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

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

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

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

Fox News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BACKFIRE: Wingnuts Compare ObamaCare To The VA – Which Most Veterans Love

With the resignation of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, the Republican malice machine has continued to spin at full strength. Whether or not Shinseki was a scapegoat, his departure will not satisfy the bloodlust of the GOP, nor cause them to defer attacks on President Obama long enough to actually help find solutions. However, their inbred negativity and hatred for Obama is causing them to misfire in ways that only further embarrass themselves.

In yet another right-wing assault on the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare), the conservative opponents of health care have once again managed to mangle their message. Their intent has been to associate ObamaCare, which they viscerally despise despite its growing popularity, with the burgeoning scandal at the Veterans Administration.

ObamaCare vs. VA

From across the Tea Party frontier we can hear the outraged call of the Yellow Tailed Wingnut complaining that ObamaCare will doom us all to fates of suffering, death, and worse – Socialism! Their high-pitched squeal is recognizable and notable for its uniformity.

  • Rush Limbaugh: If you want to know where we’re headed as a country with health care, take a look at the VA.
  • Ann Coulter: We’re all going to be getting the same health care the vets are getting under ObamaCare.
  • Gary Graham (Actor): If you like the way the VA is working … you’re gonna love ObamaCare.
  • Jason Riley (Wall Street Journal): If you want to see where our nationalized health care system is headed, look at the VA system.
  • Wayne Allyn Root (Fox News Contributor): With Obamacare as the law of the land, we are all veterans now.
  • Phyllis Schlafly: [The VA is] A good window into the future of Obamacare
  • Kimberly Guilfoyle (Fox News Host): This is really what the rest of you all are going to get: One big fat VA system in the form of Obamacare. [Note: This one was rated a "Pants On Fire" lie by PolitiFact]

To be sure, the VA is undergoing a difficult period, exacerbated by Republicans in Congress obstructing necessary funding and the added burden of hundreds of thousands of new veterans created by Bush’s wars. And there is no excuse for falsifying records in order to mask the problems. But even with the serious issues surfacing in the past few weeks, the VA is a highly regarded institution that serves the vast majority of its patients with compassion and competence.

A recent survey completed in 2013 for the independent American Customer Satisfaction Index (during the precise time period when the latest abuses allegedly occurred) reported that customer satisfaction among veteran patients was “among the best in the nation and equal to or better than ratings for private sector hospitals.” Ratings for satisfaction and loyalty were overwhelmingly positive, exceeding 80% and 90% respectively. And specific responses regarding quality of care were off-the-charts positive.

“Veterans also responded positively to questions related to customer service for both VA inpatient care (92 percent favorable) and outpatient care (91 percent). Medical providers and appointment personnel were considered highly courteous with scores of 92 and 91, respectively. Additionally, VA medical providers ranked high in professionalism (90 percent positive).”

The positive assessment of the VA’s overall performance, however, does not mean that problems should be ignored. There is obviously room for improvement. Unfortunately, Republicans are not interested in improvement. In fact, they are ideologically shackled to failure. Their whole political philosophy revolves around the belief that government is inept and incapable of doing anything worthwhile (except wage war). Consequently, their mission is to deliberately sabotage every government initiative they encounter.

They aspire to failure because it proves their thesis that the only thing government excels at is failing. And it may even explain why the VA scandal is almost exclusively confined to red states like Arizona, Florida, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, West Virginia, and Wyoming. Is it just a coincidence that all of those GOP-led states, where local managers are responsible for the VA’s operations, are battling inefficiency and fraud? Or is it consistent with the Republican agenda that is also obstructing the Medicaid expansion provided by ObamaCare in many of those same states?

Shameless self-promotion…
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Still, with broad-based, national survey results delivering such positive assessments, the rest of the country would be overjoyed to receive the sort of care that has pleased the vast majority of veterans. And if, as the wingnut brigade above asserts, the VA represents the future of health care under ObamaCare, then America is in for a real improvement in both medical outcomes and experiences. We can only hope that the Limbaughs and Coulters of the world are right this time, for a change.

Ann Coulter’s Advice To The GOP: Murder Unelectable Republicans

Pretty much everyone agrees that the Republican Party is in pitiful shape. The “autopsy” of the 2012 election released by RNC Chair Reince Priebus spelled out the awful truth that his party is perceived as a “narrow minded,” “out of touch” party of “stuffy old (white) men.” Unfortunately, nothing in the report recommends any practical solutions other than adjusting their messaging. In other words, shout louder but don’t revisit any of the policies that have earned you the disdain of the American voters.

Which brings us to one of the premiere Republican shouters, Ann Coulter. In a column on her blog (republished on Fox Nation), Coulter makes some pretty cogent points with regard to the Republican Party being the source of its own woes. She notes that the GOP has embraced some questionable figures who had little chance of success and, as a result, gave up winnable seats to Democrats. She cites Todd Akin, Linda McMahon, and perennial candidate John Raese. And now the GOP is about to add Mark Sanford to the list. The picture she paints of the party is one that repeatedly shoots itself in the foot. So she is now suggesting that they aim significantly higher.

Fox Nation - Ann Coulter

For those who don’t remember, Luca Brasi is a character in The Godfather. He is Don Corleone’s principle “enforcer,” meaning he is a brutal and merciless killer. And that is the sort of person that Coulter thinks the party is missing. In a thinly disguised way she is advocating a Mafia-style hit on Sanford and any other wayward Republican whose candidacy is deemed too risky by Coulter and company.

Sure, she probably doesn’t really want to rub out Sanford, but the symbolism is representative of a repulsive streak of violence that permeates today’s GOP. Just yesterday a Massachusetts sheriff joked about assassinating President Obama, and the senate candidate he endorsed refused to disassociate himself from the sheriff.

This is the rhetoric of the NRA, right-wing militias, secessionists, and Second Amendment cultists who misread the Constitution. It is the rhetoric of Ted Nugent and Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck. It is an attitude that reeks of bloodlust and final solutions, and is held by sore losers who despise democracy.

Coulter is actually right about the folly of South Carolinians choosing Mark Sanford as their candidate for congress (he still needs to win a run-off in May), but her advice is tainted by the gruesome notion that he be dealt with by a mob hit man. Ironically, the savior for whom Coulter pines was himself offed in a bloody ordeal and the news of his passing was delivered in a memorable way. The killers wrapped a fish in his vest and sent it to the Don.

The message was clear, and it is one that the GOP should heed: Luca Brasi sleeps with the fishes, and so will the Republican Party if it continues to revere people like Ann Coulter. And the party is not helped by Fox News either when they endorse this sort of treasonous garbage by rewarding it with a featured spot on their web site.

Crazy Ann Coulter: We, Of Course, Found Weapons Of Mass Destruction In Iraq

Last night on CNBC’s “Kudlow Report,” (video below) Ann Coulter delivered another of her patented wingnut flameouts. In a discussion about the trumped up Benghazi scandal, Coulter called the media a “threat to democracy” before wandering off into a realm of such utter delusion that even Fox Nation picked up the story despite it being the work of their arch-rival NBC.

Ann Coulter

“The things that they went crazy over when Bush was president — I mean, remember that video at the White House Correspondents dinner? We, of course, found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, but were not the stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction. He had a little video — I don’t know, like the dog looking for the weapons of mass destruction under the White House furniture. It was a silly little video. You would think someone died. Well, here in this case under Obama, four people did die.”

Let’s start with the easy part – Coulter’s absurd claim that weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq. That has proven false more times than anyone can count. No credible source, even on the right, is making that assertion. The most they can say is that the intelligence was wrong, but the evidence points to them fabricating and/or distorting the intelligence and giving credence to disreputable figures like the covert informant “Curveball.”

Moving on to the “silly little video,” it was not a dog that was looking for weapons. It was Bush himself, making an astonishingly insensitive joke about not finding the weapons that he used as an excuse for an invasion that cost the lives of more than 4,000 Americans and tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis.

Then for Coulter to snidely dismiss the righteous anger of those who criticized Bush’s silly little video by saying “You would think someone died,” she dishonored the thousands of Americans who did in fact die due to Bush’s deceit. And she compares those 4,000+ casualties to the four people who died in Benghazi at the hands of terrorists, not the incompetence of a corrupt administration.

Neither host Larry Kudlow, nor any of the other guests, bothered to correct Coulter’s gross misrepresentations of the facts. They all sat smugly as she lied and disgraced the memory of their fellow Americans. And this wasn’t even on Fox News. It was the Kudlow Report on CNBC, but it would fit in nicely as a lead in to Glenn Beck or Sean Hannity.

If [fill in the blank] Had Guns Hitler Would Have Married Gandhi On Matching Unicorns

The Reality-Challenged Case For Arming Everyone

The conservative congregation of gun worshipers is pulling out all the stops to prevent any dialogue on gun safety and common sense measures that might protect citizens from the sort of mass carnage that has shocked Americans recently in places like Newtown, Aurora, and Tuscon. With the help of right-wing media, notably Fox News, they are promulgating fear and hostility as a response to a political difference of opinion over how to make our communities safer.

Gun Nutz Problem Solver

They mantra from the right is that Obama is a tyrant who will abolish the Constitution and confiscate all guns. While there is not even an inkling of evidence that any of that is true, the terrifying specter of a dictatorial slave state is flushing through the veins of pseudo-patriots who pretend to revere America and the soldiers who defend it, but are adamant that they retain sufficient firepower to massacre them if necessary. That’s how they thank our heroes for their service.

In the rhetorical battle to preserve their alleged right to carry weapons of carnage into schools and bars and laundromats and baseball stadiums, the Gunnies are now declaring that every threatened or oppressed group of people would have been better off if they had been armed to the hilt and prepared to blow away their assailants. Reality is at variance with these apocryphal claims, but that doesn’t lessen their feverish insistence that a fire-with-fire response to every conflict will bring about a peaceful, secure society. Despite the obvious contradiction in that view, conservative mouthpieces are expressing remarkably similar themes that arrive at the same conclusion: If [fill in the blank] had guns the good guys would always win and violence would become a thing of the past (er, like the wild west?). It’s a Fox Nation style argument that dispenses with truth in favor of hyperbole and historical revisionism. For instance…

If Civil Rights Activists Had Guns…

Rush Limbaugh: “If a lot of African-Americans back in the ’60s had guns and the legal right to use them for self-defense, you think they would have needed [to march at] Selma?”

This astonishingly blockheaded statement ignores the fact that the civil rights activists protesting segregation and discrimination in Selma, Alabama were devoted to peaceful change. They were led by Martin Luther King who was inspired by the non-violent methods practiced by Gandhi. It was a successful strategy that resulted in profound changes in both government and people’s hearts. In effect Limbaugh is expressing solidarity with the Black Panthers and suggesting that armed protesters shooting at southern sheriffs would have brought about a better result. However, the presence of guns would only have put everyone in greater danger, sapped the moral advantage of the protesters and produced more corpses all around. And Limbaugh would have been the first to condemn them for their reliance on violence.

If Slaves Had Guns…

Gun advocate Larry Ward: “If African Americans had been given the right to keep and bear arms from day one of the country’s founding, perhaps slavery might not have been a chapter in our history.”

Of course. If the slave traders had given each of their human “cargo” a musket along with their shackles they would have been able to kill off their prospective masters and enjoy life in the new world. I’m sure that Ward and the others propounding this theory would have been delighted to hear that armed slave rebellions had put folks like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson in their graves before they ever got around to declaring independence from the British. Furthermore, the unorganized, disoriented, involuntary African immigrants would have had no problem dispatching the southern slave states that a civil war with the rest of the nation struggled with for years at horrendous human cost.

If Jews Had Guns…

Judge Andrew P. Napolitano, Fox News: “If the Jews in the Warsaw ghetto had had the firepower and ammunition that the Nazis did, some of Poland might have stayed free and more persons would have survived the Holocaust.”

Once again, the dimwits on the right think that civilians of an oppressed minority would have managed to overcome a military power that held at bay most of the free world. Apparently Napolitano believes that the Jews in the Warsaw ghetto had some superpowers that, were they armed, would have made them a more ominous opponent than the Americans, the Russians, the English, and the French combined.

If Schools Had Guns…

Ann Coulter: “Only one policy has reduced these mass shootings and the number of casualties, and that is concealed carry permits. If you want to reduce the number of dead, and the number of times this is going to happen in an area, you sort of sense this, because they so often happen at public schools.”

Something that the Gunnies seem all to willing to excise from the debate is the fact that prior incidents of shootings at schools occurred despite there being armed guards present. That was the case at Columbine. It was also the case at Virginia Tech where they had a whole armed police squad on campus. Despite their best intentions, guards cannot be everywhere at once. And they also are often at a disadvantage when confronted by an assailant with a military style arsenal and bullet-proof gear who gets the jump on them.

If Teachers Had Guns…

Pat Robertson: “The truth is, if teachers had guns in classes, these shooters wouldn’t come in because they would be afraid of getting shot themselves.”

The truth is, that teachers are frequently the first victims of school shootings. The time it would take them to retrieve a weapon from a place that is safe enough for it to be stored in a classroom full of students would be plenty of time for an assailant with an AR-15 to riddle them with bullets. Robertson also forgets that most of these assaults are perpetrated by people who end up taking their own lives, so it is ridiculous to regard them as being afraid of getting shot themselves. And the presence of others with weapons certainly didn’t deter the shooter at the Ft. Hood Army base in Texas, where he certainly had reason to believe that there were other armed persons in the vicinity.

The speculative query as to whether there would have been a different outcome in any of these situations if [fill in the blank] had guns is just plain lunacy. It would be dubious under any circumstances to pretend to predict what might have occurred in these after-the-fact scenarios, but the specific examples chosen by these Gunnies demonstrate how blinded they are by their prejudices and violent, video game fantasies. The speculation could go on indefinitely. What if the women suffragettes had guns? What if the students at Kent State had guns?

What if Jesus and his disciples had guns? Pontius Pilate might have been riddled with armor-piercing bullets. There would have been no crucifixion. In fact, the soldiers and pharisees who arrested Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane would have been slaughtered. It was there that Jesus admonished his disciple Peter, who took up his sword to defend him, saying “He who lives by the sword, dies by the sword.” That’s a lesson the sanctimonious gun evangelists still haven’t learned 2,000 years later.

Dick Cheney: Human Events’ Conservative Of The Year.

Award season is in full swing, and the latest recipient of a year-end tribute is former Vice-President Dick Cheney. Human Events magazine has named Cheney “Conservative of the Year.”

Dick Cheney - The End Is Near

To be sure, this commendation lacks stature. After all, last year’s winner was Sarah Palin. Chosen to pen Palin’s accolades was the professional conservative controversialist, Ann Coulter. In her attempt to praise Palin, Coulter wrote such back-handed compliments as…

[1] Who cares if Palin was qualified to be President? [2] Palin was a kick in the pants, she energized conservatives, and she made liberal heads explode. [3] Perhaps Palin’s year is 2012, but I would recommend that she take a little more time to become older and wiser.

Pretty much the only positive thing Coulter could find to say about Palin was that she was a “genius at annoying all the right people.” While annoying people is a subject that Coulter has some familiarity with, it still begs the question, with friends like Coulter, who needs enemas?

Cheney fared little better with regard to the selection of his advocate. The honor of fluffing Cheney fell to former United Nations Ambassador, John Bolton. Bolton begins his plaudits by enumerating a list of things Cheney is NOT doing:

He is not running for President or any other office. He has not formed a PAC or a D.C. lobbying firm. He is not dishing on former colleagues, not spreading gossip, not settling scores.

Those, however, all sound like things that last year’s honoree, Palin, IS doing, and about which Bolton apparently disapproves. It’s rather telling that Human Events had to settle for someone they admit is so completely out of the political limelight. It speaks to the absence of credible leaders warming up in the conservative bullpen. The rest of the article makes a case very similar to the one Coulter made for Palin. It is basically an argument that Cheney was an effective thorn in the new administration’s side. To conservatives, that is what constitutes qualification for a prestigious award. Not setting policy, or advancing ideas, or accumulating support, but by being a nuisance. Bolton does end on a positive note by summing up Cheney’s attributes as a loyal public servant, saying he is…

“…a very experienced, very dedicated patriot, giving his fellow citizens his best analysis on how to keep them and their country safe.”

I’m not so sure that having Cheney’s “best analysis” is particularly comforting. I mean, this is the guy under who’s watch the nation suffered its worst act of terrorism ever. It’s the guy who led America into an unnecessary war justified by lies. And it’s the guy who has consistently been the herald of doom and worse, a virtual advance man for Al Qaeda. By repeatedly proclaiming his view that our country is less safe under President Obama, and therefore more vulnerable, Cheney and his cohorts are effectively inviting another terrorist attack. How does announcing to our enemies that he believes our nation is becoming weaker make us safer? Does he even care? Or is he just pasting a big bull’s eye on America and hoping for an “I told you so” moment?

In any case, I give you Richard Bruce Cheney – Human Events’ Conservative of the Year. I suppose it’s the best they could do.

The Fox News Conservative Book Promotion Channel

Anyone who watches Fox News with any frequency is painfully aware that it is little more than a marketplace for rightist propaganda and rancor. But lately, I noticed another kind of hucksterism that is rampant on the network. Several of their regular anchors and contributors are identified as authors in the graphics at the bottom of the screen. This happens often enough that I began to wonder just how widespread this practice of co-promotion of TV and publishing was. As it turns out, it is pretty damn widespread. If you were to populate your library with books by Fox News personalities, you would have to purchase all of these – to start:

Bill O’Reilly
A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity
Culture Warrior
The O’Reilly Factor
Kids Are Americans Too
The O’Reilly Factor for Kids
Who’s Looking Out for You?
The No Spin Zone

Dick Morris
Fleeced
Outrage
Rewriting History
Power Plays: Win or Lose
Because He Could
Off with Their Heads
Condi vs. Hillary: The Next Great Presidential Race

Michele Malkin
Unhinged: Exposing Liberals Gone Wild
In Defense of Internment
Invasion

Mike Straka
Grrr! Celebrities Are Ruining Our Country

Sean Hannity
Deliver Us from Evil
Let Freedom Ring

Glenn Beck
The Christmas Sweater
An Inconvenient Book
The Real America

John Gibson
The War on Christmas
Hating America
In Defense of Religion

Laura Ingraham
Power to the People
Shut Up and Sing
The Hillary Trap

Major Garrett
The Enduring Revolution: The Inside Story of the Republican Ascendancy and Why It Will Continue
The 15 Biggest Lies in Politics

Ann Coulter
Guilty
Slander
Godless
Treason
If Democrats Had Any Brains, They’d Be Republicans
How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must)
High Crimes and Misdemeanors

Bernie Goldberg
A Slobbering Love Affair
Crazies to the Left of Me, Wimps to the Right
110 People Who Are Screwing Up America
Bias
Arrogance

James Rosen
The Strong Man

Greta Van Susteren
My Turn at the Bully Pulpit

Updated to add:
Fox News Washington, D.C., deputy managing editor, Bill Sammon
At Any Cost: How Al Gore Tried to Steal the Election
Fighting Back: The War on Terrorism from Inside the White House
Misunderestimated: The President Battles Terrorism, Media Bias and the Bush Haters
Strategery: How George W. Bush Is Defeating Terrorists, Outwitting Democrats, and Confounding the Mainstream Media.
The Evangelical President: George Bush’s Struggle to Spread a Moral Democracy Throughout the World

This a wholly unprecedented marketing partnership between a so-called news organization and a right-wing political crusade. The books being plugged by the Fox spokesmodels are hardcore partisan tracts that all reflect the same regressive ideology. They have implemented a campaign that blankets their airwaves with pitches for published opinion pieces that are mostly dishonest, manipulative, and overtly hostile.

So where is the other side in this debate? Of course there are no anchors or hosts that lean even modestly left on the “fair and balanced” network. But even amongst their pseudo-liberal commentators like Kirsten Powers, Bob Beckel, or the recently departed Alan Colmes, you would be hard pressed to turn up a handful of literary works. Even so, I have never seen any of their limited line advertised on the air. Conversely, grousers like O’Reilly hawk their books on every broadcast. And you’ll find that appearances from the Coulters and Goldbergs increase coincident with the release of each new product. As for the other networks, there are a few authors scattered about, like Lou Dobbs, but the shelf space they would consume would be a mere fraction of the Fox Book Club.

The truly astonishing thing about all of this is that anyone would want to read (or watch) any of these pathetic characters to begin with. They represent a collection of the world’s most ill informed, logic deprived, truth averse losers in modern media. Bernie Goldberg, the fired CBS alum, is an unrepentant propagandist who writes books about media bias. Well, I guess he should know. Major Garrett, Fox’s White House correspondent, presciently penned a tome with the subtitle of “The Inside Story of the Republican Ascendancy and Why It Will Continue.” That was published just prior to the Democratic takeover of Congress in 2006, followed up in 2008 with additional congressional gains and an historic White House victory. Good call, Major

But my favorite is the Clown Prince of Fox, Dick Morris. His 2006 book, “Condi vs. Hillary,” predicts the prospects for the commencing presidential election. Here is a sample of his astute analysis from the introduction to the book:

[T]here is no doubt that Hillary Clinton is on a virtually uncontested trajectory to win the Democratic nomination and, very likely, the 2008 presidential election. She has no serious opposition in her party [...]

The stakes are high. In 2008, no ordinary white male Republican candidate will do. Forget Bill Frist, George Allen, and George Pataki. Hillary would easily beat any of them. Rudy Giuliani and John McCain? Either of them could probably win, but neither will ever be nominated by the Republican Party.

So Morris got the Democratic nominee wrong. He got the Republican nominee wrong. And the Republican who Morris said could win if he were nominated actually lost. It is on the strength of this sort of analysis that Morris gets asked back to provide additional insights.

The truth is, it doesn’t matter on Fox (or almost any of the TV news nets) if you’re wrong. The only thing that matters is that you faithfully regurgitate the conservative dogma and talking points. If you do, then you will have a job for life, and your books, web sites, and other media spew will become part of the marketing machine that props up conservatism. It’s an elegantly parasitic relationship. TV exposure begets propaganda which begets book deals which begets TV exposure which begets propaganda, ad infinitum.

And at the center of it all is Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., a vertically integrated media empire that channels disinformation throughout it’s layers of television, radio, newspapers, magazine and book publishers, and the Internet. This complex web of entanglements insures multimedia distribution of the right wing’s political philosophy. Each props up the other to produce an architecture of lies in support of their lust for power and their Utopian dream for social Darwinism. Goebbels would have been proud.

Ann Coulter Found Guilty Of Serial Lying

The arch-right-wing provocateur, Ann Coulter, has another book of disinformation and smears coming out tomorrow. This one is called “Guilty,” continuing her custom of disparaging one-word titles (i.e. Slander, Treason, Godless). And in another custom in which she engages, the book release has become embroiled in controversy. Sure, it’s a made-up controversy, but they all are with her.

In this case, Coulter was scheduled to appear tomorrow on NBC’s Today Show to pitch the book. That appearance was canceled this morning. Shortly after that news, Coulter placed a notice of the cancellation on her website with the commentary:

“I guess this ends the ‘they just want to get ratings’ argument about liberal media bias.”

She didn’t bother to give any reason for the cancellation, just that snarky remark alleging bias on the part of NBC.

But that’s not all. The cancellation was also reported on the Drudge Report, but Drudge went further to allege that Coulter had been “banned for life” from the peacock network. Drudge cited the usual anonymous top network insiders who said:

“We are just not going to have her on any more, it’s over.” [and] “We are just not interested in anyone so highly critical of President-elect Obama, right now. It’s such a downer. It’s just not the time, and it’s not what our audience wants, either.”

This is such a phony quote it barely deserves mention. No “top network source” would ever make that sort of comment to a legitimate reporter, much less to a hack like Drudge. What’s more, it flies in the face of NBC’s relationship with Coulter, which has always been welcoming. Whenever she desired a platform for her views or to sell something, NBC was cooperative. They have always been aware of her opinions and her scorched earth attitude, and they still provided air time for her. Nothing has changed in that regard. Clearly this is another of her attempts to manufacture controversy in order to boost her exposure and book sales.

For the record, NBC released a statement saying that:

“We’ve had Ann Coulter on ‘Today’ many times, but because of the news in Washington and the Middle East, we decided to cancel her appearance tomorrow. Understanding the media as well as she does, we are sure she knows this happens from time to time. We look forward to welcoming her back in the future.”

So much for having been banned for life. However, the fact that it did not happen has not prevented the rightist media machine from disseminating this fiction, which is presently spreading across the web. Not that she wouldn’t deserve it. One look at the analysis by MediaMatters demonstrates that her writing is intentionally inflammatory and filled with errors/lies. Nonetheless, in an article on her web site this morning Coulter hilariously asserts that she is “usually stunningly error-free,” then proceeds to describe what she calls an editing mistake:

“On Page 89 of my new book, Frank Rich is quoted as referring to a ‘barrage of McCarthyesque guilt-by-association charges against [the media's] candidate, portraying him as a fellow traveler of bomb-throwing, America-hating, flag-denigrating terrorists.’”

Coulter says that the brackets around the words [the media's] were inadvertently left off. Unfortunately, even with the brackets on Coulter has mischaracterized Rich, who actually said this:

“Obama fans were angry because of the barrage of McCarthyesque guilt-by-association charges against their candidate…”

It is the word “their” that Coulter replaced with her brackets and the words “the media’s.” Obviously Rich was referring to Obama supporters and not to the media. That has quite a different meaning. Coulter just wanted to take a gratuitous slap at the media without regard for accuracy.

This is Coulter’s idea of a correction. But it is everyone else’s idea of lying.

Update: After having been “banned for life” from NBC, Ann Coulter has now announced that she will appear on NBC tomorrow. That was a short life. She gives the credit to her accomplice in publicity whoring, Matt Drudge, saying that “DRUDGE GETS RESULTS.” Of course since they made up the whole banning business, it’s easy to claim victory when the imaginary ban is lifted.

Update: In her appearance on NBC, Coulter was her usual bombastic, dishonest and delusional self. But the funniest moment was when she said that “The Drudge Report has never had to retract a report.” Is she on drugs? Because, if not, perhaps she should be.

Sarah Palin: Conservative Of The Year

The uber-conservative Human Events Magazine has named Sarah Palin its “Conservative of the Year,” and I couldn’t agree more. Palin exemplifies the vacuous philosophy of Republican politics. Her strident anti-intellectualism, blind faith, and personal corruption are the hallmarks of her Party and stand as testimony to her worthiness for this honor.

The tribute paid to Palin by Human Events was authored by another icon of rightist infamy: Ann Coulter. In the opening sentence of the article, Coulter identifies Palin’s key attribute as “her genius at annoying all the right people.” I’ll defer to Coulter on this since annoying people is a talent for which she has no peer. As proof of this, Coulter devotes most of her column, not to praising Palin, but to slamming McCain, Obama, and Democrats in general. About McCain’s selection of Palin, Coulter says…

“I assume Palin was chosen because McCain had heard that she was a real conservative and he had always wanted to meet one — no, actually because he needed a conservative on the ticket, but that he had no idea that picking her would send the left into a tailspin of wanton despair. “

Aside from the insult to McCain, Coulter totally misread the response from the left. It was quite apparent that the left could not have been more thrilled with McCain’s choice of a theo-con nitwit that believed geographical proximity was a measure of one’s grasp of foreign policy. Palin does have her supporters. Polls amongst Republicans show that 64% want Palin to run for president in 2012. I haven’t seen a similar poll of Democrats, but I would venture to guess that 100% would want to see Palin run in four years. I sure do.

What becomes obvious in Coulter’s homage is that she has a serious crush on Palin, referring to her at one point as “our beauteous Sarah” and later waxing poetic about “her beautiful head.” But it was not enough for Coulter to champion the object of her affection, she also had to attack the women who threaten her:

“Democrats may have a fleet of women politicians, but they don’t have a deep bench of attractive ones. You don’t even think of most Democratic woman as women.”

Classy as always, Coulter continued by disputing, even ridiculing, the contention that Palin was not accessible to the media. Of course, Palin’s aversion to the press was well documented. During the campaign she didn’t hold a single press conference, she never appeared on a Sunday news program, and most of the rare interviews to which she agreed where conducted by friendly inquisitors like Sean Hannity. It was only when she sat down with relatively neutral reporters like Charlie Gibson that she embarrassed herself. But the funny thing about Coulter’s assertion that Palin was readily available to the press is that Palin herself denies it. In an interview with Human Events accompanying her award, Palin laments

“…the opportunities that were not seized to speak to more Americans via media. I was not allowed to do very many interviews, and the interviews that I did were not necessarily those I would have chosen.”

So not only does Palin confirm her press scarcity, she reveals that it was because she was not permitted out of her bubble by her handlers. On this point I have to score one for the handlers. Clearly they knew what they were doing. Palin was so plainly unprepared, she could only hurt her cause. On this, surprisingly, Coulter seems to agree, but doesn’t care:

“Who cares if Palin was qualified to be President? She was running with John McCain! There was no chance that ticket was going to place her anywhere near the presidency.”

On the contrary, putting Palin on a ticket with a 72 year old man who has had four bouts with cancer is placing her very near the presidency indeed. But Coulter apparently discounts the need for any vice-president at all and, therefore, an inadequate one is no disgrace. And Coulter goes even further to extinguish Palin’s flame by disparaging her experience and advising her to sit out 2012 in order to “become wiser and better read.”

Now that’s the kind of testimonial that justifies an award for Conservative of the Year. Even the author of the tribute thinks Palin is a cerebrally deficient lightweight who is ill-prepared for leadership. And yet, by Republican standards, she ranks above all of the other conservatives in meriting this award.

Congratulations Sarah.

Ann Coulter Endorses Hillary Clinton Over John McCain

Ann Coulter despises John McCain so much that she has publicly declared that she would would vote for Hillary Clinton over McCain. In fact she even commits to campaigning for Clinton:

When asked for a response, Clinton said:

For the conspiracy theorists out there, I would propose that this is really just a Machiavellian maneuver to sink Clinton’s candidacy. I can’t think of much worse for her prospects than an endorsement from Coulter.

William Kristol Fails Upward

Another member of the PEP Squad (Perpetually Erroneous Pundits) has been promoted despite his consistent failures as an observer and analyst. The New York Times just announced that William Kristol, Fox News personality and editor of Rupert Murdoch’s Weekly Standard, has been hired as an opinion columnist.

Attempting to speculate as to the Times’ justification for this is bewildering, to say the least. In their own announcement they point out Kristol’s disdain for the paper and that he believes that “The Times is irredeemable.” They also note his statement that the Times should have been prosecuted for disclosing government programs to spy on the international banking transactions of American citizens. On that score he seems to agree with Ann Coulter who went so far as to advocate a firing squad for the Times’ treasonous editors. The very same editors who just hired Kristol.

The Times’ editorial page chief, Andy Rosenthal, is defending his new personnel move by calling his critics (i.e. readers) “intolerant” for not accepting Kristol as a “serious, respected conservative intellectual.” But why someone who has been so consistently wrong deserves to be regarded as serious, respected, or even intellectual, is not addressed in the defense. Rosenthal furthers his dissembled argument saying…

“We have views on our op-ed page that are as hawkish or more so than Bill. The whole point of the op-ed page is to air a variety of opinions.”

Precisely! If you already have views that are as hawkish or more so than Bill, then what does his hiring do to promote a variety of opinions?

Kristol, who is also a founder of the neo-conservative think tank, Project for a New American Century, has an abundance of pride for the influence of the Weekly Standard. Despite losing a million dollars a year, Kristol brags that “Dick Cheney does send over someone to pick up 30 copies of the magazine every Monday.”

Just a few weeks ago, that other bastion of liberalism, the Washington Post, hired Karl Rove to pontificate at their Newsweek subsidiary. So now, while the Times’ editor complains that his critics are intolerant, and conservatives continue to whine about the so-called liberal media, Bill Kristol, one of the most profound failures of punditry assumes his new perch at America’s Paper of Record. And don’t forget that Rupert Murdoch just completed his purchase of the Wall Street Journal with which he has vowed to bury the Times. Now he has his own man on the inside.