus of another set of questions and speculations; conversations sometimes rooted in the fears and misperceptions of others. Was I too loud, or too angry, or too emasculating? (Applause.) Or was I too soft, too much of a mom, not enough of a career woman?

“Then there was the first time I was on a magazine cover — it was a cartoon drawing of me with a huge afro and machine gun. Now, yeah, it was satire, but if I’m really being honest, it knocked me back a bit. It made me wonder, just how are people seeing me.

“Or you might remember the on-stage celebratory fist bump between me and my husband after a primary win that was referred to as a “terrorist fist jab.” And over the years, folks have used plenty of interesting words to describe me. One said I exhibited “a little bit of uppity-ism.“ Another noted that I was one of my husband’s “cronies of color.” Cable news once charmingly referred to me as “Obama’s Baby Mama.”

“And of course, Barack has endured his fair share of insults and slights. Even today, there are still folks questioning his citizenship. “

However, the lesson from this that Obama conveyed to the students was expressed in her realization that “if I wanted to keep my sanity and not let others define me, there was only one thing I could do, and that was to have faith in God’s plan for me. I had to ignore all of the noise and be true to myself — and the rest would work itself out.”

The overwhelming theme of the speech was victory over adversity, and the benefits of being true to oneself and committed to a path of harmony, service, and success, personally and professionally. But somehow Glenn Beck got a very different message. He castigated Obama for failing to solve all problems associated with race relations (video here if you have the stomach for it). He said that “they could have changed race relations forever. But they took us back to the 1960’s on grudge politics.” Of course, he never explained how the Obamas could change everything forever, or how they turned back the clock, but validating anything he says has never been a part of his shtick.

Beck was disturbed that Obama spoke about the very real tribulations faced by victims of prejudice. He surely would prefer that she had ignored such unpleasantness. But worse, he accused her of exacerbating racial strife and being ungrateful for the progress that has been made. He insisted that she had no right to lament the difficulties that she endured, and which many still endure, because her husband was elected President with votes from white people. In Beck’s world, progress means that all transgressions, past and present, are irrelevant. The only thing you should feel now is gratitude for the benevolence of all the white people who made your success possible.

According to Beck it is white, conservative, Christian men who are the victims of discrimination today. Somehow, in his severely warped brain, he believes that African-Americans who talk about the real strains of bigotry are self-absorbed whiners, but the beleaguered Caucasians of America have righteous grievances of social injustice. And if that weren’t delusional enough, he lashed out at Obama for fomenting violence and deigned to speak in her voice:

“The worst thing you can do is riot in the streets. She’s saying the opposite. ‘I know what you feel because I felt it, and even I’m the President’s wife and I still feel invisible. I feel like we’re not being heard. So I’m not only validating your feeling, I’m here to tell you it is happening.’

“And that’s why people are rioting in the streets. She is encouraging this kind of behavior.”

For Beck to pretend that he has any concept of what Obama has gone through in her life is repulsive in the extreme. But more importantly, his attack on her misses the whole point. She is speaking for millions of Americans who have suffered at the hands of bigots. And she is telling them to have faith in themselves and their ability to prevail through hardship. Beck played some clips of Obama’s speech, but never any of those where she told the students that their future was in their hands and that they can succeed with a positive outlook.

The fact that Beck came away from this with the notion that Obama was advocating violence and rioting is the best possible evidence of his overt animosity and inbred hatred. It affirms precisely what Obama was talking about. It affirms all of the worst that can be attributed to bigots like him. And it demonstrates that his prior testimonials that he has seen the light and doesn’t want to be a divisive figure anymore, doesn’t want to tear the country apart, were all lies. But then, we knew that already. He has never stopped being a hate mongering spokesman for the worst elements of our society, and it’s fair to assume that he never will.

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


America Wants A Black Jon Stewart For President – Or Center-Right Nation My A…

The conventional (alleged) wisdom from mainstream media punditry has been telling us for years that America is a center-right nation. Never mind the contrary evidence that polls reveal about a populace that favors higher taxes on the rich, marriage equality, action to mitigate Climate Change, immigration reform that includes a pathway to citizenship, enhanced gun safety measures, breaking up big banks, fewer foreign military engagements, an end to gerrymandering and voter suppression, and greater access to healthcare. Somehow the pundit class still manages to define the electorate much farther to the right than reality dictates.

Jon Stewart

Two polls this week illustrate the fallacy of the media perception of where America stands. These aren’t the first polls to set the record straight, but coming out within a couple of days of each other as a new presidential election cycle begins to gear up is instructional and ought to have an impact on how the press frames the political discourse for the next few months.

The first poll is from NBC News and the Wall Street Journal. It asked respondents to indicate their comfort levels with various traits of potential candidates. The poll produced an index that expressed the mood of the voters with regard to these traits. Topping the list as the most acceptable trait was “African-American,” with a rating of 75. Those that followed with ratings above fifty were women (74), persons under age 50 (66), Hispanics (63), military background (62), governors (62), and Catholics (57).

Even more telling (and troubling for Republicans) were those at the bottom of the list with negative ratings. They were persons with no prior elected experience (-39), Tea Party leaders (-28), and persons with no college degree (-22). Notables in those categories include Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, and college dropout Scott Walker. Additionally, our allegedly center-right nation is more comfortable with a gay or lesbian presidential candidate (33), than with an evangelical Christian (7), or any of the previously mentioned bottom dwellers.

By contrast, when the poll is segmented by party affiliation, Republicans are exposed for their overt biases. They do not rank an ethnic minority until the fifth and sixth spots: Hispanic (69) and African-American (66). Women don’t rate until ninth place with a comfort level barely above fifty (54). However, as might be expected, gays and lesbians are second to last with a negative 15 rating.

The other poll is from Reuters who surveyed Americans to ascertain their favorite pundits. On this poll Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert were in a virtual tie with about 47% saying they admired them. The same two topped the charts on the question of who “generally shares your view of the world.” Rush Limbaugh brought up the rear with only 25% giving him any admiration. And it was all right-wingers (Ann Coulter, Laura Ingraham, Glenn Beck, etc.) at the bottom for both the admiration and the world view questions.

One pundit in the survey must be particularly pissed off by these results. Bill O’Reilly ranked significantly lower than Stewart and Colbert on every issue. Since he has been obsessed with attacking them as “deceivers” and the “key components of left-wing television,” he isn’t going to take well the news that large majorities of Americans prefer the Comedy Central duo to him.

The real question is: When will the media take notice that the United States is not the center-right nation they keep pretending it is? We now have evidence that covers both policies and personalities that undeniably paints the country as more progressive. And the only reason that our political representation doesn’t reflect that is because of the corruption of money in campaigns and the corruption of gerrymandering in drawing legislative districts.

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

Were those problems resolved we would see where the nation really comes down ideologically. But don’t count on Republicans to willingly allow more fairness and honesty in the electoral process. The corruption in the system currently is the only reason they have any power now and they aren’t about to let it go. It will have to be taken from them by committed proponents of true democracy. In the words of Patti Smith: “People Have The Power. The power to dream, to rule, to wrestle the world from fools.” We just need to exercise it.


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

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

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

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

Fox News Ebola

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Be afraid, America. Be very afraid.


Slander vs. Pander: How Fox News Exploits Bigotry Against Latinos For Political Gain

This week Hillary Clinton revealed some details of her platform on immigration. She expressed support for a pathway to citizenship and a policy that…

“…treats everyone with dignity and compassion, upholds the rule of law, protects our border and national security, and brings hard-working people out of the shadows and into the formal economy so they can pay taxes and contribute to our nation’s prosperity.”

That is a position that most recent polling shows is favored by most Americans. This puts the Republican Party in a bind of their own making due to their long-standing opposition to Latino issues and to what they falsely call amnesty. And as if to exacerbate that problem, Fox News weighs in with a dishonest and cynical approach to journalism that tries to cut both ways.

Fox News

On the the Fox News Latino website, Fox posted a report on Clinton’s policy address with a headline reading “Hillary Clinton makes deportation protection, path to citizenship central to campaign.” That’s a fairly straightforward description of the remarks Clinton made and treats the subject seriously and without prejudice.

Now lets travel over to the Fox Nation website to see how they covered the same story. Their headline reads “Hillary Clinton Vows to Expand Obama Amnesty to More Illegals.” That begins by lying about the Obama policy which contains nothing even resembling amnesty. For the record, amnesty is a “general pardon for offenses,” however, the Obama doctrine is one that contains considerable prerequisites for eligibility and takes years to satisfy.

More offensive is the use of the term “illegals” to describe undocumented residents. Most reputable news agencies have banned the use of the word as an epithet that does not properly describe the subjects it is insulting. Fox News Latino is among those who have banned the term. But Fox News and Fox Nation use it routinely.

What is happening here is something that News Corpse has documented in the past. Fox News is attempting to pander to Latinos, the fastest growing demographic group (and voter bloc) in the nation, by treating issues that affect them in a more balanced way on their Latino-themed website. At the same time, Fox is resorting to their standard stance of overt prejudice on their main outlets so as not to alienate their bigoted audience that is clamoring for an electrified border fence with a fiery moat stocked with alligators.

This is a cynical attempt to con the Latinos segregated on the Fox Latino site into believing that Fox News has their interests at heart. But a quick look at the rest of Fox News reveals that their bias is openly on display. This phony media strategy is also an effort by Fox to repair the damage that Republican candidates do to their electoral prospects by maligning a critical community of voters. The GOP cannot win a national election without a substantial percentage of the Latino vote, and if the candidates are too beholden to their Tea Party constituency to show these voters respect, Fox has taken on the responsibility of cleaning up their mess.

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

Fox News must think that Latinos are pretty stupid if they believe that they will fall for this ruse. In the end Fox will not only fail to lull the Latino community into compliance, they will earn their enduring distrust. After Obama’s reelection in 2012, the Republican Party did an exhaustive study of what went so horribly wrong. One of the main conclusions was that the party failed to reach out to minorities and women, and that they would have to improve upon that in the future. Since then their outreach programs have mainly served to drive more minority voters away, except when they weren’t ignoring them completely. And the fact that Fox News still finds it necessary to engage in this sort of duplicity is proof that the party continues to fall behind in the race to represent all of America.